Supergrass covers side project
The Hot Rats

Two-thirds of Supergrass have adopted a new moniker, hooked up with Nigel Godrich and recorded twelve remarkable covers in two weeks.

Fun. That one syllable is itself the essence of what The Hot Rats are all about. Essentially an extra-curricular project stemming from time spent promoting the last Supergrass album as fictitious duo The Diamond Hoo Ha Men, the two are hoping to show a different side to the band. “It’s got that mixtape vibe, but done with a contemporary twist by a contemporary band,” explains Gaz. “It was just a bit of fun and it turned out better than we expected so we thought we’d have a little crack at putting it out.”

“The whole idea was to do at least a song a day, a really fast recording,” drummer Danny Goffey explains. “We’d choose a song really quickly and then do it that afternoon or evening.”

“We had four or five songs that we’d decided on at the start of the session,” continues singer Gaz, “and then it was a case of waking up in the morning and getting in the studio and thinking, ‘Right, what’s next?’”

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This is an excerpt from an article that appears in the February issue of Clash Magazine. Pick it up in stores from January 11th. You can read the full issue online HERE and subscribe to Clash Magazine HERE.

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The impeccable song choices on album ‘Turns Ons’ (Gang Of Four’s ‘Damaged Goods’, Roxy Music’s ‘Love Is The Drug’, The Velvet Underground’s ‘I Can’t Stand It’) aside, it’s what they’ve actually done with them that makes this one of the first great releases of 2010. The Beastie Boys’ ‘Fight For Your Right’ is almost unrecognisable until the chorus kicks in, shorn of its not inconsiderable guitar riff. Although they initially considered sticking to the sound of the original, “we thought we would just try it acoustic,” explains Gaz. “So, I picked up the guitar and started playing chords over it and it just seemed to have this mid-Sixties Who feel.” Factor in the falsetto verses and you definitely have one of the album’s stand-out tracks here.

And what about the presence of genius producer Godrich? How did he find working at such a rapid pace? “He was really up for that, he didn’t want to sit around doing huge production numbers,” explains Danny. “I think he enjoyed using his musical brain and his techniques in a different way. He’s so good at what he does. He totally propelled the energy of the session. He was very up.” And ‘very up’ is the most succinct way to describe this wonderful record. It’s clearly intended as a one-off but don’t be fooled into thinking it’s just a throwaway vanity project. Both Gaz and Danny talk of this album with genuine enthusiasm and affection. “It was just a case of exploring and experimenting,” says Gaz, “but it came out really well. I’m really proud of it.”

Words by Gareth James


Listen to an exclusive, pre-release stream of the full Hot Rats album, 'Turn Ons', from Monday 18th January on HERE

The guys have also been busy creating accompanying videos for some of 'Turn Ons' tracks. We have clips for you to check out for Gang Of Four's 'Damaged Goods', The Velvet Underground's 'I Can't Stand It' and non album track, The Beatles' 'Drive My Car'.

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