Blur: My Magic Whip Experience

Blur were one of the first bands I ever got in to thanks to my dad having The Great Escape on CD which I used to play over and over in my bedroom. I credit that album, and Graham Coxon’s guitar playing in particular, as a main reason I play guitar today. I vividly remember playing along to the likes of Charmless Man and It Could Be You on my imaginary blonde Fender Telecaster just like the one Coxon himself played. It would be a few years later before I had my own guitar but the seed was firmly planted, ready to bloom. Over the years Blur have meant more to me than any other band, aside from Derek and the Dominos perhaps, so hearing that a new album was complete and a release date had been set was music to my ears.

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FULL INTERVIEW: Dave Rowntree

Earlier this year I had the pleasure of interviewing Dave Rowntree from Blur and I asked him a number of things from his childhood, Blur, The Ailerons, politics and more. The interview was in two parts originally but here it is in full for your reading pleasure!

I’d like to start right at the beginning if I may. Your family was quite musical, so in many ways it was inevitable that you would get into music. But what made you want to play the drums?

There was a rule in my house that we had to learn an instrument, it didn’t matter which. In fact the rule originally said that we had to learn the piano, which I hated, so I complained long and hard until I was given the choice. Anyway, I thought I could subvert the rule and get out of music lessons altogether by picking the loudest and most obnoxious instrument there was, so I originally chose the bagpipes. However, I was only 10 and it takes adult lungs to inflate the bag, so I switched to the drums. I was hooked straight away, and played every spare moment from then on.

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INTERVIEW: Dave Rowntree (Part 2)

A week or so ago I posted Part 1 of my interview with Blur’s Dave Rowntree where we spoke about very specific parts of Blur’s career that the band don’t get asked about at all by mainstream journalists. Part 2 is a continuation of that in some areas but we also spoke about The Magic Whip, Blur’s new album.

I’d like to start right at the beginning if I may. Your family was quite musical, so in many ways it was inevitable that you would get into music. But what made you want to play the drums?

There was a rule in my house that we had to learn an instrument, it didn’t matter which. In fact the rule originally said that we had to learn the piano, which I hated, so I complained long and hard until I was given the choice. Anyway, I thought I could subvert the rule and get out of music lessons altogether by picking the loudest and most obnoxious instrument there was, so I originally chose the bagpipes. However, I was only 10 and it takes adult lungs to inflate the bag, so I switched to the drums. I was hooked straight away, and played every spare moment from then on.

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INTERVIEW: Dave Rowntree (Part 1)

I had the pleasure of interviewing Blur’s very own Dave Rowntree recently, and we discussed a number of Blur and non-Blur related topics. The first part of the interview is as follows with the second and final part coming after Blur’s new album, The Magic Whip, is released.

Blur did sessions with Bill Laswell in 2000. Two of those tracks, “1” and “3”, appeared on the 21 box set in 2012. What other songs did the band record and what were the aims of the sessions?

The aim of the sessions was to try working with a new producer to see what would happen. Unfortunately it didn’t work out for one reason or another, and we didn’t do much recording.

In 2002 you became a member of the Labour Party, what was it that attracted you to politics at that time?

I felt that I was becoming more of a ‘taker’ than a ‘giver’ and I wanted to redress the balance.

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