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Roofdog Interviews - Reef...

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Reef axeman Kenwyn House chats with Roofdog

Grow your hair, listen to music on minidiscs (TM), place your hands, cut your hair, tell people they're old, then turn soulful and high-pitched. Reef are back, and Roofdog chatted to guitarist Kenwyn House to see what's new..

Words: Jeff Nottingham

The new album Getaway is a lot more up-beat than the last one (Rides). Was this an intentional change of direction?

'Yeah, I think in some ways it was, but it was quite a natural thing. We do what we feel and if you're feeling that way then it's what the music sounds like.

My favourite song on the new album is 'Levels', I read that it's about fatherhood so who in the band is a father?

Gary is and Jack's gonna be a father in about six months.

So what's your favourite song then?

I like 'Levels', Gary writes the lyrics but the tune is quite personnel to me cos I wrote the tune and Gary wrote the lyrics, so it means nothing about fatherhood to me! It's got a whole different set of feelings for me.

So do you write most of the music?

No, but I do a lot, being guitarist it's sort of expected of you so I 'spose I do come up with 60 or 70% of the tunes the riffs and the melodies. Creatively speaking, we all put our f*****g weight in.

What are your main influences?

'The initial boyhood f*****g rush and rock adrenaline came from AC DC. . As far as dance music goes, I can't bear white mans dance music, it's f*****g rhythmically retarded.'

Lots of people say that the guitar based band is dying out, it's yesterdays music. Do you come up against that a lot?

'No, because I feel very much alive I'm a young man, I grew up and raves were starting to happen and I though 'wicked' cos I love drugs and I love going out and I love f*****g having a good time.'

I heard that Jack(bass) entered a competition to make a sculpture out of 'Red Bull' cans. Is he quite artistic?

'Yeah, he is! He was a year below me in college for foundation art so we're similar in that way. Dominic(drums) is an fantastic photographer, I went into a hair salon in London and all the photographs on the walls were Dominic's and there was one of ME in the corner! I thought f*****g Hell, very weird..!'

Does he do photos for your album covers and stuff?

'There have been pictures he's taken on the records and the artwork yeah.'

So everyone contributes equally to the band then?

'Yeah, when we're not fighting.'

Does that happen much?

'Not much no... we're very gentle with each other and that's the problem, things boil up and that's when things really go wrong.'

If that happens before you go on stage, does it affect the show?

Oh of course it does. I doesn't happen very often, we're lovers not fighters as Michael Jackson once said.

So what are your plans for the future?

We've got a gig in Australia in the new year, from there it's Japan, back to Europe and the UK and if we're not dead by then we're over to America.

Not in the studio for a while then?

No, probably about, end of the summer next year, we'll go back in the studio.

Getaway has been released pretty soon after Rides, are you going to be touring for a long time now?

'We've just spent 9 months in America and it did my head in, they were all Hicks!'

Which festivals did you do during the summer?

Glastonbury was the only English one we did but we did about five or six in Europe, one in Belgium, one in Holland….Holland's great, their liberal people man! They smoke big joints!

Did YOUR drug taking stop when Rave did?

'No, it didn't, it carried on sadly. I've always been into consciousness expanding experiences basically. I don't hardly do anything anymore. I smoke weed man, I could smoke weed for Britain!'

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