Interview with Neville Staple in May 2003
Online-Interview by Horst Schweter • Dr. Maluma,
Horst: Most people may know you from when you were the lead singer with The Specials, a member of Fun Boy 3 and Special Beat. That's a long time ago and the Two Tone movement at that time was for most people a real new and crazy stuff. Are you still in touch with the other members of the Specials?

Neville: I’m in touch with Lynval some. Recently I’ve had a few conversations with Jerry. Last November I was in London for the BBC taping of a TV special “It’s the Number One Party”. I saw Brad there, hadn’t spoken to him in 20-odd years. Roddy was there as well, and that was the first he and I had seen each other in over 2 years.

Neville Staple
Horst: You're coming from Coventry in the UK and now you're living in the U.S.A. There are many nice places in this world. Why have you moved to Southern California?

Neville: I love it here in Long Beach and you can’t beat the weather or the fans. I’m here mostly as it’s the best place to find gigs. It seems once you are no longer the “flavor of the month” in England, they don’t want anything to do with you. Don’t get me wrong I really love England. It’s not the fans, it’s that the promoters and buyers don’t seem interested in much more than the bottom line.

Horst: What are your favorite bands at this time?

Neville: I listen to a bit of everything. I can’t really pick a favorite. I hear something on the radio and think, yeah they’re good but the come up so quick you don’t know who’s who.

: Apart from ska, what kind of music do you like to hear?

Neville: I’m a fan of any type of music, depending on what mood I’m in….reggae, rock, hip hop, Indian. I find myself driving sometimes and tuning into the classical stations and even the Hispanic stations. I supposed that will surprise some.

: Now you have your own band. The other members are quite a bit younger than you. How did you get to know them?

Neville: I was only 7 when I started, they’re NOT that much younger that I am J . Actually I think it was The Specials’ web master (and former Engineer) Miles who found most of the guys. And since then we’ve had a few changes in the lineup.

: Last year you were on tour in Japan with them. You got in touch with the Japanese ska scene. How was it?

Neville: The Ska scene has always been strong there. And there’s nothing like playing for the Japanese fans, they are so nice and they truly appreciate it. They sing along, they know all the words even though they may not speak English. It’s really great I love Japan, but I never spend enough time there.

Horst: I really like your latest Album. The music is a mix of some old favorites and new pieces like 'World on fire' or 'Put away your guns'. There are good messages in your songs how it was with original Specials... Are You getting younger as you get older?

Neville: I guess so J I don’t know, people say I’ve mellowed.

Horst: Your music now is energetic and rocky with modern influences. You are open to go more crossover in your style?

Neville: Yes, and I always have been. I love to mix different styles of music, Indian, Hip Hop whatever. I guess that how The Specials original sound evolved, from the Reggae which we sped up and mixed in with Punk and Rock.

: What are your plans for the nearer future?

Neville: Well I’m under new management now, Jason Rothberg. He’s putting together a brilliant plan to tour now until the holidays, get into the studio to record a new album that we are hoping to release in February 2004. And then back on the road to tour again promoting the new album.

Horst: Thank you very much for the time you' ve spent me and I hope to see you in Germany soon (o;=