Your long running dispute with Too Pure has been
well documented. Is this why you have decided to reissue Hefner’s
back catalogue? Do you hold any resentment to Too Pure over the way
the ownership of Hefner’s material was handled?
“Well its not really well documented, I
don't think too many people outside me and Too Pure know what it was
about exactly. I own the back catalogue as a result of the dispute,
but the way they released my records was fine and I have no complaints
about the way they promoted my music. I did 6 albums with them and over
the years there were some falling outs. But really I owe my career to
Too Pure. I guess if I was the sort to get hung up over anything I might
have some resentment about the specific contractual dispute we had and
how they chose to fight the issue. But if I saw any of those guys again,
I'd be completely civil and happily buy them a drink. The records are
coming out again, purely because I now own them, and I have to otherwise
you wouldn't be able to buy them.”
You’ve already reissued Breaking God’s Heart, what will
be on The Fidelity Wars reissue?
“Oooh much the same, lots of b-sides, The
Hefner Heart EP some unreleased stuff. I think there's a list on hefnet.
It's better! I think the extra stuff is better on this one.”
Looking back, would you have changed any of the tracks on The Fidelity
Wars? Do you have any regrets about it?
“Not too many really. Albums are photographs
about who you are at the time, and even though I think some of the lyrics
could be better it is what it is. ‘May God Protect Your Home’
could come off. If I knew more about engineering back then I might have
been able to make the drums sound better.”
Tell us about the gigs you're playing to promote The Fidelity Wars reissue.
“Oooh I don't know, the London shows have
sold out! I guess that’s good. It'll be fun playing with Jack,
I'll enjoy playing Hefner songs, but in my heart I'll know that this
isn't really what I'm about anymore. I don't mind playing smaller shows
to sing my new songs.”
You’ve said that you wouldn’t reform Hefner as "it
would look bad". Do you hold any hopes for a Hefner reunion?
“They were the best band that I've played
with, I miss that, I miss John's talent at arranging especially. There's
more to it than it 'looking bad' but I think the four of us think as
one on this issue. Hefner are not the type of band to reform. You wouldn't
like it if we did. You'd like Hefner less, trust me.”
Would you reform Hefner without some of its original members?
Do you think you will put out any of the unreleased material of The
“Yes eventually, The French album will be
re-released; it will have a whole disk of unreleased material. That
is to say unreleased songs, not unreleased versions.”
I read in an interview from three years ago that you don’t like
touring much due to the organisation involved. Is this still the case?
“Yep, touring is shit, only idiots and drummers
enjoy it. It has very little to do with why I chose music as my profession.
I like to play live, but touring is just miserable and sucks the life
out of you.”
Now on to your current project, what does the future hold for Hayman,
Watkins, Trout and Lee?
“Well not too much. It’s a band that’s
designed to have fun only, and with everyone’s commitments I wouldn't
even count on us doing a second album. The first album was really an
attempt by me to record it for prosperity lest the band dissolve with
no songs recorded.”
How do you think your solo work compares to your other projects?
“Well quite honestly I think it's better.
I don't expect any Hefner fans to agree with me, but a song like ‘Perfect
Homes’ or ‘Little Democracies’ are just as strong
as ‘The Greedy Ugly People’ or anything Hefner did. My next
record, Pram Town, is my favourite thing I've done.”
Will you continue to put out records independently or would you ever
go on a major label?
“A major label needs to ask of course, but
no door is necessarily closed to me.”
Finally, do you have any festivals lined-up for the summer?
“Primavera, Indie-Tracks, Latitude and End
of the Road.”
Darren is DJ-ing at How Does It Feel To Be Loved
at the 100 Club in London on Friday July 4th. This is the same night
as Morrissey at Hyde Park, so if you want to go to a club playing indie
pop and soul afterwards, then we're just ten minutes away. Advance tickets
are onsale now at http://www.wegottickets.com/event/29608