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Interviews

The Wedding Present

Q & A

Wedding Present This year marks the return of English indie legends The Wedding Present, but their lineup is almost the same as leader David Gedge’s movie-music inspired project Cinerama, which he formed with girlfriend Sally Murrell in 1997. The couple’s recent break-up, and Murrell’s departure, inspired an album full of Gedge’s trademark wittily tortured songs. We caught up to him on his tour bus on the road to Seattle, where Take Fountain (Manifesto) was recorded.

Have people been reacting to you differently since you changed the band’s name?

That’s the weird thing: For us, [Take Fountain] could have been a Cinerama record, and everybody else was like, “Oh, it’s a Wedding Present record!” There’s definitely been more interest from the media, and fans have come out of the woodwork. I’ve had so many conversations with people who say, “I’ve just realized that Cinerama’s actually you, and I really like it. I’m sorry, ‘cause I’ve missed the concerts, and I’ve missed the albums.” I was a bit naïve: I assumed that people would know that Cinerama was me.

You’ve been writing songs about the pitfalls of romantic relationships for years. Did this album feel different to you?

In the past, I was relying on my imagination or my memories, whereas this one is all about writing your diary, ‘cause it was going on at the time, in my own life, which actually made it easier to do.

Was it cathartic?

No, actually, it wasn’t. [He laughs.] People say that, and I don’t quite understand how it would be, because it was quite an upsetting time for me, and I had to keep revisiting it and thinking about it. Hearing it over and over again, it was actually the opposite.

You named your first album after George Best, and last November, when your single, “Interstate 5” was released, he announced he was returning to football as a coach. Is there a cosmic correspondence here?

Quite possibly. It’s weird because when I chose that name for an album, a music journalist accused me of wanting to equate my band name with the name of George Best forever, and I thought, “Well actually, yes, I do — you’re absolutely right!”

How does it feel to have hardcore fans singing all your lyrics back to you at gigs?

The main feeling is fear, because these people tend to know the words better than me. I’m kind of, “Oh, second verse is coming up, and I haven’t got a clue what the first line is,” and I look down, and somebody’s already singing it. It’s quite embarrassing, really.

How many strings do you and [guitarist] Simon [Cleave] break on a given tour?

Hundreds — far too many. It’s ridiculous. It’s aggressive music. Neither of us really play the guitar in the way it’s meant to be played. We tend to abuse it a bit. As a result, you pay the price … Simon had to have a nail replaced — he went through one of them. There’s always little injuries coming through all the time. It’s part of the job.

— Originally appeared in Eye Weekly, April 2005

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