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 Actually, I wanted the other one...

 

 

 

 

         
 

MM: Incidentally, I note my review finishes with “Man, I could play this over and over (except that bloody thing about trains)!” I mean, what WERE you thinking?

 

NC: The song you’re referring to is Once Every So Often, which also appears on our Delerium debut album ‘Nour d’Oui’ (on the CD version only). I love that track so you can fuck right off!! It’s about being lost on the Paris Metro; I had hitched through Europe having spent months living on a remote Greek island and I found myself on a platform in Paris with thousands of people all in rush-hour mode and it kinda freaked me out.

 

MM: Yeah, whatever. Your next release on M&E surprised us all, “The Dilemma Sessions” (M&E 158 – April 1993). This really wasn’t the SOS we were used to, rather more 90 minutes of electronics, tape-loops and the purely avant garde. Which I rather cruelly gave a zero star review to. But such was the band’s popularity by this point that it still became one of our all time top 20 selling albums. So what was the story with this project, how did it come about and what, if anything, were you hoping to achieve with it?

 

Sons Of Selina live at The White Hart, Frimley, July 1995.

 
 

 

NC: ‘The Dilemma Sessions’ were just a few days in the studio experimenting with different sounds for our next release, we were forward planning, looking for layers to put down behind our songs, looking for subliminal advertising and stuff like that. You’ll find bits from those sessions on our second Delerium Records album ‘Fire In The Hole.’ I think there was a ‘proper’ song on Dilemma, called ‘Off To See Isaac’ which was a long heavy punked out track that we never really did any justice. We sent the complete session to you for a laugh, never thought in a million years you’d be stupid enough to release it..!!

MM: Oh, my stupidity has surprised better people than you! Anyhow, like I said, top 20 seller, what do you know? Anyway, then came a real milestone in the band’s career (no, not the White Hart gig, I’m coming to that); I was dead chuffed to announce in the Summer ’93 edition of The M&E News that SOS had been signed to Richard Allen’s Delerium label. It’s quite a moment for any band, I remember well my excitement when Earworm Records showed an interest in MMATT. We only ever did two recordings for them, but I still look back on it as something of a ‘wow’ moment, even though my mum was more worried the DHSS would find out. What are your memories of becoming a ‘signed band’ and how did it change things?

NC: We had done a demo of our second single Life Is But, and were scratching round for funds to release it as a 7”. Vinyl x1000 would cost about £1500 in those days, so I asked Richard Allen at Delerium if he’d pay for the B-side! He listened to it and said he’d pay for it all providing we signed a two album deal. We had also been courted by Food Records (home of Jesus Jones), but thought Delerium (despite being hippies) had more of our interests at heart. I think Richard was a bit scared of us in a way, that we might kill him or bring his label down in a blaze of controversy. Both of which turned out true ha ha!!

MM: 1993 was such a pivotal year for the band. Sam and I still remember excitedly waiting by the radio for your BBC Radio One live session on Mark Radcliffe’s show, that really was quite a night, we even had biscuits with our tea that evening. No expense spared in celebrating. I sent Mr. Radcliffe a nice little package of your tapes, and a friendly little letter, coz I thought he might like them, obviously being a fan of the band. Totally fucking ignored me. Wanker. Your nerves must have been jangling, I recall you playing the opening bars of “Climb” so fast you accidentally invented speed metal. Where did you have to go for the session and what are your memories of it?

NC: Ha ha, you’re right. Mark was the first person to play us on Radio One and he also tipped us in the NME as the next big thing for 1994 or ‘95 (silly boy), so when he phoned me and offered me a session it was the second best musical thing that could’ve happened to me (the first would’ve been a Peel Session, but despite playing us and a missed phone call from the man, that ambition was laid to rest, sadly). I asked Mark which studio would we record it in and how long would we get, and could we be involved with mixing it, and he said, ‘No, it’ll be a live performance.’ Shit... ‘In six weeks.’ Oh    shit. At this stage it was still Robin and myself, I didn’t let onto Radcliffe that this was the case, so I took on the task of building a band who could play our layers of complicated rubbish and be ready to perform live to millions on Radio One in six weeks time! We did it with Robin and myself along with ex-4Q frontman turned brilliant drummer, Cumi Pants, Steve Sync, Ken Mainardis, Martin Wilding and Steve Bonehead – a forest of guitar players as Radcliffe described us. The reason Climb (the opening session track) was so fast was because of nerves, I think we played it 30 seconds faster than usual! The whole evening is a bit of a blur, it was a great head rush and the two hour show, including our 4 tracks sped past. There was a point after we had played Terminus when the producer ran in and said ‘You said Fucked.’ I was shocked, I thought my Radio One career was over, as I was warned not to swear! It turned out they heard the line in the song ‘It’s a sad fact...’ and thought Fact was Fucked. So they can get fact...!!

 
 

One man and his dog, Neil Crud and his uncannily massive mutt.

 

MM: Brings to mind Bryan Baker, the guy who did the Gajoob zine and a radioshow in the U.S., you’ll like this: I’d sent him a copy of “Zoen Nostalgia” for review. Without listening to any of it, he decided to play a track on his show and simply picked a song title he liked, “Get Into The Dream Cream”. I always imagine the good people of Salt Lake City sat tucking sedately into their dinner, when suddenly “Masturbate me, come fellate me, fuck me, suck me, make me groan, fornication, copulation, lick me, dick me, scream and moan” came at them across the airwaves. I also remember 13th October 1993 when you rang me up to take the piss every time Holland scored against England in preventing their qualification for the 1994 World Cup in the USA. Do you still suffer sleepless nights because of the guilt? 

NC: The future has always been bright and the future has always been orange J

MM: I think what greatly impressed me about you guys was your relaxed attitude to all the being signed and BBC live sessions stuff, some bands would have let it go their heads. I mean, I appeared on

 
         

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