(Interview with Richey - Sendai, Japan)

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? [This might not be completely accurate!]

[The interviewer was Japanese so I could only transcribe the bits where Richey spoke (Written by Anonymous)]

I think that the whole of the first world, it's suffering is very self-indulgent, there's no real reason to be unhappy but I think everyone feels that melancholia quite regularly.

I think there's something that you just feel is missing from your life. I think it's very difficult to trust people, very difficult to find any real emotion. I mean my Father is really, really happy and his standard of living when he was my age was nothing compared to mine and yet I sit in my house and I moan and complain and he just doesn't understand. I dunno why, but it's just the way our generation is, I suppose.

I think in England it's so decaying, there's no real idols or heroes anymore, the only thing people cling to is the past. And in Europe right now, England is desperately trying not to be part of the EEC and it's got every reason why it should be but it's got this overblown idea that it's still important, that it still matters in the world. And it's like it could be a third world country, it just doesn't matter to any f***er.

I think if you look at the last decade, most English bands have had no real impact on the rest of the world, it's always been basically American bands, and it says a lot about the Americanisation of world culture. We went shopping in Tokyo yesterday and almost every shop was just full of vintage American paraphanalia. I think the whole world has just been sanitised by American banality.

[clip of 'Turning American' by The Wildhearts]

I mean, I like The Wildhearts, but I think again it's that classic English disease of thinking England was once great and now its gone wrong. I mean, you're in control of your own destiny; if you make good music, you make good music, but to me that songs seems like it's saying "England used to be good, so it's always got to be good". I think you've just got to judge music on what it is, you've just got to judge a culture on what it produces - there's no point in saying England was once an exciting place to live if it's not anymore. I think maybe a band like The Smiths were more relevant than The Wildhearts because they talked about the general malaise and decay of the culture rather than celebrating its glory.

I think the problem with most English rock bands is that they want the bottle of Jack Daniels before they write the song, they want the leather trousers before the lyrics, and you know for us music and words came first and everything else was, like, secondary.

I think if there's one person in the audience every night or one person that buys the album that understands us, that's enough for us. I know there's a lot of people in England who buy a record just cos they hear it on the radio, they think it's a good song, they go and play it for a couple of days and that's as far as it goes. But at the same time there's a lot of people who just play our music constantly every day just like we used to do with our favourite records. As long as they don't go away, we're quite happy to stay in a band.

What we're trying to do is write a song like Motorcycle Emptiness but make it 3 minutes long, to make it more simple, more economical with words, more accessible, more easy to understand.

[October 1993]