"Craft is what enables you to be successful
when you're not inspired." - Brian Eno
Mojo JUNE 2012 - by Michelle Berry
LAST NIGHT A RECORD CHANGED MY LIFE
I first heard it in '94. I'd just turned eighteen. We were just about to go around the world for the first time [with Supergrass]. When you start up a band you're like a little gang. You love to discover things together. We were all on the same page with our influences. This album was one that really resonated with all of us.
On our first tour of America, we spent a week in a trashy hotel called The Phoenix in San Francisco. I'd play the album over and over again, in between jumping in the pool. There were other bands there as well. Everyone's door was always open and the smell of weed would circulate. That's where I first met a very baby-faced Beck. Graham Coxon was there too. He wandered in, Here Come The Warm Jets was playing really loud, he said, "Cool album. You guys are all right."
It has a beautiful familiarity about it. I was in Japan once and listened to it a lot. Hearing it in a strange environment altered the way I listened to it. I also remember listening to it in our bedsit in Oxford. We had no money and were doing a bit too many drugs. We weren't in a great way mentally. But even then the album worked, in a comforting way. It seems to transcend any situation.
Everything about it just sounds so good - the tone of it and his vocals, nasal sounding and double-tracked. It really inspired us. With writing, I still do it now. Just getting the instinctive and expressive performance out and honing it. It influenced us sonically. We had a real interest in techniques and how to go about achieving them. It's full of experimentation.
Needle In The Camel's Eye is such a strong opener. It's one of my favourites. Some Of Them Are Old is a beautiful track. lt's a delicate, more thoughtful Eno. It wasn't always simply about good time rock'n'roll and nicely played chords. It was about angst and discordant expression.
He's always been a fascinating character. We met him in Paris about eight years ago, we were looking at doing a record with him. He's a lovely man and a great producer, but the Eno of the '70s you feel was a crazy mad scientist. I would've loved to hang out with the Eno of 1974.
I've learned a lot from him. We'd been writing music in a simplistic way, but hearing this caused a massive change in the way I approached music.