Thursday, 13 August 2009

Dead Love

It's been a fair bit of time since we at Le Freak featured an interview on our pages, so we thought it high time to bring another crazy-stylish muso type to the masses. This time, in keeping with our focus on male fashion, we spoke to Paul Marshall, superstar DJ, frontman of Cardiff-based rock troubadours Dead Against the Rest and winner of my coveted 'Most Stylish man I know' award to get the lowdown on how to rock his look.

Whats going on with your two main ventures, Dead Against the Rest and Barflys new electro night Supa Supa?
Alright thanks. The band have been taking a bit of time out because everybody’s going away on holiday, but we’ve started writing some more stuff and putting a more professional set together. We’ve got a hopefully got a couple of big things coming up towards the end of the year, on the 22nd august we’re playing at Maesteg town hall with funeral for a friend and kids in glasshouses – it’s a tribute gig for our guitarists sister who died in the Thailand plane crash. It’s sold out now, but it should be a really good gig. We’re playing hard rock hell as well at the end of the year, with the New York Dolls, which I’m well happy about. There are loads of old metal bands like WASP and Queensreich too. Supa Supas going alright, it’s pretty up and down but it’s quiet at the moment, so most things in Barfly have pretty much shut down until September when the students come back. We’re going to restart it then with a nice new repertoire, some new tunes! We’re trying to find some way of having it on a weekend, as it would suit it better to have it on a Saturday rather than a Wednesday when everyone’s got work in the morning – even though Hammertime is still busy, who knows why! But yeah, we’re going to go into serious advertising mode in august, so you’ll see it around town!

Who are your ultimate style influences?

It depends what mood I’m in when I wake up really. I think predominantly it’s always someone like Bowie, he’s a massive style icon for me because of the diversity in styles he’s had since he started all the way through his career ‘til now. I think he’s worn some ridiculous clothes, and even though I’ve worn some ridiculous clothes I wouldn’t wear some of it! You’ve got all the classics like Bowie and Mick Jagger and people like that. For a while Noel Fielding was really big on my agenda but then after seeing them live last year it just destroyed my idea of him, he’s just become too cool now. Its like he’s gone so far up his own arse…but that’s another story for another day. I think a lot of my style stems from when I was a mod, and there’s a bit of glam rock in there, with a bit of whatever I feel like! Bit of punk DIY in there as well, lets not forget that.

You're quite into customising your own clothes. Care to tell us a bit about that?
I was going to start my own customised t shirt range. im going to call my label Dead Love, I thought that was pretty cool. I’ve done a few already because whenever I wear my own designs out people keep asking me where I got them from. Its just spray-painting t-shirts really, they only last for one or two washes but I think that’s even better really, its even more punk. They’re real one-offs then, after you’ve worn it a couple of times and washed it then its done. It’s all about the design really. I’ve got things like old military jackets that I’ve pinned together – rather than chuck them out because they’re ripped, I’ll just pin them back together so they look a bit more punky. And with shoes, I’ll take a pair in a boring colour then spray paint them whatever colour I want.

How do you decide what to wear on a night out?
An outfit always starts with the shoes. I work my way up from the shoes. It depends what the occasion is though – if it’s a mid week gig ill probably wear trainers but then it’ll depend on what colour trainers I want to wear. Pink, probably. But if im DJ-ing, because the music takes up the forefront of it, I like to wear something that makes me stand out a bit – t-shirt, chains and beads, and its always about a nice jacket – a customised coat maybe. But it always comes back to the shoes! A good pair of winklepickers, the pointier the better!

Whats the dillio with your myriad tattoos?
Theres no real meaning behind them, I just really like them. The one on my elbow is a Roy Lichtenstein piece because I really like pop art, I tell everyone the girl on my arm is Amy Winehouse…but its not! I just love the old skool sailor tattoos, nice sleeves, and pin-up girls too. That’s what my tattoos are all based on. It’s normally when I see something that catches my eye and I think ‘hmm, that would make for a good tattoo, where on my body can I put that?!’ See, I never understand why people always feel they have to attach stories to their tattoos. I don’t know any of my friends who have meanings behind theirs beyond ‘yeah, it looks cool!’ I’m just glad they don’t have 24 hour tattoo parlours anymore, because guaranteed id be covered in shit tattoos by now, Skeletor or something like that!

If you could trade wardrobes with one person, dead or alive, who would it be?

Bowie, easily. Maybe not so much now, but 70’s era bowie was amazing, but I think im a bit too fat to fit into his wardrobe! Maybe Jagger, Keith Richards too, but that’s getting a bit greedy then isn’t it?

Do you have any items in your wardrobe that hold particular sentimental value?
Well, hmm! I’ll have to think about that one. I’ve got so many clothes I cant think of what I’ve got in there. Ummm, most of my clothes were bought for me by my ex girlfriend, so obviously they’ve got a lot of significance, but I can’t really think of anything off the top of my head. I’m sure there is though, I’m just being dense and I cant think of any!

What significance do you think fashion holds to todays youth?
To be honest I think its all about fashion these days. Everything. I mean, take music, its not even so much about music anymore as it is about fashion. Clubs are about fashion, in terms of which clubs people hang out at, and I’s not so much about whether you’ll enjoy the music, its more about whether the right people with the right haircut and clothes are there. It’s a bit sad in a way. It’s important to dress well, and to dress how you want, but everything seems to be based on how a person looks these days, style over substance, and that’s coming from me who dresses ridiculously! Because I’m a lot older than other people and I’ve seen a lot of changes in the way society is, you can tell people do take a lot more care and time over their appearance, where as back in our day it would be a charity shop pair of trousers, band t-shirt, out you go! But that’s Britpop for you…

What are your favourite places to shop?
Ebay is the best place to shop. Especially when you come home drunk and you think ‘I have to have one of these!’ and then you look it up and its there! Ebay and charity shops, definitely, because I don’t like to buy a lot of things from Topshop, as you can guarantee you buy a t-shirt from there, go out on a Saturday night and see a million other people wearing that t-shirt. Unless of course you customise it yourself. It’s so much better if you go out and search for something, because that way you can come across a gem in a charity shop.

What are your biggest fashion mistakes?

God, ive got loads. A white polo baseball hat maybe. Shell suits in the 80’s. Cut off denim jeans…but that was Monday. I also went through a phase in my early 20’s of just wearing designer clothes and buying for the name rather than the way they look, and some of the stuff was shite! A lot of people think that if it’s got a name on it then its really good, but no, its just rubbish. Everyone take heed – it’s not about the make, its about the way you look!

Finally, what are your three golden style rules?

Good shoes, good coat, good hair!

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