Faris Badwan – Does Rock’n’Roll Kill Brain Cells?

Testing musicians’ memories after a lifetime of abuse. This Week: Faris Badwan from The Horrors

The Horrors were thrown out of a gig at the Great Scott venue in Boston in 2007 after you “accidentally” smashed a ceramic bust of whom?
“Er, Elvis. We were there only yesterday so I had a few people reminding me.”
Correct. So… what happened? Did you have to pay for it?
“The bouncer was in a really bad mood that day, he was screaming in babies’ faces and yelling at young mothers. So I went to pick up the Elvis head to display it in pride of place on stage and he thought I was going to do something bad. So he rugby tackled me to the ground and I fell on top of it and it smashed to bits. So it was an accident. Honest!”

What was the name of your fictional band when you appeared in the third series of The Mighty Boosh?
“The Black Tubes. Noel Fielding had been coming to watch us for a while I think. That was it. There’s no interesting fact about that one.”

You were NME’s football columnist during World Cup 2010. What was the score when England lost to Germany in the knockout stage?
“Germany 4, England 1.”
Correct. Did you enjoy writing about football?
“Yeah. Football is one of my favourite things. Sorry. I’m doing fairly well on the questions but in terms of the hilarious fill-in material, it’s not great.”
No. Keep going!


You once broke your nose when Horrors guitarist Josh Hayward accidentally hit you with his guitar. Complete the joke: My dog has no nose. How does he smell?

NME once erroneously reported that the video to ‘Sheena Is A Parasite’ (above) was banned from MTV because it was too gory. What was the real reason for the channel’s disapproval?
“It was the strobe lighting we weren’t prepared to sacrifice.”
Correct. These days they just put up a warning that says, ‘Contains strobe lighting’ and play it anyway
“These days? Jesus! It wasn’t that long ago.”

‘Primary Colours’ was NME’s Album Of The Year in 2009. What are the three true primary colours?
“I guess that would be red, yellow, blue.”

Your Cat’s Eyes partner Rachel Zeffira sings in what classical musical tone?
“She’s a soprano. She’d have been fucking annoyed if I got that wrong.”


What is anatomically incorrect about ‘Elefant’ from your 2010 art exhibition ‘Drawing A Straight Number Nine’?
“It hasn’t got any limbs and its trunk seeds into its anus.”
Correct. What’s wrong – can’t you draw a proper elephant?
“Um, well… I think it’s what they call artistic licence.”
Two more correct answers and you’ll be the first person ever to score 10/10!
“Don’t jinx it!”


You went to the posh boarding Rugby School. Which 19th-century pupil is supposed to have picked up a football for the first time and thus invented the game of rugby?
“William Webb Ellis.”

You performed last year at The Vatican with Cat’s Eyes. True or false: Pope Benedict XVI lets stray cats live in The Vatican
“That is true. He’s very fond of cats. He told me.”

Total Score: 10/10

“I feel fantastic because now this interview will be an excellent promotional tool”

This article originally appeared in the October 22nd issue of NME

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