Kicked in The Teeth is a song from Ac/Dc but it is also the name of a really good punkband from England. The interview with them is done here and I think it is Chris who answers most of the questions. July 2002


Please tell me a little about the history of the group and the members right now. Age, family, bands before and on the side 

-Chris -  I’m 40, the others aren’t far behind me – the band came about a few years ago when we all realized we missed playing and none of us were currently in bands, we were at  the wedding of a friend of ours and got talking about it, started out as a once a week meet up to have a few beers and then it all got a bit out of hand, all of us had been in bands previously, but it’s the first time the four of us had played together.


Have it been many lineup changes?

-Chris – No, myself Jay, Joe and Mike have been the band from the start, I know a lot of people say this and then it all goes out of the window, but I couldn’t really imagine doing it with any different line up.


Kicked in the Teeth how did that name come up? What does it mean? You were never afraid that another band already was called so? 

-Chris – We went through quite a few different ideas, there’s a What’s App graveyard full of them, but we settled on this one, it was an album by Zeke, which is a band I like and one of Jay’s favourites, it’s also an AC/DC song, but I didn’t know that until afterwards, for me I liked it because it gets across we are a pretty aggressive band, but we aren’t outwardly aggressive, if that makes sense, so getting ‘kicked in the teeth’ is more being angry about stuff than towards stuff – I realise that explanation is heading into Spinal Tap ‘Smell The Glove’ territory so I’ll just leave it there!


Is it still important to release physical records? Or can you feel that you have done a record if you only release it digitally? Will you do anything with this release with three songs you did recently? 

-Chris – I like having physical records, which is odd as I grew up very much in the CD era, as people always say it’s nice to have something to hold and all of that, I also think it gives a bit of legitimacy to what were doing, which sounds a little pretentious, but I like to think it shows it gives due respect to the material – obviously we are in a fortunate position to do that and we have been helped massively by Jason at Rare Vitamin Records and his absolute love of all formats, so I’m not saying it’s the only way to do it, but personally for me I really like it. Everything we’ve recorded has ended up on a physical release of some description or on physical compilations, I think the Rare Vitamin Band Camp will have a pretty comprehensive list.


You have never been to Sweden and played or? If you not have when do you come?

-Chris – Kicked In The Teeth haven’t been over to Sweden, but I have been a few times with previous bands, the first time was with The Hyperjax when we played Gothenburg on New Years Eve 2004/5, that was a really fun and somewhat eventful time! I also came over quite a few times with The Business too over the years, always really great shows and we always had a small heart attack every time we got a bar bill!


Which countries have had the pleasure to be hearing the band live? 

-Chris – We’ve yet to play outside of the UK yet, mainly down to the travel restrictions of the last few years, we had our first overseas trip to Germany planned in 2020, but obviously that wasn’t to be – it’s very much on our list of things to do though, so hopefully once things calm down a bit and we can sort out the logistics of it all we’ll be back on it again!


When you do songs, how do you do, are you jamming together or do someone comes with a lyric and some with the music or how do you do your songs? 

-Chris – The vast majority of the time Joe will arrive with a bunch of riffs and we’ll work through them until we find something that we like and works, then we generally thrash it out between us in terms of arrangements and middle bits and all that sort of thing, whilst we are doing that Jay will pick out some vocal melodies and then set to writing lyrics, occasionally we stray from that formula if someone has an idea or something they want to do, but I’d say that covers us for 90% of the stuff we do.


It seems like your lyrics are important, is there anything you not will write a song about? 

-Chris – Jay will have more to say on this, but I think we generally concentrate on day to day stuff and things that affect us, we’re all pretty liberal types, but we aren’t what you’d call a political band, we don’t do overly personal stuff either though, we all have families and it’s nice to keep that separate from the band I think – I quite enjoy finding interesting things in what might otherwise be considered mundane, we actually did a concept EP about a guy called Ermal Fraze who invented the ring pull, so on the surface it’s a pretty boring thing, but it’s something we all use and once I started to look into the guy there was loads of interesting stuff around him, his family and the times they lived in – there are always bigger parallels you can draw from seemingly insignificant things, sometimes it’s nice to just appreciate the little things, there’s also memories of things and events from our lives, Jay is particularly good at invoking that stuff, there’s a song called ‘Beyond The Dane’ that references the old cross country route at the school we both went to and it always makes me flash back to running round a muddy field whenever I hear it.


Please tell me a little about the following lyrics 

We will take you with us 

Death adventure 

Boys in the backroom 

Jay - Please tell me a little about the following lyrics

We will take you with us, being the last song on our second record feels like almost a summary of some of the experiences that we have gone through both individually and collectively as a band since we started.

Death Adventure I wrote with a kind of irony. It's a song about giving up, burying your head in the sand whilst sitting around waiting to die, a reminder to never live that way.

Boys in the backroom is basically a song about many generations of people drinking down the pub, and no matter where or when a good session down your local boozer occurs, that's something that throughout recent history, many can relate to.


How is it to live in England nowadays, racists, Brexit, politics,covid etc? 

-Chris – Racists are idiots like they always have been and always will be. Brexit is just a massive mess that nobody can sort out, I think we all voted to remain, as someone who’s travelled a lot I was always in favour of keeping the links we had and being able to be part of a bigger international society, I also like the idea of the world being a more open and less insular place, which maybe makes me a bit of an idealist, but it’s good to have aspirations. Again we aren’t really a political band, I’m probably the more outspoken in terms of that sort of thing, so I wouldn’t really want to speak on behalf of anyone else in the band, but I would say that in general we suffer from a lack of reason and nuance, there’s no room for compromise any more, there’s no desire to find any workable solutions, everything is very polarised, you’re either shouting into an echo chamber or shouting into he abyss, it’s hard to see anything improving anytime soon, so I try to concentrate on the things that I can do locally and try and improve what happens in my immediate vicinity, I don’t know if it makes any difference, but to paraphrase Ian MacKaye, at least I’m trying.   


Are you calling yourself a punkband, hardcoreband, metalcoreband or just call you a rockband? Is it important to mention punk in the same time you talk about your band? What is your thoughts about punk when you started and if you compare with punk today? 

-Chris – I consider us a punk band, we play more to the hardcore end of that, but it’s largely all the same thing to me, what I originally liked about punk is that it was a pretty broad church. I got into it in the 90’s when I was teenager and it resonated with me, I liked the idea of being DIY, I liked the idea that anybody could do it, it chimed in pretty well with my generally progressive outlook on things. As far as today goes I don’t really know, it’s something I’ve always done and I like to think I stick to my own values, but it’s important to remember that what I thought as a teenager isn’t necessarily what teenagers today think, which is a great thing, discovering your own thing is really important, I remember being laughed at by the older generation of punks when we were younger, but also thinking they were ridiculous and dated, as I got older I started to get into the older stuff, some of it is great and stands up to the test of time, some of it is utter garbage, but that’s no different to the bands I was listening to in the 90s, I have shelves of CDs that will never get played again, but there’s also some albums I’ll have on pretty much constant rotation – I think some of the newer young bands coming out today are great, there’s also some that I don’t get whatsoever and that’s even better, it’s important to have music the older generation don’t get, that’s what makes it your own and long may it continue!


Do you have any favorite football team(I support Arsenal and a Swedish team called GAIS myself)? 

-Chris – Joe and Jay are the bigger fans in the band (Liverpool and Man United respectively), I was a United fan growing up, but haven’t really followed it for years, I did once go to a Swedish game though, when The Business played Pretty Shitty Kjell we were taken to see Djurgarden (which I believe translates to Animal Garden) at the old Olympic stadium in Stockholm, that was a really fun day out.


Beer is expensive in Sweden. I have a very big interest in beer and brew myself? Your favourite beerstyle ? You don´t have an own Kicked in the Teeth-beer? Or maybe your straightedge? 

-Chris – We aren’t straight edge, I actually run bars as my real job, we do quite a bit with the UK Craft Beer scene, there’s hundreds of them t mention, but as they are some of my oldest friends, make great beer and also helped me out an immeasurable amount when we started I’ll give an honourable mention to Signature Brew based out of East London.


Now is soon European Championship for women in England in football. Sweden wins or?? 

-Chris – Absolutely wish you the best of luck, again I’m no authority on all things football, but I know our women’s team is pretty good and the sport itself is the fastest growing in the country, from what I can tell they are a lot tougher than the guys too and actually have a bit of pride in what they do!


What is your strength when you play live? 

-Chris – I like to think we are pretty genuine, it’s important to us all to play well and have a lot of energy, we are also aware that we are no spring chickens, so we have to but the effort in maybe more than we did as kids. I’d hope that people who come and see us get that visceral experience of being at a full on gig, I hope that energy translates, but ultimately the whole point is to have fun, as you touched on before there’s a lot of things to be miserable about at the minute, watching a band shouldn’t be one of those things, so if watching us for 30 minutes puts a smile on your face then it’s absolutely worth doing.


Which type of people comes to your concerts? Which type of people do you miss? 

-Chris – We get a pretty decent mix of people I would say, again I’m wary of straying into Spinal Tap territory, but I think a lot of the old boundaries or what sort of music people can be into have disappeared, obviously there’s a big percentage of people from our scene, but I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how many ‘non-punks’ have actually got on board with it. I’m not sure I miss any type of people particularly, there are definitely friends I wish I could see more, but family and work commitments have to take priority, it also makes it more special when they do get chance to come out.


Do you buy much records, or is it only Spotify and those type of things to listen to music? 

-Chris – I like to buy records still, I have phases though of buying quite a bit and then nothing for a while, the last one I really liked was the new LP by The Drowns, stunningly good band! I have Spotify in the car and at work, but it’s one of those things that’s so vast I rarely find new music on there as I can never think of anything to search for when I’m on those situations.


Are you selling any merch on your gigs, do people buy it? 

-Chris – Again I’ve been pretty pleasantly surprised with our merch, Jason from Rare Vit was key really and it makes a huge difference, we actually funded a tour of free shows with Mexican Sugar Skulls (from Spain) by just having a split t-shirt, it worked well as we didn’t ask for any money to come to the show, but gave people the option to support if they wanted to, one guy at the London show bought four t-shirts for some kids who just happened to have wandered in, which was really cool on a lot of levels.


Which is your own favoritesong among your own songs? And which song is the people choice? 

-Chris – I really like playing Tie Dye Life of the latest album, but really there isn’t anything we’ve done I don’t like, the one that seems to go down the best is Boys In The Backroom, but I don’t know if that’s just because it’s slower and easier to sing along too!


What´s the biggest difference when you plays live nowadays if you compare when you first started to play in a band? Or is this your first band maybe? 

-Chris – Again it’s a personal thing, but for me I like how relaxed and comfortable it is, in the past I thrived on the chaos and unknown, in my first bands everything was a struggle, then in The Business there was just a conveyor belt of insanity, I wouldn’t change those experiences for the world, but there’s also situations I’d never like to find myself in again – when you are young you think you are indestructible, as you get older you learn that isn’t the case and I’ve got plenty of friends that aren’t around now that would otherwise testify to that – on the whole though I like to think the things we involve ourselves in are overwhelmingly positive, I think there are a lot of good people trying to do great things and it’s nice to still have a seat at that table.


Do you care about reviews? Which is the most peculiar you ever had, with this band or any other band you have been to? 

-Chris – We’ve been mega lucky with reviews, they have generally been really good, which is always a nice ego boost, I have been absolutely slated in reviews in the past though in other bands, but you’ve just got to take that on the chin, it’s nice to read positive stuff about what you are doing, but it’s absolutely a subjective thing and there’s always going to be people who think it’s awful.


If you could choose five bands from the past and the history and nowadays and both dead and living bands to have a concert together with your band. Which five have you been chosen? 

-Chris – Always a tough one and my answer is never the same, I’ve been lucky enough to play with a lot of my favourite bands, but of the ones I haven’t I’ll go with; The Clash, The Ramones, Pinhead Gunpowder, Bad Religion and The Kinks.


Is music a good way to get out frustration and become a nicer person outside the music?

-Chris – I’m not sure it get’s out frustration as much as it just lifts you up a bit, there’s probably a scientific endorphin thing going on I’m sure, but for me it’s always been that constant thing I like to do, maybe it’s like mindfulness, for that 30 minutes or whatever you are just focused on the task in hand, the world is still there when you’re done, but at least you get that 30 minutes.


What shall a young guy do today to shock their parents as the way we did when we were young? They have already seen everything ;-)? 

-Chris – As a parent I’m hoping they’ll shock me by making sensible decisions and growing up to be well rounded humans!


Is it boring with interviews? Is it much interviews? What do you prefer Telephoneinterviews, face to face or as this one via e-mail? 

-Chris – I’ve always liked to talk, write or whatever, so I quite enjoy it all, I’m not sure anyone is interested in anything I have to say, but it’s cool to get your brain working and sometimes you’ll stumble on a memory that makes you smile in the course of it, or maybe some accidental wisdom might slip out and improve somebody’s day.


Futureplans for the band? 

-Chris – Onwards and upwards I guess, we want to play as much as we can in as many places as we can, it’s reasonably limited by real life, but we do the best we can.


Any Swedish bands you like 

-Chris – I know an embarrassingly little amount about Swedish bands, so the only ones I’ve seen are pretty big, The Hellacopters and The Hives, both great by the way. I guess Abba had some tunes too though! I also played with a bunch of great bands when we toured over there, but a combination of poor memory and lack of language skills means I can’t name any of them



-Chris – I’m not the wisest guy that ever lived, but I think do the best you can and enjoy what you have whilst you have it seems to be a reasonable outlook.


Something more to add? 

-Chris – I think we’ve covered a fair bit of ground there, so nothing other than appreciation for you taking an interest in what we are doing and I hope one day we get to bring Kicked In Teeth over to Sweden, we’ll get saving up so we can buy a round!