Yorkshire Rats is a young band where Rob is the oldest guy with his 24 years. I think they sound really good and here they have answered a lot of questions from and you can see down below on the colors who have answered what/February 2006.
-Rob and Don used to be in another band called ‘the faded’ which they left. Don had been good friends with Bruins for many-a-year and they met Eddie and John in the local Watering Hole
Please tell me a little about every member, age, interests, family and something bad about every one?
-Rob- 24 – Guitar and vox, University graduate in Sports Studies, qualified coach in a variety of sports, and on reading this I’ll probably appear as the most ‘un-punk’ person ever, apart from the music element my other main interest is cricket, been playing for about 13 years and I’m a level 2 coach, I’m also the ‘ICT Whizz’ of the group and have a variety of PC’s in bits at my house and the website, however good or bad is my doing.
The rest of the group will say the worst thing about me is being ‘straight edge’, they can’t seem to appreciate that I don’t need to drink/smoke/drugs etc to have a good time.
Don- 18, lead guitar, mandolin, and tin whistle, em’ my main interests are drinking Guinness, smoking, playing in the band, and the Dropkick Murphys. I am defiantly the shortest fused member of the band and the perfectionist.
John – 19, Bass, n a bit of Vocals. Playing in this band, and drinking with the boys in the counting house and generally having a good time. Family… erm… well that’s boring… nowt to say there really. Erm bad thing… can have a temper when I get wound up but that usually takes a lot… I think…
Eddie- 19, I bang them drums reet loud like. Interests?? Erm.. Chilling out and getting wasted n shit… oh yeh playing gigs and that it’s a rate laugh.
Bruins- 19, Vox, Drinkin’, Smokin’, Shaggin’ and playing in mi band , oh and eating all Don’s Food
To be so many in the band, isnt it difficult?
-Depends how you look at it, with 5 voices it’s sometimes hard to get you opinion across, but it works both ways, with the old saying two head are better than one, well with 5 its helps when song writing. Practice costs are cheaper though cos it’s spread over more people, but a round is certainly more expensive, especially when you’re the first
There are only 5 in the band, not a lot really. The vocals live probably piss me off the most cos it’s really hard to get em all right.
It seems like you´re really young when I look at the pictures, what do you think about old punk? And about old punk bands which is reforming?
-Age doesn’t really matter music wise, lyrics wise, well we live in a place where there is a lot of shit to sing about. I hear Tim Armstrong is touring with the clash; could be just a rumor.
Cant beat a bit of Clash can defiantly say old punks fare better than this new, new crap … all of its normally emo or abart love… still though bit of new Rancid you cant go wrong. N as for reforming old bands… hey the more bands to see the better.
Old skool punk is good, if they can still do it, why not?
Old punk’s good, much better than all this Emo shite, which is all you here now-a-days
When you do music, which is the most important, music, lyrics or the refrain?
-I think when we write a song it all has to fit, we start by writing the riffs and if that has us all agreeing, then usually the rest follows fairly easily. Possibly neither are always as important, Take Yorkshire Bastard for instance; it only has one verse that’s repeated and 3 chords but that seems to be a fan favorite
Every aspect of a song is important; everything has to be just right for it to work. It usually starts with me or john writing some decent riffs then we take it from there
The fast bit!
Have you done anything more than For queen and country??
-No this is our first EP, we plan to record a full length album on our label (Malicious Intent Records UK) by the end of the year
You have got a new label now or how is it?
-We’ve only just agreed to join (via verbal contract), so we haven’t signed anything yet. Of course we are all excited about the prospects that lay ahead. We just need to make as much out of every opportunity we get.
Does music and politics always go hand in hand?
-I don’t really think music and politics go together well at all. When these political bands started they had something to say, but now-a-days they are just twats. For example, when anti flag played Leeds fest, they played some song about how shit the U.K. is. Obviously politics are a large part of the punk scene, but to be honest, I don’t want to pay to go and watch a set of straight edge wankers slag off my country. All being said George bush is a bit off a tosser.
I think it depends on what sort of politics were talking about here. My personal opinion is that there is far too much material flying about which is about George Bush and American politics. Its all the same, I think that if there weren’t as many bands singing about politics it would be a good topic to sing about (if that makes sense…)
Best political band/artist in the world?
-Billy Bragg + Bad Religion
Hmmm…. Probably agree with Rob n Don
Rage against the machine
Rage against the machine
Can you do a song about such a simple thing as love (I know? That love isn’t Simple but you know how I mean)?
-If you put your mind to it and the music and lyrics fit the vision of the band then I don’t see why not. A love song doesn’t always have to be about melodies and ‘soft’ lyrics. Take Radio by Rancid for example that’s a great song that tackles the issue of love.
Erm’, I don’t personally like to write love songs, music is such a powerful tool now adays, and I’d rather sing about relative issues, e.g. standing by your mates in stuff like. I have too much to worry about with out thinking of my love life. I’d av. joined an Emo band otherwise.
Yorkshire Rats, why the name?
-We wanted to show our love for our roots, we are all proud of being from the white rose county and wanted to write songs that reflected our way of life
Cos’ it’s a good name n it stands out… plus were from u-erk-sh ((Yorkshire) that’s the way we say it ova here))
I compare you to Sultans of Ping and Angelic Upstarts, howAbout that?
-I don’t think we sound like either of those bands, The Sultans sounds like something associated with the 80’s punk bands. I suppose we sound closer to the Upstarts with regards to some of there songs start with a lead guitar intro, but they are more on the ska side and a bit slower compared to us.
Em’ I suppose, obviously with more of the Celtic influence.
Other bands you have being compared to?
-The main comparisons are to The Dropkick Murphys and the Real Mckenzies, which is understandable and an honor at the same time. We use instruments associated with a Celtic background and hence the comparisons are drawn
I got told we sound like husker du today…
What does punk mean to you, is it only word or is it a lifestyle?
-Rob- I would say its whatever you want it to mean, it can be as extreme as having countless piercing, red hair, wearing band t-shirts (all of which is a stereotype) or as unnoticeable as listing to bands from that genre. If you saw me in my day job, you wouldn’t tell I play in a punk band as I can’t teach sport in jeans and a leather jacket. To me punk is whatever you make it and no one else can tell you whether that’s right or wrong
Don- It’s about what your view on life is, you don’t av. to dress as a cunt, get pissed, get drugged up etc. But there has to be some rebelliousness there
John- Its about questioning things… and not just following what people say is right… I mean you gotta use ya head and your heart in this world, n do what you think is right. I think it will mean different to everybody…
Eddie- Its all a load a bollox really innit. It means a lot of different things to different people so defining it is just fucking futile.
Bruins- Anything you want it to mean, just because your punk don’t mean you have to dress in leather and studs, for me it’s what you feel inside
What is the best with playing live?
-Just taking out all ya feelings at once, free from any shit that you get off people, its just good to have people look up to you on stage.
Having a good time n forgetting about owt that’s troubling you… b it family problems etc… for that ½ hour/hour set that your playing its just you and the band and the crowd… no worries.
How does the average fan look like?
-They come in a variety of disguises; it’s hard to describe one as we genuinely have a wide spectrum of people who like our music but we do have some mean bastards come to the shows
Loads of denim clad pissed up cunts
How is it to live in England right now? Political I mean?
-The U.K. is a bit bad at the moment, we are very anti-racist band, but here in the U.K. if you say something about immigration, or the Asian community you are branded a racist, even though they say the same to you.
The Asian community has kind of got a bad name with the nationalist brits, especially with the terror issue.
I think the most 2 political things right now in England are the British presence in Iraq and Racism/multi-culturism… probably the second one more, its hard to say these days… because like don said anything you say as a white English male these days to-do with race you are classed as racist by your own government. My personal view is I don’t like racism; however what I don’t like is this country been an open gate to anyone who wants to come into the country. I hate to say it, but it’s a drain on our society. It’s the governments fault really… I mean they cant work for; I believe its 2 years whilst in this country under laws, so they live off benefits paid in tax’s by me and my family and everyone else who works for a living t be scammed by the government in ever increasing tax’s to support these people, when the government should be closing these gates and spending tax’s on the NHS and getting that back up to scratch which is falling apart.
Are you looking forward to the next years World Cup in Germany?
-As I’m the only one who’s interested in sport, guess I’d better answer it. Well the football team has got a lot to live up to; especially with England bringing home the Ashes (had to slip that in for any Aussies fans). With all the disruption with the Manager leaving after the world cup it will be interesting to see if it affects the team performance. On paper we have a squad strong enough to win the competition; its all depends on whether we can maintain the consistency needed throughout the tournament
Where do you get your inspiration to lyrics?
-A variety of places, old folk tales, events on the news, incidents that have happened to us or other family members
What drives you to play music?
-The enjoyment of playing
Same as Rob and to put on a show that the crowd remember and enjoy… It’s a good feeling when you know u’v just been at a good gig.
Its one of the only things I’m good at. I got no place else to go!
Please rank five favoruite records, five favourite concert
and five most important things in life?
-Rob- 5 most important things in Life- Love, Good Friends, Music, Sport/Health, Money
Don- Five best albums, 1- Blackout- Dropkicks, 2- Too little, too late- Deadpets, 3-Sing, loud, sing proud- Dropkicks, 4- Punk singles collection- Abrasive Wheels, 5- Best of – The Pogues
John – 5 Albums… I don’t know… theres too many… as for gigs… erm… either Lars n bastards in saw em’ in Leeds they were amazing. Or Dropkicks in Sheffield. They have t be my favorite.
Eddie- Smoking, drinking, friends, family and music in no particular order
Bruins- Agree with John, Lars and the Bastards were f*kin ace
First, last and most expensive record ever bought?
-First- erm might be Greenday- Nimrod, the first I owned but didn’t buy was Michael Jackson- Bad. Last- US Bombs Covert Action, I download most of my music so rarely buy it, Expensive- Best of Motorhead, think it was about £20
Most expensive records, em’ probably warriors code by the murphys on vinyl
Duno about most expensive… don’t think av ever splash out too much on any album. Last record I bought isn’t actually a cd it’s a dvd n it’s the give em’ the boot dvd… buy it theres sum good stuff on there, (Tiger army, Nekromantix… and of course Rancid)
First one was Punkorama 2, last one was… Me first and the gimme gimmes Ruin Johnnys barmitzvah; Paid about 17 quid for earth ad.
Don’t’ know- got too many
The most embarrasing record in your collection?
-Rob- one of Pinks albums; I mentioned to my girl that I liked the singles and from that it became a x-mas present
Most embarrassing album has got to be panpipe moons, lol it’s shite.
Haven’t really got anything embarrassing in my collection but I did buy my brother the darkness album for his birthday a year back… man they’re wank.
Not got one. As of yet
Future plans for the band?
-Tour, write music, tour, record a full length album, tour, and that’s just for this year
-Rob- Marriage if on the cards sometime in the future, not sure when though
Don- Keep happy, look after mi mates, and just have a good time.
John – get out of Morrisons (where I work – for now anyway) n keep having fun with mi mates n the band
Don’t like to plan things, rather just let em happen
Live past 30
What do you know about Sweden, what is typical swedish?
-Victoria Silvstedt- A Stereotype I know but my knowledge of Scandinavia is pretty lacking
I have no idea about Sweden I’m afraid, my aunt is from Slovakia; they have good booze man.
Hopefully if we tour there we can answer this question 2nd time round
John – erm… its cold isn’t it? … well colder than here anyway…
Are you guys close to Amsterdam?
Fit birds, blond hair, blue eyes
Have you heard any good swedish bands?
-Millencolin… saw them with Flogging molly in Leeds… can´t say I was impressed… apart from that no idea… want to recommend some to us?
Something to add?
-York - sh, York – sh, York – Sh!!!
Couldn’t think of anything else… oh yeah
Visit the website: www.theyorkshirerats.co.uk
Thanks to Peter for this exposure