Interview by David Jarvis and John Crosby

Do you remember the time when you worked for Kasanetz Katz in New York? Youíve said that you didnít enjoy that but looking back at it now, do you think itís been a good experience for your song writing?
Well, I think I might have said that to justify it but it wasnít really my thing, this song writing under pressure. We did have a big hit in France with Susanís Tuba for Freddy & The Dreamers. But the one redeeming thing was that I already got involved with Eric in the Strawberry Studio and I was working in NY studios at the time. I said to KK that I wanted to go back and use the one in Stockport and they said "Fine". You could even say that, as strange as it sounds, that Kasanetz Katz were partly instrumental in the formation of 10cc because of that. They were one of the links in the chain.

On the Bloody Tourists promotion tape, there was a song called The Acapulco Kid which didnít make it onto the album. Do you remember that and can you tell us something more about it?
I played Rick Fenn a recording of this song and we were bloody amazed at hearing that again. We both really enjoyed it and we started talking about why it did not make it on to the Look Hear album because it would have been such a good track. I think it was because we already had enough songs for that album but this song itself is very 10cc'ish.The song was written at a period where Eric was writing with some of the other guys and Rick and I wrote this one but I think it should have been included on the album.

We heard from Andrew Gold that one of the songs on your new album, Walking With Angels, is about your time with 10cc. Can you give us any more details about that?
I can give you more details about it! Itís nothing to do with 10cc. Nothing at all. I started doing these charity treks about four years ago. And I told Gordon Kennedy about it. I said I felt very connected with my late father when I was trekking through Israel. He is a born again Christian and he immediately popped into this. We were talking about spirits protecting you, whether it is real or not, and the fact that your ancestors are always with you. That's when Gordon and I wrote this song. It's interesting, he's a very religious man, much more religious than I am, but we found a commonality in this subject matter. That's how we wrote this song. Itís nothing to do with 10cc!"

Were the tracks on your new album written with real people in mind?
Yes, I wonít tell you who they were but Walking with Angels was definitely written with my late father in mind. The track Dancing Days, which I wrote with Gary Burr in Nashville, was an imaginary song and yet, itís about certain regret, what could have been; we all have that experience. There is a song that I wrote with Gary Barlow. This hasnít got anything to do with anybody but itís a nice pop song. I did a new version of Ready To Go Home which I did with Miles Benedict who is a more modern kind of producer and it has worked out well. When you write a song it can be about something imaginary but there is always some experience in it that is your own. With Walking with Angels, the influence is up front.

Do you know when your album will be released?
Yes, it will be out in October (9th October - ed.). Dome Records is releasing it in the UK and they are licensing it with different labels in Europe and Japan. I donít know about America yet and Australia. We are trying to get some tracks into films or commercials. Thatís the best way for me to do it, to get people interested in the album.

We heard that you might be releasing a single from your album.
Well they might put a single out but it will only be like a lead track, it will not be on Top Of The Pops and it will not be played on Radio 1 but it will probably be played on Radio 2. We are not quite sure yet what itís going to be, thereís a bit of debate about it, but yes, there is a strong possibility of a single being released.

Do you have any input as to which track is released as a single?
Only in so much as I think that it may be totally inappropriate, there are so many different opinions flying around at the moment, but I think that between us we will get there, but to be perfectly honest I wouldnít mind any track being released as a single because I am very proud of them all.

Have you now decided on the title of your new album?
Yes, it will be called And Another Thing. Originally it was going to be called Walking With Angels but everybody liked And Another Thing and finally I could see their point of view so we did a photo shoot recently and kind of nodded to the front cover of The Graham Gouldman Thing. We found a similar location, similar pose but with different clothes and different hair.

Do you feel the musicians on this particular tour add a new sparkle?
Well, itís been really great to have Paul Burgess back. He is a great drummer. We havenít used him before because he doesnít sing. And we need to have four voices. With Spike Edney who does sing, we can have a drummer who doesnít. Last year, we had Simon Carter on keyboards who doesnít sing but we had Stuart Tosh drumming who does. Stuart wasnít available this year anyway; he is working in the West End a lot. When you go for the standard basic musician it always works. We go for the best people and it gets better every year. This is a really good combination. But wherever you are and whatever combination youíre in, you always think like that! And then the next time you find that itís even better but you didnít know that, did you?

 

Are you going to do more gigs or tours?
We were going to do an American tour in August. It would have started on the 2nd August on the West Coast until the 2nd of September. They asked us to do it. I wouldnít say that it has been postponed but I have a feeling now that it is not going to happen which is a shame really, because the promoter got all the dates together, but they decided that it just wasnít viable enough to do it, so they pulled out and said they were going to reschedule the tour for another time but we have not heard from themÖitís gone very quiet at the moment.

Have you been working with anybody else recently?
Yes, I have been at the EMI writers week recently and I worked with quite a few people there. I worked with Henry Priestman and we wrote some very good songs, some of which are going to be recorded. EMI are also interested in another song which I wrote with Joe Cocker whose last album did very well in Germany. Another person Iíve been writing with, is Dane Bowers who used to be in ďAnother LevelĒ.

And you are writing songs with Marty PellowÖ
Yes, we wrote some songs with Chris Difford. He is still working on the album and he is working with every songwriter in the world. I donít know if Iíll be doing more work with him or not, I have no ideaÖ

How do you feel about the new Wax album Bikini?
Oh yeah, I wrote some liner notes for that, I do not know when it is coming out exactly but Andrew did a fantastic job of putting that album together. We took your suggestion (David Jarvisí suggestion! Ė ed.) on board and basically ďDid ItĒ. Itís also very satisfying in having nearly all of the work Andrew and I did together now on record.

Which albums are you listening to at the moment?
Well, I like to listen to Kirsty MacCollís album. I like that so much, I love it. And Iíve been listening to classical music a lot. Somebody bought me this 4 CD set of Greatest Classics of The Millennium and itís fantastic. I have not really bought anything. I have been listening to the radio a lot but I have not been inspired to buy music.

What are you doing for relaxation, when youíre not making music?
Well, I got into this walking group. Weíre walking every weekend and walk twice every week. A friend of mine got me into trekking and youíve got to be fit walking the tracks. We do a 7-mile walk or sometimes a 16-mile walk. During the summer months weíre doing longer walks and there is going to be one in Morocco, the Atlas Mountains, in September. Weíre doing that one for the Teenage Cancer Trust, a charity I support. So yes, itís walking!

Do you still feel as excited as ever about the music business?
Yes, itís all the same to me in a way. I mean, itís frustrating from time to time but I work with lots of people, lots of new writers. There are studios in London where you can write and I love to go there and meet other people to write with. Sometimes it works and sometimes not but itís nice to get a big breakfast and then spend the day writing with other people. Itís a different thing from the EMI writers week though. When I worked with Kirsty MacColl there it was a total disaster because of the combination with the third person. I knew I would get along with Kirsty because Iíve been a fan of hers for ages. Itís like it was with Andrew Gold: ďYouíre mine!Ē So afterwards when I worked with Kirsty it was great and I hope to be able to work with her again.

Are you likely to be making any TV/radio appearances in the near future?
Yes, I am going to appear on ďNever Mind The BuzzcocksĒ, I am recording it on Sept 5th and I guess it will be aired about three weeks later. (ďNever Mind The BuzzcocksĒ is a BBC music quiz TV programme Ė ed.) Also the album will be featured on Radio 2ís Album of the Week and I will be putting together a Radio station tour to promote the album around the end of September.

What musicians will be appearing on your new album?
Andrew Gold (who plays nearly everything), Gordon Kennedy plays guitar on Walking With Angels, and then thereís Mike Stephens and Rick Fenn.

At Ronnie Scottís and on behalf of all the members of the fan club Graham was presented with a tankard inscribed with the words ďWith best wishes from everyone at 10cc MattersĒ. Graham thanks you all for this kind gesture!


Graham Gouldman's "And Another Thing"
Release date: 9th October 2000 Catalogue no.: For Your Love FYL 12

External link: Gouldman's page at Dome Records

Published August 2000

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