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Supergrass frontman Gaz Coombes: ‘Everyone was off their heads and it was a bit insane’

Gaz Coombes of Supergrass looks back in amazement at the ‘anything-goes’ decade when he and his bandmates first found fame

When Supergrass scored an overnight smash hit with their debut album I Should Coco in 1995, they were just teenagers, yet their timing was perfect – they’d tapped into the zeitgeist of Britpop and seemed to personify that upbeat, catchy, mid-90s music scene.

“It was a strange time, the 1990s. It was a bit of a free for all, everyone was off their heads and it was a bit insane,” frontman Gaz Coombes said, speaking to The Big Issue for our Letter to My Younger Self feature. “You look back at headlines in the NME or Melody Maker and think, you can’t say that! There were some unsavoury tones to it – but nevertheless it was a very exciting decade.”

In 1994, when Coombes was just 18, Supergrass signed to Parlophone, the former home of The Beatles and representatives of Coombes’s contemporaries Radiohead, Blur and The Verve. Coombes said they were fortunate in the support they received.

“We were probably scammed in our record deal. But we were also pretty lucky. We were with Parlophone and they were really musical, creative people who let us do our thing. We never felt any pressure,” he added.

“There was a lot of money flying around then. We were doing videos for ridiculous amounts of money, which is quite sickening when you look back. Especially now I know we can do things in a really interesting way without that excess.”

The full interview with Gaz Coombes, including his memories of how finding fame as a teenager affected him, will be in The Big Issue magazine on the streets from January 9.

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The new book Letter to My Younger Self: Inspirational Women is out now, you can order it here.

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