LEFTFIELD's NEIL BARNES gets on the Psychobabble couch and talks about heroin dealers, parenthood and urinal etiquette
Stealth Visitor: MARK BEAUMONT (words)
WHAT WAS YOUR MOST ENJOYABLE DREAM?
"My most enjoyable dream was winning the Lottery. What did I spend the money on? I didn't get that far! I'd just won it, then I got woken up. It was really irritating that I never found out. My worst nightmare was everything onstage turning to rubber and I started sinking in gradually. It was quite frightening."
FOR A MILION POUNDS, WOULD YOU BE WILLING TO GO FOR THREE MONTHS WITHOUT WASHING, BRUSHING YOUR TEETH OR USING DEODRANT?
"I couldn't go without brushing my teeth because my kids would hate me. Smelly breath is the worst thing. I'd go without washing for three months for a million pounds, easy. No problem. I'd fInd it quite easy, because I do that anyway."
WHAT'S YOUR MOST TREASURED MEMORY?
"My most treasured memory is definitely the birth of my daughter, my first child. I remember that over-riding feeling of emotion taking over you when you see a new life. I don't normally cry in front of another person, but I burst into tears. It's just one of those things, there's no explanation, there is no equal emotional experience. Oh, you've made me really sad! I'm gonna cry now!"
WHAT'S BEEN YOUR BIGGEST FAILURE IN LIFE?
"I did pretty crap in my O levels, GCSEs they are now. Major failure. I remember it being quite important. It's just boring. I fail all the time. You always wanna be better at what you do. As a child, I wasn't doing as well at school as I should have done and at the time that was a very heavy feeling. I've been quite lucky in life, apart from that."
HAVE YOU EVER BEEN ATTRACTED TO SOMEONE OF THE SAME SEX? HOW DID YOU DEAL WITH IT?
"I can't say that I really have. Someone told me that once when I was really drunk I made a pass at a friend of mine, but I don't remember it and I don't think it's true. I was so drunk I thought he was a girl, that's what I reckon it was. I remember being about 13 and sitting on a bus and looking out of the window and having a bit of a crush, looking at a young lad and being quite confused. I think everyone goes through that kind of feeling and if you're honest as a man then you do admit to having those things now and again. Not now, though. Now I'm a strapping 39-year-old. I've just blown my credibility, haven't I?"
IF YOU WERE TO DISCOVER YOUR CLOSEST FRIEND WAS A HEROIN DEALER, WHAT WOULD YOU DO?
"A heroin dealer? It's a very unlikely thing to happen, but I wouldn't do anything. It's a choice they're making. I wouldn't turn them in to the police or anything like that. Perhaps if it was my closest friend, I'd ask them why they needed to do it, but people make their own decisions about things like that. It's far more likely I'd find out that one of my friends was a heroin user, but I don't see it as any worse than anything else."
WOULD YOU RATHER BE DEAF OR BLIND?
"Blind. Music's too important to me. I could live without seeing things, but I couldn't live without hearing things. Given the choice, I'd rather be blind."
IF A FLYING SAUCER ARRIVED AND ALIENS INVITED YOU TO VISIT THEIR PLANET FOR FIVE YEARS, WOULD YOU GO?
"No, I wouldn't. I wouldn't want to leave my family and I'm not that interested. I'd send my best friend instead and ask him to tell me what it's like."
DO YOU BELIEVE IN GHOSTS OR SPIRITS AND WOULD YOU BE WILLING TO SPEND A NIGHT ALONE IN A REMOTE HOUSE THAT WAS SUPPOSEDLY HAUNTED?
"I do believe that there's some kind of energy out there but I don t believe in ghosts. So yes, I would. I suppose the fear of the unknown does scare you, but the opportunity to face that kind of thing would be worth the experience. I can't convincingly say that there aren't ghosts, but it'd be interesting to go through with it. My father used to reckon that he could see things and experience things. So l do think there's something there, but I don't know if it's a religious type of ghost or something more simple than that, just some sort of energy. But I'm willing to go through it, yes."
RELATIVE TO THE POPULATION AT LARGE, HOW DO YOU RATE YOUR PHYSICAL ATTRACTIVENESS? YOUR INTELLIGENCE? YOUR PERSONALITY?
"You must be joking! I don't think I'm very physically attractive. I've always thought I was pretty average looking. But I don't really care. I don't think I'm that intelligent, either. I make an effort, but a lot more people are more intellectual than me. It's nothing to do with exams, I don't think they make any difference whatsoever to intelligence level. l think some people have better memories than other people and so they're better at doing exams."
"My personality? I'd like to think that I'm fairly balanced. I like to think that I'm a giver and a taker. I give a lot, but I do take as well, that's my important thing. You always have to be willing to look at yourself honestly and to appraise your personality and life, otherwise you become arrogant. That's the problem, people become arrogant."
HOW WOULD YOU PICTURE YOUR FUNERAL? WHAT SONG WOULD YOU LIKE PLAYED?
"I'd like it to be pretty simple. I'm not religious so l don't mind what happens to me. As far as the funeral music, I think I'd probably choose 'Sparky's Magic Piano'. Might make people laugh."
IF YOU COULD USE A VOODOO DOLL TO HURT ANYONE YOU CHOOSE, WOULD YOU? WHO WOULD YOU USE IT ON?
"No, I wouldn't. lt's a cowardly way of hurting people. Doing things like that is a weak thing to do. I'd never do something like that. If you want to hurt someone, you've got to confront them."
WOULD YOU BE WILLING TO GIVE UP SEX FOR FIVE YEARS IF YOU COULD HAVE WONDERFULLY SENSUAL AND EROTIC DREAMS ANY NIGHT YOU WISHED?
"Nah, that's a lot of crap. Who wants dreams? I don't care, really. No, not at all."
IF YOU COULD WAKE UP TOMORROW HAVING GAINED ONE ABILITY OR QUALITY, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
"That's a tricky one. I wouldn't mind the ability to see into the future. That would be handy. I'd find out what the bloody Lottery numbers were in my dream so I could win it next time."
CAN YOU URINATE IN FRONT OF ANOTHER PERSON?
"Oh yeah. Anybody. The more the merrier. I've never been the type of person that has to go into a cubicle, but I do respect that. I used to have a lot of gay friends when I was a student, I lived in a mainly gay household and gay people prefer cubicles. I do understand why people are like that, but personally it doesn't bother me."
WOULD YOU BE WILLING TO GO INTO A SLAUGHTERHOUSE AND KILL A COW?
"No, I don't think I would. I'm quite weak about things like that. I'm a coward and I've got double standards. I'd definitely eat a dead one, but I don't have the stomach to go and kill one. Not many people would. I agree that it is hypocritical and if I had to then I would. I know people that have done it, but I accept that weakNess in myself. I was a vegetarian for a long time, but I could never be a vegetarian again. I wouldn't have the ability to kill an animal like that. If I had to, I would, but I admit to being weak."
WHEN DID YOU LOSE YOUR VIRGINITY?
"That's very personal, isn't it? Y'know, I had to think then. The day you can't remember is the day you're old. I think I was about 16. What happened? I lost my virginity. I'm not going to go into detail. But the cow got over it, we'll put it that way."
(article nicked from 'Melody Maker', dated 2 October 1999)