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“It’s not an unusual thing at the moment to be questioning areas of humanity”

Gaz Coombes has opened up on how ideals of masculinity and his own struggles with mental health shaped the sound of his upcoming third solo record. The former Supergrass frontman is gearing up to release ‘World’s Strongest Man’ in May this year, the follow up to 2015’s Mercury Prize nominated ‘Matador’.

As he discussed the record with NME, Coombes explained how he took inspiration from ‘The Descent Of Man’, after reading Grayson Perry’s acclaimed exploration of masculinity on holiday. “I’d already got halfway through the record and I went on holiday during the summer and that was just my summer reading.  It was the catalyst for more lyrics to come and the name of the title track”, he told NME. “It was a very eye opening read, that book, incredibly well written and very non judgemental and sensitive and very eye opening. It’s not an unusual thing at the moment to be questioning areas of humanity and what makes us decent human beings and that was something I really wanted to achieve while writing a lot of these lyrics. “But it’s also sort of about one’s own kind inadequacies or vulnerabilities, or being a man, being a human, being a father. It just felt right.”

The record is also set to take on a personal side too – with Coombes explaining how his previous struggles with mental health found their way onto the record. “I’ve seen awareness of mental health change over the last decade. I think men are becoming a lot freer to be able to talk about their head space and I think it’s something that I’ve had a lot of issues with over the years, with anxiety and depression”, he said. “Why shouldn’t it be something you can be open about or put a reference to in some lyrics? I I just love to observe and to put into my lyrics little lines here and there,  for me kind of reflect about what’s happening. Describing the album title, he added: “With the album title there’s the element of the alpha male ruining it for everyone else, whether its world leaders or high profile celebrities, you know I just think everyone’s tired of it.

“We’re tired of that alpha male thing. I think we can all be strong, you can be a strong man but consider yourself a strong human being. It doesn’t always have to be separated into an ‘I’m the guy with the muscles and I run the show’ kind of thing. Coombes will promote the new record with an initial London show at ULU on February 28 – his first solo gig since January 2016, when he sold out the Roundhouse in the capital.

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Smashing Pumpkins‘ original drummer has suggested the band’s classic, first line-up could reunite next year.

Jimmy Chamberlin, who rejoined the group in 2006 for three years and then for a second time in 2015, added to frontman Billy Corgan‘s comments that he was planning to record an album with “people who used to be in the band”.

Speaking to WGN Radio, Chamberlin said: “We were talking about playing next year with the band and somebody asked me, you know, ‘What’s it like trying to co-ordinate that?’” He continued: “I said it’s like ‘Grumpy Old Men 3′, only there’s four grumpy old men and one’s a woman’. So… that’s how it’s gotten to be.”

Talking about the dynamic between himself and Corgan, the drummer said: “The two hours that we spend playing music together is the greatest thing in the world. It’s the other 22 hours of the day that him and I are… He’s got opinions, I’ve got opinions. We’re both grown men, right?” If the original Smashing Pumpkins line-up did reunite, it would be the first time they had played together since 1999, as Musicfeeds.com.au notes. Bassist D’Arcy Wretzky  left the band in 1999 to pursue an acting career (although Corgan later said she was fired), while guitarist James Iha was not involved when the group reunited in 2000 with a new line-up. He has, however, made a handful of appearances on stage with Smashing Pumpkins again since 2016.

Speaking to Chicago’s 97.9 The Loop earlier this year, Corgan said “things look good” for playing with Iha again. “We’re talking about it. We’ll see,” added the frontman. As for the rest of the classic line-up, Corgan isn’t ruling it out. “There’s a willingness for us to play, but also the world’s changed a lot since we didn’t play,” he said. “So the reunion thing is always a bit weird because people come in with their expectations.

“So my whole thing is if we’re gonna do it, I think we do it to make people happy and not go against the tide of what people would want to hear in that type of stuff, but my interest in it is sort of limited. I’m not gonna do it for like 14 years of my life.” (via NME)

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http://diffuser.fm/faith-no-more-angel-dust/#photogallery-1=8

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Very well written.

https://thefirsttenwords.wordpress.com/2017/05/20/its-not-what-you-think/

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http://www.thedrum.com/opinion/2017/02/03/advertising-kills-let-s-stop-the-overworking-culture-and-make-it-fun-and

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http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/cd1722ba-8333-11e5-8e80-1574112844fd.html#axzz3r4GYcRsP

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http://www.brainpickings.org/2014/09/11/jeff-buckley-interview/

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