Interview: Designer Magazine 2001
From Designer Magazine, May 2001
Was it Epsom Mad Funkers or "Ecstasy Muthafuckers" as the tabloids used to call them? Way back in the late 80s / early 90s who could forget that classic single "Unbelievable" and even more so the Kevin and Perry styling's of James Atkins and co. Well there's no need to worry because EMF are back with a Greatest Hits album, a comeback date in London and a new album presently being recorded. We caught up with Derry to recapture the best moments which were often a cross between a party at Brian Harvey's and Daniella Westbrook's mixed with added foreskin party games. Be afraid. Be very afraid!!!!
Q: Who would believe you guys are back finally on the scene?
A: I've just been looking at all these new T-shirt designs and it got Reunion. Well, we never really split up. We just went and did our own things. I've got my own solo album, i'm on my second album now after an album for Island. Ian, James, Zach and Mark have all been doing their own things as well.
Its like the next generation really. In 95 / 96 when we were trying to get a new album we were just working really hard, maybe it got a bit self indulgent, but there was some really good stuff on there. And it was really hard because you had your Oasis' and your Blur's coming out, but now people keep coming up saying they were listening to "Shubert Dip".
Q: You're still going to be as mad as the old days though?
A: Portugal was a lot of hard work. We were on at 4 o'clock, we had a lot of internal flights and airport delays but there was a lot of mad stuff to keep us amused. We've always had a good moral within the band and the crew.
Nothings really changed, there's still that spark there. Because we went on stage and we thought "I'm going to seem stupid" but i'm only 30. A lot of bands like in Coldplay are a lot older than me anyway and I've been doing it for 12 years.
Its kind of our right really to get out there and have a bit of energy.
Q: What was the maddest moment from the old days?
A: We got arrested down in Louisiana - that was pretty mad!!! We had to pay them like $20,000 to let us go, everybody had just taken ecstasy about an hour before and there was a bit of a fight. We all got landed on the kerb and it was like "Oh my God!!!!! I'm coming up on this with all these hick policemen sort of like with mirror shades on and the crickets just going zzzzzz. They were like "were going to lock you boys up for 30 hours, maybe 30 days. Where's all the money?"
It was quite a scary night because we'd checked into a hotel and there were six of us in one bed thinking we were going to see like Bubba and the 3 guys with nooses and dungarees.
Q: So can we expect the headlines again?
A: Well, I don't know. None of us are married or really settled down apart from Mark. There should be a couple of tales cos' everyone was sort of trying, were supposed to be a bit more mature now, but there was a few things going on in Portugal that kept the flag flying. There was people running round at 6 in the morning, a lot of banging on doors and music playing.
Q: Do you still get the same buzz off "Unbelievable"?
A: The thing with EMF even though it had that pop thing, where there is not that much depth, we always really really concerned about quality control. "Unbelievable" as a single was great to sell the album. Its a typical British attitude where people go well you've only got "Unbelievable" but then fuck, you need a song like that to open all your doors.
There ain't many bands that are out there now that wouldn't say "I wouldn't mind a single that big that's Number 1 in America and probably 56 countries around the world". Some people go is it a noose round your neck? Fuck off!!!! How can it be a noose round your neck. Come on see the house.
Whereas in America its completely different. Its kind of like the Millennium Dome. If that was on the outskirts of Los Angeles it would have been the biggest thing. They would have made it work. Whereas in England, even though it is a piece of shit and I disagree with it 100%, people are scared of success.
Q: Just before we finish. Remind us of this foreskin and lemon tale
A: Zach hasn't done it lately. I think he can get six pieces of mini-cheese (those ones on the cocktails sticks), a small fruit salad, a small lemon or a large size lime up there. I haven't seen it for a while, but I think he's saving it as his trump card. I think he did it live on Dutch TV and the guy just put the camera to the wall. You just heard these shocked voices in the audience.
Ant & Dec they want us to do that, that's what they've asked us to do. They don't even want the band to play on there. They just want us to go on there and toss a small salad into Zach's foreskin. Maybe get Jamie Oliver the Naked Chef on there and Zach the Naked Foreskin. That would be ace wouldn't it!!!
Me & Zach want to do our own cable show where we just read the news and he thinks up a new trick with his dick every week. Maybe do it on the National Lottery to pump the ratings up.