WHAT IS your nickname and why?
“I used to be called Fudge because I was a fat bastard. Not because I was a fudge-packer or an uphill gardener! I was nearly 13 stone when I was 12. How did I end up like I am now? I got myself a Bullworker, some Ryvita and a sit-up bench.”
At school, were you a dunce or a teacher’s pet?
“I was a bit of everything, actually. A bit of a dark horse. If you hang out with everybody, you haven’t got any problems with anyone. I was never a teacher’s pet. but I used to feel sorry for teachers if they really got picked on — especially the nice ones.”
What was your first shag like?
“Easy. It was! It went straight in. It was a total accident. I was like. Wow — I’m in!’ I used to think you went straight in. Then I found out you went sort of up and under and I thought, wow, that’s amazing!
“I was 12 when I did it. I read in a Sunday magazine that George Michael first did it when he was 12 too — and if it’s good enough for Georgie, it’s good enough for me!”
Who’s your best friend?
“I’m Johnny No Friends. I haven’t got best mates. In this business, it’s hard to know who your real friends are. You can be the most popular guy in the world if you want to be. but when our career falls flat on its arse I’d rather have no friends than loads of fake ones.
“Obviously I do have some close friends, but thankfully most of them don’t have anything to do with the band.”
What’s the best pet you’ve ever had?
“My new one, Lowell the rat. He’s f**king top. He eats like shit. He runs around, crawls all over you, licks your tongue, that sort of stuff.”
Have you ever been arrested?
“No, but I came close at a Kerrang! party one night a few years ago. I was walking through London pissed out of my head. I’d drunk a load of whisky, and I was running my hand down the buzzers on all the flats as I walked down the street. This policeman goes, Coming down the station, sir?’ I managed to calm down and he let me off. I’m too smart to get nicked.”
What would you be if you weren’t a rock star?
“F**k only knows! No idea. I’ve never thought about it. I can draw a bit, but that’s about it…”
How would you describe yourself on a blind date form?
“I wouldn’t go on a blind date. I don’t know… Short, fat and pasty?”
What’s the most extravagant thing you’ve ever bought?
A cab to Glastonbury. £150. We were going to go down on the train, but at the last minute we got a cab. It’s not the most expensive thing I’ve bought, but it certainly felt extravagant spending all that money just cos we couldn’t be arsed to go on the train.”
Who’s gagging for a shagging?
“I’ve really let you down here but the honest answer is I’ve just spent a week with my ideal date in Paris. It’s a boring answer, but it’s true. They broke the mould when they made me! I want this band to be judged on our music, not on who we shag.”
Who’s gagging for a smacking?
“You know the answer to that — ha ha ha! I’m not a violent man. I wouldn’t wish any harm to anybody.”
Who would you least like to see naked?
“Ben Harding (3CR guitarist). I saw him naked on video. The first vid we did for ‘This Is My Hollywood’, on the out-takes Ben runs up to the camera and swings his knob around. To see that in the flesh would be frightening!”
What’s the best rumour you’ve ever heard about yourself?
“I’ve never heard one about myself. Have you got any?”
What’s in your wallet?
“It’s my Spice Girls wallet. Skins, plastic, cash, lighter, passport — always important — some notes, more lighters.”
What’s your favourite joke?
“Killing. Killing Joke. That’s my favourite.”
If you were marooned on a desert island without food, which member of 3 Colours Red would you eat first? “Ben. Because he’s cuddly. He’s gonna have the most meat on him.”
Which 3 Colours Red song would you donate to an album entitled Crap Songs of Our Time?
“‘Machine’. No one’s heard it yet. It goes macheeeeen!’ Der-der-der-der…”
What is your drug of choice?
“If I said, I’d be incriminated, wouldn’t I? Actually, my drug of choice is hash. Always was, always will be.”
What does God look like?
“(Seminal, and dead, US comedian) Bill Hicks.”
When you die, how do you want to go?
“As quick as possible! The thought of physical pain worries me. I’ve been in pain, but the thought of it is actually worse, depending on how low you’re feeling…”
© Paul Elliott, Kerrang!, 7 February 1998