First, a moment of glee. Kelly Jones grasps a sheet of A4 paper, ogling e-mails that have come from all over the world. “‘You guys rock!’ from somebody in Vancouver!” he blurts euphorically. “Canada thinks we rock!”
Now, a moment of indignation.
“Hey, look!” drummer Stuart Cable gesticulates accusingly at yet another sheet filled with e-mails. “There’s a bloke who asks, ‘Why are you so shit?’ Arsehole.”
We asked for it. We got it. Letters for the Stereophonics, demanding to know every impertinent detail of their lives. Oh, and whether they like their apples toffee-coated or plain.
Before we unleash your questions upon them, here are a few things you probably don’t know about the Stereophonics, which you won’t learn from reading their answers. Stuart‘s mobile phone plays ‘The William Tell Overture’. Kelly has a habit of drumming the table whilst thinking. And bassist Richard Jones doesn’t speak much, but sits quietly, grinning unnervingly.
OK, then. Here we go.
It has been suggested that Stuart looks like a mongoose. Do you agree with this? What animal would you say you all look like? (Oliver McCormack, Essex)
Kelly (taunting): “Stuart is a mongoose, Stuart is a mongoose…”
Stuart: “I know what magazine it was. Some fucking twat made a joke…”
Kelly: “It wasn’t even a journalist, though, it was a kid writing in to the letters page.”
Stuart: “Yeah. He reckons I look like a mongoose with a red hot poker up my arse.”
Kelly: “Is a mongoose an animal, or a bird?”
Stuart: “It’s like a meerkat, I think.”
Kelly: “They’re good-looking, them things.”
Richard: “I’d like to be a lion. You can do anything you want. Just sit around and lick your balls all day.”
Kelly: “I’d be a goldfish. Because by the time you’ve made it around the bowl you can’t remember anything. I remember too much. It’s good sometimes. But often it’s a pain in the arse.”
Who’s been your biggest influence? (James Yeates, Hampshire)
Kelly: “Creedence Clearwater Revival, Muhammad Ali, Georgie Best, Bruce Lee, Billy Bremner…”
Richard: “Evel Knievel.”
Kelly: “…Sex Pistols and Angus Young from AC/DC.”
What is your favourite type of cheese, and who would you eat it with? (Jomiz Goodknight, Shropshire)
Kelly: “I’ll have some Babybel and red wine with Jack Nicholson on a beach.”
Stuart: “Mine will have to be Stilton, but who would I eat it with? Hmmm…”
Richard: “I don’t know what my favourite cheese is, but I’d eat any cheese with Howard Marks, smoke some cigars and drink some coffee.”
If you got to choose what was written on each other’s gravestone, what would you write? (Holly, Plymouth)
Stuart: “Richard‘s would be: ‘Came, Saw, Didn’t Give A Fuck’. Then ‘Hung Like A Horse’, in brackets. Kelly‘s would be: ‘Came, Saw, Worried Like Fuck’ with ‘Hung Like A Mouse’ in brackets.”
Richard: “And Cable‘s would be: ‘Came, Saw, Everybody Heard Him Fuck’.”
Kelly: “‘Hung Like A Donkey’.”
Do you have nicknames for each other? (Dave, Lancashire)
Stuart: “Richard is Dicky, I’m The Duke, and Kelly is Nipper.”
How many times have you played a gig pissed? (Raymond Cheung, Gosport)
Stuart: “Before we had the record deal we used to drink a few pints and get a wee bit pissed, but not properly. We’ve probably only played about two or three gigs really pissed. Now, we’ve got up and played songs when we’ve been drunk, you know, in pubs, but not onstage.”
Richard: “We take our work too seriously these days.”
Part 2 will be posted on nme.com tomorrow.