Holding Our Breath Official Fanzine Part 2: Interview with Rachel Goswell, pages 7-11

This transcript consists of four pages. It is from the first (and only?) issue of the Official Slowdive Fanzine called Holding Our Breath. It was mentioned in the transcript in this post. The interview is titled “Afterwards with Rachel Goswell”, and is credited as “Interview by Virginia and Andy”.

[Start of Page 7]

VG* Did you like working with Chapterhouse with the “Pearl” song?

Rachel Goswell* Yeah! It was fun! Yeah! It was alright.

VG* Did they pay you afterall [sic]?

RG* No, they paid for my train fare which is about 10 pounds and that was it really….Just did it as a favor cos I’ve known them, you know, like pre-band days and stuff.

VG* Are you planning on working with them again?

RG* No, I shan’t work with them (giggle). No, no probably not. It was like a one-off thing which was a bit of a laugh really.

VG* Are you good friends with Mark Gardner? I saw you talking to him last time you played in July. Or were you seeing each other then?

RG* Ha! Ha! No! No! I’ve not had any shenanigans with any members of Ride, whatsoever. No no, he’s a nice bloke and erm… you know, we got on really well and that was it. He’s got a girlfriend or did he have a girlfriend at the time?

VG* Oh really, who?

RG* Ha! Ha! He broke a thousand hearts, um … it’s a female called Tara. She sort of like does modelling. In fact she’s very nice. She lives in Oxford or, I don’t know if she lives with him, but probably does. But I mean necessarily not, I think they might of split up now.

VG* Really?

RG* Yeah…. I don’t know … but no, I was going out with Neil then anyway, so you know (giggle).

VG* When did you guys break up? You and Neil?

RG* Um …. What year is it? 94? August 92.

Andy* Is “Forty Days” about your break up?

RG* Probably, I don’t know. I mean he wrote it. I suppose. My guess is [Start of Page 8] probably quite likely.

VG* What do you think about being classified as indie music or shoegazing music?

RG* We hate it (giggle). Um … it’s really difficult not to be tagged onto a certain style of music and I think plus the fact that we’re on Creation, it’s like an independent label. We got guitars, sort of …. lots of guitars and stuff. We sort of like try and get away from it. I don’t know … I mean I don’t know if we fit into the indie — I mean the shoegazer type is like …. pretty bollocksy anyway. It’s just like a press created thing and you know, we absolutely hated it and we still do!

Andy* What were the pre-Slowdive bands like?

RG* Shit! Um… oh god…. Neil was really into the Primitives and the Brilliant Corners and sort of bands like that and sort of indie stuff. And he wanted to sound like the Primitives. And I remember when “Through [sic – should be Thru] the Flowers” came out, he used to play it and say it sounded superb and I can’t wait to do stuff like this. And we actually had got this song called, this is like years ago, called “Dream On” which is like a complete rip off of the Primitives. We were pretty appalling really. To be honest, when we initially started, when we were at school, the way we started was me and this girlfriend wanted to start a band. I had this little keyboard thing and it used to be in our school. And on Sundays they had equipment there, drum kits and stuff. So we arranged with the Youth Leader that we’d go in on the Sunday and just sort of mess around. I can’t remember what she was going to do. I think she was going to do guitar or something. And we’d go there, and Neil was there. He usually just like prefect [sic?], you know, just like “Man, whatever” and um…. Neil was outside playing golf or something and we couldn’t set up any equipment so that Neil had to set all the stuff up. So we just sort of stood around for a few hours and didn’t do anything. And the following Sunday, I went to call up this girl who’s name was Alison, you know like get it down to the start, rehearsing, the two of us. I’m sitting there, I can’t be bothered to be in a band anymore, so I went on my own and Neil was there again. As I was like playing my keyboard, and he picked up a guitar and started playing and that was it. He didn’t say anything. He just started doing it and the following week he just turned up again and it was just sort of like that. It was strange. I think we were in a science class together and that was about it. But it was just [Start of Page 9] really peculiar and it’s like various. You know it’s like for people music was an option, and I didn’t take it. But they were young, very young, talented people that could play instruments. And we just got people in, that could play really well and we used to do really appalling covers of really bad songs. We used to do cooler ones like — it was “April Skies” by the Mary Chain. We used to do a Kinks song, can’t remember which one it was. Dunno… it was probably burned out stuff really.

Andy* “Alison” isn’t about Alison Shaw? (Singer for the Cranes)

RG* No, no. The name just fits into the tune. I mean, we obviously know Ali quite well. We’re good friends and stuff. No… it was written before we did that — the Cranes tour in Britain last year.

Andy* Whatever happened to the 3rd and 4th Brian Eno collaborations?

RG* They’re on tape at home, just like bits of music. You mean the ones that aren’t on the album? It’s like three other bits of music. We’re not actually going to be doing anything with it, I think. Two of them are really ambient and this one, which has got this noise in it like a David Bowie song. I can’t remember what song, something off the album “Heroes”. Sounds like something like that. But it’s probably going to waste away and never be used probably.

Andy* Whatever happened to the original song called “Bleed”?

RG* We recorded it and musically it turned out really well. But Neil wasn’t happy ‘cos he never wrote proper lyrics ‘cos it was always like a live song we played. You know, I used to really enjoy it so I didn’t have to sing on it. He wasn’t happy with his words.

-Quentin from Super 31 interrupts to go and have a look at a cake with all the members of Slowdive’s faces on it.

[Start of page 10]

Andy* What influenced you to write dancy ambient songs?

RG* Neil’s been listening to a lot of ambient techno over the last couple of years. He really like [sic] the Aphex Twin and stuff like that. Oh you know, I like some of it — (whispers), the others don’t really like any of it at all. Neil wanted to do an EP what [sic] was all experiments. We’re interested in using sort of new technology and stuff. Creation recently gave us some money to buy our own studio equipment, so we’ve actually got like a 24 track desk and computers and stuff like that.  So the 5EP was an experimental EP and a lot of people liked it. But out of our information service, I’m in charge of that, we got a few letters of complaint shouldn’t we say. All from Americans as well!

Andy* Is that why Simon left, because he thought he’d be replaced by a drum machine?

RG* He’d actually thought that after he said he was leaving — that he thought we’d use a drum machine. But don’t be ridiculous, we need a drummer. No, Simon left because for the last year or so he’d been getting heavily into acid jazz and funk music. Stuff like he’s really into is Jamiroqui and lots of weird stuff that I’d never heard of. You know he said at the beginning of last year that he would probably leave the band at the end of the year because he’s in another band called “Foxy Brown”. I don’t know much about acid jazz music, you know it’s totally above my head but um…. we heard the tape he’d done and the drumming on it was like really straight forward and really simple. Then the problem we had when we were recording the stuff. I mean we used to spend like days arguing about the drum beats and stuff. It was really stupid and he used to get really frustrated cos he wanted to do sort of intricate things and we wanted spacey drums because that’s what we always had from the beginning and it was just changing the sound of the band in a way and we didn’t like it. So he left in December. You know it was totally amicable. It was expected. Now he’s got this band “Foxy Brown”. I know they’ve got some label interest so maybe one day we’ll see him on the telly, maybe when we’re back over here and he’s over there, I don’t know.

VG* After Simon left, how did you find Ian?

RG* What happened was, we did a very small tour of Britain in November and December and Ian was at our London show, and he’s like a friend of mine and Neil’s, this girl called Wendy. That week after the London show, Simon says that “I’m leaving”. So we went around to people saying “Do you know any drummers?” and Wendy says “Yeah! This guy Ian”. You know I’ve been introduced like a year before. And we sort of auditioned about five drummers or something. It’s like quite entertaining. And Ian was the best really, and he fits in really well. Everything’s a lot more relaxed, we just get along a lot better. It’s just no pressure and he sticks to the record as far as his drumming goes.

[Start of page 11]

VG* What can we expect from Slowdive in the future?

RG* We’re coming back over, but only really to Canada in mid-May cos a promoter over there is paying our flights and stuff. I don’t know if you’ve heard about the SBK thing. You know they’re not supporting us in any way, shape or form. This promoter in Toronto is really upset that our gig there is cancelled so he’s offered to pay our flights. Blah blah blah! and we’d be opening for James on the 20th of May and then the day after that, we’re thinking we should do our own show there. So we thought that our American visas run out on the 20th of May so I think we’d definitely be playing Chicago and that’s like sort of our best places, and Detroit as well.

VG* In a magazine I read you had a boyfriend in San Francisco, who is he?

RG* He’s….. he’s not my boyfriend anymore, actually (giggle). His name’s Omar and he does lights for the Rosemarys. He’s their lighting man. You may have seen him running around yesterday. Very nice chap, but it’s difficult having a transatlantic relationship, really. We’re still friends you know.