Interview:Paul Draper I thought you were dead! - 01/12/2006
|I thought you were dead!|
|Interview with Paul Draper|
Britproggers Mansun scored a '97 No 1 album before imploding with freakishly intense in-band hatred, as their frontman explains
"People thought I was an arrogant bastard,' says Draper, "when really I was cripplingly shy. Going into the music industry didn't do me any good because I was massively over-sensitive to criticism and alienated myself from the band, who just wanted to party. I'd work 15 hours a day- it was my whole life.
"Being chased by screaming girls in Tokyo was fun. Travelling round the States on a bus was living the dream because I always thought we were too weird to make it there. The debut album knocking Blur off the top was also good.
"In my head [second album] Six was a cross between Parade, Side Two of Abbey Road and Low. People thought we were a prog band. I wrote and played most of the parts. In isolation the tracks sounded creative, but I wanted to take it further, so I inserted songs within songs. I disappeared up my own arse, basically.
"So I got sacked as producer and they brought Hugh Padgham in to make 'a big major-label record'. I was gutted. Then I got reinstated to produce the fourth one, and I was made up because I love studio work. That's when it all turned to shit. We sacked the bass player [Draper won't name him because 'he's just a scumbag'] who'd been taking hundreds of thousands from our account. When we...
..confronted him, he broke down on the floor, crying, 'I'm evil, I need help.' He signed away all his royalties, but it was depressing to be betrayed like that.
"I tried to keep it together and, in 2003, we booked the house where Radiohead recorded OK Computer. The atmosphere was horrible. One night it all kicked off: we broke into the wine cellar, picked out the best bottle of champagne and got twatted. There was a lot of shouting and aggro. [Dominic] Chad punched his hand into a brick wall and ended up in hospital on a morphine drip. I haven't seen Andi [Rathbone] since - the rumour that he was sectioned might explain why. I've heard that the bass player is a cleaner at the toyota factory in Deeside. People were saying I was a delusional paranoid schizophrenic ... In fact, with the stress of it all l got a malignant tumour and had to have five courses of radiation therapy before having it cut out.
"I had a load of gold and platinum discs, and I threw them away, I was so fucking sick of it all ...
"By the end I felt cured and free. It was never about selling units. I wanted to be like Bowie - commercial but creative. Thom Yorke manages it. But then, Colin Greenwood never stole money from Radiohead's accounts ..."
Paul Draper formed Mansun with Dominic Chad (guitar), Steve 'Stove' King (bass) and Andi Rathbone (actually their second drummer) in 1995. They had 14 Top 40 hits and three Top 20 albums: the No 1 debut Attack Of The Grey Lantern; the alternately praised and derided second Six (N06,1998);and final album Little Kix(No 12,2000). A fourth, Kleptomania, wasn't released until 2004, two years after the band's messy demise. Since then, Draper has worked with Skin from Skunk Anansie, produced a band called Komakino and recorded a solo LP, due in 2007