Eccentrics is a band which I got a CD with and I really liked it. The people in the group have been on the road for a while and they´re “very old” . Vincent was very fast answering my questions and I really appreciate it. Read the interview now which was done in the end of april 2004.
-I was playing in a band called The Suburban Toys - a punk band based in Lincoln. Sandra moved up to Lincoln from Frome, to study, and one day walked into my shop (I own a second-hand record shop). She asked if I knew anyone who was looking for a (punk) guitarist. I was going to see a band play that evening in a local pub, and arranged to meet that evening...from this I asked her if she wanted to join the Suburban Toys as a second guitarist. She was in the band until November 2000, when the band split up, mainly due to the singer having to concentrate on her studies. Sandra and I immediately agreed to start another band. At the final Suburban Toys gig was someone who I vaguely knew - Sean. I knew that he had played in a band before....I asked him if he wanted to play in a band again. We had a 'Guy Fawkes' bonfire party at my house - and we all got pissed..it was at this that we thought of the name 'The Eccentrics'.
At first we had this drummer called Nathan, but he was always to busy to practise. We had a gig coming up on the 8th December 2000 supporting The Vibrators, and we hadn't seen or heard from Nathan for a while. Sandra mentioned that her boyfriend was a drummer, and that he may be able to 'stand-in' for the gig. It was already December 1st, and we had only 1 week to rehearse for it, so we thought that it would be a good idea. Her boyfriend - Trotsky - stood in for the gig, and ending up staying.
Please tell me a little about every member , age, works, interests, family and something bad about everone?
-Trotsky - aged 37 - keen gardener, likes cider and Hoegarden beer. Collects maps - Currently renovating his house, comes from a family of farmers. Eats 'tinned' brussel sprouts!!
Sandra Leithauser- aged 31 - likes lager but avoids Stella Artois because it gives her a hangover. She is very good at art - she drew the Destination Nowhere' sleeve. She renovates historical artifacts like medieval bridges for her job. Her family live in Germany and France. She is quite a perfectionist - and keeps us all working hard!!
Sean McNeaney - aged 40 - again likes lager, but can only drink a litre before being completely pissed. Likes Stella Artois because it gives him a hangover. He is a trained actor, and natural comedian - works at gardening for old ladies...keeping their bushes trimmed, and lawns cut! He makes up scary gost stories!
Vincent Ramsey - aged 41 - drinks shandy or coke (always the designated driver). Owns a secondhand record shop - which started off as a hobby of collecting (punk) records - has 3 children - 2 of whom have started playing in punk bands. Hates it when things don't go to plan.
Trotsky is/have been in Subhumans/Citizen Fish, does it help you something?
-This has helped quite a bit in getting good gigs. We toured up the east coast of the USA last year (2003) with The Subhumans, mainly thanks to Trotsky. He still plays with them which meant he was playing twice each night.
Why haven´t you got a contract yet? Is it you or the labels which is wrong out?
-Probably us - we haven't really tried for a contract. Instead we have been copying our own CD's and selling them at gigs. We ought to make a big push and try to get a contract.
I think you sound a little bit old punk with a modern sound and Subumans is there somewhere? Which bands are you being compared with?
-We all come from an 'old school' punk background - this is probably why. We do listen to newer stuff as well, but we play the stuff we like to play. I think that the Subhumans are a bit more 'musical' than us, we do get likened to th UK Subs, Lurkers etc, but with a newer 'feel'.
How is musiclife in England right now? Any good bands?
-Not good - to get on you either have to be a dance / pop band, or aged 18 - we are all too old. Most of the bands that I still find exciting are the 'old school' punk bands.
What does punk mean to you? Is it only a word or is it a lifestyle?
-It used to be a lifestyle, as I said earlier we all grew up through that. These days I look at it as part of a lifestyle which encourages people to go out and do their own thing - and have fun whilst doing it. As long as no-one else is being inconvienced by your actions then everyone should be free to do what they want. You only get one chance at life - it should be enjoyable.
What do you know about Sweden? What is typical swedish?
-Abba & Volvo!! These are probably what most people associate with Sweden!
Have you heard any good swedish bands?
-Leather Nun were always a band that I really liked, however we all managed to get to see The Hives a couple of years ago, and it was a complete throwback to punk bands 1977/1979 style!
How is the political life in England right now? What about Blair?
-There is always some good and bad in all politics. Politicians are by nature secretive, manipulative etc. As for Tony Blair, he is probably the lesser of the evils. I would rather have him than Michael Howard of the Conservative Party.
Are people afraid to any new terrorist attacks?
-Generally they are not. There are some people who are permanently paranoid about many things. If we spent all our time worrying about it all then we would all probably go mental, and not enjoy life.
When you do music, which is most important when you do a song, is it the lyrics, the music or is it to have a refrain that people remembers?
-I like a good solid drum and bass line, with a powerful (but not thrashy) guitar line. I believe that songs do have to have a good refrain, it was what makes a song memorable to people. The lyrics do matter as well.
Do you do the music together or does someone comes with an idea or whole song?
-Sean generally come with a whole song (lyrics and music), which is then changed around by the rest of us. We all adapt it to suit our own personal styles. A couple of the songs have come out of my ideas, or jamming sessions, which again get changed around by everyone.
How is a good gig with Eccentrics?
-Good fun, we always feel that if we come away from a gig with an extra few people liking us - then it is all worthwhile!
Which sort of people comes to your concert?
-Mainly 'new punks' aged between 14 and 20, and older people nearer our own age (35-40 year olds)
Which is the biggest band you have played together with?
-With The Eeccntrics obviously I am going to say The Subhumans, but we have also played with The Selecter, The UK Subs, The Vibrators, The Lurkers.
Destination nowhere, that cover means something I believe, what does it mean?
-Sandra designed and drew the cover. The song is an 'anti-drug' song about how it is living an existance dependant on drugs. The sleeve represents someone trying to claw their way out of a drug-induced hell.
Is it important to have a cover which really sticks out?
-I really like it - the cover does have a meaning whilst have a 'punk' feel to it.
Which is the record you only bought for a good cover and get disappointed on?
-There are many - I am a self-confessed vinyl junkie, and have thousands of records - mainly punk / new-wave ones. I am not going to diss any band in this way.
Which is the most embarrassing record you have in your collection?
-Lily the Pink by The Scaffold. My mum bought it for me when I was about 5 years old
The first the last and the most expensive record ever bought?
-The first record that I actually bought for myself was (I'm) Stranded by the Saints. My most recent record is an LP by The Volcanoes called 'Into The Psyche'. A brilliant band from the late 80's - a bit psychobilly, punky etc. The most I have paid for a record was £40-00 for a copy of 'Les Hommes Morts by Metal Urbain. I did pay £28-00 in 1978 for a copy of God Save The Queen (Sex Pistols) on A&M records in 1978 - this is now worth considerably more.
Which is the most important punkbands through all times?
-The Ramones, Dead Kennedys and The Sex Pistols. They changed peoples perception of what is acceptable, opening up a whole world for everyone by pushing boundaries.
Please rank you five favoriterecords, five favoriteconcerts and five most important things in life?
-Neutron Bomb - The Art Attacks
Cle De Contact - Metal Urbain
Terminal Stupid - Snivelling Shits
Nag Nag Nag - Cabaret Voltaire
Ain't This The Life - Oingo Boingo
My daughters Harriet & Carys, my son Daniel, my wife Gwyneth, and my friends - all of them)
Which are your futureplans as a band?
-To carry on enjoying playing
As an human being?
-To carry on enjoying life
Something more to add?
-If you want to do it - then just do it!
All the best - and keep up the good work on this site
Sean and Vin