MANSUN: QUERY NATION

The second part of our Mansun q&a in which they answer you queries on make-up, becoming icons and becoming skinheads...

You say people shouldn’t compromise their integrity and you wish you had left the “so fucking plastic” lyric in ‘Drastic Surgeon’. So why have you now released a poppier and more radio-friendly version of ‘Six’? Surely that is a compromise to get a higher chart position, which I thought you didn’t care about? (Suzi Meredith, Wandsworth)

Paul: “We weren’t thinking like that. I suppose with the remix of ‘Six’ we wanted to do something different than just pull the track off the album straight. I think every track we’ve done since ‘Nosebleed’ has just been an edit of the album version. ‘Taxloss’ was nine minutes and we had to whittle that down to four. That tends to be the pattern we follow, having to edit down tracks that are much longer. It’s like what I was talking about before, we don’t go into the studio to make singles, so they have to be edited down.”

Have you ever thought of going really cred and doing fiddly electronic stuff like the Prodigy? (Mohammed Aziz, London W11)

Paul: “That’s cred, is it? Oh dear. I wasn’t aware of that. Well, I suppose we’d better do that, then. Get some cred.”

Stove: “Paul Oakenfold did a remix of one of our tracks, didn’t he?”

Paul: “And what cred did that get us, eh?”

Chad – ever thought of becoming a skinhead? (Seetal Pabary, London E7)

Chad: “In a word? No. I like hair. I wash mine every day. That’s how it keeps its bounce. I was half-skinhead about five years ago. When I shaved my hair into a mohican. A mohican and a ponytail.”

Stove: “And a beard! I think you were going through your Pearl Jam phase.”

Chad: “My student phase.”

Is it advisable for young males to keep glitter eyeliner on all the time or should they adhere to the ‘remove it at night’ policy adopted by girls? (Alex DiStephano, Lincoln)

Paul: “I’m totally unprofessional. I always end up keeping my make-up on at night. Always go for the vanity option.”

Stove: “I dunno why – no-one is going to see it when you’re in bed.”

Chad: “I usually take mine off. Well, it comes off, anyway. When I’m washing my hair. It makes sense to take off the make-up at the same time.”

Chad! Do you have a swimming pool in your back garden? You see, I’m just worried because of the scary similarities between you and Brian Jones. I don’t want you to drown! (Emma Louise Clark, Bolton)

Chad: “I don’t have a swimming pool. I’d like one.”

Stove: “We won’t let him have one because of the scary similarities between him and Brian Jones!”

Chad: “Don’t worry, I’m a good swimmer. I don’t think I’d have a problem. I just wouldn’t invite loads of builders round and have arguments with them. That was Brian’s mistake. I don’t drink any more, anyway, so I’m pretty safe.”

Stove: “You couldn’t walk when you drank, let alone swim. You thought you could fly…”

Chad: “Yeah, I had a go…”

What’s it like suddenly to become sex icons (and have scary 14-year-old boys and girls in eyeliner following you around)? (Rosie Groark, Swansea)

Stove: “Chad? Do you remember that girl in Canada who kept calling you Brian?”

Chad: “She was a member of the Brian Jones fan club. She came down to the show, came backstage and insisted on calling me ‘Brian’ and asking about my favourite ’60s bands. She was convinced I was his reincarnation. She kept asking me if I couldn’t get rid of the rest of the band so we could be alone in the dressing room. I had to hide behind Andie.”

Is Chad a vampire? (Jamlet, La La Land)

Chad: “I’d like to be.”

Stove: “You might as well be, we’re never out in the daylight as it is.”

Are you concerned that you might become like the Manics, making uninteresting music with over-obsessive fans arguing about who saw you first? (Andrew Cleary, Cardiff)

Paul: “Is that a question for us or the Manic Street Preachers? Actually, I think the Manics are still making interesting stuff. We toured with them in Europe last year, they’re cool…”

Chad: “We’ve always made the music for ourselves, in the studio, so it’s down to other people if they find it boring.”

Paul: “We’ve always made a conscious decision not to take any notice of what’s going on in the world of ‘coolness’, so if people think that we’re playing it safe or whatever, then that’s a matter for them. But we do make a determined effort to challenge ourselves and to keep it fresh.”

If you could do a cover version of any song, which one would it be? (Alex Morrissey, Kent)

Paul: “‘Shot By Both Sides’ by Magazine. No question. Oh, and ‘Suffragette City’ by David Bowie. And Frank Sinatra‘s ‘New York, New York’. We could put them all on the same EP, with one of our own tracks. Actually, that’d be a pretty strange EP…”

Chad: “‘From Russia With Love’ by John Barry.”

How many men/women has Paul slept with? (Allan Taylor, Northamptonshire)

Paul: “How many men stroke women, did you say? I have no idea. Oh, I see. Er – about equal of both. (Silence) Why the big silence?” Click back tomorrow for the final part of this little tete a tete.