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Guy Griffin, The Quireboys – Interview, 8th February 2014

I was expecting to interview Spike but on the day it didn’t happen, probably due to some misunderstanding on my part as I am, after all, a blonde! Guy Griffin was in the bar, after the gig, so I asked if he would be prepared to answer a few questions for us and he kindly agreed. I had to improvise a bit with the questions as I’d prepared for an interview/chat with Spike, but it’s all the name of Rock ‘n’ Roll and a very big thank you to Griff for agreeing to an impromptu interview/chat with PlanetMosh.

You joined The Quireboys in what year?

1988

You’ve played on every album. I believe?

Yes, I believe I have as well.

When did they start? I’m assuming you joined not long after they started.

I first saw The Quireboys in 1986, I supported them in 1986 and that’s how I got to know them.

Every time I’ve seen The Quireboys you’ve been with them, first time was probably around 1990. Then you lived in America for a while?

Yes

Did Spike live there for a while too?

Yes Spike lived there for a while. I stayed there. I was there for thirteen years

So what made you decide to reform The Quireboys?

Basically Spike had done a band called ‘God’s Hotel’ and I had a band called ‘Glimmer’ and I had a deal with Atlantic records. We were out touring with Cheap Trick and those kind of bands in America but the record company wasn’t really doing anything good for us. So I thought it was coming to the end of that. Spike happened to be in LA working with the same producer we were working with. We hung out round at the producer’s apartment and ended up writing a couple of songs which ended up on the This is Rock ‘n’ Roll album but it wasn’t actually going to be called The Quireboys we were going to call it something different. Then Nigel got wind of it.

Nigel Mogg?

Yeah. He was in New York and he came over and we thought why make it hard work for ourselves. In reality we probably made it more hard work for ourselves because no-one really had time for The Quireboys back then. When we came back together we weren’t welcomed with open arms. We could have actualy done it as a new band but here we are now after ten years.

I saw you originally then when you reformed and I was at a gig in Manchester not long after you reformed and the support band didn’t turn up.

That shows how popular we were then! (Laughs)

Well you’ve sold out at least three of these gigs (the current tour)

Eight gigs have sold out.

You’re gaining in popularity again then.

The band’s doing the same thing it’s always done. All it is, is that people are starting to write about the band again. It’s no accident. It’s having all the right P.R. people and the right management.

Not Sharon Osbourne any more though?

Whatever she did is what our management people are doing now and that’s why people are cottoning on to us again. We’re doing the same thing as we’ve ever done, we’ve been out there for over ten years.

You’ve just done Beautiful Curse (the latest album) which has received rave reviews.

Yeah

What made you decide to do an acoustic tour this time?

Myself and Paul and Spike have been playing acoustic a lot over the last few years. We go over to Scandinavia a lot but we don’t actually call it The Quireboys. That’s how we write songs. We go over there, they pay us good money. We do some acoustic shows. We don’t live near each other so that’s how we get together to write songs. We did an acoustic album three or four years ago. We did acoustic shows, not as many as this, but we did acoustic shows with a whole ten piece band with fiddles and pedal steel and all that kind of stuff, so it’s not really a new thing for us. It’s how our songs are written anyway.

Do you play Scandinavia a lot. I believe they are actually more receptive to bands and pay them proper money which we’re not as good at in the UK, particularly not with new bands.

We get paid pretty well anywhere we go, otherwise we wouldn’t bother.

A lot of new bands are playing now and they’re not even getting people who want to pay to see them, which is quite sad.

I feel bad for newer bands but they’ve got to figure a new way of doing things. Part of the reason the music industry is dead is because younger people don’t think you should have to pay for music, so they’ve created the problem for themselves. They have to reinvent the whole thing. It’s just going to be a cottage industry thing, there’s never going to be bands that are selling millions and millions of albums. There will be some pop bands and manufactured bands but it’s not going to be like that for rock bands anymore I don’t think.

You’re going to do a new album later this year?

We’ve just been in the studio. We’ve been down in the South of England in Dover, we’ve just done fourteen songs for the new album. We’ve re-recorded four or five older songs for various things, I don’t know what they’ll be on yet. There will be a new album out probably in July or August.

Brilliant and are you going to do another tour later this year?

I hope so probably towards the end of the year and a couple of festivals and all that kind of stuff.

You’ve done Hard Rock Hell. Is it the last two or three years? 

I can’t remember if we did it last year but we’re not doing it this year I don’t think. We’re doing one in Ibiza, Hard Rock Hell Ibiza

Is that the cruise?

No but we’re doing The Monster of Rock Cruise, which is with Cinderella, Ratt all those type of bands, every American band you can think of and that goes from Miami to The Bahamas. It’s good fun.

So you’re keeping on going. Thank you very much for speaking to PlanetMosh.

No worries

(I did get a photo but it wasn’t a particularly great photo of either of us! Luckily I have a photo from when I saw The Quireboys at Moho, Manchester in November 2011)

Read our review of the gig here: http://planetmosh.com/the-quireboys-acoustic-sheffield-corporation-8th-february-2014/

 

About Louise Swift

I first went to a gig in 1981, Gillan at Leeds University. I've been a regular gig goer ever since. I haven't kept count of how many gigs I've been to over the intervening years, but it's a lot! My favourite bands are AC/DC then, in no particular order, Anti-Nowhere League, Slaughter and the Dogs, Towers of London and Dirt Box Disco. I tend to like Glam/Punk and rude offensive lyrics, not sure what that says about me but as Animal would say 'So What!' The question was recently put to me - did I write for any online publications? My reply - No, but I'd like to! Planetmosh was suggested and I found myself offering to review Aces High Festival. Easy peasy I thought! Well not quite, if a jobs worth doing it's worth doing well! I had sixteen bands to research. I found I actually enjoyed that and it kept me too busy to be making lunatic comments on Facebook! ;) Then I felt a bit inadequately qualified. I mean, who am I to comment on others, when my musical expertise extends to being able to play a mean Greensleeves on the recorder and a passable Annie's song on the flute! Haven't picked up either instrument for years! What I do have, however, is over 30 years of experience as a gig goer, so I can comment on what I like and what I don't! It's only my opinion and, if I don't like a band it doesn't mean they are bad, just not to my own liking. I admire anyone who has the guts to get up on that stage and have a go!
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