Scottish steel

Oi Polloi have been on the road fro many years and these Scottish guys have been so kind so they gave me answers on my questions on the day for the five years “anniversary” of the terroristattack 11/9-01 and now it's 2006.

You have been on the road for a while, have it been many line up changes through the years?
-Yes, but the present line-up has been together for 5 years now.

The line up now?
-Calum on bass, Deek on vocals, Olssen on guitar and Cam on drums.

Please tell me a little about every member in the band, age, family, interests, work and something bad about every one?
-None of us has kids. We are all mid-thirties or older. Calum is an English teacher who teaches refugees and homeless people and the rest of us are unemployed just now. We're all interested in loads of different stuff and all of us apart from Calum play in other bands as well.

Your name Oi Polloi(I know you have get questions about your name many times) is  little bit odd because back in time oi and anarchpunk was "enemies" , was it because of that you took a name with Oi in?
-The name is an ancient Greek phrase that means "the people, the mob, the ordinary folk" as opposed to rich bastards. We chose it because we didn't want some cliched punk name like Urban Chaos or Dis-something.

How is it to play music like that in Scotland?
-It's fun!

Is there any other good bands in Scotland right now?
-Yes, there are a lot of good Scottish bands. TRIBE are good anarcho-crust from Aberdeenshire as are Filthpact. Then there are Social Insecurity and Afterbirth from Edinburgh who do really good D-beat stuff and In Decades Decline who play tight metallic political hardcore. If you like more 77-style stuff then there are Sad Society who do that really well and also the Gin Goblins who do kind of horror punk. There are loads of other bands too but that's just a few of the best.

What do you know about Sweden? What is typical swedish?
-I had the pleasure of experiencing your police in action in Gothenburg at this big EU summit a few years ago - sick bastards - beating innocent people, shooting live ammunition into the crowd and also dressing up in black bloc type clothes and masks and smashing up small shops themselves to make the protestors look bad. Not that the police are any better anywhere else but that is one of my most vivid memories of Sweden.

Have you heard any good swedish bands?
-I saw Uncurbed Family at a festival this summer and they were fucking great. There are a lot of good bands with names starting with "Dis" too.

Are you interested in football...if so Scotland have got a good start in the qualification to European Championship? Satisfied or do you don´t care?
-We don't give a fuck about football. It's "Bread and Circuses" for the masses.

Favourite team?(My is a swedish team called GAIS)
-Anyone playing against Glasgow Rangers - they have a lot of fascist, racist supporters

Politics and music goes hand in hand?

Best political band/artist?

Do you think music can change life for someone? And then I don´t mean for the people who play, I mean for the listener?
-Yes of course it can. It has changed all of our lives - and yours as well I bet. Unfortunately it can change things in a negative way too - just look at the damage that Nazi bands like Skrewdriver have done in poisoning people's minds and stirring up racist hatred all over the globe.

What does punk mean to you, is it only a word or is it a lifestyle?
-It means a lot of different things to a lot of different people but to us it is a lot more than music - it's come to involve applying the DIY philosophy in all areas of life and in questioning authority constantly.

Have fashion industry and media misused punk?

You say you aren’t a professional band and that you don’t do stuff like press packs and promotion? In which way can you get out your music then?
-We play lots of concerts all over Europe and we release lots of records and CDs - our music gets out to plenty people. We're not interested in the mainstream music media - they wouldn't cover us anyway.

Is My Space a good way to get out your music?
-Yeah, that's another way. We've got a lot of interest thanks to that - thankyou Mr Murdoch!!

What do you think about m,p3 and downloading?
-It's a new way of getting your music all over the world without having to physically distribute it via CDs or LPs or whatever. Personally I like a "hard copy" but maybe that's just my age!

Is it bad or good for small bands?
-Good and bad. Easy to reach lots of people but it's a bit annoying when you're trying to sell your CDs and someone just says "Oh, I downloaded that off the internet for free". It doesn't matter for some big bands who aren't worried about money but when you're a small band like us who borrow money to record and need to sell your stuff to pay back the people who helped you out it can be a bit of a bummer.

Do you download for yourself?
-No, but Ricky does. He's really into a lot of prog rock so he thinks it's great that he can get all this stuff from the seventies from all these obscure bands from all over the world. He could never afford it otherwise so it's great that all that stuff is now getting heard for free.

A good concert with you, how is that? Is it violent?
-Of course it isn't violent!! What kind of question is that? Our music is not a soundtrack for people to batter each other on the dancefloor in some kind of macho exhibition bullshit. A good concert for us is lots of people dancing and singing along and having a good time - and hopefully listening to what we have to say as well.

Which style of people comes to your concerts?
-We get a good mixture of people at our gigs - punks, crusties, anti-fascist skinheads, animal rights activists and other political folk and in Scotland we get Gaelic speakers as well now that we do a lot of singing in Gaelic.

When you write lyrics, what is inspiring you?
-Just look around at all the shit in the world - there's plenty of subject matter unfortunately.

Are you doing the best lyrics when you´re angry or when you´re happy?
-When I'm angry.

Is it many interviews? Is it boring?
-Yeah, we do a lot of interviews but it's a good way for us to reach people. If it was boring we wouldn't answer them!

Which is the question you never get but you want to have, please ask it and answer it?
-I'd have to think about that!

Please rank your five favourite record, five favourite concerts and five most important things in life?
-Icons of Filth "Onward Christian Soldiers" LP, Cockney Rejects "Greatest Hits Volume 1" LP, Discharge "Why?" 12", Antisect "In Darkness There is no Choice" LP and Killing Joke "Extremities".
Favourite gigs:-
Discharge - Glasgow 1982
Killing Joke - Edinburgh "Night Time" tour
Killing Joke - Edinburgh "Extremities" tour
Antisect - Leeds "Out from the Void" era
Celtic Frost - Helsinki 2006
Most important things:-
Love, freedom, friendship, health - and good music!

First, last and most expensive record ever bought?
-First single I ever bought was "Into the Valley" by The Skids who were an excellent Scottish punk band from the late Seventies - fucking great - check them out if you haven't heard them! I don't know about expensive records as I've never really bought anything for more than the normal price at the time. The last thing I bought was this collection of Killing Joke re-mixes - classic.

Is there any Oi Polloi record which is more worth than any other? I mean in money worth?
-I would guess probably the first set of test pressings for our Fuaim Catha LP which have the first song on the second side mistakenly put on the end of the first side instead. There are only 20 of these in the world so I suppose that is probably the kind of thing that collectors are into.

Most embarrassing record in your collection?
-I'm not embarrassed about any of my records but I know Calum did buy "Take on Me" by Aha so he should be embarrassed about that.

Futureplans for the band?
-We're touring next month and we play in Sweden in Umeĺ on November 3rd at this big festival so that should be fun. We have a new 4 song 7" due out early next year too. There should be plenty more rocking against the system in the future!

For yourself?
-I'm going to go and have some toast with vegan vegetable spread now - mmm!

-Question everything.

Something to add?
-Well, as it's the anniversary of 9/11 today and we've had five years of bullshit and lies about what really happened I'd encourage everyone to watch this:-