Virus is a fucking good english band where Jaz from the group answered a lot of questions about the group in the end of November 2014.
Please tell me a little bit history about yourself? Bands before and so on
-Jaz - Virus originally formed in the summer of 1983 in Gillingham, Dorset, with a lineup of Des-vocals, Jaz-bass/vocals, Bowzer-guitar and Rich-drums. This line up recorded a demo called Infected in early 1984 but Des left shortly afterwards and was replaced by Dave. The new line recorded the demo You Can't Ignore It Forever in December '84. Des rejoined in spring '85 to make a five-piece line up and the band played a lot of gigs in the south of England supporting the likes of the Subhumans, Organised Chaos, Disorder, The Varukers, Conflict, Liberty, Culture Shock, etc and contributed a track to the Mortarhate compilation album We Won't Be Your Fucking Poor before splitting up in the summer of '86. There were a lot of reasons for the split but that's not worth going into. The band reformed in 1996 with Charlie replacing Rich on drums and Des deciding not to be involved - unfortunately the reunion gig didn't go very well but this was partly due to Bowzer living in France, Jaz living in Reading and a crowd not wanting to hear original punk songs (they just wanted to hear punk covers that the main band were doing).
After Ian Glasper included the
band in his book The Day The Country Died, me and Dave decided to get the
band back together in 2007. Des, Bowzer and Rich were all invited back but
either declined or were unable to do it so we got Des's younger brother Rich
on guitar and Mark (a friend of Rich) to play drums. This line-up stayed
together until 2013 when Mark left and was replaced by Sam. Although we
recently did a single for All The Madmen and our last two albums were
released by Active Distribution, we are not signed to any label. We're
starting our own label very soon and the first release will be our new
double A side 7" single. Sadly Rich has decided to leave the band in the
last few days so we are currently looking for a new guitarist.
Influences is old bands like
Crass, Conflict, Subhumans and anarcho punk? Am I right, any favourites from
-There was an American punk band
called The Virus but we are the original band formed about 10 years before
the American band. It does cause some confusion but we were never 'The' and
always just Virus - I suppose that's just something we have to live with.
Whatīs the best thing with
And where is best to play?
How do you see on downloading,
mp3 and that stuff?
-I had a Swedish girlfriend some years ago so I actually know quite a lot. She came from Umeå and was very into alternative music... happy days!
-Yes, quite a lot of bands from
the more poppy stuff like The Wannadies through to punk stuff like The
Nomads, later stuff like The Hives, etc so quite a lot and there's some
Your lyrics, who does them and what influences you?
-Dave writes most of the lyrics these days, I might write the occasional song but might contribute a line here or there to Dave's lyrics. I sometimes start a song with just a couple of lines and pass it on to Dave with the subject matter and he'll take it from there. Lots of things influence us, especially the current political climate in the UK.
Is there any subject that you never will write anything about?
-I think we'd write about anything that pisses us off.
Politic and music, does it goes hand in hand? Which is your most political song?
-All our songs are very political - we haven't really got a song that isn't political.
Best political band/artist?
-Historically, Crass were hugely influential to us, as were Conflict, Flux of Pink Indians, The Mob, Rudimentary Peni, Icons of Filth, etc.
-Yes, definitely - I became a vegetarian after listening to and reading the lyrics of Flux of Pink Indians song Sick Butchers. Political punk music can be hugely influential - that's why the authorities in all countries try to suppress it.
-The logo simply means anarchy/autonomy in our own view hence the mix of a V and an A
-Yes, getting physical records out is hugely important to us. It remains a great way of spreading our music and message. Downloads are ok but not really for me personally as I don't listen to music that way. We did two albums with Active and they were great - we were given full control of the music and artwork, etc. They let us do what we want - couldn't have been better.
-We played a gig on the top of Westbury White Horse hill in 1985, the year that the Stonehenge festival was stopped and some people ended up at Westbury. The police were at the bottom of hill deciding what to do, the trainee army recruits were on maneuvers on the top and we were there screaming and shouting punk noise at them. We were always getting stopped by the police and I always had to talk us out of getting arrested which usually meant me telling them we were a psychedelic band or something like that. There have been a lot of things like that and it's been very wild at times but you should really ask our original drummer as he had to drive us to the gigs and can remember things better than I can.
-There's a lot of old punks, like us, sort of 45 upwards but there are also a good bunch of younger punks around the scene. Punk gigs are generally good in the UK and the crowd are very like-minded with the bands.
Please rank your five favorite records, five favorite concerts and five most important things in life?
-1 - 5 - Any songs recorded by The Damned between 1976 - 1984!
-I'm not sure about that - playing loud, fast, noisy music is what we want to do and the lyrics match the intensity of the music, so perhaps the anger does come out in that.
-Why do some bands have such terrible egos? That should be the case in punk rock but sadly on occasions it can be.
-More vinyl singles in 2015 - some more gigs further afield too and hopefully a permanent new guitarist.
-I'm not sure at the moment. More growing of my own fruit and vegetables maybe.
-Be true to your beliefs.
-Cheers for showing interest in
the band. Hope my answers weren't too boring! If people want more info they
can email me, Jaz,