andy bell

Last year Ride played Coachella and other major festivals as part of a reunion tour celebrating the 25th anniversary of the release of its debut opus, Nowhere.

Photo by Kazumichi Kokei

The shoegaze vet details his subversive sonic strategies and the creation of the reunited band’s '90s classics.

In the late '80s, while much of the U.K. was still raving to the electronic sounds of acid house, a new form of music was gestating in university towns. Inspired by noise groups like My Bloody Valentine, Dinosaur Jr., and Spacemen 3, as well as dreamier bands such as Cocteau Twins, musicians with an artistic bent began to explore what was possible by adding ambient guitar textures to rock.

Rooted in the ego-free punk philosophy that anyone could form a band, and using the back-to-basics instrumentation of guitar, bass, and drums, they married drone and melody to form a new generation's psychedelic music. Their often detached stage presence was blamed on an over-reliance on the effects pedals at their feet or, worse, snobbery—albeit unfairly. The now-defunct British pop-rock newspaper Melody Maker, unaware of the paradigm shift that was happening, dubbed it “The Scene That Celebrates Itself" and waved them off as “shoegazers." Few people, even the bands themselves, expected that creative wave to have such an impact decades later, but the DNA of Slowdive, Lush, and the Telescopes can be found in current bands as diverse as A Place To Bury Strangers, Mogwai, Sigur Rós, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and I Break Horses.

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