‘We beat Radiohead in football 25-4’: Ride’s Andy Bell | pop and rock

Have you ever pretended to be the leader of Erasure to get a better table in a restaurant? TeeDubyaBee

No, but Andy and I have a brilliant little friendship that grew on Twitter after people started tagging the wrong person. I was tweeting funny replies, like “I wish I had some respect…” A few years ago I reached out to him about something he unfortunately couldn’t do, but he said that ‘he would be up for something and we’re talking about working together. You read it first here.

In a 1997 interview with the Japanese magazine Crossbeat, we asked you what Ride means to you. You asked them to ask you 10 years later. Do you have the answer now? more water

Ride means a lot to me. When I started, I was the most myself that I have ever been apart from, and I love being in contact with this person. We trained right after we left school, it was a really exciting time and I’m so grateful that we’re allowed to continue doing that. Ride is the portal to who I am.

Tower: (lr) Andy Bell, Laurence Colbert, Mark Gardener and Steve Queralt, photographed in Oxford in 1990. Photography: Joe Dilworth/Avalon/Getty Images

Rumor has it that the Creation Records HQ in Hackney was some kind of crazy mix of student studio/messy office/bar/disco/crack den. Have you wondered what you are indulging in? Timwthornton

When we signed they were in Bethnal Green, in what Alan [McGee, the founder] called the bunker, accessed via a kind of sweatshop where women with sewing machines made clothes. Otherwise, it was pretty much as described: students, messy, walls covered in record covers, and musicians hanging around. One of the first times I went there was a party and someone from Primal Scream called to say that [producer] Andrew Weatherall wanted them to play on a click track, and they asked, “What is a click track?” It must have worked because the results were Loaded and Screamadelica. We had signed after six shows so I was like a kid, watching this show. Magical moments.

Did you find the term shoegaze offensive? stoneinatincan

I didn’t like it at the time because that was how it was used in the music press with other bratty terms. It must have been the same to be German, in a group labeled Krautrock. A few years later, I was touring the United States with Oasis and people would come and say, “I love Shoegaze”. So I learned to accept it. It’s just a label now.

Liam Gallagher and Andy Bell on stage at an Oasis concert in 2007.
Liam Gallagher and Andy Bell on stage at an Oasis concert in 2007. Photography: Diana Scrimgeour/Redferns

What was the first moment you pinched yourselfe play live with Oasis? JesseAndrews

Waiting to go on stage at Wembley. You hear the excitement of people waiting to hear from you, which is awesome.

I always thought a guitarist and songwriter of your talent was wasted playing bass in Oasis. Has it ever seemed like this to you? BurnTheBlueDragon

It’s rude to bassists. No way. I learned so much about music as a guitarist playing bass. The bassist and the drummer are the backbone. I took it very seriously. Also, it was nice to be asked to participate in songwriting. My song Turn Up the Sun was the opening number for a whole tour. He even broke a barrier in Manchester City’s stadium as the crowd rushed forward. Luckily, I don’t think anyone was seriously injured.

The resurgence of the double album was an unexpected development in 2022, with standout releases from yourself, beach house, big thief, Johnny Marr and Wilco. Are you a fan of the format and what is the story behind your double album, Sway? VerulamiumParkRanger

Without forgetting that of Tim Burgess [Typical Music]. I just think there’s a time in an artist’s life when only a double album will do. Paul Weller’s 22 Dreams wouldn’t work as a single album. They work best with lots of concise songs. Flicker has 18 final versions of half-finished ideas dating back to the 90s, which I was able to do in confinement. I hope people appreciate the reasoning and don’t find it too forgiving.

You’ve written many great songs over the past 30 years. Is there one in particular that never got the appreciation you think it deserved? I like 1997 Hurricane #1 B-side smoke rings. VerulamiumParkRanger

Thanks. I have a weird relationship with my own songs in that my favorites tend to be the ones other people like. Vapor Trail was never a UK single, but became popular over time. You take things out and see what comes back and I react a lot to what comes back.

Bell and Mark Gardener of Ride drink beer with Robert Smith of The Cure in 1991.
Bell (left) and Mark Gardener (right) of Ride talk to Robert Smith of The Cure in 1991. Photography: Martyn Goodacre/Getty Images

You came to the rescue Oasis (and gay dad) when they lacked crucial players, lent award-winning guitars to Noel Gallagher and Gem Archer, and after the Ride’s Going Blank Again gig in London, I introduced myself to everyone while I was DJing. In your career, who has shown you the most kindness and generosity? david99b

Robert Smith of the Cure. When Ride first started, he used his influence to get us added to the bill for a TV program called Brits 91, so we got this amazing prime time exposure. He’s since asked us to support The Cure, got us on the festival lineup, and he’s done a great remix of Vapor Trail. He was always there to encourage with a very generous spirit.

Apparently Ride was referring to [1994 album] carnival of light like Carnival of Shite. Do you still feel that or have you made peace with it? European by choice

Ride was about loud guitars, overwhelmed harmonies and thrilling percussion – a wash of sound. By Carnival of Light and Tarantula, we had chosen those elements until we ended up with a shoegaze band trying to play classic rock, but I made peace with that. There are a lot of great tracks, like Moonlight Medicine and Birdman.

Tell us a Massacre of Brian Jonestown story. ShermanMLight

Once in Stockholm, I was watching from the side of the stage when Anton [Newcombe] fired the drummer during the concert. I jumped drunk and started playing the drums. He didn’t reject me, which was nice of him. Before their gig in Oxford a few years ago, I mentioned that I had once seen Spacemen 3 play in armchairs. Anton immediately shifted into high gear. “Man, [Ride’s] Mark Gardener is coming to the concert tonight. I’ll get you chairs and we’ll set up the Ride meeting on stage. Mark and I hadn’t spoken in years, and suddenly we were sitting in armchairs for the duration of their concert, asking each other, “How are you?”

Tell us about the infamous match 5 Ride vs Radiohead Stuart Yellow

I’m not a footballer so I wasn’t in our team but we beat them 25-4 or something. You know they could play stadiums all over the world but ours was the real win [laughs].

You do a DJ set but people don’t really feel it. What 12 inches would you do to move the room? stevehiggs

2048 Synthesizer by Monokompatibel with Harald Grosskopf. It’s a good banger at 103bpm. If it’s an indie night, then Here Comes Your Man by Pixies. I don’t mind clearing the floor, because then you can define what happens. Get rid of the crowd and bring them back slowly.

Andy Bell’s new solo EP, The Grounding Processis now available Sonic Cathedral. Reissues of Ride’s classic early albums and EPs are also available on Wichita

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