Stuart Cable - Interview (2002)

Stuart Cable

Stereophonics drummer Stuart Cable spoke to us in 2002 about TV presenting, life in Castle Cable, and his own hair styling tips.

Last updated: 09 June 2010

You've begun a presenting career on your own TV show, Cable TV. Which guests have you had on?

We had the Hamiltons on the other night. We went to Cardiff, dressed up smart, and did this spoof section where they take a working-class Welshman and teach him the way of the posh.

What did you learn from them?

Not a lot, really. Just some very posh voices. At the end of the day we're all human beings, aren't we?

Any interviewing tips to put people at their ease?

The only thing I do is have people turn up and we have a chat, and I say it's all just a bit of a laugh. The vision of Cable TV, it's like if you were to walk into a pub - I'm asking the questions that the people sitting down at the end of the bar would like to ask - obviously without the rude or sordid ones.

So far, everyone's been fantastic. Last night, Lulu said how refreshing it seemed, how there's nothing like that on TV anymore. It reminded her of Ready Steady Go, she said. So hopefully, we're doing what we set out to achieve.

Your mum, Mabel Cable, is involved as well, isn't she?

She will be. It's all going to be scripted for her. Every week, she'll read out her Words Of Wisdom. It's just a 30 second scenario that we'll put in the show every week.

You recently fronted Bllcks, a testicular cancer awareness campaign. How did that come about?

A friend of mine wrote and directed it. He wanted someone that would appeal to younger members of the Welsh population, and thought of me. So he rang up my manager and sent a proposal over. When I sat down and thought about it, I realised I'm 32 and I'd never checked myself.

It's been great, though - I've had loads of people come up to me that have found lumps and had them treated early. That's fantastic: it's done what we intended it to do.

How often are you supposed to check these things?

I think it's once every two or three months. You just feel about, touch the actual ball itself - but not too hard, or you'll have a bit of a shock. But anything abnormal, go to the doctor and they'll examine you. If it's caught early enough it isn't a problem. It mainly effects 18 to 35-year-olds - that was why I was picked, because I was in that age range. Just about!

You still live in your home town, Cwmaman, don't you?

I live in Aberdare, actually, about a mile outside. Am I the lord of the manor? Oh yes, I live in Castle Cable. I've got a nice house, really. I've got the privacy that... well, I won't say that I always wanted, but that's the sort of thing you want when you're thrust into the limelight.

I can shut my gates and see nobody. I'm in a great spot, I've got excellent neighbours... and you know, if I wanted to strip down naked and run around my garden, I could. Which is good, because I wouldn't want anybody else to see that.

How have you taken to fame?

I've always found it easy to switch off - to go on the road and sign things, do interviews, sign autographs - and then go home, chill out, go for a couple of pints with mates, go for a meal with my wife.

I've never had a problem with it, to be honest. It's not quite a job, but in a way it helps to treat it like that - to think, right, I'm going on the road, this is how I earn my money. If you can think that way, everything becomes easier.

Do your bandmates feel that way?

Kelly used to be an absolute nightmare. There was a time when he'd come off the road and he couldn't get that hectic feeling out of his head, he'd want to be here there and everywhere. But now he's moved up to London, he's got a new girlfriend - I think he's chilled out a hell of a lot. He came down on Monday, came out to the pub with a few of us, and we were able to sit there all night and have a quiet drink.

How often do you see the guys from the band?

Now and then. We've taken a lot of time off, and written a few new songs in that time. This year's been on and off, because we've taken a lot of time off. We've got V2002 coming up, and a show at Slane Casle. And then in October we go back into the studio to make a record. We've done about 10 songs. Just looking forward to recording it, really.

Your haircut has received lots of attention. Can you give us any styling tips?

Ahhhh... yeah, just leave it grow. That's what I tend to do. It looks a bit messy sometimes, a bit Wurzel Gummidge. And other days I don't know what it looks like.

If you were to yank one of the strands so all the curls were pulled straight, how long would it be?

I don't know, actually - I haven't ever tried that. Probably about 12 inches, I reckon - something around that size, I'm sure.

You dropped out of a tour of Japan earlier this year, prompting rumours that you were splitting up. What's the story behind that?

We were supposed to go out to Japan for 10 days to play two shows. I didn't want to go, and I voiced my grievances at the beginning. But the tour got booked anyway, so I phoned up the boys and said, look, I'm going to stay at home with the family. I'd just had a baby boy.

So Owen Hopkin from The Crocketts stepped in, and I hooked up with the rest of the band 10 days later in the States. You've got to go AWOL at some point in your career, haven't you?

Do you like Lostprophets?

Yeah, they're great. Very good indeed. I think they've got a very, very bright future. We went to an awards ceremony last year and I met three of 'em, can't remember their names though. I think they'll be a big success - let's hope they'll open some doors for everybody in America.

Any other favourite breaking Welsh musical acts?

I've been told The Kennedy Soundtrack are supposed to be pretty good. Can't really think of any others, though... I think Lostprophets were the last band that really did it for me.

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