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would have liked to have made bothered by this, but the public
the cut that didn’t? “No, not sacking of drummer Stuart Cable
really. With the second disc (there had many expecting an end for
is a deluxe edition with a second the band. But this was where
CD), we could put on another 20 Javier came in and the fifth
songs that include B-sides.” album, Language Sex Violence
Other?, became another UK
number one and got begrudg-
Depending on how you interpret ingly better reviews. People were
it, the title Decade In The Sun talking of a new energy around
may sound a little misleading as the band. I asked Javier about
a summary of the Stereophon- this and the effect his arrival had.
ics’ experience since their rise “I think it was a combination

Stereophonics to fame with their first album
in 1997. That first collection of
of things. They had lost Stuart
(Cable). Losing a band member

Javier Weyler:
songs, Word Gets Around, shot and friend, it was a difficult time.
them to stardom, number six in They would be the best to talk
the UK album chart and a Brit about that. Really only they can

Keeping up with the Joneses
Award for Best New Group. Their talk about that. Then, they had
five subsequent studio albums just made a more soulful record
have all hit number one in the (You Gotta Go There To Come
UK, they are undoubtedly the Back). And, I mean, the band has
Drummer Javier Weyler speaks to Luc Ciotkowski most successful Welsh band of always changed styles. And it
(despite some technical problems) about being their generation and also one of was my job, to be like that. I was
the biggest acts in the UK. It’s really hungry because I’d just
in Stereophonics and the release of their ‘best of’ true that the sun has shone on joined.”
album, Decade In The Sun, this month. them over the last decade, but a
little black cloud has been walk- Last year’s Pull the Pin received
WORDS & INTERVIEW by Luc Ciotkowski ing around with them, too. further begrudgingly good

“F
reviews and was yet another
fffffffffffffffffffhh……” Me being used to hearing stories Stereophonics’ relationship commercial success. Guitar-
I hissed at my telephone, of how people have ended up in with the British music press was ist Adam Zindani joined and
shook my head and con- Madrid, I was curious to know uneasy from the start. Had they the band have completed their
templated throwing the Javier’s trajectory from Venezuela appeared two years earlier, they decade in the sun with a healthy
thing at the tiles of the to that recording studio in Lon- might well have had a much glow in their cheeks. Javier, who
office floor. A resigned don. “I started playing when I was easier ride from journalists, describes having to learn five al-
sigh is the last thing you can hear 13 years old and I had but they didn’t. The bums’ worth of material when he
on that track on my digital voice a band in Venezuela. medium that had joined the band as, “More chal-
recorder before it clicks off, and at Did a couple of spent the mid-nineties lenging than difficult”, said his
that actual time I was left to curse records and I wanted overdosing on Britpop favourite songs from before he
a well-known Spanish telephone to take it to the next could no longer stom- joined the band were, “Local Boy
service provider (my chief suspect level. London is one ach bands, like Stere- in the Photograph, Bartender
for the technical fault). It’s not of the best places for ophonics, who sang and the Thief, and Mr Writer.
every day that you get the chance music. I’d liked The about working-class When I joined, I went through
of a telephone interview with a Rolling Stones and The culture. Music writers, the catalogue album by album,
member of one of your favourite Beatles and that kind of music. like other sections of UK society so I got to think about that a bit”.
bands, so when I talked to Welsh London’s associated with that. at that moment, wanted to escape
rock band Stereophonics’ Argen- Originally, I went for one year to or ‘trade up’ for a while and Admitting he didn’t know the
tinean drummer, Javier Weyler, study engineering and produc- Stereophonics suffered for their band right from the start, I
and the phone line got cut off not tion. Then, I started working in realism. They received labels such asked Javier what song he first
once but twice, I was obviously different studios in London, and as ‘bland’ and ‘meat and potatoes’. remembered hearing from
disappointed, well, gutted. Still, Stereophonics were at one of Outright war was declared when Stereophonics. “Mr Writer. I saw
I got a few questions in with Javier, the studios I was working in. We lead singer Kelly Jones penned them perform it on Jools Hol-
and he and the Universal Music became mates, we got on great.” the song Mr Writer on the band’s land and I thought, ‘Fuck, these
people were kind enough to call third album, Just Enough Educa- guys can play.’” A few years later
me back when we were cut off the The band are currently promoting tion to Perform, as a retort to the on, he’s releasing a ‘best of ’ with
first time. their first best of album, Decade dishonesty and easy criticism them and gives no indication of
In the Sun: The Best Of Stereo- of music journalists. Lines like, stopping. “The ‘best of ’ is great,
So, yes, the Welsh band’s drum- phonics, which comes out on 10 “Why don’t you tell it like it is?” too, because it’s a way for new
mer was born in Argentina and November before a UK tour in “What do you really know?” and, fans and people in territories
raised in Venezuela. The story December. I asked Javier how they “I’d like to shoot you all”, seemed where we’re not known so well
of how he joined the band is decided the track list from over to deeply upset ‘Messrs Writ- to discover the songs.”
quite well known. Stereophonics 10 years of songs: “The difficult ers’ across the UK. Kelly Jones’s
members Kelly Jones and Richard thing was to select songs that went ‘Whiskey’ vocals became ‘sandpa- Decade In The Sun:
Jones met Javier in a London well together. Kelly sat down and per’ vocals, a ‘sexy, 40 honey- The Best of Stereophonics
recording studio in 2003. Over went through the catalogue. Then filtered cigarettes a day voice’ was Stereophonics
a couple of chance meetings, in we had to get the running order now described as ‘whingeing’ Release: 10 November
Argentina towards the end of right. But we’ve been cooking it or ‘wrenching Ford Considering the readiness of most
that year and again in a record- up for many years- the guys have Cortina’. bands to bring out ‘best of’ albums
ing studio in April 2004, where been for four or five years anyway. at regular intervals, it’s a rarity to find
he played on some demos for There are so many good songs to While they con- such a compilation that spreads across
their next album, they made choose from, six records’ worth of tinued to sell out six albums. If you know the group,
friends and a few months later songs. There are lots of bands that concerts and make I need say nothing. If you don’t, this
they invited him to join the band do a ‘best of’ after two albums!” number one records, the perfect chance to discover them.
permanently. So, were there any songs that he VIBE STARS
fans weren’t overly

10 nov 08 www.europeanvibe.com