Johnny Borrell hits out at ‘middle of the road’ ex-Razorlight drummer Andy Burrows

Frontman says group 'started as a really energetic, fun band' before turning into 'quality pop-rock'

Johnny Borrell has described his former Razorlight bandmate Andy Burrows as “middle of the road” in a new interview.

Burrows joined the band as drummer in 2004 before leaving in 2009. He later performed with We Are Scientists and is currently working with Tom Odell on the singer-songwriter’s second album.

Speaking to Noisey for a new interview in which he discussed the rise and fall of 2000s indie music, Borrell said: “Razorlight started as a really energetic, fun band. We had a drum ‘n’ bass obsessed maniac named Christian [Smith-Pancorvo] on drums, and we played a lot of squat parties at 3am. But, being in the industry changes a band by definition.”


“After the first album, what were we meant to do – continue with some faux-idealisation of something gritty, aggressive and cool? I found that whole thing completely fucking bogus. Christian left, Andy [Burrows] joined, and we made what I still consider to be a really quality pop-rock album.”

“I think the second Razorlight album definitely opened the way for a flood of mediocrity in UK music,” Borrell added. “In my defence, though, people think of Razorlight as some kind of Johnny Borrell solo project, but it was always collaborative. I rate the drummer Andy Burrows. He was a great drummer with a melodic ear – but if you want to figure out who was taking Razorlight in which direction, then maybe have a listen to what we’re each doing now. I’m playing psychedelic blues-tango, and his stuff is so middle of the road it’s got more white lines than Liam Gallagher in 1997.”

NMEAndy Willsher/NME

Elsewhere in the interview, Borrell said that The Libertines “turned into a self-referential tabloid pantomime” and that The Ordinary Boys “contributed to landfill indie by devaluing music with the worst of celebrity bullshit”.


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