Roll With It
“This whole Blur/Oasis thing has been blown out of proportion. When I was out in Italy on holiday, I was just going to get out of it for a week. Then I got a call off Marcus our manager who was talking about the next video and he hit the nail on the dead. I said to him, how’s it going back there? And he said, ‘It’s gone beyond anything. It’s like the Tories versus Labour, it’s like a general election. Someone on the news the other night said, “There’s only going to be one winner and that’s the bastards who sell the records.”‘
“Because we certainly ain’t going to make any money out of it and Blur ain’t going to make any money. It’s only ego and all that shit. The winners are going to be Creation, EMI and HMV and that’s it. I think people put too much importance on it but then again, why start a band? Because you want to be number one. That’s what we said when we started.
“In one of our first interviews, we were misquoted as saying, ‘We’re better than the Beatles.’ We were asked, what do we want to achieve and we said, to be bigger than the Beatles, because we’re never going to be that but surely that’s got to be your attitude or what’s the point of being in a band. When we started, there was all this apathy about bands that had success from our scene, the NME indie thing or whatever you want to call it, and they had Top of the Pops and moaned about it.
“If you don’t want to be the biggest band in the world then pack it in because there’s loads of hungry kids who want to be the biggest band in the world. Anything else is mediocre. Who wants to be just all right? Not me. I don’t see Blur as rivals because they don’t inspire anything inside me apart from distaste.
“I was saying to Paul Weller that I see him as a rival but in the friendly sense of the word because he inspires me to write music and I hope I do the same for him. With Roll, when we went to the studio to make the album that was the first take we did on the first day with a new drummer and it doesn’t even come into the top six tracks on the album but we went with it because I think it’s a good summer song.
“I don’t think it’s better than Live Forever, no way, but I suppose we were going for a song to represent the album whereas other tracks might have been too stark. When I wrote the melody and listened to it back, we couldn’t stop singing it for days and days. I still see myself as a punter in a way and it was dead immediate.
“A lot of people level this thing at us because the song is not pushing back musical boundaries, which is true. The Beatles did that constantly for eight years but the Stones never. They just plugged in, turned it up to 10 and said, ‘This is the song and off you go’. It’s just a rock ‘n’ roll tune.”