In our latest issue Nick Heyward talks us through the story behind Haircut One Hundred’s sleeve art, which looks as sophisticated and fresh today as it first did thirty years ago. But we also chatted about his split from the group, and how they carried on without him. Nick embarked on a solo career and the Haircuts released the Paint & Paint album but, perhaps unwittingly, had become more of a brand than a band. As Nick says now, “it should never have happened.” There was no room in print, so we take up the story here…

CP: I love Pelican West, but I also love Paint & Paint. I’d like to try and talk to Marc Fox to get his view on that era’s artwork, too…

NH: Yeah, Mark’s got impeccable taste. He was into Kraftwerk in a massive way and he’s a Latin American aficionado. He’s got good taste Mark, always had done. I really liked the (Paint & Paint era) sleeves. I had sleeve envy. I also had a Spinal Tap moment when I went to see them live. That should have never happened. We’d grown into a really great band together then it was horrible, having them turn against you, was not a very nice.. especially as it was known as my band, I’d come up with the name, I’d come up with the sleeves, the the whole idea. That’s the reason I got so knackered, nobody else did any interviews because I didn’t know what the hell I was on about! (I didn’t even now! It’s that thing of talking about stuff that you do, you just do it.)

IP: As disintegrations or splits of bands go, it was quite unique…

NH: Yeah. We were hanging out with Depeche Mode a lot then. We thought they were going to split up. We thought ‘we’re great mates, we have such a laugh, so much fun’ and when we looked at Depeche Mode they were always bickering. So we thought ‘They’re not going to last.’ How wrong we were. I think it’s due to… it’s like a successful military campaign probably, you have to have a team behind the scenes, not just a bunch of aircraft flying off willy nilly with some bombs.

IP: But by the time you split, a Haircut One Hundred brand had been built.

NH: The key is the songwriter. I was a songwriter without a great band, and they were a great band without a songwriter.

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