Former Reuben man Jamie Lenman talks ThunderCats, The Four Horsemen and being triggered by Gun.
The first song I can remember noticing... Thundercats - Bernard Hoffer
“The theme tune to ThunderCats is a fucking song, right?
"It’s got lyrics - most of them are the word ‘thunder’ - but it’s still a song. Bernard Hoffer did the music and he’s got like a rock ’n’ roll band with ripping guitars and a brass section. It’s a crime that it’s never been officially released.”
The first song that I learned to play... (Everything I Do) I Do It For You - Bryan Adams
“I remember my cousin Matthew, who later was in a really great band called The Fallout Trust, had this big Casio keyboard and programmed in the backing track, so I could inflict it on my family. I’d give concerts that were just that song, belted at the top of my voice, when I was like aged nine. I met Bryan Adams once. He only came up to my knee, but what a handsome face, you know?”
The song I tried to learn that I just couldn’t nail... The Four Horsemen - Metallica
“In my early days as a guitar player, I wanted to be a shredder, so my guitar teacher got me a copy of Kill ’Em All by Metallica. I was like 11 years old and I didn’t have an older sibling that was into metal or anything, so to be given the definitive thrash record as your first one was pretty intense! I can tell you now, I did not succeed in learning a single solo off that record. They’re all completely insane: Kirk Hammett is a maniac.”
The first song that I covered with a band... Word Up - Gun
“Word Up looms large in my career. If you watch the documentary about Reuben [What Happens In Aldershot, Stays In Aldershot, 2007] I presented our bass player Jon Pearce with a mock gold disc of Gun’s Word Up for our 10th anniversary, because that was the first song we played together. We later made a record [Very Fast Very Dangerous] with the guy who produced it, Chris Sheldon, and we gave him a lot of ribbing for having recorded that record. I had to text him an apology, though, because I listened to it again and it is solid work!”
The riff that I wish I’d written... My Name Is Mud - Primus
“People say, ‘What kind of music is Primus?’ And you say, ‘Comedy funk metal.’ And then they leave the building really fast. But My Name Is Mud, to hear that bass line and how heavy it can get... check it out. I think we need to reappraise Primus. There’s a lot of worth on those first five records.”
The song I struggled to finish... Devolver - Jamie Lenman
“On my last record, management picked out the Devolver demo as one that would be good to play to the label, but I only had the verse and chorus. They were like, ‘Well, go on holiday, finish the song and record it when you come back...’. So I took my guitar on holiday and I had this Paul McCartney moment where I woke up with this complete song in my head - but it was a different fucking song! It was All Of England Is A City. I’d used all my holiday magic to write that, instead of finishing Devolver, which I was really cross about!”
Jamie Lenman’s Shuffle, a covers album, is out now on Big Scary Monsters