26th July 2002
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Will you be filming The Wildhearts' London Astoria show in October for the
Dunno, maybe. The DVD is looking increasingly like a road movie (of sorts), so I'd imagine we'll be filming as many shows as we can.
I was wondering if it's worth buying the Japanese Best Of The Wildhearts DVD (which
only has the promo videos on), or whether I should wait for the 'proper' DVD that you'll be
We hope to include all of the promo videos on our DVD. If you do, however, buy the Japanese one you can always auction it on eBay and make a small fortune.
The Singles Club seems to have gone quiet. Do you see this being rejuvenated at any
I honestly can't say. I don't know what's up with Infernal. It looks increasingly like I'm going to have to clean up this one myself. Don't worry, the songs already recorded will see the light of day.
I read that you've recorded something with Barney from Napalm Death. What was he
like to work with? Is it a heavy song?
Barney is a fantastic bloke. He has very good morals, too, considering he's in a business that sometimes houses the most ignorant, selfish, single-minded people on Earth. The song isn't heavy. I think Barney described it as "Sigue Sigue Sputnik on acid". I can't help but agree with him. It's kind of electronica. Ironically, Neal X (of Sigue Sigue Sputnik) plays guitar on the track.
Any news on SilverGinger 5?
John Benford, Mark Fox and others!
We went into the studio a couple of weeks ago to write, and came out with 19 songs. We'll be recording our next album (featuring Ritch Battersby on drums) just as soon as the producers that we want to use are available. It's looking like October. It's going to be a sonic trip. Much heavier and more diverse than the last one. More details to follow, as they happen.
When will SilverGinger 5 play live again?
Now that Ritch is in SilverGinger 5, is there any chance of hearing Genius Penis
live? Oh, go on, please.
I would absolutely love that!
Is there any update on that film soundtrack that SilverGinger 5 have a track on -
such as the title of the song that will be on it and when it will be released?
The movie is done, and apparently it's amazing and very gritty - like an American Trainspotting. The song in the movie is Walk Like A Motherfucker. I'm not sure what's happening about the soundtrack album, but I'm sure there'll be one when the movie is a hit.
Now that things have slowed down for Grand Theft Audio, does a part of you wish
that Chris McCormack had buggered off sooner so that Ritch could have joined The
Well, with Ritch playing in SilverGinger 5, everything is cool with everyone. I do wish that Chris hadn't dropped Ritch in the shit, though, but that's none of my business of course!.
I just wondered if you've got an interesting reaction to the sad news that one of
my heroes, Dee Dee Ramone, has passed on. Did you ever have the pleasure of meeting
Yeah, it's really sad - sad for the people around him. I did get to meet him a couple of times in the past. He was off junk and looked good. He was funny in an Ozzy Osbourne kind of way. A little bitter, but very sweet. Then he got back on the shit, and as far as I'm concerned the guy that died wasn't the Dee Dee I've loved for all these years. I hate losers. And I hate smack.
Every time I listen to Endless, Nameless, I wonder what Danny thought of the lyrics
It's a pretty strong subject for a song, but at the time it was the only way of getting a message through to a junkie. Junkies don't listen. And they think that no one knows what they're up to. I guess when he hears that song it reminds him of what a loser he once was, and just how far he's come. Junkenstein has references to every member of the band, though, not just Danny. The album begins with Junkenstein ('this is the problem, this is what is killing this band') and ends with Thunderfuck ('goodbye, thanks for the ride but we couldn't keep up the facade any longer'). And the running order is like that for a reason.
On the cover of the fantastic Endless, Nameless, Danny, Ritch and Jef all seem to
be not just behind you, but also looking at you; whilst you are right at the front looking
straight ahead, seemingly without a care in the world. And Jef's face is all blurry. Was
there some deliberate intent behind this, or is it just the way it came out? Everyone knows
that this was the band's most fucked up point. And I wondered if the cover was supposed to
suggest that The Wildhearts are your band, and that without you they couldn't function -
and therefore the reason that they're all looking at you with huge apprehension is because
you're the only one with the answers, like a sort of God-type figure. On the other hand, I
could just be thinking about this a bit too deeply.
It's funny, but more than a few people have mentioned this in the past. There was definitely some bad demons at work on that session. I think copious drug use does invite / invoke bad energy from somewhere. I never knew what was going to unfold after the shot was taken, and there was absolutely no plan at all with the photo. In fact, it was taken in two sections and joined in the middle,so we didn't even know where everyone was going to be looking. Quite an effective, if accidental, shot, don't you think?
I'm sure you're probably sick of explaining this one, but a few weeks ago in the
NME (in the Verbal Abuse section) you're quoted explaining the Clam Abuse album as an
effort to pay off your gym bills to "avoid having your kneecaps broken". There, as they
say, lies a story, and one I feel that should be shared with the online
I joined a gym 'cos I'd stopped drinking and taking drugs. I also had a personal trainer that ended up eating all the money out of my bank account. The only person I knew who had money was Chris McCormack, who refused to lend me any of it, even though I promised to pay him back within the month. I made the album and made the cash. Could have paid him back, too, if he'd been good enough to lend me the money.
Is the guitar riff in Splattermania (the one after the second chorus and the bit
where you shout 'Splattermania!') a conscious lift from Sunday Girl by
No, subconscious. Blondie wrote some of the best pop songs of the late '70s / early '80s. It stands to reason that they would have stuck in my young brain to innocently influence future material. I've never actually sat down and thought 'I know, I'll rip off that song'. But I also can't say that it never happens, y'know? I don't mind being told about similarities to great songs, but when people tell me I ripped off bands or artists that I hate, it takes some swallowing.
Did The Wildhearts go as far as to figure out a track listing for the proposed
p.h.u.q. double album?
We did, but I would never be able to remember how it went. There was going to be a lot of incidental music featured. It had a musical narrative that was of the time.
You seem to have a fair few tattoos. What are they of? Do they mean anything to you
They are of many things. I have a few stars, and a couple of fives (my big number), and a special one that I had done by hand in Tokyo, using bamboo shoots. And they all mean something. I view my tattoo collection as passport stamps showing my experiences through life. I actually had a huge one done yesterday (it took five and a half hours) that features a band of stars on my hand and huge black 'hot rod' flames going all the way up my right forearm. Looks fuckin' great. Danny got inked a few days ago, too. He's had 'J' on one side of his lower belly (for Jane, his beloved) and 'D' on the other side (obviously for Danny). CJ asked him what it meant. Danny pulled down his trousers and said "JD and cock!"
Who, live or dead, would you most like to work with?
I wouldn't want to work with anyone dead - they'd be a pain in the arse to carry in and out of the studio, y'know? And the smell. Of the folk still around, I'd like to work with Steve Earle.
I wanted to ask you about something that you wrote in Ginger Says in May. You said
that you wanted us to buy your record, so that you can be in the charts and on the TV. But
is that what you really want? Yeah, more people will know you. There will be hoodies with
your name on, and young kids of about eight years old will be wearing them. But will it be
your music that's making you big, or will it just be the name The Wildhearts? The townies
will be saying, "hey, they're in the charts, that means they're cool; let's wear a hoodie
with their name on it and be cool!" Your music will be played so often on the radio that
people will get bored of it, and your true followers will lose interest. Again, is that
what you really want?
I'm a songwriter, and I want as many people to hear my songs as possible, and that means getting radio play. Without that, there's no record deal. Without a record deal, there's no money for tour support. Without tour support, we only get to tour once a year because we have nothing to promote. That means the fans don't get to see us live. There is absolutely nothing wrong with getting popular and selling a lot of records. You have a very blinkered idea of what it takes to make it in this business.
And what's wrong with being eight years old? I want fans of all ages to get into the band. I was a music fan when I was eight. And if you weren't, then I think the problem is not with the eight year old fans out there, but with you. Fans will lose interest if the music on the radio? That is bollocks, and if you don't know that you are talking bollocks, then you really are an arsehole. Being on the radio means you are exposing yourself to a wider audience that needs some decent music. People like you and me.
I'm not sure that I want people like you calling themselves fans. You have a small mind and need to start thinking bigger, otherwise the world is going to move on and leave you behind. Think about that.
How much input did you have into the Backyard Babies song Brand New Hate, and how
much input did they have?
Lee & Nat
I wrote the entire song, they put a Wildhearts-esque riff in the middle (before the "I don't need you, I don't need to" section), took 50 per cent of the writing credit, and ensured that I never write anything for them again.
Do you like Green Day?
I used to think they were an embarrassing copy of English punk bands that made a fraction of the cash that they make (all of them put together!). Nowadays, I see them as a great rock band that play brilliantly and write catchy as fuck songs. I came to love them.
Do you rate Therapy??
Oh yeah. I always really liked Therapy? (and their pesky little '?'). More importantly, when Jake was in the womb we took him to see quite a few gigs and he liked Therapy? (with their pesky little '?') the best. All the guys are fantastic and great drinkers. Metal Gods to a man. They've got a song called Safe that you should check out if you haven't already. Brought me to tears when I first heard it. Honest, that good.
Neil Young - are you a fan?
Not really. I like some tunes (who doesn't?), but that's about it. I do remember hearing / seeing him do Like A Hurricane on The Old Grey Whistle Test, when I was tripping on acid (a long time ago!), and thinking it was the most perfect thing I'd ever heard / seen. Having said that, I used to think I could talk to pigeons, too.