The following Q & A session appeared on the long defunct first official Pulp website.
15 days, 12 concerts, numerous signings, lots of miles, promo, radio shows and one particularly nasty Hawaiian flu bug, Pulp cross the pond in the hope that they'll make at least a little dent on the States. Despite near-all sell out shows and the boundless devotion of fans from New York to San Francisco, is Uncle Sam ready to embrace England's top stylophonic pop sextet?
Three days after returning from their US tour, Pulp were packing their bags for Sweden, the first date on a four week long European tour. Miraculously, the band still thought they had time for a little Q & A and so, in tiredness, honesty....
Bearing in mind Jarvis' illness at the beginning of the tour, was there ever a time where you all thought you'd have to pack up and go home? If so, how devastating a thought was this prospect?
- Jarvis: I'm shocked to still be alive.
- Candida: No, I never thought that. He's a battler and has survived worse things. However, if this had happened, I wouldn't have been devastated.
- Mark: Me and Candida got homesick one day and made a plan to mug Richard (our tour manager) after he'd collected the fee for the next concert, which we'd then use for 1st class flights and fast cars home.
- Russell: I wasn't too devastated because I got to see 1000 miles of desert and 1000 miles of plains, which is worth seeing. It guts me that we had to pull a show and of course Denver will definitely be a good place to go to make amends again.
- Nick: I never thought we'd pack up and go home. Pulp have only cancelled 3 concerts in 10 years. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger.
- Steve: It was inconvenient really. There's no point being 5000 miles from home with nothing to do, that's what holidays are for, not tours. It meant I had time to go to the Rocky Mountains, which were beautiful.
Were the support bands on the tour as awful as we've been led to believe by e.mailers?
- Jarvis: No
- Steve: Compared to what? They were about halfway on the axis predictable - revelation.
- Mark: We had three in the end, none of which we chose. The Elevator Drops were the most interesting - they dressed up kind've Devo (and their make-up had a bit of a (Russell) Senior influence!) and did actually have a few good songs and many good sounds. Then there was Jonathan FireEater, who were pretty bad mainly due to vocals - we later heard they'd just been signed for a million $$$'s. Finally, The Drag, who were nice people and their singer, Chance, has a tattoo of Brian Wilson. I didn't like the music much though, but they're young. Sounded quite like The Verve.
- Candida: I don't know what's been said but one group were a bit like Minty - they had a couple of good tunes - and the other group were based on Oasis, but I never saw them live.
- Russell: No
- Nick: Well.....The Drag were decent blokes but didn't get the Oasis jokes.
Do you wish you'd done more dates in Canada? Why the choice of the relatively small Toronto Opera House?
- Mark: All of this is out of our hands - we don't have a clue what's happening so we have to trust the business people to book the shows. Everyone complained that the venues were too small and that they couldn't get tickets. We're sorry about that - we'd love to be able to play bigger places but as it was our first proper tour, everyone was very cautious.
- Nick: More Canada, yes please, but only in the Summer. We didn't chose the Opera House and it should have been moved I s'pose.
- Steve: I enjoy a dinner-date with Canada but I don't think I'd like a fully-fledged relationship. Speak to my agent re : part two of the question.
- Jarvis: I like Canada and would love to visit Vancouver.
- Candida: I never wish I'd done more dates on any tour, but I enjoyed playing Canada, and I don't know why we played the Opera House.
- Russell: Yes. We don't choose venues, they choose us.
How did the audiences' responses differ from city to city, coast to coast?
- Jarvis: Hysterical to Wildly Hysterical.
- Steve: I couldn't identify any discernible trend. Toronto 'rawked', so did NY, LA and Detroit.
- Nick: Mostly the same - good fun all the way. Only Boston was strange, the people were only interested in chucking each other in the air.
- Mark: I think people are pretty much the same, aren't they? I guess in places like NY and LA and SF, they're a bit more fanatical and noisy.
- Candida: Wild on the West
Easy on the East
Eggs over Easy
Fries on the Side
- Russell: At a couple of festivals there were a number of Neanderthal blokes doing the chicken war dance, but I don't think they were fans of ours. Excepting this there was a bit rolling party atmosphere with a culture of it's own that attended every show.
Did you buy (or receive from fans) any souvenirs?
- Mark: I was given lots of nail varnish, a few good ones even. I bought a huge pile of books about film and Andy Warhol that made my suitcases far too heavy to carry.
- Nick: A wonderful Pulp logo'ed shot glass.
- Jarvis: I got a cast of somebody's hand.
- Steve: Pulp fans are reknowed for their generosity. Er, no I didn't.
- Candida: Almost everything that I received from fans was coloured and plastic and tho' I love receiving gifts I've run out of things to do with coloured plastic, so I give it all to Mark now. Souvenirs was lots of cheap but quality Stussy gear for my boyfriend and brother.
- Russell: Sunglasses, surprisingly enough from fans. For myself I bought a number of antique and modern glass marbles and some videos of tornadoes.
I heard of a few people who travelled to every gig - did you meet any of these people? Was there a lot of "meet-and-greet" on this tour?
- Nick: Only one brave soul did every show. He visibly aged 10 years by the end.
- Steve: We extended our Anglo-Greek relationship with our good friend Thanos, but I tried to avoid the traditional business meet 'n' greet.
- Mark: We all met Thanos, who hitch-hiked around the country and got to every venue even before we did! He was very nice and not at all scary or obsessive like you'd expect from someone that would do that. Usually after concerts I go straight to bed or to the hotel, so I didn't really meet that many people.
- Jarvis: Thanos was our most resilient fan. I didn't do much socialising 'cos I'm boring.
- Candida: We all got to know Thanos, a young Greek boy, who travelled to every date, whilst making many new friends in the process. We had many meet n' greets but I think I attended just the one.
- Russell: I met quite a lot of people - many of whom I'd like to meet again. There was a bit of a meet and greet but this was made more tolerable by inviting some of the above mentioned to the meet n' greets.
Did you get homesick?
- Jarvis: Just sick.
- Mark: I got very homesick, missing my girlfriend and lounging around home watching television and all that. Two weeks is about the most I can handle being away for. This tour seemed to go on forever.
- Steve: Yes, most days.
- Nick: Yes, I missed the house, the wife, the dog, the car (not necessarily in that order).
- Candida: Yes. I couldn't phone home without getting a lump in my throat, so I had to send postcards.
- Russell: Yes, but not as much as usual.
Which city/concert did you enjoy the most and why?
- Nick: Concert - New York. City - New York.
- Mark: I enjoyed the LA concert most because Jarvis was really pushing against his illness and it was like being onstage with Iggy. We rocked! New York is still my favourite city. It was almost as good as going home to be back there (though I did like San Francisco very much this time).
- Steve: NY.
- Jarvis: Minneapolis.
- Candida: It's hard to remember. New York was great but I was very nervous 'cos Chris Blackwell was in attendance. San Francisco was crazee too.
- Russell: Best concert - Detroit, also worst city. Best party Toronto.
What's the difference between American fans and British fans (this is a question about character and not geography)?
- Jarvis: Couldn't tell you.
- Steve: None I'd care to comment on - I met lots of good people in the US, even though I don't like the homogeneity of much of America, there's plenty of great individuals under it all.
- Mark: I don't really think there's that much difference in our fans, but the "general American record buying youth" are an alien nation to us. We saw them at play at the River Rave festival in Boston and we just knew that we had nothing in common with them whatsoever.
- Nick: There's lots of them.
- Candida: Not a lot apart from the obvious. In fact, this question does not compute.
- Russell: Much to my suprise I found the American fans to be really cool. It reminded me of when 'Do You Remember the 1st Time' came out in England where a pub concert was where you went to meet interesting people.
Do you know the way to San Jose?
- Jarvis: Don't need to.
- Nick: Yes, turn left at Albuquerque (?)
- Steve: Is it near Coventry?
- Mark: I don't know the way, but we saw the signposts.
- Candida: I do - from San Francisco 'cos we felt an earthquake, 10 miles from San Jose, whilst stationed in San Francisco and I was so excited I looked up how to get there in my atlas.
- Russell: I don't know, I've never ammed a rillo before.
What was the most impressive building you saw?
- Mark: I'm not sure about the most impressive building, but the Chateau Marmont has to be the most impressive hotel.
- Candida: The most impressive 'thing' I saw was 'Niagra Falls' on a 'Maid of the Mist' boat. STUNNER!!
- Jarvis: Chrysler- as usual.
- Steve: My favourite structure was Claes Oldenburg's 'Spoonbridge' in Minneapolis.
- Russell: The cemetery in Providence where HP Lovecraft is buried.
Was the tour a Pulp success story? Are you going back?
- Mark: Well, it was a success on the scale it was conducted on, all the shows were pretty much sold out and those there appeared to like it but we're still not making any impression whatsoever on the big picture and that's the problem that makes us seem so flippant about being successful there. It's certainly looking more positive than it ever has and we're more popular there than we ever thought we would be but we still don't expect great things. We'll go back someday. We're not sure when.
- Jarvis: I guess. I'm not Nostradamus.
- Nick: Yes, I think so. I'm sure we'll return in the future. Sometime.
- Steve: It depends on what terms - I enjoyed much of it so it was a success on that level. as for returning, I don't know. I feel the studio beckoning.
- Candida: On our 'Pepto Bismol' tour of the US I felt it was a success, but not one to be repeated. Not this year anyway.
- Russell: Yes, but I'm fed up of touring at the moment. Personally I think we should write some more songs & then come back for a much longer tour. 30-70 concerts would be fine - but next year.
What did you eat?
- Nick: Buffalo Meatloaf.
- Steve: Larger than usual meals.
- Mark: I tried to be healthy but towards the end I let it slip with a couple of burgers. I'm really getting into bagels.
- Jarvis: Oatmeal, mashed potatoes (sore mouth).
- Candida: I ate loads. The quality of American food beats anything you get in Britain & Europe, which suprised me. I thought it'd be all burgers and fries to go.
- Russell: American diner food. Mexican. Seafood in Boston. And all fantastic. It makes you weep to go back to England.
Did any of you develop a "quasi-yank" accent?
- Jarvis: What do you think?
- Russell: Don't be absurd.
- Mark: Nick kept saying, " awesome" and "extreme sports"...Me and Jarvis kept trying to fit "gourmet" into sentences, such as "Are you going to have some of the gourmet garden salad?"
- Nick: No. Thank God.
- Steve: No.
- Candida: Only when asking for coffee.
Was it fun?
- Steve: Sometimes, yes. Most days the thought, "Why the fuck am I doing this?" occurred but then that happens in every country.
- Nick: Fun is not a word I would use.
- Jarvis: Bits were.
- Mark: Is it meant to be fun? I get bored too easily. We did play some good concerts, but we'd like some time in which to write some new songs for us to play. I'm always happy to discover a good new bookshop and walk around a new city. We saw some beautiful countryside and met some nice people. You really couldn't ask for more, could you?
- Candida: Yeh, it was.
- Russell: Yes, a lot more so than playing the British arenas. Rilly awesome stuff.