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The Divine Comedy
He samples Daniel Day Lewis, quotes Fellini, and is named after a poem by Dante. But donít let that intimidate you ~ The Divine Comedyís Neil Hannon is here to make some good ďstonkingĒ pop music, and with that goal in mind he effortlessly sidesteps pretension and offers up an eclectic and entertaining sound that you absolutely have to check out.

In his first-ever Indian interview, Hannon talks exclusively to The Record about music, cricket, his Indian connection, and how naming your band after Italian poetry of the Middle Ages is not as risky as it seems!

The Record: For those who have no idea what The Divine Comedy as an artist is all about ~ give us an introduction.
Neil: [Laughs] OkayÖhelp! RightÖ well Iíve been around for a while over in this neck of the woods. Iíve made about eight albums, Iím from Northern Ireland originally and Iíve lived in London for 10 years. I try to make pop music ~ I mean, it is pop music but itís sort of a good, Ďgoodí pop music with interesting words hopefully about interesting subjects that donít generally get written about in pop. And with some stonking tunes!
Basically I hope to sell as many records as possible but not at the expense of my own personal musical taste. I pretty much do exactly what I want and the albums tend to be rather eclectic in nature.

TR: What was the biggest inspiration for the new album?
Neil: The nice thing was I didnít really intend to make an album at all last year. I was doing lots of other things ~ writing songs for various people and writing silly pop songs with other pop songwriters. It was great fun! And all the time I seem to have been writing lots of other songs without really noticing and so it got to about September and I looked at all the songs I had and I thought I really ought to make an album because there were far too many.

TR: Has the internet changed the kind of people who access your music?
Neil: Yeah, for a start this is my first Indian interview ever! So yeah it must be doing something. By the way itís a great honour to be talking to your country. Itís really a pleasure. You play great cricket!

TR: Well you might be talking to one of the only Indians who isnít a cricket fan. Iím looking forward to the football this month!
Neil: [Laughs] Oh really? Excellent. Well Iím a footie fan too soÖ

TR: Coming back to the internetÖ
Neil: Yeah, well, I personally donít know how to use a computer. [Laughs] I mean I use a computer to write music on but Iím not very good with the whole computer thing. I tend to get lost and I have to call my wife for help.
But [with the industry and the internet] it all looks very good, although itís kind of worrying now. Whatís started happening is now we do a show, and then almost an hour later you can read a review of the bloody show on the Internet and see pictures of yourself! [Laughs] Itís all so instantaneous, itís rather scary. I suppose itís good.

You can read the rest of our exclusive with The Divine Comedy in the June 2006 issue of The Record Music Magazine available at your local newsagent.


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