Monday, January 31, 2011

BELUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



I am soooo not TRVE KVLT like I thought!

I had no idea Varg Vilkernes (otherwise known as "Count Somethingfromlordoftherings"), otherwise known as the one-man-band BURZUM was released from prison and recording again!

Those of you unfamiliar with "The Count" (I think he's just going under "Varg" these days) - he's one of the cornerstone foundations of Norwegian Black Metal.


Varg after making some pancakes.

Imprisioned in 1993 for killing one of the blokes from Mayhem, inciting the burning of three churches and nicking some pick 'n' mix he's been sat in his cell in Norway since then, only getting the odd break when someone comes in to interview him for a documentary, which must be about once a week.

Before all this he whacked out albums with his one-man project BURZUM, which is the building blocks of everything Troo Black Metal that came out afterwards basically. He knocked out a few albums in jail using a Casio C90 keyboard, a tape recorder, a knife and fork and some sticky-tape. They were not that good.

But now he's out! Out of jail, not the other sort of "out". Like last year and I never knew it.

Anyway, his latest album BELUS is a MOOONNNSTERRR!!!! I kid you not, 'arr lass got it on Friday and we've maybe played it about 12 times since then.

He's returned in true style, putting together a proper BM album which even isn't slightly (anti)religious or slightly iffy neo-nazi. No siree, every track is a monster belter, especially the track "Kaimadalthas' Nedstigning" (A Lovely Bunch Of Flowers in a Vase)*


New album coming out again soon - out with the corpse paint, gasoline and matches!

*I may have made that up.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

GIG SCAMS - THE NEW CORPORATE TOOL.

Through out history iffy venues and money-grabbing promoters have seen the young desperate band as a cash cow.

A golden goose to squeeze money out of - and to boot, the young desperate band takes every chance given to them in order to further their path to infinite stardom.

Here are some of the ways I have seen bands be exploited.

1 - THE FLYER DEAL GIG

John Q Ripyouoff - the promoter takes 4 random bands and puts them on at the local shit dump. He tells each band to make flyers with their name on it and hand them out, the flyer gets the audience into the gig for a bit cheaper.

For each flyer that comes back the named band gets one pound (about one euro). The gig cost is usually around 4 pounds.

So....if 100 people come and ten bring flyers, the band gets 10 pounds, the promoter gets 400 pounds.

THE SCAM - The bands do all the advertising for the gig, the promoter does nothing but sit and take the money. Once the gig starts and everyone is in, he most likely goes home - he does not care about the music or the bands, just the money.

When in the early 90s I played these sort of gigs we decided to cut out the middle man and found out that the venue costs nothing to hire.

2 - THE COACH DEAL GIG

The venue calls up a young band and offers them a chance of a lifetime gig at a nice big venue...all you have to do is make sure that x-amount of people come, you can hire a coach from them cheaper, seems like the best way to make sure everyone gets there in time and together.

THE SCAM - Again the band does all the advertising and even pays for the coach. They may get a small percentage back but....it won't cover it.

3 - THE TICKET DEAL GIG.

The band can play at the venue but they must sell tickets themselves - they only get paid if they sell over x-amount of tickets.

THE SCAM - Once again, the venue does not need to advertise as the bands do it for them, they can keep the money the tickets produce and maybe pay out a little bit back to the bands.

4 - THE "WILL YOU BE THE SUPPORT BAND" TICKET DEAL

A "bigger" band comes to town, the promoter takes 10 or so small young bands and gives them a shed load of tickets....who ever sells the most tickets gets to be the support band that night.

THE SCAM - Of course now you have 10 bands advertising a gig that they might not even play at, the tickets are garunteed sold, promoter does very little.

5 - THE INTERNATIONAL BATTLE OF THE BANDS

Emergenza do this every year, they write to many bands who have been "selected" to play at a special showcase for the music biz, they must sell some tickets and pay an entrance free but the get some free strings and stuff. Bands go through "rounds" and can play at a big festival in the end and all the music biz will be there.

THE SCAM - You pay them, there is no music biz there, it's a straight forward battle of the bands. The finishing festival is a joke where about 5 people show up - no band has ever come out of this better off than before.

6 - THE VOTE GIG - PROTOTYPE

The first vote-for-me gigs I was aware of were for the CARLING FESTIVAL at Reading and Leeds, many young bands entered and played at rounds where people could vote for them until it was down to just two bands who would play at each festival.

THE SCAM - You had to buy a Carling to vote. Each round served as a big promotion for the festivals, promoted of course by the bands.

7 - THE NEW VOTE FOR ME GIG

This is THE BIGGEST scam going on today - now the interwebz is so big bands can enter a voting race for most big festivals via for example Myspace - where they write to all their friends and say "GO INTO THE WANKBOLLOCKS FESTIVAL WEBSITE AND VOTE FOR US TO PLAY...."

THE SCAM - 1000s of bands enter, they all advertise the festival for free, the winning band plays in front of a man doing a poo, a sleeping hippy and a dog, they get no pay but did pay to get there.

METAL HAMMER MAGAZINE is currently running a similar scam - making bands get their friends to vote for them to play as the FITH support band to some wanky metal band.

How it works:

  • A website, covered in adverts (in this case Metal Hammer) gets a bunch of young "up and coming" bands and tells them about this great offer they can't refuse - in reality the page itself has no idea about the bands.
  • Then they get people to vote for them to play - thus generating a whole ton of hits for said webpage....and the best thing is, the advertising and drawing people into the webpage is done entirely by the bands!
  • Metal Hammer can say to advertisers "we promise you X-amount of hits for your advert" and then sit on their ass while the young hopefulls do all the work.
  • What ever band wins will just be "that band that won a competition" and no doubt have to pay their own costs to get there and get nothing in return apart from the "honor".

I say fuck "vote-for-me" gigs, it's the mainstream using you as a tool to advertise, do it the old fashioned way, call someone up and get a gig - Elk out!

Friday, January 28, 2011

AN ODE TO LOST MEDIA - THE FANZINE

Was over reading 138's blog and noticed a picture of a fanzine, had to that - it's been a while since I've seen or bought one!

The fanzine is/was my favorite medium, used to be every gig you went to someone was selling one or another...hardly seem 'em these days!

For those not in the know, a fanzine or "zine" was usually a photocopied magazine of sorts usually put together by one person or a small group specialising in punk (a fanzine didn't have to be about punk but it's here that they were most used I think).

Here is a list of some of my faves from long ago!

MAXIMUM ROCK & ROLL


Is still going today and has done since way way back before Henry Rollins joined Black Flag. It's still in the same format it always has been and is made mostly of contributions and funded by advertisments - it's the holy bible of punk rock, Divided into letters, columns, album reviews, demo reviews, fanzine reviews, book & film reviews, band interviews and scene reports along with the odd bit of news and stuff.

A wonderful read, very involved and compact - filled with every thing you could want really!

You can have a look at their page HERE - it's awesome.

SHORT FAST & LOUD


Did a quick googlez for this and it seems that they are not around anymore, I could be wrong though!

Very similar in format to MRR but concentrates more on the thrash and grindcore end of the punk spectrum - my fave to pick up when I could!

PUNKEMON


Used to pick this one up in the UK, it was run by a couple and was aimed more at the poppy-punk and skate-punk scene at the time (late 90s-early 00s).

Interviews, reviews but also a whole load of personal and funny stuff too which is always fun to read - such as celebrity mugshots, crosswords containing only words that relate to drunken night out and reports of the contributors road trips. A really pleasant 'zine.

TRAILER PARK TRASH


A little 'zine based in Bristol/Bath (UK), the usual reviews an interviews but also fun stuff such as (in this issue) "Whatever happened to Naked Raygun", Cartoons, a report on Cult TV (this issue - MONKEY!) - this issue had interviews with Bad Religion, Baysix, Horrorpops and your truly contributed with a Flaming Sideburns interview. I once even got them an interview with AFI...hand written by Davey Havok (this was pre-green and pink make-up days).

UNCLE MONKEYS HOUSE OF BANANAS


This is the daddy of all the fanzines I ever read - the ultimate. It's written by a guy called Dean who was a big fan of both my former UK bands and used to send us VHS videos of himself reading fake news and playing songs on his guitar to our shared house - truly genius but scary!

The fanzine never really spoke about bands but..well for example in this issue there is:

  • A story about the assassination of Russ Abbot
  • Mary Poppins - evil crack whore
  • A guide to eating fruit
  • Excuses the writers brother has given to people calling for him as to why he can't answer the phone
  • and the best of all....as he had no new records to review he went to the 2nd hand store and bought 2 and reviewed them....

And well...of course I had my go too!

FUCKYOUALL!


I wrote this back in the late 90s, it was fun! interviewed: Olotilla, Hellnation, Doom, Cress, Blind Destruction Records, did DIY guides etc - by the end 3rd issue I had 4 contributors, our record reviews were written by Gene Simmons...hmmm.

And this Fanzine I found about Ninjas is also awesome.


ALSO CHECK OUT:

PROFANE EXISTENCE
MASS MOVEMENT (every issue is free to download).

Thursday, January 27, 2011

RAPED ON A FIRST DATE


I don't have adverts on my blog - I won't tell you what to buy but I will tell you who you should stay the fuck away from!

FIRSTDATE.SE



Yup...fuck 'em!

A few months back I was single and had seen this website around the place and saw that it was 19kr (that's under half the price of a beer in Sweden) for a "trial month". So...why not!

Now, when I "signed up" there was nothing about being binded to them for any amount of time* but...after a few days I realised that the website was a bag of shite so I cancelled my membership.

The month after I had 250kr(that's about the price of 5 beers in Sweden!) taken from my account from them - WTF! So I mailed them, several times....no reply.

This month....guess what! Yup, 250 from my account...contacted them, no answer.

So, I have gone to the police and I reccomend to all of you that might want to have a little looky at them as well...

STAY AWAY - IT'S A SCAM!

Spread the word - Elk out.

*The website says that you can pay monthly, GOLD membership must be binded for 3 months....

INDINVIDU-US

Got to seeing this video today

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LerubmpQgUg



The band are the excellent CONTOTURE from Gothenburg - reccomend go checking them out: www.myspace.com/contorture



But it wasn't the band that made me chuckle, it was the fact that 90% of the onlookers (and the band) had the same standard uniform. Now, be it beyond me to poo-poo this as the dreadlocks/denim vest/patches on the jeans look is also my standard daily attire, although I have yet to stand in a room where I didn't feel like I was the odd one out.


Back in the days of the Bristol punk gigs (late 90s-early 00s) I was aware of the scene cloning itself a little and so used to go dressed in a bright Hawaian shirt from time to time, or an old heavy metal t-shirt (before this was a standard accessory) - very fun to stand at the front of an ASSERT gig looking like you've just stepped off the beach and watch the other "punks" stare at you in horror.


Well....punk is about individuality right? I wonder why we have adopted this uniform to "stand out" - or maybe it's just a sign that in some circles you are not the only one...a room full of brothers and sisters.



Or....




Wednesday, January 26, 2011

THE BIRTH OF IGNORANCE

Been rehearsing with the new grindcore band a lot and as a bit of inspiration thought I'd whack the first two Napalm Death albums on the 'ol MP3 player and see if I could pick up a bit of inspiration here and there.

By the way - because I am the world's coolest guy I actually bought the first ND album when it was NEW! Or maybe a year or so afterwards but either way it was before "From Enslavement" came out. Here is my copy, complete with the original insert with the addresses of the band members just in case you felt like dropping them a line.


Thought about a few things while the tunes invaded my brainspace - what if Jeff Walker had played bass? How cool would that have been! How totally amazing Mick Harris is on the drums, serioulsy! And about how this record, argue the point until you are blue in the face with me and I'll give you all the reasons why..... this was the first GRINDCORE record.


So, we think of the "classic" line up of Napalm Death - Lee Dorrian, Mick Harris, Bill Steer and Shane Embury (or Jim from Ripcord on Scum actually) and we say it was those who invented grindcore....yet most forget that actually this line up only played on the 2ND side of the album...

It was actually two men called Justin Broadrick and Nick Bullen (Nik Napalm) that invited a young Mick Harris into their band Napalm Death and record the A-Side of Scum.


All the classic tunes that they still play today - Scum, The Kill, You Suffer, Siege Of Power were actually not written by the "classic" line up at all....or even Mick Harris but by Bullen and Broadrick - so although Mick's drumming style iconised Grindcore and Mick himself invented the term...it was actually these guys that invented the style...and then left it all together!

What do they now?

Justin Broadrick has played in Head Of David, most famously Godflesh and now Jesu - and has mixed/produced tunes for such bands as Pantera, Isis and The Lemonheads. Word on the street (not my street, no one ever talks about Napalm Death there unless there are in, on their way too or from my place) is that both Faith No More and Danzig tried to snab him to play for them.


Nick Bullen - played in Scorn with Mick Harris but didn't do so much else.

When I listen to that first side (originally a demo recorded for £50) I can't help but wonder why some bands take so long pissing about and worrying about their music.....a £50 demo created an entire genre and made legends of the band....

How's that for a piece of fried gold! Elk out.

Monday, January 24, 2011

ON YOUR TOMBSTONE MATE!

Was watching that "Get Him To The Greek" film t'uther day, which is quite a good film for a hung over afternoon I must say - pretty funny hollywood version of how overblown rock stars live their lives but at the same time a bit of an insight into what is "behind the mask" from time to time.

Russel Brand is classic as Aldous Snow - although I do hope he's at least tried to give his old buddy Noel Fielding a bit of an nudge a wink in the hollywood world...


Of course, the bit that had me laughing the most was when Aldous Snow lashes out at Lars Ulrich and says "Oh why don't you fuck off and sue Napster you little Danish twat!"

And I got to thinking....that is how Lars Ulrich is gonna be remembered right? Not for his music but for being that little Danish cry baby twat that sued Napster...

Then I got to thinking about some other icons and despite any good works they might have done or will do, how they will go down in history:

GARY GLITTER

7 Studio Albums, 4 live albums, 42 singles and between 1972-1974 every one a No.1 or No.2 and at least top 10 in many other countries...what's he gonna be remembered for? For being a kiddie-fiddler.

In 1997 he took his PC into be repaired and John Q.Nothingbettertodo found a bunch of kiddie porn on his hard drive. I dunno where I stand on this....Gary was arrested but not the people who took the pics/ran the websites....?

Anyway, media blitz ahoy, he was locked away for a bit then fucked off to the East where he was kicked out of country after country for fiddling with the local kiddies. So that'll be his tombstone, sadly.



MICHAEL JACKSON

See above but even weirder and with a lot more No.1's. MJ was weirdo, no doubt. But in my opinion and innocent one. None of the allegations were ever proved, yet it did ruin him, at least it seemed to until recently when he was to come back on tour but of course, died before he could.

I saw MJ live in 1992, it was awesome and I'll punch anyone who says otherwise.

TOMMY LEE

Wife beater

PETE DOHERTY

Junkie...or if I had it my way "twat".

PEE WEE HERMAN

Wanker

MICHAEL HUTCHENCE

Extreme wanker

PARIS HILTON

Sex tape girl




Your homework for today...think of more!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

INTO THE ZOMBILORD'S CRYPT

Winter sucks balls - not only that it's cold dark and shit but just like plants the people of this icy land seem to also all go to sleep. Apart from me, I'm like Chuck Norris, I never sleep...I wait.

But.....now it's a new year it seems that the buds are out. My two musical projects are all out of their caves and starting to rehearse again - happy days!


THINK FAST have actually got together (all four of five members that have been rehearsing) and have been bashing it out - this is the hardcore-punk-d-beat-old skool-youth crew but with beer-stuff band I started/joined together about 2 years ago with 'arr lad Kristoffer and is myself, him and members of The Process, High Hats, Gatans Lag and Heldback - go have a looky HERE - there are no tunes up yet but they are on the way! Weez even got a Facebook page HERE

Old skool skate - LÄRM style!

Adding insult to injury is the new band CRYPT OF THE ZOMBILORD - which I was asked to join when they were just little cells trying to divide.


Features mostly members of Banal Anal and the only other crusty-patch-punks in Borås. We've managed to gang together a few tunes which are mostly early Napalm Death/Carcass influenced with some other nu-thrash and crust/metal influences bunged in for good luck, no tunes or even a Myspace yet (fuck if anyone knows of a good page you can use instead of Myspace please tip me!) but the thrash will be unleashed in Borås at our first show in April if all goes well!


Monday, January 17, 2011

CRAZY LUCIEN CD SALE!

Had a mail from my old Swedish distributor that he had a box of unsold LUCIEN cds in his warehouse and is sending them back to me.....fuck knows what I am gonna do with them so I will be flogging them off cheap!

Photobucket


I'll take 50:- /£5 /5 euro and that includes the postage to you

Or I'll trade for any Vinyl, Cassettes, Fanzines, Books, patches, pins, toys, anything you think I might like!


You can mail me at gregcarlpearson (AT) gmail (DOTZ) com
I'll take cash in any of the above currency, or trades as listed, or paypal to:

hellonpaper (AT) yahoo (DOTZ) se

But mail me also if you paypal me!


LUCIEN was my band between 2004-2009, I played guitar and yelled - we recorded one album and then I broke the band up. There are only 500 so it's a nice bit of rare Elkerabillia.

Lucien played what has been described as "crusty, goth tinged punk-metal (Gravyzine)" or "Dirty garage rock with enough flair to make any stadium cock-rockers cower in embarrassment (Siczine)" For fans of bands such as Hellacopters, Gluecifer, Zeke...that sort of stuff.

We sounded like this:






Friday, January 14, 2011

MIKE V ON MTV...NOT FOR ME!

You guys know how much Mike Vallely rules right? Me and Mike go wayyyyyy back. I've been watching him on the TV since the 80s and he in turn has had me watch him since the 80s. Best mates we are!

Saying that, Mike did support and link this very blog on his own - so much like Henry Rollins and all the other awesome "celebs", what he's got that most of the others do not is time for the little people.


If you don't know who Mike V is then use your Googlez - Legendary skater since the 80s, frontman of Revolution Mother, actor and all-round pusher of the boundries and awsomeness.

So, reading his blog this week (check it out HERE) he posted a video of a TV show pilot that was made for MTV but never made it to being an actual show MIKE V VS THE WORLD. Here is the pilot in it's entirety - go looky.





ooo a 404 error that I can't remove....

Well, it's a great show...mostly but between you and me I am really glad that it didn't take off. Mike's an awesome guy but, although this is much better than 99% of the shit MTV spits at us ad infinitum this show is kinda like a dumbed down cartoon version of the real man, it feels so scripted and...MTV.


What would it do to one of my heroes? Well, for a start it would lump him in with the same category as the Jackass, Viva La Bam, Wildboyz, Dirty Sanchez, Run's House, Life of Ryan and The Osbournes crowd that we get to see in Sweden on repeat, 200 times a day and have done since they were new....oh look there's Bam punching his dad....again. There's Johnny Knoxville being shot with a paintball gun...again, I saw this in the 90s....why is it stil on? Ooo wait, Ozzy's gonna try and say something! Ha ha ha, this was funny the first time round TEN YEARS AGO!

Personally I would hate to be sick of Mike V, I would hate him to be a cardboard cut-out version of what he really is, I would hate for the armies of MTV zombies to only know him as "that guy that punches people...he's so awesome, he punches people!"

I watched an episode of MTV's "MADE" a while back where this big fat ginger girl wanted to be a rapper, they dressed her up in RUN DMC clothes and she had no idea who RUN DMC were...but she knew the show Run's House...would I want this happeneing to Mike V? Nooo!!!!! "Oh did that punchy guy skate too? Was he any good?"


The man is a legend and needs to be treated and respected as one and personally for me that means him not becoming a missunderstood household name. Sure, would have been good for him and his family money wise but, not for us who take inspiration from him. That's my opinion anyway.

There is another pilot doing the rounds on the interwebs, I featured it on this blog a while back

The show is called DRAGONS and it's about a pair of whacked out hippy skaters trying to find their own truths. Mike V plays their mentor Eric Ron - No idea what is happening to this show, the pilot was pretty cool!

Anyway, Mike V, we the faithful want you all to ourselves - we wanna spread your word but not via MTV. I'm not saying that the man shouldn't have filmed the show, would have been better than anything else on but I'm saying that we want him just as he is....hardcore as fuck!


It would have been like when THE SWORD supported Metallica....usch!

Elk out.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

VIDEO BLOG 1 - "The Record Deal Illusion"

Just a test really to see what this is like, if it's good I'll do some more! A few words about how when I was in a band on a "big" label people would always ask me "how to we get signed" and the things I said...


video

C-C-C-C-CHANGES pt1 - AFI

AFI.....what the hell happened?

If I hear people speaking today about AFI (or A Fire Inside) it will most likley be an asexual teenager that also likes James Blunt and Tokyo Hotel. Don't know AFI? They look like this:


Those who are bit older and wizended* might remember AFI in their former incarnation - as a kick-ass vegan-edge hardcore band when they looked like this:


It was 1996 and I was doing an interview with a fanzine for my ex-ex-ex band Yellowskin and the interviewer brought up how much he thought we sounded like AFI - he taped me their 2nd album "Very Proud Of Ya" - a priceless slab of skate-punk-hardcore, here is a tune from it!


Word got round the camp fire and before long we hunted out their first album "Answer That And Stay Fashionable". Listening to it now 15 years later it sounds a bit dated but at the time it was hardcore as fuck. It my social circles the hard cool kids liked AFI, the wuss kids liked your Green Day and Blink 182 etc.

I remember writing to then on the address on the back of the album for an interview for my fanzine I was writing - got a hand written reply from Davey Havok, still got that somewhere.

When they released "Shut Your Mouth & Open Your Eyes" I went to see them as a support band to Good Riddance (yes, at TJ's) - was awesome live, got to sit and chat with the band for a while too, at the time dressed in hoodies and covered in sXe tattoos, not a spot of make-up in sight.

Not sure why the decided to go down this avenue but they started to get a bit darker in 1999 with"Black Sails In The Sunset", still kick ass punk but with a much darker and evil theme, AFI and become a bit of a goth-misfits-punk-hardcore band and....they had become a bit more cult and a bit more popular, some of my Blink 182-friends started to like them to. The "Davey Havok" look started to come in more and more round the gigs and clubs


"The Art Of Drowning" came out in 2000 and was amazing super, again totally super dark punk but a lot more melodic and gaining more and more respect from the sideways-caps-and-lipring crew, but I still loved little AFI that I watched grow up. This tune "Days Of The Phoenix" got some pretty hard airplay on the telly:


I'm still into it!

They toured a lot of the super big punk venues in the UK around this time and then buggered off for three years to get all emo-goth (still in the good way) when they came back with the AWESOME album "Sing The Sorrow". This is when I think AFI looked their coolest.


This is a bit of a different album, it's got a fair share of slow tracks and experimental tracks but blends them in with a bunch of rockers too. At this time "Girls Not Grey" got super spun and sent AFI skyward.


But, being a bit of a goth I listened to this album over and over and over. In the big break up of 2006 (me being dumped a good 'un, plus a Swedish winter that I wasn't used to sending me downward into a pit of depression**) this never came off the stereo.

I was excited as hell when I heard they were releasing a new album in 2006 and looked forward to hearing it...but when I did........


ARGH!!!! What happened!?!?!? For some reason AFI got a sniff of the big time and turned into a transexual pop band.

Although I did go and see them on this tour and despite looking like children that had got loose in their mums make-up box they played a rocking show with a whole bunch of old tunes for the grandads like me, in fact I think they only played two songs from this new album, the rest was all classics. Although my little Davey should never look like this:


Nice t-shirt though, I'd totally wear that.

Well, from there it just got worse and worse....and I switched off. Although I know they have released a newer album not so long ago and I'm just checking out videos from it right now and...hmmm, it's not bad actually...oh dear, next stop - Tokyo Hotel!

Elk out.

*a word a made up to describe a mix between wisened and wizard
**soon as spring came it go better

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

TWO FILMS EVERY APSIRING ROCK STAR SHOULD SEE

...especially these nu-glam kids.

DECLINE OF THE WESTERN CIVILIZATION pt2

Of course pt2, pt1 is all about punk and has some kick ass bits in it, that's not for the wimps and posers, they can leave the room.

Penelope Spheeris does a great "point and shoot" documentary, basically of the "there and then" of the hair-rock LA. scene. All the losers get dragged out in front of the cameras to tell you how wonderful they are and how big they will be one day......they never were.

And of course some great interviews with some actual stars. Paul Stanley laying on a bed covered in nearly-nuddy women (seriously anyone that speaks like that and needs to enforce how straight he is all the time is in some sort of closet right?) Gene Simmons, Alice Cooper, Aerosmith, Megadeth, WASP, Lemmy, Vixen, and Faster Poisoncat.


The first thing that will strike you about most of the bands and ALL of the wannbes is this - they all look and sound exactly the same. They all TALK the same and they are all convinced that they will make it one day. I'd like to Google all these bands and see what they are doing now....but I can't be assed*

Some of these bands (at least claim to be) playing 7 nights a week at all the clubs...and they didn't make it. If there was a time and place that a hair rock band was gonna make it, then it was on the strip in the 80s.....what chance to you have....do something else.


Aerosmith lend some good advice to being the "Toxic Twins", that they are not proud of it and they hate that other people think that's the way to do it....despite their music being better back then this was just before they went on to be MASSIVE...so, put the drugs down kids!

A younger Ozzy looks fresh and coherant, despite having the same hair as my mum in the 80s....same clothes too actually.

Alice Copper is still bashing on about how KISS copied him. Watch an Alice Cooper vid and watch a KISS vid....copied? Only thing the same is the make up, and that's not even the same. KISS however did sue King Diamond once for copying the make up....wonder why they never took on the WHOLE of Black Metal?

Of course the best scene is WASP's Chris Holmes pissed as a bollock in his swimming pool chugging down vodka while his mum tuts and shakes her head. Apparently it was water and not vodka...whats worse? Being a drunken twat or wanting to show off that you're a drunken twat? Discuss.


ODIN are possibly the best, they REALLY will make it, it WILL happen..in the next 4 to six months they are gonna get a big record contract and then it's ETERNAL stardom. They will go down in history like The Stones or The Beatles....

Well.....ODIN! ...Who?

Well, basically a great thing is to check out the bands ODIN, LONDON (the members that stayed with the band), SEDUCE, LIZZY BORDEN, TUFF...who really are gonna make it!!!!! And think...really? When?



Great bits with Lemmy mind.

ANVIL - THE STORY OF ANVIL

Fuck what a great movie, it makes you laugh and cry, especially if you've been in a failing shitty band.

Bit of a special film really as Anvil WERE big once upon a time and then for some reason just slipped off the radar. I'm sure there are 1000s of bands exactly the same all over the world, just go into any 2nd hand vinyl store and browse the "Metal" section for all the bands you've never heard of...

But the thing is that despite pushing 50 they are still convinced that one day they will be rock stars, even to the point where they haven't really taken a career or a steady job as, y'know any moment that phone is gonna ring!

We follow them on tour where we get to see them play to at least one big audience (Sweden Rock, where else do all the washed up dinosaurs play?....and is that Pelle from Nefilheim headbanding at the front?) and then through a club circuit of dives in Grooberhäägen, Fubdingen and Veeördingalinga** playing to 20-25 people if they are lucky.

They decide that the reason they are not rock stars yet is that they of course haven't worked with their old producer that they used when they were big! So the borrow 1000, 00000, 0000 Canadian dollars a bugger off to England to work with him because THAT is the record that will make them rock stars. It doesn't and they end up putting it out themselves for their two fans to buy over the internet.


Now...it has a happy ending because they DO go on to be quite big and actually right now I can say that they must be enjoying quite some success for a while. Being in a band is not a fairy story - only for them because someone made a film about them, it's one in a million. No one has made a movie about Executioner, Krokus or Acid Reign....

After I watched this film I decided to stop playing in the band Lucien and stop trying to ever "make it" and study for a real job instead.

Mind you it is Spinal Tap as fuck....

So dear wannbe rock star, watch, understand....(no, no, stop chugging a beer, crushing the can against your head and going "whooooa!") that this is the reality of the rock star world, that it's very hard out there and ..(no, no put the guitar down and stop playing the intro to "Sweet Child O' Mine)...you won't get anywhere by being the same as everything else that has gone before.

Unless you're Municipal Waste, Toxic Holocaust or Skeletonwitch.

Elk out.

*I did to get some pics...some of these bands are still going. You all remember ODIN's 2008 album right? Or Faster Pussycat's last tour a year or so back....right?
**I made those up.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

IT WAS THE BEST GIG EVER pt7 - SNFU

Punk as I came to know and love it in the mid 90s was first introduced to me in the late 80s via one of the bigger kids in school called Rob.

He lent me a tape with DRI and Corrosion Of Conformity (the old version) on it and on the other side was SNFU - If you swear you'll catch no fish.

I fell in love with that album and from then on they were just a band that I knew about and liked. It was "Skate Punk" but back then I didn't know what skate punk was, I just loved the album, it was something else.

A few years later when I lived in Weston Super-Mare a guy came to our squat wearing an SNFU shirt and of course I pounced on him with 100 questions. He lent me the other 3 albums they had (at the time) recorded and I loved them even more.

If the band is new to you, they were one of the original skate punk bands, maybe even the first. Formed in 1981 recorded 4 albums before calling it a day...then got back together in 1993 and then got snapped up by Epitaph when the skate punk thing got bigger. They never really made it big time like all the other bands and I think that fucked with them a lot. They recorded more albums, broke up again then got back together to release on their own label, then broke up again. Recently they have got together again but with just singer Chi Pig, much to the disgust of the rest of the band. A film "Open your mouth and say....mr.chi pig" about the unique singer came out a while back which is worth a peeky.



1994 the came to (you guessed it), TJ's in Newport. My first time there actually and an instant love affair. Supersuckers were meant to be the support band but SNFU ended up playing in the middle due to having a long trip to their next gig.

Having heard this band so many times over the years it was great to see them live. It was (as they say) SNFU at their best. Chi Pig leaping through the air and going mad on stage. His huge dreadlocks flying everywhere, all the songs: Where's My Legs, Cannibal Cafe, She's Not On The Menu, X-Creep, and I Forget - and here some actual footage from that actual gig, I was there!





The first "real" punk gig I went to as well, first time I saw the band so close up and first time I saw a band play and just walk off stage, I met Chi Pig, shook his hand and everything. Dressed in black shorts and t-shirt, a mistake that that's been my stage clothes since that day on? Don't think so.

When SNFU "came back" and tried to keep up with the likes of Offspring and Bad Religion it didn't really work, they toured the UK a few more times but I never got to see them again, even talks of recently traveling somewhere to see them with my old buddie/roadie Dave, it never happened.

Their last album "In the meantime and between time" was awesome but sadly Chi Pig is such a loose wheel that it's unsure what will happen to them in the future. Still, one of my biggest influences: check out the vids!







Monday, January 10, 2011

MASS MOVEMENT INTERVIEW WITH THE ELK

THIS is an interview done with me by my good buddy Ian from Mass Movement Magazine a few months ago - it's very long but check it out for some wonderful insights, Elk style!


MM - Guitarist, vocalist, song writer, punk blogger and now author Greg Pearson, offers his views on Tourette’s Syndrome, file trading, the dumbing down of popular culture and his time in popular 90s combo Mr. Zippy and Swedish crusty rockers Lucien. Interview by Ian Pickens


MM - Hi Greg, most people in Mass Movement land will probably have heard of you from your time in Mr. Zippy but that was a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, so what have you been up to since those halcyon days in the 90s?
G - “Apart from completing my jazz odyssey and working on a musical version of the life of Jack the Ripper? …
Yes, it’s been almost 7 years since I last stood on a stage with Mr. Zippy, certainly was another time in another
life. Well, I very quickly put together the band LUCIEN. I started to work as a stagehand for one of the
local concert companies and ended up working my way up the ranks to super-roadie! Didn’t even have to get
bummed by any of the bosses. I worked almost everyday for whatever band passed through, some good,
some bad. Managed to work for the likes of Slayer, Dropkick Murphy’s, Motley Crue, Iron Maiden, The Boss,
Kiss…fuck, another book’s worth of stories there. Then I ended up on the road with the Swedish rock band
Crash Diet as a roadie for a while (the boys are supporting Ozzy tonight as I write this in fact).
A few years ago I moved from Stockholm to a smaller town just outside of Gothenburg. I spent a while finding
my feet and then with a lot of spare time thought “well, what the hell do I really WANT to do with my future”. So
I went back to school and am currently studying to become a teacher. Apart from that a friend of mine, Kristoffer
and I started a club night and then we started a new band THINK FAST, which I will go into later.
So right now I live in a nice Swedish town, go to school, play punk and write – it’s
pretty chilled. I turned 35 this weekend so it’s a nice grown-up way to be with all my punk sensibilities intact.”

MM - In a similar vein to Marv Gadgie in his zine and subsequent book (‘Now Then Gadgie’), you seem to have become something of a punk popular culture nostalgic? Is this due to a distinct lack of interesting popular culture in music, television, film and literature in the Noughties? Is the age of Big Brother, RnB, A-Team remakes and Dan Brown so bad that we are now viewing the 80s with rose tinted glasses?



G - “Everyone thinks that “things used to be much better” don’t they? Sitting about in our easy chairs with the pipe
and slippers watching the TV and moaning at it…what else is it for? But, I dunno – I’m not sure I actually feel
that way. I just think that since I have experienced four decades of culture that I have a lot to choose from.
Though, there is a lot that I like culture wise that has come out in the last decade, punk will always be punk
and the loyal are still the loyal despite however many watered down versions we have out there. There have
been some great movies bursting out, I’d like to say documentaries but most of them focus on the nostalgic
don’t they? Books too, as you know I’m a mad reader and can’t really seem to go anywhere without some sort
of paperback tucked away somewhere.
With the onslaught of the popular media we get beamed to us, I don’t really have any exposure to the mainstream
so it doesn’t really bother me. For example I only know who Justin Bieber is via the pages of Demotivational.
com. I think the 80s and the 90s had some good things, especially the rising of their respective punk
scenes, but the true ideas of what it formed haven’t gone away and the other exposure just separated the
wheat from the chaff as it were.
I believe that there is a new punk rising on the way – we will see it all happen again the way it was in the “good
old days”. Its basic physics right? Every action creates an equal or opposite reaction. With all the Big Brother
etc like you mentioned there will be a reaction!
But on that point, I’d rather Big Brother and RnB that something masquerading as the underground or a subculture.
At least you know where to stand.
I like Dan Brown though…sorry.”


MM - Really? I find his books read like bad screenplays; as if they were written with the fully formed intenintention of becoming trashy Hollywood thrillers?


G - “Maybe when you read through them you can picture them as films but I always thought that was a good thing.
The books involve a lot of back-info and explanations and I know Brown researches a lot to make the books
as “accurate” as possible, be it with new science or myth. I actually hated the movies they made because I just
don’t think they come close to how good the books are. I know a lot of people consider the books to be aimed
at a dumber demographic but I don’t really agree with that…maybe I secretly am that demographic. I’ve read
all of his books and enjoyed every one.”


MM - Your Blog is a wonderful mish-mash of political opinion, popular culture, punk rock and metal band profiles and general commentary; do you ever struggle to find things to talk about on such a regular basis?

G - “Never! In fact I don’t have enough time to write about everything I want to write about. I usually carry a little
notepad with me in order to write down the various ideas I have through out the day. It’s one of the benefits of
being ADHD and a writer of sorts.
I’m slowing it all down a bit now though as with school being my main priority I need to focus on that and just
don’t have time to keep up with it. Plus I gave up on the band Lucien and the club we were running because
I was sick of doing things purely for public consumption…and then found myself stressing about constantly
updating my blog. So I’m putting the brakes on a bit but no, I never run out of things to write. There is four decades
of stuff for me to go back to and with “punk” being such an elaborate concept there is always something
to discuss, especially now I’m in my mid-30s where “real life” or a more grown up, regular “normal” life should be taking it's grip on me.


MM - The Blog has also featured some pretty sensitive personal ‘issues’ such as your Tourette’s Syndrome and relationship with the devils brew; do you find it difficult to discuss these issues so publicly or is it a cathartic process? Does that apply to writing in general? Have your books exorcised any ghosts?


G - “Well, why does one write, or indeed do anything of any cultural relevance? Of course it’s to share your opinions
and ideas. And these things that you speak of, my personal matters are things that are of particular relevance
to me and ideas I would like to raise awareness of. Especially with all my particular disorders such as
Tourette’s, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and ADHD (ADD). Many more people have it than know. I lived until
my early 30s with these disorders and just thought I was strange until I realised that I was not alone. I’d love to be able to extend that hand to someone else.
And it’s good to be able to poke a bit of fun at it as
well, for example showing the scenes from Deuce
Bigalow for an example of Tourette’s. It’s funny
but at the same time I
also wanted
to spread the knowledge that Tourette’s doesn’t
actually manifest itself in quite such a funny way
sadly and that to the actual sufferers of it, it’s quite
a damaging thing to live with.”


MM - I feel that Tourettes/OCD/ADHD are on a sliding scale and far more common than is generally recognised. Do you feel these are modern conditions caused by diet/TV/consumerism or are they just better diagnosed these days?


G - “Good point, I think that it’s a bit of both. But I am
glad that they are being diagnosed, if my teachers
and parents and myself had known about and
understood these disorders when I was young I
might have had a much better chance at an education
than I got. We just didn’t have the information
available so it was just dismissed as me being odd
and difficult, and having strange habits – people
would ask me why I would do the things I was doing
and I just couldn’t explain it, or they would get
pissed off with or disturbed by me. Many twitches,
facial ticks etc, sometimes noises – and I had no
explanation as to why I did them. The same with
why did I have such a hard time to focus on things
at school…it’s just seen as being difficult. I’m not a
stupid person, I’m proving that now with my grades
but when I was younger I just didn’t have the motor
skills to concentrate on what I had in front of me
so I rebelled and as a result left school with next
to nothing and had to lie about my grades for the
next 20 years or so if I wanted a job. If someone
had have been able to identify what was “wrong”
with me at the time and acted on it, things might
have been very different. I think it’s good that more
people these days get a chance.
And again with alcoholism – certainly a subject
and a condition that many
more people have
a problem with than
would probably admit,
a modern syndrome
that needed a bit of
addressing.
Yes, it’s certainly
a release; it’s like
venting it out. In fact
it has been noted
that my blog can at
times be very negative
towards society,
some people near
to me were worried
that this was affecting
my well being
and what sort of
fucked up angry person I must
be to come up with those sort of harsh things I do ,
but it’s all a vent. I write it down and then it doesn’t
bother my real life. It’s the same with the books,
yes. I think we’ll touch on this again later on.”


MM - On a recent Inquisitive Elks Blog there was an advert for gastric band clinics in the UK, which was uh… weird to say the least; given the amount of money that obesity surgery is now costing the NHS, with a recent report citing an 800% increase in 10 years, do you feel that this is a cause you should be supporting? Doesn’t this seem like a monumental waste of tax payer’s money, shouldn’t we just say “Eat less and get some exercise fatty”?


G - “There are adverts on my blog? Ok, I didn’t know
that – I will check it out. Of course it’s probably
targeted advertising so I guess my readers must be
fatties. They log onto Inquisitive Elks and then go
check out websites about cakes.”
It’s so true; that’s exactly what I do!!
“Me too, as soon as I’ve finished I log onto Ben &
Jerrys.com…or check out pictures of fat people
crying and eating. But to your point…yes. I think
over eating is getting worse than smoking for
self-inflicted health problems. There was a great
Swedish program a while back where they sent a
regular Swedish girl round America to look at some
of the worse cases of child obesity, it was an eye
opener. Those mums just fed their kids with fried
chicken and gallons of Coke because “they cried if
they couldn’t get it”. One kid was even so fat that
his legs had grown deformed under him. Jebus…if it comes in a bucket it’s probably worth leaving behind. At one point she tried to buy some fruit in a food store
and couldn’t find any apart from in a can with sugar!”

MM - Is the governments obsession with healthy eating, banning smoking, attempting to influence alcohol intake etc. another example of, to paraphrase Ludichrist, the government acting like your mother? Is the Nanny state a reality in Britain today and not just an example of hysterical Daily Mail hyperbole?


G - “Although people generally live longer these days, if you look at pictures from regular folk in say the 1920s
or 1930s…how do they look? You’d be hard pressed to find a fat or unhealthy looking one and that was way
before we had any of that. Ace facial hair too and totally funky clothes. They always go for that retro look and
just pull it off a treat.
I think that in one way people should be given a really clear picture of the dangers of smoking, drinking etc, especially
we in any kinds of subcultures that are prone to seeing our heroes partaking and think it’s cool so we
do it too – especially younger kids, hell that was how I got started. In many ways we DO have all the warning
signs but popular culture gives us another picture. We are constantly looking at successful people partaking
in potentially dangerous activities. A friend of mine got into cocaine and thought it was OK to do so because
“Lemmy does it”. We’re influenced by our heroes and want to be like them, so especially the younger generation
that seem to be being set up for a lifetime of being brainwashed by the popular media.
But on the other side of the coin I certainly don’t like to be told what I can and cannot do. Personally I don’t
smoke cigarettes or drink (at the moment), I enjoy a nice cigar once in a while and I am in the process of giving
up snus (a Swedish tobacco in small tea-bag type things that you put under your lip), but these are all my
choices, I would hate to be told that couldn’t do any of the above at anytime I wanted. It’s bad enough in Sweden
with government-run alcohol stores that dictate to you the times you can buy and not buy.
I guess that’s why the punk subculture appeals to me so much; anarchism in many ways is to me my position
but only in a personal way, living outside of the boundaries that are imposed onto me while still upholding the
balance of a common society.”


MM - How different is the social/political climate in Sweden? Was this a factor in your decision to move there? Any regrets about leaving the UK?


G - “I never miss the UK. I miss my family and some of my friends but that’s it. I do miss that great scene we had
but that’s gone, there will be another. Yes the political climate, especially when the UK was dragged into the
“war on terror” was certainly a reason for me to move to a neutral country.
In Sweden we have much the same problems, yet the parties are slightly different. The right is much more
liberal and the left borders on communism. Personally I think most of the parties have something to bring to
the table. At the moment the country is run by the right, which is made up of group of parties which we call “the
alliance” It’s the conservative and liberals together and more a blend of the UK versions of right and left. On
our opposing side we have the “red-green” which is more socialist and environmental parties. In a few weeks
we will actually have the national vote. I wonder which way we will swing.
We also have the Swedish version of the BNP, the “Swedish Democrats” – very scary. “

MM - Politically do you feel that Europe has swung significantly to the right in the past 10 years? Has punk evolved to address this in the way that Anarcho developed as a reaction against Thatcherism in the UK, or has it become the safe music of choice for middle class teens?


G - “Yeah, the 80s American hardcore was a swing against Regan and the UK a swing against Thatcherism, I’m
not sure about today though. I find less bands addressing political issues in regards to actually parties or
people. We did have NoFX and Fat Mike setting up that whole “punk voter” thing which was a really great way
of getting even the most apolitical teenager into having a look at what was going on.
I think these days people are aware of what’s going on in the world, and are willing to address it, but not a lot
else happens. For example you can in many high street stores in Sweden buy clothes with statements about
recycling, or aids awareness etc – but is that it? A T-shirt? You can say (or could say) “fuck Bush” but to what
extent did anyone actually go out of their way to actually do anything about it. As I said before, those underground
are still underground and the numbers still grow.
A lot of our subcultures have been replaced by large company-run versions, when I think of music magazines
and festivals etc, sadly. But I remain hopeful that anyone can start off by listening to bands like Green Day and
then work their way inward.”


MM - You have been highly critical of the Pirate Party in your writing (most well know for their opposition to the targeting and conviction of file sharers but also opposed to copyright in general including patents, the party is more well known in Sweden but has chapters in many other countries including the UK); doesn’t their position equate more closely with what punk used to be about, i.e. the free exchange of ideas rather than profiteering?


G - “There are both good and bad things
about The Pirate Party, although mostly
bad simply because of the way they go
about what they do. I am actually opposed
to their policies because they
have set themselves up as an actual
political party with no agenda other
than free downloads, no patents and
internet privacy, and I must say that I
can’t agree with them on any of their
points.
However I do not have a sensible
workable solution to an alternative. I
myself download, just last night in fact
I downloaded the first episode of the
new Made in England ’86 series as
I couldn’t find anywhere to watch it
online (the BBC website won’t let me
view it outside of the UK). Should I
be arrested for this? I say no.
We are forced to pay license fees
for our television sets and do we
ever actually watch what we pay
for? I don’t. Instead I watch things online, I feel this a
fair exchange.
Anyway, with PP they haven’t thought it through – they want everything to be free and they mainly attack the
faceless multinational corporations, but they don’t seem to realise that not everyone out there is a faceless
corporation. Downloading has already damaged the record industry to the point where it’s hard for any emerging
artists to get any sort of a break and they would have this taken away too. Not every musical industry is
faceless and evil; there are many small operations that would also get damaged. In fact, the way I see it is that
if everything was free the entire music industry would grind to a halt as there would no longer be the motivation
or turnover to do it.
And this trickles down. Even within the faceless multinationals you have many more honest people who rely on
them for their work. Think of the touring artists, you have their road crew, and when they come to a venue you
have armies of stagehands like I used to be, living hand-to-mouth from every job. The truck drivers, the lighting
guys, the people who work in the ticket stalls, the t-shirt stalls, the people who make the t-shirts, the people
who make the posters, the people who clean, the security, the people who work in CD factories, the people
who CLEAN them…and so on. Millions would be out of an honest job.
So where as their ethics may be admirable, their plan is not. Even the people within the PP believe that downloading
would be OK because there are still people out there that might hear an artist and then go out and
support them for life, buy their CD’s/ITunes, whatever, go to their gigs etc. But that’s NOW, when you can’t
get everything for free. If you totally legally could, who would pay? They seem to rely on a utopic reality when
everything is free and the industry is funded completely by honest people who like to still pay, like an “honesty
box” set-up. And everyone would be laughing and dancing round with rainbows and unicorns with their free
medicine and free music/films and the creators would still be happy. In reality…it would be an empty and hollow
desert.”
MM - Case in point Radiohead’s ‘In Rainbows’ which they made available for whatever fans felt compelled to pay; a significant percentage paid nothing and the band haven’t persisted with the concept. Proof positive that people are basically selfish assholes?


G - “Exactly – or maybe selfish is the wrong word, more “why the hell not”. If you can get it for free why would
you pay, especially nowadays when you can take your mp3s/Spotify everywhere you go there is no reason to have an actual physical format of any kind. And of
course it makes the music more throw-away. Basically….
you can’t beat vinyl can you? Timeless and
classic.
I see it a bit like home taping – it’s sneaky, turn a
blind eye, we’ll all get on with it, everyone is happy.”



MM - Let’s talk a little bit about your musical projects; Lucien: this was your first ‘proper’ band after Mr. Zippy right? It was more of a Metallic/ Misfits influenced band than the skate/pop punk of Mr. Zippy? Things were looking pretty good following the release of the self titled album on Irelands’ Dead Lamb records; what went wrong?


G - “The day I decided to stop was the day that I had a
“Murtaugh Moment”. I dropped to my knees to play
a guitar solo during a gig and did a Spinal Tap….I
couldn’t get up again! That was when I thought “I’m
too old for dis shit!”
Lucien was sadly never quite what I wanted it to
be. The other guys in the band were awesome
people and still my very good friends but as a band
they didn’t really share my vision. Vic, the guitar
player and I were the two people who drove the
band and we were pulling in opposite directions.
He wanted more control to the songs and to slow
down and get more commercial and I wanted to
just get faster and faster. With the pull - me wanting
to play screaming crust and he wanting to play
AOR it met in the middle and became what Lucien
was. But with the rock scene in Sweden being what
it was we were just never understood or appreciated
as a band, and it went so far that I just couldn’t
stand up on the stage and fake it any longer that I
was into it and enjoyed it.
I didn’t want to be a “rock star” or in a rock band
trying to make it any longer. When I moved from
Stockholm I told the guys in the band that I would
give us 6 months and if they didn’t come up with
anything solid I would quit. They didn’t so I just
gave up and the band decided not to do it without
me.
Shame as we had a record contract and distribution
set up for the next album but I just couldn’t
do it. Vic started a new band called City Demons
that sound a bit like Kings of Leon. I started THINK
FAST.”

MM - Post Lucien there was talk of you joining a band on the verge of signing to Victory Records; are you able to expand on that?


G - “The band are called SISTER SIN and based in
Gothenburg. Actually they are signed to Victory records,
which was the thing that attracted me. I had
a few auditions with them and got on with the band quite well but musically they were just
not my style.
When
I was
auditioning
there
was
talk of
rehearsing
three
times a
week,
many
tours all
over the
place and I
just thought
I was getting
a bit
old for all
that. To be
fair also they
deserved
someone in
the band that was going to be committed to it
and love it instead of someone just going along for
the ride. They just toured in America with Motorhead
actually, missed that one eh!”

MM - Coincidentally I just reviewed their new album ‘True Sounds of the Underground’ but it’s on Metal Heaven not Victory; cool ‘80s style metal, the singer has a hell of a pair of lungs on her…


G - “Yeah, she’s awesome! But I didn’t realise they’d
changed labels actually – it was a bit of a shock to
me that such a band was on Victory which as you
know is more well known for it’s hardcore. And as
you’ve heard – the musical style really wasn’t my
thing. Good band though, and really nice people.”


MM - Returning to Mr. Zippy; your new book, ‘Second Place Heroes’ is a kind of diary-cum-memoir of your time in the band; did it bring back a lot of happy memories of the UK punk scene in the late 90s/early ‘00s or reopen a lot of old wounds? How did the rest of MZ react to the book?


G - “It certainly did a lot of both. Many, many happy
memories of the great things we did. Shooting off
round the country, to Japan, to Norway, all those
fun things we did together, and the old wounds of
how shitty it all ended. Again it was a catharsis,
especially for me who felt like I had been wounded
by what happened and I guess in many ways still
wanted to show to the band what happened and
how I felt. But as I was writing I realised how much
I had changed and how much I had developed beyond those sad, bitter feelings.
I think I worked through it though; it was this that got me over all those feelings. Made me re-visit them, see
things from a different angle and work out my own problems. I think that a part of me was still holding on and
trying to prove something that just couldn’t be proved or explained to the guys (in the band) – it helped me to
realise this and move on.
The book actually got finished over a year ago and was in its original “more bitter” format, stating all the things
I felt went wrong and whose fault it was (and admitting my share of blame too). But when I read through it I
realised that it wasn’t the story I wanted to tell. So I shelved it for a year and then went back to it this year to
make it what it is now, what I wanted it to be.
Basically I see it as a document of a time and a feeling, but also the story of how we as a band started as
wide-eyed kids and learned along the way how to do things and actually grew into an international professional
act, and the people we met along the way who were also in that scene, and where it went wrong.
The rest of the band…well, I don’t know really. They haven’t really said anything about it. Nothing on their website,
MySpace or Facebook, not even a mail from the band to say “Oh that’s cool”. I actually had to email them
all twice recently as I was afraid that with the complete silence they might have in some way objected to the release
of the book. Only one of them replied. Bear in mind that I was only in the band for 6 years and they have
been going since 1993 so, I was only a third of their whole existence. The one guy that replied was cool and
said everything was ok; they were just too busy working on their current stuff. I’m a bit hurt that they couldn’t
find the time to acknowledge it or just even write a few words to me but it’s also kind of what I expected.
They are very special people, I would go so far as to say stubborn, in a good way sometimes though. Now
I am not in the band I know they want to distance themselves from me (as an ex band member) as much
as they can, but the truth is that it’s hard to do for most people as during the time when they were most well
known it was myself that was the go-between in almost all of their affairs. In fact they were an unsigned local
band before I joined and went back to being pretty much just that when I left. 99% of people I talk to about the
band ask what the guys are doing now and are surprised when I tell them that the band never broke up, they
are still playing.”


MM - Yeah, I thought they had called it quits years ago...


G - “The thing is though that they are my friends and I love them and as a friend I really want them to do well, (NOTE - or at least I did at the time of writing, since my recent return to the UK and the treatment I have recieved from the band they can, with the exception of my brother and BFF, drummer Pete...go fuck themelves and dissapear up their own too-busy self import asses for all I care)... I appreciate
that they band is on another level now, it’s more of just a hobby and that they have seen what it’s like
to be “up there” and want to live more as normal people, but I do want them to be successful in a better way –
not for my own benefit but for theirs. Since leaving the band I have offered them gigs, tours, distribution deals,
record deals, help, to get them onto Spotify and more…and each time has been met with complete silence.
And that’s pretty much how the release of this book was met too, the band themselves have not mentioned it
publicly at all. Yeah, I’m a little bit sad about this but at the same time I
realise that they don’t want me to be a name attached to the band
anymore, it was 7 years ago. But on the other hand it was a very
important part of my life and the reason I revisit some of these
memories is that it was simply one of the best things I have
ever done, I can’t just forget it. I’ve moved on a great deal with
my life but this was still a high point.
My wish is that the book would create a re-newed interest in
the band that would spur them on into completing and releasing
the album they have been promising for the past 6 years
and that people would discover them and they could go on to
get the recognition they deserve and sell a bunch of new albums,
just for their sake. They will always be my brothers and some of
the best friends I have had. The dedication in the book is to them
“without who, life would have just been ordinary”.


MM - Do you feel you missed out on a more exciting period of Hardcore in the early-mid 80s? If you could pick a period in which you were making music which era would you choose? You seem to have a penchant for heavier rock/stoner/doom as well as Hardcore/Punk/Grind; can we expect to see you explore these musical territories in the future?


G - “I was watching that new Rush documentary a few days ago and thinking how awesome it would have been to
see them at the time they were unleashing 2112 – but then I thought, or would it? Because now I love it because I know every note and all the history about it but to see it at the time you have none of this knowledge
so how can you appreciate it for exactly what it was/is. The punk scene I lived through was awesome, that really
was fun. Would have been great to have lived through the 80s American hardcore scene sure, of course!
I’ve actually started 2 new bands, the first will be a thrash/grind, yet to have a name and the other is called THINK FAST who are playing kind of old school punk/hardcore stuff. It’s
myself and members of some other quite cool Swedish bands, Heldback, The High Hats, Gatans Lag and The
Process. I met Kristoffer the bass player last year and we just hit it off, he lives near me
so we’re always at each others houses, sharing books, movies, comics…we’re like long-lost brothers just waiting to find each other
so we could form something, and from it came THINK FAST.”

MM - The name kinda sounds like an 80s USHC/sXe band…

G - “Certainly does! Yup, that was kind of the point, they whole “youth crew” style sound to the name. We actually
found there was another band with that name so for ages we tried to come up with a better one…and couldn’t!
But that other band split up so…we took over.
I actually think it’s the band that I’ve always wanted to be in, everyone in the band is totally on the same page,
we’ve started rehearsing and should have 7” in the near future, it’s gonna be awesome!
www.myspace.com/thinkfastswe by the way!”

MM - If you had carte blanche to put the ultimate ten band line-up together who would be Greg’s Choice?

G - “Ooo, hard to say…Misfits, Dead Kennedys,
Black Flag, Slayer, Isis, Minor Threat, Fugazi
(yup, Ian plays twice), Sepultura circa 1991,
Ambulance, Discharge.”


MM - Ambulance – is that an actual band or a practical addition to deal with mosh pit casualties?

G - “Ha ha! No, it’s an actual band from Umeå –
the home of the best punk!”

Check out MASSMOVEMENT.CO.UK or to check out the books and CD's mentioned just click the "ZOMBIE ATTACK RECORDS" link up on the left of this blog!

The whole magazine Mass Movement 28 - interviews with Cradle Of Filth, Helloween, Forbidden, John Arcudi, Corrosion Of Conformity, Steve Ignorant, Wino, Hail Of Bullets, Jonathan Morris and more, plus all the usual features (Screen Damage, The Dungeon’s Master and, again, more), reviews, columns and an EXCLUSIVE Nuclear Blast EP (featuring Death Angel, Madball, Dimmu Borgir and Forbidden can be downloaded from the website, direct link HERE


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