Interview with Andy Bell of Ride, Oasis and Hurricane #1

We caught up with Ride old bass player Steve Queralt in August 2001 just before the band were due to release the Box Set.

Were you in any bands prior to Ride?

Yes, various synth orientated bedroom bands which i regard as the eighties equivalent of being a bedroom dj playing cutting edge minimal deep house. oh and a dodgy reggae band that went as far as actually playing gigs.

What influenced you to start playing the bass?

My dad found a bass in a skip so he says and brought it home for me. I was listening to lots of reggae at the time and was able to follow the basslines. Fate I guess.

Tell us about how you came to meet the other three?

I knew of both Andy and Mark. Mark’s sister was in my year at school and they were both keen on starting a band. Andy was introduced to me by my brother as a really good guitarist. Andy and I made a few demos at my house including the version of Chelsea Girl that appears on the Firing Blanks comp. They then went to Banbury to study Art where they met Loz, the final part of the jigsaw.

Did you expect things to take off so quickly?

Absolutely not. Our horizon ended at being the biggest band in Oxford but before we knew it Warner Bros were on our back.

What were the high points of the Ride/Creation days for you personally?

The first time we did anything. First support spot in a proper venue, first trip to Europe with the House Of Love, First time in Japan etc. Not to say that it didn’t stay exciting but the first year touring the UK non-stop was really special. Other fond memories include Reading Festival supporting Public Enemy and a weekend in Sweden at the Hulsfred Festival. Hulsfred had everything, Watching England beat Cameroon with loads of other bands, meeting some really special people, the whole atmosphere of the place and playing football on the Sunday. The gig was shite though from what I can remember.

Was it important to stay with the label rather than move to a major?

Oh yes. So many bands jumped ship and died on major labels. Sheer greed.

Were you a Creation fan before signing to the label? Whom were your favourite artists?

House of Love, MBV, and I was a really big fan of Felt.

At one point it seemed as though Ride would achieve the heights that Oasis reached, what do you think changed that?

Releasing Carnival of Light. After Going Blank Again I felt we were at a fork in the road and that we took the wrong route. The others will disagree though. Too much Beach Boys and Neil Young going on!!

Has the new box set made you slightly nostalgic for the old days?

I have always missed touring ever since we stopped and yes getting together with the boys on the rare occasion always makes me wipe a tear away.

You put together the new Rarities CD for the box set, was it hard deciding on which tracks to include?

Yes. There were loads of bits and pieces which could have been included jams, alternate takes, full versions of tracks that only saw the light of day as short interludes on the albums. There was a bit of pressure to include everything and to make it as concise as possible. However it would have been like a library for anoraks so i tried to make it stand up artistically and keep it interesting from the collectors point of view. God know whether I achieved it or not.

Which tracks are your favourite on the CD?

Tongue Tied by a mile.

I’ve had a couple of emails from fans stating that ‘Hit Me Like A Train’ is not included which they think is a shame, do you think this will ever be released officially?

Lets hope not. Besides what will the kids with bootlegs do if we released everything? I like the fact that there are still some stuff hidden away (for good reason) Ocean Smiles for instance!!

Have you played in any bands since Ride?

Yep. Another but superior Reggae band call Dubwieser which I regret giving up because I really enjoyed the music and the power that the Bass has in that style music. Ive done some dumb things and leaving them was one.

Do you still run your record shop?

No that never got off the ground.

Have you listened to any of the other post Ride bands (e.g. Animalhouse, Hurricane#1)?

No. Difficult to answer that really but I dont really listen to rock/indie music any more.

Finally, have you a message for the kids today?

Boards Of Canada.

Interview: August 2001