"We're a pretty cool band," declares Matt Johnson, the intellectually stimulated front man of The The. Cool's a hip word, Matt, but it's not how I would describe the band responsible for Mind Bomb, the hot LP currently burning on college charts and minds. Listen, this group backs lyrics about political and religious persecution with great heavy pop. I'd call 'em fierce. Ten years ago when Johnson was just an eighteen-year-old London lad, he decided to form the definitive rock band. He chose the rather generic name The The because "I like to work with different people," he explains. "The The was an umbrella everyone could work under." Past members include Jools Holland of Squeeze, Neneh Cherry, and Sinead O'Connor. For the current tour, The The is David Palmer on drums, James Eller on bass, and (be still my hear) former Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr. Is it difficult to work with so much, ahem, talent? "There's no ego involved at all," Matt says. "We're all doing what we want to do. The fact is, Johnny was a guitarist, not a singer and he could play my songs better than me." Okay, so Matt says The The is cool; I say The The is fierce. This could start a quiet riot.
-- Claire Connors