Nick McCabe Interview
By Lisa Y. Garibay and Ajay Sharma
FINALLY we are pleased to present the definitive interview with Nick McCabe, former guitarist for Verve, exclusive to Excellent Online!
Nick McCabe refused interview requests from NME and Rolling Stone. So how the hell did we score the chance to talk to him? Here's the story:
Just before the Verve broke up (for the first time) in 1995, Ajay created the first unofficial Verve web site. Throughout 1996 there were rumors flying that the Verve had reformed without Nick. On October 15, 1996, Ajay received a tape featuring six new tracks from the "new" band. To back up this report on the unofficial site, the tracks were posted online for fans to hear proof. Immediately after going live with the new material, Simon Jones's wife Myra called Ajay at 2 a.m., asking where the tapes had come from. As the envelope the tape had come in had already been thrown away, her question couldn't be answered - but instead of being angry about it, she offered more information, telling Ajay that the new band name was undecided and the album would be out in early 1997.
In late 1997, Urban Hymns is about to be released. Via other fans privy to promo copies, Ajay received an advance of the album and posted the track listing, including the bonus track "Deep Freeze". Just that little bit of info really upset the Verve camp, who ordered the removal of that information from the site - which Ajay did immediately upon receiving their request. Despite this, rumors began circulating that the Verve were referring to Ajay as an "uncontrollable element" and that he was called a "tosspot" on Radio 1.
In the summer of 1998, Nick quit touring with the Verve. The band replaced him with several different musicians in order to finish a U.S. tour and European festival dates. That October, Ajay received a letter from EMI asking him to remove all sound files, images, guitar tabs, and lyrics from his site. Ajay, realizing this would effectively kill his site, chose to plow forward as is, and strangely enough never heard from EMI again.
Then, in spring of 1999, the Verve really broke up. The day after the official announcement, Ajay began receiving emails from someone claiming to be Nick McCabe. As the messages were coming from a hotmail account and it was easiest to assume they were from some prankster, the emails went ignored. But the person was persistent to the point where Ajay wrote back, "If you're the real Nick McCabe, call me!" That night around 11 p.m., Ajay got a call from Nick McCabe.
The two talked via phone and email for a few weeks, during which Ajay found out the story behind EMI's sudden retreat after insisting he shut down his site. When Nick found out what the record company was doing, he went to David Boyd, head of Hut Records, and asked what was going on, saying, "This [site] is the reason people are turning up to the gigs and you're trying to shut it down!" It was through Nick's persistence that the unofficial Verve site was saved.
Soon after Nick had called Ajay, he stated his desire communicate a message to Verve fans via Ajay's site. Ajay asked for the opportunity to conduct a proper interview in person, and Nick agreed. And so on Thursday, June 24, 1999, at 2:30 p.m. we found ourselves face-to-face with Nick McCabe at the Marquees of Queensbury pub.
It's been a long, hard road...for both this interview and Nick McCabe. The time that's gone by (which seemed like a lifetime to those of you waiting for, panting over, and incessantly demanding this interview) has been spent in a whirlwind of transcription, spell checking, name checking, fact checking, retyping, and condensing. It's been crazy; but then again, Nick's life is even crazier. Read all about it.
LYG: What prompted you to email Ajay, to first get in contact with him?
McCabe: It was a bit twisted...I thought I might have a friend. I dunno, I just...In one of my first emails I said to you, "You do [the web site] without any pay, you're a fan and you care enough about the band to do it for free." Well, it's just like it was something special in the old days. It was something worth talking about, and I think about these people that take the bother to write and post about it.
I went purely out of vanity to see if it was all worthwhile. My sort of fantasy was that people were in their bedrooms listening to the music that we were making and were in the similar mindset. They would be like distant friends that we'd probably never meet. People that think like we do. It's just, "My breed exists," you know what I mean?
I make music whether I get a paycheck or not. You probably get like two bucks off bootlegs or something; it's not a business concern. You just started it. I don't want to sound bombastic about it, like you started a movement or something, for the lack of a better word. It was your three favorite bands [the Verve, Adorable, and Swervedriver] at the time and that's what you started. I think that's cool. I'm glad that people notice. It's great that there's a handful of people that are really into it.
|"I don't even like guitars!
I like synthesizers."
AS: It's crazy - in San Francisco there were people who had come from all over to see you perform. Then the same in LA - everybody's talking about where to meet up before the show. It's just great.
McCabe: It's the last neighborhood! Have you seen Talk Radio? He says something like it's the last neighborhood, like it's a bunch of psychopaths and mentally ill and the like. It's communal, isn't it?
You don't meet many people that you can call friends, but it's like there's something about that thing - the only thing you know about the other person is that you share this. I think that's part of getting old - that you stop being into things. It's what keeps you young, really. I'm looking a bit haggard now, but a lot of people that I went to school with I haven't seen them since I was twenty years old and they've just rolled over and died.
Anyone that likes music is lucky, really. It doesn't have to be music - it can be anything. Just give a damn about something, instead of just existing.
LYG: Just existing instead of hoping for something better. That's what music does for a lot of people. If you're really into music it just gives you hope.
McCabe: I feel I've got to that point where hope is...I mean money is fuckin' nothing to me. You know what I mean? But by the end of the day I don't really worry about the day. I don't have to plan my days.
I don't think people know how to have fun anymore. They think it's all pretty silly. I think of it as the Greeks...I mean the Greeks were like the primo race for a while. If you go to Greece, they're all really down. The British Empire, everybody is so backward now. Nobody does anything, makes anything. You can see it in people's eyes.
LYG: How did you become a guitarist - was it what you were first interested in?
McCabe: No, I don't even like guitars! I like synthesizers. I got my first one when I was fourteen and I liked it...then I picked up a guitar. I tried to do it my own style, just wanting to make the guitar sound more like a synthesizer.
I'm not a big guitar fan. I never set out to be a guitarist. I like things that sound a bit muddy, like Eddie Hazel, the guy out of Funkadelic. I wanted to do everything at once. It was always frustrating, really - I wanted a big stack of toys that I can play with and just make a bunch of noises instead it was like, "You're the guitarist, you're gonna play guitars." There's loads of stuff with me and Si [Simon Jones, Verve bassist] in the old days - just dickin' about with Casio keyboards - that sounds really good because we were sticking them through effects.
LYG: Now that you're on your own, are you able to do the stuff you want to do?
McCabe: I've always done that anyway. I've probably got a good thirty tapes worth of stuff just sitting in a cupboard. Whether I'll do anything with that I don't know. But it was like that with the Verve, which was just a day job, really. At the start, me, Si, and Sobbo [Pete Salisbury, Verve drummer] used to get together every night of the week, every week of the year, and we'd just go and play... We recorded everything we did, and we used to go out with headphones and listen to what we did.
It was exciting! It was a night out - going out, getting some friends into it and just playing. As it progressed and got a bit more...a bit more of touring, you get a bit... The time is allocated so you get stuck in it. It's like, "I can't play now because we got a gig coming up."
So I just do my stuff at home. Someone described it as electro, but it's not - it's sort of abstract. It's probably in a similar vein to what I was doing with guitar, but a bit more fleshed out. I've been doing that stuff all along and since people have expressed interest in putting my stuff out, I may as well get some money out of it.
LYG: Do you feel that your experience with Verve has prepared you for doing your solo work?
McCabe: I didn't benefit from it more than anyone else, really. (pause) Again, this is the reputation that you get for being shagged out of it - fuckin' bollocks. Thing is that I'm bit too polite for my own good. I just sat there, took all the shit, and let everybody behave like toddlers. I've been through this cynical jaded business for three years, but now, whatever happens, I rise above it. If you came to me two years ago, I might have been really upset, really negative about it... I do feel like the storm trooper, though.
LYG: It's amazing that all of this happened to you so young.
McCabe: Yeah...it's probably better, though. If there was anything different about us, it was because we had that lack of respect that you get when you older. You've got that sort of arrogance - "No, we're not doing that, we're doing this!" You know what I mean?
I had a cushy job, I had money coming in, and I went to Sobbo and said, "No - this doesn't make me happy until I do this, and make this work." And to a large extent I did make it work. If I never made a penny out of it, it still would've been a good thing to do. You get tired of it really, just sticking you neck out, or getting it chopped off as well. (grinning) It grows back, though.
LYG: What things about the industry would you like to see younger musicians do away with?
McCabe: Well, you know the band Witness? It's one of my best friends from years ago; it's all gone sour now. They had some great tunes and I used to go out drinking with them all the time. My thing is that people sort of create their own judging rules, this mystification about themselves, and I enjoy popping the bubble. And I like deadpan humor, and to deadpan people. We know a lot of people around us that are just full of shit and it's really satisfying just to-- [serious deadpan expression] You know what I mean, and watch them...
McCabe: (laughing) Yeah, squirm. Because that's what it is. A lot of people try to elevate themselves into a position of importance. The thing about music is that people like chopping ice and playing telephone when they get home and that's about as glorious as it gets. It's just something that you do, work and play. I find it all ridiculous really - I mean, we suffered through Richard [Ashcroft, lead singer of the Verve] making all his grand claims and I think people were just... I'm just so diametrically opposed to that. I like things to be stripped of bullshit. You're more receptive to music if you don't know what's coming. He's just making ridiculous claims.
LYG: So anything that you do will most likely be on done independently?
McCabe: Well, I really don't know. It's all just a big quandary, really, because Richard signed a "leaving member" clause, and we're still the Verve - we're still together as the Verve. But he [Richard Ashcroft] signed the leaving [contract] and has gone solo on Virgin.
He's obviously golden boy, so they're talking about this performance that me and Si are doing, saying, "You know, I don't think we're gonna want to put out anything before Richard does his records." I can see them sort of delaying stuff. Get the Richard Ashcroft record out - that could be four years from now or that could be never - and then maybe they'll think about putting our stuff out. So at the moment this ambient thing that I'm doing is licensed to another label. I think that seems like the wisest thing to do.
LYG: And that won't conflict with your commitment with Virgin?
LYG: That's cool.
McCabe: It seems like the only way around it really. We've still got Virgin demanding that we supply them with two finished Verve albums.
AS: Virgin still wants Verve albums?
AS: Without the lead singer?
McCabe: Maybe not as "The Verve" but from the three remaining members on the contract - that's Sobbo, Si and myself. We can use a different name...but Sobbo plays with Richard now.
AS: And Tong isn't even on the contract?
LYG: That's messed up.
McCabe: It's all so fuckin' sinister.
LYG: It's so odd that you can't properly distribute your music, or distribute to as many people as you want to, unless you get allied with some mega-company. Yet that just completely ties you up.
McCabe: I was thinking of doing - I know it sounds cheesy - but like multimedia stuff. There's bits of video that I'm putting together myself. I hate to use the word "ambient," but that's the label you can put on the stuff that I'm doing; it's pretty abstract. It's not that pretty - it's quite strange. That's the kind of thing that I'm into. Not really the pop stuff. Like we were talking about the Joy Division record - you get that record, put your headphones on and you're in another world. I dunno - there's nothing special about getting a pop CD, is there? You get a CD, skip through -
AS: That's why you get vinyl. I still have Storm in Heaven on vinyl.
McCabe: You've got that on vinyl?
AS: Of course!
McCabe: I haven't got that on vinyl.
AS: (laughing) I'll go down to Camden and buy you a copy.
LYG: Maybe multimedia is the next wave.
McCabe: It's a buzzword, isn't it? It's so easy for things to get misconstrued, because you say "multimedia" and then there's this DVD thing that's out there, which is supposed to be better. My multimedia idea was a straightforward book and a really good piece of vinyl, like a big thick piece of vinyl.
But now it's getting a bit gimmicky - "Nice plastic molded box fit thing," you know. It's just marketing, so now the price has gone up to 80 quid. (laughing) I can't really see myself buying it. I was thinking about production costs of burning a CD and trying to find the cheapest way to do it and maybe start up a web site, do the rights and then have people buy direct from me.
AS: You remember Carter USM?
AS: Well, the guitarist, Fruitbat, is doing that. He started his own band and people just send him five bucks and he presses the CD's.
McCabe: Does he keep it afloat though? Does he at least break even?
AS: I believe so, yeah. The five bucks cover the production costs.
McCabe: Yeah, that's an easy way to do it.
AS: I asked him if he had a problem getting a label and just didn't want to deal with the industry anymore. He said that he just wants to make the music and deal with the fans.
McCabe: Trouble is that people in the business will tell you - because it's such a gray area - "Umm, it's really tricky..." They just need to create an excuse for why they cannot do it. In my experience, you typically find out after the fact that you could've made things so much easier if you trusted your instinct.
I can't really say which way I'm gonna go. We were talking about that stuff when the Verve was going. Urban Hymns was filled with ballads and I'm not into ballads. Me and Si used to do jams and we thought, "I know what we could do - every three months we put out a record of jams." I mean, if I had a choice of Verve records, that's what I'd be buying.
McCabe: Stuff like the Longest Day and Stamped. Have you heard Stamped?
AS: Yes, I've got all the singles.
McCabe: They came out of forty-minute jams but because you've got this restriction of a single that you'd like to get to chart, the whole thing has to be no more then twenty-five minutes or something like that. But that's what I'd buy - stuff like that.
AS: That's what the labels care about - chart placement more than anything else.
McCabe: It's just so bloody crass. There are different ways of doing it but you got to follow it like it's this cookie cutter: "Here, this is a single. This is an album." We wanna do vinyl and they get all, "Well, I dunno, you want vinyl? It's expensive, and I'm gonna have to get different packaging and..." It's like they start cringing and all. It's like, "No, we want fuckin' vinyl - do it!" It's simple man. I took it to Virgin, actually because they were being dicks about it.
AS: Were you getting upset that all the Urban Hymns singles were not being pressed on vinyl?
McCabe: They're on vinyl now.
AS: But at the beginning they weren't.
McCabe: It's another way to screw the fans, isn't it? I mean, I wouldn't go back and sell you those B-sides. Basically I feel like we took a piss out of people with our records. The whole two-CD release thing? We were forced to do that because it gets the chart placement a bit higher. People who want the music would buy both CDs. Just taking the fuckin' piss out of it.
AS: The History single was the first one that did that. I was like, "Two CDs?! Well, I don't have a choice..." And I spent twenty bucks on both of them, and on every single one since.
McCabe: I objected to it at the time, but at the end of the day, I'm gonna do it. I've got to get paid, you know what I mean? And they got all these brilliant reasons for why... I'm not so ideological to be like - it'd be nice for me to say, "Oh, yeah, I just do it for the music." Even if it's the only way I'm gonna get paid, I wanna get paid.
LYG: You have to live.
McCabe: I've been on a hundred quid a week since I was eighteen. It's not a lot of money. I spent a year and half on the dole on the fuckin' benefits when I was sacked. Just went down to the dole office every morning.
You've got this thing that you've got to worry about - it's your life span and you might get ten years, fifteen years, twenty years if you're really stupid. And all these fat cats are still giving it away for like thirty years. I was always going to get out of it before I was thirty. I'm twenty-eight this year - I'm getting fuckin' old. I want me life! I'm going to be on my pension in a bit! (laughing)
It's a bit scary, actually, just being left in the dark. I've got a lot of tax bills...no accountants, no management and the tax bills coming after you.
LYG: It's the classic story of everybody taking advantage of the artist, but maybe it's that kind of misery that helps you to create.
|"My sort of fantasy was that people were in their bedrooms listening to the music that we were making and were in the similar mindset."|
McCabe: Well, I knew the score before I got into it, but all the stuff about me being paranoid was bullshit really. At the time, I was the only one saying, "John Best, he's a piss-taker, know what I mean?" And everybody said, "Eh? Wot? He's alright. He's a nice lad." I was the only one going, "These people are businessmen, they're not music fans". They're just fuckin' businessmen. I knew the score. I got ten good years out of it and if someone will buy my music, then I'll fuckin' sell it.
LYG: Do you miss playing live?
McCabe: Yeah, I miss playing live, but I don't miss touring. I want to tackle this club down here; me and Si have been talking about it for years and years now. I've even been thinking about doing it in Wigan. An ex-girlfriend of mine ran a pub in Wigan and it got me thinking; she invited me down there to play one night, just get a loose collective of people just jamming. I'm not talking about blues guitar or anything like that, but sort of like a hip-hop vibe kinda thing. Like a partyish thing - you know, you just ring someone up and say, "Would you like to come down and play tonight?" Just doing something different.
Have you heard Kraftwerk? The early Kraftwerk is the thing. I do like the later stuff as well, but early on they were in a bit of a trippy bohemian scene; it was a bit crazy really. They have this self-sufficiency ethic and had this network of musicians that basically just took over parties in Germany. It was their own thing - they existed without the support of English labels or anything.
Seeing dance bands or DJ's play is a compromise of my perfect night out. My perfect night out would be seeing loads of stuff happening all over the place without being opportunist about it - just have something special, like Pere Ubu was back in the seventies. They used to play on the docks in Cleveland. Maybe I'm being a bit romantic about it 'cause I wasn't there... But it just sounds like something that I want, something of me own with my friends.
LYG: Is that what you aim for when you record?
McCabe: Yeah. The key to music is create like a child and edit like a scientist. I've been living my life to that! You have your fun and then you apply hindsight to it.
AS: What's the best gig you ever had, the best time on stage?
McCabe: [instantly] Southampton, the Joiners.
AS: Wow - that was easy!
McCabe: Yeah, it was the best one I ever had. There were about 50 people, my hair was standing on edge...It was one of those things where the magic was really happening that night. It was a little tiny pub, probably smaller that this, and I think everyone knew they were watching something special happening. I don't mean to sound bigheaded but it's was just like, "Fuckin' hell!"
AS: Do you have videos or any footage of when you guys played?
McCabe: I probably got two videos to my name, Verve videos. I haven't got the records - I just give 'em to people - "Do you want it?" I got the B-sides compilation, No Come Down. Occasionally I listen to that.
AS: Yeah, it's got the live Gravity Grave.
McCabe: They were good times. Oh, the nostalgia - the good ole' days. The anniversary days are coming right up.
LYG: All those years ago...
McCabe: Best years of me life. Now I'm just gonna wait to die out.
LYG: Nothing left for you anymore.
McCabe: Just going to sit in a pub for the rest of my days. (laughing) I do that anyway.
We used to drive ourselves. I think that's probably when it's stops being fun anymore - when you stop driving. We'd all pile in the van and be giddy - we were dead excited. We had like four transit vans with bus seats and the manager's dad got the seats in the back. You probably got like two people on there - you know, a bum cheek on the seats. I used to fall asleep like that. It was really freezing, really fucked up.
Clapham Grand was another good one as well. It was another night where... See, the thing about the later gigs was that when I came off, I was sweating but I didn't feel disturbed. The earlier gigs, when I came off I was jittering - I couldn't talk. Some sort of chemical thing was happening in my brain...it was probably because I was smoking all this weed or something.
That's a funny thing, really. I mean Si Jones can get up in the morning and smoke 'til he goes to bed. He's always under control. You can never tell when he's high. With me, I can't even...They must be on a four-year span or something, and then it stops being fun. It's like, "Why am I doing this? Stop it, it's stupid!"
AS: So Si's not coming down?
McCabe: He's Mister Domesticated now. He's getting his garden sorted out. He's got a real nice place.
LYG: What's he doing?
McCabe: He's working with me. We're doing a film soundtrack. Do you know Iain Banks? I guess you can say he's a predecessor to Irving Welsh in a way. Irving Welsh made it a bit more garish. [Banks] does these twisted little psychological horror stories - there's no actual horror, it's just really twisted, you know what I mean? Some of it's borderline science fiction, some of it's not. He's got a real whacked sense of humor. This [film] is called Complicities. It's pretty fuckin' weird.
AS: Have you seen the Acid House movie?
McCabe: I've not actually, no. Shit?
AS: I've read the book and it was great, and the movie came out in England, I'm waiting for it to come out in America. I figure that I'm here and that someone's had to seen it.
McCabe: Is it out?
AS: Yeah, it came out last year.
McCabe: I don't remember any big fanfare for it or anything.
AS: You guys were on the soundtrack.
McCabe: Are we? (laughing) I was never asked about that. Do you like Irving Welsh stuff?
McCabe: He and Banks' stuff is really good. Irving Welsh sort of took Iain Banks' thing a bit further.
AS: It's a bit too difficult to read at the beginning but once you get into it, it's really good. It's not in English - it's written with a Scottish accent.
McCabe: You have to decipher it first.
AS: Thank God that when I read the Trainspotting book it had a glossary in the back so you can look up what all the terms are.
McCabe: Have you ever met a real Glaswegian? I think Billy Connelly said it: "A pissed-up Glaswegian is like being growled at by a Alsatian." I man, they're all right until they get a bit pissed and it's like [makes grumbling noises]. Glasgow's a good town, but it's a bit stereotypical. I went up there with my girlfriend and we got there at three in the afternoon and they were loads of people on "special brew". There were people stumbling about at three in the afternoon. It's a good night out.
AS: It's a good day out, apparently.
McCabe: [For Complicities], we thought we were going to do a lot more music on it, but it's been scored already by some proper Hollywood orchestra. So we are doing a track in the middle of the mix. It's nice and scary. I was thinking along the lines of Stamped. You know, evil-like.
LYG: What will it sound like - the Verve stuff or very different?
McCabe: Well, I think it's not like the Verve...I never really liked strings. I mean, you put strings in your song to make it sound posh. I don't like posh records. I like what strings do, but I don't like what they say. You know, "We got strings now, we're big". I like music to be dirty, dirty music. The [Verve] demos are really the definitive versions. (pause) Quite sad, really...
AS: What is?
McCabe: Quite sad, that's my life! I've not done anything.
AS: The demos are classics but the albums -
McCabe: Yeah, the albums just missed...We took a left turn somewhere.
AS: On all of the albums?
McCabe: The best stuff we did really was spur-of-the-moment stuff. Because I've got a thing about rooms, I think a lot of stuff that we wrote was influenced by the very room that we were in. I got sucked into them. Two months later I thought, "That's why the record doesn't sound right, because we can't get the room anymore." We've got like fifty grand worth of reverbs and Mexican shit...We did that for Man Called Sun. On the last day we were so fucked - total desperation - "I know, we'll stick microphones all over the room." And [the engineers and producers] were looking at us like we were a bunch of pricks but that's what you hear - people always try to convince you that they know better.
AS: Do you have a favorite producer that you worked with, or did you always want to produce all your own material?
McCabe: Chris Potter is nice - genius. I never actually met Youth.
AS: Oh yeah, that's right. He was done before you even got there.
McCabe: But I spent like seven months on the record. Basically the key tracks were recorded from scratch, but some of them were already there. The Drugs Don't Work was re-recorded. I wish I'd never played on that.
Chris Potter was just a classic gentleman, a nice bloke. Sometimes he gets a bit touchy, though. You know that sound on Stormy Clouds - the sort of whiny high-pitched stuff? I only found out a little while ago that that's an Eventide harmonizer. Problem is that it's an Eventide cliché. Like, fuck that!
AS: What about working with John Leckie - did you have a lot of expectations because he did the Stone Roses record?
McCabe: I just found it really difficult. I had something in my mind, he had something in his, and I generally ended up doing it somewhere in the middle. It got to the point to where he would come out and start fiddling with my amp. I'd wait for him to turn his back and then I'd put it back.
It's ridiculous really. I don't really think he knows how to record guitars. I mean the Radiohead album The Bends - it's lumpy, a bit clumsy...clunky as far as I'm concerned. I love the band but I don't think he did it justice. The Roses is just a brilliant band anyways so you can't really go wrong with them, except that one chorus where everything is bullshit.
It turned out to be a good record. What were we, twenty? I was twenty; I'm the oldest. It could've been better, and I knew that at the time.
AS: Butterfly? You're happy with Butterfly?
McCabe: See things like that...things like that -
AS: To me, [Storm in Heaven] is the perfect album except for Butterfly.
McCabe: You don't like that one.
AS: I don't like that one. It's just...
McCabe: Clumsy. It's clumsy, isn't it?
AS: It seems like it was -
McCabe: Bashed out.
AS: Yeah, like someone said, "Okay, we need another song for the album," you go into the studio and bam - two hours later, Butterfly comes out. That's what it seems like to me. I don't know if you guys spent four weeks or -
McCabe: It wasn't done in a month...but it was bashed out. It was me and Richard in a room with a Steely Dan loop. This is the kind of thing that we were putting up with - a Steely Dan loop. Me playing mandolin? (pause) All right, yeah, I'll play it. What the fuck were we doing with a Steely Dan loop going on in the background...I'm just making bonker noises, hitting my guitar, stoned out of me mind as well...it's fuckin' three o'clock in the morning and me going, "What am I doing here? Girlfriend is pregnant...It's snowing outside and you have to walk down the fuckin' railway just to get to the shops." Now it's four o'clock and we're going, "Hey, we got another tune for the album." Ugly, I dunno...I think it's good. It was good fun playing it. I don't mind. I think it has a big sort of kick on it. There wasn't any finesse at all, but I reckon you can still call it great. Basically I like everything that sounds bonkers.