One of the most odd interviews I have done is with Iain in Beerzone, we started to try doing this one day and 25 hours later it was almost done. We tried to use ICQ and in the end it went out fine , almost , because Iain disappeared some times and the interview would have been so much longer , but here it is...JULY-03.
S:Hello there, whats up???ARE YOU THERE?????Hellooooooo
I:I am in at last Are you there now Peter
S:Yeah Iīm here shall we begin
S:Yeah we begin a little Please tell me a little of your history with the band?
I:Ok...here goes....Started in 1997 in the summer, played 200 European shows, mainly in the UK, played 6 full tours in USA, next one in September on East Coast, have 3 albums out, 4th in late 2003, have 4 singles out, are on lots of compilations albums, have played with Dead Kennedys, Suicidal Tendencies, Bad Manners, SLF, Sham 69, Damned, Agnostic Front, Exploited, Cock Sparrer and many more. Have toured the USA twice with Dropkick Murphys, The Business, Anti-Flag, Blood for Blood. Been on several major tv documentaries as being the biggest/most influential band from the UK for a very long time, been asked to play Japan and Australia, have the highest advanced orders in TKO's history. Biggest new band that is.It is so surprising to us and we only started for fun
S:But itīs still fun?
I:Yes, it is great fun but very time consuming as I do all the back ground work like websites, newsletters, merchandise, song writing, managing the band, bookings etc.
S:Whatīs the difference from the beginning?
I:The line-up has changed as we never expected to play outside of our town but before we knew it we were doing 10 week tours of the USA and this put enormous pressure on the guys, I am the only original member left but we are all still good friends.
S:Please tell me a little about every member in the group?
I:Stu - guitarist - 6'2, races motorbikes and runs a karate class, does not drink Nickname - Bone Idol
Ruffy - guitarist - 5'9 an original rock and roller who just loves playing music and socialising NIckname - Johnny Cash
Glen - Bassist - 5'9 this mohican is the most famous in the band, keeps fit and enjoys a beer and gets all the girls on tour, mountain bikes a lot too. Nickname - Shifty( he steals everything on tour that is not stuck down!!)
Stevie - Drums - 6'2, loves playing drums and also plays in a classic punk covers band called Clash City Rockers. Nickname - Skin
Iain - Vocals 6'0 loves football, follows Scotland round the world, keeps fit by biking and running and like a beer with friends Nickname - The Captain
S:You loves football you say, any favourite team except Scotland?
I:Hibernian and Gothenburg hee hee
S:I donīt like IFK Gothenburg myself, my favoruite team is called GAIS(itīs a greenandblack team but in the 60īs they had green shirt and white arms like Hibernian(havenīt they) so many people among GAIS fans have imported Hibernian shirt and put on GAIS on it. Why is football so fun(Iīm a footballfan myself and I follow all matches with GAIS and my sons team)
I:That is cool about the Hibs link. I have always loved football and as a young boy was offered trials with Tranmere Rovers in England and signing forms with Morton in Scotland when they were in the top league. I do not support Goteburg, I went there to watch Scotland, that's all. I will follow the GAIS results now that I know you.
S:I support Hibernians now....They are in the third division right now but we have 3000 fans every match and the other teams about 200. Weīre a very good audience...Itīs always a connection between football and streetpunk(often) have you been on any tribute or something like that to Hibernian?
I:No but our 3rd single, Gazza Gazza, was played at Newcastle and Everton matches. Where in Sweden are you, east, west, south, north?
S:Iīm in the west Mölndal, is the city I live in called , but it is in Gothenburg. How did you feel about that, be played at Everton and Newcastle matches?
I:It was good that they played it, it was played in around 60 radio stations all over the UK also. 3000 is a good crowd for the third division, we get an average of around 10000
S:In which place came Hibernian this year?
I:They had a poor season and finished 7th. They will do better again next season.
S:Many kids in Sweden support Celtic because the fact that they have three swedes, Hedman, Mjällby and Henke Larsson, what do you think about them?
I:Larsson is superb, Mjallby is good and Hedman has been injured all the time so far.
S:Now back to your music, I said in my review that you sounded a little like Splodge, but that didnīt you like, why?
I:I like Splodge but have never been told we sound like them, it is usually like SLF, Sham, Rejects and Test-Tubes. But I think we have our own sound. In fact bands in the magazines in the USA have been described as sounding like Beerzone!!!
S:Itīs always good when papers says that a band have an own sound. But you didnīt get angry on me because of the Splodge-comparement?
I:We have been very lucky with most reviews but you have to accept the good with the bad if you release records
Iain seems to be somewhere else because it take a very long time between the answers now so I have yo ask him where he is.
S:What happens where are you now?
I:I am at home now. Next gig is next Thursday with the Exploited in Brighton then we headline an 8 band all day show at the Camden Underworld in London. Then it is back to the USA in September. Someone in Sweden is trying to arrange for us to play there later this year, he works with Agnostic Front.
S:How is a good gig with Beerzone?
I:Good gigs are usually where the place is full and there is a big mosh pit and everyone is singing along and invading the stage.
S:How does your audience look like? Is it a mix of different people or?
I:It is usually full of young punk kids, a few older ones, some casuals, football fans, straights, skins, scooter boys, a few psychobillys, a few casuals and loads of girls
S:And the skins are real skins, not any fascist skins or so?
I:We don't attract the nazi skins. At Holidays in the Sun three weeks ago, there were some there to see the band before us and they left before we came on and then they returned after we finished.
S:Are you working against racism in any way?
I:To be honest politics is a thing I try very hard to keep away from Beerzone in every way as it only ever leads to trouble if you start preaching views on people. Our views are......keep politics out of music, play powerful, tuneful music which you can sing to. Enjoy life, watch football, date girls and have a beer when you deserve one.
S:And when do you a deserve a beer?
I:After a good show or a hard days work but only if you feel having one.
I:Feel like having one I mean. Everyone is different in how much they can drink, some strong european beers knock you hard but others are light and you can enjoy a few.
S:Which labels have the other two fullengthrecords been released on, Strangle all the boybands came on DSS Records? And what are the records called?
I:First full length was called 'They Came, They Saw, They Conquered' which was on TKO Records. Second was 'Strangle all the Boybands' which was released on Cyclone Records in the USA and then by DSS Records after Cyclone sold the rights to it. Third full length came out last month on Beerzone Records and is called 'Live On The Drive'.It was meant to be a low key release but is doing really well. The next one will be on a bigger US label. Check out www.inflammablematerial.co.uk to see how the live album is selling in the biggest UK internet sales site, it is doing great. There are several US labels talking to us and showing an interest thanks to the increase on our sales each release and the amount of touring we do. One is a very big name but we will wait and see what happens.
S:And the new one sounds like the new single I hope?
I:Yes, that is not a single, it is a just a sample of the new songs, the others we have are all similar and the next release is being tipped to do well but you never know so we will just wait and see.
S:Iīm really looking foreward to that release.You said that some zine said that "Strangle all the boybands" was the best punkrecord since Never mind the bollocks, how did you feel then and which paper/webzine was it?
I never got any answer on this questions so we leave it for the next time...