Tonight the former Reuben frontman headlines a sold-out show in London and The Garage and tomorrow he’s playing again but that one’s not sold out so you should buy tickets. His new solo album is pretty fucking wicked (check our review in FRONT 188) and he sports one of the best moustaches we’ve ever seen – but how will he cope with our renowned 20 Questions?
Favourite video game?
Monkey Island without a doubt – the amazing music for one! And it takes you back in time and it’s as in-depth as a book. Things like Mario Land are cool but they’re like a leaflet whereas Monkey Island is a series of novels.
Best pair of shoes you’ve ever owned?
You know LA Lights – the ones the cool kids wore in the early 90s? They had lights in them that flashed on and off when you walked. I didn’t have them though, I had something like UK Glows which were cheap knock-offs from a market. Everyone at school thought I had real LA Lights but I didn’t – then I lost them after a week.
Worst injury you’ve suffered?
I killed one of my teeth when I was doing PE at school. My teacher noticed I was just dancing round the edge of the rugby pitch instead of getting involved. So I went in and tackled this guy but hit his knee and left a bitemark but my front teeth went grey. It’s difficult to excite ladies with grey teeth.
The smell of a freshly cooked pizza that you might find upon entering Pizza Hut. As long as I can get hold of the pizza, otherwise it’s the worst smell ever. I go for chicken and pepperoni with extra sauce!
Favourite mythical creature?
I dig the sphinx, mainly cos of how it’s been represented by the Egyptians standing proud in the middle of the desert there.
What sports are you into?
None, I hate sport. I’d have it abolished if I could. When I was a kid I thought it was a choice between football or rock‘n’roll – it was only later on that I found out some people do both. When I was a kid I was fat and a nerd and I didn’t have any mates so I started reading comics and listening to rock‘n’roll – that’s the choice right? Kurt Cobain is all about jocks vs the rock kids and I always saw that fine line – you either like sport or music. It’s stupid innit.
On Celebrity Deathmatch it was Blur vs Oasis and Oasis called Blur a bunch of bumlickers and I thought that was hilarious.
You can time-travel. Where do you go and what do you do?
I’d go back to the 50s so I couldn’t get called up for any wars cos I’m a coward but I could still see Elvis, The Beatles and Queen. For me it’s all about the music of these periods. I’d trot across the globe and make sure I caught all the major cultural events of the 20th century. I know that’s a bit safe and I’d like to experience the height of the Roman Empire and Medieval Britain but I wouldn’t know what to look for. But with music I know where to be – go to Liverpool at the start of the 60s, go to Kings College in the 70s for Queen etc. Let’s not forget the 90s, the 90s was my favourite period. Imagine going to Seattle in 1989, it’d be incredible.
The most disgusting thing you’ve ever eaten?
I think it was some kind of pureed turnip. Basically whenever I go to a wedding it’s the most disgusting thing I’ve ever eaten. When people do a proper wedding they try and impress everyone that they’re classy so they get rubbish food. It’s not easy to hide an entire plate of pureed turnip under one knife but I managed it. If anyone invites me to their wedding I’m bringing my own Happy Meal, alright?
First album you bought?
I’m proud of this cos it’s still a great record, it’s Swagger by Gun. There’s two answers to this question though, Swagger is the album I bought when I had knowledge of rock music but in my life it was the soundtrack to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on vinyl when I was eight years old. I can still do the Turtle Rap now.
Drink of choice?
Very strong tea with a drop of milk cos I’m teetotal. Or Coca Cola. I sound like a bit of a nerd don’t I?
Punchline to your favourite joke?
“He wished he had an orange for a head.”
Superpower of choice?
To tell when people are lying and prove to them that they’re lying. Or the power to become 300 times my normal size. One of those two.
The most you’ve ever needed the toilet?
I was at my sister’s wedding and needed to go but had to sit through our dad’s speech and her best mate’s speech and I had to go so bad. It was so bad then even after I’d done a wee after three hours I had no relief, it still hurt. It was awful.
If you have an hour to kill, how do you fill it?
Probably read a graphic novel. You could fit a graphic novel into a good hour. I really like the Hellboy novels, they’re the ones I got into really hard first of all. Another good one is The Umbrella Academy by Gerard Way of My Chemical Romance fame.
Who was your childhood hero?
A mixture between The Doctor from Doctor Who and Freddie Mercury. If only we could have Freddie Mercury playing The Doctor that would have been incredible. Sylvester McCoy was my favourite Doctor. He used to get a bit of stick cos it was in the 80s when the show went into a bit of a decline but because he was on the telly when we were little kids, everyone working in TV is about 30 now and everyone remembers Sylvester fondly.
Your most attractive body part?
My moustache, my illustrious moustache.
The stupidest thing you’ve done to impress a sexy person?
I ran through a bonfire at a party to impress someone I fancied. Nearly immolating myself is up there. After that she told me her boyfriend was standing behind me so I legged off. At that party I think I got off with the host’s mum and she didn’t even see the bonfire thing.
What have you seen that you wish you could unsee?
I wish I could unsee Baz Luhrmann’s version of The Great Gatsby. I only made it through the first 20 minutes but it was so badly done. I knew what I was in for, I’ve seen Baz Luhrmann’s films and I like them and I like Leo DiCaprio but it was so terrible. Really amateurly done with CBeebies level green screen. It’s ruined the book for me. I tried reading it the other day and all I could think of was Toby Maguire’s gurning balloon face.
The most illegal thing you’ve ever done?
I stole a book from a small child once… but it was when I was a small child so it’s okay. Technically it’s theft. I was in playgroup with all the other children and one girl came in with a Teddy Ruxpin book and she knew everyone wanted a look at the book but she was having none of it – this book was her USP. She’d run around with everyone chasing her trying to get a look at this well good book. Then the babysitter put on The Snowman which instantly reduces children to a catatonic state and she sat on this Teddy Ruxpin book while we were watching The Snowman to keep it safe. But I’d seen The Snowman so I thought I’d reignite the chasing the book fun and this girl might think I was a cool guy – I only about three. I slid the book out from under her thinking she’d turn round but she was so mesmerized by The Snowman she didn’t realise I’d taken it and I was in shock that I now had the book. Then my mum picked me up and I just took the book home.