Rich Gulag and Katie from PedAgree Skum have answered a lot of questions from me. I hope you take your time and listen to them because theyīre worth it. March-2015
Rich gulag; the band started when I was between houses, and Katie was good enough to let me sleep on her sofa for a few weeks. We got talking about bands, then progressed to jamming out a few songs. Before long, we had five songs. It was then we decided to seek out other members. after a few drummers and bassists, we finally arrive at the current line -up, which we feel is the best yet .
Band info; Katie phoenix Dodd on vocals, 30yrs old, six children, two of which are autistic. An avid collector of Funko- pop figures, likes movies, playing and listening to music; she used to be in a Goth rock band called Lupine, and is addicted to energy drinks
Rich gulag on guitar; 44 years old, many children, loves art and music, previous bands were hardcore punk band Scherzo and Ska punk band, sick of society. Once went a nightclub whilst ill with bad stomach, shit my pants and had to sit in it all night as the driver who took me to club didnít want to go until the end ha ha , a trifle embarrassing as you may imagine
Muff Hollis on drums; 43 years old, loves Amebix and doom metal, into motorbikes and cars, not forgetting his love for his magnificent beard. Muff is currently in instrumental stoner metal band, rise to thunder, his previous bands include Bastards trained by bastards, Dead set against, and Internecine;
Dayle Denton on bass, les Ťnfants terrible at 18 years old, his knowledge of the bass is uncanny, right down to every screw and pick up. One of the best bass players Iíve met in a while . Collects basses, loves music, and an all- round cool guy.
There are no deliberate influences in the band, we donít intentionally try to sound like anyone, we just write whatever we like and what we think sounds good, of course as we all like different things, thereís a high chance that our influences may come out subconsciously from time to time.
Katie came up with the name PedAgree Skum, I thought it was catchy, and easy to remember as we have a famous dog food in the UK called pedigree chum. We also joked that as the band started on a rough council estate, that we were the pedigree of the skum that lived there. There are many good band names out there, but I (Rich) particularly like the name, Rudimentary Peni
The best thing about playing live, Katie; meeting new people and seeing new faces. Rich; the buzz you get from a live performance, especially if itís a good turnout.
BEST AND WORST?
Best and worst place to play, Katie; Scotland the best so far, Stoke the worst as not many gigs on, and poor turnout when there is. Rich; I enjoy playing anywhere where we get a good response.
We are generally received quite well in the UK, but gigging is becoming difficult because of pub closures, the recession keeping people away because of lack of finances, and apathy keeping people from going smaller gigs.
DESCRIBE YOUR MUSIC?
Describe our music in three wordsÖKatie; meaningful, passionate, enjoyable. Rich; bloody love it!!
WHAT IS PUNK?
Punk is not just a word, itís not bondage trousers or a Mohican, itís not which bands you know or Whoís patches you wear. Itís what you do, how you live, itís your attitude, its being proactive, getting involved. Itís about getting off your Arse and being a part of an alternative to the usual 9-5 routine.
Views on downloads. Rich; personally, I download a lot, but I know from running our own bandcamp page, with our own material free, that a lot of people donít download. I think people like to have something they can touch, a sleeve they can read from their hands instead of a screen. I also think some arenít up to date with technology.
ENGLAND RIGHT NOW?
Living in England, politically feels a lot like the Thatcher years of the 1980s at the moment. The right wing is on the rise, immigrants and the poor have become the scapegoats for our financial troubles, whilst the rich get richer, lining their pockets with our misery. Like most countries, the wealthier you are, the better life you will have in England
There are many good bands in the UK, including ; Hagar the womb, Drongos for Europe, Anthrax, the Fiend, Zounds and many , many more.
WHAT ABOUT SWEDEN?
Were ashamed to say our knowledge of Sweden and its punk scene are minimal, maybe you could enlighten us and send some links to some good bands
WHO DO THE LYRICS?
We donít like to credit any one person with a specific thing in the band, as we all have input, although the bare songs and lyrics are predominately written by Katie and rich, the song doesnít become a song until everyone has contributed there part. We write about all sorts of themes, from political to personal, and basically whatever inspires us at the time.
NOT WRITE ABOUT?
The only subjects we wonít tackle, are ones that either mean nothing to us, or ones we donít believe in. we would certainly never write anything pro right wing.
POLITIC AND MUSIC?
I think politics and music go together 100% in the punk scene, but maybe not so much in other genres of music.
Best political band/artistÖKatie; Stage bottles; Rich; Crass
CAN MUSIC CHANGE LIVES?
Music can definitely change lives, it has the power to alter mood and emotions, make you think, create awareness, without music, life would be empty.
IS ARTWORK IMPORTANT?
I donít think itís important to have a cover/artwork, that clearly illustrates the genre of music you are playing, but we, like a lot of punks are attracted to dark imagery. Katieís favorite cover art, is for Eloise by the Damned, mine is the Velvet Underground banana image. Purely as it is so simple, and instantly recognizable. Of course, some of the artwork by gee voucher that came as posters wrapped around Crass Vinyls, were amazing.
IMPORTANT WITH PHYSICAL RECORDS?
Physical recordings are important as I mentioned in a previous question. Itís always good to have c.ds at gigs, as I personally have brought stuff from bands id previously never heard of, on the strength of their performance
SOME FUNNY STORY?
Funny story..ish. Katie once had a horrible old guy, come all the way from wales, to see us play in Birmingham. Heíd seen a picture of her and decided he was going to sleep with her, not even considering she may not be interested (she wasnít) Öhe eventually became very drunk and aggressive over her rejection.
Our audience is a good mix of people, with a variety of ages and types of people. Overall a great crowd
Five favorite records Katie; 1.Kinks by the Kinks 2.Mayday by Drongoís for Europe, 3.Barcode generation, also Drongos 4.Zombie by the Cranberries 5. Pride and the pallour by Bad Religion;
Rich; 1. Rudimentary Peni, Cloud song 2. Animals, House of the rising sun 3. Song of deep hate, Hagar the womb 4. Little bit more, zounds 5.Big a little a ,Crass
Five favorite concerts Katie; 1. Red hot chili peppers 2. Stiff little fingers in Preston 3. Drongos for Europe Rebellion festival 4.Hatebreed stoke 5. Our last gig in Manchester
Rich; 1. Hebden bridge punks picnic 2. Anarcho gathering Edinburgh 3.Chumbawamba in Stoke 4. Rdf in Stoke 5. Hagar the womb Birmingham
Five favorite things.. Katie; kids, band, dog, mates, sleep Rich; band, art, kids, creativity, honesty
We donít do a great deal of interviews, and if the questions are interesting, the interview will not be boring to do
THE DREAM CONCERT?
Dream concert Katie; X ray spex, Hermans hermits, Nightwish, Sisters of mercy. Rich; Crass, Rudimentary Peni, Dead Kennedys, Lee Scratch Perry, Magazine
MUSIC=GET OUT FRUSTRATION?
Music is a great way to work out frustrations, whether just dancing, or listening to a type of music to fit your mood. From the perspective of a songwriter, your frustrations can leave you and into your song .
ANY ODD QUESTIONS?
No real odd questions as of yet.
Dream question and answer Katie; q. Would you like to play in our country, travel expenses paidÖA. yes please!!!
FUTURE FOR THE BAND?
Future plans, write new songs, play gigs, do some more videos (check out our current ones on you tube) and record our second album, five songs already written. Basically we would like to push the band as far as we can, and have great fun and meet great people, doing it.
Katieís plans for her future. Get old going out screaming with the band, caring for her kids and enjoying life. Rich; Canít argue with that
WORDS OF WISDOM?
Words of wisdom Katie; stay true to yourself and fight for what you believe in. Rich: there is no authority but your own/
Would like to say thanks for inviting us to do this interview, we hope to play in your country in the near future and find out first- hand what the Swedish punk scene has to offer
All our music can be downloaded for free @ pedagreeskum.bandcamp.com
We also have many videos on you tube, also check these other projects from members of PedAgree Skum
he mutant skum and Pedagree strum on you tube. All of these projects can also be found on facebook
Thanks for your time, Katie and rich.