Teenage Punk Rockers
Monday, July 28, 2008
above; The Damned
The Adverts first nationwide tour was with Stiff label-mates The Damned. The tour posters pasted on billboards up and down Mathew Street read, "The Adverts know one chord, the Damned know three, see all four at Eric's". The Adverts single One Chord Wonder was released during April of 1977 a few days after their BBC Radio 1 John Peel session. The release was followed by positive street feedback from UK punks.
In December 1975 Chris Millar (Rat Scabies), showed up for an audition with the London SS. At this point the London SS consisted of Mick Jones [Later The Clash], Tony James [later Chelsea and Generation X] and Brian James [Later The Damned] . Chris had been playing drums & had gained some live experience with his band, Tor. He notes that Brian James was interested, but Mick Jones and Tony James, who both looked like they should have been in Mott The Hoople, treated him with disdain. At this point The London SS was loosely “managed” by entrepreneur Bernie Rhodes. Rhodes, & his business partner Malcolm McLaren, were searching for another group to join a movement alongside the Sex Pistols. Apparently, Bernie Rhodes would always say that 3 bands were a movement, and Malcolm & Bernie were very keen on movements.
On 14th February 1976 Brian James attended a party where the Sex Pistols were performing. The show ended in chaos with a member of the Pistols entourage, Jordan, dancing on stage naked from the waist up. Brian talked to the Pistols after the show & was immediately impressed with their attitude, especially Johnny Rotten's. By mid-January 1976 Brian James & Rat Scabies had left London SS to form their own band. James & Scabies had hooked up with Ray Burns [Captain Sensible] and they went in search of a vocalist, that considered among others Chrissie Hynde and Sid Vicious, Sid simply missed the audition.
above; Interesting early video of the Damned playing The Pistols, Pretty Vacant.
When Dave Lett [Dave Vanian]tried out, the chemistry was right. Dave was a grave digger during 1976, he was born in Newcastle and grew up Hemel Hempstead. His musical influences included 60s US Garage Punk, Rock & Roll, The Velvet Underground & Iggy Pop.
Brian James named the band in homage to the 1969 movie “Village Of The Damned” the screen version of John Wyndham’s book, “The Midwich Cuckoos”.
They would comment later, that the The Ramones playing live at The Roundhouse on 4th July 1976 just 2 days before their debut was a huge motivator, and that the event had energized them. Their first gig on July 6th 1976 was supporting the Sex Pistols at the 100 Club in London. They played the Nag’s Head in High Wycombe the following week.
The Damned were not concerned with political posturing as many were during the early period.
To The Damned, Punk Rock was all about the music they played & the attitude required to play it. The musical landscape of the mid 70s had an overblown sense of its own importance. There was an old order to overturn. Punk Rock said, Look at me, my ideas & performance are as valid as yours – so fuck you.
It was time to tear it all down & start over. Is it time to do it again?
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
above; The Automatix 07-77 Tour
Some maintain that the punk scene has lost some explosive creativity, rebellion, anger, and individualism. Yet, on all the continents we see the fires burning as beacons of light, ready to break out at a time when the ingredients are just right. Young disillusioned teenagers looking for an escape from the boredom, and the constraints of society, unemployment, underpayment, political tensions and social upheaval, are all providing fuel for their fires. One such band from Canada, resonates the energy, the anxiety and teenage frustration. The 77 inspired songs on their Myspace player left me looking for more. So, I tracked down the lead singer and songwriter J Rocker, from the Montreal based punk band the Automatix.
Your sound is very UK77. What brings you all together to play this type of stuff? Was there an early experience that got you interested?
Well, for us in The Automatix I'm pretty sure it's about the same. Punk rock has been our way of life ever since the first time we heard bands like The Sex Pistols and the Damned , Stiff Little Fingers , The Vibrators, you know, the basics ! It was probably one of the best moments of our lives being young brats, careless and all, not giving two' shit's ! It was so exciting to have a feeling of something to look forward to in the future, that did not have to do with the 9 to 5 way of life. I'm pretty sure we all met up for a reason. Two members of the band Smart Attack (Bass) and Franky Bones (Rhythm Guitar) are actually brothers, that grew up together and went through a hell of a lot. There's Johnny Damage (Drummer) who has been drumming since the age of 10, I think he was in some sorta marching band.. They warped his mind but he mastered the art of the snare drum, and last but not least, me, J Rocker, lead singer and lead guitarist. I got my first vinyls from a cool art teacher when I was really young. He was a great electric guitarist and he thought I would like to have "Never Mind the Bollocks".
I grew up on 77' whether it be from London or New York, I don't care, but I definitely take huge influence from UK 77. Cause to me, that's what my life is about ! I wrote "Sounds of 77" for these reasons, I talk about the Vibe of 77' and the bands that inspired a lot of other bands from then, and in the chorus I say " All across London town, there's a chronic generation going round ,Safety Pins n' Razor Blades , Black Leather Jackets and Cool New Shades" I think that about sums up the question.
Above; J Rocker ready to rock Austin Texas
I see that you toured alongside the Vibrators during 2007 was there a high point during the gig dates?
Yup we sure did ! In the Summer 2007 we toured on the "77 07 Tour" for about a month across Canada with The Vibrators. We were all packed in the same van, it was a great experience for us! It really taught us fast about being on the road as a band and everything. We had been together not even 3 months and wouldn't ya know it? We were in the van with the Vibs!
The best memories from that journey would probably be when we played the last show of the tour (here in Montreal ) by that time, and after all the shows we had done along side the Vibs, we had really gotten tight and gained a lot of presence. The show was sold out that night!
Another thing that happened, we almost hit a moose somewhere in Northern Ontario's Forest! It was a fright, then a few minutes after we dodged one, a drunk driver with his kids in the back seat hit a moose, and it flew threw his windshield. We stopped to see if they were ok, luckily they were, but shocked, the man was clearly drunk, so we called the police on him. He was an idiot for taking his kids on a drunken death ride !
Have you toured with other classic punks? Or is there something lined up?
No, we have not gotten to tour with other classic punks yet, mostly because there haven't been many around Montreal. Also, Canada is a big country to tour, and the price of gas is highway robbery!
We are really stoked, as we received confirmation that we will be playing with " THE KIDS " from Belgium sometime around Halloween ! Spooky !
When are you releasing your new material? You guys are pretty young now, how do you see your sound developing on your new material?
We are trying to raise the funds to get into the studio ASAP, the material should be released sometime around fall! That would be our debut album really, seeing as our "77 in 07" album was a demo. I am really pumped, this will be the first full length album from us! The sound of the new material doesn't really develop, but the riffs and the lyrics will. For the sound we are gunna keep it old, and keep it vintage. We are planning to put close to 15 songs on this first Automatix LP. So, it will be something to look forward to! I'm confident that this album will be the one that puts us on the map and in the books!
above; The Automatics slamming jail guitars
Are there any US dates in your forecast? Have the increased border restrictions become more difficult for artists and musicians visiting from overseas?
For US Dates, we could possibly get to Texas in 2009 for the Airwalk Unsigned Band Competition, but the brothers in the band (Attack and Bones) well they have violent criminal history, and are not allowed to cross the border, so until they get a pardon we cannot make it. But that is a problem for a lot of bands, even the big ones!
In Montreal a few years back, The Exploited were not allowed into Canada from the USA. The show was canceled at the last minute. It turned into a riot with over a million dollars of damage around the city.
So yeah, the border is a problem both ways you look at it ! If it weren't for Bush pushing the bar higher and making the laws tougher, we could probably ask some Indian's to borrow a canoe and cross the river to N.Y. hahah !
The tour with the Vibrators was great for us, it gave us some experience and we learn't a lot about professionalism. I even learned some cool guitar tricks from Knox (the front man of the Vibrators).. As for us getting any kind of offers from record companies and promotion managers, we haven't gotten any of that, nor did we go for it. But I don't expect that to happen until we put out our first full length album. The demo we made " 77 in 07" was our way of celebrating 30 years of punk mayhem and we did it all DIY , To answer your question " are the Automatix 100% DIY ?" Fucking right we are !
Above; Franky Bones, Smart Attack, J Rocker, Johnny Damage
It was PUNK fever in the late 70's. Today, kids would just rather do other stuff. Either that or they dress "punk" and they don't know anything about where punk came from or the history of punk. I don't think people pay enough respect to the classics.. It's always a new breed of punks every year and often they only know about bands that came way later on, or they are confused and think bands like Limp Bizkit are Punk. Today is the age of MTV and shit like that, it's sad really.
But we play our music for the people who know and love real punk , not for the new. We have an older following , not so much the young people.
With the rising price of gas it's getting harder to tour. When your on the road trying to sell your album and everybody has already downloaded it off Soulseek or something, nobody wants to pay for the real deal , and that is gunna kill many independent artist and punk bands. But not us!
Keep in touch man ! If we come your way, i'll be mailing you !
cheers again !
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Above; Book Artwork Performed by the renowned artist Vince Ray
Formed in 1976, the Pork Dukes were ruder than the Sex Pistols, but didn’t achieve the Pistols’ notoriety. Playing incognito, there were rumors the Pork Dukes featured Keith Moon on vocals, members of Led Zeppelin, The Rezillos, Tenpole Tudor, Steeleye Span and even Dudley Moore.
The Pork Dukes released their first single ‘Bend & Flush’ in the summer of 1977, and the rude content and cover of the single helped it sell over 20,000 copies. Although the notorious Pork Dukes had three UK indie hit singles and two album releases, they received no radio airplay. That’s not surprising, because the band offended listeners with provocative song titles, like: Throbbing Gristle; Making Bacon, My Mother Gave Me A Gun For Xmas, I Like Your Big Tits, Let’s See If It Fits; and Telephone Masturbater.
The late, legendary UK DJ John Peel, on his BBC Radio One show, remarked that “the Pork Dukes would have hits with their infuriating catchy singles, were they not so manifestly unbroadcastable!”
But even a nod of approval from Elton John at the time didn’t help: the curiosity surrounding the Pork Dukes afforded them cult status but after releasing two albums the band split in 1979.
So, I decided to track down Nicky and asked him about the early years. I had one rule - Nicky please no one word answers to my questions.
Sounds good, mate. You'll be pleased to hear I am crap at one word answers! Fire away....
OK, It's 1977, The Jam, The Buzzcocks and the Clash kick off the White Riot tour, where are you guys at this point? What is it that gets your band rolling?
Actually, to explain my 1977, we need to stretch back as far as 1971, to an event held in a field near Clacton, Essex: the Weeley Pop Festival. Bands that played there included Mott The Hoople, Rory Gallagher, the Faces and Marc Bolan’s Tyrannosaurus Rex, in their hippy pre-T-Rex incarnation. Further down the bill was a band called Gnidrolog. The singer and the guitarist were twins, and I ended up playing with them in 1976, in a pub band. I was 19 and impressed. Although their band had been a ‘progressive’ band (read: not my cup of tea) they nevertheless had had major record deals and also had a ‘punk’ attitude. We were doing covers and our own material now and called ourselves the Street Kings. Someone at Caroline Exports put a fake cover of an imaginary single in their record catalogue - ‘Bend and Flush’ b/w ‘Throbbing Gristle’ - and surprisingly received 2,000 advance orders. The Street Kings were invited to record, indeed write, the non-existent songs as the Pork Dukes and so we changed our name to that.
The single was released in the spring of 1977 on a deliberately obscure label. The lyrics were very rude and this schoolboy naughtiness was to become the Pork Dukes’ constant. Our thing. Our one and only gimmick.
The single was included on a punk compilation album called ‘Streets’ on the Beggar’s Banquet label. An erratic tour was hastily organised, and one of our few official London gigs as the Pork Dukes was as part of that ‘Streets’ tour in 1977. Indeed, apart from going to Manchester to play the club Rafters for £150 (good money back then), it was the only other date of the tour we did.
We were supporting the Lurkers - Howard Wall was on vocals at the time. They were the headliners at the 100 Club, the famous jazz club at 100 Oxford Street. That identi-punk thing of Mohican hairdo, regulation studded jacket with obligatory bondage trousers and requisite bum flap fortunately hadn’t happened yet. It was still young kids inventing and discovering their own imagery within the confines of their limited style knowledge and ability. The school tie and shirt were a popular pioneer punk look, simply because it was so uncool to wear your school tie. Hardly radical, though. Some were into leather-jacketed rebelry whilst others delved into sub-military or S&M rubber imagery for shock value.
With the plethora of fashion available now it’s easy to forget just how hard it was back then to find anything different to wear. If you wanted jeans you bought flares or Oxford Bags. That was it.
The first punks really wanted to be something totally different from all those disco people wearing fetching brown with skinny-rib cream-coloured shirts and platform shoes and their music. It’s difficult to believe now but, at that time, finding clothes in black was almost impossible. And if you did wear black, it was for a funeral, or there was something odd about you. Often I had to dye my trousers, shirt, even my boots. Thirty years after World War Two had finished, bombsites with rubble were still visible in London and all around the country: Liverpool, Birmingham. The pre-Thatcher politics of the country had resulted in strikes, with rubbish piling up in the streets, power cuts and the three-day week, and punk grew partially out of those social conditions, say most commentators. But punk was also a reaction to a dire, stagnant music scene – shit like ‘Ms Grace’ by the Tymes or ‘Sad Sweet Dreamer’ by Sweet Sensation.
above; 1977 100 Club Nicky "Bonk" Forbes
It was still early in the evening, but there was some degree of interest in us when we strode onto the bare boards of the low stage at the 100 Club. A swarm of pogo-ing punks were there simply due to our curiosity value and we blasted them with our Rickenbackered set. The press had gone along with the whispering hype about us from the record label and there was a small, bee-sized buzz of conjecture as to who the mysterious Pork Dukes really were. After all, they’d come from nowhere and hadn’t played any gigs. Rumors abounded that it was members of Thin Lizzy and Led Zeppelin having a joke, or that the twins were in fact the bastard brothers of Dudley Moore, to whom they bore a remarkable resemblance. All blatant lies.
This and our other gigs at that time featured a festering dead pig’s head on stage. The bass player stole this concept after reading about the group Eater doing the same, but topped the idea neatly with a safety pin right through the pig’s eye. I kept the head in my bass drum but forgot about it for a few weeks. Opening the case at the next gig a sea of maggots fell out. That bass drum still stinks of rotting pig’s head to this day, probably. The bassist wore a white Clockwork Orange outfit with shades. The bulging-eyed singer, Vilos Styles, donned tights, lipstick and stubble. Incorrect rumours at the time said that some singers contracted hepatitis from swallowing other people’s spit. Either way, it wasn’t nice. Hiding behind the others in the ‘firing line’, I would set the kit up as far to the back of the stage as possible so only my cymbals rusted from all the gobbing. It was fast, sweaty, boisterous fun.
Half way through our foul-mouthed, raucous set I looked across the bobbing heads to the back of the small venue and was surprised, to say the least, to see Omar Sharif in the audience. That looks like Omar Sharif, I thought. Nah, can’t be. What would he be doing down this ropey hole? Indubitably, he’s bound to be in some playboy’s paradise - Monte Carlo probably - dressed elegantly in a white suit with gold braid and playing blackjack at some Ambassador’s residence whilst supping on vintage port out of a fine Baccarat glass yet never getting his moustache wet and being served Ferrero Rocher chocolates on a silver platter by a smiling sophisticated lady in a black evening gown as harpsichord music plays in the background, surely? But, no! Here he was standing by the stairs at the back of the club. Apparently, he’d come down thinking it was a jazz night but instead stepped into a morass of pogo-ing punks. I don’t suppose he was a Pork Dukes fan. He didn’t hang around for our autographs.
So the Pork Dukes were doing relatively well with their first single out, more planned plus an album to follow - the most happening band I had been in thus far. In Carnaby Street a fan wearing a carnal Pork Dukes T-shirt was arrested and charged with ‘wearing a licentious and lewd garment likely to cause a breach of the peace’. I took that as a positive. Trendy DJ John Peel said he would play our ‘infuriatingly catchy’ records on his Radio One show ‘were they not so manifestly unbroadcastable’. We even had a nod of approval from Elton John in a Sounds interview.
As the record producer had played drums on the Pork Dukes’ ‘Bend and Flush’, it wasn’t until the follow-up single that I finally got to play drums on a record for the first time. That was our second single of 1977: 12” of putrid yellow vinyl entitled ‘Making Bacon’ b/w ‘Tight Pussy’.
We taped the single in the voice-over and dubbing room at Bray Film Studios. After recording the drums, I was at a loose end while the others did their overdubs. To pass the time, I went rooting around the sound stages and film lots. At the time there was a very popular science fiction series on the television, filmed at Bray, called Space 1999. It was produced by the legendary puppeteer Gerry Anderson - the same chap who’d made Stingray, Thunderbirds, Supercar, Joe 90, etc. The series was filmed with actors but, just the same as the puppet programmes, Space 1999 utilised small models of things like space stations and spacecraft for filming those essential outer-space shots. They were painstakingly constructed and painted. The models were works of art. The attention to detail showed they had been assiduously hand-created by a talented, patient craftsman. Unfortunately, I found the miniature sets by jumping off the back of a stage and landing on them accidentally, crushing some irreparably. Oops. How accidentally punk: Destroy! I want to be anarchy...
above; The Pork Dukes 2007 100 Club
Wow, Nicky was not kidding. No one word answers here.
More about the band and to buy Nicky's book, follow the links
Monday, July 7, 2008
Above;The Rods, Richard Holgarth, Dipster, Barrie Masters, Chris Taylor, Simon Bowley
Sometime during 1976 Bombsite caught up with Eddie & The Hot Rods when they played Liverpool. The gig was greatly anticipated as the The Hot Rods were fresh out of London, where they were an integral part of the early punk rock scene.
History records Eddie & the Hot Rods as the missing link between pub rock and punk rock, and their debut album, released at the end of 1976, proves that to be true. Fresh, loud, and incredibly fast, this is fuel-injected youth energy rock and roll. Their debut LP "Teenage Depression" & single "Do Anything you Wanna Do" would further amplify the linkage between early 70's pub rock and later punk phenomena. But far more importantly, the records give at least a hint of why concert attendees still describe Eddie & the Hot Rods live shows among the greatest gigs they ever attended.
During 2008 the US gets another opportunity to see these rockers as they start their tour in California on July 31st. Bombsite Fanzine managed to catch up with Simon Bowley long time drummer with the Hot Rods to ask a few questions about the bands early days.
Can you describe the early Eddie & the Hot Rod days? I know that the band played with the Sex Pistols and the Clash before the scene broke out. That period around London was just electric.
Yeah, the early days were totally mad the band had got a big fan base very quickly mainly due to fact that the band was so young ,every other band on the scene were in their mid 20's but the rods were all 17/18 and the energy was amazing people just hadn't seen this for so long, soon Joe Strummer's 101'ers were supporting and suddenly the music press were talking about these young 'punks' from Essex, who could play fast and loud. Malcolm McLaren then got his band The Sex Pistols, a support show at the Marquee followed, he told them to smash up the equipment which they did, of course the music press loved this, and so the Pistols were on their way, but yeah bloody good times!
The Bombsite team caught up with the Hot Rods in Liverpool sometime in 76. I looked around but cannot confirm the gig date. Do you have any recollection or record of the dates during the early days?
Above Simon Bowley
To be honest the band was so busy in 1976,the debut album "Teenage Depression" had been released and the press were hailing it as the album that would save music etc,. Island records just kept adding dates to the tour it seemed like the band were on tour all year, then in 1977 is when it really went crazy with tours of the USA alongside the Ramones, party's with Aerosmith, and back in the UK the tour with Squeeze and the Radio Stars, people still say that's one of the best tours in the last 30 years
"Do anything you wanna do" was played alongside all the Punk and reggae classics in the clubs and gigs throughout the early part of the punk movement. We have documented in Bombsite issue one where the DJ played some Hot Rod songs at the Jam concert in Birkenhead during 77.
It is amazing that over the last 2 years that song has had a bit of a revival. In the UK it is getting played a lot on radio and in rock clubs.
It is interesting to hear about the Hot Rods increased airplay in the UK .
There is much discussion about the Pub Rock effect on the development of Punk Rock. Do you see the pub rock as a part of the reason punk fired up or got rolling in or around 76? Can you discuss your theory?
Yeah, the pub rock scene had a massive effect on Punk, much more than most people realise, the bands that became punk, all went to watch pub rock bands in 75/76, Eddie and the Hot Rods definitely played a big part in the birth of punk in the UK, maybe the world.
To be honest I think the punk scene would have happened anyway, the young people of Britain needed something to latch onto around that time, and music managers had been watching bands like the New York dolls, Mc5's etc and influencing bands like the Hot Rods to go in that direction. Pub rock was just about the music, punk rock was the whole deal music, fashion and a way for people to express themselves, so yeah I think it was a good part and it certainly paved the way for the future.
The Hot Rods Live in France 2006
Do you think we are seeing a push away from manufactured music on any larger scale going forward? Do you see the live band support increasing, regionally or overall?
Not sure we are moving away from manufactured bands, but on the whole thanks to the internet and MySpace bands like the Hot Rods have found themselves open to a new younger generation who really appreciate the music, online and digital radio stations can play these older bands and Eddie and the Hot Rods have certainly seen a rise in popularity again and it is still growing.
Joe Strummer has left such a great legacy, he almost feels like our mentoring brother telling us what happened even after his death. Did the guy leave any feeling with you ? Was there something he said that you think of today?
Personally I never met the guy, but I know Barrie Masters new him quite well from the early days, and he says that Joe was just a genuine nice guy who just wanted to play music. He did once quote that the first time he heard the phrase punk was in a review of a Eddie & the Hot Rods gig in 1976, I think that's quite cool.
The Hot Rods are about ready to start a US tour, I see you are going to play Chicago and then you are driving over to Cleveland. Bombsite gets loads of readers in this area, and I have already seen web discussion about the band skipping Detroit on the tour. British bands often do that, is there a problem logistically? or does Detroit miss the radar for a particular reason that you can see?
No not at all, we would love to play everywhere but the truth is that we are having to build on our touring again ,we haven't played the east coast for over 20 yrs and couldn't be sure if anyone would remember us so we thought start off small, and just do 5 or 6 dates on each coast and if its a success then we can do a bigger tour next year. If our MySpace is anything to go by, then you will certainly see us next year and our USA booker can look further afield.
You mentioned MySpace and the new way to find an audience. I know there is a divide, some like the ease and ability to broadcast out, but along with that comes the almost inherent need to give away something. In many cases the record companies, the bands, the promoters, the marketers and the venues are complaining. Does the change offer a better outcome for musicians? And if so how does it all look in the future?
We recorded our first album for some 15 years in 2001 and managed to get a independent record company to take it, along with the album they said they would also release a live DVD which we recorded live in London, the outcome of this was that the record company did very little and no-one even knew the products were released ,since then we have recorded another album and decided to put some of the tracks onto MySpace which has resulted in people coming to the shows and singing along with the new songs as well as the older ones, the way the record market is today means that the artist receives so little in royalties that it makes sense for the band to give away a few tracks ,more people come to the shows where you are selling the full album and the band receive the full price. Of course, the record companies don't like it but more and more bands are only releasing their stuff online so it works.
Eddie and the Hot Rods were the energy that lit up my youth, and were an influence and part of my record collection. Did you all see yourself 30 years later maturing along with your audience and still rocking the venues?
And the youth today, are they aware that you were part of the punk scene from the beginning?
That's great to hear Martin, no I don't think anybody even dreamed that 30 yrs on that the name Eddie and the Hotrods would even be remembered, let alone still touring all over the world. Yes, I think that the majority of youngsters do know that the Rods were part of the punk scene especially in the USA and Japan, unfortunately the majority in the UK think it started and
stopped with the Sex Pistols.
The Ramones have made an impact on almost every US garage / punk / alternative band since the late 70's. As you look around MySpace a large number of kids reference them as an influence. Touring with the Ramones, as you did during the early years, is there a story or a gig that say it all about the that period?
The Ramones were a really nice bunch of guys and we got on well with them ,I think they were surprised when we came over cos we were younger than them and partied after every show , they were always pretty mad parties and they thought we were crazy, Joey Ramone once asked Barrie how he got rid of a stuffy head before going on stage, Barrie told him to put a towel over his head and breath in steam ,Joey then goes to his dressing room, and a couple of minutes later screaming is heard, he's only boiled a kettle and put his face over it, the show had to be canceled so Joey could be treated for burns ...whooops
Eddie and the Hot Rods have a great spot in the history of rock. There will be a bunch of road trips heading out to Cleveland from Toledo, Columbus and Detroit. From the activity we see here in the Mid-west US, I am sure you will have a great tour.
Thanks Martin we hope to see you at one of the shows, the band are really looking forward to coming over, the shows will be great, I can guarantee that, and we hope to see lots of people having a good time.
All photos used with permission from Eddie & The Hotrods
More about Eddie and the HotRods at www.eddieandthehotrods.com
Thursday, July 3, 2008
Scratch beneath the wallpaper, and you will find musicians with the same anxiety, frustrations and energy that produced our punk rock heroes from the 70's. Bombsite fanzine invites you to take a listen to the music of "Treatment Bound", fronted by Detroit's telecaster master, Brian "Homeless" Milne. Listen to the tracks a couple of times, and you find an interesting texture of cigarettes, vodka, hard work and live music.
Your music, rockabilly punk? How long have you been playing?
Ha.. I guess I think of it as Midwestern Punk.. Some people call it cow-punk.. I tend not to fit into any genre, and to be honest I kinda like it that way...
What do you think it sounds like?
I like it. It has more grit than most. Some of the phsychobilly or Cow punk stuff I have heard is a little zany for me. The Stray Cats and Brian Setzer dropped in right as the punk thing was simmering down in the UK around 80.
That sound was new to me, back then I enjoyed it. Managed to catch them play a few places around Michigan and Ohio, even once in Bowling Green. Do you get into any of the early punk stuff?
Oh yea! I dig a lot of the early stuff!!
I was around then!! Graduated in 83, hit college as the Midwestern punk stuff was breakin in the early 80's dig a lot of it. Saw a lot of shows back then as well.
Yes, I understand the Stray Cats were playing around New Jersey and headed off to the UK to see if they could catch a lift from the UK scene. I remember Dave Edmond's was in the mix somewhere too. Chris Spedding did some of the production work for the Pistol's Anarchy album, and he was a bit of a rockabilly guy.. Are you into the Anarchy album?
I really felt like I cut my teeth on that album.
I had it on cassette and wore it out. I really liked Steve's guitar playing.
I figured it out back then, the music wasn't all that new, but the ATTITUDE was everything!! And the Live show was above all the key...
Which suited me just fine, cuz my playing wasn't great, and I was using so I was in the right frame of mind... So yea, it was a big part of what I am, as a musician, you?
Oh yes, great record. It's interesting because when the Pistols thing hit, they were into the anti-hero branding, so Steve and the PR downplayed the skill sets, almost misinformed. I watched Steve the other day during the Guitar Hero Anarchy / Pretty vacant introduction. During the interviewed he admitted that he played guitar and bass on the album. As things were at odds with Glen Matlock, and Sid Vicious was in the hospital with hepatitis. If you have not seen the clips they are on YouTube. Part of this press commentary was to point out that the record company had misplaced the original master recordings, apparently they are either lost or were stolen. How about Strummer and the Ramones do they fit into your collection?
I think the nature of Steve's playing made the Pistols accessible to young wannabes like myself.
Strummer, I didn't appreciate until later. I was more raw in the early days. Now The Ramones hell yea.. GREAT song writing, above all else especially the early stuff.. Clean it up, slow it down, and add harmonies, and you had classic 60's pop.. And again just so accessible, I mean the music is/was there for someone with 3 months guitar playing under their belt to just hash it out... BRILLIANT STUFF!!
How about you and my main squeezes..? How about Husker DU, Social D and my #1 The Replacements?
Yes, when Joe Strummer joined up with Mick Jones he had good guitar cover. Husker Du were never really understood until later, not sure why. But yes, all my style.
Did you start playing right out of high school? What style back then? Iggy's, "lust for life", I play to wake me up some mornings..
I started in high school and played regular rock back then... Listened to some punk, and was attracted to the energy and rawness..
But, when I went away to college and lived in a college town I was floored!!!
I heard a bootleg of The Replacements Hootenanny and was hooked.. Got a band going that first year! and the rest is "Homeless" history...(well more of a side bar...lol)
Always found "Don't want to know if you're lonely" was my favorite Du song...
How about old style punk bands from UK or US, did you ever gig with any?
No-one famous... I did meet Mike Ness from Social Distortion, early on, maybe fresh outta rehab.. But, I was using and thought he was full of shit, so I didn't talk to him much..
He was a power house though.. I thought he wouldn't go anywhere..
What do I know!
Also I was VERY anti-establishment very anti label... If you were known or had a name for yourself, I would be rude to prove I really didn't give a shit..
Not the smartest career move ever I suppose.
I still fight that urge...
I did open for a lot of local stuff. There was a college circuit back then hitting colleges from Minn to Chicago lots of cool dives..We were too wasted to do much and had trouble holding a
line up together, given the amount of consumables.
I may not been able to stand up some nights but I always played!!!
Well, I know what you mean about the anti-everything, label, suits, management, record industry for principle. We did the same thing, as our buddies were all getting snapped up by labels during 77-78 we were the rebel rockers that were a bit too cool for all that. Moreover, most of the bands around us we felt were all a bit nerdy. Over time that proved to be the
wrong way to go, and the guys having good management, a focus, and some industry guidance got the deals. Even when I read Joe Strummers biography and watched the movie "The Future is Unwritten" I was a bit let down by the way McLaren and Rhodes appeared to construct the bands. Most of that is kept away from the buying public, as the game must be concealed.
I was thinking about your sound, do you have a Dr. Feelgood part to your music? I feel a little of that grit in your music.
You know, I dig what Dr. Feelgood did, and I hadn't thought of the connection until you mentioned it. I think there is a stronger connection to what I'm doing here in Treatment Bound than I realized. The gruff voice, and raw delivery of music are similar but the connection to roots music was something I missed. But also, I think it was honest. If you gave them any song to play, when they played it you would know it was Dr. Feelgood. I think that nails Treatment Bound.
This started as something very personal. I've never sung before. But I was listening to a lot of American roots and alt. country stuff for a while. and when I played this stuff back for a friend, It came out of me differently. It came out as what you hear in the Treatment Bound sound. Its just how things come out of me. He gave me brilliant advice...He told me to play what I play when I'm alone and when no-one is listening. He also convinced me share songs that I've thought too personal. Really, I've done my best to heed that advice, and that what Treatment Bound is. If its anything, its as honest as I can be musically. It is what comes out of me even if no-one else listens. I think thats why it doesn't sound like much else. Its a mix of all my experiences and influences, they just come out of me kinda fucked up.....and I'm OK with that.
Treatment Bound are Brian "Homeless" Milne vocals and guitar
Dan Allen(drums) and Jeff Navarre)bass) who really makes this easy for me and their contributions are priceless. I can be a train wreck some nights.. It is who I am.. But they keep it together and are a great source of support for me personally and musically. I don't think I could ever thank them enough for all they do.
It has been a treat Martin! Gotta run, but It was been an absolute BLAST getting to know you better... I'm stoked !!
Listen to Treatment Bound at the following link -
Catch them Live at the Double OO in Redford MI September 19th
photos used with permission of Treatment Bound