Last Rough Cause is a band which have some years on their neck, both as persons and as band even if they had a long break. Max who drums in the group answered a lot of questions to an interview the same day as I sent them(December 2010). Andy have answered the questions also some day after.
You started the band again 2003 or? Why?
-(Max)I met up with Andy and he asked if I fancied running through some old songs as it had been 25 years since we had our last gig. I said ok then after a couple of months got Phil Coates in on guitar who Iíd been in a band with called the Sugar atealers and Andy brought in Phil Heathwaite in from a band he had been in called the Che men.
(Andy) I attempted to start the band in 2003 with the original line up as there was still a bit of interest from the public about the band. We did manage to record 4 songs up but no one in the band apart from me was interested in taking things further at the time. The recordings that we did have not been released officially but they can be found on the internet as I gave away 50 copies of the session to people who got in touch with the band. I am planning to re-record all the guitar parts with the line up that we have now so that the tracks can be included possibly on the next album or possibly as a standalone release or we may decide not to use them at all. The songs that were recorded are Lies which was a song I wrote and recorded with Major Accident, twenty six percent which I co wrote with Paul Larkin from Major Accident and the other two songs were open my eyes and the chain.
Is it many of the original members in the group?
-(Max)Myself and Andy were from the very start of it.
(Andy) There is only me and Max that are members from the original line up. We originally started as a 3 piece and then we had Des singing for us for a short while then we went back to a 3 piece again.
You plays and have played in other punkgroups before, and on the side of LRC, which?
-(Max)Andy has been with and is still in Major Accident and a ska outfit called the G-men. Phil Coates was in a punk band called Delayed Reaction many years ago when he and 3 school mates got together. They were later gigging with us in pubs on a friday night when they were all 15. Phil Heathwaite and I have only been the bands I have mentioned.
(Andy) Phil Coates had his own band Delayed reaction when he was at school and he also played with me and Max in the Sugar Stealers. Phil Heathwaite has played with a couple of bands with me which never got any further than rehearsals. I have played with Major Accident in the 1990ís and rejoined the band 2 years ago and I have also played with Ska band the G-men.
How does it go with Major Accident, any news from them?
-(Max)I bumped into 2 of them 3 years ago and asked if they were gonna start it again and they agreed to and ainīt looked back since. Doing some fine gigs they are. On that score Andy is playing guitar for em so on that score, he'd be a better person to ask.
(Andy) Major Accident are planning on playing Germany in March 2011 and Sweden in April 2011 further to this will be another appearance at Rebellion 2011.
Why did you start up LRC again?
-(Max)We were all a bit bored with the music scene at that time and thought to ourselves... balls to it, we'll never hear music we like unless we play it ourselves. That is the quickest answer I can think of anyway.
(Andy) The reason why I wanted to get the band going again is I believe that even after all these years we still have something to give to an audience and we still have a lot that we want to sing about.
You played on Rebellion last year with the group, how was that?
-(Max)Phil h was away on holiday but we still enjoyed it a lot as we met a lot of old friends from bands of years ago and who are also in new ones now. Its a brilliant festival. You must get there one day.
(Andy) Rebellion was great we really enjoyed it was a good experience for us and we would certainly like to play again but that is up to the organisers to let us play. We have offered our services so we will have to see what happens.
Isnīt Rebellion a place for nostalgia or do any new
groups play there?(I have never been there)
(Andy) I would agree that Rebellion is mainly for the older bands and is for some a nostalgia trip but there are some newer bands getting on at Rebellion worth seeing like Gimp fist, the dipsomaniacs and Key side strike and then of course us. Like everything else though it is very difficult to get on there but hopefully we will play there in 2011.
Is there any good new punkgroups around nowadays?
-(Max)Iīm sure there will be great bands starting up all over the world. Our mates in Gimp Fist seems to be getting really good shows to play as well the steady boys who are also a great band.
(Andy)Iíve already mentioned a few in the previous answer but other bands worth checking out are Loudmouth, the Speed dogs and the Hi fi spitfires.
What do you know about Sweden?
-(Max)Sweden is the home of ABBA and cars that have there lights switched on permanently. But itís also getting a name over here as a place which seems to have more of an interest in this music than our own country. Our own town really does turn out for us and we love playing to them but this is rare in our experience. We hoping Sweden like us and want us to come over again. Iīve been listening to Antipati and really like them. Stockholme Stockholme is a great song.
(Andy) Sweden once had a great porn movie industry, is that still true? Also Sven Goran Eriksson our one time England manager and of course Volvo cars and most importantly Abba.
Have you heard any good bands?
(Andy) I am impressed with what I have heard from Antipati and we look forward to playing with them in February but I have to be honest and say I have not heard many Swedish bands.
What is typical swedish? And what is typical english?
-(Max)Would I be right in thinking the swedes seem to be more into the old style of english oi/ skinhead/ punk than over here. The younger bands here are very much into the faster hardcore punk brought over from America years ago but we still prefer the old style punk and oi stuff. Itís much more pleasing to our old ears. Your skins look like ours used to with their whitewashed jeans and braces. Itís a very 1969 look your lads and lasses have. Very smart indeed. Much more traditional.
(Andy) Not really sure how to answer that one as people often have the wrong idea about what a typical English person is like. One thing I can say is that as a country we love all our sports like football, cricket and Rugby and of course beer. A typical Swedish person or the image people get in this country of Swedish people is very attractive blonde ladies like Ulrika Jonsson and porn.
How have the reactions and reviews been on your newest CD Aggrophobia?
-(Max)I think people like yourself who write about punk and oi bands have listened and like it quite a bit whereas others who are more middle of the road in their taste sort of tolerate but donít take much notice of it. Not sure to be honest Peter. Perhaps you can tell us what you think? Honest opinion of course haha.
(Andy) Reaction to the new album has been positive and we look forward to getting out playing gigs to help sell it especially in other countries.
Please tell me a little about every member in the band,
age, family, work, interests and something bad about every one?
(Andy) Max has already answered that question; I donít think I can say anything else about the others.
For how long can a man(or woman) play punk, isnít that a youth rebellion thing(me myself is 47 and I feel more punk than ever)?
-(Max)I think it should be a youth thing yes but I donít think there has been a youth movement worth talking about for the last 25 years so we thought fuck it, we'll have our own riot only this time with rheumatic tablets rather than glue bags and cider. Anyway we think our music is much more vibrant, energetic and confrontational than the sedate shit the young kids are doing. All they seem to sing about is falling in love which thereís nothing wrong with. But there is something wrong when its sole reason is to sell records. I think the days are gone when you can hear a song on the radio about oppression, injustice or even getting your nose broken. The music scene is shit and we donít want any part of it and never have. All we want to do is record good songs and have a good piss up when we have a gig somewhere.
(Andy) I suppose 30 years ago punk was a youth culture thing all about rebellion and stuff and for some it became a way of life but I do not honestly think age has anything to do with it. In lots of respect I still think the same as I did 30 years ago and I still listen to the same bands so therefore Iím still a punk and will be until I am dead.
Is it a little bit sad for the new punks and they have difficulties to shock their parents when it was enough for us to dye our hair, shortening the hair etc?
-(Max)You've answered your own question peter. How can we as a generation ever be shocked now with music or bands. I think its all just about been done. Hopefully it will all start again from Chuck Berry and Jerry Lee Lewis then go through the whole thing again. That would suit me. The scene needs a kick up its arse. Itīs stale and everyone including the bands are obsessed with being rich and making a load of money from something not that special. Money means nothing. Weíve all had very little money all our lives and still love a night out with mates.
(Andy) There is nothing that anyone can do to shock a person that has not already been done by somebody else in the past. This is down to how things are shown on the news and what we can see on the internet and the way that people respond to what is happening in the world.
How shall they do to shock their parents today?
-(Max)If kids made their parents a cup of tea now and again it would shock the parent into a heart attack. Itís not really about shocking their parents I donít think. Itís about having a strong opinion about something. That wont shock or upset a parent unless the parent is a horrible oppressive bastard to their own kid. Students are kicking off here over fees being hiked up and I would support any of my kids having a riot if they felt that strongly about something. And for the folks rioting, itís a great laugh to smash fuck out of everything. Great to look back on. (Andy) Kids will always do stuff that parents disapprove of, itís all part of the growing up thing. A parent can reflect on the mistakes they have made as they have had more experience in life than a kid. They then pass this wisdom on to the kids but the kidís rebel against this as that is what young people do. The biggest way any kid could shock parent is if they come home and say Dad, Mam Iím pregnant, now that would be a shock.
Which are your feelings when we talk about downloading and mp3 and those things?
-(Max)Downloading is brilliant isnít it! Iím all for it. I just wish I was clever enough to know how to do it. Yeah I donít mind that at all. If your album is good enough, people will buy it as well as downloading it. All those millionaire rockers who are against it want to take a look at their selves when they were young and penniless. Did none of them tape record songs off the radio? Itís the same thing. Be proud of the fact the people love your tunes and shut your self important mouth.
(Andy) Downloading has become a big part of modern society but I agree with Max on this one, if someone really wants to get a DVC or a CD by a band they are more likely to buy it anyway.
Is it good or bad for a band like yours?
-(Max)Itīs great for a band like ours or any band I think. Get the music out there to folks. The computer is the best invention ever for listening to great music without paying anything. You can even learn how to play an instrument on here or even learn a language and itís usually all for no money at all. How great is that? It could never be a bad thing to educate yourself for nothing.
(Andy) The internet is good for all forms of entertainment; it lets people know who you are and what you are doing. It is probably the best thing that has happened in the modern world.
Are you selling much cdīs and merchandise?
-(Max)No. hardly anything at all haha.
(Andy) Sales are not too bad but could be better. Even with the internet there is still a lot of people who listened to the band 20 years ago that do not know we are back together. Hopefully, in time this will improve as we have started doing articles for fanzines and are building up a good contact base.
Have you been playing outside England with this band?
(Andy) We have never been out of England before so the trip to Sweden in February will be out first so fingers crossed everything works out.
How does your audience look like?
(Andy) . The people that watch us are all different: you have punks and skins both young and old and some ordinary people too. We did a gig recently in our home town with Sham 69 and there were quite a few well dressed couples that had come to watch us which were good to see.
Your lyrics seems to be a little bit longer than Discharge , from where do you get the inspiration to write them?
-(Max)Never made a comparison to us and Discharge though I guess you aren't either. Yeah our lyrics are just what happens to us in every day life or what we've heard happen to others. Anything that either affects us directly like being made unemployed or watching our boys being sent to another war or even football violence or drinking.
(Andy) I agree with Maxís comments on this one our lyrics are about life in general and what happens and stuff.
It is Andy and Max who writes them or? Phil x 2 donīt do any songs?
-(Max)Itīs been me and Andy writing most of em yeah but the guitar lads have wrote their own too which are great songs. Itís just been done recently though so they weren't done during the album. the next album, if it goes the way I hope it does is gonna include all of our stuff and I think will be a really good album indeed. Weíve almost finished 2 songs already and they sound really much heavier and stronger.
(Andy) Like Max has said we have done the most writing on the album but the others are coming up with ideas too which should make the next album very interesting.
And Michelle Turnbull have done the lyrics to one song? Howcome?
-(Max)Michelle wrote the lyrics to What, Where, When about 15 years ago. It was at a time when i had to work away from home and she found it difficult to bring up the kids with hardly any help from me. She knew I had nothing else to do apart from drink at night so felt pretty bad at the time. She never wanted me to see it and certainly didnít want me to put a melody to it. I did the riff at the start without her knowing anything about it then the rest of the song was easy. I still donít know if she likes it haha.
(Andy) Max has already answered this one.
Do you play any covers live?
-(Max)We've always done SLF or Clash songs live and I love doing em. We did a full set of em about a year ago an had a great night. I think a band like this has to keep punters happy by doing songs everyone knows. Weíre gonna dust down a few for when we come to Sweden.
(Andy) We do some covers on occasion and include them in the live set where we have time.
How would you describe your music in three words?
-(Max)I DONT KNOW
(Andy) Great punk rock.
How is it to live in England today?
-(Max)Itīs ok if you have work like anywhere else. Shit if you are out of work. Next year its gonna get worse by far as this government are gonna be ruthless to the poorer members of society. You need to know that tories (conservatives) look after the richer members of our country. They hate the working classes and feel threatened by intelligent poor folks. There will be riots in this country. Mark my words Peter.
(Andy) . It depends who you are really: If you have plenty of money it is great, if you do not have plenty of money it is not so great.
Please rank your five favourite records, five favourite concerts and five most important things in life?
-(Max)Never mind the bollocks, Sergeant peppers lonely hearts club, The Clash, Highway to hell or If you want blood, OK computer.
Most important in life...1, Family (I cant imagine not liking any single one of them) 2, Health (fuck! I sound like a fucking philosopher), 3, Work and workmates (fuck! I sound like an arselicking, greedy cunt) 4, Music of all types 5, Englandís cricket team (used to be football especially Darlington and Newcastle united but it ainīt the same any more. heart broken about that)
(Andy) . Inflammable material, Never mind the bollocks, London calling, the incredible shrinking Dickies and Definitely maybe. Stiff little fingers Middlesbrough town hall 1981, Sex Pistols Finsbury park 1996, The Dickies Newcastle Mayfair 1990, Oasis Loch Lomond 1996, Green day Leeds 1998
First, last and most expensive record ever bought?
-(Max)Into the valley by the Skids. a brilliant single with an even better b side (TV stars). Last one I bought was a UK subs best of double album. Most expensive was a Clash bootleg vinyl for £6. Donít sound much now but it was a fortune in 1980. Think it was capital radio with an interview with Mick Jones on it which you couldn't hear due to tube trains going past on the London underground during recording.
(Andy) First record I bought was sound of the suburbs by the members for 70 pence and most expensive was Suspect device by Stiff little fingers for £20.
Most embarrasing record in your collection?
-(Max)Wild west hero by ELO. Total shite.
(Andy) Not really sure about that one, all the bad records in my house belong to the wife and kids.
What does punk mean to you, lifestyle or only music?
(Andy) I agree with Max on that one.
Futureplans for the band?
-(Max)Iīd love to do more gigs especially in other countries so hopefully carry on gigging. and finish the next album. The lads aint even heard 4 or 5 of the new ones Iīve got and Iīm really excited about em.
(Andy) Weíve already started to work on the next album and beyond that hopefully more gigs in other countries.
-(Max)For me? Just to keep on doing what Iīm doing now. I have hardly any ambitions as such really. Just wanna carry on being the same as now to be honest.
(Andy) On a personal level Iíll carry on doing what I am doing now.
(Andy) Stop fighting.
Something to add
(Andy)- Support the underdog and keep music live.