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Stony Sleep Interview

On a bitterly cold Winter's evening, we traipsed down to the Barfly at the Falcon in Camden, to see Stony Sleep play. I guess you could have called me a 'Stony Sleep Virgin'. This would not only be desperately amusing but would also suggest that there was an element of anticipation...there usually are with these things...I don't know what I was thinking, but I surely wasn't prepared for what I saw at the gig. Is this making sense? So, we opened the door, and are greeted by two rather angry looking men. "You're late," they say. We look sheepish. I, of course, don't recognise them. But one of them is rather attractive...

They are, of course, Ben and Christian Smith, two thirds of London's Stony Sleep, who, with bassist Lee Citron, create the type of music that makes you wish you played guitar, put your hair into dreads and took lots of drugs. Mind you, I guess most people want to do that anyway. So what I'd really like to say is that Stony Sleep make awe-inspiring, ground-breaking, earth-shattering music. And, you know, I don't even mean that. Because it's not THAT good. So, I could list their debut album, 'Music for Chameleons' in my top five cds of all time, but playing it is not going to cause an earthquake 8.4 on the Richter scale. However, it's bloody good stuff.

I keep digressing. This really isn't good, you know? It's my first interview, and all that, and I'm not used to meeting famous people. But you have to understand that all I'd heard was one song, 'This Kitten is Clean', when I interviewed this band, and to be perfectly honest, they weren't anybody special. I mean, really. So...whatever. We have problems with the dictaphone, we have problems with the other bands soundchecking, and Christian wants to go home and have a bath. And I think, 'Where's the adrenaline rush you're supposed to get when you meet your idols?' because all I felt was slightly nauseous (I think my BK(tm)spicy beanburger was the culprit) and I wanted to go home.

We expect Stony Sleep to be tortured souls. And perhaps they are, but their ex-public schoolboy charm and eloquence was what struck me first. We might have asked stupid questions, but they gave appropriate answers and suchlike, which is what's really important. So what I've done is transfer the interview to the transcript below, although I'm not 100% sure who's who...they're good blokes,though, these Stony Sleep people, listen to their music, go to their gigs, love them. If they haven't sold a million records by the year 2000, there's something not quite right with the world.

SBS: What was it like being at school knowing you were about to embark upon a huge rock and roll journey?
C: It was never really a definite thing. We never really thought about it.
SBS: But didn't you just sit in physics and think, 'I just don't want to be here'?
C: Oh, yeah...but it didn't really change anything. It just didn't function. I still had to go through school like everyone else. But in physics lessons, knowing there's something else stops you from being suicidal, I guess.

SBS: you know your eyeliner? Do you buy it yourself, or do you use your mum's?
C: I buy it myself. I don't live with my mum.
SBS: Rimmel?
C: [no answer]
Good stuff.

SBS: When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
B: I wanted to be in a band, as far as I can remember. No, I wanted to be a psychologist. Oh, and I wanted to be that guy at the arse-end of the train, who pressed the buttons. The Northern Line (excitement ensues: "the arse-end? Not the driver?" "oh, I know what you mean" "The red button!" "DON'T TOUCH THE RED BUTTON!" Oh ha ha. But then it gets worrying because Ben and Christian spend what seems like minutes (when playing back the tape) making the noises that buttons make when they're pressed...)

SBS: So what IS your favourite Underground line, then?
Both: The Northern line.
SBS: Ugh! Why? It's loud, creaky, smelly, dirty, freaky people...
C: Exactly. Dirty. It's got character...

SBS: Do you ever feel like you've...done everything?
B: We've done NOTHING.
SBS: Not so much as a band, but as people.
B: There's so much more. I've only just started. I want to take music as far as it can go, in my mind, as far as I can take it, creatively. That's all! Get rich, save all the animals...

SBS: The inevitable question - what sort of music are you 'into'? C: The usual stuff, really...late 60s, 70s, 80s, the Kinks, the Beatles, Small Faces, Pink Floyd, Pixies, Sonic Youth (oh, yeah, baby)...
SBS: What do you like at the moment?
C: I don't like anything that's going on at the moment, really. apart from bands that have been around for ages, like Sonic Youth (oh, yeah, baby), Radiohead, oh, and Supergrass! (small argument ensues about worthiness of Supergrass...)