Mark E Smith, Kevin Shields, Shaun Ryder for ‘Soft Focus’ web TV series

Billy Childish, Bobby Gillespie and Graham Coxon will also appear

Mark E Smith, Kevin Shields, Shaun Ryder and Billy Childish are among the artists interviewed for a UK version of ‘Soft Focus’ on VBS.TV.

Bobby Gillespie and Graham Coxon are also featured in the forthcoming series, which sees former Make-Up frontman Ian Svenonius host the show and interview music legends.

Speaking to NME.COM from his hometown of Washington DC, Svenonius admits that being the interviewer is not something he necessarily enjoys.


“I enjoy repartee, but it’s more of a duty, If you want to enjoy yourself you have a nice cup of coffee, we’re doing this to do something interesting.”

He says like the previous series, which included interviews with Will Oldham, Chan Marshall and Ian Mackaye, this one will avoid the traditional interview route with musicians.

Svenonius says his intention is that the interviews should feel like memorable encounters with the subjects.

“It’s like that conversation you had with Eddie Cochrane on his way to the bathroom and it’s stuck in your memory, someone who’s important to you, it’s not supposed to be definitive. It’s an aesthetic kind of thing. There’s moments.”

The presenter says his occasionally press-shy British subjects were a welcome addition to the ‘Soft Focus’ family.

“British people like to talk and they talk well. The British expect their pop stars to have a more ideological flair whereas Americans are looking for the gesture. Billy Childish was a huge inspiration to me, Mark E Smith is a great man. He’s got a great malevolent energy, a real presence.”


Svenonius also spoke to Kevin Shields about the rumoured My Bloody Valentine reunion for Coachella 2008.

Kevin Shields is a charming, gracious guy. There’s a difference between guitar players and singers and of course he’s a singer but he’s more of a guitar player temperament. Singers are always over-compensating in interviews, whereas guitar players are more introverted. He’s making a new record, but My Bloody Valentine is about to headline Coachella so I think that was part of the impetus for doing the interview.”

Series two of ‘Soft Focus’ premieres today on VBS.TV.

–By our New York staff.

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