Originally published in Q magazine
Interview with Glastonbury founder and Q Award winner Michael Eavis at the Q Awards 2005
- What are you Drinking?
- I’ve had a glass of white wine, but I probably shouldn’t have.
- Have you made any new friends? Anyone you want to meet?
It was good to see Chris [Martin] again. We’re great buds. I met Noel as well, he’s another great one. Have I met him before? Of course, but I hadn’t seen him for a while. They [Oasis] were the highlights of the nineties [at Glastonbury]. Their 1994 performance was a classic.
- Will your Q Award be going in the loo or on the mantelpiece?
Well, I have a few NME Awards but my cleaner doesn’t like them. She thinks they’re rude, so she keeps moving them all to the cowshed. I don’t think she’ll mind the Q Award though. It’ll go in the kitchen, next to my Pollstar award for Best Festival In The World. That was an extraordinary honour, so I think the two awards belong together.
- Liam or Noel?
- Anyone you think should have won an award today who didn’t?
Radiohead are still the best band in the world, but they didn’t get a mention. I suppose they aren’t doing much this year, so it’s nice to see Coldplay have a turn. For the most part I wouldn’t want to argue with the readers who voted… though I was surprised the Kaiser Chiefs didn’t pick up anything. I think there should have been more recognition for new music. There are so many great young bands coming up, like the Magic Numbers.
- Favourite speech/moment?
What Chris (Martin) said about Glastonbury was lovely – though it was about us so I don’t know if I can pick that! Nick Cave and Jimmy Page didn’t say much… there were no notable best speeches.
- Where are you going next?
Back to Somerset, I think. Though I’d like to have a chat with Chris before I go.
- Track of the year?
Fix You. It’s fantastic. The album has been getting some mixed press but I think it’s brilliant, and Fix You is my favourite track, by miles. The band’s manager sent me some of the tracks before the album was released and it’s grown on me ever since. I’m not a natural fan of anything, I have to be convinced, but Coldplay completely won me over.
- Best Album Ever?
(didn’t have an answer for this one)
- With no Glastonbury this year, what are your plans for the summer?
We have a lot to do on the farm. Dairy farm politics are in a state at the moment. The price of milk isn’t good. Supermarkets are making most of their money of dairy, but the farmers are struggling. Will I miss Glastonbury? No. I think it’s important to take a rest every five years, to have a fallow year to allow the farm to recover. People ask me, how can you turn down £15 million and I say, no problem. We do Glastonbury because we want to, not because we have to. We’ve been milking cows for 120 years so the farm always comes first.
- What was going through your head Friday morning at Glastonbury (this summer) when the rain was pouring down?
When the rain started I thought, fantastic! I knew it was going to rain, but I was sure it would be over. I went on Radio 1 and was convinced everything was going to be fine. I said the sun would be shining again by 11AM and it would be sunny the rest of the weekend. I was wrong, obviously, but thankfully we have a great crew who are incredibly skilled at handling a crisis. The guy who does our electrics has worked in Afghanistan and Iraq, so this was nothing. I wasn’t worried, not at all.
- Rumour has it after Bobby Gillespie’s unhinged performance on the Saturday night he was politely escorted off the farm and told to never come back. Is it true?
Not at all! [his outburst about ‘fucking hippies’] was the funniest five minutes of the weekend. It was a total hoot. He asked the crowd what they wanted to hear, expecting them to say Moving On Up and instead they said ‘Basement Jaxx’ so he got a bit upset. He was rude, but they certainly didn’t get chucked off. You can say what you like at Glastonbury…