ST I used to play bass in a crap punk band.
MR Yes. I've been writing for a couple of years, under my band name Be Nice To The Pigeons. In fact, I usually take a few months off each year to go travelling with my guitar. "The Grrr Song" is something that I wrote a year ago. When we realized we needed a song, I went home and started strumming through stuff I thought might be suitable. I remembered this song. It's actually a really dark song! The original lyrics are completely different. (One day I'll release the original. It'll be a bit of a shock!)
C Why do you think the song captured so many hearts and minds?
MR I don't think it's just the song. It's the whole package. The way the ad makes people feel. Like you don't have to put up with things you hate anymore. It feels motivating. The song does seem to capture that spirit. A happy song about hate. Also, it was important not to over produce the song. When I played it to Will and John at Amber I knew they were the right guys to produce it because they didn't want to do anything to it. Just capture that simpleness on tape. It takes a lot of courage to be simple, not to go for the 100 piece orchestra. Last weekend, Greenpeace used it at the Glastonbury festival for their "Make Poverty History" campaign. I was chuffed. I'd love it if "The Grrr Song" became something culturally meaningful, like "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life." A bit of music that people know and understand, that means "come on, let's use our hate positively." Yes it's just a whistle. But it's a bit of whistling that really seems to capture people's imaginations. If every time someone whistles it they think, Yes, I don't have to put up with the things I hate, I can do something to change them, then that's a powerful bit of whistling. Never underestimate the power of a whistle. A whistle can change the world.
C What was the initial reaction of the client to the song?
ST Stunned silence, you could have heard a pin drop. They loved it.
C Did the song infiltrate your mind in any weird ways-did you dream about it at night?
ST Yes, I even started whistling it in my sleep (No mean feat I can tell you.)
C What song would you write next?
ST A love song.
MR Actually I've written a whole load. After finishing "Grrr" I went travelling with my guitar and wrote a whole album. It's a similar kind of folk/country music. A bit more developed maybe. Most of it's even catchier than "The Grrr Song." I'm going into the studio in the next couple of months to record and am looking for labels to work with on it. I'm so fussy though. The people have to be just right for me to work with. I'm very instinctive. If anyone out there is interested, I'd love to here from them. Also, I'd love to work on a remix of "The Grrr Song" with someone. Maybe a disco version. Something people can club to.