Consumed Interview

Change of plan. I was going to do the Stampin’ Ground interview here, but well, it was all too noisy to make out, I also know it was a crap interview, cos I couldn’t think what to ask, and as they’re touring again soon, I think I’ll go for it then. The new album will be out, and maybe I can think of some interesting questions. I believe “we reserve the right to change the contents without prior notice”. Well, I just exercised my rights. And that’s enough exercise for this year I think. So instead, it’s time to meet Consumed, who’ve just had Breakfast at Pappas followed by gig at Derby. Sorry, had to be done.

Firstly, don’t make the mistake I did when I first heard the name, and think they’re the Irish band Consume. Cos, er, they’re not. Second, don’t make the mistake I did and think that just cos they’re on FatWreckChords that they are some NOFX soundalike wannabies. Cos they’re not. Thirdly, don’t eat garlc for breakfast. Sorry, how did that one get in there.

Anyway, it’s time to do that thing again, so let’s crowd into the small room that acts as storage room / changing room at the Vic. A-Ha is playing on the pub PA, bloody loudly as well. And the room is a touch dark, hope you’re not scared of the dark ...

So without further ado, it’s onwards and upwards ....

Steve Ford - Guitar/vocals

Mike Ford - guitar/backing vocals

Baz Barrett - bass guitar

Chris Billam - drums

(Uh, hang on, I’ve just come back from the end of this interview, and have to apologise here and now for how cack it is. Seems I was on a particularly shit question asking form tonight, overbearing, and the shite that was being played in the pub came through way too loudly on the tape. Bugger. Uh, ok, you can carry on again now)

Right, I don’t know much about the band, so do you want to tell us something about Consumed.

Right, started in ‘94, am I right? Yeah, couple of bass players changed, we got Baz now. He does all the phoning andgets everything sorted out, the gigs. Yeah, but I don’t know what happened here.

This is in reference to the, shall we say, pitiful turn out here in Derby tonight. Ah, nice to see people supporting our own eh?

We’ve played here I think twice that have been a bit better than this. Anyway, what else have we done. Formed the band 94, sat around drinking tea and watching the telly and we got a phone call from FatWreckChords. Baz here used to play in a band who knew Snuff (I think, that may be wrong, but A-Ha are currently doing their best to obliterate the interview. It was something to do with Snuff, and I “think” that’s what was said, but apologies if I fucked up again. Well come on, it’s page 32, it’s about time I did so) who got in touch with NOFX and and then they asked us to do a record.

They must’ve guessed it was going to be a struggle, cos now the piece of wood that passes for a door has been placed in its position, and the noise is slightly quieter. It’s also pitch black in here, almost. So we’re going on voice recognition now ....

So where were we? Getting the tea, sent a tape off to Snuff who in turn gave us a few gigs. I’m saying this Chris tells Baz, They gave us the gigs, liked us, and from there, basically we’ve been nobodies for four years, and now we’ve got a chance to prove ourselves and get out and about. The tape got sent to FatWreckChords, they phoned up and we can ride off the backs of other bands, which is nice. Since then, when did we get the offer Chris checks with the others. November. We had the record recorded already and we were going to release it ourselves on Spinout which is Baz’s label. So we signed to FatWreckChords, which should make everything go a bit quicker, and we’ve got a six track EP coming out. And that’s it, the history.

The EP is out now, called Breakfast at Pappa’s, and it’s a bit good actually. Short, but sweet.

Being on FatWreckChords, is that helpful to you or not?

Yeah, I mean otherwise you’re nobody, but you can ride off the back and we get a lot more interest from venues. People take you seriously reckons Steve. You can play any old gig, but when you’ve got the backing, then they take notice. I’m hoping that when the EP comes out, people can buy it, listen to it and then come out. It’s like with many other bands isn’t it, people have to hear them first.

Is it a little bit disappointing to have played Nottingham, supporting NOFX and the Bosstones, gotten a good response, and then when you play here, what 20 minutes away, there’s nothing.

Yeah, but it was because we were with NOFX wasn’t it. I tell you what’s disappointing though, it’s always nice to have people enjoy it, and I know it’s a bit of a cliche, but you feed off it yourself and play a better gig. But if you’re playing to deadly silence, then it’s just a waste, and it puts you off a bit. I mean it’s nice to play here, but it’s because you’ve tasted the luxury of fame with NOFX that you can’t help but feel a little bit like that (disappointed)

Because there seemed to be a good reaction at the NOFX gig.

We were saying that earlier today, hoping that people would come over but ...

I’ve seen a few bands here though, that have had virtually no-one, then they play Rock City and they pack out the Disco 2 venue. I don’t know if it’s just Derby, apathy or what.

I think it’s about advertising isn’t it. This gig wasn’t advertised at all really. I found out about it yesterday. There you go then.

The other thing I was wondering when I initially asked about being on FatWreckChords, is that I’ve probably got preconceived ideas of what bands on there are going to sound like. And I guess many others have as well, NOFX clones. And the first time I saw you, that’s what I labelled you, but the last time, I realised how wrong I was. Do people expect that of you?

They do expect that, just because it is a FatWreckChords band. A lot of the bands have a similar sound. But that’s why I think Mike was interested in it in the first place. Cos he thinks it might help redress the balance. It’s like Snuff. Snuff are Snuff aren’t they. They dont’ sound like them. Yeah, but that’s an example that is kind of deceptive, because they’re not on FatWreckChords in England. But yeah, people do just see the logo and buy it. I think before we got signed, we did a lot of our gigs in Nottingham, and I think we’ve got a fair following there now, but we’ve played there to death now.

We’ve got the bloody Eurythmics playing now, and at the moment, all I can make out is the end of a Baz sentence of “never again, never” and the sound of a glass being heavily placed on a table. Well, I don’t know what it was about. Remind me to not do interviews when there shit being played waaaay too loudly for me to make things out.

But anyway, enough, back to the interview. How would you describe the sound then?

I would say crashbangwallop. reckons Mike. Someone said Anthrax in a jam! I can understand the Therapy? likeness which Kerrang! gave us. Rocket From The Crypt / Therapy? combo restates Steve.

Yeah, but for the record, Kerrang! are a bunch of wankers! (Cue about the next five minutes of me just whingeing and moaning about the beloved K! I’d have included it here, but you’ll have already read about it all in previous YAZs)

Let’s talk about Terroriser offers Chris. Did we have stuff in Terroriser ages ago. Melodic hardcore. It don’t matter anyway. Baz is slightly more optimistic. I want to see us in Smash Hits.

I can make no comment, as I’ve never seen Smash Hits. No really, bastards.

Anyway, it has to be said, (I say to Steve), that you play a very metal guitar (it’s a Max Cavalera shaped guitar. No, not slightly chubby after all these years, you know the, er, crap shaped one that he plays.)

It’s essential he reckons.

But what about the people that don’t like the crossover over metal and punk or hardcore, when there is essentially to much of a metal influence. Do you think they are going to be put off? They want people to stay pure, and basically deny any metal influence.

We’d like to think that we can shine through. We’re proud of metal. Everyone should have it, and everyone has got one (album). I think essentially this music has metal roots, and everyone has it says Steve, only to be interrupted by Baz not me protests the bassist. I was a punk rocker mate. No you weren’t, you were a goth.

Baz is still having none of it.

How many goths have you seen with fucking clogs on?

So being a closet Goth then, are you pleased that Bauhaus are reforming?

He avoids the question. I go to Whitby every weekend. You told us you go to karate.

Ok, let’s face it, we’re going nowhere here. Time to change tact again.

One of the things I noticed tonight, as was the last time I saw you, is the cover of the Kirsty McColl

Aaaaah. Got him, fallen into the trap there. She didn’t do it first. It was Billy Bragg.

The “it” in question is the song New England. Time for me to make a quicker, “yeah, I knew that honest” manoeuvre.

Billy Bragg did it though. Just add some guitars in there. It was Chris that suggested it, and when he said New England I thought Kirsty McColl straight away, and I thought “NO, No to Kirsty McColl”, and then I found out it was Billy.

Was there any particular reason for covering that song?

It’s just a good song. And we’re sick and tired of playing Ace of Spades (which was the cover they did the first time that I saw them). That’s my metal roots showing again. I like playing it, I play it well. It’s short, it’s snappy they’re not on about Baz, and it’s a good song. And it’s “anthemic” and it’s about England.

So you’re not going to do any say Bangles covers then? (Hey, I want to see a band of this ilk do a Bangles cover. It always seems to be the same tried and tested songs. Ok, so none of them are going to look like Susanna Hoffs did when I was 14, but that’s my problem.)

Errrrr, they’re giving it some serious thought. NO. Yeah, I’ll think about that reckons Baz who may be on my side with this. Or may just be taking the piss as well. We’ll do this for about 4 years, and then we’ll do something else. We’ll do Kirsty McColl’s version next reckons Steve to Baz’s amusement.

Ok, going back to the mini-album coming out. Do you want to say anything about it, any of the songs on there, apart from A Twat Called Morris, which is pretty self-explanatory?

Ahhhhhhhh. Shit, it’s that “wrong again” sound. That tracks not on there. That’ll be on the album mate.

Which will be out when?

We’re not sure yet, but I think it’s probably by the end of the year, or early next year. Yeah, that’s going to have all the hits on it. All the hits and more.

But returning to the mini-album.

We’ve got six tracks on it. Five of them we still do, and they’re like the earliest stuff that we do now.

At this point I’d not heard the EP. Any song titles?

The whole thing is called Breakfast at Pappa’s, which is a kebab shop that we, er, frequent. And the tracks are, Heavy Metal Winner, which is from Microsomething (I don’t know the game, I thought they said Microcheese, but that sounds crap) on the Playstation. There’s a tornament called Heavy Metal, and if you win it, you’re a Heavy Metal Winner. A song called Bye Bye Fatman, which we wrote at a time when our bassplayer left, and he was fat! Third one is called Brutal Tooth, which is just a play on brutal truth, which I suppose is a bit crap. Fourth one is called Stand Under Me, cos he sings understand me, and sort of saying stand under me that you .... it don’t matter. He’s doing well. There’s only reasonable amounts of laughter going on at the moment. The fifth one is calledNonsense Cone which is instance cone, but made sense(??). And the last one is called Bigger Shoe, which is obviously big issue, but we put it as bigger shoe, as opposed to size 10. There you go, that’s the song titles.

Get the feeling they’ve been hit by that question before? Yeah, probably. Anyway, now that I have heard it, I can tell you that it is a belter of an EP. Overpriced yeah, but that’s not their fault. If you like Snuff, and yeah, Therapy? then take a listen to this, cos I reckon you just might like it.

No real mysterious things underneath these songs then?

Nah, absolutely no meaning to them. Imaginery girl problems. It’s just words that rhyme reckons Steve to much laughter.

Any other things to add?

There’s been rumours of going out to Europe at some time. There’s talk of us going over, possibly with Snuff. Nearly got to Ireland with the Bosstones, but they pulled out, cos one of them slashed their wrists or something.

Different to what I heard. I heard that one of them had left.

Has he?

Things then degenerate into a small conversation about it. Apparently it seemed that they guy who left hadn’t appeared particularly happy, but everyone else was fine. Official press story, of course, is that he left to pursue different musical directions. Or some other such guff.

Right, anyway, what is the key thing that people need to know about Consumed.

Well Baz gets his cock out always. I’ll show it to anybody anytime. says the man with some amount of pride it seems. Can we move on now?

Mike and Steve are brothers, we (Chris and Baz) are the engine room that keeps things ticking.

Why should someone buy the minialbum then?

Because it’s on Fat. Because it rocks. Because it rocks, and it’s about time people bought a decent record from some English band. We’re not a clone of the American NOFX sound. We’ve got tinges of it. You get too many bands shipped over here sounding the same.

So are there any good bands then from England.

One Car Pile Up. Jane Doe are brilliant, but apparently they’ve split up. Snuff of course. Hear, hear. Goober Patrol, Vanilla Pod. I can’t think of many others, but there are bands like Dog Toffee and Cynical Smile who I’ve yet to hear but you see all the time on posters. There’s a lot of good bands about.

So what do you think of the UK scene in general.

It’s a bit shitty when it’s like tonight innit. Well it’s been a good night in some ways. We’ve been spoiled because of the big gigs we’ve just had. We need to play London a bit more. Last time was with Speedurchin, who are good as well. That was ace that gig, but there again, it was the first one we had under the Fat label and name. I’m just looking forward to seeing how things transpire and go.

Anything that you think can be done to make or encourage people to go and see gigs like this one?

I really don’t know. Just enjoy us, a bus ride, and some tea. And muffins.

What is this fixation with tea?

Fucking love it mate. Can’t stand it myself. But back to bands and gigs, I mean, NOFX when we played with them was huge. There were queues down the streets, it was ridiculous.

But it’s only if it’s American. If it’s a UK band doing this sort of thing, people just don’t want to know.

And with me on a customary, “we don’t support the UK bands” rant, it’s time to come to an end. Oh, and finally the music has stopped. Just as we finish. Nice thanks.

Anyway, the mini-album IS well worth your time checking out. And next time they play some gigs, let’s see some people actually go to them.

37 Stoneyford Road Sutton in Ashfield Nottingham, NG17 4DA.