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The Telescopes reveal their innermost secrets to the MM Quack

DOMINIC: We haven't seen any of it yet
spacer STEPHEN: It hasn't hit us yet but it's hit everybody around us. They're all now asking us what it's like to be pop stars just because we've been in the press.
spacer JOANNA: You get one picture in the papers and everyone thinks you're not going to talk to them. This thing about your head expanding when you get successful - it's the other way around. Alot of people's head shrink. They think you're not going to talk to them and be stuck up, so they become stuck up and won't give you a chance. They see the end result. They see the two page spre ad in Melody Maker, but they don't see us all sleeping in the van in Newcastle when it's freezing cold.
spacer DAVE: You find out who your true friends am when things like this happen, but we're the same people we always were.

STEPHEN: Basically, it's quite embarrassing to be so egotistical as to do encores, and also, we create so much energy on stage that it's hard to come back and create it. We make our set compact, and the last song, you just couldn't follow it.
spacer JOANNA: It's like when read a book or see a movie -ther'es an extra five pages or five seconds for the credits. It's the same with an encore. It's more arrogant to do one, because you're saying, "We'll leave these songs and do them after the audience have gone wild". We do a complete set, take it or leave it.

DAVE: Personal speaking, I think it's to believe in just one God, in one being who created the whole world. That's ridiculeous to me but, if someone else wants to believe that,it's fair enough.
spacer STEPHEN: Everyone's got their own personal religion, and what we do enquire into it. We don't put our opions on the table and say, "This is how it is", because that is wrong. Everyone deserves their personal religion. Religion to me in the true sense isn't about God, anyway. It's about love and understanding of hate and things like that.

JOANNA:! had one when I had chicken pox as a kid. It was this bloke'sface, and - you know how, when you're ill, you can really hearyour heart pounding - with every beat this face was getting nearer. I even saw it when I was in the bath.
spacer STEPHEN: I've had one, but it's nothing really horrific like being chopped up. It's just a hole with loads of faceless people everywhere, and one by one they keep floating up, like something out of "Logan's Run", floating towards me. I haven't had it for a couple of years, though. Bob's the dreams guy.
spacer ROB: I dream that my bottam jaw's locked to my top jaw, and I can't speak.

JOANNA: The music press choose to ignore a band if they don't want them to get big. It's not a conspiracy, but it shows you the power of the press, the strength it has to sway people one way or the other. Look at The Stone Roses who saturated the press. What's so special about them? The question is, if thepress hadn't gone over-the-top, would they be as big as they are, on the merits of their records? And if one person decides you're shit, and says you're shit, then that cuts across the whole paper's opinion, to their readerships opinion. That's the strength of what one person says.
spacer DAVE: Bands like The Stone Roses have been hyped up, that's obvious to anyone inside the music scene. But that ain't for us, we're not into it.

STEPHEN: We don't use foedbock as much as think we do, hardly at all, really. We just use loud guitars. Noise is good because on heavy, hard-hitting songs, it delivers them with a lot more power and ferocity, but we also do alot of timid songs. The first track on the album is quieter - more of an acoustic power - with acoustic guitar, violins and horns. We're interested in the whole spectrum of power in intensity, really. The feel is important whether it's a vulnerable song or an attacking song.
spacer JOANNA: All the songs have energy. That's what ties all the best songs in any music together. They've all got that kind of energy that creates some sort of reaction, whether they're using loud electric or just acoustic guitars.

STEPHEN: If somebody said to me today, "Do you wantto play on 'Top of the Pops' tonight?" I'd most likely say no, but if it was in two years time... I've got two attitudes on it. One side is that it's all shit but then we could be the one good thing on that night. We'd definitely go if we could play live.
spacer JOANNA: It would be exposure. Your fans are going to watch it for you and ignore the rest of the programme anyway.

STEPHEN: Yeah, thumbs aloft for Neil Young, from The Telescopes. And we liked him before he was trendy

Originally appeared in Melody Maker December 15, 1990. Copyright © Melody Maker


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