Q: Can you talk a little bit about the musical environment in Leeds when Gang of Four was first formed? What were you listening to? And how revolutionary was punk for you at the time you were first made aware of it?
A: I had been listening to John Peel’s BBC radio show for a few years prior to landing at Leeds. Peel’s unparalleled taste in music and his extraordinary talent at filtering a playlist for each night’s radio show (he allegedly listened to all submissions to his show), exposed my young ears to a broad swathe of music, some contemporary some not, and as the era of punk arrived he would of course add punk bands to his ever-expanding playlist. And yet he didn’t play it at the expense of his usual faire at the time, such as Robert Wyatt, Peter Tosh, Burning Spear, and David Bowie. Or “prog” bands like Soft Machine and Matching Mole as well as many underground bands of the time including Welsh outfit Man, and pre-punk bands such as Blurt.