Following 'Cringe' in 1991 it was lazy bastard time again, by now Ogs had left the band so it was just the three of us. We done a few tours with a friend of ours Steve Wren standing in on the drums but we hadn't actually written any decent new material. We didn't have a record company either which didn't help things but somewhere along the line we acquired a new manager - Henry.
Derek came down to Brighton for a week some time during 1994 with a tape of new songs he'd written and it was a breath of fresh air! One day we went over to Esselle Studios in Brighton and I put down some vocals on the tape, this demo had our manager drooling (so he reckons) and somehow he got We Bite Records interested. Pretty soon we'd signed a deal with them for three albums and they could re-issue all the old Trapper Records and Hairy Pie stuff, the priority now was to start writing a new album and find a drummer.
Trouble is Steve Wren was not available and anyway too expensive, our options were limited. I suggested a good friend of mine - Gary Bacon who I'd known for years and was a bloody good drummer. Gary was up for it, Del was up for it, I obviously was up for it but we had a big problem with Trapper. The big problem was Gary was shagging Trapper's girlfriend! So that idea got put on the back burner for a while but before long a one-off festival at our friend Gunter's place in Bavaria beckoned. The deal was too good to turn down and so Trapper himself went round to Gary's to see if he'd do this gig with us. I bet Trapper must have felt sick having to ask Gary to help us out but we were desperate.
We flew over to Germany and without any rehearsals whatsoever we done the gig, of course it wasn't perfect but it sure could have been a lot worse. We all had a fucking brilliant weekend and Gary was in the band. In November with the annual Xmas German tour approaching we started to rehearse the new material up at Survival Studios in Acton, London.
It all went well, we had an album's worth of good new material, a new drummer and a big tour coming up on which to practice. The tour was fantastic - our first using a nightliner, and we sounded better than ever.
There was only one small problem and that was the on-going antagonism between Trap and Gary. Trap however much he denied it still hated Gary and on-stage the two of them rarely ever made eye-contact. Me and Del had discussed the situation before the tour and we'd decided that I was to look after Gary and Del look after Trap. Actually it wasn't so much 'look after' as get pissed with, it worked well.
When we got back to England we had high hopes for the new album and the new line-up, however it wasn't to last. After a brief French tour in the Spring, Gary left, also around this time, Trapper started to get offers of work from Ogs so again we were fucked.
We had about one week before we were due to start recording and no drummer, thankfully Hans who used to be in Flesh For Lulu stepped in and saved the day, a week of frenzied rehearsing in Survival and we were ready. We moved all the gear to Chiswick Reach studios in London which is right next to Fullers Brewery, there we laid down all the drums and most of the bass and a few guitar parts whilst of course taking full advantage of having a brewery next door. The rest of the recording was done at Southern Studios up at Wood Green, Harvey Birrell engineered and co-produced with Del and it sounded fucking brilliant, a great relief after the bodge-up of 'Cringe'. It took about three weeks during the summer of 1995.
After it was finished we had the sleeve to design and a title to think of. I wanted the album to be called 'Sorted' but the record company wanted 'Supermodels'. By this time Del was living in Spain down on the Costa Del Sol and the idea was that I'd send him all the artwork, etc. he needed so that he could design it himself whilst lazing about in the sun. "Fuck sending it" I thought, "I'll take it", so off I went and spent two fucking glorious weeks with Del and
Rachael at their apartment.
Actually the sleeve is just a collage of Rachael's old Vogues, Cosmopolitans, etc. and you can find bar codes we cut on practically everything these days. Where we couldn't find really small bar codes we just cut out prices from magazines and newspapers. The inside sleeve is a collage of cuttings from old copies of Loaded I brought with me. The lyrics are supposed to look like they have been written on wraps, the back photo is from The Marquee in London. Once we'd finished it all we carefully packaged it all up and sent it off to We Bite in Germany. We even got them to pay for my flights! One of the prices is missing from a model's face which just goes to show how much care and attention We Bite pay to their sleeves.
This is certainly one of my favourite Test Tube albums, it sounds great, it's got some fantastic songs on it and it always reminds me of the time I spent with Del and
Rachael in Spain.