MILES HUNT & ERICA NOCKALLS' new album "We Came Here to Work" will be released on September 9th and to promote it, they are embarking on a MASSIVE 26 date tour which takes them all over the UK.
We caught up with Miles to chat about the album, his next two books and his travel plans for the forthcoming tour....
Firstly, congratulations on your 3rd album as a duo, 10 polished tracks which are as immediate as anything that The Wonder Stuff ever created….
Really…. you think? I think it’s quite a melancholic album, not a word anyone would ever use to describe previous albums of The Wonder Stuff’s. If it shares similarities with any of my previous albums then I would say that would be my first solo album, ‘Hairy On The Inside’.
Have you ever wrote a song for you and Erica which has ended up being a Wonder Stuff track instead?
Hmmnnnn…. I think ‘Right Side Of The Turf’ from the ‘Oh No… It’s The Wonder Stuff’ album probably started out as an acoustic idea for Erica and I to play at our duo shows. Other than that I tend to compartmentalise when I write. I always aware of what project I am writing towards.
We Came Here to Work is a great title for the album, what was your thinking behind it?
I’ve gotten really sick of all the right wing horse shit being thrown at migrant workers. I wrote a song in support of them. I admire their bravery to leave their home countries in search of a better life. I had the title for the song and discussed with Erica whether it would be a strong enough title for the album and she was in favour of it too. Oddly we found ourselves in The Netherlands, gigging with The Wonder Stuff, in February - the same time that we were writing and recording the album. The irony didn’t escape me that we were essentially migrant workers whilst we were there. Our photographer friend, Nick Sayers, was with us whilst we were in Amsterdam and took the pictures that we have used on the sleeve. I think we look frightened and lonely in the pictures, just as I would imagine anyone might be when they leave their family and friends behind to come to the UK in hope of a brighter future.
You (Miles & Erica) play Wonder Stuff material live, have you ever considered getting the whole band to play some of the Miles & Erica material?
We’ve done a couple of tunes from the M&E repertoire live before now, ‘The Cake’ and ‘Fill Her Up & Foot Down’. But it’s hard enough accommodating all the songs that our audience want in our live sets without adding songs from other projects.
You’re releasing the album on CD and clear vinyl, no mention of a digital download….will it be available via iTunes or any other download outlet?
Yes it will be.
The Diaries ’86 – ’89 was released some time ago and then I see on the website that The Diaries ’90 – ’91 and ’92 – ’94 are available for pre-order now for sending out in August. What made you decide to publish the next two together?
Originally they were just supposed to be one book, but I wrote too much. We very much wanted to keep the same format as the first book for the new one but as it was almost twice as long, the spine wouldn’t have been able to take the weight of the pages in that format. So we decided to split the new book in half. As it turns out it has worked very well. ’90-91’ picks right up from where ’86-89’ finished and continues in a similar style. But ’92-94’ is far more as it happened. I made journal entries every day whilst on tour and so I’ve kinda let those do the talking.
We chatted in Bristol when you did the 30th anniversary tour and you mentioned that writing the initial book was quite straight forward as your journals were quite light but when you came to look at the next chapter(’90 – ’91) your journals were a lot heavier, did this make for a much tougher time when it came to writing the second book?
Easier actually. It was all there in the journals so I had far less work to do in terms of trying to remember what was going on at the time.
You’re playing 26 live shows during your September and October tour which touches the majority of the UK, have you arranged a limo to whisk you from place to place whilst you get up to all sorts of rock ‘n roll antics?
I’m not sure I was ever an ‘antics’ kinda person, even less so now at age 51. And I do everything in my power not to ride in limos.
You're playing a large number of smaller venues on the Autumn tour, was it your thinking to do this instead of a smaller number of larger venues in order to reach more people?
Smaller venues is what works best for the acoustic thing.
What are your plans on your non-gigging days of the tour? Sightseeing or getting back home to catch up on the washing?
Come home to our dog. He’s the shining light in our lives these days.
Aside from the Autumn tour, which Summer festivals can we expect to see you at this year?
The band have a couple more festivals to do this summer, One in Solihull in August and the other at SHIIINE in Minehead in November . There are a couple of club dates around those too. Check HERE for details;
In the press release for the album, you mention that “the music of The Wonder Stuff is for nights out with friends whereas this album is more for nights spent at home in more genteel company”, I have images of you and Erica sat with Jim and Nancy, sipping fine wines whilst stroking your chins and chowing down on canapés, am I far from the truth?
Have you made any progress on the SAGA cruise to see the Northern Lights with Vic Reeves?
None what so ever.
Lastly, can we expect to see you playing a few dates just before Christmas this year? Will it be the two of you or the full band?
No, just the dates mentioned.
We'd like to thank Miles for sparing his time to chat to us and we wish him and Erica every success for the album release and tour that will follow in August and September (see dates below). Tickets are available NOW, the books are also available for pre-order, as is their new album which is due for release on September 9th.
7 – Settle – Victoria Hall
8 – Irvine – Harbour Arts Centre
9 – Edinburgh – La Belle Angele
10 – Workington – Carnegie Theatre
11 – Manchester – Deaf Institute
19 – Milton Keynes – Stables
20 - Hull – Fruit
21 - Sheffield – Greystones
22 – Liverpool – Music Room
23 – Retford – Community Centre
28 – Lewes – Con Club
29 – Leicester – The Y
30 – Wroot – Village Hall
5 – Newbury - Arlington Arts
6 – Stowmarket - John Peel
7 – London – Indie Daze
8 – Portsmouth - Square Tower
12 – Shrewsbury - Henry Tudor
13 - Weston Super Mare
14 – Barnstaple – Pilton Village
17- Birmingham - Glee Club
20 – Preston - New Continental
26 – Oxford – Bullingdon
27 – Darwen Library Theatre
28 – Thornton - Little Theatre
Interview by Steve Muscutt