Reflecting at length upon his intimate relationship with British music from his office in Nashville, Tennessee, the alt-country veteran at the heart of Lambchop discusses freedom, interpretation and the lasting effect on him of 1970s Sheffield with Luke Cartledge
The Smiths - Meat Is Murder
When I first encountered Meat Is Murder, I didn't know what the fuck I was listening to. I was living in Chicago when I discovered The Smiths, as well as The Jesus And Mary Chain. The Smiths struck me as this amazing songwriting thing. There was a wordiness to it that was very taken with, and musically there was this guy Johnny Marr who was just blowing my mind. I'm often very interested in how these things are made, and their personnel. I would check out Billy Bragg or Kirsty MacColl records because I knew Johnny Marr had played on them. I'd expand my horizons by realising the influence of another player on another's art-making. Usually it pans out worthwhile, or at least I enjoy that player's contributions.
A bit later, I came to This Is A Modern World by The Jam. Here was this mod thing, and I was fascinated by this revisiting of something I recognised from the 70s. This was fucking Carnaby Street and all that shit, still going on. But again, the fact that the record was based on these killer songs and killer energy, with this British, in-your-face straightforwardness about its delivery… it's so exciting. It still excites me.