Saturday, 24 November 2007
HERESY INTERVIEW THAT APPEARED IN HEADROT ZINE IN THE LATE 80'S.
HERESY are without a doubt, the No 1 UKHC band at the moment to my knowledge, & so thus, deserve some form of interview in HEADROT, & finding postal interviews dominating zines nowadays, I finally plucked up courage to put myself on the spot in a live situation. So, on the afternoon of 22nd of October 1987, I found myself in a ‘no turning back ya wimp’ situation in Kalv’s kitchen, scared out of my wits, asking the following questions. All members of the group were present, & in the 35 minutes that followed, they got the chance to put their comments on the subjects that so far (I feel anyway) they haven’t had the chance to reply to. Here we go ………..
HEADROT: What did you think about the Peel session, how did you get it, & contracts, cos I heard there were certain contracts for the Peel session?
JOHN: Yeah, there are, yeah. We got it cos John Peel showed up for our Bradford gig, which was like, the first gig we did on a tour with LARM & HEIBEL. Uh, we don’t know why he showed up, it’s apparently because his wife lives in Bradford, & it was something for him to do, so ……….. He came down, saw us, liked us, & asked if we’d wanted to do a Peel session; we agreed, BBC sent us a contract, & we took it from there really—it’s quite straight forward. The contract just means that they have the right to the Peel session, we can’t bring it out kind of thing, simple as that.
HEADROT: So do you think they’d put out the session?
JOHN: We’ve heard rumours but, I mean, I think something like, they don’t bring anything out that’s brand new, they have to wait two years.
HEADROT: So how much did you get paid for the session?
JOHN: We got £380 is what you get for the recording, & £40 for your petrol. Then after that you get £80 every time it gets played again.
HEADROT: So what do you think about the rumoured airplay of indie records being played on Gary Davies & stuff? They’re going to bring more indie records in, do you think HERESY would be played in the afternoon?
HEADROT: Would you want HERESY to be played in the afternoon?
JOHN: Well obviously, it’s kind of like, out of our hands-if somebody wants to play our record or our tape then there’s not a lot we can do about it. If they’re into it, they’re into it.
KALV: It’s like, not going to do us any harm but …. I dunno. I wouldn’t be surprised if it eventually got round to it; it depends how HC takes off with this trendy sort of way it’s being approached to, liked, by the music papers & that. It’s up to them how big they’re eventually gonna make it the way they’re going on, it could get pretty big.
HEADROT: But do you think anyone would take notice of you if you were played in the afternoon, like the workers or whatever listening to it?
KALV: The workers?
HEADROT: Listening to Gary Davies or something like that ……
ALL: I doubt it, no …………!
JOHN: They’d probably laugh!
HEADROT: So do you think that would affect HERESY in any way?
KALV: It’s hard to say …
JOHN: It depends who’s listening to it & who takes notice of it. Any more of these major label types who have been ringing us a bit in the last few months, then … to be honest, I wish they wouldn’t bother, cos they’re just like, getting on our nerves.
HEADROT: What labels have been ringing you up?
JOHN: God, you don’t wanna know!
KALV: Ninja records, wasn’t it?
JOHN: Yeah, also a label called Jive, or Dive, who put out Samantha Fox records …
HEADROT: Jive, yeah.
JOHN: Yeah they rang up asking us if we were interested in sending them a tape, & we said well, no kind of thing. It’s just a pain having to deal with these kind of people.
KALV: Cos their interest’s not in the music, it’s just something they see as the next bloody marketable fashion they can make a fast buck off.
HEADROT: Yeah, cos I heard that you (Kalv) have got a real interest that HC should get more major & stuff.
KALV: Yeah, on it’s own terms.
HEADROT: But does that mean signing to major labels?
KALV: No, it just means like people for other parts of the music business come into a more ground level base to actually see what’s happening. Not to bleed the scene dry of all it’s good musicians & make them into big bands for all the wrong reasons …. Whatever.
HEADROT: So what do you think of the STUPIDS? Do you think they’ll become major & stuff?
KALV: Yeah, they have, or they’ll do anything to be.
HEADROT: So what would you do in their position? If you had the kind of effect they’ve got on the music press …..
JOHN: Take control.
KALV: It’s like, we’ve been offered things along those lines which would probably make us a bigger band but for all the wrong reasons. We’ve been offered like, big London gigs which we’ve turned down because they’re done through really dodgy people who aren’t really interested in the HC scene, only in how much money they can make at big gigs, & well, people like Ninja & Jive records who are interested in making money off us, but we know for a fact that they’re not actually interested in the band or what we’re doing, they’re just interested in how they market us & make money, so those are the wrong reasons. So perhaps if we did that, it could maybe get a little bigger like the Stupids, but it’s just lose too much.
HEADROT: Do you think they’re using themselves, they’re setting themselves up, because it’s the position they’re putting themselves in?
JOHN & KALV: Yeah.
JOHN: It’s out of laziness in a way.
KALV: Yeah, the Stupids, they’re not bothered; they’d just do anything to get big. It’s like they’ve been in so many NME, Sounds, & big music paper interviews, & they don’t say anything constructive about what’s happening in the HC scene-they just talk about themselves & how they skate & how they look rad, & how they drink root beer & complete garbage like that. I mean, if they really cared about the music scene they came from, they’d talk about what it’s like y’know? I don’t think they’ve had that much experience actually, they played a few gigs when they were a bunch of naïve little school kids who generally enjoyed playing HC; I mean, it eventually got to something where they were getting bigger & bigger, & Tommy kept it going because basically it’s Tommy’s band.
HEADROT: Yeah, it seems cos of the skate thing, the stuff in Sounds & that, that they only got in there cos of the skate thing.
JOHN & KALV: Yeah, oh, yeah.
KALV: It’s like when we were first interviewed by the NME. This guy who works for the local evening post, who works for NME as a photographer, he goes, “Right, we’ll do a photo session, so get your skateboards out” kind of thing.
JOHN (to SEVE): Yeah, he says it up to you, doesn’t he?
STEVE: Yeah, he goes “Oh, do you skate?”, & I go, well no, cos were not a skate band.
HEADROT: So none of you skate?
HEADROT: That’s good.
KALV: It’s just, we get lumped in with it …………..
JOHN: Just because of the way we look ……
KALV: And because we play HC ……….
HEADROT: And because of the American sound.
KALV: I’m not even sure if it’s that blatantly American ..
HEADROT: So how do you think Metal Forces & that picked up on you? Was it because of the HC thing that they’re trying to get into?
JOHN: Yeah, yeah, they’re falling over themselves to get into HC.
KALV: I don’t think it’s because they want to, it’s just because they know for a fact that a lot of their readers are getting into it, & theres’s a lot of interest, so they’ve got to please whatever their readers want.
JOHN: They feel obliged to cover it.
HEADROT: It’s like through Metal Forces, Mike Exley (the guy who interviewed HERESY) knows only 2 bands in HC. It’s like, if you read the reviews, it’s DRI & The ACCUSED, that’s all it is, all the time. If he reviews NAPALM DEATH, RIPCORD, WEHRMACHT, whatever, it’s the same like …
JOHN: The English equivalent to DRI …….
KALV: Obsessed with that “Oh, these could be the English equivalent to DRI”, it’s just like when Onslaught were picked up, it’s like “These could be England’s equivalet to Metal
lica”, it’s like … we’ve got to be …..
JOHN: Let’s have an English equivalent to something …..
KALV: An English equivalent to something big. It make them feel kind of proud, they’re kind of patriotic dicks in a way.
HEADROT: So would you go in another metal magazine?
KALV: It depends; some of the smaller ones, some of the people who run them have got a genuine interest in the music, but … Metal Forces again, well, I don’t know … The last one was bad enough & Kerrang can say no outright cos they’re a helluvva lot worse. Kerrang is just a big bloody money making scheme, whereas Metal Forces, although it’s bit, I think it’s more ground level done by people who do have a genuine interest in the music.
HEADROT: I don’t think Mike Exley has much of an interest really. I mean, he’s like trying to show an interest, but he’s talking about something he knows nothing about …
KALV: I think he’s interested, it’s just, he’s just fucking backward.
JOHN: He’s just naïve or stupid.
KALV: I mean, most people from the metal thing are like that, stereotypes, & wrong as it may be, they just seem to be. Like last night after we played, there were a few metal kids come up to say they liked it& all of them asked for autographs … it’s only metallers. It’s like, why?
HEADROT: Yeah, it’s happened to people like the AMEBIX, people coming up & saying “Oh, you were really good, can you sign this?” & them saying, well , we’re not into all this, & they like, can’t understand why they won’t sign ….
JOHN: Yeah, I had this argument last night with this kid about that. He comes up to me with a pen goes “Sign my trouser leg” & I says, well, what’s the point, it’s like, doesn’t make any
sense. He says “Well, come on, it’s something I really want”, & I went, well, it’s something I’m not really prepared to do. And then I said I’d prefer to give you some stickers if you want something about the band, something a bit more constructive, & he says “Well, not everybody ….”, & I goes well, why do you want my autograph & he says, “Well, you’re the singer in a band”, & I goes, well, anybody can be a singer in a band if they really want to be—it’s kind of, a really useless thing to ask for.
KALV: He asked me & Baz as well, & we signed his jacket. (laughter)
KALV: This guy came up to me & said “Can you sign my jacket?, & we just laughed & went “Are you serious?!” & he says “Really”, but I mean …..
JOHN: Sometimes you do it cos you just wanna get rid of them in a way …
KALV: I know. It’s like, if you don’t, they’ll think you’re a rock star …
HEADROT: I was gonna say, if that’s what they really want …
KALV: If that’s what they really want, they can have it, it’s wrong but ….
JOHN: Yeah, it’s like, sometimes we get sent through the post “sign this autograph paper” & then we’ll do it, it’s like, if we can …
KALV: I don’t see how it’s such a big deal.
JOHN: It’s like, I’d never do it if it was a one to one situation & I had to talk my way out of it & I’d tell them my reasons why I don’t sign autographs, like last night I didn’t. But if it’s through the mail, then sometimes we’ll do it, just for the sake of it, you know & then we’ll explain the reasons why we don’t usually do this, becasue ,y’know, we don’t really look at ourselves as being a big band or anything: we don’t really see why people want our autographs.
HEADROT: But do you think the obsession with the word “mosh” & that, you’re going to get all these Anthrax fans, & that Anthrax kind of attitude, simply because of the word “mosh”?
KALV: But “mosh” was originally invented by Adrenalin O.D., it was on their 1st ep in ‘83, they were the originators of the word & it’s only the metallers who have stolen it …. It’s just a good word for slamming.
HEADROT: But could you blame people if they’re Anthrax fans, like some of the kiddies last night at Manchester, thinking of the word “mosh”, starting getting into you, thinking you have the Anthrax attitude? Could you blame them?
KALV: Couldn’t blame them, but I’d say it was extremely shortsighted on their part & I don’t see why we should stand to blame for their shortsightedness .
HEADROT: Going back to the interview, did you get things out of context & stuff?
JOHN: Well, we didn’t get things out of context, they got things out of context.
HEADROT: Yeah, that’s what I meant. (cringe you bastard reporter).
KALV: We said a lot & talked about all the positive things about the underground HC thing, how we played in Europe, they’ve got a self managed squat scene, & you can play a series of gigs & everything will be organised & we think how this is really good, positive thin, didn’t mention that, just mentioned that we played fast HC & how we might be England’s answer to bloody DRI …….it’s a load of rubbish.
HEADROT: Do you think that they didn’t print that because they felt their readers didn’t want to read about squats & the European scene?
JOHN: Yeah … it’s kind of understandable for Metal Forces, but at the same time, it was something we didn’t have much experience of at the time—we just presumed it would be a regular fanzine interview: they take what we say on tape & the print—well, they did but we also forgot at the time that Mike Exley gets paid for what he does, so he obviously has to put his own angle, so …
HEADROT: What I’ve heard is that he gets paid quite a bit …
JOHN: Yeah, so obviously it’s like, if you’re getting paid to something, you’ve got to put your own personality towards it, & uh, Mike Exley’s personality .. To me … his style of writing is not how we want to be represented.
HEADROT: I don’t think he’s clever y’know?
KALV: He’s not, you can tell that by talking to him. (laughter).
KALV: He’s like, quite a friendly guy, & I don’t really wanna slag him off. It’s just understandable coming from a background of bloody Iron Maiden & that, & trying to comprehend what HC is all about, there seems no problem to him but …
JOHN: It’s a world of difference.
KALV: But at the same time …
HEADROT: But it’s like, he’s picking up on something he knows nothing about.
KALV: Most of the things we talked enthusiastically about, just never got mentioned, & all the things we mentioned by chance like, got blown out of proportion.
HEADROT: It’s like the word ’fans’. When I saw that I thought, well, it’s not that bad, but then ’fans’ is a pretty fucking horrible word, y’know?
KALV: I agree, yeah.
JOHN: It made us out to be really carreerist , y’know, “we’re the No 1 band” & we never really said … we never really said that at all, we never think of ourselves as such. And so he’s going “Hey kids, these could be England’s DRI”.
KALV: Yeah, “They’ve got a sound like career mind & they know they’re going” & we didn’t come across like that at all.
JOHN: It’s really funny if you know us, cos we’re completely unorganised in a lot of things. We only get things done … like .. We always get things done, but it’s like .. But it’s never done easily. It’s always at the last minute, as you saw yesterday, not much co-ordination. We always get it together but it’s always at the last minute, so for him to say we’re really careerist & out for ourselves, is such a joke. The same as when people call us rockstars & stuff—to us is such a joke, because it’s like, people who don’t even know us, so it kind of pisses us off.
HEADROT: So do you think Mike Exley saw the real HERESY?
JOHN: Yeah, we spoke to him for a good hour, but he saw us & got it wrong obviously, we didn’t explain ourselves well enough, or he wasn’t interested.
KALV: We presumed he’d be able to do a magazine article well enough to present what we’re about accurately. We should’ve gone out of our way maybe to read some of his articles for Metal Forces …
JOHN: We can’t help it if he’s incompetent. (laughter).
HEADROT: And what about the NME article?
JOHN: It’s the same again.
HEADROT: Was it a glossy kind of ..
JOHN: It’s just rubbish basically, it’s rubbish.
STEVE: (Can’t make out the word) instead of metallers.
JOHN: Yeah, it’s the same.
HEADROT: And did you do the same as Metal Forces, talk for a couple of hours?
JOHN: Yeah, 3 hours … for three quotes.
HEADROT: And how much writing did they put into it?
JOHN: What we said: they put 3 quotes, & the rest was just blurb, this band is big, you must be into them …
KALV: They make a racket, they jump around, the dress American …
JOHN: Come & watch these guys dress American, come & watch these guys jump around, it’s like really fun, ha, ha, ha. They just didn’t get the right idea at all .. Which is kind of understandable again cos NME not that much different from Metal Forces .. In the way they’re creating trends.
KALV: I guess like, more intelligent people just obsessed with new fads in music & so this is a new fad, nothing to really take serioulsy . Everything you say seriously they think “Oh what the fuck, they’re just a bunch of kids & they’re just starting out in the world”. What right have they got to, seriously, just go & see them jump about &
& make noise”?
HEADROT: Are HERESY one big happy family?
JOHN: Oh yes!
HEADROT: Like, can you compromise?
JOHN: Well, we don’t have to .. What, within ourselves?
KALV: We take the piss out of each other a bit sometimes.
HEADROT: I was going to say, the next question was how much humour is there in HERESY?
JOHN: Oh, a lot!
(Steve mentions something about his hat, though I fail to work out what he said, unfortunately).
JOHN: Really, people who say that we take ourselves serioulsy, I mean we do, but we don’t. We always take the piss out of ourselves in everything we do, it’s like …
KALV: It’s stupid to take things that seriously, we’re serious about what we’re doing, but at the same time not to the point where you’re so dogmatic & …
JOHN: It’s like, each one of us has got a standing joke that somebody will always give us, you know & we don’t like to take ourselves 100% seriously.
HEADROT: It seems like the idea is, is that everyone in HERESY is really straight, it’s like we don’t wanna laugh …
JOHN: Oh god …. We laugh.
HEADROT: It’s like, you seem to be outspoken, & it’s “Oh, they obviously don’t have a sense of humour” ..
ALL: Oh, we have.
KALV: It’s just people, don’t know us. Yeah, we are a very outspoken band amongst the English HC thing, like … of all the bands, we’re in one band. Baz has mentioned before what with being in RIPCORD, you heard a lot of rumours from other bands, & we get a lot of stick from other bands.
HEADROT: I was going to say, does it worry you that HERESY are being used as a ‘this years band thing’ & people spreading rumours abut them?
KALV: It does in a way, because I think they’re wrong, but at the same time I think that half the people who are spreading rumours are far from perfect anyway, so I think “What the hell, is it really worth taking seriously?”
JOHN: There’s not a lot you can do about it. The rumours that are spreading are just so pathetic. It’s just “Oh, this band are American clones”, is that all they can say? Is that all people can see?
KALV: Like the SORE THROAT kind of attitude. (Sore Throat have apparently got a one second song ‘dedicated’ to HERESY & the vocalist’s lyrics are ‘Cunt’ - grow up children). It’s just so pathetic. I mean, we’d have to be really bloody stupid to take that seriously. We just laugh at it & think “Oh god, they must be a real bunch of dicks if they can say that without even knowing us”.
HEADROT: Would you like to sit down with them, & say “Right, what’s all this about then?
KALV: I don’teven know who they are, but I’d be interested in talking to them.
JOHN: I’d like to sit down with everyone who has slagged us off & say “Lets talk it out”. Only one time has somebody come up to me & questioned what this band’s about, this guy Aiden, came up to me in Birmingham & put me on the spot.
He says “Right John, what’s this song about, why do you dress like that, blah, blah, blah & for an hour we spoke, & we parted like on good terms about it & shook hands. I said “Well, at least you’ve had the guts to come up & ask us”, cos I goes “Oh, I was really shocked” & he goes “Well, loads of people talk about you, your band. Loads of people slag you down for the way your dress, how you play, what you say” & I was going “Well I never heard anything about it before”. It’s obvious they never say it to your face. I’d just love people to come up & ask us & then maybe we could set the record straight about a few things, cos often it’s really totally unjustified what they say about us, it really gets us down.
KALV: That’s probably part of the reason why we don’t get on too well with a lot of British bands, cos like, we hear rumours which are pretty much true about what they’re saying about us & then when they see you at gigs they’ll put on a false face & politeness, so you’ll keep it short cos you think “well fucking hell, you’re saying things about us, why should we go out of our way to be nice to someone who’s just putting on a false face?”. So you keep it short and bugger off, & as soon as you’ve gone, it’s like “He thinks he’s really something” y’know?
HEADROT: Yeah, I think that’s with any band …
KALV: Oh yeah, but perhaps us more so than any other English bands. Maybe the Stupids now, but they’ve got more reason to be slagged thank I think we have. Like, we’ve been offered a lot of chances the Stupids have, but we’ve turned them all down, whereas they’ve willingly gone along with anything.
JOHN: But it’s a vicious circle. People are still calling us rockstars & stuff.
KALV: You can’t win but, it’s like, it doesn't really bother me anymore … it does perhaps in a way cos I think it’s unjust & that, but there’s always gonna be a certain amount of criticism anyway, so …. It’s like, we’ve got friends & that. Most of the good people we know appreciate what we’re doing, & think what we’re doing is good cos we’re doing it for those sort of people, or anybody who’s interested, so the other people who want to spread rumours or don’t like us, then fuck ‘em. We can live without them.
JOHN: There’s always gonna be people who don’t like it anyway, no matter …. If you take a stand on anything there’s always gonna be people who disagree so as long as they can disagree constructively & not like, “Oh, I don’t like HERESY cos …….”
KALV: They’re a bunch of American fucking spoilt dicks or twats …
HEADROT: Yeah, it’s mainly cos of the American clothes, but it also seems like when John joined, that’s when all the rumours started. (to John) it seems all based around you, y’know?
JOHN: I’m to blame.
HEADROT: It’s like, no one blames you (HERESY) of Americanism, it’s just you (John). It’s like, “Oh I remember when he was in Concrete Sox, & he looked a … it’s like, people seem to think you’ve given up on everything you used to think about & stuff, & that you’ve just turned into an American clone.
JOHN: That’s completely untrue, it’s like … I don’t know, I don’t know how to answer that. To be honest, it’s not even an American clone. I’ve kinda changed since I joined HERESY, if I have cloned anything, it’s the European scene. I was so impressed with it when I first went there. I thought “This is for me”. It opened a completely new door in my life “I wanna kind of, be like that in England because it’s different”, so it’s not really a conscious … I’ve never been to America so I can’t really be a clone outright, cos I don’t know what it’s like. It could be absolute rubbish for all I know, but all I know is that I saw the German & Dutch scenes, really liked them, thought “This is great, this is what I wanna do, how I wanna be”, so I took that into the way HERESY was going at the same time, so it kind of made sense. People always look to America first like the never look to the rest of Europe.
HEADROT: Which scene do you take most interest in. European or American?
JOHN: I take a lot of interest in the European. We don’t look to one country in particular, which is another thing, we look to the whole world. We don’t just look to America & what’s coming out of it.
KALV: Different scenes are completely different; it’s like America’s a lot of business sharks conscious about how much money they can make out of it … the career interests, like the way DRI have gone, & I think originally when the whole scene sort of started taking off with Minor Threat & that, all the good people who generally put something back into what they were doing, it wasn’t all take, take, take y’know, make money & milk the scene dry. It was a real positive thing, but now in America it seems to be business sharks putting on shows, getting involved with HC like Death records, so America … I don’t know, it’s hard to say … it seems like it peaked about ‘81-’82 time, & what you’ve got now is great music but perhaps some of the people who are making it are pretty dodgy.
HEADROT: It seems like they don’t put a lot in. it’s like, I’ve got a real interest in the Italian scene & that, because you can see people working to make something, whereas America … it’s like, if you see MRR, everybody’s band has a nice drum kit & equipment because their Mum & Dad bought it for them cas they said “Can I have a new kit?” or whatever. It’s like, they don’t put a lot in, they just take a lot out …
KALV: I think a lot of them had music lessons when they were kids as well, that’s why most of them are such good musicians. It’s like, completely different middle class backgrounds, different from the rest of working class Europe.
HEADROT: There also seems like a lot of racist, sexist stuff coming out of the States, whereas you don’t tend to get that from, say, Italy, or wherever.
KALV: It’s strange.
HEADROT: It’s like, Wehrmacht or whatever, with tracks like “Go Home” & stuff like that, it’s pretty dangerous?
KALV: Yeah, it’s definitely dangerous.
JOHN: It’s a load of rubbish.
KALV: Cos people accept it on a musical value system whereby “Oh, the music shreds, so it’s gotta be good”, but the underlying attitudes are just bad. It might as well be Whitesnake or something.
JOHN: That’s another thing, it’s the same people who are slagging us donw who, the next day, are buying the Wehrmacht album, the ones who are calling us rockstars.
KALV: Yeah, that’s right.
JOHN: I mean, what the fuck, take a look at yourselves, & if you’re buying a Wehrmacht album, then …
KALV: I mean, compared to Wehrmacht, we’re fucking small fish compared to a big nasty whale y’know.
JOHN: It’s a case of wrong priorities.
HEADROT: It’s the same with people who buy SOD stuff, like the MOD thing. It’s like something, something like, Noise wouldn’t touch some record, but they touched the MOD thing simply because they couldn’t hear the lyrics when they were going to license it, so they excused themselves from the sexist, racist lyrics by saying they couldn’t hear them, & were just going by the music quality. Would you expect that from a HC label? If SOD/MOD were put out by a HC label, would you expect “Oh, we can’t hear the words, therefore we don’t really care about what they’re singing about”? I mean, I’m surprised that Dig’s got anything to do with Wehrmacht as well … (cackle of laughter)
JOHN: Good question!
HEADROT: I find it strange, cos he must’ve read the lyrics to “Go Home” as well …
KALV: Oh, he knows what he’s dealing with, he’s just trying to excuse them for it, saying “Well they’re just a bunch of naïve little kids really, & they mean well but they’re just coming out with stuff like this cos they think it’s funny, which it’s not”.
HEADROT: Do you think he believes what … cos it seems to me that Wehrmacht are into what they say, if you read the lyrics to “Go ome”, they do seriously ….
JOHN: I think they actually mean it.
HEADROT: I think it’s different with SOD.
KALV: I can imagine them (Wehrmacht) to be a real bunch of dickhead metallers who sit around getting drunk, hanging round in gangs, & talking shit a lot, & it shows in their music. You can imagine what sort of people they are.
HEADROT: But do you think they’re any different from SOD, do you think SOD believe in what they say, or rather, Billy Milano?
JOHN: I totally agree …
KALV: Especially Milano …
KALV: It’s definitely Milano I think.
JOHN: But I think the other 3 just don’t give a fuck anyway.
HEADROT: It’s like …. With the MOD LP, the drummer got kicked out just afterwards. He got his name on the back, but there was a statement from Milano in the press saying he was kicked out because he didn’t take it seriously. I’m in two minds to whether SOD mean & believe in what they say, or whether they’re just doing a Mykel Board kind of thing, just doing it to wind people up.
KALV: I think part of it is that, but I think that Milano actually believes in most of what he’s writing.
JOHN: Wind up stuff is like … there’s ways of winding people up, good & bad.
KALV: Nig Heist & The Meatmen, that’s wind up stuff that you can see it for the wind up it is, but I think SOD is just dangerous.
JOHN: Yeah, it’s like what I’ve said before, Bernard Manning winds people up, but he doesn’t do it in a constructive way, whereas Ben Elton winds people up in a completely constructive way, without going back to racist, sexist stereotypes.
KALV: Ask Baz a question ….
HEADROT: Um Baz, what interests lie outside the band?
JOHN: Don’t answer that one Baz …tell lies …
BAZ: Not a lot really. I don’t know, I don’t do much else really. (laughter)
BAZ: Just telling the truth ….
HEADROT: How about you Steve?
STEVE: Just the band ..
JOHN & KALV: He mows the lawn …. (laughter)
KALV: He plays the organ grinder on the sly …
STEVE: Yeah, right …
JOHN: (laughing) Oh god!
HEADROT: What about you two then?
STEVE: Don’t ask Kalv, he’ll get his black book out & show you … he’s got a big list. (laughter)
KAL: Ooh, wasted! Um … listen to music, we’re hoping to, me, John & Trev, to start up a record label soon. We want to licence good foreign bands up first, eventually get something in the bank (have I got this right Kalv? Chris) hopefully. Record good English bands, well, put our our LP first because that’s something we wanna do soon.
HEADROT: And what about you John?
JOHN: Working on “Future-Now”, HERESY takes up a lot of our time …
KALV: Yeah, it’s the predominant thing for me as a band …
JOHN: Yeah, it’s like the main thing in our lives is this band. Apart from that & the magazine, there’s not a lot of time for anything else. Going to gigs …. All the regular things to do with music really …
KALV: Most of what we do is tied in with the HC music scene.
HEADROT: So what do you think of the production of your records, cos I don’t think you quite click it in the studio ….
KALV: Yeah, I know.
HEADROT: Apart from the Peel session. I thought the Peel session was really good, but everything else is … the LP sounds tinny & stuff …
KALV: Tinny? I think the LP sounds powerful & the guitar sounds tinny. It’s just ….
STEVE: The guitar sounds shit.
KALV: It’s just, it sounds very dated for us. And the flexi, our first flexi that sounds tinny, it’s just …
HEADROT: And so are you going to produce yourselves or are you gonna let other people do it?
KALV: Over the years I think we’ve improved slightly, got more of an idea every time we go into the studio, & I think, with any luck, with this next one when we do the LP, we’ll pretty much get it right. Also, it makes a change have Baz in the band, who’s actually interested in getting a good guitar sound, whereas … he’s actually gone out of his way to get all the right equipment, & he knows what he wants, whereas with Reevsy & Mitch who’d just turn up on the day sort of & think “Well, cos this is good equipment, we’ll immediately get a good sound”, it takes a lot more than that, you have to spend a lot of time at it.
HEADROT: So you’re 100% into what you do, then?
ALL: Yeah, definitely.
HEADROT: And what about sleeve work, cos the LP sleeve work is pretty patchy …
JOHN: At that particular point … it was like thrown together, really rushed.
STEVE: We just had to get it out.
KALV: There were so many things happening, Reevsy left the baned, we were without a guitarist, this album had to come out, it was dated material, John had only just done the vocals to it which were Reevsy’s lyrics, & I don’t know, it was thrown together. A lot of it was in Dig’s hands as well.
JOHN: It was all done by Dig, the sleeve.
HEADROT: Could you have stopped it coming out?
JOHN: We didn’t actually want it to stop coming out, but looking back now, we should’ve worked at it a lot more. It’s like, not a lot we could do at the time, so that’s why we want to spend time getting the next one actually a reflection of the band as a change. We’ll be in complete control of it.
HEADROT: So do you think you’ve progressed a lot more?
KALV: Oh, I think we’ve progressed 200% on the last things we’ve done. I mean, the Peel session is like, an approach to the way we’re going.
HEADROT: Have you got any different attitudes, & how do you compromise within those attitudes?
KALV: How do you mean? Attitudes towards what?
HEADROT: Towards the band, music, & different ideals? Does politics come into the band a lot?
KALV: We have conflicts between us you mean?
KALV: I don’t think so …
JOHN: Not that much, we have slight disagreements sometimes.
KALV: I think the disagreements we have are pretty minor compared to disagreements that go on in other bands.
JOHN: We’ve all got pretty much the same ideas on the way we go as a band.
HEADROT: So no one’s arguing over politics or whatever?
JOHN: No, no.
HEADROT: Does politics come into it a lot, or …?
KALV: We’re all vegetarians, believe in basic practical common sense. I don’t know, there’s not a lot to argue about really. We don’t agree about main stream politics if that’s what you mean.
HEADROT: So there’s not one person more outspoken than the rest, you can accept a balance?
JOHN: It’s like no-one does something for the band before consulting the rest of the band, if you know what I mean. Sometimes it happens that way because we haven’t got that much co-ordination, like running all over the place ….
KALV: Like last night for instance. The gig was £2.50. We got there, I’d ike spoke to this guy on the phone, we’ve never had to deal with people from an indie/alternative background, always dealt with HC kids, so I just immediately presumed the gig would be cheap. When we got there, saw it was £2.50 & I thought “well fucking hell” … it’s just like, realising now, things like the Peel session, different people interested in us, so, in the future we’re
Gonna have to make sure we know what we’re getting ourselves into.
HEADROT: And would you play anymore gigs like the DRI gig, for that kind of money?
KALV: I don’t think £3 is that excessive for a big American band ….
HEADROT: Oh right, cos it was dearer in other places …
KALV: We’d have to look at things a lot closer the next time if we did it, but the DRI gig was a real mistake.
JOHN: Yeah, I think so.
HEADROT: But do you think that if you played more gigs like that, you’d be treated exactly the same? If you’re treated badly at the DRI gig, they’re just gonna say “Well, they’re the support band, there’re nothing anyway”?
JOHN: It’s that old rock’n’roll syndrome. Firstly, we never got the same feeling from them gigs. We never walk off the stage pleased, as we do with the gigs we like to do. We do them, & we always regret them, so from now on if we’re offered any more of them gigs, we’ll take a careful look at them before we say yes.
KALV: Yeah, definitely.
HEADROT: So how do you think you can improve HERESY in the future, what are your flaws and stuff?
KALV: There’s very few flaws, just gigs like that we’ve gotta think a little more closely about … & a good guitar sound.
HEADROT: Right, the last question, what embarrassing moments have HERESY had?
STEVE: Kalv, when he’s pissed on stage. (laughter)
KALV: I’m never really pissed on stage.
STEVE: Oh right, yeah.
JOHN: Kalv will tell you about his bass sound in Berlin.
STEVE: He was doing a sound check for an hour, wasn’t he? (laughter)
KALV: These are the sort of things we take the piss out of each other about y’see. It’s just little ‘in the band’ jokes that most people will find hard to understand reading them on paper.
JOHN: Cos we’re completely sarcastic bastards.
HEADROT: Do you have any guilty secrets then, or do you all know what’s going on with each other & that? (laughter)
JOHN: Prett much so.
(Some slanderous comment about Kalv is said, though I can’t quite make it out)
JOHN: Steve would like to tell you about his dad.
STEVE: Oh yeah, I will.
HEADROT: Go on then.
STEVE: No, he’s a great bloke my dad.
KALV: They ow the lawn together.