Page last updated at 09:21 GMT, Tuesday, 15 July 2008 10:21 UK

Talking Shop: Primal Scream's Mani

Primal Scream's Bobby Gillespie (left) and Mani
Mani (right) joined Bobby Gillespie (left) and the band in 1996

British rock favourites Primal Scream are returning with their ninth studio album, Beautiful Future.

It includes collaborations with CSS singer Lovefoxx, Queens of the Stone Age frontman Josh Homme and folk icon Linda Thompson on a cover of Fleetwood Mac's Over And Over.

Bassist Mani - who was also in seminal indie group The Stone Roses - discusses the new album, how the band have kicked drink and drugs, and the prospects of a Roses reunion.


What does the title Beautiful Future refer to?

I think it's the most pop record we've done to date

Bobby [Gillespie, singer] comes up with all that nonsense, I'm just the humble bass player. We've all been in a really good space, we're all healthy, we're all feeling really musical.

I think it's the most pop record we've done to date. It's really accessible and diverse - it swings from a bit of Philadelphia soul to punk rock to beautiful ballads to electro.

How does the songwriting process work?

We've got our studio in Chalk Farm [north London] and we're in there every day, jamming and kicking ideas about.

Someone could fart into a microphone with an echo on it and think 'that sounds good', and then build a song around it. We haven't done that as yet, we're saving that for our next album. But there is no formula, the songs come from anywhere.

How did you get the collaborators on board?

We're always up for collaborations because you never know what you can learn from other people.

Primal Scream
Primal Scream are aiming to stay sober on their next tour

We thought Linda Thompson would be perfect for the Fleetwood Mac cover. The song as Fleetwood Mac did it just sounds like a Primal Scream song. It's got that narcotic, laid back kind of thing.

With Lovefoxx, we met the girls from CSS at what turned into an all-night drinking session in Sao Paolo in Brazil a couple of years ago. They were great kids and we got on like a house on fire.

And then the mighty, God-like Josh Homme. We absolutely adore Queens of the Stone Age. He was in town so we convened in the studio and had a jam. It was [Scream guitarist] Andrew Innes and Josh shredding against each other with their guitars. We took Josh's guitar out and built a completely new song around it.

Josh and Primal Scream are both big party animals...

We've all been straight for the past nine months mate so that's the party animal angle blown right out of the water.

What I'm enjoying more than anything is the clarity, and getting up at eight o'clock in the morning

This is Primal Scream behaving themselves. That's why I sound so jolly. It's been such a focus of ours at the moment. We want to drag a few more years out of the game.

When you say straight, does that mean no drugs, drink or both?

I've done nowt for nine months mate and I'm really happy about it. I'm getting up, I'm focussed, I've got things to do. I feel like I contribute a lot more.

What I'm enjoying more than anything is the clarity, and getting up at eight o'clock in the morning and doing stuff. I think this could herald a really prolific period for the band and we're enjoying it.

But then again we're going out on the road and Primal Scream have a great tendency to trip themselves right up. Who knows what's going to happen?

You're also part of Mancunian bass supergroup Freebass with New Order's Peter Hook and Andy Rourke of The Smiths. What stage is that at?

That goes on the back burner whenever people are doing other stuff, but I think Peter is still working away.

We've got a guy singing for us now - Gary Briggs, who used to be in a band called Haven. Gary's been doing some vocals, which are coming out brilliantly.

We're working towards doing an album and then doing some gigs. Who knows, the festival circuit might be seeing a bit of Freebass action next year. It would be good to see three Manc bass legends competing with each other to work out who is the king of Manchester on the bass.

Loads of bands have reformed recently - is there any prospect of a Stone Roses reunion?

Stone Roses on Top of the Pops
The Stone Roses released just two albums before they split

I spoke to John [Squire, guitarist] and Reni [drummer] about it a few years ago and they said they'd love to do it at some point in time, but Ian Brown seems dead set against it.

Who knows. It's not something that's uppermost in my mind to tell you the truth. I'm in Primal Scream and I think it's quite disrespectful to talk about the Stone Roses reforming when I'm having such a great time with the Scream.

People will always be interested but you should ask Ian Brown about that one. If he changes his mind then we'll probably do it, but then I'll be back to Primal Scream after the one year of doing it.

What do you think of the current indie scene?

I with there was a little bit more danger, people taking a few more risks

I think the Arctic Monkeys are brilliant. I love Klaxons and The Horrors. I think British music's quite healthy at the moment, kids have got ideas.

I just wish there was a little bit more danger, people taking a few more risks and they weren't so on their knees to the corporate beast. Be like punk rockers, man, and just get out there and change it and make it yours.


SEE ALSO
Singer hurt in hotel bar attack
17 Jul 06 |  Entertainment
Roses reunion reports denied
08 Aug 02 |  Entertainment

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