Frankie Flame in the group have been on the road for a very long while with his punkmusic. Here he gives us the history about his group Superyob. The interview took some time but here it is finally. March-20111
History about Superyob?
-Frank;- Superyob was formed in 1995 in London by Me, Pat McVicar and his brother Rob Reeves. We were mates and went to the same gigs, and they had seen me play my one man shows. We shared the same reality living in south London and we had the same desire to make music about the world as we experienced it. To start with Pat (drums)and Rob (guitar) wrote most of the songs for the band, plus a couple from me (vocals); then me and Pat became the writers, and I have written some Superyob songs myself. I am now the only original member of Superyob still in the band, we have had several personnel changes. However, me, Pat, and Rob are still good mates; even though they are doing other things now. Up to date, Superyob have made 4 albums, an Ep, 2 vinyl singles, compilation tracks, and recently re-issued our first two albums on a collector’s vinyl package with bonus tracks and our third album with bonus tracks on Randale records. We have toured extensively in the UK, Scandinavia, Europe, and the USA and recently celebrated 15 years of Superyob with a festival in London called ‘Yobstock’, which featured Superyob as headline act; with Evil Conduct and other bands.
-Frank;- Superyob band members now are Me, lead vocals, (and 12 string guitar and keyboards on recordings); Dave, guitar and backing vocals; Andy, bass and backing vocals; and Mick, drums. We are different ages, I’m the oldest and Dave is the youngest.
I’m a self employed pro musician for my job, and also work as a musical agent for piano players/ guitarists. I write lyrics and music for Superyob and also do some film acting; as well as singing in Superyob I also play solo Oi! singalong shows, and I follow boxing and football, (West Ham and England)! I drink Guinness. I’m married.
Something bad- I’m tyrannical when I’m being creative, worse when I’m pissed.
Superyob nickname:-T’wearly/Old Git
Dave is an engineering project manager, drinks almost anything, and is my right hand man in Superyob. He has just started another job after being unemployed for a while; he’s got a fantastic ‘Superyob’ custom built guitar amongst his guitar collection. He has played guitar in Aceface and The East End Badoes. Dave is married.
Something bad- he’ll eat and drink everything in sight when he’s hungry or thirsty, including other people’s dinner and beer. If he’s really hungry he can turn cannibal…..
Superyob nickname;- Fatso/ Haystacks
Andy has a farm, he harvests fruit and makes his own cider, which is very good, we may market it as ‘Superyob Cider’! He played bass in The Gonads before joining Superyob, and he is married. He recently became a proud father.
Something bad- Andy is notoriously tight with money... and badly needs one more pair of trousers......
Superyob nickname;- Pikey/Scrooge
Mick works in a warehouse, and he is the joker in the band; we have a lot of laughs and in-jokes with him; Mick played drums for The Business for 20 years before he joined Superyob, and I have known him all that time, we are old friends. Mick was a semi pro footballer, and is also a great barbecue chef! He is married too.
Something bad- make sure you watch your possessions closely when Mick is around, he has a way of making things disappear......
Superyob nickname:- Tea Leaf ( Tea leaf is cockney rhyming slang for thief....)
-Frank;- Before Superyob...my most recent band history would include a band called U-Boat with David Bowie’s original drummer,Woody Woodmansey. We signed a recording deal with Bronze/EMI, played many shows and tours in the UK and Europe including the Reading Rock festival, and released an album and single. After this I formed my own band Frankie and The Flames, which was a blend of punk, power pop and bar room rock. I have also played many sessions for other bands in the studio, including The Blood, The Business, The Gonads, Eddie and The Hot Rods, The Blades, lots of other bands; and I’ve produced bands and albums as well.
Do you have any other band on the side of Superyob now?
-Frank;- No, just my job which is solo work as a keyboard/guitarist vocalist, and I am an agent for others, as I said.
-Frank;-I liked the Sex Pistols and other bands that started punk, then I got into Oi! after that.
-Frank: It’s a look, a sound, a lifestyle, all of these..... of course ‘MTV Punk’ has devalued the brand a bit.
-Frank:- No, not in my opinion they don’t.
-Frank:- Yeah.... Tony fuckin Blair and Gordon fuckin Brown and their pals who betrayed the British working class, and loads of other so called ‘politicians’.
Which is the best political band/artist?
-Frank;- Dunno. First, what kind of politics..... Right wing? Left wing? Green? Animal Rights? Christian Party? Liberal? Democrat? Republican? Socialist Workers party? British national Party? I’m simply not interested in ‘political’ bands. Artists/bands who tie themselves to a political movement get onto a runaway train that they can’t get off, and they become the ‘property’ of the political movement they associate with. They will be called traitors if they dare to do something or write something that the political party does not agree with. They can become controlled by the political faction they are associated with. Nine times out of ten this all ends badly. So, I don’t have an opinion on who is the best political band or artist. I am more interested in bands and artists who think for themselves, and follow themselves as leaders.
It seems like if the lyrics are very important to you?
-Frank:- Yes, absolutely. In a song, the lyrics are the skeleton of the body of the song and the music is the flesh on the skeleton; two different elements that together hopefully give life to a song that’s good. Lyrics are extremely important, they are the statement of an artist’s intent and what he or she wants to say. Of course the lyrics can exist without music, and the music without lyrics....I work with both together sometimes, at other times I get a great piece of music and fit lyrics to the music.... and then it can work the other way round with a lyric idea that needs a tune, or I get a strong lyric phrase with a tune for the lyric/vocal line.
What type of people comes to your concerts?
.Frank:- Skins, punks, herberts, football casual/ hoolies, record company people, journalists, photographers, pc spies........
-Frank:- Yeah, we have recorded ‘All or nothing’ by the Small Faces (London 60’s Mod band) and ‘How Does It feel’ by Slade.... both these tracks were b sides on Superyob 7 inch vinyl singles ‘Rock n’ Roll Ghost’ and ‘Rock n’ Roll Revolution’.
-Frank;-I think you have to put your own musical DNA on the recording of a cover song version while respecting the original and the original artist.
-Frank:- No. I’m older than you mate....! I don’t care what people say, there’s no time limit or retirement age in our scene, I just do because I love it, and when you love something, time stands still for you..... you stay young at heart..... also I’m younger than Charlie Harper....! Ha!
-Frank:- Dunno, I’m sure they’ll think of something.....
How is it to live in England today? Politically I mean?
-Frank;- It’s a shitstorm...... Well;- the overwhelming climate politically and financially is depressing now...... England and the whole UK is billions of pounds in debt thanks largely to Blair/Brown..... there are millions on the dole like in the 80’s....... huge public sector financial cuts announced today....... defence budget cuts...... local public services cuts.....social security and family and child benefit cuts.....higher taxes....... cuts cuts cuts.... unchecked and disastrous ‘total open door’ immigration for the last 10 years under a labour government; which has resulted in huge numbers of immigrants coming to the UK and this has resulted in extreme pressures on housing, hospitals, job market, schools and education, and all of the services and provisions of our islands......and now many local councils and communities can’t cope with the sheer volume of people needing homes, jobs, medical care and school places..... and of course housing benefit payments, social security payments and family and child benefit payments.... the system is wrong and its breaking down all over the country..... some places are a nightmare. It’s not the fault of the immigrants, you can’t blame them for wanting ‘a better life’.... they are pawns in the game. The politicians responsible for this fuckin mess are the ones to blame. Their ‘social engineering immigration project’ has simply brought chaos, over crowding, hatred, race war, increased poverty and fractured communities to the cities of the UK.....the southeast of England is the most overcrowded place in the whole of Europe; and London where I live is the most overcrowded city in the most overcrowded place in Europe. Space to live, to simply exist, is the most precious and expensive commodity where I live. Also the ‘European Union’ is causing the Uk a lot of problems politically and financially, and impacting with lots of stupid laws on our traditional way of life...... I could write a book.........This is a very short description of how it is to live in England now, politically. I’m very PISSED OFF, I want my country back.
What I’ve said here is simply what I experience every day in England, its the reality of living here now, its fact.
Are people afraid for new terrorist attacks?
-Frank;- We are aware of threats, and we are constantly being told that more attacks are going to happen..... are we afraid? Let’s just say I think most people are aware and vigilant, not afraid. And also I’ll just say that there are those who will fight back......
-Frank:-We like Randale records, and yes I think it is a very good label.
-Frank:- Yes, we have now re-released our third album ‘Ghetto Blaster’ with bonus tracks due to public demand, available on cd and vinyl on Randale records; and we will also release a brand new album in 2011. I am writing the songs like a demon for the new 2011 album now. We have rehearsal recordings of new material for the new album, and the songs are dynamic anthems.
-Frank:- Yes Superyob have played in Gothenburg, and years ago I played solo there. We also passed through Sweden once to play in Finland, and had to sleep on the floor in Skavsta airport overnight on the way back because of a fuck up by Ryanair....... Sweden is a fine country and we have good friends from Sweden, some of our Swedish friends came to our Superyob 15th anniversary ‘Yobstock’ festival in London July 2010.
-Frank:-We have shared the stage in Gothenburg with The Cliches, and Gatans Lag. Both these bands played very well I think, we had a great time with them and it was a very good concert. We have heard of other Swedish bands, like Ultima Thule etc.
Frank:- I’m going to choose TWENTY records! Five is not enough.....!
1. Quality Street /Album/ Superyob (hehe, yes I’m a big headed bastard, but its my fave!)
2. Sweet F.A. single track/ Superyob ( same with this one....)
3.Oi! Oi! Oi! / Album / Cockney Rejects
4.The truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth /Album/ The Business
5.Live n loud/ Album/ Cocksparrer
6.Never mind the Bollocks/ Album/ Sex Pistols
7.Best of Chas n’ Dave/ Album/ Chas n’ Dave
8.The Ultimate Collection /Album/The Who
9.The Autumn Stone/ Album/ The Small Faces
10. Feel the Noize, The very best of Slade/ Album/ Slade
11.That’s My Music/Album/ The New Chords
12.Straw Dogs 91-97/Album/ Straw Dogs
13.Divine Madness/ Album/Madness
14.This is the Way We Feel/ Ep/ Evil Conduct
15. The Best Of Frankie And The Flames/ Album/ Franky Flame
16.Inferno/ Album/ Franky Flame
17.Islander/ Album/ Franky Flame
18.Skinflicks /Album/ Skinflicks
19.Couple of tracks from ‘Democracy’/Album/ Killing Joke
20.Several tracks from ‘Pandemonium’/ Album/ Killing Joke
Five best concerts I have been to (and played at with Superyob).
1.Avalon Ballroom Boston USA with The Dropkick Murphys
2.Concorde 2 club Brighton UK with the Cockney Rejects
3.Oi! The Meeting Festival, Leipzig Germany with The Templars
4.Endless Summer Festival, Torgau Germany with The Cockney Rejects
5.Back On The Streets Festival, Waldlaubersheim Germany with Krawallbruder
Five most Important things in Life
Frank:- I list nine rules I try to live by:-
1.Courage, 2, Truth, 3. Honour, 4. Fidelity, 5.Discipline, 6. Hospitality,
7. Self reliance, 8. Industriousness, 9. Perseverance
First, last and most expensive record ever bought?
-Frank;- First one was a Small Faces record, I can’t actually remember which one....last one was the 4-Skins ‘The Return’ album and the most expensive record? I dunno, probably some disc or box set package I bought as a gift for somebody.... I’ve spent a fortune on records over the years....
Where do you stand when we´re talking about mp3 and downloading etc?
-Frank:- I personally prefer physical product (cds or vinyl) for music.
-Frank:-We sell physical product and some sales as downloads on Tunecore; its not good or bad, they are just different kinds of format. Some places and some people prefer cds or vinyl, and some people prefer downloads.
-Frank:- You’d have to ask our record label that! …..If you mean;- how much for a cd or vinyl copy,?.... we sell them for £10.00 approximately, it depends on the postage if they are postal sales, at gigs we sell for £10.00. (Usually!)
-Frank:- Tours, festivals, gigs, more albums, and videos, we hope to continue making
‘Real music in an unreal world’.
-Frank:- I intend to keep writing, recording and producing lyrics and music for our scene also I want to keep on doing my solo shows which are very popular; and also keep trying to get a budget for the production of a musical film I have written with a friend, plus writing my autobiography and doing some more film work as an ‘extra’ and ‘cameo’ actor.
-Frank:- I went on holiday to Europe with my wife and her brother, they went ski-ing. I can’t ski…. I’d never been on a ski slope before in my life, so I started walking down the red piste to get to the pub at the bottom of the slope, (Stupid!) …but soon realised I was getting faster and faster, because of the ice and the steep slope, and then my legs were running like the roadrunner cartoon…. (meep meep!)…. I ended up running so fast and not being able to stop that I fell forward and went right down the mountain ski slope flat on my face like Garfield the cat….I went past the pub at the bottom flat on my face on the ice…. And slithered to a halt… dazed and messed up….. I looked back up the top of the slope and my wife and her brother were lying on their backs with their skis in the air, laughing hysterically at the sight of me like this….. an american tourist came out of the pub and picked me up. “God-damn boy, that was the most RADICAL descent I’ve ever seen on this slope!” he said. I walked shakily into the pub to loud cheers and applause, and everyone wanted to buy me drinks! Later my wife said she wished she had filmed it because we would have won a cash prize on the tv show “You’ve Been Framed”!!!!
I never did learn to ski……
-Frank:- Regards to all, you can contact me at:-