Talking Brentford With Hard-Fi...

Well, Richard Archer actually because his common ground with Cameron Diaz is that they both support the Bees. Bet she's not mates with Jay Tabb though...

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We're used to talking to Liverpool and United fans but you support Brentford. Do you ever meet any other musicians who are 'proper' fans?
I think there are a few of us around. Some people have two teams. They might like Brentford and they might support Arsenal on the side. They like the glory and the feeling that they're slumming it in the lower leagues. I like to keep it real - though Brentford were great in 1934 and possibly for a brief spell in the Sixties.


So did you never flirt with a big club?
When I was a kid I supported Liverpool - it was the mid-Eighties and pretty much everyone did. My hero was Alan Hansen. As a footballer myself I was pretty shocking but Hansen gave hope to lanky kids everywhere.

Then I went to see Brentford for the first time with my cousin when I was eight. I remember thinking it was an enormous stadium - it's clearly not but when you're a kid it feels huge. We played Walsall and we won. I wouldn't say it changed everything in an instant but it stuck with me.

I wouldn't say that I fell out of love with Liverpool but I fell in love with music. Then when I decided to get back into football in my late teens, I thought it was ridiculous to follow a side from miles away. I'd never been to Anfield and it felt stupid to have any allegiance. So I went back to Brentford and loved it. I remember the FA Cup clash with Manchester City and 1997 - Uwe Rosler must have fallen in love with Brentford that day.


Ever been a season-ticket holder?
I've always been fairly casual - I always had Saturday jobs and then touring with the band. One of my good friends is a hardcore fan and he always makes me feel like a fairweather fan who only turns up for the exciting games. The only ever away games I saw were at QPR - pretty lazy, eh? I saw them last year in the cup final at Wembley where Brentford fans outnumbered Carlisle supporters three to one. It was an amazing sight to see Wembley bathed in red and white. It's a shame Carlisle just had that bit more experience and we never really got going.


Who's your all-time Brentford hero?
I have lots of heroes but Kev O'Connor is up there as long-term captain and stalwart at the club. Some friends of mine did a record (West London Pride) for his testimonial and raised over a grand. Actually, they told me they'd raised £930 and I made this big gesture that I'd make it up to £1000 if they got me a copy signed by the man himself. I gave them a cheque for £75 and a few weeks later they told me they were on £1050 now. Done.


Who else?
Friend of the band Jay Tabb - he gives his heart and soul wherever he plays. A lovely guy and not a footballer-type at all. He might have left Brentford but he's always talking about it. I'd love to see him back at Brentford one day but I'd like to see him playing at the highest level first. He's fiery on the pitch - he even managed to get sent off from the bench last season - but off it, he's different. He's a genuinely good bloke.


Do the other band members follow football?
Steve the drummer is a Liverpool fan - not sure if he's a 'real fan' but he does get very upset if things aren't going well. The other two support Chelsea and Fulham though Kai wants to see Brentford because he's sick of the whole relentless Premier League money.


Excited about the new manager?
To be honest I am a little more exited about Uwe Rosler. It shows the club are thinking outside of the box rather than going for someone who's been around the block. So far they've had a pre-season game v non-league club and usually Brentford lose them. But we put ten goals past them. It was only pre-season but anyway...


So do you have a Brentford brick with your name on it at Griffin Park?
I haven't got a brick but I do have a Pukka Pie with my name on it - I have one made for me every week. The week after we'd been on Soccer AM we went with the manager and Jay got us seats so we could sit together. We stopped someone and asked them about hospitality. "No hospitality mate, this is Brentford."


You're definitely the un-coolest club in west London...
Yes, there are so many big clubs that it's hard to get players and fans, but then I kind of like it that way. We're the definition of 'unfashionable' - even in League One everyone will be talking about the two Sheffield clubs and Charlton. Nobody gives us a thought.


Are you Brentford's most famous fan or does that honour go to Rick Wakeman?
There are all sorts of legends. Cameron Diaz is apparently a Brentford fan. The ex-chairman lives in LA and owns a restaurant full of Brentford merchandise. Apparently Diaz committed to being a Brentford fan. I'm not sure if it's true but let's pretend it's true. Greg Dyke is a fan too but there aren't too many of us. I like being a big fish in a small celebrity pond.


So do you ever get your songs played at Griffin Park?
They do play us ocasionally. When Brentford were top of the league for most of the season before we sold DJ Campbell and slipped from first to the play-offs, Jay told us that they played 'Hard To Beat' every week before the game. Before the game? You're asking for trouble. Play it afterwards, fellas.

Hard-Fi's new single 'Fire In The House' is released on August 15 and new album 'Killer Sounds' is coming on August 22.

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