Monday, July 18, 2011

5 Minutes With Hugh Cornwell

Hugh Cornwell was the vocalist and guitarist for the The Stranglers, from 1974 to 1990. Since leaving The Stranglers, Cornwell has released several solo albums including Wolf (1988), Wired (1993), Guilty (1997), Hi Fi (2000), Footprints in the Desert (2002), Mayday (2002), In the Dock (2003), and Beyond Elysian Fields (2004).
A cricket fan, Cornwell appeared on the 'Jamie Theakston Cricket Show' on BBC Radio 5 Live. He played a live acoustic version of "(Get A) Grip (On Yourself)" with the then England batsman and guitarist Mark Butcher. Cornwell subsequently became a player with Bunbury Cricket Club, and has been a guest on 'A View From The Boundary' on BBC Radio Four's Test Match Special and BBC Radio 5 Live's 'Yes It's The Ashes'.

Q1. What was the first record that you owned and how did it change your life?

Hugh Cornwell: my aunt and uncle gave me "what do you want to make those eyes at me for?" emile ford and the checkmates for christmas. I learnt all the lyrics and sang it to death all the time around the house which drove my family mad!

Q2. I was talking with Tony Visconti recently and he spoke warmly of working with you on two of your albums. Tony says you have "such a rich velvety voice, almost like Sinatra". Would you ever consider an album of standards?

(I mean a la Bryan Ferry NOT the Rod Stewart Great American Song Book).

HC: I just did a limited edition album of covers called "You're Covered", which was available to VIP guests only on my last UK tour. I am also planning one for Australia next year.

Q3. You were one of the first artists of the new wave era to release a solo record; the wonderful 'Nosferatu'. The album cover features a still from F.W. Murnau's 1922 film of the same name, with the album styled as a soundtrack to the Film. Are film soundtracks appealing to you? Would you do one yourself?

HC: I am fantical about movies and would love to be invited to write a soundtrack. I am planning a radio station devoted to film soundtracks at the moment.

Q4. I met you recently backstage after your Irving Plaza New York show with my friend Clem Burke and I came away thinking "What a lovely guy-he just arrived in the country after visa hassle, played a storming set for charity and still he shows grace under pressure". Do you just take all this stuff in your stride?

HC: I try to but sometimes I don't succeed!

Q5. You've penned three books; Inside Information (1980), The Stranglers – Song by Song (2001) and your autobiography A Multitude of Sins (2004). Can you tell me a little bit about your next book, Window on the World?

HC: WINDOW ON THE WORLD is my first novel and I'm very happy with the way it has turned out. It has just been published by Quartet Books. I'm just finishing my second novel now.

Hugh’s first novel ‘Window on the World’ was published by Quartet Books in July 2011. The book can be pre-ordered now at

HUGH CORNWELL - WHITE ROOM from the album 'Nosferatu'.

1 comment:

  1. I like Hugh's solo material and I like the post Hugh Stranglers, they're both doing their own thing and doing it well, it's just a pity that they continue with their sniping, Hugh made a decision to leave, it's fair to say the original line up will never play together again, the band have carried on without him so why can't they both just leave it alone and carry on with the music instead?