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Your Fantasy Supergroup Line-Up?

By NME Blog

Posted on 14 Nov 12

 
 

Last week's mag was the Ultimate Band issue - you can order a digital copy here. We asked the best of the music world to tell us who they would pick for their fantasy band line-up. Here are a few of the standout responses.






Johhny Marr



Singer: Ray Davies, The Kinks. “For his words, but also his voice. He doesn’t croon, and I can’t stand crooning. His singing style is close to talking, and like [Buzzcocks’] Pete Shelley, you can hear the real person there when he sings. Less is more, and I love that.”


Rhythm guitar: Sterling Morrison, The Velvet Underground. “Just because he played like a machine, but a sexy machine that didn’t want too much of the spotlight. That’s the perfect criteria for a rhythm guitarist – or for a musician full-stop.”


Bass: Tina Weymouth, Talking Heads/Tom Tom Club. “She’s a musician who absolutely listens to what’s going on, and is totally unencumbered by macho showing off. I think there are lots of great female bassists for that reason, such as Kim Deal and Kim Gordon.”


Drums: Stephen Morris, Joy Division/New Order. “He invented a way of playing the drums that has been a bedrock of really great music ever since. People don’t realise this, but no one actually played the drums like that before Stephen came along.”


Lead guitar: Johnny Marr. “Well it’s my band, so why shouldn’t I play in it? Those jingle-jangles aren’t going to write themselves you know! Oh, and by the way, our band would definitely be produced by Nile Rodgers.”


Band name: Marr’s Attacks




Yannis Philippakis



Singer: Howlin’ Wolf. “So raw and guttural; cocksure and wounded at the same time. The greatest blues singer.”


Guitar: Andy Summers, The Police and Prince. “Their combinations of style and rhythm and melody would be limitless. Andy Summers is one of the most underrated guitarists ever. Prince would just make that shit weep and wail.”


Bass: Bernard Edwards, Chic. “Every bit of his sound was in his fingers. His bassline was the coat hanger that hip hop could finally truly hang it’s flow on.”


Cello and backing vocals: Arthur Russell. “He would bring that Buddhist bubblegum music to the band. Vocals that sound like sunlight cutting dust and an inimitable cello style that could sound heavier than metal one minute and weightless the next.”


Drums and programming: John McEntire, Tortoise. “He has that rigorous snare style and an appetite for miminal beats, dub and avante garde drum production. He’d give every song a distinct backbone.”


Band name: Buddhist Priest




Jake Bugg



Vocals and guitar: Elvis Presley. “We’re talking the classic ’50s rock’n’roll era here – we’re not talking ‘Suspicious Minds’!”


Lead guitar: Jimi Hendrix. “I might have to turn him down a bit but I’m sure he’d still sound great.”


Rhythm guitar: Johnny Cash. “A great acoustic guitar player. He would have a lot to bring to the table.”


Slide guitar: Robert Johnson. “He’s a great slide guitarist, man! And allegedly he sold his soul and all that too. He’s definitely an influence.”


Drums: Ringo Starr, The Beatles. “Some people would argue he’s not the best drummer, but he gives it exactly what the song needs.”


Bass: Paul McCartney, The Beatles. “Because Ringo needs someone to play off! And Paul McCartney’s got great basslines, obviously.”


Keyboard: Ray Charles. “He’s a great stride piano player and he’s got a great voice. ‘Hit The Road Jack’ is a bang-on tune, as is ‘What Kind Of Man Are You’.”


Backing vocals: The Everly Brothers. “Not only are their harmonies perfect, but I think the tone of their voices sounds like no-one else.”


Band name: The OLD




Brett Anderson



Singer: Jacques Brel. “Scott Walker is a finer singer, Prince a better performer and Lou Reed a cleverer lyricist. But no-one could inhabit a persona like Brel.”


Guitar: Johnny Marr, The Smiths. “Elegance and intelligence and some of the most beautifully crafted guitar parts ever to grace a pop song.”


Bass: Mani, The Stone Roses. “The player of all those brilliant basslines that somehow made rock music groove. Possibly the world’s nicest chap too.”


Drums: Paul Cook, Sex Pistols. “Pure animal power that perfectly matched and sparred with John Lydon’s beautifully caustic delivery.”


Keyboards: Brian Eno. “No-one comes close to the grace of ‘Music For Airports’ or the off-kilter invention of ‘Here Come The Warm Jets’.”


Band name: The New Bucks




Lucy Rose



Singer: Janis Joplin. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone sing more passionately in my life. It’s like a mass release of emotion for no-one else but herself.”


Guitar: Neil Young. “One of my favourite artists of all time and an insanely good guitar player. Everything he plays is pure genius.”


Bass: Marcus Miller, Miles Davis/Herbie Hancock collaborator. “Hmmm, that’s good! He’s got some serious funk, groove and soul.”


Drums: Phil Collins. “OK, let’s be honest, he is a legend and a fantastic drummer. Genesis were incredible, and of course his solo music is impossible not to air-drum along to.”


Trumpet: Miles Davis. “I’d obviously have to have Miles Davis to add the pure brilliance that my dream band would need. The trumpet is the king of all instruments.”


Band name: The Stoned Roses




Brian Fallon



Vocals and guitar: Ryan Adams. “Do I really have to explain this one? The guy is amazing and a musical genius.”


Bass: Mike Watt, Minutemen/The Stooges. “Because he’s Mike Watt.”


Drums: Leah Shapiro, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. “Love the way this lady comes from left-of-centre. She plays in a way that’s primal yet precise as can be.”


Backing vocals: Alison Mosshart, The Kills. “I just love her voice. Absolutely amazing.”


Band name: Bruce Was Busy




Fred Macpherson



Vocals and guitar: Dev Hynes, Blood Orange. “He’d be the perfect frontman because he’s England’s finest songwriter.”


Guitar: Wilko Johnson, Dr Feelgood. “Wilko bridges the gap between groovy rhythm’n’blues and raw proto-punk guitar chops. He also looks like a nutter, which is pretty essential.”


Bass: Cavan ‘The Kid’ McCarthy, Swim Deep. “He’s not the world’s greatest bass player but I think he might be the world’s greatest person.”


Electronics: Jhonn Balance, Coil. “Jhonn never stopped experimenting. When he died in 2004 we lost a pioneer and a genius. RIP.”


Drums: Fabrizio Moretti, The Strokes. “The first time I heard ‘Hard To Explain’ back in 2001 I couldn’t believe the track wasn’t recorded with a drum machine. Fab is a tight as fuck drummer and is also a certified indie legend.”


Band name: The Fred Weather




Guy Garvey



Lead singer and guitar: Shannon Wright. “She’s an Australian solo artist and a spectacular performer.”


Guitar and vocals: Jesca Hoop and Frank Black, Pixies. “This is gonna be a fierce rock outfit with tight, expressive vocal harmonies, and Jesca can really deliver. Frank’s one of the greatest lyricists that ever lived and he’d just look cool as fuck. Him flanked by two gorgeous women, all three of them singing from the gut all the time.”


Bass: Pete Turner, Elbow. “I want three guitarists to up the ante, so you need a tasteful bassist.”


Drums: Matt Barrick, The Walkmen. “You want someone who subscribes to the Keith Moon school of drumming.”


Band name: Arse




Freddie Cowan



Singer: Jeff Mangum, Neutral Milk Hotel. “A staple in our dressing room is Neutral Milk Hotel’s ‘Holland, 1945’. I’d want him out front.”


Lead guitar one: R Stevie Moore. “He was introduced to us by Albert Hammond Jr when we recorded ‘Tiger Blood’. His latest project with Ariel Pink, ‘Klu Klux Glam’, is worth a listen.”


Lead guitar two: Kevin Parker, Tame Impala. “His new album has some incredible guitar sounds. He’d be a great anchor for Stevie.”


Bass: Jen Turner, Here We Go Magic. “She’s got an amazing playing style, she’s got a real snarl! Reminds me of Paul Simonon.”


Drums: Moe Tucker, The Velvet Underground. “She was the heartbeat of The Velvet Underground. Watch the video for ‘White Light/White Heat’. Perfect.”


Band name: Needles To Say




Carl Barat



Singer: Charlie Chaplin, mime. “I was going to be the singer, but I feel a bit awkward. Obviously he’s a mime but his vocal prowess is a closely guarded secret.”


Guitar: Dirk Bogarde, actor. “I’m sure he’ll have a certain chemistry with the rest of them.”


Drums: Rocky Marciano, boxer. “He’s an Italian boxer from the ’50s – I have no idea if he can play drums, but he’s a boxer so he can hit things.”


Piano: Charlie Brown, Peanuts cartoon character. “None of this band can actually play instruments by the way.”


Bass: “Mad” Frankie Fraser, gangster. “The notorious London criminal will be on bass. He’s got a good eye for business on the low-effort end of the scale. And he’s cool and hard as fuck.”


Dancer: Jack The Ripper, serial killer. “Just put him down as ‘improv’. All good bands have an element of fatality.”


Band name: Time For Heroes And Villains




Frank Turner




Singer: Björk. “I’ve always thought I’d like to hear her sing in a more straight-up punky guitar band. She’s insanely talented, her range and the sounds she can make are brilliant.”


Guitar: Richard Thompson, Fairport Convention. “Richard’s gonna play weird, flipped out, finger-picky folk style guitar. Since I left Million Dead I got into Fairport Convention. Anything that’s got to do with folk music or folk rock is new territory for me.”


Rhythm guitar: Greg Ginn, Black Flag. “The opening riff of ‘Nervous Breakdown’ is the best punk rock riff ever, that’s a fact. Black Flag were adolescent rage distilled to the most concentrated it could be and spat back at you.”


Bass: Matt Freeman, Rancid. “All the hooks in Rancid’s songs are the basslines. He’s a phenomenon as a bass player.”


Drums: Dave Grohl, Nirvana/Foo Fighters. “He’s the best drummer in the world. He just fucking is. I fell in love with his drumming the minute I heard it, when I was 11.”


Band name: Frank Turner Overdrive


A version of this article appeared in the 10 November issue of NME. Get your digital issue here.

 
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