The words “Power Pop” don’t usually drag me in; I tend to think of it as the AOR equivalent of punk but this my friends is different. “Just Another Regular Summer” is stripped down dirty pop, played with the attitude and honesty of a man living every chord and every word. Think Tom Petty playing Revolver or perhaps Johnny Thunders jamming with latter-day Monkees and that’ll only get you half way there…
Matt Julian, formerly of the rather splendid Breakdowns, is serious about his pop. Hardly a day goes by and when he’s not posting a picture of his latest record store find. This boy is serious about the 7” single. All this research has now paid off as he’s only gone and crafted a perfect pop album. A record that most bands could dream of making and he’s done it pretty much all on his tod.
Side 1 just whizzes by from Thunders-esque opener “All I want”, through to the song everybody will wish they the had written, the title track “ Just Another Regular Summer”, complete with a little Alarm-like harmonica (please don’t hate me for that one !!??!). So far, there’s nothing not to like and everything to love.
Just when you think you’ve hit the high point, “That’ll Be The Day The Earth Stood Still (Drink The Pain Away)” kicks off side 2. I had to stop there and play it again. Matt Julian take a bow you talented bastard! “Lonely Girl” is pure pop and closer “Reunion In The Rain” insists you flip the plastic over to live the last 35 minutes of your life again.
“Just Another Regular Summer” is released on October 19th via Canada’s Gods Candy Records, but get in there quick because if you want the record there are only 50 White, 100 Solid Pink and a 100 on good old Black.
Rock Legends KING’S X Join Golden Robot Records, Set to ReleaseFirst New Album in Over a Decade in 2019
Australia’s leading international independent record label, Golden Robot Records continues to grow at an unprecedented pace. The label is absolutely thrilled to announce that globally revered, Billboard-charting rock icons KING’S X are now part of their ever-growing international roster. KING’S X recently signed a global deal with Golden Robot Records which will see their long-awaited forthcoming new album released worldwide in 2019 via Golden Robot Records’ partners in the U.S., Europe and Japan.
“I’m really excited to release the next KING’S X album with Mark, Derek and the crew at Golden Robot! May the groove be with us all,” says vocalist/bassist dUg Pinnick. Guitarist Ty Tabor adds, “I’m looking forward to working with Golden Robot Records!“
Drummer Jerry Gaskill adds, “It’s been a while since we’ve made a record. During that time, I’ve been thinking, when and if we make a new record, I want it to be the best we can do. I want to believe in it. I want to make it great, whatever it takes. I don’t want to just make another KING’S X record. I think and hope that we are in that place. I think and hope its time and I feel good about the team we’ll be working with at Golden Robot Records. I’m going to do my best. Let’s do this thing.”
“When we started to talk to KING’S X about signing with Golden Robot in the U.S. and we met dUg in LA a few times, I knew 100% that we would end up working with them. I’m loving the fact they are still the original members and I really believe this new album will be there best yet! It’s incredible how many people inside the industry – and I’m talking about very well-known musicians – love these guys and can’t wait for a new album. We are all very excited indeed,” says Mark Alexander-Erber, Group Founder and President.
“I am delighted to finally be able to work with one the most respected, creative rock bands of the past 30+ years. KING’S X is not only a superb rock band with an ardent fan base but are also a ‘musician musicians’ band.Golden Robot Records is determined to finally help KING’S X receive the worldwide recognition it fully deserves,” says Derek Shulman, Executive Chairman of Worldwide Expansion.
Since the release of their debut record, Out Of The Silent Planet, in 1988, KING’S X released a dozen albums that have seen them rightfully earn their place on the rock royalty family tree. Fusing progressive metal, funk and soul grooves with vocal arrangements rooted in blues, gospel and even the British Invasion era influences, KING’S X created a style all their own which continues to be an inspiration for bands to this day.
Featuring vocalist and bassist Doug Pinnick, guitarist Ty Tabor and drummer Jerry Gaskill, KING’S X have never changed their line-up, a rarity in the music world and a testament to the band and musicians and friends.
Critically acclaimed from the start, KING’S X are musician’s musicians, name-dropped by everyone from Anthrax and Suicidal Tendencies to Iron Maiden and Blue Murder for their instrumental prowess. Pearl Jam’s bassist Jeff Ament even declared that “KING’S X invented grunge”. They also enjoyed a long life via the David Letterman Show with their track, “We Were Born To Be Loved” (from 1990’s Faith Hope Love), also a favourite of the Paul Shaffer’s CBS Orchestra to play during commercial breaks.
In 1992, KING’S X signed to Atlantic Records/Megaforce Records, released three albums and toured with bands as diverse as Scorpions, Type O Negative and Pearl Jam. In the early 2000’s, KING’S X released three studio albums and their first official live album via Metal Blade Records. In 2005, the band signed to German-based progressive music speciality label, InsideOut Music, and released Ogre Tones, an album described as a return to the bands classic sound. KING’S X forged ahead with new albums, DVD’s and tours up until 2012 when drummer Jerry Gaskill suffered a major heart attack. The band then quickly compiled an exclusive live release from their archives entitled, Burning Down Boston. The proceeds of which went directly to assisting Gaskill with his medical expenses. They rolled on for two more years until Jerry suffered another heart attack, which resulted in him having a double bypass operation and ultimately led to the band taking an indefinite hiatus.
This break didn’t last long, as they were back on the road in mid-2015, shortly afterwards announcing they would begin work on a new studio album. This would be the band’s first since 2008’s XV. KING’S X began meetings with Golden Robot Records management in Los Angeles in early 2017, eventually signing a global deal in October 2018.
While it’s been a decade since KING’S X have released a new record, the wait has definitely been worth it! Watch this space for news on the forthcoming album in the very near future.
THE STRANGLERS WILL HEADLINE CAERPHILLY CASTLE IN 2019
+ Ruts DC
Friday 5th July 2019
The Stranglers return to Wales in 2019 as part of their Back on the Tracks UK Tour, which will include a special show at the historic Caerphilly Castle, South Wales on Friday the 5th of July. Tickets will go on general sale at 10 am on Wednesday the 3rd of August through Ticketmaster.co.uk, Gigantic.com, and Seetickets.com.
During a hectic 2018 touring the Southern Hemisphere, Europe, and the UK, which included a stellar sell-out performance at Tramshed Cardiff, The Stranglers have also been busy writing and rehearsing new material. Audiences at the famous castle can expect to experience some of these new cuts, alongside classic favourites and lesser-performed numbers drawn from their eloquent and extensive catalogue.
I still remember the first time I caught the Quireboys live, in Swansea’s Sin City, it was a dark, cold and (Most likely) damp December evening in 2008. I had been trying to catch the band live for a few years and low and behold, they arrive in my hometown poised and ready to rock.
They were deep in the touring cycle for 2008’s Homewreckers and Heartbreakers. I had been a fan of the band for a few years before this album’s release but hearing the Quireboys release an album of stripped back, bluesy rock with mandolins and acoustic guitars was surely something to tread carefully around. Upon first listen back in 2008 I was enamored. Here we sit, 10 years later and the band is celebrating 10 years of homewrecking and heartbreaking, and rightly so.
The band has decided to celebrate with a re-released version of the album with 5 additional live tracks. I was unable to attend the 10th Anniversary concert in September so I’ll make up for that by enjoying the re-released album.
The opening bluesy licks of “I Love This Dirty Town” still get me excited. The drums kick in and it’s party time. This is vintage Quireboys are their juke joint swinging best. Spike’s voice is timeless, is it even possible for the man to sound bad? The song was written about his beloved Newcastle, but I think most of us have our own dirty town that we love.
Track two leads to an immediate change of vibe, the mandolin has been broken out and it’s time for a heartfelt singalong titled “Mona Lisa Smiled”, this song finds its way into the bands live setlists tour after tour and deservingly so, the hook still stands strong after 10 years. Sure, it might be a departure for a band known for keeping the swagger of the blues alive, but they pull it off.
“Louder” was always a favourite of mine, blistering slide guitar licks, driving drums and a chorus asking if you want it louder. That’s a recipe for rock and roll success.
Four tracks in and we take another sit down for a slower track, “Hello”. While the tempo might drop, the band still keep the licks coming. The tempo doesn’t stay down too long though, the next track “Blackwater” takes us firmly back into that swampy blues stomp that we can’t get enough of. I challenge anyone to listen to this track without nodding their head.
Next up, we have a trio of downtempo songs, kicking off with “Fear Within the Lie”. The swirly, mellotron-esque keys instantly remind me of Zeppelin’s “No Quarter” coupled with that Quireboys backbeat swagger. Spike’s voice sounding particularly vulnerable and fragile here, gripping the listen and making you hang on his every word. He means everything he’s singing and you can feel it. “One For The Road” is a piano and acoustic led ode to the good times, which retains the stripped back vibe of this section of the album it creates a sense of fun, the sentiment being the older we get, things get harder but there’s always time to have one for the road. The trio of downtempo tracks is rounded off by the tenderly sung “Late Nite Saturday Call”, there are plenty of meanings someone could apply to a song like this. Spike and the boys have kept the subject matter deeply personal, yet open to interpretation. One of the reasons why I believe that after four decades, their songs are still powerful and poignant.
“Hall of Shame” shifts the gears back up and we’re off to a slide guitar fuelled, bluesy smasher. This is a song that I’ve always wished the band would drop into a live show, and perhaps they have, but all the times I’ve seen them live this song has not made the cut. For me, this was always one of the highlights of the album. It has all the elements that I expect from a band like The Quireboys, all the things that evoke the energy I felt when I first heard the band in 2005.
I am a sucker for a pretty guitar intro and “Take a Look At Yourself” delivers just that. There’s a definite 60s vibe to this with a touch of American West Coast smoothness. A heartfelt, mid-tempo tribute to getting it wrong and living as two people, perhaps something many of us have been guilty of over the years.
It would be rude to not go out with a bang, “Josephine” picks the energy back up for the final bow. The band is firing on all cylinders now, as Spike said rightfully in 2001 “This IS Rock and Roll”. High octane, head nodding, foot stomping rock and roll at that. When I first got turned onto bands that originated in the 80s, one of the early songs that turned me onto this was “Cathouse” by Faster Pussycat. When I hear “Josephine”, it reminds of me of that exact feeling of hearing that fast-paced, 12 bar blues attack. Half my life later, hearing that kind of music still gets me ready to rock. Clocking in at less than 3 minutes, the band deliver the goods and cut to the chase. What a way to end an album.
To commemorate the 10th anniversary, we are also treated to 5 live tracks spanning the bands career, “Too Much of a Good Thing”, “Homewreckers and Heartbreakers” (Which is interestingly not on this album, it was on 2013s “Beautiful Curse”), “Mona Lisa Smiled”, “Mother Mary” and “I Love This Dirty Town”. These tracks showcase how electric the band sound live. I particularly loved the live take on Mona Lisa, with some added punch to the guitars. If you have not seen this band live, I urge you to do so. These live tracks will give you a taste, but you really need to get to a show and let your ears give you the fix that you need.
10 years of Homewreckers and Heartbreakers done and dusted. I can’t wait to see what they have in store for 20.
Shanda & the Howlers released a killer debut album (‘Trouble’) last year that ended up in my top 20 albums of the year. This new album snuck out on me at the beginning of the summer and finds the band steering clear of the sophomore slump by playing to their strengths. Shanda’s vocals were immediately identifiable on the debut and seem to be a little higher in the mix on this one as the band plays a 60’s style Stax influenced rhythm and blues style that packs some attitude.
Luke Metz bass gets the album started and brings ‘Hold On’ to life. Shanda immediately reminds us that she is a star waiting to be discovered by the mainstream. The call and response vocals on the chorus sound amazing, and the quick rhythm gets us moving from the first moments of the album. ‘Baby, You’re the One’ carries the momentum forward with another up-tempo beat combined with a strong hook. Shanda again asserts her identity on ‘Good Morning Heartache’ with its retro rockabilly feel compelling me to move.
‘Crying Over Nothing’ shines with its gentle horn touches adding some low-end texture to the methodical beat. Shanda has plenty of room here to be the focal point with each word she sings. The band’s ups the tempo with the fun ‘Wait and See’ that should see the dancefloor become a whirl of activity. The whole band is on fire with the rhythm section keeping the beat moving underneath the guitar hooks and awesome horn play. Sandra largely sings in a higher tone here guaranteed to make the hairs on your arm raise, and this sounds like a massive hit from back in the day. ‘Hand in Hand’ slides in on a slow pulsating groove. Trevor Johnson’s guitar solo takes the spotlight as everything fades away as he slowly takes the song to another level. ‘The Girl’s No Good’ makes for a rocking blues good time with a beat that would be at home on some early George Thorogood albums. Shanda has an awesome throaty low tone that commands a performance.
Keeping the toes tapping and the hips shaking, ‘Scurry Like a Rat’ sizzles out of the speakers with moments where every instrument hits the mix hard at one time and sounds like pure magic. This song swings hard on the beat. I really have to say that the sax work by Micah Lapping-Carr is incredible throughout this album. The title track introduces harmonica and acoustic guitars to a gritty vocal by Shanda. I think the best compliment I can really give this album is it makes me want to hear the whole album in a live setting in some dive bar with condensation sliding down the wood walls. ‘Blue-Eyed Trouble’ has been a grower on the album with a groove that builds onto its frame as the song goes. Johnson shines on the guitar here again, especially as the song reaches its final stretch. Finale ‘Close Your Eyes’ has an initial guitar lick that immediately made me think of ‘May This Be Love’ by Jimi Hendrix but immediately moves into more of Temple of the Dog’s ‘All Night Thing’ kind of musical vibe. It doesn’t quite hit the pinnacle that ‘You’re Gonna Cry’ hit on their debut, but it does close this album in style.
Shanda & the Howlers are two for two in releasing high-quality albums that take musical inspiration from the past and make it feel fresh, vital, fun, and powerful. Shanda will see her star rise in the years to come with her awesome vocals, especially with the dynamic, excellent musicians who make this a complete band and not a one lady show. Don’t let this album slide under your radar as you owe it to yourself to enter the world of Shanda & the Howlers.
How about every Monday morning RPM brings you some of our favourite videos, call it Three of the best. Banish those weekend blues and back to the daily grind as we bring you classics – New videos – exclusives and just ones we love.
We won’t waffle on but let the music do the talking. First up this killer Demolition 23 live performance of ‘Hammersmith Palais’
If that didn’t put a smile on your face then get a load of this old classic from Steve Marriott and his beat combo The Small Faces with ‘Tin Soldiers’
Why not wrap this up with a much maligned period of the band but not in my book. with two of the businesses finest barnets Keif and Ronnie were peerless but Mick was and still is the man. Star fuckers indeed. Happy Monday folks!
“a spiral scratch
gave me my life back
a vinyl solution
ended my confusion
I heard a voice in the noise pollution” – Mike Peters
Since the beginning of Rock and Roll, the 45 has been an integral part of a bands arsenal. Maybe in 2018, it’s not quite the marketing tool it once was back in the 50’s, 60’s and beyond and bands no longer sell hundreds of thousands of the beautiful seven-inch plastic circles. There are however many different ways of letting people know you have a few new tunes available or you might (like me) still be in love with the vinyl single. Here at RPM, we’re going to celebrate the little beggars and let you know what is available in our regular roundup and what’s been on rotation on our deathdecks.
What better place to start than with a good friend and his debut 7″.
Craggy Collyde – Sorry Now (Self Released)
With a two-track release being the format of choice Craggy gets down to business with a pair of fantastic slices of power pop that are infectious and memorable. ‘Sorry Now’ is also featured in the video link below and can be ordered off the Bandcamp site. The lead track is a measured catchy number that has a great power pop feel with some indie undertones sort of Buffalo Tom territory whilst the more sprightly B-side ‘Go Ahead And Break Me’ is a song with a foot in the cowpunk of the Supersuckers but more pop savvy and Craggy manages to rinse out a great guitar break as well. Very infectious and well worth checking out.
Lana Loveland – Strange Charms (Hound Gawd!)
Fuzztones – Garage Rock – psychedelic retro freak out we fuckin’ love it here at RPM.Lana Loveland has the credentials and chops worthy of joining our little club of seven-inch plastic lovers. Being Organist with The Fuzztones as well as being a member of the Music Machine and fronting her own band Loveland certainly keeps her busy and out of mischief ‘Strange Charms’ is the A-Side whilst ‘Web Of Sound’ back things up on the flip side.
Maybe leaving a seven-year gap is quite some time between releases but some things are worth waiting for. Fuzzed out guitars and 60’s pop being the main ingredients here what’s not to like? Over on the other side its hammer time (no not the rapper in the daft trousers but Hammer Horror) its a spooky garage rock mash up and with a modern twist its great to hear someone doing something new with something they have had for years. Anyways Hound Gawd Don’t do bad records we know that much so go investigate and get some fantastic new music in your head just click the link.
Muck & The Mires – Hashtag Loneliness (Rum Bar Records)
Muck and the Mires’ official video for ‘#Loneliness’ from the EP MUCKUS MAXIMUS, available on Rumbar Records: Its power poppin’ baby but has the honking Hammond as well as the classic Rickenbacker twang. You don’t need me to tell you about Rum Bar Records bands and how good they are and Muck are no exception. For latest Muck and the Mires tour dates, go to Website
Oh Boy, you just knew that this was going to rock and fucking roll right outta the speakers and sure enough within the first bar I know that I’m having this bad boy. Poison Boys are mainlining Johnny Thunders and The Heartbreakers and some Chuck Berry and a whole bunch of other golden oldies and along with their brothers from another mother in Crazy Squeeze and countless other great bands they are just nailing it on ‘Bustin Out’ and they shine up the brass knuckles on the altogether more bruising ‘Run And Hide’ that taps into Stiv and his Dead Boys for some down and dirty punk rock and I love it. don’t walk on by brothers and sisters this is the bomb! Now get on with an album before it ends in tears – Poison Boys are killing it – again! Facebook
Sunshine Frisbee Laserbeam – ‘Meatloaf To The Camera’ (By The Time It Gets Dark Records)
(pre-order here) The second single from the soon to be released album ‘Black Cowboy’ its all loud guitars and chiming melody like a collision between Teenage Fanclub and The Lemonheads SFL have amassed over a hundred songs and show no sign of stopping just yet so until November 9th this will more than do to pass the time. You can catch the band around the UK in November 02 Nov – The Lanes – Bristol
03 Nov – Sunflower Lounge – Birmingham
04 Nov – The Castle – Manchester
05 Nov – Wharf Chambers – Leeds
08 Nov – The Portland Arms – Cambridge
09 Nov – Rough Trade – Nottingham
11 Nov – Old Blue Last, London
Gino And the Goons ‘She Was Crushed’ (Slovenly Records)
A heady mix of The Ramones and some Lo-Fi X-Ray Spex this has some great loose saxophone playing whilst ‘Got Messed Up’ is a thrash around whilst pissed out of your head kinda tune. There’s no autotune and no overdubs. ‘Wrong Side Of The Cigarette’ is all hocked up on late 70’s lower east side smash and grab punk rock and we love it and so would a youthful Richard Hell. Finishing up with ‘Early Retirement’ just about kicks over the toms and bass drum and takes out the mic stand as well before running off down the street before the cops turn up. Rock and fucking roll alright! Awesome ‘n snotty – Buy It
Les Lullies – ‘7 am’ (Slovenly Records)Oh boy oh boy, it’s like Jerry Lee hooking up with Chuck Berry and snorting two tonnes of amphetamines before laying down this barnstormer. Flip it over and you’ve got the cocksure swagger of ‘Dog Food’ that’s like the Dolls rockin’ out with Angus with a healthy amount of Iggy attitude. Doing France proud and doing it fuckin’ loud! What a great 45. Here
The Cavemen -Burn Out For Love (Dirty Water Records/Mandinga Records) Oh fuck if having an album released in 2018 isn’t enough and some sporadic live action the purveyors of filthy low down and wild ‘n’ dirty garage punk are back in the house with a 7″ slab of frantic rock ‘n’ roll in the shape of ‘Burn Out For Love’ the b side is no hiding place for a shrinking violet because if anything the craziness is turned up a notch on ‘Dancing On The Razors Edge’ and what a beautiful racket it is too. Click the link to sample these exotic fruits and then pick up a copy its a banger!
Well, folks, there’s got to be something in there for everyone unless Black Metal is your thing? Worry not we’ll regularly round up singles here and if a black metal band has something to offer then we’ll cover it. Forty-Five RPM indeed.
RYAN ROXIE (Alice Cooper guitarist) has released a new lyric video & single for ‘God Put a Smile Upon Your Face‘. The song is taken from his new solo album, “Imagine Your Reality”, which was released on May 25 via Cargo Records UK. The video can be viewed below.
A Coldplay song would not be the obvious tune to cover on a ‘guitar-driven’ rock record like Ryan Roxie’s Imagine Your Reality. Roxie takes the melancholy mood of the Coldplay song and injects a punkish energy to it with layer upon layer of raw guitar tracks while still staying true to the song’s dark timbre. Complimented by a new enigmatic video shot on location in the Las Vegas Desert by Director/Cinematographer Denise Truscello with graphic lyric overlay by Gustav Kronfelt and additional editing by Jonny Vegas, God Put a Smile on Your Face will do to you just what the title suggests.
God Put a Smile Upon Your Face was produced by Kristoffer Follin at Purple Skull Studios in Stockholm, Sweden and is the 5th song released off of the ‘Imagine Your Reality‘ album.
Ryan Roxie – Guitarist, vocalist and songwriter, who is best known as Alice Cooper’s longtime lead guitarist and collaborator, has also worked with Slash and Gilby Clarke and been a member of Classic Rock award-nominated band CASABLANCA.
Roxie began working with Alice Cooper in 1996. He was initially offered a ‘one year tour’ and 22 years later (with one leave of absence for family commitments) he’s become an integral part of the band.
In 2000 Roxie wrote and recorded on Slash’s Snakepit’s second album Ain’t Life Grand.
Ryan Roxie’s new music is currently being featured in the U.S. on Eddie Trunk’s Sirius/XM radio show, in the UK on Joe Elliot’s Planet Rock radio program and Rick Palin’s Firebrand radio. Roxie also appears on the ‘Nights with Alice Cooper‘ syndicated radio show as well as getting regular rotation on both Sweden’s Bandit Rock and Pirate Rock radio along with many other rock and alternative stations that are proudly supporting the return of ‘guitar-driven rock’.
A unique band with an unrivaled catalogue of singles a clutch of albums that are the top of any garage punk chart and the constant rebirth and pursuit of recognition The Hip Priests are relentless in their pursuit of the next-best song they seem to effortlessly write and release 45’s play memorable sporadic shows and on the verge of releasing a brand new album. Maybe the stars have aligned and finally 2019 will see an industry wake up and public catch on to what they’re about. How could I resist not slinging a few questions at Lee and Austin about what’s coming and whats been happening in the world of The Hip Priests (which usually is quite a lot)…
A new album? What made you decide to get back into the studio to record a full-length album?
OZ– In all honesty, there weren’t really any plans to do one, we were gonna carry on churning out the 7 inches. But I’ve never been totally happy with any of the albums we’ve done, either the Recording or the mixing has always been rushed and I wanted to do one album I’d be properly proud of where everything was right. So I mentioned it to Lee when we were playing in the US last year and twisted his arm until he Agreed haha.
Lee- I’d sworn I wouldn’t do one but then, yeah, Oz persuaded me. Part of it, too was that we had yet another person then fuck off (Joe Blow) and, in my/our own odd twisted way, we then think we need to go and show everyone again. I’m forever saying I’ve had enough n part of that is we just hit a point where it was evident, despite our ‘successes’ that we’d hit some bullshit Rocknroll glass ceiling.
Can you reveal the title?
Oz– We could but we’re gonna keep it under wraps for now until we know how it’s gonna be released.
Lee– Nah – I’m gonna piss Austin off and tell you (I’m sure that it’s been mentioned online anyway). It’s going to be called ‘Stand for Nothing’. I first heard it as a negative/pessimistic expression but then realised how amazingly it also tied into the Malcolm X Quote ‘A man who stands for nothing will fall for anything’. It then gave it that potential duality of meaning and then I just loved it and resisted changing it. Most people will likely just read it as another ‘Oh the Priests are pretending to be all nihilistic again’ thing anyway.
How many songs will be on it? Did you get a label yet mate?
Oz– The plan is that there’s gonna be 10 songs on the CD and 11 on the vinyl. As you know mate, we were on the verge of signing with SPV Steamhammer at the end of last year and actually had a draft contract but in true rock n roll cliché style, that all went to shit and we’ve since been looking for another label to release it. Ideally, it will come out on a bigger label that can sort us some PR and better distribution, as that’s what we’ve needed for a few years but we’ll see. If not we’ll do it the usual way I guess…..
Lee – As Oz said, we recorded 14 so ones gone towards a single and two have been left aside for the moment. We’re still trying to sort out who’s definitely doing it.
How did the writing process go? how do The Hip Priests work? from inception to recording?
Oz– Slightly different to usual in that Lee actually recorded rough demos of the songs this time and sent them round to the rest of us, which made it a quicker process to learn them. We then knocked them around in rehearsal until they sounded right and went in and recorded them. We also did the album over three-weekend sessions this time rather than one long, painful week of recording which was way better for everyone’s sanity! In typical Priests style though we did end up squeezing in an extra tune a couple of days before the last session just to get another 7” down!
Lee– Yeah, I bought some cheap as little Boss recorder and did rough as fuck demos with me just playing a couple of tracks of guitar and doing a couple of tracks of vocals. I guess it helped with also deciding what we’d work on and what we perhaps wouldn’t. The album started to give ideas of second guitar parts here and there. I guess the main thing that’s different on this album is the writing itself in that I’ve taken on different subject matters and characters even on this one. I really didn’t want to do another album that primarily about my fabricated ego, getting fucked up and/or fucking.
You’ve gone from a four-piece to five what was the reasoning behind this move? What have the two new boys brought to the band? Introduce us and let us know a bit about them?
Oz– We’ve talked about getting another guitarist for a long time just to fill out the sound. In smaller venues we’d get away with it through sheer volume but when we played some bigger festival shows it was noticeable in places that it was lacking an extra guitar. Mike had been pestering us for a while to join and as some of the ideas Lee had for the new album were needing a bigger sound, we decided to give him a shot. Having just auditioned drummers and found Des we couldn’t really be arsed with auditioning again for a guitarist so we just told Mike to come down and if it worked he was in, simple as that. It does sound fuckin huge now too and Mike’s got the rhythm side of things nailed. I guess what they’ve brought to the band, as well as their playing, is some new enthusiasm cos the rest of us are pretty jaded haha.
Playing shows sporadically around shit island to a rabid audience of people who actually “get it” must make up for those that don’t get it? Are people afraid of the Hip Priests? Songs like the last 12″ (‘No Time’) left the listener in no doubt about how you view what’s going on here in 2018 is the album going to be songs of a similar vein?
Oz– Haha, I’d rather play to a bigger rabid audience, to be honest, but garage/punk ain’t ever been a big hit in the UK really has it? Rather than being scared of us, I think most people are still oblivious to us as, despite everything we’ve done, we’re still kinda under the radar to most people. The album’s a perfect mix I think, there’s some similar stuff on the state of the UK as well as tunes about wasting yr life playing this stuff, surviving as a band for over 10 years, the narcissism of social media……just no songs about fucking.
Lee– I still think people here especially don’t get us and we’ve never been welcomed into any of the Island’s nepotistic ‘punk rock’ scenes or it’s middle-aged seaside specials. We still exist totally under the radar – and because we’ve always been committed to the idea that we’d never beg or brown nose anyone it’s been a hindrance. But then again, how many other UK underground punk or whatever fucking bands are on their 24th 7” single, 4th album and get invited onto bills with the Hellacopters, etc. “Hey, boys – you can come to Holland all expenses paid and play with RFTC, The Turks and the Hellacopters or play with The Anti Nowhere League in some bogging seaside town?”. Haha. As regards ‘No Time’ being a prelude to the new album. Yeah – I guess it was in a way. It’s pretty fucking dark in many places. I’ve always been socially and politically aware but it wasn’t something I’d really allowed to come into my writing, bar just expressing anger and admittedly worthless negativity but then I got to the point where I simply couldn’t stop it. I could have rattled off 14 songs about the state of the UK but chose to kinda make it snapshots of other things too, none of them very cheery though! Hahaha. From the sociopathic psychos that you might find in any town (actually written the day after meeting some scary bloke in le Pub early this year) to Mainstream brainwashing media, Zombie Social Media, broken relationships, woeful self-medication, etc I imagine it’s sounding like a laugh a minute!
You’ve played with some immense bands over the last few years and taken your blitzkrieg to mainland Europe – is there a different take on what you do over in Europe is there less judgment of a band like The Hip Priests?
Oz– They just understand rock n’ roll better in Europe and support live music in a way that the UK doesn’t. Some of the festival lineups we’ve played on have been ridiculous in terms of bands we love (The Hellacopters, Zeke, RFTC, New Bomb Turks and Nashville Pussy all on the same bill!) and that would never happen in the UK. In fact, you’d be lucky to ever get The Hellacopters or the Turks back in the UK.
The album will be out in early 2019 are there any other plans you can reveal that are being incubated? Tours? Singles?
Oz– A lot depends on who releases it at the moment but there should be another 7” before the end of the year to keep you going and we have a couple of other spare tracks from the album sessions too. We’re working on a run of shows in the UK with Scumbag Millionaire in early 19 too but waiting to see what happens album wise before we confirm it.
Lee – Can I say the word ‘retirement’ again?
The Spasm Gang are a supportive bunch and when the band release a new record they tend to be limited numbers that get hoovered up straight away and when they become available on sites like Discogs they fetch silly money the rabid bunch are around several hundred strong what are the plans to expand that mentalist club and what exclusive goodies have you got in the pipeline for the album.
Oz – Yes, they’re a loveable bunch of nutters and obsessive collectors, pretty much like the band members! There’s actually 200 out there, from Australia to Brazil and everywhere in between, which is pretty amazing for a little band like us. Weirdly enough, we’ve never really pushed it so it’s organically just grown through word of mouth. Yeah, we always do an exclusive SG version of every release for members only, there’ll be one for the album but no idea what it will be yet.
Lee – You liar – I told you my mental new hair-brained idea for the album giveaway in the van the other day! I’m not saying here though! Yeah, the Spasm Gang fucking rule. The loyalty some of them have and effort they make for our little fucking group is sincerely humbling – even for a massive arsehole like me Haha. When people travel around the world to see you it’s pretty mind-blowing…
Lee you write all or most of the material now must be a great time to be Lee Love with such horrible so and so’s in charge of powerful countries and so many people breaking cover with right-wing agendas and racist views it’s like shooting fish in a barrel for you, isn’t it? Would you like to write with anyone else? if you had the chance who would you look to for a helping hand not that you need it obviously but as a vanity project?
Lee- As I said, I could easily have written a whole album on how fucked up, scary, unfair, inequitable and more this nation and the rest of the world is starting to look but tried very hard not to.. I’ve never felt so fucking angry and depressed about it, how much worse it might get and what my son might have to fucking contend with. For this band to have overnight become some kind of agitprop band would have been a step too far.
As regards writing with someone else? I don’t know. Mind you, Oz wrote some lyrics on this one which I then adapted and made fit some tunes and it wasn’t long ago we did the Motherfucking Motherfuckers thing with our Bitch Queen boys but that more turned out that Harry rattled of half the tunes ‘n’ I did the others. Maybe the Priests are my vanity project Haha! It’s what happens somewhere between my ludicrous ego clashing with my crushing self-doubt. Actually, I’ve written a few super Aussieproto punk things recently which I might keep aside for something else for some fun. Perhaps I might sing ‘em too as I did a couple on the MFMFers. I don’t know, many days I just wanna stop and try to be ‘normal’ whatever the fuck that’s meant to mean.
Having played some superb festivals over the last few years and touring with your European boyfriends in Bitch Queens who else is doing it for you musically?
Oz – The Scumbag Millionaire album that’s about to drop is a scorcher for sure and Bitch Queens have a new one on the way too. Grindhouse from Aus are the best garage/punk band I’ve heard in a long, long time andhopefully, they’ll make it over here next year so we can hook up for some shows. I just got the Powerline Sneakers album (ex Bored!) which is fuckin great too.
Lee – I still listen to the same old Scandi/garage/rock ‘n’ roll shit I always did. Grindhouse are my biggest faves in a while – alongside all our mate’s bands like the Queens, Flash House, Rotten Foxes, Deathtraps etc.
Is this the best record you’ve ever made?
Oz – Without a doubt. Best songs, best playing, best production.
Lee – Yes. Everything else we’ve done there’s maybe a tune or lyrics that make me cringe a little. The lyrics on these I’d happily publish. It sounds like us still but I/we tried hard to change things a bit and fuck with arrangements, the usual kind of guitar parts, etc. I hope it’s noticeable! Haha
Who will be the first Hip Priest to record a solo record
Oz – Hopefully, nobody’s that much of a dickhead
Lee – Cheers! That’ll be me then. Haha
Right, it was time to let these two go about their business and with all that news in mind maybe its time to start getting excited about the new album when its released in early 2019. Easily one of the most prolific bands to release records anywhere and the UK should be proud to have them. when they play check em out when they release a record buy it you won’t be disappointed I promise you and if the last single is anything to go by they are getting better and better maybe they’ve gone through puberty and are growing into well-rounded adults… Nah they’re still the filthy – rude – foul mouthed garage punk rock and rollers they ever were its just they know what they’re doing now either that or they do a good job trying. God bless the Hip Priests!
The Supersuckers 30th Anniversary Tour begins 11 November! Where the band will be performing the “Evil Powers of Rock ‘n’ Roll” album in its entirety along with hits and tunes from the new record “Suck It.”
Ticket info at supersuckers.com or on @bandsintown
They might have been Born With A Tail but ‘Suck It’ confirms they’ve lost none of that fire in their bellies & their continued adventures in Dirty Rock ‘n’ Roll is most welcome round these parts.
What possible reason do we need to show a youthful Spaghetti and co kicking up some dust on the classic ‘Born With A Tail’ anyway? Buy tickets and look out for RPM’s review of ‘Suck It’ coming soon…