Anyway, were getting a bit out of order in terms of when interviews were done now, but thats ok, because as well as being the writer of this thing, I just became editor as well and decided it was ok. Anyway, another UK band interview. This one ladies and gentlemen, is with Liberty 37. Say hi.
Liberty 37 hail from the Swansea area, and to date, as far as Im aware, have released an EP via Org Records, - No Beauty, and have had tracks on some of the Org Radio CD collection like thingies. And probably others to, but I havent researched this, so I could be wrong. Theyre also due, at the time of the interview, to release their first EP on the Beggars Banquet label, the Stuffed EP. Thats the flier of it to the right.
Musically, well theyve been described as a Rollins/Sugar like band. A more hardcore Radiohead. Thats probably a fairer assessment Its melodic. Look straight past that Hardcore tag right now. Its classic, and in vocalist Ish, they have someone who imparts meoldy and passion into what they do. However you want to describe, its really bloody good.
Anyway, time to set the scene for the interview I guess, so lets do that shall we. Right, imagine if you will, that the band have just played their first gig on the Bullyrag / Beekeepers tour. Its Wolves Varsity, and its one of those hot summer nights that we seem to have just before summer arrives. Theyre busy lugging stuff off stage, when yours truly with impeccable timing as ever, wanders up to ask for an interview. Ish, the singer, youll meet him later, kindly agrees, before asking about System of a Down whose shirt Im wearing. But its ok, cos Im sure they own another one. A dash to the car to pick up the tape recorder, also results in picking up one of the demos. One of the last in fact, so if you wanted one, well, um, youre too late now. Ish also talks about the God Machine, and has heard the Sophia album. His verdict. Beautiful. Obviously a man of great musical taste. Well ignore the more dubious affliction of supporting Swansea rugby club. But more on that at the end.
Anyway, one of the longest, most waffling intros to an interview is coming to an end. Yeah, I thought youd be pleased.
The Beekeepers are about to play, and were about to sit in the comfort of the room that seems to double for dressing room / storage room / interview room and any other room. So please, make yourselves comfortable and lets let the band introduce themselves.
So, from my left we have, Ish - Vocals, Twink - bass, Sim - Drums and Tim - Guitars.
Ok, nothing written down for this interview, so its the old favourite of a wing and a prayer, and your bog standard zine questions. So, given that the band have been through a number of name changes (they were originally Travis Inc, but then some Indie band called Travis forced them to change. So they chose Applecore, which they were then also forced to change). So what happened.
Tim starts. Same reasons as the initial name change. Legal. When we signed the deal as Applecore, we quite liked that, but then after we signed it, the lawyers at whatever company said youll have to change that because The Beatles will have you. Its to do with The Apple label with The Beatles. They wont have you now, but they will in five years time when youve got some money.
Ish plays the sensitive sole, as Mr McCartney had just lost his wife at the time Hes got a lot on his plate at the moment, we dont want to upset the man. So we had to get in there first. The rest of the guys are laughing, so Ish qualifies the statement. Thats not meant to be tasteless, Im serious about that. We just wanted a name that nobody else had, thats why we got a number, cos we figured there might be a Liberty 34, so we figured that as long as we got a number wed be sorted. Though we have played with a Wave 27. But as we had the higher number, we obviously kicked their arse. But they were nice, they were good, we sort of spiritually kicked their arse, in terms of numbers.
Well, Ive just done a review of the new Breed 77 single, so theyve got you on that one.
Aaah. is the collective cry of disappointment. Hope they manage to recover from it. Theyve got us there. Theyve got 40 on us. But fuck it is the philosophical outlook from Sim.
Given all the name changes then, do you think that youve learnt anything about the music industry as a result. Is there any kind of resentment at the barriers that this kind of thing has given you to overcome.
I always was cynical, but I think that was what prevented me from getting on, but then I became less cynical and got a deal. I dont know if that has anything to do with it. I dont think we really have anything to be cynical or negative about.
The industry, it sometimes has very little to do with the musical merit, but thats not really the issue here. We dont have vastly inflated lifestyles that we have to support. Well no I do, but the rest dont, so moneys not really an issue.
We just get on with it reckons Twink. In fact the whole band seem fairly undisturbed by it all, which is kinda nice in a way, a letdown in another way. Maybe I was hoping for some venomous anti-label, anti-establishment rant.
The doors open, and in comes the sound of the Beekeepers again. So if at some point during the interview, a Beekeepers song drifts into proceedings, then you know the doors opened again and thats all that appears on the tape. Even though it doesnt appear as its an audio tape. Shit, you know what I mean.
Well the label that were with, their not entirely industry geared, theyre probably more music geared. Theyre one of the only independants left arent they. They havent made us try to wear hats or anything. But then maybe theyd give us more money reckons Tim.
So was there any reason behind signing for Beggars. Were there a few labels to decide from?
No. Two. NO. The band enter a discussion amongst themeselves as to what actually happened. So well give them a little bit of time to resolve the discussion. But it appears that theres a toss up between there being no other label, one label or two. Eventually Ish agrees on what happened. Probably.
Well, it wasnt a dog on heat situation. There was a couple of people sniffing around, but they were the only label with anything solid really. One label said have you got a van? and we got a little over excited cos we thought they were going to chuck loads of money at us. Thats Music for Nations someone pipes up. We were keen to go with them obviously, cos Mercyful Fate were on them. And Frank Zappa. But in the end, Bauhaus won. We can have as many Cult albums as we can eat laughs the vocalist, with the tongue stuck somewhere in the cheek I think!
Uh, yeah, that must be great for you then.
Its not bad, we had a little down sarnie on the way over here laughs the lucky man.
Earlier on wed talked, and then you said that youd not describe yourselves as a punk band or anything like that, so how would you describe yourselves.
Youd better have four definitions really reckons Ish. Well, I wasnt expecting that, but here goes.
Riff based, big choruses and melodies yknow. We like the riffs, we like them heavy, but we do like a little singalong.
Leave me till last, I havent thought. Id say guitar based rock. Yeah, its just rock music.
Uh, contemporary man, it kinda crosses genres doesnt it and I think Music For Nations werent too happy about it. They said were not hardcore enough and not pop enough. And thats our point yknow.
Boston for the 90s is the shameless quote from Ish. Hmmm. And were not pretty, we dont wear the right clothes and such. Were essentially very very unfashionable, but thats the point really, cos its not about a musical movement, its about playing the music that we happen to play.
Now Im sure the fourth one was in there somewhere, but I cant quite figure it from tape or remember it. Well come on, I had to get some mistakes in here somewhere. After all, I still harbour secret hopes of doing this sort of thing professionally. Therefore I have to get it wrong occassionally. Per interview. Onwards.
Ive read comparisons saying Rollins / Sugar and also Radiohead. Any thoughts on those comparisons?
The Radiohead thing I think, is that Radiohead are like a genreless band, so they kinda forge their own genre and any other band that comes after themare immediately categorisable as like a Radiohead.
But I guess really theyre just prog rock.
Yeah maybe, but then if you come along and youre any heavier than them, youre heavy metal then. I think its just the intensity perhaps that people are picking up on, theres like the lyrical intensity that I think a lot of people have picked up on. And the Rollins thing comes from the fact that I have a tattoo on my back. I like to be compared to Radiohead, theyre a top band.
And dont forget, says Tim to much laughter, hes a close friend of Bob Mould. But weve also had comparisons, quite seriously to Dave Brock (Old (former?) Hawkwind man) and Marion, all sorts of stuff, whatever people think really.
Thats a classic sofa you just bust, Ill just turn it round says Tim to the others, about the already broken sofa that they are sitting, or maybe falling in. Really, it was broke before. No honest.
They didnt eat all their brocolli look says Ish poking at the remains of the Bullyrag meal with a fork. Dont feel it is the plea from Tim. I promised to get a headline out of that, so my word is my bond as some dodgy geezer once said. See, I even explain the logic behind what I do. Sometimes. Enough of me, back to the band.
He felt my arse in the middle of a song is the accusation levelled at Twink. It wasnt on purpose is the defence from the bassist, but its not cutting any ice. I dont care, you still felt it. Im not saying I didnt appreciate or value it Im just saying it happened.
Maybe we shouldnt have come back, Im going to try and shift away from that pretty swiftly. Ok, youve got the Stuffed EP coming out soon (its already out now, so go and look for it) anything so say about that.
The vinyls got an extra track on it. And its got a frog on the cover. Were really chuffed with it. Were really pleased with it, and excited to see it in the shops. Its about 15 minutes long yknow, three songs. Nothing quite like it yknow. Its got a frog on it as well, were targetting frog enthusiasts.
And is this frog thing in any way representative of the band?
Very much, initially attractive to look at, but when you scrape the surface or perhaps poke a little too fiercely bug eyed little fuckers finishes Twink, not managing to keep the same almost poker face as Ish when hed started the description.
Liberty 37 - Left to Right - Twink Tim Ish Sim
And after that, have you recorded an album?
No, nothing else at the moment. Were just doing this tour and then take it as it comes. Maybe an album, maybe a second single, were not really sure at the moment. Our label are almost like these progressive sixties parents, they dont make these rich demands in advance, its kinda like what time shall I be in mam oh whenever yknow. So theyve got kinda a relaxed attitude towards our schedule. Weve got songs anyway, which is nice.
So have you got kind of a long term plan with how you want to go with things? Couple of singles, EP, tour?
Well I want to tour in Europe and America, starts Sim, but Ill probably be banned because Ive got a drug violation. Much to Twinks amusement. Ok, Twink seems to be a fairly easy going kind of person, whose laughing pretty much constantly throughout the interview, but even he finds this amusing. But we need to tour Europe I think, and we wanna play festival stages. Do another single, then release an album, really a seminal album.
The aim would be to release a Nothings Shocking, or a Tres Hombres album reckons Ish, obviously aiming high.
Just a classic fucking album that people actually see and go have you heard this. Like that System of a Down tape. Hopefully thatll be it. Cover all our musical bases, and just put it out, I think thats the best thing we can do.
To do that then, do you think you need to tour beforehand and build up the reputation through the live shows?
Oh yeah, I mean, this is like our first real tour, first night tonight. I mean, weve kinda got jobs at the moment which we have to juggle as best as we can.
The band then actually go into a little discussion as to which of the gigs they are actually playing. So if this is the first tour, do you have any ambitions for it?
NO! comes the answer from somewhere. Ish is laughing, Who said no? Well, weve played the odd gigs before, and weve had the two geezers and a dog syndrome. Yknow tonight for example, although perhaps most people would say there was nobody there, it was good. There was some people there and they like it yknow.
Ive seen gigs with less.
Oh yeah, its just nice to play actually, and its a sunny day. If the weather holds up, it should be good. As long as we can each contain our own vices and medical conditions, it should be fine.
We were on the radio, and that was good, not that anybody outside Chiswick could here it yknow. It does seem that youve got to have airplay, media interest and gigs at the same time for anyone to break. People have to be bombarded with information about you unless they really love you. It would be nice to break, but its not necessarily the be all end all. I think it would be cool even to be just one of those bands that people like yknow.
Well the radio stuff does work a bit, with XFM, and the web.
Yeah. There was another Welsh band did a video or something and put it on the Internet, and they had a guy from Sony New York phone them up.
We talk a bit, ok, I talk a bit, about the net and how it can expose you to new bands, demos etc. Almost like a technological underground is the way I see it. But thats boring.
I think our exposure, with the whole network so far, has been purely through fanzines, and so far, every time weve had a manager and they were saying well get an interview with X Y Z sort of mainstream magazines, but the attitude and the aim of the fanzines is far more fucking where were at. And thats not saying that we wouldnt want to be featured anywhere else, because any exposure is good, but its different. There isnt sort of that attitude of are you my friend, ah yeah, my sister knows you, have the cover that sort of thing.
I mean Org and Sean, who you were mentioning earlier, is a brilliant writer I think, the way he writes about bands. His passion. The thing about zines is that doesnt matter if the person hates the music you love, or cant spell, it doesnt matter, because what they are doing is as important as the bands themselves. The commitment to the music and doing something that they love. And thats the most important thing.
Ok, I HAVE to ask about Take It Like a Man. Thats just a bastardised version of the Paranoid riff isnt it? Heads turn to Tim.
It has been said, and when its been pointed out, yeah. I would put my hand on my heart and say that I didnt sit down and rip it off.
Watching tonight, it struck me more than listening to the CDs that there was a more emotional side to the music. Almost like an emo-core sort of sound. Would you agree with something like that. Sensefield, Texas is the Reason, that sort of thing.
Yeah, I mean I love that kind of stuff. It beats the Hawkwind comparison anyway and its perhaps more constructive. Yeah I suppose, its still riff based guitar music, and its quite driving, so its going to fit the same thing.
And is there anything that drives you then in terms of writing the music, where you get the inspiration from.
Not really. Its just making music that we want to hear. Theres a lot of bands which just dont produce the music. Ive been reading stuff, and for example, and Im not getting down on them, this is just personal opinion, but theres the band Redwood have been getting a lot of amazing press, and Led Zeppelin comparisons, and all these soaring emotions, and thats right up our fucking avenue. And you hear it, and it kinda lets you down. Theres certain bands that you listen to, and when you put them on, you can tell yep, thats the kind of music I like and theres very few of them around. And I confess that wed really like us. Yeah, agrees Tim, Ive not really been moved by an album since Nothings Shocking. Its like walking into the sea and going whooo yknow, theres certain albums that can do that, like the first Quicksand album.
Ish questions Sim, who has just spilled his beer everywhere. What drives the way you play? Limitation really.
You mentioned Janes Addiction. What did you think of the reunion idea?
Its good, but it didnt come to Britain, and so its sad in the same way. Eric Avery wasnt there though, so there was something missing. Its about the four members, and its much the same with us, as much as we may joke about say getting Chester Thompson to play for Sim if we went to America, it wouldnt work, wed sound like a different band. And Im a bit dubious, I mean reunions fair enough. But I wasnt really sure why they did it. I mean if they were to produce an album full of new stuff, then fair enough.
So what did you think of the Kettle Whistle album?
The first track is great I think. Yeah, theyve almost got like this divine lineage, their albums are like such astonishing moments, but Kettle Whistle I just dont think pulls it off.
I think if they did it for the reason that they did get big sort of posthumously didnt they, and the people going oh I didnt see them. So for that generation of kids that grew up and didnt see them, I think is a good reason for it.
Apparently the band saw them a number of times, and I was lucky enough to see them twice myself.
And with that really were coming to an end. so, are there any final messages?
Come to our gigs, buy our records, be our friends. Yeah, we are fairly approachable. Were nice guys really.
And we finish. Well not really. We enter a discussion as to how Wales are finally going to beat England again in the rugby. But the masterplan obviously cannot be revealed, but lets just say it includes Lilly Savage and the drummer from Cradle of Filth. So be afraid. And bloody confused.