Interviewer: Why is music important?
Gruff: Music has been around forever and has a way of joining people together. Melodies and an impassioned voice, you know, transcends any cultural barrier.
Interviewer: You mentioned being insignificant - is that a reflection of the way you feel within the music industry? I mean, were you surprised by your nomination for the Mercury Music Award?
Gruff: Yeah, because it’s never happened before. But I don’t know how the hell you’re meant to judge albums. It’s just to sell records: you get a nice sticker on the cover of your album. It’s just record companies saying ‘we think these people should sell lots of records this year’. And the record industry is this little village inside London where individuals can influence the careers of whichever band they like. But it doesn’t mean anything. Some of the best bands are ones that people have never heard of, or at least get no recognition. I mean, some of the most influential bands were completely ignored - The Who, MC5…not that I’m saying that we’re like them.
Interviewer: So do you think that industry awards are pointless, then?
Gruff: You get a nice sticker on your album and the more stickers you get on your album the more it sells. And they put you on a nice shelf in the shop. But the shop won’t put it there out of the kindness of their hearts. It’s like the wine that’s displayed out in the middle of the off licence - it’s there because the company’s paid the off licence to put it in a good place. And every record that’s listed gets there because the record company has paid thousands of pounds.