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Biography from VH1.com

Brit-pop got a new face in the new millennium thanks to the popularity of Coldplay, The Vines, and Doves. Oasis weren't exactly supreme kings anymore, therefore the Gallaghers didn't have much of a choice when making room for some these younger lads. The Music was a part of that fresh faced crowd and took the U.K. indie charts by storm in summer 2002.

Comprised of schoolhood chums Stuart Coleman, Adam Nutter, Robert Harvey, and Phil Jordan, The Music emerged from the suburbs of Leeds in 1999. They were just teenagers at the time and practiced between studies and dinner time for the next two years. By early 2001, Radio 1 celebrity DJ Steve Lamacq hailed The Music as the "best unsigned in Britain." The raw, rock power of their demo "Take the Long Road and Walk It" started it all. Fierce Panda secured the album and released a limited edition 1,000 copies in May 2001.

Hut Recordings England won a bidding war with The Music and released the band's debut EP You Might As Well Try to Fuck Me that same spring. NME touted The Music as "potentially the most important group since Oasis." The People EP appeared in spring 2002, and with the English press still a buzz, America attempted to capitalized on them as well. Capitol Records snatched The Music up in mid-2002. A self-titled full-length was scheduled for a September 2002 release in the U.K.; The Music arrived on American shores in February 2003. A month later, The Music hit the road with Coldplay for a two month run in the States.

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Biography from TheMusic.co.uk

"We always said we'd grow up in public. And that's what we've done. This album is about what happens when a bunch of teenage lads from Leeds lap the world a couple of times and then spit it all out."

Two years on and The Music have hit something of a roll. More precisely, a rollercoaster of a roll. In that time The Music have gone from the early promise of a young band gloriously finding their collective voice to being a global hit, complete with burgeoning fan base and an awesome reputation for live brilliance. It's two years since The Music's debut album established them among the top contenders as the UK's best new band. The Music -- Rob Harvey (vocals), Phil Jordan (drums), Adam Nutter (guitar) and Stuart Coleman (bass) -- were barely 18 years old when their eponymously-titled album rocketed into the UK chart at number four at the start of September 2002.

That success was predicated on more than the massive quality of the band's music. Not since the mid-Nineties had a young British band set such a meaningful agenda for the generation to have emerged post-Britpop. The Music were clearly striking more than musical chords. After relentless touring -- including unforgettable moments at places as diverse as London's Brixton Academy and Fuji Rock in Japan -- The Music's reputation spread around the world. The band were on that roll. Indeed, with some half-million albums sold, it would have been easy for The Music to have rested on their laurels a while longer. What the band actually did, however, was absorb all the mayhem and return to the fray with a second album displaying an extraordinary leap forward and clearly reflecting the headlong experience of the last two years. That album is Welcome to the North.

Like all things to do with The Music, there has been little planning or pre-meditation involved in the initial stages of the new album. "We never say this is going to be about such-and-such or we need to move in this direction," says Phil Jordan. "I think second guessing yourself or others is fatal. We knew we'd grown and we knew that as soon as we went into the studio what came out would reflect that." In May 2004 the band decamped to recording studios in Atlanta, Georgia, and spent seven weeks recording with Brendan O'Brien, whose productions credits include such bands as Rage Against the Machine, Soundgarden and Pearl Jam. If The Music's debut album was all groove-led exuberance then Welcome to the North marks the emergence of a new dimension -- Rob Harvey as both a vocalist and lyricist.

Anyone who has experienced the spiritual uplift of The Music live will know just how far their euphoric grooves can carry a crowd. The first album was a celebration of that power. On Welcome to the North Rob Harvey is more questioning and alert. "The Music have always been about the incredible high we get from audiences at our shows and the new album is about retaining your spiritual strength and positive feelings in what can be a bad world," he says. "It's about optimism, opening your mind and fighting the cynicism."

The band are from Leeds in the north of England. Welcome to the North, however, is not quite the chest-beating statement of local pride it may seem. "Leeds is home," says Harvey, "but we are all aware of the shortcomings of the place. The title is kind of ironic. It's a double-edged sword. You see the world and come back and see your previous life with a different perspective. The thing is none of us ever dreamed we would get the chance to see the things we've seen."

The band was formed in the music room of Brigshaw High School in Kippax, Leeds. In the beginning there was Rob Harvey, Adam Nutter and Stuart Coleman - drummer Phil Jordan was the last to join in 1999. There was no mad scramble to shop demos, secure deals or chase fame; being in a band was essentially a way of keeping themselves off the streets. "After Phil joined in 1999, it was obvious we were really good together," says Coleman. "But we've always tried to insulate ourselves from the bullshit and keep the music as pure as possible."

The embryonic band, however, were not short of confidence. "Me and Rob have known each other since we were babies," says Nutter. "I always knew Rob had something but he was always involved with these shit bands. Finally I just grabbed him and we started writing. To me it wasn't a fluke or an accident. I really did have that feeling of 'Well if he keeps doing that and I keep doing this, how can we fail?'" Take the Long Road and Walk It confirmed his belief. Released by the small UK independent label, Fierce Panda, the single came out just as the band quit school in 2001. It was followed by the You May As Well Try To Fuck Me EP, by which time the likes of the NME were stating that The Music were "potentially the most important group since Oasis."

Then, of course, came The Music album. Aided and abetted by such singles as The People and The Truth is No Words, the album went gold in the UK (and, a little later in Japan and Australia too). So Welcome to the North is very much chapter two of one of the most promising English rock stories of the decade. "The only way to hold onto any integrity is to check with yourself the reasons why you do things," says Rob Harvey. "We've always tried to decide among ourselves what feels right and ignore everyone else. One of our goals is 'No goals'. Don't set targets or goals that have no meaning. All the best things we've ever done have happened by accident."

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Discography - Albums

The Music[cover photo]

Label: Hut

Released: 09.02.02

01. The Dance

02. Take the Long Road and Walk It

03. Human

04. The Truth Is No Words

05. Float

06. Turn Out the Light

07. The People

08. Getaway

09. Disco

10. Too High

Welcome to the North[cover photo]

Label: Capitol

Released: 10.19.04

01. Welcome to the North

02. Freedom Fighters

03. Bleed From Within

04. Breakin'

05. Cessation

06. Fight the Feeling

07. Guide

08. Into the Night

09. I Need Love

10. One Way in, No Way Out

11. Open Your Mind

Disography - EP's

You Might as Well Try to F*** Me EP[cover photo]

Released: 05.11.01

01. You Might as Well Try to F*** Me

02. Karma

03. Treat Me Right On

04. Too High

The People EP[cover photo]

Released: 04.01.02

01. The People

02. Let Love Be the Healer

03. Life

04. Jag Tune

The Music [EP][cover photo]

Label: Virgin

Released: 05.07.02

01. Take the Long Rod and Walk It

02. The Walls Get Smaller

03. You Might as Well Try to F*** Me

04. Karma

05. Too High

06. New Instrumental [Live]

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The Music of Their Minds

Psychedelic buzz-band talks suicide prevention, dance 'n trance boogie nights, and pretending to be Bon Jovi.

Thu. March 13.2003

If you're going to call your band the Music, you better be able to bring tears to grown men's eyes or be handy with your fists. The much buzzed-about English quartet of that name may look scrawny, but sound-wise they've got plenty of wallop: their self-titled Capitol debut is a maelstrom of psychedelic rock. Guitarist Adam Nutter works his effects pedals for all they're worth, wailing deliriously on "Human" and chattering excitedly on "Getaway." Drummer Phil Jordan and bassist Stuart Coleman's command of dance rhythms provide the bounce. It's singer Robert Harvey's voice that first grabs your ear, though. It's a piercing siren, plain and simple.

The Music formed in 1999 in the suburbs of Leeds, because, the band claims, "there was nothing better to do." After two years of fighting boredom by forging a sound around Nutter's swirling guitars and Harvey's banshee impersonation, they rose from the underground on a groundswell of acclaim. A limited edition single, "Take the Long Road and Walk It," sold out in 48 hours. Music mags quickly went into hype mode. NME declared that the Music's stadium-ready sound made them "the most important group since Oasis." Listeners agreed. The Music went to No. 4 in the British charts and sold 100,000 copies in Japan. America was next, and after supporting the Vines last year, the band are back in the States to win more hearts by supporting Coldplay. Looks like those music mags were right.

The band's inner dynamic quickly becomes apparent as the guys nosh on cheese and cold cuts backstage at Manhattan's Bowery Ballroom. For such a charismatic front man, Harvey seems to have no interest in presenting a mystic facade. When asked what puts a smile on his face, his reply is simple: "farts." His band-mates show their chagrin. Nutter spends the first part of the interview curled up on the couch, but when he comes alive, it's with the force of the group's musical visionary, enthusing about such disparate influences like cult R&B figure Shuggie Otis and "Money for Nothing" rockers Dire Straits. Jordan and Coleman are the grunts, swearing like troopers once the food begins flying around the room.

Ducking the hurled salami and speaking over the sound-check's cacophony, the four West Yorkshire spoke to VH1 about what makes them dance, being big in Japan, and, of course, silly band names.

VH1: You're playing The Late Show with David Letterman soon. What stuff makes you guys laugh?

Phil Jordan: Saturday Night Live is an amazing program. Well, it used to be. Me and Stu watched butt-loads of it the last time we were over here with the Vines. Then we caught a new episode with Josh Hartnett, and it was sh*t.

VH1: What is the worst pun you've heard involving the name of the band?

Robert Harvey: That ABBA one, "Thank you for the Music." The local papers always use that one.

VH1: What was the first song you wrote together that made you realized that you were a band?

Jordan: "The Dance" was one of the first songs we did. It was like the first time we played. You could tell it was different. It stood out.

Harvey: We didn't try and make it sound like the Music. We were just f*cking around.

Jordan: We didn't do covers. We're not a covers band. Straight off we were just jamming and enjoying ourselves.

VH1: Were any of you in bands before?

Stuart Coleman: I was in a band called We Are Not Kings, because it spelt "Wank." Another one was like Willie Wonka & the Gypsy Hairspray Kings. We split up and I went and did this. We're still mates, though.

VH1: What band's music sounds best on drugs?

Harvey: The Doors.

Jordan: Jane's Addiction Nothing's Shocking. That's quite cool. That's got the best of both worlds for me. It sounds excellent anyway, but when you're stoned just sit back and think, "Ah."

VH1: What is it about the North of Britain that feeds that fusion of psychedelic music and dance?

Coleman: The whole Hacienda thing in Manchester had a lot to do with it. When acid house first came out in Manchester, many bands were influenced by it. But I never went to the Hacienda. Dance music came out before our time.

VH1: So what makes you guys dance?

Harvey: Techno's great for dancing. I haven't gotten any techno records, but when someone puts on techno, I can't keep still.

Coleman: You can't help but dance to that.

VH1: The album took you from nobodies to the top 10 of the U.K. charts. What is the most rock star thing you've done since enjoying that success?

Harvey: Probably getting a limousine from the hotel today! I was expecting a yellow cab! We're not really rock 'n' roll, to be honest. Being rock 'n' roll and throwing TVs out of windows is all a cliche, anyway. It's just stupid.

VH1: You mean you're not interested in abusing the privileges?

Harvey: Sometimes. We just have food fights a lot. That's about it really.

VH1: What's it like being big in Japan?

Harvey: They're really nice people over there. Really polite. If they want you to sign something, they ask in a very sincere way. In England, they're like, "Sign that!" But in Japan, the fans come up to you and give you stuff.

VH1: Do you get fans over there who wait outside the hotel, like the Beatles?

Harvey: Yeah. People get into the hotels, too!

VH1: Are you surprised by that level of adulation? In New York and England fans are a little more reserved.

Harvey: We get weird letters from Japan.

Jordan: One was from this girl who said she was considering suicide until she heard our music. That's quite flattering, but at the same time it puts a lot of duty on us. It's crazy. Someone is thinking about suicide and then they hear us and that stops them from committing suicide.

Adam Nutter: "It's like, "Goodbye cruel world ... Wait! What's this shite on the radio?"

VH1: Who is one of your cult heroes who has never gotten the respect they deserve?

Nutter: Shuggie Otis. Inspiration Information is a beautiful record. I didn't know anything about him before they re-released it a few years ago, but he's a musical genius and it's great.

VH1: If you could be in an '80s hair metal band, which one would it be?

Harvey: Were T.Rex in the '80s? With my hair I look a little like I could be in T.Rex.

Coleman: Say Bon Jovi ...

Harvey: Oh yeah! Bon Jovi would be great to be in. Especially for "Living on the Prayer," where you could fly across the room wailing.

Nutter: I'd be in Dire Straits. I grew up loving them. I used to be really into them and listened to Mark Knopfler quite a lot. I prefer the earlier stuff. They went a bit crap around the time of "Money for Nothing."

Jordan: I would have liked to have been in Van Halen so I could be in the "Jump" video.

VH1: You guys seem like the hair metal boys who use stage effects.

Jordan: Well, they ain't got any music going for them, do they?

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