First things first, this interview was conducted during the Rebellion Festival on the afternoon of the band’s performance. Spunk and his Eruptions are about to head out on some dates around Europe so what better time to get the blood pumping and get you up for some loud punk rock n roll.
Considering how many times you’ve been asked back to perform at Rebellion in Blackpool would you know consider yourselves to be one of the fixtures and fittings along with the likes of the UK Subs?
A regular, um yeah I can’t argue with that so yes (ha ha ha) Before I came here people said oh if you play two years in a row your going to get a gap and if you do three years in a row then your lucky so you’ll get that gap but Dirtbox will have done eight in a row including this year and SV are on number six so if that’s considered fixtures and fittings then yes I have that haha like the Subs and Nowhere League…
Out of the newer bands, Dirtbox has to be at the top. there isn’t another band like em or loathe them Dirtbox has pretty much surpassed any other for festival callbacks and SV are getting there and it has to be said on merit as well and output. I’d wager that of any band started in the last decade you guys are requested more than any other right?
I guess thanks, haha us knock off Bar Stool Preachers, wonk Unit they all do incredibly well for the so-called newer bands so can’t fault them…Wankers Ha Ha!
SV pulling a fantastic crowd and the new double album are you phasing out Dirtbox?
Well taking precedence over Dirtbox?
well due to the turn of events of weab leaving and none of us speaking to him since I’m sure people will have their own opinions and that’s fine it is what it is. We were going to have a break anyway say have six months off just for everyone’s sake to see if we wanted to make another record. I’d already demoed another album and an EP ready for the band. when Weab left we had sort of five minutes of absolute panic and we were like for fuck’s sake like when your frontman leaves it’s not a trivial thing is it? After a couple of texts went around the lads said well they’re your songs why don’t you do it. We don’t want to stop it doesn’t matter let’s carry on for now and a lot of promoters and people who had booked the band were going well look we’ve booked you to play here and here etc are you going to do these gigs. A lot of these people also presumed that I would just sing it wasn’t just the lads in the band. Everybody just presumed that I would do it. some bands you’d never find anybody capable of pulling it off and a guitar player doesn’t normally take over from the singer…
You did it before when Weab was ill though didn’t you?
Yes when he didn’t turn up
Did you find that an easy transition to go from the singer’s foil and guitarist in the band to fronting it?
It’s sort of harder to fuck about when you’re the guitar player. I spent ten years playing some of those songs playing the guitar and pointing and saying something but not the mindset of being the singer it is different. Being stuck to the mic and singing all of it its harder trying to do it automatically. I think I’m getting there but transitioning from one role to the other is hard you get what I mean, don’t you?
To be fair there was a chemistry between you both on stage. The Dirtbox thing of you two bouncing off each other worked really well. Anyway SV. A Double album. Who’s idea was a double album? Its a lot of music was it always planned as a double or did it just turn out with the number of songs you were writing feel you just couldn’t cut it down? Was there a temptation to hold a bunch over and do two single albums or EPs over a period of time?
Yes, Initially it was going to be two separate albums. We started recording then family matters took over when we were about 80% through recording and when we got back to it a load more was written so we recorded that and found ourselves without a label and after shopping around we settled on doing it ourselves with Avenue Records set up by Maff. it is what it is and was the easiest thing to do at the time. these things you can sit on for ages as you know and shop around forever trying to sort a deal out that suits everyone so we were sat in a rehearsal room and Maff came up with the idea and we went with it and its done really well and we already have another recorded. That will come out next year Its different from ‘Double Bastard’ which is good maybe the best way to describe it is ‘Double Bastard’ was what people would expect whereas this next one is a bit different…
(JH) – I thought Double bastard was quite angry in places as well. Was that a reflection of where you were at the time?
I don’t know to be honest because it was written over a period of time maybe. I think a lot of that was prepared before we got to the studio because we knew we were going to do the double then…
(JH) you’re just an angry man aren’t you?
I can be Ha Ha Ha It depends where the mood takes me on that day haha
Last year we chatted about some of the songs on the first album and I said ‘Purely Medicinal’ was a great track and not at all what I was expecting to hear and you said you had a lot of material you’d written that you didn’t know what to do with. Is any of that going to see the light of day as a project?
Yeah, I’ve got a whole album of about sixteen songs, It wouldn’t come out as an SV album. I’ve recorded fourteen I think so far demoed I’ve called it Skeletons or spelt like a kid would spell it Skelingtons it’ll be like stories and thoughts a bit like that and I’m hoping to get that recorded over the winter. It’s not Dirtbox and its not SV just stories of things I’ve seen and heard no names no people just memories and thoughts…
(JH) you’re the master of that though pulling stories or memories about stuff like XR3 you just pull out those ideas that a generation can relate to.
It’s like scared of needles. All that came from was a visit to the dentist and my first thought of dentists was fuckin hell needles. and it got me thinking I can’t be the only one can I? So i started scribbling like TCP that was me dad I did a gig and got a really sore throat and me dad said I should gargle with TCP and he said when we were kids he used to make us gargle with it and then thirty years later I read up and it said you have to dilute it first (Ha ha ha) How fuckin dull as kids just downing it out of the bottle! Ha Ha Ha My dad then just smirked at me and that for me was hilarious and that’s where the words came from.
Do you have a favourite lyrics you’ve written from all these stories?
There’s a lot I like um I think there’s a lot on ‘Gatecrash’. that was all true. haha pissed out me head eating the toilet blue. I remember that and XR were based on two parties that stayed with me. I also like the lyrics on ‘Spare Room’ it might be kind of cheesy but it does reflect real shit. On some of the faster songs like you think you are rock and roll but your not, based on knobheads you see sucking up in places like this and then behind your back, they say something different. the people who walk in a dressing room and help themselves to your beer and you might think who the fuck are you? you’ve never seen em before. That’s not me being rude but I’m thinking what you are doing, who are you? haha
When you’ve written with other people like you wrote with Ginger Wildheart do you get a lot of people asking to collaborate?
Well, with ginger he just came down to the studio and sang on the record and I said to him, here’s my guitar and he just freestyled he didn’t write as such he just played.
So on that is there anyone you’d like to write with or get to play on your album?
There are a few things happening which I can’t mention…
(JH) You were always a fan of Cowboy Killers and Bad Sam…
I can honestly say Beddis made me want to be a punk rocker and I know he wouldn’t give a shit about me saying this but for me when people say oh the Damned or the Buzzcocks are great for me He’s great I saw him going mad in his songs and that was punk rock to me not chart hits or anything but when you’re an impressionable teen and music becomes everything else can go fuck itself he was doing Cowboy Killers and I was consumed by his madness and always giving it some…
(JH) Could you work with that then? Is he someone you’d work with if that could happen?
I don’t think so. anything I do wouldn’t be conducive to how he works or what he does I love everything he does if I lived near Newport I’d be at every show he does. when I was a kid just going to gigs and seeing the Cowboy Killers I’d be transfixed and it would be like fuck me that’s punk rock and I always think back to those times because as you guys know that was a real catalyst for me and at the time all that punk rock madness it was for me I mean I’m a massive Leatherface fan and listening to Frankie again, he sang about real things you know rather than dreaming or bands like Kiss who sang about birds and being famous and the punk stuff was real and thought fuck me you could write about things that are real to you and what you know about rather than all that other stuff.
What was it like when you got to tour with Wolfsbane what did you think of those dates?
I couldn’t think because I was so dead excited. All the time I just stood there every night …
(JH) like a kid in a candy shop for the first time?
Yeah ha ha ha
You made them aware of that obviously?
Oh yeah, they knew it alright haha I think they were like how old is he haha what an idiot. But, I keep in touch with Jase and I’d met Jeff before , but to answer the question it was great they were dead nice and I was like Woah – howling mad shithead haha it wasn’t that he’d been in Iron Maiden because it was wolfsbane for me – again going back to being a kid. I knew they were doing a tour and so I asked can I play with them and they said yeah which is great. there was no more to it than that for me I was dead excited and it was the same for every show
Who else is on your bucket list then? Showaddywaddy?
Well, funnily enough, last week we did a show that was owned by an original member of the band. It was Mick the duke. He gave me some CD’s and I told him I was genuinely a massive fan and he told me about the history and a few stories and again that was brilliant for me. this is great – I know people would laugh at that you know Showaddywaddy but he’s got fuckin gold disks all around his office haha 500,000for this one 600,000 for that you know that’s respect right there he’s done it. that was a man who’s had proper success. for me that’s fantastic I’d love to be able to dream I could achieve a bit of that success. He like 78 and he was chuffed watching us and we got a good crowd in and after he put a load of his songs on the jukebox it was brilliant. You don’t have to be playing Wembley to go home with a massive smile on your face just because you’ve met somebody you admire and they were great.
Sticking with live shows you’ve been over to Germany a fair bit recently, Headlining?
sometimes. On the continent, it’s pretty much neck and neck some places its been more for SV and others Dirtbox. At the moment Dirtbox pulls in the festivals which is fine. Its dead well received and we get treated really nicely around Europe. It’s never a bad place to go we get some really good turnouts and not so good in others that’s just the way it is. You’ve got to break new territory and the main thing is we enjoy it. we went over with 999 for three dates with SV and that was brilliant. You know us, We’re on on time and were off on time and we were really well received every night and it was great.
How do the songs go down in places like Germany? Do they get the humour or the stories like XR3?
Ha Ha Ha
I guess its if they already know Dirtbox or SV then they know what to expect so its a given they probably know about XR3 or ‘Crossfire’ but when we were out with 999 it was like 500 people looking at me like thinking what the fuck is this but the are dead appreciative when you put in the effort and sure I wouldn’t expect them to get ‘Hanging round The Shops’its hard to explain the British culture. ‘Ram Raid’ it’s all alright here people know what a ram raid is. there were other things they did get like ‘TV God’ with the riff and TV! I suppose ‘Teenage’ everywhere will get that and it’s great when you hear them sing along. We go out with Electric Six for two weeks (starting next week as it happens ED)
It’s great that you can cross over and play with wolfsbane then 999 then electric Six the Cock Sparrer…
Do you not find that weird though?
No not really it’s a reflection of what you listen to and I think we’re all like that a bit nobody just likes punk or metal or indie.
I think there’s a period in your life when you’re trying to be so cool and you turn your back on all those songs you loved as a kid because they are not cool anymore but its all just bollocks isn’t it? Like I said last night on stage we play punk and metal because boundaries just aren’t for us.
going back to last night did you hold an enquiry as to who fucked up the song?
It was Maff. We skipped a song and he started playing the next one and I didn’t and it was like what the fucks happening…
I thought you were playing a new song
Ha Ha Ha I started laughing and said what are you doing and he said I missed it so I said let’s play the right one then so everybody plays the right song Go! haha how do you cover it?
you can’t its a fuck up everyone does it haha
We did it in Leeds with Dirtbox supporting The Skids, me n Maff just went off playing one song and the others were like what you doing it was like two five-year-old kids just picked up instruments and started playing and so I started laughing and Maff said just fucking stop! and then everyone was laughing and I turned to the audience and said did you fucking just hear that and it won people over and sort of broke the ice and people were laughing with me which was great its not embarrassing if you make light of it because it is what it is you’ve fucking gone now so stop laughing just stop! haha
what about last night? (SV & the Eruptions played the casbah stage)
I really enjoyed last night I remembered getting to the top of the ramp and the crowd was fucking massive and that was great, I mean who’d complain when you’ve got a crowd like that coming to see you.
(JH) It reminded me when you played in here when the stage was on the side and us two were stood next to the stage and you were a bit nervous and then when you walked out it was like – fuckin hell! it was a similar moment this time for the Eruptions.
We did the Empress last year and I was really nervous and you never know how it’s going to go. The thing is with Rebellion there are so many people and so many good bands all the time you can’t make people go in to watch you, you have to earn it. they’ve always got that choice.
That year when Dirtbox first played the Empress I went up on the balcony to take a picture if was fucking mental in there from the front to the back it was packed. It was one of those moments from when we first saw you play the Railway in Abertillery to twenty knobheads who knew every word to fill the Empress was a bit emotional. It’s no small feat and something you should be immensely proud of. There are bands who’ve been going decades who would love to have an audience like the one you’ve had at Rebellion and would be envious of it…
I’ve had bands come up to me face and say it. After that initial rise we did get a lot of respect from a lot of bands but at the same time a lot of ridicule. A lot of people to this day just don’t get it. I’m like you can’t get everything you don’t have to like every band that’s fine. there’s loads of band I never got. There are loads of bands I never got growing up I’ve played with and have since listened to and got – you know what I mean. Touring with the skids, they passed me by when I was younger but now having watched them I get it.
I think drawing your influences from a lot of bands that weren’t shit helps – I love the bands I’ve mentioned and bands like the Kinks Or Motorhead or songwriters like the Hollies and people say how do you like the Hollies and I’d say they write great songs with catchy choruses or melodies it good stuff. I think if you listen to good songs from a good gene pool then it should help you write better songs. Sure I blast out Lemmy but the Kinks were ace as well. If you only listen to Extreme noise terror all your life how the fuck will you be able to write a great chorus or melody? Hopefully having a wide and varied but good gene pool of influences hopefully will help me to be a better songwriter and will help me appeal to a wide audience even if its a little bit. You can learn to be a better writer. I never take playing places like Rebellion for granted it’s never a given you still have to work hard to earn what you get and hopefully you get the rewards.
I think that’s why yourselves and The Bar Stool Preachers and Wonk are getting invited back year after year you all have eclectic influences and you all write great songs that win people over. and you’ve earned your stripes.
A lot of people don’t see that we’ve played Halifax on a Monday night and then Southampton and Nottingham followed by Leeds. A lot of people here probably don’t even know we slog it around Europe playing loads of shows. I doubt if no more than a handful of people on the Wolfsbane tour knew who we were but now I see people turning up at SV gigs wearing Wolfsbane shirts and patches and that’s great. that makes me smile. I’m proud of that and the band I’ve got they’re all good lads I’m really happy with Scott, Joey and tom and Maff obviously. they’re all steady and reliable…
Do you think that’s the best you’ve been?
It’s hard to say, I feel really good about it it’s a different beast to the first line up but they were good but they approached it differently. Now it just feels right. I don’t have any concerns at all, I just feel like we’re all right into it and like Scott gives it a bit of a grunt and I like that. Even with Dirtbox, I think we’d run out of a bit of steam and now with Weab going there might have been all the internal issues that people never know about but now all that’s gone it’s like we’re on the same page again. What happened, happened and I think everybody is happier weab has Kid Klumsy and I hope he’s happy and we can all move on with our own things. we’re going to have a break then next year we’re going to play a few dates we’ve got pencilled in for April and a new album as well. We had started some but I’ve got a load of new material with my voice in mind and not Weab so it’s different styles and demoes some and the lads were chuffed they had a real live feel and you could see the boys felt the same again which is great. The songs have a raw feel maybe more like ‘Legends’ but that might be just at the moment. We’ll see how we approach it in the studio because we love the songs and think Dirtbox has still got legs it would be a shame for me to see the name disappear because the singer left. We don’t want to hang up the Dirtbox flag, it’s not just about us four in the band and you know how hard we’ve worked because you boys have been with us from the start, we’ve worked really hard to get noticed and people seem to like us so we owe it to them as well.
There you have it folks the one and only Mr Spunk Volcano saying it as it is. We actually chatted for an age with some really exciting things happening for both SV & The Eruptions and Dirtbox Disco so strap yourselves in and get your fix as I’m sure all will be revealed as and when and we’ll try our best to keep you up to date with what’s going on in both camps. Thanks to Spunk for taking the time and indulging us and making us bloody laugh every time we cross paths.