Ray Banks interview by Paul D Brazill

PDB) If your Private Eye hero Cal Innes and Tony Black’s Gus Dury went on a drinking session, who would be the first to get their head kicked in?

RB) Innes would be the first one to get his head kicked in, absolutely. But it’d be Dury that would’ve caused the aggro in the first place – the fucking mouth on that boy …

PDB) You’ve moved around a bit from Scotland to Hertfordshire and now Newcastle. Do the letters C.S.A. mean anything to you?

RB) Hertfordshire? You got me mixed up with Martyn Waites there, lounging around his palatial mansion, dictating his next bestselling thriller novel like Dame Sally Markham. I’ve never been to Hertfordshire. I’ve been to London every now and then, but I make a point of getting back north as sharp as possible. As for the CSA, they’ll never catch me, though I have seen a lot of kids looking maudlin in bars recently – you wouldn’t know anything about that, would you, Mr Brazill?

PDB) You used to be a croupier. Did you dye your hair like Clive Owen?

RB) It was regulation. Mine was fire engine red. Everything about that film is true, by the way. When I was a croupier/wannabe writer in a swanky London casino, I regularly bored myself fucking rigid with long interior monologues about how everything was about deception and chance. And then I attempted to do the place over with that doctor missus from ER. Only difference between me and Clive was that I actually wrote some fucking books instead of poncing around like I was someone special.

PDB) What’s your karaoke song?

RB) “La Chanson de Jacky”, Jacques Brel. In French. With the Brel-patented guttural trillage and copious perspiration.

.PDB)The philosopher Boy George once said that ‘love means nothing, in some strange quarters.’ What do you think?

RB) I think he’s a tennis fan.

PDB) Are you more Clive Owen, Clive Dunn or Clive Langer and The Boxes?

RB) I’m all Dunn, all the time. He was a POW for four years, man. Hard as fucking nails, and a hardcore Socialist to boot. I might have seen an Irish bluey featuring Clive Langer and The Boxes, though. I would absolutely hate being Clive Owen. Man’s got a face like a torn arse.

‘Most people sound a bit girly compared with Ray Banks.’ -Mark Billingham

Ray Banks‘ latest book is Gun.

His blog is here.


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