Testing musicians’ memories after a lifetime of abuse
The title of your new album, ‘England Keep My Bones’, is based on a quote from which character in the Shakespearean play King John?
“Fuck, I’m gonna have to say… I don’t know. OK, I haven’t read the play – there, I’ve said it. Is it not King John? No, I don’t know.”
Wrong. It was Arthur
Complete the following lyrics: “You got a horrid shirt/You got a comedy sock/ You got a gift for you…”
“…I got a DVD, I got a DVD, and it was Doctor Who”. This is ‘Christmas Is Awesome’ by Reuben. My cover of that was a result of severe boredom, the fact I’d been given a banjo as a present, and a lot of brandy last Christmas Day. And it wasn’t even 11am!”
Correct. And you did well to last till 11am
You once compared yourself to which He-Man character?
“Man, I need to stop giving interviews when I’m drunk. I’m gonna guess Skeletor, because he’s my favourite He-Man character.”
Wrong. It was actually Man-E-Faces
Where did Million Dead play their last ever show?
“It was the Southampton Joiners on September 23, 2005, a date I can remember for all the wrong reasons.”
Correct. What went wrong?
“Well, our penultimate gig was the worst we’ve ever played, so it was inevitable that the last one was going to be a shambles, really. It was just so rapidly apparent that the whole thing was falling apart and, by that point, there wasn’t much love in the room. Let’s put it that way.”
Who headlined the Cambridge Folk Festival the same day you made your proud debut (hint to readers: she’s pictured right)?
“Good question. Was it Laura Marling? That’s a guess, by the way. Was it Laura?”
Correct. And she pipped you for Best Solo Artist at this year’s Shockwaves NME Awards too, the cheeky minx.
“Our lives are intertwined like that.”
Million Dead have a song called ‘MacGyver’, but which Simpsons characters are fans of MacGyver the fictional detective?
“Ah, I know this one. This is Patty and Selma Bouvier, who are the twin sisters of Marge. There’s an episode where Sideshow Bob tries to kill Selma as she watches MacGyver by leaving the gas on, as she has no sense of smell.”
Correct. That was the episode ‘Black Widower’, in which Sideshow Bob marries Selma for her money
You had a single in 2006 called ‘Photosynthesis’, but what is the generic equation for that particular scientific process?
“Oh, for fuck’s sake. I knew this when I was doing GCSE biology or whatever, but I have filled up my brain with other pieces of information in the meantime.”
Wrong. It’s carbon dioxide + water + light energy = glucose + oxygen
Sign up for the newsletter
As a musician, in how many different US states have you played?
“Fuck. Is it 38?”
Wrong. It’s currently 37, by our count
On the album cover for ‘Poetry Of The Deed’, how many birds can be seen?
“There are six birds I’m pretty sure, because there is one for each string of the guitar.”
As a former student of Eton, what are the ingredients of an Eton Mess?
“I’ve got no idea, because I’ve never eaten one. I think it’s a pudding, isn’t it? It’s got, like, jam and stuff in it.”
Wrong. Strawberries, meringue and cream. Scandalous
Total Score: 5/10
“So if that’s a reﬂection of all the damage substances have done to me, that’s pretty good. It hasn’t destroyed 50 per cent of my brain, at least. Come back to me next year.”