Few bands did more to revolutionize the alternative music scene more than Ride. Their contributions to Creation Records output were critical (you’re welcome, Mr. Shields) and their music was massive in England, the U.S. and the world. They were perhaps the best of the original “shoegaze” bands and their influence on rock music continues to be felt. Guitarist and singer Mark Gardener was one of the key songwriters of the band and he took some time out from his busy schedule to talk with us. With his current solo album, These Beautiful Ghosts and his production work, he continues to create compelling music.
TDOA: We did an interview with Alan McGee a few weeks ago where he waxed poetic about his love of Ride. Can you talk about your experiences with Alan and how he helped you?
I’m not sure if there’s a non-musician who’s made a more indelible impact on music than Alan Mcgee. In 1983, Alan formed Creation Records and brought the world a tsunami of music whose impact still reverberates today. The Jesus and Mary Chain, Primal Scream, Ride, My Bloody Valentine and dozens of other bands changed the way alternative music was made, under the umbrella of Creation. In 1994, Alan signed Oasis and started yet another British Invasion.
With the revival of the C86/Mary Chain sound providing such a huge impact on current bands, we thought it was high time to track down the wizard behind the curtain. To our good fortune (and yours!), he didn’t disappoint. Still fiercely political, his views are still just as controversial. But, this isn’t a marketing ploy to get in your head. He clearly believes that our world is in turmoil and the state of the public consciousness will determine our fate.
But despite this, he took an hour of his time to talk about the great bands of the past with the gusto that we’d hoped for. Buckle up kiddies, because Alan doesn’t pull any punches on his feelings about My Bloody Valentine, Coldplay, major labels or the future of Oasis. While we may not agree on everything discussed here, we do agree on a critical point: Passion will conquer all. Love is all you need.