Fans of the Stereophonics are well aware that the band’s new album, Decade in the Sun: The Best of Stereophonics releases this month, and touring is soon underway. But do they know that one of Apple’s inventions and Salvador Dali’s creations hold some envy for Richard Jones and Javier Weyler? The band’s bassist and drummer talk with PopMatters 20 Questions about these and other inspirations.
1. The latest book or movie that made you cry?
Richard Jones: Semi-Pro. I laughed until I lost my voice!
Javier Weyler: Boys don’t cry. Ha!
Decade in the Sun
Best of Stereophonics
(Vox Populi Records; US: 18 Nov 2008; UK: 10 Nov 2008)
Pull the Pin
(V2; US: 9 Sep 2008; UK: 15 Oct 2007)
Live From Dakota
(V2; US: 18 Apr 2006; UK: 3 Apr 2006)
2. The fictional character most like you?
Richard: The Silver Surfer: one of the noblest and most tormented cosmic entities in the universe. The Silver Surfer treasures freedom above all else, but has often sacrificed his liberty for the greater good.
Javier: Mazinger Z.
3. The greatest album, ever?
Richard: Never Mind the Bollocks. It does what it says on the tin!
Javier: Luckily, too many. At this moment in time Abbey Road by The Beatles.
4. Star Trek or Star Wars?
Richard: Star Wars. Chewbacca is god!
Javier: Star Wars.
5. Your ideal brain food?
Richard: Solitaire… it’s sanity all wrapped up in a tidy little carton of cards.
Javier: As Virginia Woolf once said: ‘One cannot think well, love well or sleep well if one has not dined well’.
6. You’re proud of this accomplishment, but why?
Richard: I’m proud to have made it to this point. Because there have been so many none believers, that any normal person would have given up years ago.
Javier: I’m proud of any accomplishment. I don’t like unfinished things.
7. You want to be remembered for…?
Richard: Being myself, and not imitating anyone else.
Javier: The music I’ve made.
8. Of those who’ve come before, the most inspirational are?
Richard: Andy Fraser of Free, Jimi Hendrix and Johnny Cash. Need I say any more?
Javier: John Bonham from Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Cure.
9. The creative masterpiece you wish bore your signature?
Richard: The iPod!
Javier: The Persistence of Memory by Salvador Dali.
10. Your hidden talents…?
Richard: Fixing things.
11. The best piece of advice you actually followed?
Richard: It’s best to be late in this life, than to be early into the next.
Javier: Stop at the red light!
12. The best thing you ever bought, stole, or borrowed?
Richard: My first bass guitar. Everyone else wanted to be Eddie Van Halen. There’s only so much finger tapping the world can manage.
Javier: My first drum kit.
13. You feel best in Armani or Levis or…?
Richard: Levis. But I do have a penchant for expensive jackets and watches.
Javier: As long as your ass feels good in it, doesn’t matter.
14. Your dinner guest at the Ritz would be?
Richard: The Dalai Lama.
Javier: Marie Antoinette.
15. Time travel: where, when and why?
Richard: London in the ‘60s to experience the birth of rock ‘n’ roll as we know it today.
Javier: I’ll go for Machu Pichu in Peru when it still was a city (15th century). It would be amazing to see how people lived there.
16. Stress management: hit man, spa vacation or Prozac?
Richard: Quiet time, by myself. Or failing that, riding a motorcycle extremely fast around a race track.
Javier: If hit man doesn’t do the job, then I’ll take the spa vacation.
17. Essential to life: coffee, vodka, cigarettes, chocolate, or…?
Richard: Sex ‘n’ drugs ‘n’ rock ‘n’ roll. That’s all my body needs.
JAVIER: Sex is the most essential thing in life.
18. Environ of choice: city or country, and where on the map?
Richard: Italy, Tuscany precisely—in between Siena and Pisa. Just Google it and you’ll understand why!
Javier: Buenos Aires, Paris and Costa Brava.
19. What do you want to say to the leader of your country?
Richard: Give someone else a chance.
Javier: More leading and less politics, please.
20. Last but certainly not least, what are you working on, now?
Richard: Next project is our best of album, Decade in the Sun.
Javier: So we’ve got lots of promotional work to do and we’re back on the road!