Our song is has its own
You released an album after 18 years – and many people are saying it’s the best record you’ve done. Would you agree with that?
It’s the one I’m most happy with, yeah I’m proud of it. We really tried to make the best record we could. Is it the best record we’ve done? I don’t know, I haven’t really listened to the first 4 to be honest (laughing),
It’s definitely been getting the best reviews and the best reaction. Yeah, a lot of people have gotten very excited about it, which is wicked.
It’s the first record you did with Jesse Wood (guitar). What do you feel he brought to the record?
Definitely his writing. Jesse’s brought a whole new bunch of energy to the band. When you’ve been playing with people for a long time, you fall into the roles of how you should be, like maybe with your mum and dad. You act a certain way. But when one guy leaves and another guy joins, it’s new blood. You can remould yourself, you can be different.
So, yeah, he’s brought in a new dynamic, and a new energy, which is fantastic. Changing the blood has made all the difference with regard to writing. It just means you can start again really, so yeah, it’s exciting and Jesse has been brilliant.
On the album, you teamed up with Sheryl Crow for the track My Sweet Love. How did that come about?
It was (producer) George Drakoulias’s idea to have her on the album. He suggested that maybe the song that was good for a duet. George is usually right, so I said, “Yup! No problem”. He said, “I’m going to make a phone call”, and he rung Sheryl Crow, like only George can, and she said yeah.
So George sent her the song, she loved it, and sung it within two weeks. I was in my house in Somerset by then, George was in New York and Sheryl was in Nashville, so we were all on Skype or whatever. Yeah, she nailed it. Her voice sounds beautiful, it gives me shivers. She’s super talented.
Do you think maybe one day you’ll team up to perform it together live?
Yeah, that would be fun, wouldn’t it? We’ve got to be in the same part of the world at the same time that’s the thing! She came to the UK recently but we were in Japan or somewhere. Maybe one day!
Earlier this year, you took part in the Brit Rock Must Be Destroyed Tour with The Wildhearts and Terrorvision. Were they all your mates back in the day as well? Was it a kind of reunion?
No, they weren’t really, not that they were my enemies either. I mean, it was quite combative back then, it was pretty gladiatorial. Bands sort of glared at each other quite often, all that stuff. I was never mates with them and to be honest, I didn’t really know a huge amount about their music either.
The idea of the tour came up, we said, “yep, that sounds fun”, and I’ll tell you what, we had the best time. The shows were big and sold out, and the crowd were excited. Some nights there were more people there to see Reef, and some nights there were people that maybe wanted to see Terrorvision or Wildhearts more, and that was cool, it kind of kept it edgy and exciting.
We need to talk about the legacy of Place Your Hands.
How do you feel about the song looking back and the fact that it still gets played and appreciated everywhere today?
I’m stoked! I’m really happy with it. You know it’s got its own Twitter page, right? You can go on there, @ placeyourhands, and see how many it’s sold each week. Yeah, it’s crazy that the song still sells roughly 1,000 records a week. It goes all over the world.
That’s good, because some bands grow to hate their mopst popular songs. You’re not one of those then?
Not at all, not at all. No, genuinely, I love it. I don’t even understand that. I guess if you weren’t happy with what you’ve done and it became really successful then that could maybe be a bit of a grind, but so what? It makes other people happy, and it puts a few quid in your pocket. Maybe some people are bit more uptight about all that sort of stuff, but for me, I love listening to it. Not many weeks go by where I don’t get a story, either through the internet or in the pub or bumping into someone, “Oh, I was in Adelaide and I heard Place Your Hands at this bar at 3am, and the whole place went up” or “I was in Abu Dhabi in a restaurant and it come on”. It’s wicked! It’s the way it connects to people, man.
You grew up in Glastonbury, and you’re coming to play Frome on the tour. Will that feel like a homecoming gig for you? Have you played Frome before?
Yeah, we’ve played it a couple of times before. We’ve had some really good nights, it’s a really cool room actually. We’ve had some really sweaty nights there. You know, legs in the air and beer on the ceiling, and big smiles. Yeah, I’m looking forward to it.
Rock band Reef have returned with their first album in 18 years, Revelation. Friday Live caught up frontman Gary Stringer
You made this album after 18 years. It’s not going to be another 18 years before you release another one, surely?
I would hope not! We took about seven years off for a start.
Is the plan to keep going? Yeah, I think so! I’m really enjoying myself at the moment. Really excited by the music and it’s really, really cool.