Baker's Dozen

Artists discuss the 13 records that shaped their lives

12. WirePink Flag

It was difficult to pick a punk album. The reason I love Wire is because they were around at the same time as punk, but they were to the side of everything. They were part of the punk movement but they were doing something which was just a little bit different.

The whole album has a sound, I think they tuned the guitars down to make them sound ‘grungier’. In the day we’d say grungier because there had never been a movement called grunge back then. They sound heavy without sounding rock. So it’s heavy, but it’s art, and it’s very much an ‘art rock’ record. The lyrics are brilliant and the delivery is so deadpan. Without Wire, so much of punk rock was really just pub rock turned up.

The best punk album is probably Never Mind The Bollocks. But I don’t love it in the way I love this record. I don’t play Never Mind The Bollocks, whereas I do still play this occasionally.

I might not make music without punk rock because it was the thing that made us go “oh yeah, we can do this”. In the back of my mind I wanted to be Marc Bolan or I wanted to be David Bowie. But it was punk rock that told me I could be. The whole punk movement was the reason I started doing music in the first place.

Selected in other Baker’s Dozens: Emma Anderson, Tim Booth, Johnny Dean of Menswear, Mike Watt
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