Richard Archer – Does Rock’n’Roll Kill Braincells

Testing musicians’ memories after a lifetime of abuse. This week we grill Hard-Fi’s Richard Archer.

What colour is the CCTV camera on the front cover of the Japanese version of the ‘Stars Of CCTV’ CD/DVD?
“Red on white – the Japanese flag. It was one of our favourite sleeves so we all kept one.”


Why did Al Murray want you to perform ‘Another One Bites The Dust’ when you appeared on his TV show Happy Hour in 2007?
“I guess he just liked Queen or something.”
Correct. He always makes guests perform a Queen song. Did you toy with any other Queen numbers?
“We went straight in for that. I like a bit of Queen like the next man, but don’t think we could have pulled off ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’.”

After the papers once claimed you were going out with Scarlett Johansson in 2007, where did you tell NME you’d met?
“It wasn’t in Boots in Staines, was it?”
Correct. You joked that she had got a Saturday job there. So… how did you become ‘romantically linked’ as they say?
“We did three shows at the Astoria in London in December 2005. I said to a mate, ‘Scarlett’s in town, we should try to get her down. Wouldn’t that be great? Phwoar, etc.’ Months later we were touring the States and I got a call from our press officer going, ‘We’ve had a call from the Daily Mail saying you’re having an affair with Scarlett Johansson’. I said, ‘I’m not!’ They ran the article anyway and the next week they ran a story saying I’m some kind of fantasist and I made it all up!”
Would you like to have gone out with Scarlett Johansson?
“She’s a very attractive woman, but she’s not top of my list.”
Who is?
“Um, I’ll get back to you!”

You usually come on stage to ‘The Man With The Harmonica’ by Ennio Morricone. Which other band have started playing this live?
“I know Metallica come on to it as well.”
Wrong. Muse
“Ah yes. Someone sent me a link to that.”

The lyric “There’s a hole in my pocket” from ‘Cash Machine’ is adapted from children’s song ‘There’s A Hole In My Bucket’. Traffic had a 1967 hit which was then covered by Neil from ’80s comedy show The Young Ones. Except what did they have a hole in instead?
“Their shoe. Everyone knows that. I don’t know who wrote ‘There’s A Hole In My Bucket’. I hope we don’t owe them a backlog of royalties.”


You’ve said Jay-Z’s ‘99 Problems’ was the inspiration for ‘Good For Nothing’. If Jay-Z had five pounds for every problem, how much would he have?
“£495. I used to work in a greengrocer so any arithmetic, I’m there. They didn’t have a proper till so you had to work it all out in your head.”

What town does your new tour kick off in this month?
“Ah. This is the one that I really should know. Is it Cambridge?”
Wrong. Norwich.
“‘Bridge’ and ‘wich’ sound the same, don’t they?”

Hard-Fi bassist Kai Stephens used to work for which pest control company?
“Rentokil. Are there really any other pest control companies?”
Correct. Does he bang on about it?
“Sometimes we’ll be in the studio and there will be loads of ants and he’ll go, ‘Why do you think they’re here, man? They’re not here for the vibe. They’re not here for the music. They’re here because you leave loads of messy food everywhere.’ He gets all pest controller on our arses.”

You covered Britney Spears’ ‘Toxic’ for Radio 1’s ‘Established’ album in 2007. Name two of the outfits Britney wears in the video to ‘Toxic’?
“I remember her wearing the schoolgirl outfit. No, hang on, that’s not it [That’s ‘…Baby One More Time’ – Obvious Pop Ed]. I think she’s an air hostess and she’s also on a motorbike.”
Correct. She’s also a sort of superhero with black hair.

What very un-rock’n’roll exclamation do you pronounce during both videos to ‘Cash Machine’?

Total Score: 8/10