Restarts is one of my absolute favouritebands in punk. I become really happy when Kieran decided to answer my questions so here we go….march-2023


It was a while since you started Restarts. How, when and why did you start Restarts?

K: We all met and formed the band in 1995 in Hackney, East London. I suppose we were bored and didn’t want to work.


You are three in the group now if I´m right Kieran, Jeremy and Robin. How many of you have been in the group all the time and which other members have gone through the group?

K: I am an original member since 1995 and have had 3 drummers and 3 guitarists

1995 – Kieran (Bass/vox) – Darragh (Drums Vox) – Mik (Guitar Vox)

2002 – Kieran (Bass/vox) – Darragh (Drums Vox) – Alan Campbell (Guitar Vox)

2003 – Kieran (Bass/vox) – Darragh (Drums Vox) – Robin (Guitar Vox)

2007 – Kieran (Bass/vox) – Bram (Drums Vox) – Robin (Guitar Vox)

2017 – Kieran (Bass/vox) – Jérémy (Drums Vox) – Robin (Guitar Vox)


Groups before for you three or do you have any groups on the side of Restarts?

Kieran: Armed and Hammered 1991-94 Toronto, Canada

-          Music in Our Underpants (current)

Robin: Short Bus Window Lickers, London UK

-          Butcher Baby (current)

Jérémy: Shot, London, UK


Your latest record came 2019 and was called Uprising, any plans for a new record?

K: Yes we just started to tour Uprising and got shut down by the pandemic. On top of the pandemic all three of us suffered physical injuries preventing us from being able to play up until September 2022. Now that we are back in action yes we would like to record something new!


How was the covid-time for you as a band, did you play streams or was the band not doing anything?

K: Well at first we were streaming separate online projects. We did one Restarts online performance in lieu of Punk Rock Bowling being cancelled. All bands scheduled to play were asked to do a live stream performance. It went okay but is not the same as live face to face gigs.


You have a done a lot of songs through the years of course, is there many songs that you have recorded which isn´t out on records? Can we get us a big box with all your songs and a lot of unreleased stuff?

K: Yeah we don’t really have unreleased music or outtakes unfortunately. I mean we do have a couple of songs only out on singles which we could include in a discography rarities. We will have to think about that one.


Your lyrics is always political I think, which is your most unpolitical song you have done?

K: I would suggest our early song “Boozin” isn’t very political. However it was written about a friend Eamon who used to always joke that “Im giving up this Boozin lark” as he was opening another bottle of booze. We would all laugh but sadly he ended up dying very young from liver failure so it now contains a very personal foreboding message.


Please tell me a little about following songs?

First world problems: This was written by Robin and I feel it came out of his working in the Calais Jungle (migrant camp) where he volunteered for months. When you see that much desperation daily and then return home and see people losing their shit over some trivial inconvenience it makes you want to say ‘check your privilege’.

20 years: This is personal rites of passage story of when Robin moved to the UK and then his disbelief when Brexit happened and all EU passport holder’s eligibility to reside in the UK, came into question.

Shut doors: I wrote this as an homage to the classic Demob song “No room for you” as sadly venues are still shutting down at an alarming rate. It is soul crushing when your favourite meeting place shuts down.


When you do songs, which comes first, the lyrics or do you do the music first and are you doing the songs together or how is it when you do a new song?

K: For myself I always write the music first, then listen to it over and over until a lyric comes into my head. I know Robin has done the opposite on Uprising (where he wrote lyrics first). We usually write and compose our own individual songs and then present them to the rest of the group and they add their input. We usually divide up the lyrics so both of us (Me and Robin) can deliver them at full intensity. But the song Black Dog we all wrote the music together, which was a first for us. We were very happy with the results so we hope to do that again.


To do new songs and only release them digital, is that something for you. Or can´t you feel that you have released something if you don´t get it oput on CD/LP?

K: Yeah I think because we have always released a physical product I would find it weird to have it ‘only be digital’. Plus the economic reality is that it would be impossible to exist from the streaming payments we get. All bands need to have merchandise at show to survive. You should have a word with your fellow countryman, Daniel Ek, and tell him to pay us artists more!


Please tell me a little about the thought with the split-single with Subhumans, they have a song called 99% and you have one called The One Percent, what was the thought?

K: This was actually a beautiful coincidence. Our Label, Pirates Press Records, asked us if we wanted to do a split single, we of course replied yes. When we had finished recording our song (the One Percent) I got an email from Dick Lucas to discuss artwork (as I was illustrating the EP cover) I mentioned our song title. He replied straight back in disbelief saying that their song was called the 99%? So it was really special that we had randomly picked the same topic.


Punk is the thing we call your music, what does punk mean to you, is it only a music style or a lifestyle? Have your thought on punk changed through all years you have been playing?

K: For me it has ended up being a life style choice. I chose to drop out from society as much as I could when I was younger because I honestly didn’t want to be a part of all this corrupted greed. Eventually we find ourselves being compromised as we get older but I still find that people who have grown up through the punk scene tend to have a more compassionate outlook on life and politics. Basically, I get along with most people who were invested in the punk movement (unless of course they turn out to be a right-wing conspiracy nut jobs).


If you compare when you started as a band and nowadays, what is the biggest chance when you play live?

K: So if you mean what was the biggest change? I think we obviously are bit better at playing our instruments and like to make sure we do a good sound check to ensure the live gigs goes well.


Have you ever been in Sweden and played?

K: Yes, we have played a few times in Sweden. We did the Punk illegal gigs in Stockholm and a bunch of others that I can’t recall right now. But we always love it there.


Which countries have you been and played in and which country is best to play in?

K: We have played most of Europe. Scandinavia and Canada, USA, Colombia, Brasil, Buenos Aires, Chile, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand. Its very hard to say which is the best to play? I think Germany has one of the best tour circuits for punk bands but I personally always love when we play a new country that we have never played before. I love that fresh excitement and energy at those gigs.


Have you heard any good swedish bands that you like?

K: Yes over the years I have loved a lot of Swedish punk. Anti Cimex probably at the top. Also No Security, Wolf Brigade, Disfear and recently Viagra boys. I used to have Really Fast vol II compilation LP and played the hell out of that in the 80’s.


When you play live, how does the audience look like, which ages? Do you miss any type of people on your concerts?

K: This really depends on which country you play. In the UK you get a lot of the older crowd and in places like South America and Indonesia it is mostly young people. But I’m not fussy, I’m just happy if ANYONE wants to see us.


Do you play any covers live, if you do, which?

K: Haha, not so much really. We usually do covers on our albums but they are done tongue in cheek and not really intended to be played live. I guess the one that we used to play a lot was Times Hard (Pioneers) which kind of kick started us to adding some ska type songs to our set. In the early days when we were still learning how to play we used to cover Holocaust – Crisis, Paranoid – Sabbath, Don’t talk to me – GG Allin, ¾ Dead – Rudimentary Peni, Meanwhile – Discharge.


How is to live in England right now, with racists, Brexit and political overall?

K: It is getting tougher all around the world as we seem to be sliding to the right and anything left wing is being dismissed as “woke culture”. Fortunately living in London it is still quite progressive. The majority of people living in London voted to remain in EU, it was in the rest of the country that the UKIP party convinced people to vote for the Tory party and for Brexit. This was all built on a racist lie that migrants will flood the UK and steal all our jobs and housing.


Do you think that your lyrics can change any peoples mind? Have you any example on that?

K: It is common to hear feedback from fans who say our music really helped them through a hard time in their life, which is always nice to hear. But yeah I think lyrics can help persuade people towards a different opinion. I cant recall any exact examples, but I know from myself listening to bands changed my outlook on the world and what I believed in.


Have some of your fans did something really weird with your logo on it´s body or something like that? Tattoos or anything else?

K: Yeah one person has his whole back tattooed with a Restarts theme. And of course I based the Outsider drawing from a London punk, who now has to deal with people around the world getting his face tattooed on their body. I didn’t think that through when I chose his photo as reference material.


Is there any good bands around in England today, both old and new ones that is worth to mention?

K: Caution Elderly People (new young band from outside London)

Cabeças Cortadas (Brasilian Hardcore formed in London)

Contract Killer (Cambridge London based band)


Which are the records which you must have in the tourbus?

K:  usually something NOT punk: Something like AC DC, sometimes comedy recordings (Doug Stanhope etc)


Which is the record ...

-Which take you into punk?

K: Never mind the Bollocks- Sex Pistols

-Which made you sound like you do?

K: Death Church - Rudimentary Peni

-Which you have wanted to be part in? (Except your own ones)

K: Are we not Men - Devo

-Which was the first record you ever bought?

K: Heart of Glass single - Blondie

-You have but you´re a little bit ashamed of but you like anyway?

K: Jesus Christ Super Star - Andrew Lloyd Webber


If you could choose five bands , both dead and alive to have a concert with your band, which five have you been chosen or do you already played together with all your favourite bands?

K: AC/DC, Devo, Crass, Cramps and Anti Cimex


To play aggressive music like you do, is it a good way to get out frustration and be a nicer person?

K: Yes exactly! I read a study recently that said people who play aggressive angry music are generally very nice relaxed people!


Is it much interviews? Is it boring?

K: We do maybe a few a year. No I would never say it is boring if someone is interested in your band.


Which is the most boring question and which is the question you want to have but you never get?

K: Most boring (but very common) question is “tell us about how you started”


Your name is Restarts, have you ever been regret that you are named so and was it any other names you thought of back then?

K: No I can’t recall any other suggested names. There was a debate whether to call it “Restart” or “The Restarts” but we went with the latter. I feel that band names lose their meaning once the band becomes known.


Beer is expensive in Sweden, I do beer myself and love beer. You haven´t thought of doing a Restarts-beer. If you do which type would it be and what have it been called. Or maybe you´re straight edge?

K: I do like beer and used to make my own back in Toronto. I made a perfect summer brew using honey and nice hops to make a flavourful lager. I also used to make cider which is very easy to do. We could all that “Restarts OUT-cider”.


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

K: We end up with a lot of traded music from gigging and meeting new bands, we discover a lot of bands this way.

There is a great independent record store in Camden called All Ages Records! Always check them out when visiting London.


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

K: I guess Frustration is a lot of fun to play and it takes me right back to when we started the band. It is quite popular with the audience. Outsider is popular with the fans as well and fun to play, especially when the audience sing “Coz Im OUT of Cider!” haha


Futureplans for the band?

K: To write some new material and keep touring


Futureplans for yourself?

K: Continue doing Restarts and hopefully get back the USA and continue gigging with my husband doing Music in Our Underpants (comedy punk covers duo) and a new electronic project called Junkyard Alchemists



K: Love what you HAVE, before life teaches you to love what you’ve lost!


Something more to add?

K:Thank you for the interview, Peter, and please follow us online, cheers Kieran