Nigel Mogg Interview
The London Quireboys may well be the first major success story of the 90's. Just a few years ago they were complete unknowns. Today, it's a much different story. Their debut album "A Bit Of What You Fancy" (Capitol Records), has gone gold in England, Germany, Japan, Scandinavia, Italy, Greece, and Spain. They've reached the Top 10 in the album charts in every country in the world, with the exception of the U.S. and Canada. The London Quireboys are on their third hit single in every country in the world, again, with the exception of the U.S. and Canada. They've just turned down the opening slot for the Rolling Stones' European tour because they wanted to tour America instead. The Quireboys have been touring with Aerosmith in Europe, and are slated to return there in August for the Monsters of Rock Summer Festival shows with Whitesnake, Aerosmith, and Poison. The Quireboys will also open two of David Bowie's stadium shows, in Europe. The group was offered the entire Bowie tour but turned it down because of their busy schedule.
If ever there was a group destined for bigger and better things, the London Quireboys are that group.
We spoke with Quireboys bassist, Nigel Mogg.
Q. Nigel, everything seems to have just fallen into place for the London Quireboys. Everything clicks. Why you?
A. I've no idea. It's been like one long accident. Everything we've ever done has just led to another thing, coincidences, that have led to other things. It's just gotten bigger over the years. We've just been working hard playing. We don't stop. If they say do interviews, we do interviews. A few years ago, we never had a manager or anything like that. We were just lucky. 1 think what it was, was a lot of times people meet us, and get involved with us, and really get into what we're doing. When we started out, we had an agent who was a friend of ours. He was just like the office boy at the agency. He used to go like out of his way to get us on gigs. That's how we first started to get all our gigs. He was really into it. After a year, we moved into playing the Marquee Club. The manager really loved us and put us on with every band he could get us on supporting. Then he pushed us on to headlining. We weren't ready to headline, but he pushed us to headline the Marquee, and we did a few times. Then, he pushed us onto the Reading Festival as well. And then an independent record company wanted us to do a couple of singles for them. And they pushed us to do that, and we did that. Then we went with E.M.I. (Records) and Sharon (Osborne -Quireboys manager). Sharon's really into us. E.M.I.-Capitol is really into us. It seems that people, who get involved with us, really get into the project. I don't know why. (Laughs)
Q. Do you like being referred to as the next big thing in rock 'n' roll?
A. No. I've always hated that term. It always seems to suggest there's nothing else going on. That always seems to be the worst thing you can call a band. We're just a band. There's hundreds of others out there as well. We're just lucky. We got some breaks. People like us.
Q. You want people to know you're from England, isn't that why you put the London in front of Quireboys?
A. Well, yes and no. There was also another band from Australia called The Choirboys, and very well known. It really wouldn't have caused any problems, but just in case, anyone sort of thought we were them. But, that was one of the reasons, not the main reason. We thought if we were gonna do it, it would sound good in America as well. The London Quireboys.
Q. Back in 1964, John Lennon was asked to give some advice to up and coming bands, and he said, "Be original." Your guitarist Guy Bailey has remarked, "It's very hard to be original nowadays." So, what Guy is saying is that everything that can be done in rock 'n' roll has been done, right?
A. That's what he meant, yeah. It's very hard to strike 3 chords any more ways than have already been done. We already sort of know that. We know our limitations as a band. We're just like a rock n' roll band, a three chords, sort of blues based band. We don't pretend to be anything else. And that's part of the problem. Some journalists can't understand why we even exist. They seem to think there should be some reason for bands to be around. You get the feeling that because we are doing so well, and are a rock 'n' roll band, they can't understand it. We've had a few bad reviews. We had a pretty bad one in Rolling Stone. It's about four lines long and they say we rip everyone off basically. When we started off 4, 5 years ago, there were no bands in London to go and see that were even slightly interesting. There were a lot of bad heavy metal bands, with no idea about image or music. It was just like, how can we make some money? We just wanted to be in the vein of those great British traditional rock 'n' roll bands like Led Zeppelin, Bad Co., Rolling Stones, Free, Mott The Hoople. So, you get some people in the press who think we're just ripping them off, and we're not. There's more to it than that. We're just keeping the ball running for the type of music.
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