SUPERGRASS FAN-ISH INQUISITION

A labrador that looks like Brett Anderson, BMXs, Choppers and more...

We’ve only just plonked ourselves on a plush west London hotel sofa to embark on the interrogation that is nme.com‘s Fan-ish Inquisition, when Supergrass drummer Danny Goffey shrieks: “What’s this?! ‘I want to know why Danny gave me an STD???’ Sheila? You know who I am?”

As Danny stares at the offending note, singer Gaz Coombes goes in for the kill. “Dannyyy…! Actually, I can remember someone called Sheila. Ha ha,” he laughs mockingly, prodding the squirming Danny.

Y’see, it doesn’t take much for these former schoolmates to regress to playground taunts. And being asked shedloads of questions posed by nme.com readers doesn’t help much.

So without further ado, let’s go.

If you were to copy Mogwai‘s ‘Blur: Are Shite’ T-shirt idea, who would you say were shite? (Lee Faith, Huddersfield)

Danny:(Grinning like an insane five-year-old) “Poos!”

Gaz: “Bags!”

Danny:(Taunting) ‘Bags: Are shite’? Nah, people! Rugby players!”

Gaz: “Arsenal. That’ll do.”

If you had a Labrador that looked like Brett Anderson, would you put it out of its misery or try to love it despite its hideousness? (Sproutmaster, Sproutland)

Danny:“I’d probably try and market it as a freak show.”

Gaz: “I’d give it to a blind man.”

Chopper or BMX? Discuss. (Opthalmik Raczinski, Liverpool)

Danny:“BMX.”

Gaz: “I think BMX, too. But then I used to have a Grifter.”

Danny:“Choppers were quite cool, but not that practical. If you pulled wheelies on Choppers, you couldn’t really control them well as they had big back ends.”

Gaz: “The only good thing about Choppers was you could customise them to look like motorbikes. Get a gear stick and stuff.”

Danny:“What were the green ones?”

Gaz: “They were Strikers. Then you had Bombers as well. All the hard kids in bomber jackets had Bombers. They were the mountain bike of the past. All the spods had racers, going to school on their pink racers given to them by their mums. Mind you, I used to have a dynamo on mine for my lights. You’d get them things from cereal packets too that you put in the spokes to make them sound like a motorbike.”

Danny:(Mistily) I miss them days. Cycling around naked.”

If you could have a one-night stand with any television personality, who would it be? (Amanda Mann, Internetland)

Gaz:Loyd Grossman. He could charm me with his transatlantic accent.”

Danny:(Thinking very hard for a long time)…”

Gaz: “You’re taking this seriously, aren’t you, Danny?”

Danny:Anneka Rice.”

Do you think the current British music scene is over-hyped and that it’s nothing more than a bunch of mediocre ’70s pub rock dressed up as ‘cool’? (Fleagle30@hotmail.com)

Gaz: “I think the scene at the moment’s more about a dodgy kind of pop music that’s marketed so much it’s easy to sell. People have been shown Steps and Vengaboys so many times that’s what the market becomes, that’s why bands like us are finding that it’s still a challenge. It’s hard at the moment.”

Danny:“Yeah, but we don’t worry about it though, and we haven’t changed. It’s still all about writing songs and playing live.”

NME: But who are the worst pop pap offenders at the moment?

Danny:“We don’t really like slagging bands off. Apart from really crap ones. Like Steps.”

Is it true one of you put LSD in drinks at your mother’s 50th anniversary? (masse@dimension.nu)

Gaz: “It wasn’t anything to do with my mother! You leave my mother out of this!”

Danny:“It was my mum, but it wasn’t her 50th anniversary. Me and some mates at her wedding. Actually, not her wedding, I wasn’t around then. Her 50th birthday. Did she know? She does now.”

Is there any song you regret writing/releasing, or any aspect of the band’s history that any of you regret? (Claire Hansford, Southampton)

Gaz: “Maybe being on the ‘Dead Man On Campus’ soundtrack, ‘cos it was a really crap film. We didn’t even get to approve the song so it was a bit of a waste of time.”

Danny:“But we got a week’s holiday in LA ‘cos of it though.”

Gaz: “Yeah, so we haven’t really got any regrets about anything.”

Danny:“Not about anything we’ve put on record certainly.”

Which Muppet characters do you relate to? (Phil Acton, Cardiff)

Danny:Gonzo and Animal.”

Gaz:Rowlf the piano player. Or Grover! Supergrover!”

Danny:(Doing a Grover impression) I’m Supergrover! I’ve got some tapes with some wicked songs from Sesame Streetin a superfly sort of style. Really funky stuff. Everyone loves the Muppets.”

What would be your favourite thing to be addicted to? (Jared Franicesvic, Auckland, New Zealand)

Gaz: “Oooh, Jared! Interesting! I’m already addicted to my favourite thing!”

Danny:“What, smoking hash?”

Gaz: “No, things like… erm… things like, er… (embarrassed silence)…”

Danny:“Well I’m not addicted to anything but smoking hash.”

Gaz: “But you can’t really get addicted to hash, can you? So

stuff like chocolate. Pasta. Or hurricane-chasing.”

Danny:“Sex.”

Danny, in Top Gear your dad always used to rave on about really rubbishy, average cars. Was he only doing this because he was in it for the money? (Alex Mack, Internet)

Danny:“I think he just liked rubbishy, average cars. He was a dedicated follower. Somebody has to be. He did bring a few Ferraris home on test drive though, kept ’em for a couple of days. But he’s not on the show any more, he writes and makes car promo videos. He got sacked ‘cos he had a scrap with (former presenter) William Willard. Pulled his toupee off.”

Gaz: “Didn’t your dad leave ‘cos he didn’t like Jeremy Clarkson?”

Danny:(In mock horror) Sshhh! Don’t go there! Let’s change the subject.”

Who is Melanie Davis (referring to the B-side of single ‘Going Out’) in your world? You see I am called Melanie Davis. And since it came out I’ve been wanting to know just who it is that you’re singing about. She sounds like me. (Melanie Davis, Minneapolis, US)

Gaz: “Strangely enough, it’s YOU, Melanie Davis! Actually, it’s not really about anyone.”

Danny:“Yes, erm, actually, we can’t go there ‘cos we’re going to get sued if we do. We did know a Melanie Davis, but it’s not about her. Oh no. It’s a bit of a touchy subject. Somebody’s not very happy about it, they want some money off of us. Someone that we used to know has got a bit shirty.”

Gaz: “She never touched me!”

Danny:(Laughing) She never touched me either! No, stop it, we can’t go there!”

What was the last record you all bought? (Anil Rana, Calgary, Canada)

Danny:The Doors’ ‘Absolutely Live’. It’s quite rare. I paid about eight quid and was really chuffed.

I heard it was selling for about 20, 30 quid.”

Gaz: “That’s weird, ‘cos mine was The Doors‘Morrison Hotel’. I’m not really a massive Doors fan either. I just happened to come across it. And I bought this double Sinatra album, live, where he chats between the songs and you can hear people clanking glasses at tables like at the Brit Awards. It’s called something like ‘An Evening With Frank Sinatra’.”

Danny:“Oh yeah, and I bought an early set of Beatles interviews – ‘In My Life’. It’s really great.”

Do dirty boys get rock? (Suzanne George, Aberdeen)

Danny:“What, hard-ons? What does that mean?! Do only dirty boys get rock’n’roll music? Are we dirty boys? Where’s she from? Aberdeen? That explains it. Actually, no, it doesn’t.”

Gaz: “Do smelly girls get stoned? That’s my answer.”

How was it working with the King Of Hip-Hop, Ali G, and did he give you any useful tips (Ali G worked on a drum’n’bass remix of ‘Sun Hits The Sky’ to be broadcast on his show)? (Mark Stacey, Redditch)

Gaz: “It was just me actually. It was wonderful working with him. He advised me not to dress like a tramp. That was about it. It was good fun.”

I’m a chiropractor. Have any of you ever been to one?

(Dr Matt Koenen, Iowa, US)

Danny:“Ummm… no. Actually, maybe I have and didn’t realise it, ‘cos I’ve had my back realigned.”

Gaz:(Looking at another question elsewhere on the sheet) ‘Why are you guys so damn badasss?! Charly Long, US’. (Chortling) Is he taking the piss or what?! Erm, sorry, what was the question again? Yes, I have.”

Why are you guys so hairy? (Ernie The Teabag, Tetleyland)

Gaz:(Mock anger) Are you calling me Monkey Man?! (Brandishes fists, then sits back down again) I’m not amazingly hairy. I’ve got some hair on my arms. I’ve got some on my face.”

Danny:“You haven’t got any pubes, though. And I’ve got the hairiest back.”

Gaz: “Yeah, you’ve got a hairy back. I’ve got some hair on my face and lots of hair on my head. I’ve not really got a hairy chest either.”

Danny:“Mick’s got hairy nipples.”

What is your favourite type of monkey? (Opthalmik Raczinski, Liverpool)

Danny:“Gaz.”

Gaz:(Indignant, but laughing) I’M NOT a monkey! I’m a human being. Mine’s Monkey from the ’70s TV show.”

Danny:“Or the monkey from Jungle Burger (bizarre animated porn film beloved of teenage boys the world over). Yeah, the big masturbating monkey in that. He’s a big monkey that spanks himself off in the corner every time he sees Tarzan‘s Jane. He’s got a very thin, long penis this monkey.”

Gaz: “I think most people do. Though I haven’t. I’m…”

Danny:(Interrupting) Do you remember when we went to the zoo, there was lots of monkeys shagging each other. Lots of little young boy monkeys shagging each other, with red arses.”

Gaz: “And their monkey mum was saying to them, ‘Stop shagging, you two.’ Mmm, monkey sex.”

I read this article that said that most people who are truly gifted in the arts are all a bit mad. Being talented musicians, would you agree with this statement? (Mary Kate Melnick, Florida, US)

Gaz: “There’s a little bit of our brains that are a bit mad, certainly.”

Danny:“Yeah, I think maybe ‘overactive’ is more like it, thinking about lots of shit in your head all the time. (Winks at the nme.com snapper) That’s especially true of photographers. I don’t think doing what we do, you’re ever going to be totally down-to-earth.”

Gaz: “In this business it’s hard to be normal. But then there’s always been a bit of us that’s a bit crazy.”

Danny:“But it’s good. We tend to write songs about mad people quite a lot too. We’re probably talking about ourselves.”

School’s shit. What did you do to liven it up a bit? (Anna Tawse, Aberdeen)

Danny:“Did speed and dope and tried to get off with people.”

Gaz: “Made rock’n’roll music in the drama studio. Our school was Wheatley Park Comprehensive in Oxford.”

Danny:“Left our shirts untucked. Cut our ties short.”

Gaz: “I used to wear white socks ‘cos that was really rebellious.”

Danny:“Pick on kids. Stuff like that. Back in 1945.”

Will there ever be a proper B-sides album or a live album? (Gary Collins, Canada)

Gaz: “Yes, it’s certainly one we’re planning, the B-sides. We’ve got so many good B-sides now.”

Danny:(Looking at another question) ‘When will we release a good album worth buying?’ That’s from Johnny No Mates, that is. The fucker.”

Gaz: “Can I answer that one? Shove it up your arse, you fucking old c–!”

What do you think of Andy Bell joining Oasis, seeing as he’s from Oxford too? (American fan, Internet)

Danny:“I think it’s really great as he’s got a young child to support.”

Gaz: “They’ve just got all the redundant Creation musicians to join up, haven’t they?”

Couldn’t you have tried just a little bit harder on the last album? (Tom Hammett, Bideford, Devon)

Danny:“Probably, that’s true.”

Mick: “You can always try harder, can’t you?”

What is the meaning of life for you? (Claire Nelson, Wellington, New Zealand)

Mick: “Rabbits.”

Danny:“Get on with it and deal with it!”

Mick: “Reproduction.”

Danny:“But then you’re just bringing unwanted children into a hateful, meaningless life. The meaning of life might not be life. It might be death. Then new things happen.”

Which is best: pie or cake? (Andy Roberts, Stafford)

Danny and Gaz simultaneously: “Cake. It’s sweet.”

Mick: “Cake. More variety, less gristle.”

What’s in your pockets at the moment? (Lucy Brooker, London)

Mick: (Rummaging furiously and emptying guff onto the hotel glass table) I’ve got some tobacco, Rizlas…”

Danny:“Mickey’s got fucking half the army in his pockets. I’ve just got a phone, lighter and a credit card. And a box of matches. And a card to get into our BBC dressing room (where they were filming Later With Jools Holland).”

Mick: “I’ve got a BBC pass… my car keys… my chequebook… Sophie’s (his daughter) nursery book… a nursery bill… another nursery bill…”

Danny:“Is that a final demand for the nursery bill? Starting her off as you mean to go on?”

Mick: (Ignoring Danny) And that’s it.”

If you had the chance to punch somebody in the face and get away with it, who would it be? (Magnus Ritland, Norway)

Danny:“Quite a few people. Nazis.”

Mick: “It would have to be you, Danny.”

Danny:(Spluttering) You’d never get away with it, fucker!”

Mick: “But the point is, I could. You’d never let me get away with it in real life.”

Danny:“I’d hit child abusers. And Gary Glitter.”

Mick: “No, I’d still just hit Danny.”

If you had a fight, who would win and who would be the first to ask for his mum? (Richard Eccleston, Wednesfield)

Danny and Mick simultaneously: “I’d win!”

Mick: “No, I’d win and Gaz would be the first one to ask for his mum AND he’d lose. We’ve had fights before, but not serious ones.”

Danny:“I came to blows with one of our tech guys, one of our crew, and gave him two massive black eyes once. That was a pissed-up fight though, wasn’t a malicious one. It was really sad, I was watching it the other day, as we had it all on video. It was on our first tour of America, we were on our tourbus. It involved a vacuum cleaner.”

Gaz: “I’d lose and I’d be first to ask for my mum? You’re dreaming, baby! Hey fuck you, man! Does anyone want a fucking fight then? You c–s! Fuck the lot of you c–s. I tell you why I’d ask for my mum, ‘cos she’s fucking hard and she’d really sort the pair of you out. She’d be on a level playing field with me. I’d be like, ‘Eileen, come here, sort ’em!'”

And with that, they’re off, pints in hand and fags on the go, to wassail the wealthy and worldweary in the hotel bar.