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Martin Aston

Martin Aston

Martin Aston has written for Mojo, Q, The Guardian, The TimesAttitudeBBC Music and many other publications, over the last 30+ years. He is also the author of books on Pulp (Pulp, 1995), Bjork (Björkgraphy, 1996), a biography of 4AD Records (Facing the Other Way: The Story of 4AD, 2013) and Breaking Down the Walls of Heartache: How Music Came Out (2017), the first history of the queer pioneers of popular music.

Martin Aston online

134 articles

By Artist | By Date

List of articles in the library by artist

ABBA: Abba: The New Originals

Report and Interview by Martin Aston, Q, July 1992

Australians impersonate them; Erasure cover their songs; U2 and Nirvana are on their case; and there's even a box set on the way. Martin Aston ...

AC/DC

Interview by Martin Aston, Auckland Star, 1990

"Just what are the East Germans who flock across the crumbled Berlin Wall spending their money on? While champagne and fresh fruit were once hot ...

AC/DC's Angus Young (1990)

Interview by Martin Aston, Rock's Backpages Audio, October 1990

The axe-wielding overgrown schoolboy talks about bunking off and missing his education; the music that got to him in his youth; rock in Australia, and the Australian audience's attitudes; ignoring the standard metal devil worship; the commercial ups-and-downs of the band; the songs on new album The Razor's Edge; rock as a release; the flashy American metal bands, and his avoidance of politics.

File format: mp3; file size: 49.1mb, interview length: 51' 07" sound quality: ***

David Ackles: Where Is He Now

Profile and Interview by Martin Aston, Q, June 1994

"POPULAR MUSIC, in all its rich varieties, has milestones." So began the Sunday Times review of David Ackles's 1972 album, American Gothic, which compared the ...

Alabama 3: Exile On Coldharbour Lane (Elemental ELM 40CD)

Review by Martin Aston, Q, November 1997

COLDHARBOUR LANE is one of Brixton's infamous thoroughfares, where the great unwashed jostle alongside the black British community. ...

Viv Albertine: Self-Portrait: Viv Albertine

Interview by Martin Aston, MOJO, March 2011

I DESCRIBE MYSELF as… Vivacious. Vindictive [laughs]. Vain. Vociferous. Someone attempting to be honest but probably failing miserably. Mostly because of all the conditioning that ...

Animals That Swim

Interview by Martin Aston, MOJO, July 1996

SONGS ABOUT buying armfuls of Kit-Kat from the all-night garage; songs about lying drunk in the grass and seeing a face in the stars ("He's ...

Adam & The Ants: Adam And The Ants: Where Are They Now?

Profile by Martin Aston, Q, September 1992

"DON'T WORRY – HE'LL soon be a hairdresser in North Finchley." So it was that, with Malcolm McLaren's unprophetic words as encouragement, the original Ants ...

Ash

Profile and Interview by Martin Aston, Q, November 1995

Downpatrick punk-popsters collide with the charts, avoid university and begin diligent career-building ...

Bauhaus, Belly, The Birthday Party, Cocteau Twins, Dead Can Dance, M/A/R/R/S, The Pixies, This Mortal Coil: 4AD Records: The "pure" label behind Pixies and Cocteau Twins

Retrospective and Interview by Martin Aston, Guardian, The, 10 October 2013

Little was known about Ivo Watts-Russell and Peter Kent, the enigmatic founders of celebrated indie label 4AD, until they were tracked down in the US. ...

Belle And Sebastian: Belle and Sebastian: The Ever-So-Secret Seven

Interview by Martin Aston, MOJO, January 1998

"IT ALL STARTED at open stage sessions at The Halt Bar in Glasgow," recalls Belle & Sebastian bassist Stuart David. "Drunken Saturday afternoon shambles ...

Jello Biafra, Lydia Lunch, Henry Rollins: Spoken Word: Jello Biafria, Lydia Lunch, Henry Rollins

Report and Interview by Martin Aston, Independent, The, Winter 1989

ONCE UPON a time, people took to the stage without the blast of music behind them, and people would take them seriously. Poetry and the ...

Big In Japan: Big in Japan: Where Are They Now?

Retrospective by Martin Aston, Q, January 1992

FEW OTHER groups in the post-punk era can claim to have launched so many successful careers as Big In Japan – The KLF, Frankie Goes ...

Big Star: Alex Chilton and Big Star

Interview by Martin Aston, OOR, Fall 1992

BIG STAR, that most famous of cult guitar bands, named themselves after a chain of supermarkets renowned in their local Memphis; now, nearly 15 years ...

Big Star, Alex Chilton: Alex Chilton: Alex's Wild Years

Interview by Martin Aston, Melody Maker, 2 November 1985

If anybody can really claim to be a living legend, ALEX CHILTON is the guy. From the Box Tops to Big Star to the booze, ...

Björk Gudmundsdottir's Record Collection

Interview by Martin Aston, Q, October 1993

DOWN THE concrete steps, round the back and to the left, you'll find Björk Gudmundsdottir's comfortably compact and bijou new residence, on the cusp of ...

Björk: The MOJO Interview

Interview by Martin Aston, MOJO, November 2004

"Elfish Icelandic pixie" Björk made her first LP at 11, then dived into Crass-approved "existentialist punk jazz". Now, fresh from playing to four billion people, ...

David Bowie, Elvis Presley, The Rolling Stones: I Was A Pop Star's Arse-wiper!

Report by Martin Aston, Q, January 2000

For as long as there have been rock stars, there have been rock star "support systems", from the Memphis Mafia to "Spanish" Tony Sanchez to ...

Bow Wow Wow, Eater, Musical Youth, The Osmonds, The Partridge Family, Helen Shapiro, Lena Zavaroni: Child Stars: We Blame The Parents!

Report by Martin Aston, Q, August 1994

Don't put your daughter on the stage, Mrs Worthington. Better still, burn that Opportunity Knocks application form. Today's child stars are tomorrow's drug addicts, depressives, ...

Jeff Buckley: In At The Deep End

Interview by Martin Aston, MOJO, August 1994

AWARE HE COULD be unfairly accused of trading on the family name, Jeff Buckley, Tim Buckley's 27-year-old son, has spent the last three years honing ...

Jeff Buckley: They Don't Even Know Me Yet

Interview by Martin Aston, MOJO, January 2003

In 1992 Jeff Buckley gave his first ever press interview. A decade later, MOJO unearths this incredible, little-seen document. ...

Tim Buckley

Retrospective by Martin Aston, MOJO, July 1995

IN 1965, THE LOS ANGELES MAGAZINE CHEETAH dubbed three emerging singer-songwriters – Jackson Browne, Steve Noonan, and Tim Buckley – 'The Orange County Three'. ...

Tim Buckley: Dream Letter — Live In London 1968

Review by Martin Aston, Q, July 1990

FOR ANY ADMIRER of Tim Buckley's unique talent, this double live album taken from his London debut in 1968 (at Queen Elizabeth Hall) comes right ...

The Buzzcocks: Product

Review by Martin Aston, Q, December 1989

LIKE MOST punk escapades, Buzzcocks started with Johnny Rotten, whose "We're not into music, we're into chaos" motto drew Bolton students Peter Shelley and Howard ...

David Byrne

Interview by Martin Aston, Auckland Star, 1989

NOT FOR nothing has New York been labelled "the first Third World city in a First World country." ...

The Chameleons: The Meaning of Life

Interview by Martin Aston, Melody Maker, 1 June 1985

THE CHAMELEONS have been to hell and back. Or something. Martin Aston nurses them through the agony and looks forward to the ecstasy. ...

The Chills, The Clean: Nuns at the Altar of Rock: Flying Nun Records

Retrospective and Interview by Martin Aston, Guardian, The, May 2009

"THERE'S SOMETHING about the antipodes that irritates Britain," reckons Martin Phillipps, on the phone from Dunedin on New Zealand's South Island. Almost 25 years ago, ...

Alex Chilton: Feudalist Tarts

Review by Martin Aston, Melody Maker, Summer 1985

LIFE has gone full circle for Alex Chilton. Seventeen years old in 1967, up to New York City from hometown Memphis where he fronted the ...

Alex Chilton (1986)

Interview by Martin Aston, Rock's Backpages Audio, October 1986

From the Box Tops and Big Star to Feudalist Tarts, the Memphis legend tells all the tales: about Chris Bell, drink and "trashy" drugs, Like Flies on Sherbert, the Cramps, trashing Ardent studios, his doubts about his songwriting, cutting out booze and washing dishes in New Orleans.

File format: mp3; file size: 41.2mb, interview length: 42' 55" sound quality: ***

Cocteau Twins: Heaven Or Las Vegas

Review by Martin Aston, Q, October 1990

"THIS WARM BATH of a record is a sensual invitation to wallow in an opiate haze of drifting melody" – Q's review of The Cocteau ...

Coldcut, Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five: You Spin Me Round

Overview by Martin Aston, Q, November 1997

"Two turntables and a microphone," are, says Beck, "where it's at." For more than a decade Technics 1200 record decks have provided the backbone of ...

The Cramps (1986)

Interview by Martin Aston, Rock's Backpages Audio, March 1986

Lux Interior and Poison Ivy on their obsession with all things Elvis; Ricky Nelson's weirdness; accusations of pastiche, and rockabilly vs. rock'n'roll; on Gravest Hits and producer Alex Chilton; being on stage; life in Los Angeles and their hatred of suntans; life in Glendale chez the Interiors... and owning paintings by serial killers.

File format: mp3; file size: 60.5mb, interview length: 1h 03' 01" sound quality: ***

Crass: Re-issues

Review by Martin Aston, Q, October 1990

IF ANY GROUP seem wholly inappropriate for CD repackaging, then Crass are it, being eight admitted non-musicians who used snarl-toothed punk music as a vehicle ...

Crass: Where Are They Now?

Profile by Martin Aston, Q, October 1990

CRASS WERE BRITAIN'S seminal anarcho-punk band, whose communal life and own Crass label epitomised the movement's DIY ethic. Handling everything from mail order, promoting gigs ...

The Creatures, Siouxsie & The Banshees: 10 Questions for Siouxsie Sioux

Interview by Martin Aston, MOJO, September 1998

Is it true that you split the Banshees because the Sex Pistols reformed? ...

The Cure

Interview by Martin Aston, OOR, 1989

IN THE WEEK that U2's new video finds them hanging out with blues legend BB King while Simple Minds roam the windswept Spanish hills, Robert ...

Deerhunter: The Psychedelic South: Deerhunter's Atlanta

Profile and Interview by Martin Aston, Guardian, The, 10 March 2011

NOTE: In 2011, I flew to Atlanta, Georgia, to spend the weekend with Bradford Cox, frontman of the city's great neo-psychedelic rockers Deerhunter, for the ...

Devo: Where Are They Now?

Interview by Martin Aston, Q, October 1995

HAILING – along with the rubber tyre and Rachel Sweet – from Akron, Ohio, Devo's prankful art-pop, deconstructivist theories and matching boilersuits made perfect-imperfect sense ...

Dollar: Where Are They Now? Dollar

Interview by Martin Aston, Q, July 1997

Once they sat behind the gilt-inlaid desk of success, with the keys to the executive washroom; then, suddenly, they were "downsized". ...

The Doors' Summer of Love

Retrospective by Martin Aston, MOJO, Summer 2007

ED SULLIVAN has an awful lot to answer for. It's a delicious irony that the stiff-necked, neo-conservative host of The Ed Sullivan Show, the country's ...

Nick Drake: Five Leaves Left, Bryter Layter, Pink Moon and Heaven Is A Wild Flower

Review by Martin Aston, Q, August 1990

RAISED BY UPPER-middle class parents in the Black Country, educated at public school and Cambridge, Nick Drake's life was never as comfortable as his upbringing ...

The Durutti Column: Without Mercy (Factory)

Review by Martin Aston, Melody Maker, 8 December 1984

SO MUCH contemporary music strives to conquer eager hearts and incite itchy feet with bombastic crescendoes and prolific sloganeering, substituting the possible with the obvious, ...

Echobelly

Interview by Martin Aston, Q, October 1994

A CLASSIC glam rock drum beat is quickly interrupted by a whistle of the "OYI! OVER 'ERE!" variety before a majestically bounding punk-pop riff throws ...

Fairport Convention and Copredy

Report and Interview by Martin Aston, Independent, The, August 1989

IN 1979, AFTER Punk's arrival had squeezed out the last drop of resistance, Fairport Convention's farewell concert in their adopted Oxfordshire village of Cropredy was ...

Faithless: Wir Sind Berliners!

Profile and Interview by Martin Aston, Q, May 1997

Faithless: in no way Eurosceptic. ...

Felt: The Strange Idol Pattern And Other Short Stories (Cherry Red)

Review by Martin Aston, Melody Maker, 3 November 1984

THERE IS A singular atmosphere to Felt's music. Their dreamy guitar excursions are a pure extension of mood, not intent, and as such have no ...

Floy Joy: Into The Hot (Virgin V2319)

Review by Martin Aston, Melody Maker, 29 September 1984

BURNING SENSATION ...

Frankie Goes to Hollywood: Frankie Goes To Hollywood: Where Are They Now?

Profile by Martin Aston, Q, October 1992

THERE ARE FEWER more meteoric sagas than that of Liverpool's Frankie Goes To Hollywood – from almost complete obscurity to the hottest, and the most ...

John Grant's Queen of Denmark: MOJO Album of 2010

Review and Interview by Martin Aston, MOJO, December 2010

AUTHOR'S NOTE: John Grant's debut solo album Queen Of Denmark deservedly won MOJO Magazine's album of 2010. I interviewed him about the MOJO victory and ...

Guided By Voices: Alien Lanes (Matador OLE 123)

Review by Martin Aston, Q, July 1995

IN AMERICA, as the focus has shifted to the classifiably indie sound of scratchy basement pop, Guided By Voices find themselves in Pavement's commercial slipstream ...

Hall & Oates: Hall and Oates

Profile and Interview by Martin Aston, OOR, October 1990

"PEOPLE SAY, 'When will the next big thing come?' It will only come when the last big thing's influence is wholly exhausted... we will suck ...

Happy Mondays

Profile and Interview by Martin Aston, Auckland Star, 1989

IF PUNK WAS the answer to the broad lack of genuine invention in the musical mid-70s, then the Acid House phenomenon answered those who believed ...

PJ Harvey

Interview by Martin Aston, Puncture, 1992

WITHOUT DISCOUNTING Sinead O'Connor, we've become accustomed to looking toward North America to feel the cutting-edge of female singer-songwriters – the tense psychoanalysis of Throwing ...

PJ Harvey: Kicking Against The Pricks

Interview by Martin Aston, Spin, November 1992

Twenty-two-year-old Polly Harvey fronts this year's most raved-over new group, PJ Harvey. Martin Aston gets bewitched and bewildered. ...

Jon Hassell

Interview by Martin Aston, Music Week, 1990

IF BRIAN ENO, Peter Gabriel, Talking Heads, David Sylvian and Tears For Fears have anything in common, you wouldn't instantly think of American avant-garde composer/trumpeter ...

Herman's Hermits: Where Are They Now?

Interview by Martin Aston, Q, February 1991

'I'M INTO SOMETHING Good', 'Silhouettes' and 'My Sentimental Friend' established Herman's Hermits as a top Manchester band in the days when Bez had barely mastered ...

Jive Bunny: Where are they now? Jive Bunny

Interview by Martin Aston, Q, May 1997

The guy who works down the chip shop swears he's Elvis. And the woman on the M&S tights counter might well be Tanita Tikaram. ...

Johnny Cash: Cash's Video Adieu

Report by Martin Aston, MOJO, May 2003

It's been on CNN and it made Bono and Rick Rubin cry. Johnny Cash's video for Hurt might be the most powerful music video ever ...

Josef K: It's Kinda Funny (The Singles)

Review by Martin Aston, MOJO, June 2016

Sound of Young Scotland post-punks on 45; rounded up on 33. ...

The KLF

Profile and Interview by Martin Aston, Independent, The, February 1990

IT WAS the poster claiming The KLF were to play live at a DJ convention in Amsterdam rather than – as they thought – just ...

The Lemonheads: Creator

Review by Martin Aston, New Musical Express, 20 August 1988

IF AMERICAN post-hardcore is the definitive mix of musical sour and sweet – sour, the sound of fractious guitars, melting, and sweet, the coils of ...

Love's Forever Changes Revisited

Retrospective by Martin Aston, MOJO, August 2007

"LOVE WAS THE breakthrough band of the '60s," began journalist Phil Gallo's liner notes to the 1995 box set Love Story 1966-72. ...

Lydia Lunch (1989)

Interview by Martin Aston, Rock's Backpages Audio, Winter 1989

The morning after a London performance, Ms Lunch discusses herself as a spoken word performer and artist: being censored; confronting issues such as abuse of women; her pleasure at being on the margins; other spoken word performers like Henry Rollins and Karen Finley; how she came to music via lyrics, and about the confrontational nature of audiences.

File format: mp3; total file size: 45.5mb, total interview length: 47' 21" sound quality: ****

Billy Mackenzie: Tom Doyle: The Glamour Chase – The Maverick Life Of Billy MacKenzie (Bloomsbury)

Book Review by Martin Aston, Q, September 1998

EVERY PICTURE tells a story. In this biography of the late singer Billy MacKenzie, there's a photo, circa 1971, of St. Michael's School's under-15s Football ...

Billy Mackenzie: Outernational (Circa CIR 22)

Review by Martin Aston, Q, September 1992

THE ONE asset Billy MacKenzie hasn't lost sight of in his wayward career is that delicious voice — a sweeter impression of the quasi-operatic croon ...

Mansun: Nailed!

Interview by Martin Aston, Q, April 1997

They varnish their nails, yet they eat at McDonald's. The singer has a Ziggy-like alter ego, while the bassist likes to pretend he's called Stove. ...

The Mars Volta: Planet Rock

Profile and Interview by Martin Aston, Q, April 2003

Arising from the ashes of At The Drive In, here come The Mars Volta ...

Martha and The Muffins: Where Are They Now? Martha and the Muffins

Retrospective by Martin Aston, Q, February 1996

ONCE, CANADIAN new wavers Martha And The Muffins were "far away in time", via 'Echo Beach', Number 10 in March 1980. ...

Microdisney: Microwaves

Interview by Martin Aston, Melody Maker, 12 January 1985

'Some of you (the Freemason pederasts) may be a trifle confused or even annoyed by the packaging and name of this record. For all your ...

Miracle Legion: Cult heroes: Miracle Legion – the band Thom Yorke loved, who could have been REM

Retrospective by Martin Aston, Guardian, The, 17 May 2016

EVEN AT THE TIME, in April 1986, I knew it was unnecessary hyperbole on my part when my submitted Melody Maker feature about an emerging ...

The Monochrome Set: Snakes and Ladders

Profile and Interview by Martin Aston, Melody Maker, 2 March 1985

Martin Aston plays cards with THE MONOCHROME SET currently clambering chart-wards with 'Jacob's Ladder' ...

The Monochrome Set: The Lost Weekend (Blanco y Negro)

Review by Martin Aston, Melody Maker, 29 June 1985

FROM SATIRE to pastiche, vintage sardonic witticism to detached irony. ...

Morrissey, The Smiths: The Smiths: Witty, Sad, Poignant, Green…

Retrospective and Interview by Martin Aston, Q, October 1994

If ever a band established a coherent identity, a rallying point for their fans, through their sleeve artwork, that band was The Smiths. Those famous ...

The Move: Where Are They Now?

Profile and Interview by Martin Aston, Q, April 1992

'NIGHT OF FEAR', 'I Can Hear The Grass Grow', 'Flowers In The Rain', 'Fire Brigade' — The Move were Birmingham's beat-group and psychedelic sensation with ...

My Bloody Valentine: Loveless

Review by Martin Aston, Q, January 1992

FACED WITH MY Bloody Valentine's formative fumblings, few would have predicted that this garage lurch could metamorphosise into the swooning melody crush that constituted 1988's ...

New Order: Goldiggers, Chippenham

Live Review by Martin Aston, Melody Maker, 1 September 1984

A VITAL GLEAM ...

No Doubt: Humungous: No Doubt: Finger Lakes Perfoming Arts Center, Canandaigua

Review and Interview by Martin Aston, Q, September 1997

No Doubt: been there, done that, sold this much ...

The Only Ones

Retrospective and Interview by Martin Aston, OOR, Fall 1986

IT'S ALWAYS BEEN a good sign of an artist when he or she can interpret the present, and in doing so, predict the future. Equally ...

Orange Juice: Where Are They Now?

Profile by Martin Aston, Q, July 1992

AS SELF-EFFACING drummer Stephen Daly said, Orange Juice were "the smartest band on the island at the time. We had no affiliation with anyone – ...

Orange Juice: Crystal Palace Bowl, London

Live Review by Martin Aston, Melody Maker, 6 October 1984

THE THRILL OF IT ALL ...

Other Lives: The Prairie Stories of Other Lives

Profile and Interview by Martin Aston, Guardian, The, 13 October 2011

Inspired by the landscape of their native Oklahoma, Other Lives combine their rustic rock with classical minimalism. Martin Aston meets a band without limits. ...

Robert Palmer: Five Girls for Every Boy

Interview by Martin Aston, Details, December 1994

Robert Palmer's 'Addicted to Love' made his all-girl band into icons. Where are they now? ...

Annette Peacock: Buried Treasure: Annette Peacock's I'm The One

Retrospective and Interview by Martin Aston, MOJO, 2009

"IN THE '60s," Annette Peacock vouches, "everyone was an individual. Hendrix, Sly Stone, Dylan, Joplin… If you were of your time, you had to find ...

John Peel (1989)

Interview by Martin Aston, Rock's Backpages Audio, July 1989

The DJ attempts to explain himself; argues he's more a fan than part of the machine; discusses the diversity of his listenership; touches on his kids' relationship with music; holds forth on his paymaster, Radio 1, and what gets played on it; bemoans the poor quality of current UK music; disputes his status as an indie figurehead; and ruefully answers Martin's questions about his commercial voice-overs...

File format: mp3; file size: 52.8mb, interview length: 55' 00" sound quality: ***

Pentangle: Where Are They Now? Pentangle

Interview by Martin Aston, Q, May 1991

EVEN BEFORE Fairport Convention had set their wheels in motion, Pentangle were attempting to contemporise and explore British folk music. ...

Liz Phair

Profile and Interview by Martin Aston, Independent Catalogue, The, September 1993

IT'S FOUR IN the afternoon, and Liz Phair is itching to go jogging. But there's plenty of time; this is her first bout of UK ...

Pink Floyd: Storm Thorgerson: Daily Departures From Reality

Interview by Martin Aston, Q, December 1992

"I LIKE PICTURES that don't necessarily have an explanation off pat," Storm Thorgerson says of the beguiling, often outlandish record sleeves that cemented the ...

The Pixies' Charles Francis

Interview by Martin Aston, Catalogue, The, 1989

THE PIXIES, in the space of time it takes to skin a Bros, have been hailed as rock's saviours, Those That Will Save Us From ...

The Pixies: Hello Goodbye: Joey Santiago & The Pixies

Interview by Martin Aston, MOJO, December 1997

HELLO – September 1986 CHARLES [FRANCIS] and I were suite-mates rather than room-mates at the University of Massachusetts. Like me, he'd gone to college in the ...

Portishead

Interview by Martin Aston, Q, November 1994

"IT'S NOT that I'm sick of hearing praise," Geoff Barrow retorts, "it's just that I can't quite believe it, or even understand it." ...

P.J. Proby: Where Is He Now?

Report by Martin Aston, Q, May 1993

AH, THAT FRINGE, and the velvet bow around the ponytail, and the impossibly tight trousers with the suspiciously vulnerable seams. He once warbled his way ...

Pulp: Cocker Gets Cocky

Interview by Martin Aston, Attitude, November 1995

"Mis-shapes, mistakes, misfits... oh we don't look the same as you / We don't do the things you do / But we live round here ...

Pulp

Interview by Martin Aston, Underground, May 1987

Jarvis Cocker, diplomat, playwright, crooner and NH spex wearer, this is yer page... ...

Pulp: Rock Garden, London

Live Review by Martin Aston, Melody Maker, 24 May 1986

AN ODDBALL bunch, Pulp. A National Health-spectacles climbing frame inside a second-hand suit with a blissful deep-throated voice like a dark angel or at least ...

Pulp's Jarvis Cocker (1987)

Interview by Martin Aston, Rock's Backpages Audio, April 1987

The Pulp frontman on why he started the Sheffield group; his urge from an early age to make music; why he writes the songs he writes; refusing to be a judgmental spectator; what makes Pulp different; the attractions of Jacques Brel, Scott Walker and Burt Bacharach; and truth and beauty...

File format: mp3; file size: 29.6mb, interview length: 30' 51" sound quality: ***

Rain Parade: Soft Parade

Interview by Martin Aston, Melody Maker, 18 May 1985

Drugs? Paisley shirts? Forget it, say L.A.'s RAIN PARADE, currently in Britain courtesy of friendly Island Records. Martin Aston wades through the beads and patchouli ...

Razorlight: Up All Night (Vertigo) ***

Review by Martin Aston, MOJO, July 2004

Debut from NYC-fixated Anglo-Swedish guitarniks. ...

The Replacements: All Shook Down (Sire 7599-26298)

Review by Martin Aston, Q, November 1990

THE MINNEAPOLIS band's eighth album confirms the scurvy garage-band thrill of Stink or 1985's Tim has well and truly passed on. A sharp variety of ...

Republica: The Spice Of Success

Report and Interview by Martin Aston, dotmusic.co.uk, 17 August 1998

BMG UK chairman Richard Griffiths' streamlining approach to the label's British operations looks fortunate for DeConstruction signings REPUBLICA, whose second album Speed Ballads is set ...

Romeo Void: Altruist and shout: Romeo Void: Benefactor (Columbia 1982)

Review and Interview by Martin Aston, MOJO, May 2011

Retrieved from the slip road fly-tip of rock, new wave unease and dissent beloved of Queens of the Stone Age. ...

Tim Rose

Profile and Interview by Martin Aston, Q, March 1996

"TIM" WAS A familiar name around the Greenwich Village folk scene of the '60s, but one with a tragically portentous ring to it. Tim Hardin ...

Sham 69: Where Are They Now?

Profile by Martin Aston, Q, May 1991

FAMOUS – OR SHOULD that be infamous? – for their punk-era, terrace-anthem hits 'If The Kids Were United (They Would Never be Divided)' and 'Hurry ...

The Small Faces: Where Are They Now?

Profile by Martin Aston, New Musical Express, December 1990

SHA LA LA La Lee! Pioneers of mod-psychedelia and decisive hair-parting strategies, The Small Faces. ...

Sonic Youth: Forever Young: Sonic Youth

Interview by Martin Aston, Independent, The, 1994

IN 1991, WHEN Geffen Records signed the New York quartet Sonic Youth, the label couldn't have envisaged the band delivering two accessible albums by its ...

Sonic Youth Clean Up Their Act: Washing Machine

Review and Interview by Martin Aston, Music Week, 1995

TRUST A BUNCH of New York art-rockers to contemplate jeopardising their increasing popularity by changing their name to Washing Machine, but that's what Sonic Youth, ...

Sonic Youth (1986)

Interview by Martin Aston, Rock's Backpages Audio, April 1986

The New York noisesters discuss the chronology of rock movements and their roots in No Wave; deny ripping off the Stooges; explain their name; talk about their guitar collection, their creative methods, how they carry the torch of rock'n'roll and struggle with engineers... and why they covered songs by Madonna and Kim Fowley.

File format: mp3; file size: 46.7mb, interview length: 48' 35" sound quality: ***

Spacemen 3

Report and Interview by Martin Aston, Catalogue, The, 1991

"Let me tell you about life/I got mine, you got yours"... ...

Spear Of Destiny: Spear of Destiny: World In Action

Interview by Martin Aston, Melody Maker, 6 July 1984

KIRK BRANDON is experiencing a new burst of energy with SPEAR OF DESTINY. He braved the mud and bottles at Milton Keynes, he's been playing ...

Candi Staton's Dandy, Liquor's Licked

Profile and Interview by Martin Aston, Times, The, 24 March 2006

THERE ARE TIMELESS songs, and then there are timeless songs, those that chart across time itself. Take the Righteous Brothers' revered 'You've Lost That Lovin' ...

Suede: Generation of Swine

Retrospective and Interview by Martin Aston, MOJO, June 2011

Four pale, skinny suburban fops, inspired by Bowie and The Smiths, at the start of 1994 SUEDE were British pop saviours, poised for greatness. But ...

The Sugarcubes: Here Today, Tomorrow Next Week!

Review by Martin Aston, Q, November 1989

THE SUGARCUBES may have plucked their second album title from Wind In The Willows's whimsical pages but the quote has an altogether more serious import: ...

Supergrass

Profile and Interview by Martin Aston, Select, March 1996

A STANDARD semi-detached on Oxford's fashionably downbeat Cowley Road appears an unlikely HQ for the UK's "hottest new band" (copyright the typically finger-not-on-the-pulse Today newspaper) ...

Sutherland Brothers and Quiver, The Sutherland Brothers: The Sutherland Bros: Where Are They Now

Retrospective by Martin Aston, Q, July 1994

ONCE UPON a time, there were two Scottish brothers, lain and Gavin Sutherland, peddlers of particularly earthy soft-rock fare with two albums on Island (1972's ...

Tame Impala: Lonerism

Review by Martin Aston, bbc.co.uk, Fall 2012

Superbly psychedelic second set with a very British-sounding soul. ...

The Teardrop Explodes: The Teadrop Explodes: Where Are They Now?

Profile by Martin Aston, Q, July 1991

ALONGSIDE ECHO & THE Bunnymen, The Teardrop Explodes were the focal point for Liverpool's emerging post-punk new wave scene. According to the group's linchpin Julian ...

Tricky: Just Like That!

Interview by Martin Aston, Q, June 1995

Avonian ingénu Tricky has pulled quite a rabbit from the top hat they're calling "Bristol trip-hop". Martin Aston meets the Number 1 rapper with plenty ...

The Triffids: The Black Swan

Review by Martin Aston, Q, May 1989

THE FIFTH full-length and second major-label album from The Triffids will inevitably receive acclaim from the critical ranks as a multi-faceted alternative to Australia's pub-circuit ...

Ultrasound: The reformation of Ultrasound: "In an instant, it felt necessary"

Profile and Interview by Martin Aston, Guardian, The, 8 September 2011

Say what you like about the second coming of Ultrasound – this is one reformation that isn't driven by money. ...

Van Der Graaf Generator: Where Are They Now?

Profile by Martin Aston, Q, September 1990

VAN DER GRAAF Generator, one or Britain's vaunted bands from the progressive era known for their unusual sax/organ front line. "Can you try and dig ...

Tom Verlaine (1987)

Interview by Martin Aston, Rock's Backpages Audio, March 1987

The former Television frontman on the making of his most recent album Flash Light; his lyrical concerns; his ignorance of current rock; on being a lead guitarist; revisiting Television's Marquee Moon and Adventure; the pleasures of making and listening to music; playing with other people, and his lack of contact with old pals Patti Smith and Richard Lloyd.

File format: mp3; file size: 73.2mb, interview length: 1h 16' 17" sound quality: ***

The Verve: Follow The Yellow Brick Road

Retrospective by Martin Aston, Select, March 1998

The Verve's astonishing eight-year pilgrimage has been littered with drugs, dehydration, mental breakdown and six-month lasagne binges. Now, somewhere over the rainbow, the world belongs ...

Voice Of The Beehive: Where Are They Now? Voice Of The Beehive

Interview by Martin Aston, Q, September 1998

Fronted by American sisters Tracey and Melissa Belland, Voice Of The Beehive mixed frothy pop, zany threads, girl-power attitude and Top 30 action in 1988 ...

Scott Walker, The Walker Brothers: The Walker Brothers: After The Lights Go Out, Scott Walker: Boy Child

Review by Martin Aston, Q, September 1990

AT THE SUGGESTION of their drummer Gary Leeds, who'd just returned from backing PJ Proby, The Walker Brothers shifted camp from the US to the ...

Roger Waters (1990)

Interview by Martin Aston, Rock's Backpages Audio, June 1990

The former Floyd man discusses the problems of producing the upcoming Berlin production of The Wall: German Green Party demands that he plants lupins after the show; Soviet co-operation in using the Red Army Choir; trying to get help from the British military but not being allowed to use an army band, and all the headaches involved in such an ambitious production.

File format: mp3; file size: 19.8mb, interview length: 20' 34" sound quality: ***

Weezer

Profile and Interview by Martin Aston, Q, May 1995

US Geek Rockers inspired by Gary Numan and Jesus Christ Superstar to produce rattlingly fine buzz pop. ...

Barry White: The Q 100 interview

Interview by Martin Aston, Q, January 1995

HOW THE devil are you?I'm fine. I couldn't be happier. Everything is beautiful in my life. I got a hit album and hit single. I'm ...

Toyah Wilcox: Toyah: Minx (Portrait)

Review by Martin Aston, Melody Maker, 27 July 1985

HAS TOYAH Wilcox left it too late? The removable sticker on the cover — where Ms Wilcox models a nice line in wickerwork baskets on ...

Wire (1987)

Interview by Martin Aston, Rock's Backpages Audio, March 1987

The proto-postpunks go through their history: Graham Lewis, Colin Newman and Bruce Gilbert on making debut album Pink Flag; on their development over the subsequent Chairs Missing and 154; on touring with the Tubes and Roxy Music; on their difficulties with EMI; and on re-emerging with new album The Ideal Copy. Graham Lewis (left) answers first, followed by Colin Newman (in shades) and finally Bruce Gilbert (second from left)…

File format: mp3; file size: 44mb, interview length: 45' 47" sound quality: ***

Robert Wyatt

Interview by Martin Aston, Q, October 1991

"I'M A MUSICIAN when I remember to be," Robert Wyatt confesses with an earnest tug at his straggly, greying beard. "In fact, I don't even ...

Robert Wyatt: Rock Bottom and Ruth Is Stranger Than Richard

Review by Martin Aston, Q, August 1989

NOW ON CD: how Robert Wyatt found beauty in the aftermath of personal disaster. ...

List of genre pieces

Where Are They Now? Pan's People

Interview by Martin Aston, Q, March 1993

BEFORE POP video, before the miscegenetic raunch of Hot Gossip, before we knew better, there was Pan's People. They were Top Of The Pops' resident ...

Guns: It Went Off In My Hand!

Report by Martin Aston, Q, June 1997

Dangerous business, rock'n'roll. One minute, you're having hits, the next, you're taking them. Whether as macho prop or tool of the trade, totin' a gun ...

Sub Pop: Go Forth And Grunge

Profile and Interview by Martin Aston, Q, October 1992

SEATTLE, IN the top left-hand corner of America, is famous for its once-thriving post-war aerospace industry, for its breweries and coffee, pine forests and clean ...

Tribute bands: Phonies!

Report and Interview by Martin Aston, Q, November 1992

Weird but true. The average unknown band will get more work and better money by pretending to be someone famous than by being themselves. Martin ...

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