Hunter: I don’t get why people are still so passionate about Mott
There must’ve been more to it than that. Was there a sea-change from within the band?
The band itself is never the problem. Get us together in the same room and we couldn’t be funnier. It was [like that] last time and it is again this time, but certain things go on in an administrative level… Me and Mick [Ralphs] end up disagreeing with the other two. When we’re together we have a great time but when we’re apart business gets involved. When that’s resolved, which they do every four or five years, then we get together and have a great time. It’s frustrating…
So the problems didn’t relate to egos, the reality of becoming a band again after so long?
Nothing of the sort. It’s Mott The Hoople, you know. Things are always odd with us. They believe in their guy and we believe in ours, it’s got nothing to do with the music. In that sense we’re the most unselfish people going.
So who calls who to make something like this happen?
There are offers [of live work] all time. There was original offer, which we accepted, and then there was another, bigger one from AEG Live. It usually starts with a promoter offering an amount of money that means we [the band members] must be consulted. [Guffaws]: AEG must think we’re Beyoncé or something, I dunno. Playing places like the O2 Arena you get into those venues and it’s the big time, and we’re not really like that.
How do you feel about playing such a cavernous hall?
I just wanted to do the Roundhouse because it’s mentioned in our lyrics [the venue is namechecked in Mott’s 1974 swansong single, The Saturday Kids], but with this bidding thing going on it’s very hard to turn down such an offer – especially at our age. But the way I look at it, Mott’s never really had a pay-off. I know that I made more money as a solo artist.
You’ve previously expressed surprise at the level of interest the band still commands.
It’s astonishing. I really don’t get why people are still so passionate about us. I suppose when you’re 14 [and you fall in love with a band] you never forget it.