Archives - Wired For Sound
This article by Patty Walsh first appeared in the December 1994 issue of US magazine "Diabetes Forecast"

Dave AD 1980
picture from Diabetes Forecast magazine
In the early 1960s, the Beatles changed the face of popular music and put Liverpool on the map. Young Beatle wannabees sprouted up in towns all over the globe, including Swindon, a typical English provincial town about an hour outside London. Swindon has since made its own mark on the map of music history as the home of a band called XTC.

Dave Gregory joined XTC in 1979. He is a musician of many talents, but he loves playing guitar above all else. He modestly refers to himself as the band's "side man" because he doesn't write songs. However, his creativity has had an undeniable impact on XTC. When his knack for musical embellishment is added to the songwriting skills of Andy Partridge and Colin Moulding (guitarist and bassist, respectively), the result is an invigorating and melodic blend that earns enthusiastic praise from critics, fellow musicians, and a devoted throng of fans.

In spite of this, XTC has yet to make it "big" in the commercial sense. But then again, this band is a remarkable exception to the pop music norm. For one thing, XTC hasn't toured in 12 years. Also, these musicians are less concerned with making record companies happy than with making themselves happy; they take whatever time they need making albums that meet their own rigorous standards.

Their latest album, Nonsuch, has songs that offer a variety of musings, from sobering commentary on the Persian Gulf War ("War Dance") to a bright tribute to a daughter on her rocking horse ("Holly Up On Poppy"). Perhaps this band has too much heart, soul, and brains to be a mass-market commodity. To them, if finding fame and fortune means compromising their creative freedom, it simply isn't worth it.

Dave Gregory has found that the real rewards are in the work itself. "It's always such interesting and challenging material," he says. "It's never boring. I really get excited when the new demos start coming out."