One of the good things about RPM is we know a thing or two about music and what hot and whats not. when we started this site there were a bunch of bands in our crosshairs that we knew we wanted to get behind and one of them at the top of this list were Cyanide Pills. Phil was happy to sit in the comfy chair whilst we threw a bunch of words in his direction and he was kind enough to make some sense of them and respond. Now if you’re not familiar with his band then my advice is don’t hang about just as soon as you’ve read this here interview check em out. Now read our little chat. Buy Cyanide Pills Here
Tell us a little history of the band. Who started it and where?
Time is a little hazy! We have been together over ten years now I reckon. Me and Chris Wrist (drums) got the band together, we both worked as cloakroom attendants in a nightclub/venue. I Think it was seeing the Briefs in the club and thought they were the best thing in years, they liked all the stuff we did, so it inspired us to go out and scrape together a bunch of misfits with the same mindset.
You’ve played sporadically around the UK and played steadily on mainland Europe. Is it difficult getting around the UK and picking up bookings? Can I hereby formally invite you to play in South Wales when you’re next out and about.
We would love to come and play! We played the UK all the time when we started, then we bumped into a bloke called Paul and he said “you lot would enjoy Europe and I’ll drive” so off we went, it’s good to get paid, fed and housed, they treat bands well over the water, Punk is alive and well so we keep going back, it’s Good to travel and meet different sorts. We should play the UK more often I must admit.
We have always had a great time at Rebellion, we play the warm–up show at the Tache as well, when it comes to attendance I’m not sure? I guess word spreads. We just do what we do and hope folk like it.
Your three albums, a live 10″ and a whole bunch of singles deep into this business what’s next? Anything on the immediate Horizon?
We are working on album number 4. Never had a plan, but we are lucky boys having a label and all. It’s good to be asked to do more stuff, cheers Ian Damaged!
We have done a cover of the Glitter Bands ‘Just for you’ We like those glam bands from back in the day and originally wanted to do a Sweet number but chose the Glitter Band, a band you could say have suffered for the later crimes of a front man they kicked out in 73. So it’s our little homage to Rossall, Shephard and the others, they could write a fucking good tune.
Live the band is a ball of energy and the songs come thick and fast any specific shows spring to mind that told you that you were onto something with this rock n roll lark?
We judge everything as we did as kids in the crowd, what we liked to see in a band, keep it short, don’t talk bollocks between songs, keep playing the music. Move! And wear some decent clobber. The people who come make the best shows, the band is just a part of it.
Who writes the lyrics in the band? I’ve always loved the lyrics and think that Cyanide Pills are one of the sharpest bands in the UK over the last decade some of the lyrics are superb. There are the obvious ones like ‘Stop And Search’, the awesome ‘Up Against The Wall’ and ‘Government’ and the storytelling like ‘Johnny Thunders Lived In Leeds’ but its the fine use of the English language on ‘Suicide Bomber’, ‘Formica’ that really paints great pictures mentally. Is there a favourite lyric you’ve squeezed into a song?
Cheers! I (Phil) writes the words, I try to put a bit of effort in. For some people it’s all about the words, for others it’s not a big deal. To be honest, if a tune is good I could quite happily listen to someone shout the word shit over and over again. Don’t think about it too much although we do try and write the odd soppy love song which hopefully annoys the more macho types.
The bands sound has evolved from the first album to still bored. It’s still instantly recognisably Cyanide Pills but you were more adventurous would that be fair? The last album was more power pop than previous records but songs like ‘Lock Up’ sounded great alongside ‘sit tight’ and ‘Dance With You’. What about releasing singles that aren’t on the albums with exclusive B Sides its a real throwback to some classic bands from the 70’s and 80’s who’d do that.
Has it evolved?
I think it has
That wasn’t the plan. I’m with you on the singles thing, I’m more a fan of 45s than albums. We do have a tradition of putting a crap song on each side of an album, purposely done of course! usually a bit experimental or whatever, but it has to be a bit crap, I guess it comes from listening to Dickies albums as a kid. Also cramming in as many songs as possible, value for money and all that! Quantity over quality that’s what we always say.
Who influences you in your writing? What are your favourite singles and albums? Who else would you like to take out on the road with Cyanide Pills that would make for a great night out?
It’s pop songs, Buzzcocks singles, SLF singles, Generation X, Nick Lowe, Glam,
early Exploited, Jonathan Richman, Dr Feelgood, The boys, two-tone, Chuck Berry, Muddy Waters ..fucking loads, it’s one big jukebox. On the road, we have had the pleasure of supporting some of the bands who made us who we are. Long may it continue.
Visit www.cyanidepills.com it has a list of shows we are doing, come along and see us if you’re nearby, if you like it we have records for sale in pretty colours. They sound the same as us live but without all the mistakes. Oh, and we have a nice range of clobber as well, if you need a the full makeover!