I, LUDICROUS > Interviews > Ludicrous Line

Ludicrous Line - 1992 (unpublished)

WILL finally agreed to be interviewed but would only answer questions on the Idiots Savants album. The interview lasted about 90 minutes and has therefore been edited down. At first I found Will "difficult" but he warmed up during the course of the interview and we departed on good terms and he even promised to contribute to future Ludicrous Lines.

LL: How are you doing Will

WH: I won't answer that just keep it to the new album OK

LL: So tell us why it's only available on CD

WH: Well costs dictated we could only bring it out on one format and after talking to our mates we went for CD which is unfortunate for me as I don't have a CD player.

LL: Whose picture is on the cover

WH: Well it's a friend of John's, I've forgotten his name but he lives in Bradford and went out with John's ex.

LL: And the title

WH: It was John's turn to choose the title so you better ask him. I'm choosing the next one though and I'm thinking of calling it Let's Rock.

LL: Let's take the album track by track

WH: OK. Well, Oh Really was mostly written by John and it's about the rubbish people talk when they come back from holiday.

LL: What should one talk about then.

WH: Oh one (putting on public school accent) should not mention one's been away in case one upsets someone. And then there's the Carter song which was again mainly written by John and is not a hate song but as the last line says "this is sour grapes". John seems very upset by the rise of Carter.

LL: Aren't you

WH: Not really. I pretend to be sometimes but mostly I think good luck to them.

LL: Then there's Richard Madeley

WH: At last, one I wrote. I try and sing like Bryan Ferry and fail, John tries to play guitar like Mick Jones and succeeds. That's typical.

LL: I can't quite make out whether you hate him or not.

WH: Good. (refuses to talk any more on this song)

LL: C2s in vans.

WH: Yes this is one of my favourite tracks I'm very proud of the line "All shapes, sizes and makes", it's one of the best lines I've written. (! ed). It took us ages to decide whether the chorus ought to be shouted or crooned. I preferred it crooned but John said the other way was best and he was right. Next there's We Stand Around which was going to be a single out last year but Rodney Rodney wouldn't couldn't do it so it got left. The words are mine, the arrangement is John's and I like the end result. We were going to have Nigel Kennedy playing on it but our friendship with The Fall meant we didn't ask him.

LL: So that's side one out of the way. What's Bloody Proud about.

WH: You know what it's about you've read the sleeve notes.

LL: OK, its about supporting the Fall, what's this about having to give them money to play.

WH: Well the Fall had this dodgy manager called Trevor who said that we had to pay the sound engineer, the lighting man and the stage manager 15 each per gig. When Mark found out at the last gig what had been going on he put a stop to it.

LL: He's a good mate then Mark

WH: Well I don't know well enough to call him a good mate, but I like him and we get on great when we meet.

LL: Any juicy gossip

WH: Then there's When the Computer Engineer Comes which for some reason we left off Light & Bitter but I think it's great. It's a true story and I wrote it at a band practice which I was late for because of this engineer. His name was John Padden I think and he completely fucked up the computer system I was responsible for at the time - of course I got the blame for it from the boss. It's not really a song it's more a poem with sound in the background.

LL: Like Betjeman's Banana Blush

WH: A great man and I don't think you should compare him with us. I remember doing English poetry at school and we studied all these twentieth century poets like Auden, Thom Gunn, Enright but the then poet laureate was ignored. I couldn't understand it then and I still don't today.

LL: Do you read much poetry

WH: Not much. I like Larkin and Tom Hughes but I find most poets incredibly obscure, you spend ages trying to figure what they're talking about and when you do you think so what. I like things that are easy to understand.

LL: Cy Twombly

WH: That's easy for you to say (laughs) and even harder to write (laughs again). Ask John about this one, I only harmonise on it. I know very little about surrealist automatism and funnily enough I don't feel deprived by this omission in my knowledge. The drumming is great on it don't you agree.

LL: Yeah, (crawling) wasn't there another track about art that was going to be on the album?

WH: Who told you about that?. It is called Museum Of Installation [see The I, Ludicrous Column] and is an essay about wondering around a modern art museum wondering what the fuck is all this about. A bit like reading a poem.

LL: Why didn't it get selected for the album

WH: We didn't think it strong enough, you never know we may go back to later, that's what happened to We Stand Around. We originally wrote that back in '87 - a particularly creative time for the band - and it just got forgotten about, then John found it on an old tape and listened to it and thought that sounds great.

LL: Whose song is Non and what's it about.

WH: Well I wrote the words and it's about not wanting to go out. I haven't been going out much for years now, I think it's something that happens to most people when the get older. I used to go out most nights of the week - now I probably stay in at least four nights a week.

LL: That doesn't sound too much

WH: Well it's all relative.

LL: Finally there's Eastenders which I assume is another one of John's.

WH: That's right and it's one of his best. The words are spot on and articulate everything I've been thinking about Eastenders all my life.

LL: So are you happy with Idiots Savants?

WH: Yes, actually I'm quite proud of it. It's our best work so far and maybe in time it will turn out to be the band's finest hour, well 46 minutes to be exact.

LL: Thank you

WH: My pleasure

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