Interview: Merv Goldsworthy, FM

Back on the Streets

FM are neither big nor small, neither hip nor has-been. With a potentially huge following, they are on the verge of glory and could still be a force, given the right breaks. The 'free transfer' of one-time 720/ASAP guitarist Andy Barnett has revitalised their playing... Hearing the band talk now, their years on CBS (now Sony) were a complete nightmare, but for once not because the company didn't believe in the band.

"Whenever we gave them a song, they'd say 'brilliant, lads, best thing since sliced bread.' They just weren't giving us any help," says Merv 'The Swerve' Goldsworthy. "They pushed us in the direction of making big ballads with a huge chorus. The initial problem was we just didn't have time to find our feet. Foreigner were the biggest band at that time, and we ended up sounding a bit like them. We didn't ever take any risks with our music."

In many people's minds, FM will always be American wanabees. There is something that doesn't quite seem right about a band from a country as small as England that experiences so little sun, making the grand, sweeping gestures that FM make.

"I's true," says Merv. "People have said to me that when they play an FM album to someone who doesn't know it's us, they usually like it. Our audience grows every time we play, though, whereas a lot of bands are really feeling the recession. People just haven't got the money to spend, so gig attendances are suffering.

FM have recently been exploring the acoustic side of their nature.

Merv: "It's really testing. We've seen other bands do it, like Tesla and Giant, but they don't really seem to be enjoying themselves, whereas we just laugh from start to finish. We couldn't have done it before Andy joined, as Chris didn't really sing, but we can do four-part harmonies now. We cover all sorts of songs, whatever we fancy. If Andy knows two lines of a song, we can make it last for four minutes!"

As Andy says, "It's like being in the face of adversity, really. Which kind of sums this band up."

Chris Collingwood
Riff Raff
May 1993

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