NNME: So Paul tell us about your role at HMV?
Paul Greysmith: Well I've worked for the company since September 5th 1994. I remember the date well as it was the day that Shed Seven released their debut album Change Giver. The album literally changed my life and I was buzzing to be putting it out on the shelves for the public.
NNME: So you have worked for HMV for twenty five years?
PG: Yes. Aside from a brief (8 month) spell in Lincoln Prison in 1995 (arson- later proven innocent) I have been in the music industry for half-a-half century.
NNME: What are your highlights of the past twenty five years?
PG: Well, aside from the release of Change Giver as I think I mentioned earlier, April 1st 1996 always sticks in my mind as it was the best April Fools Day I've ever had.
PG: Well firstly because Shed Seven released Maximum High; 'the sound of the Smiths spoon-feeding the Beatles liquid Beethoven acid'. Those were the words I used to describe the album at the time to my mate Carl and I haven't really changed my mind since. He agreed, it really was incredible. I remember Shed Seven guitarist Paul (Banks) describing the bands mood after recording the album: "We walked away from these recordings feeling completely happy. They perfectly capture the sound of Shed Seven." What a statement! That says it all really, fucking magic.
NNME: And the other reasons why the 1st April 1996 is so memorable?
PG: It was the day I was released from prison. The day I met my kid for the first time. Also when I got legal permission to overturn my Step-Mums wishes to scatter my Dads ashes into the North Sea. He fucking hated boats, it wouldn't have been right.
NNME: What is a 'Bargain Bin' Supervisor?
PG: Basically all the CD's that never sell get reduced and reduced in price until they go in the bargain bin. I supervise that bin pricing up, rotating stock, fixing cracked cases. etc.
NNME: Best bargain you have ever priced up?
PG: Easy. August 1999, Shine 5 only £1.95. Fucking incredible price for a double disc classic. We sold the lot (15) within six months.
NNME: Where do you think HMV went wrong?
PG: Simple. Turning it's back on Britpop. And also not making enough money to survive as a business. 'Buy low sell high' is my advice, unfortunately HMV did it in reverse and fucked it right up. I often think (starts to sing) 'You broke the habit of a lifetime, I see through everything you do'.
NNME: Is that a lyric from the Shed Seven song Speakeasy?
PG: Urm... I think so.
NNME: Is it fair to say you are a big Shed Seven fan?
PG: Yeah, I guess so. I think they made some mistakes, mostly not making ten albums, but in my opinion Let it Ride (Shed Seven's third album) is one of the most overlooked albums of all time and bridged the gap between the nations post Britpop/New Labour blues and prepared them for the new dawn of living under the threat of a society on the cusp of a post-OK Computer world of global terror tension. She left me on Friday is a sensational single and really captures those heady days of Summer 1998...
NNME: Did you ever put any Shed Seven albums in the bargain bin?
PG: I would like to say no but that would be a lie. Their forth album (Truth Be Told) went straight there after the record labels delivery. Shame really, but it was shit.
NNME: What will you do now HMV is closing?
PG: My brother-in-law Mick has set up a cafe in Harrogate so I'm going to work for him.
NNME: Finally, here do you see the music industry in 25 years time?
PG: Good question. Probably older and hopefully wiser. But definitely older than it is now.
NNME: OK, thanks Paul.
PG: (Singing Going For Gold)