When we were recently asked if we would share a playlist on Spotify for a band who are friends of ours I said sure without really knowing what Spotify is all about and whilst I’d much rather people buy the records or CD’s I understand that the face of music is changing quickly in this digital super fiber world we now live in so rather than be a dinosaur and close ourselves off we have to grit our teeth and jump into the middle of the superhighway and embrace this streaming world or get left behind.
I know the artists get a shitty deal and that should change but if people are at least playing decent tunes by decent bands they might not otherwise hear then it can’t all be bad. We would like to state right here right now that if you do hear any bands you like then please support the artists by picking up the album a song is played from or a shirt or go see a show of theirs if they pass through your town.
Starting with Basel’s Bitch Queens and their playlist of High Energy Rock and Roll check it out at the link
In case you don’t know who Bitch Queens are here check this out –
Basel reprobates Bitch Queens release a new video for ‘R Rated’ taken from the album ‘L.O.V.E.’ Filmed whilst on their USA tour last year its taken from their awesome long player. the boys from Basel don’t just play dumb punk or glam rock n roll they put those elements into a pot along with a whole heap of other influences and tip them upside down and turn them into something quite beautiful as their albums testify. The video gives a snapshot of what the band are about on stage as they tear the shit out of wherever it is they play. Watch it love it and check em out!
It’s been 5 long years since The Hip Priests’ last studio album, but as some wise old sage once said “good things to those who hate”.
During that time events have certainly seen the UK become a more divisive place to live and as such ‘Stand For Nothing’ has never felt like a more perfectly timed record. It’s one the band said they’d never release but now felt compelled to, plus it’s also one that contains not a single song about the old in out … a true first in Priests terms.
But wait just a minute, because I’m getting ahead of myself here and forgetting you just might be someone discovering The Hip Priests for the very first time, sat there all comfy on your toilet (I mean where else would you read about the Hip Priests?) thinking that in those intervening 5 years the band’s core trio of bassist Lee Love, guitarist Austin Rocket and vocalist Nathan Von Cruz must have been hidden away on some tropical island paradise recording a masterpiece in studio fuckery with Muff Flange. Well, you’d of course be very wrong indeed, because during the past 5 years what The Hip Priests have actually been doing is working their arses off by relentlessly touring (with the likes of Zeke, The Dwarves and The Bitch Queens) whilst releasing a bazillion independently funded and released limited edition 7” singles. Whilst in the process of doing all this they also managed to lose 2 drummers (before arriving at current sticksman D.P. Bomber), decided to turbocharge their sound via the addition of a second guitarist (via the enigmatic Silent Mike – who has subsequently moved on to pastures new), and then came within a hair’s breadth of finally getting themselves signed to a major label. Something that would ultimately come to nothing when the A&R guy signing them was “let go” by the label.
Phew! That potted history reads like a draft film script doesn’t it, but this boys and girls is the harsh reality of being in a proper rock ‘n’ roll band, one that is driven to succeed at all costs.
So, after all that does ‘Stand For Nothing’ live up to my heady expectations as the record to propel them into 2019 as the number one independent rock band on the UK scene?
Well, it takes exactly one line of the album’s blistering opener ‘Welcome To Shit Island’ to answer this conundrum as Nathan Von Cruz venomously spits out “Small minds, dumb pricks – drop a bomb on this isle of shit” and I can immediately feel myself grinning from ear to ear whilst punching the air with absolute joy. YES! Someone is finally not afraid to speak the truth and there really is no time like right now (excuse the pun) to celebrate it. In fact, all joking aside if ever there was a sign that The Hip Priests were evolving into a much bigger and angrier sounding beast than ever before it was that 10 minute epic (which curiously doesn’t make the final track listing here) that well and truly pissed the line in the sand regarding the band’s musical ambitions.
The expansion of sound that was so evident during the horn-driven ‘No Time (Like Right Now)’ is thankfully driven headlong into this album too and the aforementioned addition of a second guitarist gives tracks like the stunning ‘Losers Of The Faith’ (which I must admit is my favourite track here) and the glorious one-finger piano-driven ‘Stand For Nothing’ an additional melodic edge, something that just might have been missing from previous Priests’ records where the band chose to simply bulldozer you into aural ecstasy.
Fear not though fellow Spasm Gangbangers because that old school Priests sound is still very much here in abundance during tracks like the caustic ‘Social Hand Grenade’, and the thundering album closer ‘Rock N Roll Leper’ plus let’s not forget the already firmly established live favourite ‘Cheers To Me’. It’s just that this time around I’m finding myself going back to the likes of the pounding ‘Deja F.U.’ and the dare I say it the “gothic sounding” ‘How Do You Get Off?’ (is that a hint of Farfisa I here in there lads?) time and time again as The Hip Priests truly spread their musical wings…sonically speaking of course.
What also really stands out on this record are the lyrics, and on the vinyl only track ‘U Okay Hun’ we get to rejoice in Lee Love’s lightning fast take on the world of the vacuous self-centred fucks that litter social media, a track which is without doubt one of his finest moments yet, and he’s written quite a few of those that’s for sure.
At the start of this review I stated that ‘Stand For Nothing’ contained no tracks about sex, which will be a total shock to any Priests fan’s moral system I know, but for those of you hankering for the ‘Saints Of Excess’ of old there’s still ‘Last Train Wrecks’ to look forward to, a glorious tale of self-destruction that comes complete with an intro from Happy Tom and actually revolves around some of the very people who will no doubt be rushing to buy their copy of this album when it goes on pre-sale on Feb 4th via the various labels involved and linked below.
Look, in ‘Stand For Nothing’ The Hip Priests have written one of, if not THE most important garage punk albums of 2019. Buy it now (via the links below) and help the band save Shit Island from forever falling into the sea of musical mediocrity. Essential!
After a frantic couple of months and some rather pleasant sunshine over shit island, September couldn’t possibly keep up the pace set by the previous summer months, could it? Fuckin’ right it could. There was the trip to Steel City to catch up with HRH Sleaze for several intrepid RPM scribes as the whiff of Hard Rock Hairspray filled the air and the crush in the gents for the mirror was more of a worry than in the ladies but a few old favourites were treading the boards and rocking the house over the weekend that was too good a temptation for some. I have it on good authority that LA Guns yeah the LA Guns with Phil Lewis in not the other LA Guns without Mr. Lewis anyway people who need to know just know and this line up still have the chops that’s for sure. Jetboy were also on the bill and were a draw for quite a few and they didn’t dissapoint either turning in a great set. Brit sleaze punks The Black Bullets had a rapturous reception after a fantastic performance on the acoustic stage and also killed it electric a band that are really getting into their stride and 2019 looks interesting for the band who have an album ready to go at some point.
As we freewheel downhill to meet the tour that had a load of grown men thinking about their mothers-in-law so as not to get some wood. It was the prospect of The Hip Priests touring with Bitch Queens and the nefarious yobs better known as Deathtraps that was doing it for most but they picked up some other seedy punks along the way in the shape of those Rotten Foxes. Camden Black Heart played host to this cluster fuck of garage punk and by all accounts from some who were there, it was spectacular. I managed to catch the Bristol show and have to admit it was every bit as spectacular and Bitch Queens pushed the Hip Priests all the way and it was just the evening out I hoped it would be.
Other live shows circling the UK in September were recorded on RPM the first being a rather splendid show from Eureka Machines@ The Fulford Arms in York that Ben attended in support of their latest record. Another of the must see shows of the year it would seem The North of England was definately being spoilt for great live shows in 2018.
To be fair Eureka Machines have the songs and always deliver in spades and RPM was delighted to bring a report on it Here. There was also a celebration going on in Yorkshire as Urban Voodoo Machine celebrated their 15 shots in Leeds and Ben attended that for RPM as well.
On the recorded front September was an Action Rock bonanza with long players hitting the shelves from the likes of RPM favourites Nashville Pussy with ‘Pleased To Eat You’, Supesuckers rocked up with ‘Suck It’ whilst one of our favourite albums of the year featured Fraser and his band Deathtraps who told us all we’ve ‘Gotta Get Some’ we don’t know what they Gotta Get but whatever it is I hope they find some because it sound interesting. It found its way into many a CD player around RPM and rightly so for all its Garage/Action Rock goodness. In fact, it would be a dereliction of duty if I didn’t advise you to Go Get Some too. Right that’s September done and dusted next up October…
Foulmouthed Filthy February or something like that.
February began with a road trip to see a band who for me has been my go-to pilgrimage in North Wales for The Gathering weekend for the last quarter of a century (almost). A weekend celebrating the music of Mike Peters & The Alarm reached a high point on the Saturday night as a Four-hour performance rounded off an impressive weekend. I’ve enjoyed going for almost quarter of a century where special guests have included Billy Duffy, Craig Adams, Steve Diggle, Pete Wylie, Dave sharp, Ian McNabb, Eddie McDonald and a whole bunch of other musicians I’ve forgotten and I’ve managed to attend without missing a single year.
I must admit the thought of such a marathon performance on a Saturday night filled me with dread can any fans watch for four hours? The answer is a resounding yes! It flew by and was one of the best Saturday night shows I’ve ever seen Peters perform especially when he was joined on stage by Craig Adams for the final hour (that still doesn’t sound right – the final hour). Roll on February 2019 when I can do it all again.
Staying on the live front, Other RPM scribes went to some far-flung countries to catch their Rock n Roll with Craggy taking in an excellent show from Fertile Hump live at Kabinet Muz, in Brno. but a large gathering of writers took in a show or two when the Damned went around the UK this time with the added excitement of Paul Gray back in the fold for the first time in decades which was rather nice. Seeing the Damned with a new album in tow and playing sold out shows all across the UK in decent sized venues was awesome and it has to be said so were the band. Gray seemed to give them a right shot in the arm just in time for this stint of dates was easily the highlight of February. But with the recent news of our Brother Scott Sorry battling a serious illness the Rock and Roll community rallied and a series of benefit shows were arranged to raise funds for Scott at such a difficult time what with the American Health system being what it is The likes of Role Models, Main Grains and The Empty Page rocked out at The Parish to rave reviews whilst Wakefield Warehouse saw the Professionals, the Wildhearts, Massive Wagons and Sonic Boom Six take care of business and send Positive vibes across the ocean as well as money raised at these spectacular shows.
Before Feb was done The UK also saw the return of Bullets And Octane and Ben attended a memorable show in York that proved that Gene Louis had lost none of the fire he had inside his beating heart when he first toured the UK.
As for recordings to hit the shelves, historically early in the year, things open slowly in the music business and January being about new resolutions before finally seeing new releases hit the shelves, so, Feb saw an avalanche of really big hitters for RPM writers. We had the release of Imperial State Electric’s Live album ‘Anywhere Loud’ as well as some garage awesomeness from the likes of the Cavemen and The Bellrays getting round to release records.
Several writers were also impressed by the latest Buffalo Tom long player ‘Quiet And Peace’ with Craggy picking it as one of his albums of the year. February belonged to a few foul-mouthed releases, the first came in the shape of Jonesey with their self titled long player with its down n dirty sleazy punk rock n roll and song titles and lyrics that would make a sailor blush no doubt about that. But one of the years highlights hit us like a sledgehammer between the eyes has to be Motherfuckin’ Motherfuckers with ‘MFFFMF’ (I think that’s the correct amount of F’s) inspired by Supershit 666 and the idea of some friends from the most splendid Bitch Queens and Oz and Lee from the mighty Hip Priests recording a mini album packed full of songs that were written in the shortest of times. I’ll let Lee Love tell you, good people, what happened, ” Ah the dumb Lee Love story. Well, me ‘n’ Oz went To Basel for a few days to hang out with our mates from Bitch Queens and we ended up getting pissed (as you do) and I was winding them up saying I could write and get em to record a mini album in a day. So we went into the Queens studio the next day and played through everything once maybe twice and hey presto it was done”. Creating that Copters supershit 666 vibe.
To be fair this pack of loons rose to the occasion and absolutely knocked it out of the park in fact they didn’t just knock it out of the park they followed out tied it to the back of their pick up truck dragged it around the wood then kicked any life left in it out then did it all again for shits and giggles. An absolute giant of punk rock n fuckin roll – make no mistake about that! Motherfuckin’ Motherfucker should and one day will rightfully be seen as a classic of its genre.
Also, The motherfuckin’ Dwarves were taking back the night in February as well and a jolly fine record that was. Maybe it should be renamed Fuckin’ foulmouthed February from now on. What a month. Outstanding stuff.
Another week rolls by and we head towards Christmas but there are no mince pies or sherry being overindulged round here when there are records to review and Shows to see and last week was no exception as RPM brought you a diverse bunch on the live front as well as on the death decks.
Sadly the last seven days saw another rock n roller pass on to the next life and we said goodbye to Peter Blast. I had the pleasure of reviewing several of his albums and spoke to him in the last twelve months. On behalf of everyone here at RPM I’d like to offer our condolences to his family and friends and raise a glass to his memory.
We also brought you an interview with Phil Privilege from the awesome kings of power punk n pop Cyanide Pills with an amazing trail of singles and albums as part of their repertoire Phil told us they were on the way to deliver the next long player as well as answer a few of our questions about the band, Catch up with it here
As for the coming week, we continue with Bens California Dreaming road trip where he visits some pretty amazing places as he skips across the USA. we also caught a few amazing live shows and bring you some fantastic records by some well-known people as well as some of the finest new performers current kicking up a storm on record players and concert halls around the planet. Remember to stick with RPM for all your alternative news and reviews. As Lux used to say “Stay Sick” www.rpmonline.co.uk its a rock n roll revolution!
Out of all the many excellent underground bands I’ve encountered internationally whilst writing for various music websites over the past decade or so, one of my absolute favourites has to be Bitch Queens from Switzerland. They just have that little something extra special about them (coupled with some truly excellent songs) and 10” dildo mic stands aside plus perhaps a few lucky breaks, who knows, they could perhaps transcend their current underground cult following and break through into the mainstream and be huge.
The band’s drummer Harry Darling must already sense this because here with X-Darlings he’s teamed up with Isabella Eder (from powerpop quartet Delilahs) to release a debut album that bears all the hallmarks of a true stadium rock contender. Think Ginger Wildheart’s Hey! Hello! jamming with an in their prime Backyard Babies with just a smidgeon of Muse’s pomp and ceremony added for maximum (special) effect and you certainly won’t be a bazillion B-Movie influenced miles away from what X-Darlings are all about.
Released earlier this month via Lux-Noise Records on LP and digital download ‘Dead Toy Capital Of the World’ contains 9 songs that skip surreptitiously into your psyche prompting the same kind of post-apocalyptic thoughts that bands like Grave Pleasures do in your frightmares, albeit here the X-Darlings give proceedings a slightly lighter pop undercurrent.
Take opener ‘Are You Talking To Me’ for example, this baby conjures up images of Travis Bickle fronting an electro version of The Cramps and believe me it sounds every bit as fantastic as it looks in print. Elsewhere ‘Particle Collison’ manages to twist one of Dregen’s most memorable riffs into a twisting dark pop waltz complete with gloriously camp hand claps that punctuate the verses with a hint of Bitch Queens magic, whilst in album closer ‘Brand New Day’ that aforementioned sense of epic grandeur that has Muse headlining stadiums all around the world is nailed to total perfection.
I must admit that when Dom sent this one over to me to review, he kind of gave me the impression that this was an out and out glam record, but nothing really could be further from the truth on the throbbing ‘In Transit’ a track which actually sounds like the soundtrack to an imaginary electro spaghetti western. Fear not though glam fans because you will love tracks like ‘There For You’ and ‘Snap Out Of It’ and you’d be quite within your rights to simply scream the choruses into your hairbrush like you did back in the day plus with the curiously monikered ‘Laxative’ X-Darlings thankfully prove they are anything but shit at the glam punk game.
‘Dead Toy Capital Of the World’ then is a mighty fine solo/side-project from Harry Darling, it’s a fascinating look behind the scenes into some the more melodic influences of his day job band, and whilst it took me a few plays to get fully into it, I do think that all the best albums in my record collection have always tended to be like that.
It’s one to get on the X-mas list that’s for sure and it’s an interesting precursor to the all-new Bitch Queens album which is due in early 2019
Oh, the joy of pegging it up the M4 on a Saturday evening to catch three bands who are playing on a five-band bill kicking off at 7 pm sharp. South Wales Deathtraps are first up on this autumnal evening and with a healthy audience in they get on with the task of shaking off any cobwebs and rattling a few bones with their take on all things garage punk. I believe bass player Fraser is trying his damnedest to lure punters into buying their brand new launched the day before second album ‘Gotta Get Some’ and as they preview choice cuts from the mentioned CD they sound tight and pretty bloody good if truth be told. Playing to an audience who generally aren’t aware of their music up until this point they engage in some banter during the breaks and give it some welly when the instruments are hit. When songs like ‘Automatic Thrill’ and the laid back ‘Get Loose’ are aired the audience move and applaud in appreciation for what’s pounding out of the PA These boys know how to write this garage punk and clearly love it. Benefitting from playing a few gigs the future looks rosy for this three-piece who have more than a decent tune or two in their arsenal and they’ll definitely get better and we need that in the UK right now.
Heading over to the UK for another round with their dysfunctional extended family The Hip Priests Basle based Bitch Queens (try saying that after a few dry ciders) haven’t got time to mess about and just get down to business and as previous encounters testified they really have the chops to pull off this garage hard rock dueling guitars gig to an absolute tee. Starting with the lead track off their last studio album ‘L.O.V.E’, ‘Anti Social’ is the perfect floor filler as bodies right from the off get flung around the venue. With a set mainly populated with tunes from their last long player it’s a joy to see and hear a band come to shit island and have their finger right on the pulse as ‘Anti Social’ is a perfect song for early doors and as the band sound fantastic and right up for the challenge tonight as they prepare to duke it out with tonight’s headliners and show that there are bands out there who get this Rock and Roll lark and duel with the biggest and best No matter what venue or how many people are in attendance and this deadbeat generation has something to offer.
With time at a premium they proceed to smash out a really energetic set that is really well appreciated from ‘R-Rated’ through ‘Naked Or Denim’ singer Mel is crowd surfing with his guitar in tow and without dropping a note makes it back on the stage in time to close with the magnificent ‘Techno Is Dead’ that has the band purring like a finely tuned muscle car and if ever a band had a song that put a huge flag in the sand that said follow that fuckers then that was it. A really excellent set to hand the baton over to tonight’s headliner.
Amazingly this was to be the first time I’m witnessing the Hip Priests as a five-piece after having witnessed them with several drummers also present when they performed as a three piece and after hearing firsthand accounts of how good this new line up is sounding I was getting excited.
With a new album in the bag and off the back of their finest 12” single and most ambitious release to date these were good time for the Hip Priests and having such an impressive undercard it was time for the band to come out swinging and that they duly obliged with a pulverising ‘Instant Delinquent’ followed by ‘Motherfucker superior’ and not even a broken lead instantly followed by a broken string can derail this juggernaut when its rolling and with the addition of Silent Mike this freight train was kept on the rails as ‘Zero Fuck’ were most defiantly given. It only seemed to fuel Austin who played harder and flew the middle finger in the face of adversity.
The tunes kept coming in devastating frequency as ‘Jesus Died’ was the prelude to a filthy barking version of ‘Loose’ that I’m sure the brother Ashton would certainly have approved of. Always adhering to the old adage of always leave the punters wanting more and never outstay your welcome so ‘Cheers To Me’ made way to the classic that is ‘Sonic Reproducer’ which only left time for ‘Wired Amped Skulled’ and that ladies and gents was it. Adios Amigos and into the balmy night we trouped having witnessed yet another fantastic evening in the company of some awesome bands who are doing it their way and slowly but surely building quite the formidable repertoire and with the likes of Deathtraps and Bitch Queens offering their own takes on this garage punk business the future looks bright or it should do if there was any justice.Hip Priests Facebook
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!