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Nine Black Alps

01 November 2005

Nine Black Alps played as many festivals as any band this summer. And it shows. Singer and guitarist Sam Forrest reveals his highs and lows, in between talking dead popes and decapitated pigs.

Virtual Festivals: From the beginning then, how did Nine Black Alps come about?
Sam Forrest: We formed when I met David at the Star And Garter, which is a nightclub near Piccadilly train station in Manchester. We started talking about poetry and stuff like that and just kind of thought why donít we be in a band together because what else are we going to do with our miserable lives. And then we just got Martin and James to play the other instruments because we needed to be a proper band and didnít want to be an electro duo.

VF: Did you already know each other?
SF: No, I didnít know any of the group. None of us knew each other before. We just kind of asked who could play drums. 'Yes? Wanna join our band?' Even though we all lied because I said I could sing and Iíd never sung before. It was just kind of like hell. And we came up with the name Nine Black Alps because we had to come up with a name really quick because we got booked on gigs before we knew it and itís just a line taken out of a Sylvia Plath poem. Itís brilliant.

VF: If I were to steal your CD collections what would I find?
SF: A lot of Neil Young, a lot of Beatles, a lot of Sonic Youth, a lot of Pixies, Brian Adams, the Beach Boys and youíd probably find the odd stray Girls Aloud CD in there as well.

VF: You were at V Festival this year and the drummer said he was shitting himself. Were you as well?
SF: I think V Festival was okay. We kind of shat it. It was the first time weíd headlined a stage at a festival, even though it was a ratís ass stage, we were still headlining. And yeah, we got healthy amounts of diarrhoea before we went on stage and caught flu back stage.

VF: How was Leeds and Reading a week later?
SF: We got about two hours sleep. We did Reading the day before the Leeds one and went overboard at Reading, so by the time we arrived at Leeds it was 10 oíclock in the morning and I was just absolutely destroyed.

VF: How do the two compare?
SF: V Festival is full of absolute bell pieces like Abi Titmus just walking around backstage and itís like, 'Excuse me, weíre trying to regenerate Woodstock here'. You canít have B list celebrities or anything like that. Itís all cunts with cameras and arseholes.

VF: You've had quite a fill of festival haven't you? 
SF: We did all of them. We did Isle Of Wight, Glastonbury, T in the Park.

VF: What was the Isle Of Wight festival like?
SF: Toss. Itís just tonnes of blokes wearing England football tops, eating hamburgers while watching.

VF: What was the best festival you played at then?
SF: Oh, it has to be T In The Park. Itís good because most festivals are normally dead by 12 oíclock but there everyone is still walking around in a zombie state.

VF: And how's your current tour going?
SF: Rubbish.

VF: Any good crowds?
SF: Nope.

VF: Okay! Well it sounds like youíve been working hard. Are you going to be getting any time off this year?
SF: In December weíll get some time off. Iím looking forward to Christmas. I think Iím gonna go to Chile. I want to go to the end of the world.

VF: Why not Bognor Regis?
SF: Bognor Regis? No, I mean geographically the end of the world. Not the actual end of the world.

VF: What do you want for Christmas?
SF: A big pigís head. On a stick.

VF: Okay. So what kind of plans have you got for next year?
SF: Just kind of, I dunno. Maybe record some more songs.

VF: Have you had time to do any song writing?
SF: Yeah, lots of really, really, cheesy love songs recently. I donít know why. I think Iím going through a phase.

VF: What festivals are you doing next year?
SF: Any of them. If we get invited back Iíll be amazed.

VF: Apparently, you can get your album in the shops in the USA for $5. Are you planning  to go out there to whore yourselves in person?
SF: I think we can break America by Christmas time.

VF: Who do you think should be the next Conservative leader?
SF: Ummmm, the dead pope.

VF: Is he up for election?
SF: He should be.

VF: Does the thought of bird flu frighten you?
SF: No, I embrace it. Fuck it. Itíll be fine. Bring it on.

VF: Is there a god?
SF: Yes. Heís a benevolent, kind, fatherly figure, who wears sandles, and he wants to suck my balls.

VF: Have you ever had a near death experience?
SF: Only on planes. Thatís when I pray to Jesus.

VF: When was the last time you broke the law?
SF: I havenít paid my TV licence. Iím bad.



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Article by: Duncan MacRae

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