The Quietus - A new rock music and pop culture website

Baker's Dozen

The Quest For The Grail: Rat Scabies Favourite Albums
Ben Graham , March 7th, 2018 12:49

The former Damned drummer tells Ben Graham about seeing bands at the Orchid Ballroom in Purley, the appeal of repetition and variety in music, and how The Damned nearly got their own Monkees-style TV show

Stevie_wonder_1520356919_resize_460x400

Stevie Wonder- Innervisions
It's one of the classic records of all time, but I remember when this came out I wasn't particularly a Stevie Wonder fan. He'd done the singles and he was a Tamla pop artist really, wearing a suit, and I thought I'd got him labelled. But then this record came out and it was like his coming of age almost. It's like a small journey, listening to this album. It has a very positive beginning and ending, from side one right through to the last track. And that whole thing of here I am in New York, that wonderful idea of bringing in sound effects of street sounds that gave a different atmosphere and set the scene for what you're about to hear. I think most bands wanted to do that kind of thing but it was very easy for it to take over, so it was mostly left to the Pink Floyds of this world. But for somebody to do it just on the one track worked really well. And he played drums on this album, too. That was the weird thing, because when you listen to the drums it doesn't sound like a drummer. The things he plays aren't instinctive, so there's a different kind of musicality to what he's doing, and where it goes and where he puts things and where he hits the toms and where he does crashes and stuff like that. In some ways it was very brave of him, because let's face it he could've got any drummer to do it. But it gives it what I suppose these days you'd call an artisan quality, but I think of it as an earthy feel. Otherwise everything would be too perfect on this record. You have to have imperfection to give it character and personality. I think there's something about imperfection that puts you more in touch with what you're listening to, because you're not alienated by something that's unachievable. This record has that by the sack full.


If you love our features, news and reviews, please support what we do with a one-off or regular donation. Year-on-year, our corporate advertising is down by around 90% - a figure that threatens to sink The Quietus. Hit this link to find out more and keep on Black Sky Thinking.