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Andy Bell On His Album 'The View From Halfway Down', Ride, Oasis And More

Ahead of the release of his debut solo album 'The View From Halfway Down' on October 9th, Andy Bell spoke with Stop Crying Your Heart Out about the new release, as well as his time in Oasis and his future plans with Ride.

Read on to discover Andy's thoughts on the now famous 'River Plate' gig during the band's last ever tour, which song he'd most like to hear at a Liam gig, working with Gem Archer on his new record and much more!

You recently announced your first-ever solo album. What can fans expect from it?  

It’s a first step, short and sweet. There’s no big statement to it. It was just going to be a single or an EP but I couldn’t decide what songs to put it on and it just became simpler to put eight songs on it and call it an album.

You said in the press release for the album that you had always wanted to release a solo album, why has it taken you so long to finally release one?  

I'm not sure -  I guess I’m easily distracted.

The first single from the album 'Love Comes In Waves' has had some great responses from the media and fans. Are you looking forward to them listening to the album in full?

I’ve been blown away by the response to 'Love Comes In Waves', it’s been way more than I expected. Yeah, I’m buzzing for people to hear the album, although I have to warn people, the rest of the songs are not like seven more singles! It’s varied, there’s quieter ones on there too, and a few instrumental tracks.

How does working on a solo album stand up compared to working with members of a band?

It’s kind of lonelier, getting into the nitty gritty of making it. Working with Gem on the recordings was nice and easy. That was the easy bit, then I had to finish it. That was the hard bit, finishing it on my own. But overall, it’s good just being able to create something that feels personal, you get to make the exact music you want to hear, nobody else, just you. So that’s why it’s been so cool to see the reaction to 'Love Comes In Waves'.

Gem Archer has produced the album. Does he play on it? And what's he like to work with as a producer?

He doesn’t play on these tracks, although that sounds like I didn’t want him to! I always love hearing Gem play, he’s a brilliant guitarist. But this was about getting some ideas down that were very minimal and bare at the time. I had this structure in mind of keeping it really basic, and he is great at getting good sounds. That is as much of a skill as his musicianship. I went to his studio a couple of days a week, for a month or so, putting down one or two songs each time. At the time, it was going to be just drums, bass, one guitar and my voice, and the guitar playing was mostly folky fingerpicking style. I did some piano there as well. But it was all kept quite sparse at that point. I did maybe fifteen or twenty songs, I haven’t added it all up. But if this album goes well I have the bones of the next one ready too.

Can you tell us what is your favourite song on the album?  

'Cherry Cola'

With the current Covid crisis I imagine it will be hard to tour the album like normal, have you got any plans on doing any solo gigs in the future?

I’m not against it, but I’ve had no offers yet. Actually, that’s a lie, I have had one offer and you’ve reminded me to reply!

If you hadn't made it in the music industry, what other career path would you have taken?

Failed musician.

Who were your musical role models whilst growing up and how did they inspire you?

The Beatles mainly. When I was born, they had hardly broken up. I was ten when John Lennon died and that kicked it all off in a big way. They showed all the films at Christmas every year. My Dad used to take me to record fairs at Oxford Town Hall at the age of eleven or twelve, and I’d buy Beatles albums with pocket money I’d saved up. When the Smiths came out, I was 13/14. Johnny Marr was my guitar teacher. I can’t read music but I could pick stuff up from hearing it and I spent all my time playing the guitar to Smiths records.

You had your own show on Boogaloo Radio last year that had some superb guests on it. Is it something you would do again, and who would be the ultimate guest you would like to interview and why?

I just liked chatting and sitting playing tunes in the pub with a Guinness in one hand! I had some time off from touring and stuff and I spent six months doing that - well not six months in the pub, just one day a week, haha. It was cool, I don’t have an ultimate guest in mind, the best ones were getting a mate in and finding out things you didn’t know about them.

What album have you listened to the most this year?

Sonic Boom 'All Things Being Equal' He has a great saying “Vote every day by your way of life” The album is ace. He’s been a musical influence in my life since I was 17.

You played some absolutely phenomenal gigs with Oasis, what one would you like to see released officially and why?

River Plate Stadium on the last tour was off the scale. I don’t know about releasing it, but if you’re asking about a gig where we tore the roof off, that was it. I know stadiums don’t have roofs but you know what I mean. It was just a moment between us and our audience.


You recorded during your time in Oasis with Death In Vegas what were those sessions like? What songs did you record? What did they sound like and more importantly do recordings of them exist?  

The sessions were at Sawmills, in Cornwall, this studio you can only reach by boat, unless you walk along these train tracks and you get to the local pub. It’s quite a mad place. 'Definitely Maybe' had been done there. Ride had been there in 1993 as well, we were in right after Verve did 'A Storm In Heaven'. When we went there with Death In Vegas, we didn’t get anything that ended up getting released, I don’t think, but that’s what happens sometimes. Some days you eat the bear, some days the bear eats you.

What was your favourite Oasis album that you played on?

Don’t Believe The Truth

One of my highlights from Oasis' sets on the Don't Believe The Truth tour was 'Turn Up The Sun', what was it like to see thousands of people bouncing and singing to a song that you wrote?

Thanks. It was great what that song became, when the band got hold of it. In demo form it was like a La’s b-side, I turned up for rehearsals one day and they were playing it, Liam was singing, it sounded absolutely immense. And then yeah, seeing the crowds bouncing to it was incredible. The tune that broke barriers!

It's been great to see Liam play a few Beady Eye tracks in his solo sets, what song from his solo material do you like and why?

If I was at a Liam gig, the song I’d be waiting for would be 'Once'. That tune makes the hairs on my arms stand up.

What's next for Ride? Are you guys planning on recording again soon?

Yes, we’ll be getting in the studio over the winter.

‘The View From Halfway Down’ is out 9th October on Sonic Cathedral details and various formats can be found here.

You can follow Andy on Twitter, Instagram and YouTube and sign up to his mailing list here.

Edit: Today Andy posted the video for I Was Alone watch it below.

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