This is an interview UT did on the swiss radio Couleur 3 after their gig at la route du rock (St-Malo, France).
Interview audio file 1 (Real Audio G2) to save the audio file right
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Don't forget to scroll down and listen to the second audio file.
Couleur 3 : We gonna start with something we read that you're supposed to have said and we'd like you to discuss if it's true or not. It was something like : it's never been a question to find yourself together to have fun, it was more to try to write and express what you are feeling, and it's never been a question to be a pop band and you were not here to make a precise function. Is it true ?
Nigel : The second bit probably is true. We didn't want to be a band for people loving us, taking cocaine and fucking lots of girls but we do have a lot of fun ! I certainly didn't get into it to be miserable !
C 3 : So for you it's a kind of cliché this kind of rock n'roll life band ?
N : Yes, there's quite a lot of people who get into bands for the sake of being in a band rather than for the sake of music, I think.
C 3 : Do you need to be really healthy in your mind, really sane to be able to express all these feelings through your music ?
Andy : (after a long silence) It's a difficult question, isn't it ? Do you have to take drugs to be inspired ? But we don't take any drugs. And I think it actually makes things harder because drugs help you to get in touch with your inner emotions. But we don't take any drugs. It makes the music probably more cerebral than it would be normally, more intellectual.
C 3 : Tu n'as jamais fait de chanson en russe ? (Did you ever write a song in russian ?)
A : (without waiting for the translation into english) I tried but my russian is good but it's not that good. I'd like to be able to do it but I don't think my russian is good enough.
C 3 :That is to say ?
A : Generally speaking, it's very difficult to write poetry or anything except maybe some kind of journalism or something in a foreign language. You can spend your whole life studying a language but you're never going to have the native sense of the language. So I don't try.
C 3 : You wanted to be a translator first before starting the band. At a certain point, you left and you went to Russia. What did you take back from this travel ? Which experience did get in your life ?
A : I think it helped me to grow as a person. Because before that I was leaving in a middle class family in middle England. Living in Russia, I was in an environment where more extreme things happen. I was experiencing streams of happiness and sadness. I'd never knew what was going to happen to me from day to day whereas, in England, it's very easy to find yourself in a rut, a situation where the same things happen everyday and there's no way out from that.
Interview audio file 2 (Real audio G2) to save the audio file right click on this and select save as...
C 3 : Do you feel close to a band like Portishead in the spirit ? (At la route du rock, UT were playing just before Portishead)
N : Yes, I guess we do, certainly. I think both us and Portishead leave a lot of space in the music. We're not too concerned with filling everything up. They're probably more innovative than we are.
C 3 : That's very modest.
A: That's us.
C 3 : It's maybe not your purpose to be innovative.
N : No. I don't think we ever thought that it was. I always say the best thing any band can do is play to their strength. And I think our strength is being emotional and minimalist. And I think we do that really well. So I'm not worried about trying to do everything else.
C 3 : Andy, quel est le futur d'un groupe comme UT ?
N : What's the future ? (translation of what the DJ said from
french into english)
Translator : What do you think is the future of a band like UT ?
N : Hopefully lots of more albums. Our ambition is just make ourselves better and better and make albums that we're happier and happier with. Sounds kind of unambitious, modest...
C 3 : I saw you (Nigel) this afternoon, you were on the field, signing lots of autographs and you were looking like being really close to the audience and it seems that the audience is giving back to you in this way. Do you think it's maybe because it's a kind of beginning or do you think you're gonna stay like that ?
N : I hope we'll stay like that. We make the music for ourselves but once you're playing gigs, selling records, it's people who are coming to the gigs, lots and lots of actual real individual people who are paying money that they have earned or stolen or something to come to gigs. And I'd hate to ignore them, pretend I was better than them or anything. I just happen to be the musician and they're the audience.