CHRIS HELME, former Seahorses singer, had planned to leave the band for a year because he didn’t like John Squire‘s songs and was frustrated that he couldn’t record more of his own stuff.
Helme – who makes his debut solo appearance at Liverpool Lomax on Sunday (March 21) then Leeds Duchess Of York (22) and London W1 Improv (23) – will be joined by former bandmate Stuart Fletcher in a new band that will be a significant departure from The Seahorses sound.
“I was having to sing lyrics which I just didn’t want to sing,” he explained. I didn’t like his melodies so the whole thing was unsatisfying. I started to do the second album and I didn’t like any of it. I could see from a mile off that it wasn’t going to work.”
The problems began after a break following their tour last year.
“We got back to it and it seemed to be really stale,” he said.
Some reports suggested that Squire‘s ego had been the source of the band’s problems, but Helme stressed that the differences were musical and not personal.
“I wish that he (Squire) had taken a bit more care on his lyrics. But he wouldn’t let me change any of them which was the upsetting thing because it was all I had to hold on to. That was the thing that pissed me off,” he said. “I’m not going to say anything about John‘s ego. Everyone’s going to expect me to say shit about John, but he’s a good bloke and a great guitarist. We just don’t see eye to eye musically.”
Helme said that while his tastes ran more to Nick Drake and Joni Mitchell and Squire is still looking for the big rock guitar sound, he is still on good terms.
“We’re both bloody minded and we both know what we want. I’ll stay friends with him. I’ve spoken to him since and he seems quite jovial. He said he was going to open an S&M club in the Orkney Islands when I asked him what he was going to do,” he said.
Helme also said that Squire just laughed at any suggestion of getting the Stone Roses back together. Tickets for the shows are available from nme.com‘s 24-hour ticketline on 0870 121 0125 or click here to go to our online gig guide and ticket service.