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27th January 2019

Graham Gouldman and 10CC in 2019


Q: 10CC live in 2019 is amazing. Great show last night, top notch playing from a pedigree band.


GG: Thank you. We’ve been together quite a long time and that sort of stuff shows.


Q: I can see you’re still having a lot of fun playing the songs.


GG: I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t. (smiles)


Q: Is that your original 4001 Rickenbacker?


GG: Well I’ve had two; the one I’ve got now I got in 1975. I had one before it that got nicked.


Q: Ouch.


GG: Yeah it hurts. I had some guitars stolen; a couple of Les Pauls as well.


Q: That’s a gorgeous version of Donna you do; how long did it take you to work out all the vocal parts?


GG: We were on an Australian tour. I worked it out first with Mick Wilson who used to sing with us so we got the body of it and then over the tour we kept doing it, developed it  and perfected it. I’ll tell you how it came about. We always used to do the original electric version of it, like the record, but we were doing a concert at the Albert Hall in London and had asked Kevin Godley to come and do a couple of songs with us and I said we’re going to do Donna and he said ‘Why don’t you do it a capella?’ So it was his idea.


Q: That’s the whole 10CC thing right there isn’t it? Everybody chipping in ideas.


GG: Yeah. It was always like that with the original band. One thing that was great was that whoever wrote the song and there were many different combinations of writers, when it was presented, we all took ownership of it. No one ever said ‘I don’t like it’ or ‘I’m not going to do it’, it was always ‘If you think it’s good enough, fine but I’ll come up with ideas for it.’ We also always served the song so say whoever could sing it best, got the job of singing it. That’s why I think that 10CC are quite unusual in that we’ve had three No. 1s with three different singers. I now The Beatles had that but I can’t think of any others.


Q: Play Nicely And Share is your most recent release - a Mini-Album. The production on the album is textbook clarity and balance and the songwriting is just beautiful. Given that nobody is paying their mortgage these days from CD sales, was it a labour of love?


GG: Thanks. I enjoyed doing it. Listen, let’s be realistic. Any artist like myself, it’s always a labour of love because it ain’t going to pay the bills, that’s for sure (laughs) but you accept that. You’re competing with Drake and Taylor Swift – it ain’t going to happen. You do it really a) for yourself and b) for the fans and the only way you make any money out of it is if you do gigs and sell them as merchandise. You get online sales as well but as you say, you’re never going to sell millions but it doesn’t really matter; the joy of just writing and recording is the reward.


Q: On that record you cover Buddy Holley’s Rave On and your take on it is inspired. I have to say, you were on sacred ground with me on that one as I’m a big fan.


GG: Tell me about it. (smiles)


Q: Did you ever see him?


GG: No but I’m an ambassador for The Buddy Holly Educational Foundation. I’m doing an event actually that is sponsored by him. In Louisiana, they are having a songwriter’s week which I’m pretty sure I’m going to go to and I’ve also done other songwriter’s events the UK. I was also given a guitar by affirm called Atkin guitars which have reproduced his J45 and it’s a great guitar. I use it all the time actually which is ironic because I have loads of guitars I bought but I was given this one and its…wow! Amazing.


Q: Why Rave On?


GG: The idea for that came from a film project that never took off and the idea was that they wanted certain songs re-imagined and that was one of the songs. I just thought it could be done in a different way and got all the different chord changes in it.


Q: You’re a songwriter and you’ve obviously had your songs adapted, (I found 91 different versions of Art For Art’s Sake) some no doubt you like but others you think ‘Oh they got that wrong…’


GG: Definitely! (smiles)


Q: how did you go about not getting Rave On wrong?


GG: I just listened to the original version and thought how else could it be done? I got the idea for the slower rhythm first and then as I was singing it, the idea for the chord changes came which I think are really sympathetic but strange.


Q: There’s certainly more pathos in it.


GG: Yeah definitely and I’d have loved him to have heard it. (laughs) Actually, one of the first records I ever recorded was with a band called The Whirlwinds – I’m talking about 1964 – and the A-side was Look At Me which is not a that well known Buddy Holly song but I know that María Elena his wife heard it and liked it and I have a letter somewhere that the publisher sent with the record that was very complimentary it so I’ve always had a connection to him. When I talk about my influences, it always starts with Buddy Holly, The Everly Brothers, Eddie Cochran, Little Richard and Elvis and then it goes onto the Skiffle era with Lonnie Donegan, Cliff & The Shadows and The Beatles. If you’ve got that lot going through your blood, I think that’s enough and I’m still informed  by those writers, those songs and the feeling you get from that type of music.


Q: I understand exactly what you mean. I bought all the re-masters of Eddie Cochran and the dynamics and light and shade throughout give the recording something extra.


GG: Particularly someone like Eddie Cochran. Some of that stuff is very minimal like Summertime Blues. I mean, what’s on it? (smiles) Drums, bass guitar, his guitar and vocal. It’s just genius.


10CC in the studio


Q: For me, when it comes to production, 10CC are the most creative but also rather underrated band there is.


GG: Yeah production was very important.


Q: You were the first band for me that used stereo correctly.


GG: Oh right! Ok. I’m very conscious of it now and the guy I work with a lot, we always talk about placement of sound and it’s vry important. The listener has no idea of course and nor should they but one of the components of making a good sounding record is the stereo pitching.


Q: Stereo and depth as well. Something like I’m Mandy Fly Me for example which starts with that part of Clockwork Creep from Sheet Music in the distance and then the band jumps to the front of the audio.


GG: Yeah I’m Mandy Fly Me is a very good sounding record.


Q: It’s my favourite.


GG: I did an interview with Radio 2 (UK radio station) with Simon Mayo and he played that and there is something about Radio 2’s system – I don’t know what…the limiters or compressors they use – but it sounded incredible! You know…extra good. It’s part of the mix obviously but it is more than levels; it’s where it’s placed.


Q: You were probably the most democratic band in the world…


GG: Yeah we were.


Q: …given how democratic you were with songwriting and recording, were you all the collective masterminds behind that mix or would someone take the FX, another ride the faders, someone else make the tea, etc?


GG: (laughs) Making the tea! Well we were lucky. First of all, one of us was an engineer which was Eric Stewart and Eric and I were both pert-owners of the studio so it was ours and because it was just the four of us in there with no other engineer, if Eric was doing a vocal, one of us would take over on the board. Once the EQs and everything was set up, we had enough knowledge to press play, record, stop or drop-in. we all learned how to drop-in and drop-out on a tape machine – nobody does that of course anymore (laughs) – so we had one person who had a lot of knowledge about the studio and three others who became sort of semi-engineers. I think also the fact that there was a lot of time spent there with just the four of us, it created a different vibe which was a good vibe. Those were all the elements and we were very conscious about having things sounding right as well as trying to develop sounds. Of course, these were in the days when nobody was sampling stuff and very few synthesizers. I think we had a Polymoog and there wasn’t much you could do with that although we did use it to effect very well on the odd song so it was the matter of creating a sound rather than going ‘Oh, I want the sound of a harp’ and just bringing up a sample; we would have to get a harpist in for that. We would try recording the piano in different ways, different mic techniques or putting stuff on the strings and of course sometimes we failed but it was a lot of fun.


Q: Incidentally, were you the first band to sample yourself with that part of Clockwork Creep?


GG: That’s right – yes. (smiles)

Q: You can take credit as well for creating the world’s first emulator for I’m Not In Love.


GG: Well yes and that’s the best example of having an idea and then figuring out how we were going to do it and that developed into something that has been copied loads of times but what was interesting about that was not knowing what it was going to sound like. We had to complete it to do it and with each layer of voices we were going wow…wow….WOW!


Q: You recreated that last night very well.


GG: We have the technology to do things. We don’t like using tracks. We do do a song with a track but if we didn’t, it would mean not doing that song at all. Otherwise, our principle has always been to do it as much as possible like the record but there are compromises. If you have a track that has four acoustic guitars and we only have one acoustic guitar, then what can we do? (smiles) We could have three other players with us but that’s not practical so you make compromises and prioritize what should be in and what shouldn’t.


Q: Just going back to I’m Mandy Fly Me for a moment, Eric takes one solo and Lol takes the other. There are very subtle differences in the sound; do you happen to recall if they used the same guitar rig for it?


GG: I don’t think so. I don’t think it’s the same rig but you see it might not be a rig at all because we used to do the guitar direct into the board a lot of the time and just use a pre-amp to wind the guitar up.


Q: So those little differences I can hear are just in the technique of Lol and Eric?


GG: I think there are big differences. (smiles) Do you know who is who?


Q: No I don’t – and don’t tell me.


GG: Ok I won’t. (smiles)


One last one question…


Q: Coming from Manchester, I was going to ask you if were City or United but then I remembered you wrote and recorded the Manchester City theme song Boys In Blue with Kevin and Lol so I’m going to guess City.


GG: United.


Q: Really?


GG: It was business, strictly business. (laughs)

グラハム・グールドマン インタビュー



















GG: ああ。あれをやると、いつもオリジナル・メンバーでやっているような感じなんだ。誰が作った曲であれ、いい曲だということ、いろいろバラエティに富んだ演奏ができるということ、つまり僕たちの曲、ってことさ。昔から「あれは好きじゃないな。」とか「あれはやりたくない。」とか言ったメンバーは誰もいなかった。「十分いい出来だけど、もっとアイデアを込めて良くしてみよう。」ってことさ。僕たちはいつもそういう風に考えて曲を演奏しているんだ。誰が歌うのがベストなのか、プロフェッショナルに判断してね。10CCというバンドは、3人の異なったボーカリストで3作のナンバーワン・ヒットを出した稀なバンドだからね。そう思うのも当然なんだ。ビートルズがそうだっただろ?でも他にはそんなバンドはいないんだよ。


Q:ミニアルバム『Play Nicely And Share』があなたの最新作ですね。このアルバムの製作については、テーマ、サウンドバランス、楽曲の出来映え、すべてが素晴らしいと思います。昨今のCDの売上からの稼ぎが期待できない中でも創作活動をされるのは、好きな道だからですか?

GG: ありがとう。創作を楽しんでいるよ。現実の話をしようか。僕のようなアーティストなら誰もが創作活動そのものに意欲的なものだ。ギャラがもらえなくてもね(笑)。そんな状況は受け入れざるを得ない。ドレイクやテイラー・スウィフトと競合しているんだからね。彼ら以上に売れるなんて、なかなかないことだ。だからa)自分自身のためにやる、b)ファンのためにやる、のどちらかだ。お金を稼ぎ出す唯一の方法は、コンサートをやること。そしてその会場でグッズを販売することだ。ネット販売もできるけど、ミリオンセラーなんてことはない。そんな尺度ではなく、曲を創作してレコーディングして形に残す、このこと自体が喜びなんだよ。


Q:アルバムでは、バディ・ホリーの「Rave On」をカバーしておられて、あのテイクは素晴らしいと思います。ホリーの大ファンでもある私にとっては、あなたも私と同じ地平に立っておられるのではないかと思ったりもするんですが。






Q:なぜ「Rave On」を選んだのですか?



Q:あなたはソングライターであり、あなたの曲がたくさんカバーされています(私が調べたところでは「Art For Art’s Sake」は91ものバージョンがあります)。あなたご自身も気に入っておられるものもあります。でも中には「おいおい、ちょっとこれは・・・」というものもあるのでは?



Q:「Rave On」のアレンジについては、ご自身でどう満足されたのですか?




GG:まさにそうなんだ。僕としては、ホリーに聴いてほしいと思ってそうしたんだよ(笑)。僕が初めてレコーディングしたレコードは、1964年のザ・ワールウィンズというバンドだったんだけど、A面は「Look At Me」という、ホリーのあまり有名じゃない曲だったんだ。でも僕はこの曲がホリーの奥さんのマリア・エレーナのお気に入りだと知っていたから、いつかこのレコードに手紙を添えて、版権所有者に挨拶したいものだと思っていたんだ。そういうわけで、僕はいつもホリーとは繋がってきたというわけさ。僕が受けた影響ということになれば、バディ・ホリーが最初なんだ。それからエヴァリー・ブラザーズ、エディ・コクラン、リトル・リチャード、エルヴィス、スキッフルが流行った頃のロニー・ドネガン、クリフ・リチャード&ザ・シャドウズ、そしてビートルズだ。僕の体にこれだけの音楽が流れているとすれば、もう十分だよね。いまだにこうした人たち、彼らの音楽、そこに込められたフィーリングから学んでいるよ。確立されたタイプの音楽だよね。



GG:エディ・コクランのような人は特に、ね。「Summertime Blues」なんて、最小限の編成だからね。これだけでやってるのかい?って(笑)。ドラム、ベース、ギター、ボーカルだけだものね。天才だよ。

10CC in the studio






GG: そうなんだ!いいね。僕自身も今になってそれを認識しているんだ。多くの人と仕事をしてきたけど、いつも僕はサウンドを議論してきた。重要だからね。リスナー側にイメージがあるわけはないからね。でもいいサウンドを作る上での要素の一つは、「ステレオのあり方」なんだよ。


Q:ステレオ効果と音の深み、ですよね。例えば「I’m Mandy Fly Me」は、楽譜的には「Clockwork Creep」の一部から始まります。それから一気にバンドが跳ねるんです。

GG:ああ、「I’m Mandy Fly Me」はとてもサウンドがいいよね。











Q:「Clockwork Creep」の一部を自らサンプリングしたことで、あなたたちはその道では最初のバンドですよね。



Q:「I’m Not In Love」では、世界で最初にエミュレーターを使用したバンドとして永遠にクレジットされるべきですよね。






Q:「I’m Mandy Fly Me」に戻りますが、エリックが1回ソロを取り、ロルがもう一方を受け持っています。そのサウンドには僅かに違いがあります。同じ機材を使っていたとすれば、なぜだった











Q:マンチェスターご出身ということで、シティかユナイテッドか、どちらのサポーターなのかをお訊きしようと思ったのですが、あなたがマンチェスター・シティのテーマソング「Boys In Blue」をケヴィンとロルと共に書かれてレコーディングされたのを思い出したんです。だからシティのサポーターなんでしょう?





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