Star Scene: Laurence ‘Loz’ Colbert & Steve Queralt from Ride

Photo Credit: Steve Gullick

What’s My Scene spoke to Loz & Steve whilst Ride are on tour in Australia, headlining for the first time in 25 years. Don’t miss them!

I remember reading that The Smiths were an inspiration or influence on Ride back when you started. Who do you find inspiring these days? What bands or artists do you listen to?

Steve Queralt: My current listening pleasures include Jenny Hval, Floating Points, Native Harrow, She Keeps Bees, James Holden, SunnO)) amongst many other things. I’m still a passionate consumer who finds inspiration in lots of contemporary music. RIDE certainly in the early days were shameless magpies and I’m still very guilty of taking “inspiration” from other artists when making music at home. Recently though it’s the eighties for me with Japan and Siouxsie featuring heavily on my headphones.

Loz Colbert: Anything from The Stooges to Steve Reich – I take my inspiration from far and wide nowadays

You’ve played on the same bill as The Cure recently. I remember when Robert Smith named Ride as his favourite band. Is he still a fan, do you think?  

SQ: I hope so. I don’t think we would’ve been invited if not. Whatever though, we’re still huge fans of The Cure.

LC: I think so / hope so!

I loved “Weather Diaries”. It was still Ride but Ride down the road a bit – In your opinion, is the new album “This is Not a Safe Place” very different from “Weather Diaries”?

SQ: The new record is much more focused in many ways. Weather Diaries covered a lot of ground in terms of the RIDE sound. Whilst it was similar in approach to Going Blank Again Weather Diaries is almost like a brief musical history of the band, bits of Nowhere right through to sounds of Tarantula. I like that This Is Not A Safe Place has its own flavour. It’s still very much a RIDE record but different to all of our previous releases.

LC: There’s been a natural evolution from Weather Diaries > Tomorrows Shore EP > This Is Not A Safe Place so it all feels organic, we haven’t cut a crazy left field angle – yet.  

Was there a particular song on this new album that you found challenging/rewarding? 

SQ: Jump Jet was the most rewarding for me. It took a lot of hard work to shape into a track that we could all get involved in. It was initially dropped from the first running order we had but I’m so pleased with the way it finally turned out.

LC: Steve and I were ahead of the game with the rhythm tracks so we at least got off to a good start with most of the songs – then there was a lot of shape-shifting after that.. I think ultimately they were all rewarding – it was satisfying to get ‘Future Love’ down as a live take; ironically ‘R.I.D.E.’ took some honing and construction as the only instrumental track, but very rewarding getting something you’re happy with in the end…

How did the writing and recording process on the new album differ from your previous work?

SQ: I would say the approach and execution were pretty similar to Weather Diaries in that we used the same studios, engineers, producer and mixing team. However, the main difference involved ensuring we had monster drum tracks down which meant spending an intensive week in a great sounding room, focussing solely on the rhythm tracks. As it happens, we also captured a lot of the bass and guitar tracks at the same time.

LC: There were more live band takes on this album which may sound surprising but helps the sound and the coherence of the album

Is this not a safe place?

LC: The answer to that is down to a lot of things really …

The single “Future Love” has Ride’s trademark vocals – Andy and Mark in harmony, whereas “Repetition” is a bit of a departure. Is one an Andy song and the other a Mark song? and is it an even split on the album?

SQ: Both are Andy’s songs. There is rarely what you would call an even split. Demos and ideas in all states of readiness and completion come from all 4 members. Having said that, Andy went through a rich vein of creativity in early 2018, the fruits of which feature heavily on this album.

The single “Future Love” has Ride’s trademark vocals – Andy and Mark in harmony, whereas “Repetition” is a bit of a departure. Is one an Andy song and the other a Mark song? and is it an even split on the album?

SQ: Both are Andy’s songs. There is rarely what you would call an even split. Demos and ideas in all states of readiness and completion come from all 4 members. Having said that, Andy went through a rich vein of creativity in early 2018, the fruits of which feature heavily on this album.

LC: Both those are Andy songs… we all contribute as writers, and often as producers for each other’s songs …there’s also a fair bit of variety in that contribution as well.

“Nowhere” came out in 1990 but it’s an album I still love and still listen to. I hope you’ll be playing some of your old tracks on the upcoming tour. What can we expect on the tour?

SQ: Set lists are always a major headache as we have so much to draw from. Given that it’s been such a long time since we last played in Australia we’ll play a lot of songs from the catalogue especially from the first two albums. We’ll also play songs from the last two albums as well, so hopefully all bases will be covered.

LC: We try and mix it up but we’ve been playing a selection of Nowhere ‘classics’ since 2015 –  so no worries as they say, there should be some in there you know! 

The Palace – the Melbourne venue you played on your first tour here in June 1991 has since been demolished. How do you feel live music has survived aver the last few years?

lC: In a surprising twist live music has survived as being the only way bands can earn a living and support themselves in this digital / download ‘proxy’ age. A live concert is one of the only ways people can get something unique and valuable that can’t be copied – a whole experience. Yes the amount and quality of venues has thinned but somehow it provides a network / framework for bands to tour…good job or we wouldn’t be here :)

SQ: No one it seems is buying music anymore so shows are all we have left.

Do you still enjoy touring? 

SQ: I’m a natural tourist, so yes.

LC: It’s harder now we all have families but yes we do, and I think we appreciate it more now too..

Why has it taken you so long to return to Australia? 

SQ: As with every tour we do it’s down to local promoters. If they feel they can put a RIDE show on then we’ll happily come and play.

LC: Agreed! The very boring answer is it’s down to promoters, logistics (luck!) and timing etc but don’t take it personally – we’ve been up for this all along, we are so glad it’s finally happened, and already we can’t wait to come back…

Is there a particular anecdote about Australia you can share with us? 

I got to Surfers Paradise but there weren’t many surfers there, and wave-wise it was no paradise.

Let’s discuss your sense of humour! With the time difference between here and the UK, Andy’s “End of the Road for Ride” email arrived in my inbox on 2 April 2019, so it didn’t tweak that it was an April Fool’s joke. I was still grieving (a month later) when your tour was announced. Who’s idea was it?

SQ: We still don’t know the answer to this question. Personally, I think it was someone having a bit of fun. I don’t believe it was necessarily an attack on the band and I certainly don’t see it as malicious in any way. In many respects, it kicked off our new album campaign so whoever was responsible I thank you.

“Shoegaze” has to be the most ridiculous music genre name of all time. Are you OK with it or does it annoy you the way it does me?

SQ: Yes, the word Shoegaze itself is nonsense but like a crap band name people get used to it and it starts to take on a more serious meaning. What was once a term to deride faceless bands hiding behind a wall of noise is now something I personally am proud to be associated with.

LC: They’re all just words suggesting something else really – music – and then what specific type? What does Heavy Metal even mean? Or Handbag House ? I know the sound, but it’s just an established term. A genre is just a sign to direct you to what you want or like.

How would you describe your music? 

SQ: Shoegaze ha ha!

LC: Non-macho rock music? (Guitars, drums but no leather trousers)

How would you describe your music in food form? 

LC: Rustic, but sometimes processed 

SQ: Sushi

Our magazine is called What’s My Scene, so finally – What’s your scene?

SQ: Fellow cyclists are my tribe

LC: I’m un-scene 



Tickets available:
https://sbmpresents.com/tour/ride/

RIDE

Supported By Shiva and the Hazards

Tickets On Sale Now!

Seminal Shoegaze legends RIDE return to Australia and New Zealand for their first headline tour in over 25 years!

Forming in Oxford, England in 1988, RIDE set the blueprint for the shoegaze scene with the release of their landmark debut album ‘Nowhere’– a timeless classic which spurred the emergence of a new generation of psychedelic bands to follow.

Fast forward to 2019, RIDE return with their highly anticipated sixth studio album ‘This Is Not A Safe Place’ due out August 16th via Inertia. The album’s first single ‘Future Love’ features their trademark kaleidoscopic wall of sound and is what Andy Bell describes as “a song about the beginning of a relationship, when everything feels possible.”

Comprised of Andy Bell, Mark Gardener, Loz Colbert, and Steve Queralt, RIDE have sold out headline tours around the world to a plethora of critical acclaim. 

“Ride put on a mega show” – Louder Than War

“Hypnotising live” – The Line Of Best Fit

For the first time in over 25 years witness the brilliance of one of Britain’s most influential bands live this August –September!

“saviours of rock’n’roll.” – The Guardian

★★★★★– remarkable return to form” – The Telegraph

“the band’s original magic remains intact” – Rolling Stone

“uncharted oceans of sound” – NME

2 Comments on Star Scene: Laurence ‘Loz’ Colbert & Steve Queralt from Ride

  1. Ride were amazing at the Enmore theatre in Sydney on Friday. A fine return to Oz! Mark pulled some interesting silhouettes during the noise wigout in the middle of Drive Blind, a new mature attitude to performance as they used to be so shy back in 1990’s. Last time I saw them live was in 1994 in London, UK.

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