Baker's Dozen

Artists discuss the 13 records that shaped their lives

2. WirePink Flag

We felt very guilty that we were learning songs from records in our bedroom while all the Hollywood guys were up there playing their own songs in front of everyone. But we were looking for something to help us find our own voice, and in the end it was Pink Flag; we couldn’t fuckin’ believe that record, man. Now, we weren’t going to copy their words or their music, but what we did get from Pink Flag was the format. It was all about the format, you get me? Man, it had such a profound effect on us: this idea of making little "bits". "Bits" right, in England they say "bits"?! [laughs] Again it’s the Stooges/Beefheart idea that you can do whatever you want, only with Wire they were working with the fundamentals. It was like, you don’t wanna have a guitar solo, then don’t have a guitar solo! You don’t wanna a chorus, don’t have a chorus! You know?

I got to see them play in 1987, but it was… different. Like, it’s wasn’t Pink Flag era. Pink Flag, Chairs Missing, 154, those three records were like WOAH. But after that we kinda got out of them. But hey, everyone has their own lives. For example, I don’t really like Mardi Gras, the seventh Creedence album. When I’m hittin’ the Creedence it’s never seven, always six. And I don’t like a lot of The Fall, but up to Grotesque I know it by fuckin’ memory, man. I know every fucking word that cat sang. I love it… I love it… I wish it was Baker’s two Dozen, ’cause I’m made of influences, man!

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