“I had no intention of being in a band at all. I got talked into it by a friend, because he’d bought this stolen guitar. An imitation Gibson SG, one of those really weird guitars out of a catalogue, which he’d got off a mate. We used to rehearse through my little 10 watt amp, singing through my dad’s hi-fi. It broke, of course.
“Finding people to be in your band can be pretty difficult. Especially drummers. And bass players. That’s why I became the bassist, actually – originally I was the guitarist – because no-one else wanted to do it. “The best thing to do is get a gig a couple of months away, when you haven’t even got a band or any songs together. That way you’ll get people interested and you won’t spend a year in your bedroom trying to perfect everything and get really pernickety and protective about it.
“You’ll need somewhere to practise, too. Somewhere you can make a real racket, somewhere a long way away from any houses. Failing that, the drummer’s kitchen will do!
“As for songs, if you want to do cover versions then go for your favourite bands’ early albums. Not only are they more credible but, more importantly, they won’t have too many chords in so you should be able to play them at least half decently. We used to do ‘Never Trust A Man With Egg On His Face’ from the first Adam & The Ants album and ‘She’s Lost Control’ by Joy Division.
“Transport’s essential. We went to all our first gigs on the bus; we’d stick all our equipment in the luggage hold, so we had to stand up all the way and hold on to it really tightly to stop it falling off.
“It was even more difficult, because back then we didn’t know how to tune our guitars and the Scoutmaster at the Scout hut we rehearsed at had an acoustic guitar -obviously -and he’d tune our guitars for us. Not that anyone noticed -it’s really not that important when you can’t play your instruments anyway. “You’ll need a good name. We chose James because it didn’t sound like a band name at all, but we had a few good ones before that. Venereal and The Diseases was the first one. Then Volume Distortion – sounds quite techno, that – and Model Team International. We were only called that because the guitarist’s girlfriend worked for a model agency called Model Team International and she had a T-shirt with the logo on. That’s a top tip; if you can’t afford merchandise then change your name to something that’s on a T-shirt already.”