The Birmingham Post: John Simm Clocking Off Television For A Film Career: John Simm's Latest Role On The Small Screen Could Be His Last, He Tells Alison Jones.
John Simm made a big impression as the fish out of water Scouser in the dark TV drama The Lakes.
The fact that John prefers to quote musicians rather than actors is an indication of his other great passion besides acting.
Like many actors he plays in a band, but one talented enough to have been asked to support Echo and the Bunnymen on tour.
'We're called Magic Alex after The Beatles' electronics wizard. We've been together for about three years. I'm the only actor in it but I'm not a soap star so I think I've got some credibility as a musician.
'I've come too far to walk away from acting though, it would be a bit stupid. As long as I can juggle the two it's OK. We don't do that many gigs. We are like a little secret. We get reviewed and then we disappear.'
John feels he has paid his dues as a guitarist after years touring the club circuit playing in a double act with his dad, until he realised 'it was never going to get me out of Lancashire' and he turned to acting instead.
There was a defining moment of humiliation, however, that crystalized his plans.
'We were called 'Us 2' and on one bill they misspelled it as 'U2'. It was at a working men's club somewhere so they thought it was an underground gig.
'There were about 400 fans who turned up in their U2 T-shirts all expecting Bono and we walked on playing Apache. It was excruciating. I was only 16 and I just wanted to die. That was when I thought 'that's it, I'm going to be an actor instead'.'
He admits that his biggest buzz still comes from performing his own songs in front of a live audience at venues like Brixton Academy or the Royal Court in Liverpool.
'Echo and the Bunnymen used to be my biggest heroes, I absolutely worshipped them, and now they are really good friends. Ian McCulloch was sleeping on my couch the other week for God's sake,' he says, still slightly awed by the idea.
But even that could not compare to his experiences in Cannes last year where he was promoting the highly acclaimed indie film Wonderland.
'Coming back I was sat next to Noel Gallagher on the plane and that just blew me away more than anything else I'd had all weekend.
'I said 'all right mate?' and he said 'all right,you're that actor aren't ya?'. I was just like . . . 'he recognises me!' It was completely mad.'