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Interview with Echo & The Bunnymen

Written by on 9th August 2021

I interview Will Sergeant, guitarist and co-founder of Echo & The Bunnymen, on the Solid Rock show Wednesday 11th August 7-9pm (interview from 8pm).

Will Sergeant has written an autobiography titled Bunnyman: a memoir that came out on 15th July 2021 and is published by Little Brown. It has been a Sunday Times bestseller and has received positive reviews in the mainstream and music press.

I caught up with Will a few days ago and we talked about his memoir, which covers his earliest memories up until the beginning of the band he co-founded with Ian McCulloch, Echo & The Bunnymen.

The interview started and Will quickly produced a Russian army Cossack hat that he plopped on his head. He didn’t keep it there during the interview but it gave a sense that Will likes a bit of humour and doesn’t take himself too seriously. There wasn’t a big impetus to write the autobiography other than downtime due to the pandemic and him just wanting to put his truth out there. It has helped connect him to the past though, being full time in the music business and having solo projects like Glide and his other band Poltergeist, there hasn’t been much time for self-reflection. He did treat it as a serious undertaking though, the hardest part being the sourcing of photographs. There weren’t many family photos, there is a childhood photo of him and his brother with a large Sooty and Harry Corbett but it’s typical of the ones he found being a staged shot.

We talked about his childhood memories and his mum cooking baked beans in the frying pan, as well as him eating the plastic off the Ulster Fry, a type of processed bacon grill meat popular at the time. The boyhood pranks he got up to like locking another boy up in a “ghost” shed, catching a rash from caterpillars and his brother getting up to mischief with bangers. I ask what impact the war had on his parents and the family home environment.

Will’s first job was a trainee chef in one of Liverpool’s big department stores. He enjoyed it and he described the pleasure of making the topping for Welsh rarebit and readying 60 poached eggs at the same time for the customer breakfasts. After this, the interview moves on to his interest in music as an art form and what types of music interested him, like the first album he ever bought. We discuss the link between fashion and music, then on to guitars and the one guitar he always wanted to buy. I discuss what his musical influences were from the radio hits during his childhood through the punk years and on to new wave acts like Television and The Fall. We touch on what bands he saw at the famous Eric’s music club in Liverpool, Fat Eddie’s party and how getting home in the early hours after seeing a band sometimes involved an 8 mile walk.

I enjoyed talking to Will and I’ve enjoyed reading the parts of the book I have delved into. I’m slightly younger but I recognise a lot of the same feelings and experiences. You will enjoy reading Will’s memoir if you’re interested in punk, new wave and alternative eighties bands. I hope reading this inspires you to check out the interview and his book.


Steve Ashwell