Ian McCulloch

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Ian Stephen McCulloch (born 5 May 1959) is an English singer-songwriter who is the lead singer of the post-punk band Echo & the Bunnymen. Echo & the Bunnymen formed in 1978 before McCulloch left the band in 1988 to pursue a solo career. He was replaced in the band by Irish singer Noel Burke until 1990 when the band broke up. Along with Echo & the Bunnymen guitarist Will Sergeant, McCulloch formed the band Electrafixion in 1994 until they reformed Echo & the Bunnymen with former bassist Les Pattinson in 1997. Pattinson left the band in 1999 and McCulloch and Sergeant continue to record and tour as Echo & the Bunnymen.


NME (1980)[edit]

Interview by Chris Salewicz in NME (22 November 1980)
  • It feels like there's hundreds of bands in Liverpool. There's some okay ones... But really we're the only one I can think of as being a potentially great band...
  • I mean, even Joy Division are a bit over-rated, I think. They're very good live, but on record...
  • I was always really dubious about them actually. I'd heard some of Morrison's rambling poetic stuff, and I thought it was really pretentious... But now I think they're a great group, I must admit.
  • There was even talk at one point of getting Del Shannon to produce our first album.
  • It did cause problems at one point. Part of it was down to the name of the group—people tended to think I was Echo. That's why we named the drum-machine Echo because I definitely wasn't.
    • When asked if the media attention focussing on him caused problems.
  • I'm basically an 'appy person, but I'm just not into fun things that much.
  • I wasn't into glam-rock. I was just into him. I never really saw him as glam-rock. Actually, I liked T-Rex too. Electric Warrior was great. But Bowie made me think. I just got lost in it—Man Who Sold the World, Hunky Dory, Ziggy Stardust—that era. I thought it was just magical, although I was dead impressionable then. But I though he looked brilliant—I still do. I hated the following he had though, especially around the Aladdin Sane era—it just destroyed his mystique. He doesn't hold that mystique for me now—he's just a normal bloke, I suppose. But I remember in 1972 when he was on the telly doing "Starman"—I couldn't believe it! It was like nothing I'd ever seen before. It's meant to be a bit of an embarrassing admission now to have liked that kind of thing, but I really did. And I remember when I grew out of it and I couldn't get into Ziggy Stardust the way I used to. I felt really sad about it. I played it and nothing happened.

Rolling Stone (1990)[edit]

Interview by Ira Robbins in Rolling Stone (5 February 1990)
  • People who leave groups generally sell less records. I feel better and more worthwhile selling less than the last Bunnymen record. I feel more important.
  • When all's said and done, I wish them well. I wasn't just the one that ranted a bit in interviews and thought he was great. I thought the group were great.
    • Referring to Echo & the Bunnymen.

Q magazine (1998)[edit]

Q magazine (August 1998)
  • From when Oasis first started I thought, "Thank Christ someone has picked up on that simple technique of saying they're the best thing on the planet and just fronting it." Liam is a part of a great ancestry of lippy, insecure bastard frontmen.

Q magazine (1992)[edit]

Interview by Robert Sandall in Q magazine (March 1992)
  • I like Americans now. They're dead nice. More polite. They aren't like the English, 'Ey Mac, comin' for a pint round the corner, yer twat?' I hate all that stuff, all that wanting you to be like you were in 1982. I've made up me mind that where I'm gonna regain the lost ground is over here in America.
  • People here are always asking me, "Can you play 'Lips Like Sugar' on an acoustic guitar?" And I'm like, "No!" It was an OK song, I suppose, but it didn't sound like us. We just got sucked into a new mentality on that last album, the sound of Radio America. It did great here, but by then I just thought we weren't good enough any more. It was pretty happening, the States was building and building but it didn't feel good on stage. We weren't really communicating as mates and stuff. I mean, I was used to believing that we were the best group going.
    • Describing what American's always ask him.
  • I listen back to some of Porcupine now and... well, not blush exactly, we were great and all that... but we could have been just anyone, you know?
  • We weren't managed from the word go, like U2 or Simple Minds, to get bigger and bigger and take over the planet.
  • I just can't understand why they carried on with the name. It did them no favours, and however it can be defended, it spoils the memory. It's not so much that it's unforgivable, but it is a pity that we don't see each other and never talk to each other.
    • Referring to Echo & the Bunnymen continuing after he left the band.
  • How I wanna be exciting is by hitting a great note and people going, "Whoo!" I'm more Tony Bennett. He sings notes that don't exist! The hooter, the hair, the man's like a chiseled Roman god. With the Bunnymen, I was much more Mick Jagger holdin' me willy on stage and wearin' no undies and all that. Now I'm more Cary Grant.

Spin magazine (2008)[edit]

Interview in Spin magazine (December 2008)
  • I only ever wanted, since the age of 13, to be the best singer of the best band in the world.
  • They were always going to be the biggest band in the world. We wanted nothing to do with success the way U2 saw it. It wasn't to do with conquering the world; it was to do with those lads, like me and Ian Curtis, who liked the Silver Surfer and Bowie. At some point everyone seemed to go toward that Live Aid goal of being seen everywhere, in every sodding street, in every sodding nook and cranny in the world. I never wanted that.
  • How can you not sell the first three Bunnymen albums? It's like, how can you not sell the Mona Lisa, Van Gogh's Sunflowers, and The Garden of Earthly Delights by Hieronymus Bosch?
  • I plan on not dying, but if I have to, I want to die in Liverpool.

Rolling Stone magazine (2009)[edit]

Stated in a concert reviewed by RS [[1]]
  • ”I wanna play football for the coach — Liverpool’s coach!”

About Ian McCulloch[edit]

  • When the Teardrop and the Bunnymen started, Mac and I wanted to be absolute megastars. We wanted to be the biggest cult heroes in the world, to be millionaires, to look brilliant, and to be total bastards.
  • Suzanne Vega has mentioned me in a few interviews, Nick Cave covered 'Avalanche' and when I last toured Britain, in 1985, Ian McCulloch came to a couple of concerts and talked to me afterwards on the bus. I can see a certain kind of rapport between my work and the work of these people.


Official Ian McCulloch website Https://www.ianmcculloch.info

  • Adams, Chris (2002). Turquoise Days: The Weird World of Echo & the Bunnymen. Soft Skull Press: New York. ISBN 1-887128-89-1.

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