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Martin Carr

With a new album, ‘The Breaks’, imminent, former Boo Radley Martin Carr is set to come once again into the public eye.
So, itm? sent Betty Mayonnaise on a mission to inform and entertain, armed only with 10 questions…

Without wanting to be adversarial or anything, let’s get a few elephants out of the room first and we’ll both feel at lot better.

1. (sorry about this) – Bellend de fin de siecle Chris Evans is allegedly “well up” for reviving the notoriously stupid TITF – what are your memories of the show and of Evan’s patronisation of the ‘Wake Up Boo’ single? Don’t hold back!

“I never saw it. I watched very little television in the nineties and I certainly wouldn’t have been home on a Friday evening anyway. It was probably very good for us that he liked ‘Wake Up Boo’ – I never met the man so I can’t attest to his character but I can’t listen to him on the radio. He talks over the beginning and endings of all the records he plays which I can never understand – when does a record become too important to talk over?
Steve Wright SINGS over records: unforgivable.”

2. (another Boos question, we will move on shortly) – ‘Giant Steps’ is still referred to as one of the landmark albums of the 90s and this interviewer would have to concur, along with several of the BR EPs, I still listen to them on cassette tape, how sad am I – do you ever listen to GS now?

“No, I’ve never been able to enjoy listening to records I’ve made it’s hard to separate the music from the memories of writing and recording it. If I do hear something from back then I can usually find a thousand things wrong with it.”

3. This interview saw you performing at King Tut’s in Glasgow around 2004(?) under the Brave Captain moniker. It was not exactly sold out, which was a crying shame. How did that make you feel after the success years?

“bravecaptain gigs were never full but I played to half-empty venues for years with the Boos so, y’know, it wasn’t anything new. I’ve never thought of myself as a performer and I miss having a big noise machine to hide behind.”

4. When can we expect you to grace the stage in Glasgow or anywhere near Scotchland sometime soon?

“Next year I hope. I’m still trying to get a band together.”

5. What are your biggest musical influences at present?

“I’m not under the influence of anything in particular at the moment but I really like The Land Observations album. I like Young and Sick and Spoon and I’m listening to a lot of Gainsbourg and Northern Soul.”

6. And what were your biggest influences starting off?

“The first bands to directly influence our sound were My Bloody Valentine and Dinosaur Jr back in the late eighties. They sounded like the inside of my head, confused, desirous, unhappy…”

7. (and I have to ask this so stone and flail me) What are the chances of a Boos comeback, or even (the c—ting Jesus and Mary Chain are even doing it) “classic” album show – I’ll get me coat, or stole, in Betty’s case…

“No chance whatsoever. We can’t be bothered.”

8. How do you think that changes in technology (downloading, iTunes etc) have changed prospects for people starting in the music industry?

“It’s hard to say – on one hand you can get your music out there for everyone to hear straight away but it’s much harder to make money and labels are less likely to take a chance with a band. When we started out all you needed was a few good songs and the ability to make a good racket onstage, now you need to rock up with a business plan and a bowler hat. I’m glad I’m not starting out now.”

9. (obligatory Smash Hits question) – what is the most surreal celebrity scenario you witnessed during the Britpop years?

(he didn’t answer this one, don’t blame him really!)

10. (and to the future) – BM assumes you are happier now than you were then. What are your musical aims and how do you measure your achievements in 2014, or do you at all?

“I don’t think I’ve achieved anything yet. I don’t think I’ve made my best record which is a good feeling because it means I’ve still got something to push for. After a few years not being able to write anything, I’m finally getting back to feeling confident and happy with my songwriting.”

The Breaks is out on Tapete Records on September 29th.