Ahead of their Glasgow gig at the 02 Academy Colin Reilly caught up with the Chris Differs, frontman of influential New Wave band Squeeze and solo artist in his own right to discuss the latest incarnation of Squeeze, their new album and tour…
Colin Reilly: Hi Chris. How are you today?
Chris Difford: Okay
Colin: The tour has just kicked off. How was the gig last night?
Chris: It was good. Very good.
Colin: Do you find your audience is mostly older fans who have followed you since the begining or are there younger fans as well?
Chris: There’s a mixture these days. Especially in America where there’s quite a lot of youngers fans.
The wit of the audience is generally growing. Wits are larger, heights are dropping but the general age is a mixture which is really good.
Colin: How does the current line up compare with previous ones?
Chris: Brilliant. We’re red hot at the moment. Everyone’s really pulling their weight and it’s working really well. Very pleased to have Steve Nieve back.
Colin: New album Spot the Difference isn’t a conventional greatest hits album. Where did the idea come from to re-record the old songs?
Chris: We basically just wanted to regain ownership of the songs. We started doing a couple of recordings and it turned into a whole album. It’s not like we’ve ran out of steam or new ideas. The concept just turned into an album
Colin: Do you have plans to write and record any new material?
Chris: Yeah. We’ve set aside some time at the start of next year. It’s going to be good, there’ll be plenty of stuff.
Colin: Outside of Squeeze, you’ve released a number of solo albums. Do you prefer the solo stuff or working within a band?
Chris: Both have their place and one reflects the other. I think they’re both credible and I’m quite lucky that I have the opportunity to do both
Colin: You’ve worked with many great artist’s over the years. Who was the best to work with?
Chris: Ah that’s a good question. There have been so many great people and it’s been a real privilege. The best would probably be Bryan Ferry. That was great. I idolised him when I was younger so I was basically meeting my hero. It was challenging working with him but very fruitful.
Colin: After all these years, do you still go about writing songs in the same way?
Chris: Pretty much the same. I get the lyrics and make sure I’m happy with them then someone will come along and we’ll work on the music. Same sort of chemistry.
Colin: Your latest solo album was released on online label Saturday Morning Music Club. Do you feel the digitalisation of the music industry is advantageous to artists?
Chris: Yes, it is a good thing I think. The world becomes your shop window. You can use the internet and your website to develop as an artist without waiting for a record label to come along.
Colin: Yeah, so it’s more independant.
Chris: Yeah. It’s going to be a smaller window cause it’ll be people that want to seek out your stuff. People need to understand that it has it’s limitations. But the music industry as a whole as it’s limitations. It’s not like people go out and buy millions of albums anymore.
Colin: Your music has been a massive influence on many artists. Are there any contemporary musicians that you are a fan of?
Chris: Musicians? Paul Weller. I don’t know if he counts as contemporary though.