Ginger - Interview Exclusive Print E-mail
Written by Tazz Stander   
Wednesday, 15 December 2010 05:00

gingeruseHave you ever had the feeling on meeting someone that you know them very well? They start talking to you and you're in a semi deja vu state, you've been here before, you've heard these words before ... I had the same thing sitting in a North London pub with Ginger and his broken foot: only difference for me was that I had probably read every single interview the man has ever done. I'm not a stalker and I'm not even a massive self confessed Ginger - or any of his other bands - fan, but I was always hooked by his honesty, his humour and his assertive personality that could always be depicted even in words between a journalist I probably don't know and an amazing musician I also don't know.


Right at the beginning of the interview, Ginger and I decide that we're going outside the box - we're both bored of the same questions, the same answers and the same bullshit that makes up the core questions of an interview.With that in mind, I give you ... Ginger, his broken foot and his very diplomatic Geordie sense of humour!



10.10.10 saw the release of '10', a Best Of with two unique tracks, celebrating 10 years of your solo career. Before we get into the nuts and bolts, let's discuss the whys and wherefores. Best Ofs are generally a total artist money maker. What makes '10' so relevant as an album?

It's merely a promo tool. In a day and age where no one gets paid for albums, I'm only trying to open up the market and give the fans, hopefully, a bunch of good songs on one CD. I like buying Best Ofs if it's someone that I like and I'm interested in the songs that they pick. Mainly, it's a promo tool to try and keep profile at a level ... I don't want to dip under the quicksand and 220px-Ginger_10disappear. I'm aware that in playing guitar for Mike Monroe, my profile is fairly non-existent now. I'm doing a tour at Christmas and I'm doing an album in January 2011 so I want to kick in machine.

So it's just a go between?

When we mentioned doing it, there were a lot of people that I work with saying, "that would be a great idea." I'm very much a team player, and I know that you're not supposed to be a team player when you're an artist but I am and I listen to other people. If someone tells me something is a good idea and I don't think it is, I would probably go with them because I'm probably wrong. Sometimes I'm in a car and I think I should go left but I go right instead (laughs), do you know what I'm saying?

Yeah I get you. Who chose the tracks that are on this album then?

I didn't! It was my business partner who runs Round Records with me. He chose all the songs and he also chose the songs for the download version that is free. There is no way I could choose. When someone says, "what is the best song you wrote?", I just want to say, "well, let me look in the mirror while I chose them." I don't know what's good and what's shit. It's all subjective, it's so subjective I could never ever even think of my own favourites. They're all me children [This wasginger_bio-199x300 said in a very 'daddy' kinda way!]

(Laughing) There's so many of them.

There is innit?

Interestingly enough, I've always viewed you as a man of many words, incredible lyrics and a lot of truth yet there were no sleeve notes or even thank yous with the album. Somehow, I feel that this volumises any words that you would have written anyway. What was actually your reasoning behind it?

I don't do thank yous because I'm going to miss someone out and it's going to cause more trouble than missing everyone out. As for the sleeve notes, in this point in my life, I don't want to go back and revisit ... I did it for the Japanese release. It was very gentle and direct, like you do for the Japanese and you don't use much word play because it confuses matters. Someone blogged it and when I read it back I wished I hadn't done it because it cheapens the effect of the music to other people: make of it what you will. Some of my favourite albums just have a front and a back and a white thing in the middle with a black record in it. It's a good sign that you think it volumises what I've done though. I guess I just like going forward too much.

Sticking with the album cover which is in pictoral blocks depicting all things at 10. Apart from your name and the album name, there was only one 10 I couldn't work out, the picture of the BC Rich guitar. 

The original BC Rich had 10 strings (pointing at the picture: that's the guitar that I want, that's the one I was talking about).

For one obscurity, could you not have found a volume button that went 1 higher?

11? Have a button that says 11 on an album that's called 10?

(laughing)  For obscurity reasons and because rock 'n' roll has always been one louder.

(laughing)  You are fucking crazy but that would have been a good idea. I'm pissed off now that I didn't actually do that.

You've worked with a huge variety of musicians.  Initially when CJ left the Wildhearts you went through a number of guitarists looking for a replacement. In your opinion, which one let you down the most?Superhit666

[After about a 30 second pause]  That's easy, Dregen from Backyard Babies.

He was never a Wildhearts guitarist though!

Yeah, because he never fucking auditioned. He met me and said that he was going to come but that he didn't think he was good enough. At the time he was inbetween bands and he didn't know what he wanted to do. I was just left thinking, "You motherfucker, how dare you not join this band?!" It would have been so great having him in this band, I love Dregen, I'm in love with Dregen and it would have been perfect having him in the band but the lazy little Swedish meatball didn't bother.

That is a very politically correct answer, though it's not what I was asking.

quireboys8971What's the next question?

You've used a host of producers in the past. Would you agree that the Quireboys debut album produced by Jim Cregan was a bit too polished compared to the first two singles release through Survival Records?

I just thought it was a bit too 'me' free. I wanted to give the Quireboys a punk rock heavy edge but they didn't want an edge - they wanted to sound exactly like the Faces. I was like, "the Faces are better than you, if you want to go toe to toe with the Faces, they've won." I could never understand why they wanted to be so faithful to a sound that happened over 10 years before then. I guess they got their wisTheQuireboys-ThereSheGoesAgain-1h. When I first saw the Quireboys, it was in the Marquee and they sounded like such a rough, ramshackle, loose, noisy group I fell in love with them. That album that you talk about, is not the band that I saw. I think what they did with that album was deliberate, they wanted that so they got Jim Cregan to come and make them sound like that. I just wanted them to be a bit more filthy just because I don't like nice sounding music really but that's just my taste.

Last year's birthday bash saw the return of Silver Ginger 5. What, if anything, does the future hold for them as a group?

Nothing, nothing. Our schedules are so crazy that it's never going to be worth planning because it would just be futile. I would love to do a one off gig - rehearse the whole week for one show and every song has pyrotechnics and fucking fire ... Oh my God, I would love that. To get back together and try and revisit it as a band, no it's not going to happen


You took up vocal duties in The Wildhearts after failing to find a cross between Steven Tyler and Robin Zander.


(Laughing)  I'm still looking for the fucker.

Did Snake of Tobruk ever come close to a perfect mix of the two?

No, but I love Snake's voice. I was a fan of Motley Crue and Snake reminded me of Vince Neil, he had that rusty kinda high voice. No one else really came close though. I love Snake and it's sad to see anyone die and I had a lot of great times with Snake - he was a great character. My idea of a singer was never going to happen. One of the things that I wanted in a singer was to sound like Jake Burns from Stiff Little Fingers and then I just decided, bollocks to it, I'm just going to sing and then when I did start singing, people said I sounded like Jake Burns. I've since had a lot of comparisons to Robin Zander. He is a real singer though, I'm just a guy that shouts in tune. I try and copy Robin Zander and Jake Burns but Steven Tyler, forget it, I couldn't even come close to anything that he does.

Saying that then, is Mike Monroe that dream frontman?GINGER_poster_web

I'm one of those guys that gets something in their head .. this is what I want, that is what I want to make everything all right and when I get it, nothing changes. Of course Mike Monroe is the dream frontman because he defies logic on so many levels. He looks ridiculous, he's an incredible frontman and his voice is so familiar and comfortable, it's like the smell of grass. I mean cut grass, not pot (laughs) well, that is quite a nice smell too.

[A very lengthy discussion was had by Ginger and I about LA and New York with him finally saying that he is considering moving back to the UK ... WATCH THIS SPACE!!!]

Finally, when you were in the Quireboys on support to Yngwie Malmsteen, did you actually ask Joe Lynn Turner where he got his hair cut?

[Stunned silence]  How do you know that?

(laughing)  I know everything.

How the fuck do you know that? 

[At this point Ginger's press team ask what's going on ... so Ginger explains]

Joe Lynn Turner from Yngwie Malmsteen's band, used to sing with Rainbow, had alopecia and he had no hair, and he wore a wig and everyone was sniggering and joking. I thought fuck the sniggering and joking and went right up to him like a cunt and said, "where did you get your hair cut, mate"?  I was just a horrible little bastard back then.

Press Guy: What did he say?

He probably just turned around and walked away, I don't remember. I'm not proud of that one. (Looking at me) Thank you for that memory. How the fuck do you know about that?

I know so many people that you know (laughing)

That is so fucking spooky. This is worse than something like, "this is your life", you are in my fucking head.

Ginger, thank you so much.

Thank you, it wasn't as hardcore as I thought it was going to be.