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Ride - Interview

  by Anthony Strutt

published: 19 / 6 / 2015

Ride - Interview


Anthony Strutt speaks to Andy Bell, the guitarist with Ride, in an archive interview from 1997 about his then new band Hurricane #1, and then again before one of Ride's recent reformation gigs at The Roundhouse in london

I caught up with a very nervous Andy Bell before the first show with his then new band, Hurricane #1. That interview, which we are reprinting here, was first published in the second issue of my then fanzine, 'Pet Sounds', in May 1997. Andy's previous band, the influential shoegazing group Ride, had broken up the previous year after putting out four well-received albums on Creation Records, 'Nowhere' (1990), 'Going Blank Again' (1992), 'Carnival of Light' (1994) and 'Tarantula' (1996) At the time I spoke to him, Hurricane #1 had put out their debut EP, 'Step into My World', but were still due to release their eponymous first album 'Hurricane #1', again on Creation Records. After leaving Hurricane #1 in 1999 shortly after recording their second album, 'Only the Strongest Will Survive', Andy Bell went on to join Gay Dad briefly, before becoming a member of Oasis and then Beady Eye. In 2014, Andy (guitar, vocals) reformed Ride with the group's other original members, Mark Gardener (vocals, guitar), Steve Queralt (bass) and Laurence Colbart (drums). Ride played a reunion gig at The Roundhouse in London on the 24th May. I had the chance to speak to Andy Bell briefly just after their soundcheck for the show at the Roundhouse, and was able to ask him a few more questions. 1997 AS: Many other musicians have left Creation Records when they have got their second band together. Ride was your first band, wasn't it? But you have stayed with Creation, haven't you? How loyal were Creation and did they like the new material? AB: Yes,Ride was my first band. It really was Alan that encouraged me to get the new band together, so it was only fair I stayed with Creation to see it through. AS: What do you think of a group such as Slowdive who have become Mojave 3 and then left Creation to join 4AD records? AB: I think they have gone in a good direction, I think it's a nice thing that they are doing. AS: How bitter was Ride's split? AB: Well, it wasn't really bitter until we did interviews. That was the worst it got really. The reason we did interviews was Creation said that if we didn't promote 'Tarantula' by doing some press they wouldn't put it out ('Tarantula' was released after Ride's split -AS). So, we really had to do something. AS: I think it's the best Ride album. AB: Yeah, I really like it. AS: You had to change your new band name from Hurricane to Hurricane No. 1, What was that all about? Was it to do with DJ Hurricane? AB: Yes. We could of held onto the name and given him some money or something, but it wasn't worth the hassle. PB: Your debut album 'Hurricane #1' is still to come out. How different is the album from the single, 'Step into My World'? In Ride Mark Gardener originally did the vocals and then you started doing some too. Will you do the same in this band? AB: No,it's sorted now. It is really working. Alex Lowe is doing all the singing, and I am doing backing vocals and writing all the songs. AS: What bands are Hurricane #1 influenced by? I know you were influenced by My Bloody Valentine. Are you influenced by any new acts at all? AB: I'm very much into Oasis (whom he also became a songwriter for - AS). I think they are doing great music. I have always loved the Stone Roses. PBM.Do you like what Creation and Oasis have become? Apart from the Creation income, is it good for other bands being on Creation Records? AB: Oh, yeah, When Creation are doing well, they share out the money. They put it into new things. There's still room for improvement with smaller acts like my wife, Idha, I notice, because of things that are happening with her(Swedish singer-songwriter, Idha Ovelius, who releaseed two albums on Creation Records, 'Melody Inn' (1994) and 'Troublemaker' (1997) -AS). AS: What are the other members of Ride up to now? AB: Mark formed a new band, Basically he left Ride to form this band, Then the band split up after a month or so. He was meant to work with Paul Oakenfield and that fell through, and now he is doing some songwriting with other people. AS: Are Hurricane#1 the new Ride? AB: No,it's totally different. What we are trying to do is to fit somewhere between the Stone Roses and Oasis, in the same way that Roger McGuinn sacked the Byrds or like in the middle years of The Beatles or Dylan.We are going for the middle ground, the best of each and to move one step further. I'm really moving into the mainstream now. (Hurricane #1 have also now reformed with Alex Lowe being the sole original member and with Andy Bell's blessing - AS). AS: Thank you. 2015 AS: I originally met you at the Borderline show before the first Hurricane #1 show. Do you remember that? AB: Yes, I do remember that. AS: Can we expect a new Ride record in the future? AB: We need to do this tour first, but I would love to do a new Ride album. AS: You ended up drumming with Chris Sharrock of the Icicle Works while you were in Oasis and Beady Eye. Is it true that he has now retired as he has won the lottery? AB: Has he? He has kept that to himself. I haven't spoken to him for a while. AS: You moved to Sweden in the late 1990s. Do you still live there these days? AB. No, I now live up the road in Hampstead. (Andy had to then leave to do a photo shoot for the evening). AS: Thanks for your time.

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