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Marty and All About Eve talk about change Print E-mail
Sunday, 01 November 1992

Interview With All About Eve
Recorded For TV's Musical Routes - November 1992

1992 saw the re-emergence of the late Eighties music press darlings All About Eve. Although their debut album went double-gold in 1988, the two albums that followed were considered flops in comparison. Since then they have changed guitarist and have a brand new record deal.

Some of the bands earliest gigs were played in and around Leeds and recently they performed their latest material at a well received gig at Leeds Polytechnic.


The New All About Eve

Julianne Regan: It is good to get back on the road because we did an awful lot of sitting around last year because several things happened. Swapping record companies takes a chunk of time just hanging out in a solicitors office a few times. And we had new management. All that kind of stuff.  There were lots of new changes.

When we got the new deal it meant immediately a new record, so that necessitated us going off and writing an album. It happened quickly, and then we wanted to get into the studio really quickly. So it was a very off the road year for us because we had this thing to do that was kind of more important. And also, because it was such a watershed period there was no point in going out and playing all the old songs. It would have felt like a reunion tour or something if we had done that. So that's why we've been quiet. And that's why it's really good to get out again.

There's definitely been some kind of shift going on in the audience from what we've seen so far because really we're throwing a lot at them at one time. I suppose if some person in the audience hasn't seen All About Eve for two years they're going to be really confused and perhaps disappointed. Some will be relieved. We've had such mixed reactions. It's like, everything from the guitars are louder, the lights show is kind of more psychedelic, for want of a better word. You know even chopping my hair off has depressed some people and some have said 'Oh, your hair's really nice'. It's on every level. So to some people it does look like a new band.


The Beginning

The beginning. I was messing around on a four track machine in my bedroom with the unlikely combination of a Scottish bass player, and a female German drummer and no guitarist. We didn't get very far like that. I met Tim, our old guitarist and it started to get a bit serious 'cos he really could play. Nobody else in the band was awfully musical. German girl and Scottish bass player departed. Tim had this mate, who happened to be Andy who could play bass. By this time we had made an independent record. So Tim bought this record round to Andy's for his approval, and then there were three. And that's really when All About Eve proper started. It had all been not very much more than a joke before then. That's when we started writing songs and realised we were the start of something.

We sauntered along with the drum machine for ages. Chapter two ...

Andy Cousin: Oh God. And then eventually we got tired of the drum machine. We got a session player on the first album and Mark came along. He was a great bloke, we got on with him so he joined. We did the second album, then we did the third album and here we are now.

Julianne Regan: I was the London link. I was originally from Coventry and I was in London, and had been there for ages. Somebody told me about this guy who lived in Yorkshire, Huddersfield, near Leeds and that was Tim. He wrote this letter and we swapped tapes and all that. I remember him saying, well he came to an audition, and he said 'Oh that's great, I'll move down to London'. I was thinking 'Oh I don't want the responsibility of you packing your bags, leaving home and coming down to London'. I felt really responsible. And it was quite a mess because he thought that we were just being polite and we didn't want him. When really it was just a big move. So he packed his bags, got on the coach and that was him.

Andy had come down for a different reason.

Andy Cousin: I had joined another band down in London. Me and Tim were in a band in Huddersfield for years and years, and realised that it wasn't working. So I also moved down to London and then they poached me off this other band. So they're evil really.

Julianne Regan: You see the weird thing is it all got together in London, but nobody was from London. We'd got Coventry, Murrfield and Huddersfield and Mark, well he's from Lancashire. People said 'Oh northern band', well yes, but formed in London. It was geographically against all odds that we would ever get together.


Vertigo

We spent ... three years with them. The first one was a blissful honeymoon period where they threw thousands and thousands of pounds at us. Put us in beautiful studios and bothered to advertise our record. Then we had the big hit. We had the top ten hit Martha's Harbour.

That's when the rot set in because we suddenly, from being an ex-indie group making interesting music, we became this kind of bread winning band that could go out and bring the bacon so that the other interesting bands could live. We became that kind of band. We made another album, 'Scarlet And Other Stories', which was pretty dark. The difficult second album was certainly very true of that. Unfortunately we then went on to make a difficult third album. We'd lost in the meantime, a guitarist to arch-Goths Sisters Of Mercy. Off he went. We got my favourite guitarist of the time to work with us, Marty Willson-Piper from the Church. I just asked him on the off chance that he might be interested and didn't quite think he'd be as free as he was. Instead of just getting someone to play on the album, we got a band member.


MCA

We went with MCA because they promised to leave us alone. And so far they've left us alone. This current album Ultraviolet - we were allowed to produce it ourselves. There was no kind of committee set-up to choose what songs we put on it. It was like being an indie group with the option to have loads of money to do it with, if we wanted to. But we decided not to take that option 'cos we realised whose money we're spending now.


Right Place, Right Time

Marty was my first choice. He wasn't quite as known in this country, but I was just such a massive Church fan for so long. It was this brilliant coincidence where they played in London where we met up with them afterwards. Had a quick chat with Marty. Not that it was exactly soulmates, or anything. Didn't think I'd ever see him again. It was just a five minute chat. But when the opportunity came up, I thought 'Well maybe I should just give him a ring and see what he's doing'. And that's how it happened. It was just quite fateful .. definitely the right person being there at the right time.

Marty Willson-Piper: The morning I was supposed to come over and meet the band I was in bed with a serious abscess. And my mouth was out like this, wasn't it? The whole side of my face was out here. My flight was at 11.15 and at eight o'clock in the morning I didn't know if I could move. But ... up I got, on my plane.

Mark Price: When he came over we thought 'god, he's miserable'. All he does is moan and talk about guitars.

Andy Cousin: Marty came over, he had a swollen mouth, he'd just had a tooth out, an abscess in his tooth. He bought these beers over and he couldn't drink any of the beers. So I thought he was a bit of a wimp, obviously. Then the next day in rehearsal me and Mark got there before him and saw all these amps lined up with 'The Church' on the back. We just thought 'Is this going to work? What's Julianne done to us?'. But we plugged in and it just worked straight away. It sounded great. Before that, this last year with Tim, when we went to rehearsal it just sounded terrible. It was awful. Nothing was working. But, as I said, we plugged in with Marty and it just sounded great.

Changes In Style

Julianne Regan: The old fans are mixed. Some of them from the very early days thought we had lost the plot along the way. The people who like the first album and the early independent singles, when we went a bit folky they hung their mac's up and thought 'Well that's it now'. They thought we had lost the plot. So now that they have heard this they have said to us that we've rediscovered our roots. We've got back to what we originally set out to do, before people started throwing in their two penn'orths all over the place. So that's great if they can recognise that. Some people are just frightened of change

Marty Willson-Piper: The old fans are astonished.

Mark Price: They don't quite know what to do with themselves.

Marty Willson-Piper: We just sound different. It's a mixture of 'God it's really different' and 'I think I like it', and 'How dare they change so much, when I loved them as they were.'

Mark Price: 'They were my perfect thing.'

Marty Willson-Piper: It's like you come home, and your girlfriend, who's blonde, dyes her hair black.

Mark Price: ...and she's Listening to jazz

Marty Willson-Piper: She's Listening to jazz, yeah ! (The group burst into laughter)

Andy Cousin: It's a big challenge now because the music has changed so much. It's like starting again almost. And it's going to be, definitely like that in other countries. America, we haven't done anything over there. So it's going to be like starting again. But that's great. It's great to go back to playing to five hundred people instead of 3000. It's just more of a challenge.

Marty Willson-Piper: Obviously I wasn't part of the history for the first two records. Which is the big period. People are kind of holding the group to that.

Mark Price: We've got to sort of live that down in a way. It's like we're always being likened to those days, even now. Like for nostalgia value.

On-stage (Band and crew busy setting up for gig in Leeds)

Marty Willson-Piper: What are we going to do ? (In Count Dracula accent)

Julianne Regan: Um, how about our next hit single ?

Marty Willson-Piper: Yeah, hey that's an idea !

Julianne Regan: Yeah, all those fine Yorkshire people are going to go out and buy it. (Stage burst into laughter)

Julianne Regan: We're not press darlings anymore. We got a long way before on being new. We were new. We hadn't blotted our copy books. Our copy book is full of blots now but we're still valid, we're still relevant and we're still here.

?Musical Routes 1992

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