Mat's Excerpt from Suede Interview, Select, May 99
"Hmm, yes, 'Goodie goodie yum yum',' Funky Gibbon', and not forgetting 'Black Pudding Bertha'. All the greats,"
In and Islington pub, senatorial Suede bassist Mat Osman reflects on the Goodies, the '70s comedic TV trio responsible for the suggestion that we "Do, do, do the funky gibbon" - as well as a host of other equally irremovable novelty hit singles. Mat's brother Richard, as well as producing recent boy-band TV spoof Boyz Unlimited, is the man behing BBC2 quiz show If I ruled The World. Consequently, Mat has been able to consort with Graeme Garden, one of the team captains on the quiz and formerly one third of The Goodies.
"It was god to meet Graeme garden," says Mat over his lager and fags, " All my mates were much more impressed by that than by my meeting any musician. You say, 'Oh, I met David Bowie at the weekend', and they're like,' Oh, yeah...' Tell them that you've met graeme garden and they all go, 'No! blimey, go on, what's he reallt like?' "
True be told, Suede don't meet a lot of musicians. Of all the big league bands in Britian today, they're probably the most self-sealed. With all five band members living amid the quietly bohemian streets of West London's boroughs of Westbourne Park, Notting hill and White City, their social circle is restricted to the group and the three or four close friends that they each maintain.
"We don'r really go out," says Mat. " It's not a pose, but I don't go to mny showbiz parties. I went to Eddie Izzard's thing at the London Planetarium, that's the only one I can remember. I don't want to be part of today's music industry and compare what we're doing with comtemporary bands. I want to compare what we do with Prince and David Bowie and Kate Bush.
"Plus, I don't do drugs. I take less drugs than
virtually any human being I know. If taking drugs was an Olympic event, I wouldn't get in
the team. I've got to an age where I realise my favourite drug is booze. I liek Irish
whisky and I like gin, but I'll drink any fucking thing. do love a drink, but the
thing that people might not realise about us is that there is a puritian streak to us
sometimes. I would neer have a drink before playing a gig, or in the studio...
THE NEW GENERATION GAME
What was the last book you read?
" Having Gun Will travel", the book about [Death Row Records boss] Suge Knight and California ganster rap. after reading that book, I can't go into the Nude offices and take it seriously. you can't really imagine Saul [Galpern, Nude supremo] ever ordering his homeboys to take me and Simon outside for a punishment beating. We listened to a lot of ganster rap making the new album - it was a bit get down in the Westbourne Groove barrio with the new sound of ganster Suede.
Do you drive?
"I'm virtually the only member of the band who drives, the one-man taxi service. I've got a bronze Mercedes 4500 SI.C. I do like cars."
Do you have a favourite painter?
"I fucking love Anish Kapoor [contemporary sculptor and conceptualist, keen on pitch-black 'voids']. I've always found ever art form ecept from music to be a disappointmant, in terms of emotional charge. Anish Kapoor is one of the few things that actually messes with your mind."
What's your favourite building?
"I like Senate House [the University of London Library]. Apparently it's used as the Ministry of Truth in the film of 1984. I just think it's beautiful."
What's your favourite TV programme?
"I do like Alan Partridge. the bit where he was living in a hotel struck such a chord. Suede have certainly stayed at that hotel, out on the ring road."
How many pairs of trainers do you own?
"I try and steer clear. I have some, but i try not to wear them outside the house. If i do, I feel like such a fucking fraud. It's like going out wearing a cricket jumper.
[back to index]