1000 Mexicans - Some random bits of interviews

Melody Maker, May 1983 - Interview by Adam Sweeting
Away from a stage and their cacophonous backing tapes and general lack of decorum, 1000 Mexicans are three reasonably normal geezers. Michael Harding does most of the talking, insisting that what they do is by no means intellectual, while sending concepts shooting into all corners of the bar. Julian Griffin says least but keeps a close watch on the other two, especially Andrew Hobday, the comedian of the group.
ANDREW - People at our gigs can't make up their minds what we're trying to do, whether it's supposed to be a joke band, or whether we're trying to put across a serious point and they're not getting it. If there was a more conventional idea behind the music, then their mouths would drop open and then they'd leave. What happens with us is their mouths drop open and they stay open for 45 minutes, and then they leave. And they never come back, but that's beside the point.
MICHAEL - I think we all learned a lot from being in other groups. And what we learned was not to be in groups in the conventional sense.. The thing is we incorporate this kind of experimental thing and doing things off the top of our heads into pop songs. It's quite a punk attitude in a way, although the music's completely different, in that we're saying technical ability or tasteful musicianship aren't important, and what is important is the spirit in which you play whatever you want to play.
MM - Have you ever been accused of being pretentious twats?
MICHAEL - Not very often.
ANDREW - I think we get accused more of just being plain revolting.

Melody Maker, December 1984 - Interview by Mick Mercer
Like a sexually harrassed Bronski Beat, 1000 Mexicans' music is as much a waterbed of divining inspiration as it is lyrically compelling ("you are a naked flame, I am a tissue of lies") with dramatic additives of happy charm...
ANDREW - I always feel, perhaps wrongly, there are people who think "Well what are these guys about, why don't they make up their mind?"
JULIAN - My ex-boss went to Ibiza on holiday. Went into a record shop that had one of our records in the front. "See that sleeve?" he said, "See that Letraset? That was nicked from my shop."
MM - Plastering the walls with verbal diarrhoea, like the self-employed samurai they are, the Mexicans really lead an exciting life, never more so than when treading the boards.
MICHAEL - Normally at gigs we know around a quarter or half of the crowd by sight. Last week we didn't know anyone. I didn't even know these two.
MM - And at a recent Time Out gig, where the band arrived early to achieve the best sound ever, their PA man failed to arrive until the last moment because his flat was on fire, leaving the gear with them and racing away again, somewhat distraught.
MICHAEL - So we got Jules from Kill Ugly Pop in to do the sound. ANDREW - And he did it! He killed ugly pop.
MICHAEL - Generally we start with one or two things and build. This was the reverse. As the gig progressed it went from being a massive wall of sound, with lots of echo and feedback which was really quite exciting... Jules got to grips with it, taking everything out to find out what was causing the distortion... we ended the gig with the drum machine going tsch tsch tsch and one vocal mike working.
MM - They are of course an artesian well. Andrew takes offence at this suggestion, rising to strike me viciously with his left hand until a grimace shreds his features and we learn that his hand is sorely injured. The sordid tale spills out.
ANDREW - I was coming out of a pub when someone shouted and I lost control, I lost my rag. I hit it on the sink! I'd washed my hands, the water was going down and I thought I'd heard the drain say "Dennis Law you bastard, you are a bastard..." So I went WHAACK!
JULIAN - You can't beat the cistern...

Sounds, March 1985 - Interview by Carole Linfield
On seeing the three jolly faces of 1000 Mexicans, the wrong thing to say is: "Where are the other 997?..." Which is what you get, after all, for having massive red herrings in your name. "There's a lot of red herrings in 1000 Mexicans" they say. You have been warned.
MICHAEL - "The Last Pop Song" was never supposed to be the last pop song, it was never supposed to be as apocalyptic as people took it to be. We're not war on pop or anything. We could have gone a lot further towards making commercial records, but it would be nice to think that if we were successful it would create a little bit more room.
ANDREW - Our lyrics work on two levels - a lot are about confusion or misunderstanding, or lack of communication. That's a continuing 1000 Mexicans theme. We don't try and make points, any statements are deliberately played down - they're there to be found... JULIAN - The lyrics are very impressionist... MEXICANS IN UNISON - What, like Mike Yarwood?...

Jamming, April 1985 - Interview by Hugh Morley
1000 Mexicans don't quite fit into today's pop world. They come from a time when there was seen to be some merit in their dyslectic jumbling of pop rules and meanings. A time when to fail to challenge and twist the pop structure invited scorn and charges of a lack of ideas.
They now have an album, "Dance Like Ammunition", that sees them perspiciously flaunting their obsessions with the razor hook and the deft alliteration of sound to word to meaning. They perch themselves on a deliberate knife edge between the popular idiom and and its immediacy and the more lasting air of experimentalism. And the keener the edge, the more pervasive its lasting power. ANDREW - Before, we would do fairly straightforward pop songs and also experimental stuff which has been quite separate, but over the last six months we've tried to get them so that they're not separate anymore. We do pop songs with experimental sides to them but that's not just there for the sake of it. We've never set out to make records that sounded terrible. Everything is there for a purpose.
JAMMING - With their lack of tangible image and their consistent musical role-swapping, do the major labels ever suggest a change of image, I wonder? A couple of backing girls perhaps?
MICHAEL - No they don't say that. It would be easier if they did. They all say, "Well you must carry on doing what you want to do - but don't do it near us."

Discography Press highlights Archive homepage

E-mail contact