An e-dalliance with Toby MacFarlaine
Interviewing via t’internet is never ideal, but it can occasionally be productive. And I think this was. Never have I conducted such an in-depth and noggin-straining interrogation, and my questions became so deep, probing, and personal, that myself and Tobias are no longer on speaking terms. Also, I’m paying for his counselling.
Actually, that’s all bollocks. The following interview suits perfectly.
Tell me Tobias, what are your musical influences?
Wide and varied, innit. First record was Fore! by Huey Lewis & The News when I was about 10 and they got gradually heavier the older I got. The first band I saw was Megadeth with Alice In Chains and The Almighty in support. I still cite Hank Williams as a major influence. Love a bit of yankee folk moosic, me. Nirvana changed it all for me. They kind of reintroduced me to my beloved Beatles, too.
Top three bands:
The Beatles, Nirvana, Huey Lewis & The News
Top three albums:
At the moment… ‘Back To Black’ by my mate Amy Winehouse, ‘Ys’ by Joanna Newsom and a best of Talking Heads compilation. These change regularly. I’m not good with favourites.
What got you into music?
Been singing since I could breathe. My dad plays Jazz drums and my mum was briefly in a hippy band called The Wayfarers (don’t look for them, they’re not there anymore). Music was always in the house. I’d say trying to attract the attention of girls made me pick up the guitar (7 years old) and I kept on doing that because I was shit at sports and general conversation. I’m still shit at sport.
What’s on your iPod/MP3?
Far too much to list. Rock, country and alternative from most bands you could mention.
How long have you been playing?
A reallllly looong time
What’s your perfect festival line-up?
The Beatles, Nirvana, Megadeth, Blur, Pavement, Joanna Newsom, Amy
Winehouse, Goblin, Slayer, The Social and this new group what I’m in… Not in this order. I’d have to be playing because I can’t deal with not having a dressing-room to hide in at festivals anymore!
Favourite sandwich filling?
Cheese and onion. Classic.
What style/pattern of underwear are you sporting right now?
Some very expensive green Paul Smith trunk things I got in Japan. Very supportive.
Is there any celebrity that you’d just take an orgasmic
pleasure in slapping across the face? And why…
Jade Goody for her racist thickery. James Blunt for ruining singer-songwriters for everyone.
Are you quite prepared for the task of satisfying a hoard of starved, half-crazed Darklings?
Yes. Nourishment shall be provided forthwith. And possibly psychiatric help. Hopefully everyone will realise that I’m not some kind of indie spy hell-bent on deconstructing rock.
Gimme a little insight into how this incarnation differs from The Darkness (besides the members, smartarse).
No catsuits or operatic wailing. The sense of fun will remain, because we all share a similar sense of humour. It’s big-arsed good-time rock music. Riffs aplenty and just great songs. Tougher than that other group.
Tell me about the plans for your glorious emergence. Are there big sparkly schemes going down?
Schemes bigger and sparklier than you can possibly imagine.
How do you feel about so suddenly being in the limelight? So many more people know your name than did a month or so ago…
I’m used to a bit of limelight, innit. Done alot with Graham over the years. Indie limelight, I suppose, but half-light nonetheless. Reflected glory is something I’ve basked in for the last few years. I don’t really know what that means actually. If you mean people looking at you like you’ve got two noses when you’re walking around, or being stopped and asked to write my name on something or pose for a photo and that, then I love it. Great fun! I love massive gigs and audiences and stuff. Interviews, the whole shebang. Great. People knowing your name is all part of the fun, for me.
Are you going to be “styled”, and have glamorous photo shoots? Or is it all down to grass roots, now?
I think we’re gonna try to avoid any over styled stuff. It’s all a bit fake and uncomfortable to me and, indeed, us. Obviously we’ll be
coordinating our “Look” so we don’t look as if we’ve just fallen off a bus. There will be some roots involved because Ed’s allergic to hair-dye.
Who does the cooking in the band?
It’s a shared experience.
What would you say on a soapbox on Hyde Park Corner?
“What the fuck am I doing on a soapbox on Hyde Park Corner?” followed
swiftly by something nice and comforting like “The nend is high.”
Who would win in a fight between Sonic and Mario?
Sonic. Mario’s too busy thinking about that darned princess. And his
What IS the air-speed velocity of an unladen swallow?
Roughly quicker than a chaffinch in a parka.
There you have it, fruity as a nutcake. Just the way we like it.
PS The new site for the lads will be online VERY shortly. Watch this space.