February 2001

How has your life changed since your career started?
Well, we're still new to all this, so in some ways it feels like not a lot has changed, but in others it feels like everything is entirely different. I don't know. I think we're all the same guys as when we started, it's just the landscape is what's changed, yeah? We've got more opportunities than we did at the start. We're playing bigger venues. This might be a dickish thing to say, but I'm actually starting to grow a little weary of hearing my own voice on the radio. Dunno why. It's just a bit embarrassing, especially if you're out for a pint and someone recognises you as the guy who sings the song that's playing in the pub at that moment. What the hell are you supposed to do in that scenario? I still haven't figured it out.

If you could go back in time to give your younger self some advice, what would it be?
The moment you come up with the idea for Ode to Deodorant, just stop. Honestly, stop yourself right there and get to work on something else. It's a true turd of a song. Don't waste your time on it. Also, quit obsessing over all those girls who turned you down, yeah? 'Cos you end up marrying an absolute corker, trust me. She's perfect. You're a fabulously lucky little shit, you just don't know it yet.

As of this exact moment, who is the most important person in your life and why?
My wife. There's no words to explain what she means to me, but that's never stopped me from trying. Every good song I've ever written has been for her.

What is your proudest accomplishment thus far?
Professionally? Keeping the band together for this long. It's only been about five years, less if you consider it took two of those before we landed our first paying gig, but it feels like a lifetime what with all we've been through. So yeah, ensuring the survival of our band is near the tippy top. Hell, the fact that we even have a first album out, that's massive. Getting to play a set at Glastonbury too, that was wild. We've done that twice now, in fact. We're still getting our sea legs but I'm proud of what we've accomplished so far. And personally, well... no one wants to hear me gush on and on about my wife. You have to forgive me though, we only just got married. I'm very much in the midst of that honeymoon state of mind.

If you could change one thing in your field, what would it be?
I honestly can't think of anything I'd change. Maybe make it a bit easier for unknown bands to get signed and distributed? But really, I guess there's a reason why it's so difficult, isn't there? Otherwise the radio would be playing nothing but shit all day long. Can't have that. Yeah, I don't know. I'm still trying to wrap my head around this being my field at all. It's still too shiny and new for me to have any criticisms. Give it time.

How does your family take to your public persona?
Well, uh, not to split hairs or nothing but I don't really have much of a public persona. Musician Freddy is the same exact person as Regular Freddy, yeah? There's no theatrics happening, I am who I am regardless of the setting. Unless you mean, how do they feel about the way the public sees me, maybe? In which case they're thrilled. They're so happy for me, for the band as a whole. They know we've been working real hard and all of our families and friends are so happy to see it paying off for us.

Share the conception behind one of your songs.
Yellow came about because, well... I don't know if I should be saying any of this, but I started telling the story so now I might as well finish it. A few years ago, I was stupendously stoned and I foolishly decided to make an attempt at telling my wife - girlfriend at the time - how I felt about her. But, being the stoned little idiot that I was, I kept stumbling over my words and making a complete fool out of myself. The best I was able to put together was that being with her made me yellow. The way I felt 'bout her was all yellow. Which, okay, to be fair, I'm sure I meant it in the sense that yellow's a warm, bright, invigorating colour. But clearly I wasn't able to articulate that the way I'd hoped to. So a little while after that, I took another stab at it in a clearer frame of mind... and that's how Yellow came about.

Describe yourself in five words.
"That dopey sod from Yellow."