Ride recently reunited in Oxford for a chat with the local Nightshift magazine. Celebrating the 20th anniversary of their debut EP the band took some time to reflect on their early days in Oxford, signing to Creation and deny any responsibility for the bands that followed them from the city.
Here’s a section of the interview:
The big break, though, came with that tour support to The Soup Dragons, at the time pretty big favourites on the UK indie scene. Apart from exposing Ride to a national audience and national music press attention, it was here they met and formed a relationship with Alan McGee, head of Creation Records – home to many of Ride’s heroes and easily the coolest label around.
MARK: “I think Sean from the Soup Dragons asked us to support them and the link came through Dave and the Warners connection at that time. I remember feeling like we were blowing the Soup Dragons off the stage every night and this was also the time that Alan started coming to see us one night after another and talking to us after every concert. It was an amazing time.”
LOZ: “It was art college kids on tour, but with the usual touring antics, I suppose. Steve was so grown up he had something called a ‘girlfriend’. Andy and I would take photos, play tapes and often sketched in our sketchbooks; Mark seemed to be in a cosy state of preparation for impending stardom… it was all pleasantly odd.”
ANDY: “They let us use their gear, which was nice of them. So we were playing through Marshall Stacks instead of tiny little combo amps. We got our first national music press on that tour, in NME, Melody Maker, and Sounds. I remember that we played very loud!” Having Alan McGee as a fan must have been an incredible feeling.
ANDY: “In theory, we were aiming for 4AD because we felt that Creation was too obvious. But then, once there was an actual offer on the table from Creation we decided to take it. McGee seemed nice enough and was obviously mad on the band. But there was no relationship until later on.
We’d send Dave up with our recordings and sleeves and everything and he’d come back having got us what we wanted. Later on, McGee became one of my closest friends but that was after Ride finished.”
MARK: “Alan quickly became like family to me, and I still feel the same way about him now. He supported us in a big way and let us make the records that we wanted to make and from the sidelines also personally educated and turned me and all of us on to lots of other great music that had a big influence on us.”