Paul: Does the success of bands like Kids In Glass Houses and You Me At 6 help the independent music scene or does it hinder it by inspiring bands to pick up an instrument and start carbon copy bands who sound like the 4th or 5th generation of a certain genre?
Barney: I don’t want to get into mucky water here but we’ve played with both of those bands, or at least I’ve seen them both live, and I can safely say that it’s not something I’ve got any authority to comment on. Let’s just say that over the last 5 years in terms of the punk thing there has been a gravitational pull towards bands and music that isn’t really the kind of music that clicks with me. Fair play to them, but it’s really like asking me about Tibetan folk or psychedelic trance or something, I honestly haven’t heard them on record. I don’t think we’ve listened to the same bands and stuff in terms of what influences us. I’m sure they are very good at what they do because otherwise they wouldn’t be so popular, it’s just not something I can really speak on any authority with. I don’t know if it helps the independent music scene. Its rock music isn’t it? Not in an elitist way but it doesn’t have anything to do with what I’d term as punk bands. Not that that matters, but we’re talking about them in an interview for Punktastic aren’t we? I guess if those bands are on their own label and are very hands-on with the running of their operation, then it does helps all the bands in the industry. So yeah, fair play.
Paul: I interviewed Matt from Howards Alias in the summer and he raised some interesting points about British bands and the homegrown scene. I wanted to get your thoughts on some of the issues he raised. He said: “Indie labels and major labels are more or less the same in my eyes. They both exist to make money out of bands by selling their music to the public, one has less money but usually cares more about the music, the other has tons of money but probably couldn’t care less. Either way, if you’re the band, you’re more than likely going to get screwed.” You’ve started your own label after being part of two of the UK’s biggest, and most respected, UK labels. Why did you do this and do you agree with Matt’s statement?
Barney: Well, we started out own label very simply because we had got to a point with the fanbase and stuff that it would have been impossible for Deck Cheese to push us much more than they already had. It was always in the back of my mind as something I wanted to do. Deck Cheese did a wonderful job with Ruff-Guide, they exposed us to a lot of new kids but – as with a band like No Comply – once you’re there they would have had to spend some insane money to give us the conceivable push to expose us to new fans with the second album. And there are very few true indie labels that could do that at this point. So if we’re gonna have to tread water to a certain extent with the fanbase we have then it’s simply a case of economics… we can make more money to support ourselves and the band if we put it out ourselves. So that whole thing is very simple. Deck Cheese were brilliant, we still speak to Eugene and Miles and they respect us for how we’ve gone about everything and it’s all good. They understand I guess. We also wanted to start a label because it fits in with the whole ethos of what we’re doing. And it was always something that we envisaged doing. But it’s not a vanity thing, we really want to make it work. We’ve got the Babylon Whackers and Random Hand on there but we definitely want to build it up. We’ve just sorted out one definite new band in Mouthwash and another one is 99% gonna happen if they’re up for it so I’m mad excited about that. I feel like once we’ve got four active bands on there heads are gonna start turning and seeing we really mean business there. I do essentially agree with Matt but it’s a cynical way of looking at it. He’s obviously had his own experiences with the label thing that I wouldn’t want to comment on so the cup is half empty. But what he says about making money selling music is true. So at the end of the day, you have to go into these things with your eyes open. You have to go into a record deal knowing what to expect and trying to see things from their point of view in terms of why they are having this relationship with you. But there must be good stories of mutually beneficial relationships between band and label. I mean, our relationship with Deck Cheese, to a degree, was just right. We boosted the label at the time and they gave us a good home and a degree of credibility and then we all moved on, it worked. Obviously, any money they made out of it went back into other things to release but that’s how a label works, that’s not a secret. If the money was all going back to the artist there wouldn’t be any point in doing a label in the first place.
Paul: Has anything surprised you about running a label? Are you seeing anything differently now you have a different hat on?
Barney: I see a lot of stuff differently in terms of thinking about marketing and stuff. You have to think about how you can build an identity as a label that is beneficial to the bands on there. But it’s definitely really early days for us and I think that once things begin taking off more for the label a lot of those experiences and lessons are waiting for us. One cool thing is that there is strength in numbers in the sense that whatever contacts and relationships you build yourself as a band can generally be used for the other bands in a way that might not have been possible otherwise and vice versa. We’ve just started noticing that and it’s cool because it means that other bands we’re working with can take advantage of the machine that we’ve been able to build up through the years.
Paul: Are you affected at all by Pinnacle going into administration? With this, Woolworth’s closure and Zavvi’s decision to shut their online store do you feel this could be the start of big changes to the way we physically consume our music?
Barney: We aren’t directly affected by the Pinnacle thing but I’m sure it’s knock on effects are gonna be felt by everyone in the indie music sphere. The original Moon Ska label was killed by the distributor’s stock of their music being liquidated as an asset which left Moon Ska in the position of simply losing a huge amount of CDs. I guess a lot of labels have had the same thing happen with Pinnacle. It’s definitely a source of concern. I was speaking to the head of the US label we’ve released stuff with and he was saying it’s more beneficial to simply distribute himself and via the internet than it is to use any of the established indie distributors, which just goes to show you. I’m sure that the big changes in the way we physically consume our music are beginning to happen. The problem is that the visions of everything that the industry is going to become are simply concepts at the moment. Its all well and good us as independent artists and labels embracing the technology that allows us to be seen and heard but unless we – and even the major labels – figure out a way for people to be fairly compensated for their art then things are going to be very difficult for the artists. And at the moment, we’re all feeling our way through it but it’s a dark corridor and the way that the music industry works in terms of promoting bands remains the same, so – if you take away all the doubt and hysteria around the format that we consume our music in – it’s basically business as usual.
Paul: The King Blues signed to a major label which surprised many people. Would SB6 ever sign to a major if they were offered the chance?
Barney: Ah, this was kind of answered before. But I was kind of being glib! I’m not diametrically or morally against signing to a major label or anything, I just don’t necessarily think it would be a good long-term business choice for our band at this point in time. We’d certainly have to consider it against the steps we’ve taken in moving towards being a self-contained business. So it probably wouldn’t be worth it. For King Blues, it was different. Although we came up at the same time, they were a much newer band than us and they managed to get a good deal with someone who really wanted them there. So they got to have a proper crack of the whip as ‘the next big thing’. They’ve got it good cos they do have a lot of the punky grassroots support and a good team behind them and are remaining very much in with the spirit of the band in terms of the political side of things. They’re a force of nature, I wish them all the luck in the world. But I dunno if it would have been like that for us. Some kids have asked us are we jealous of the mainstream attention they’re getting seeing as they used to support us and stuff and now we’re before them on bills but that’s just ridiculous. Every time they get the chance they give us a shout out, every time you search their name on the internet, ours pops up not far behind. The bigger they get, the better for us. It’s fucking brilliant for us. And we’re doing what we wanna do too, there is no reason to be jealous. Asking if we’d sign to a major label if we were offered the chance is almost like asking would I take a job if I were offered one and leaving it at that. What’s the job? What are the hours? What do I have to do?… Would we sign to an indie label after starting our own label and putting other band’s stuff out? Maybe, maybe not, it’d just well have to be worth it. Same with a major. But I don’t like the idea that bands like us our simply doing what we do to reach a major-label mecca. I’m totally against that. We don’t need major-label publicity or major-label tour support to do what we do and as long as there are people to hear it then we can carry on. I play in a band and I help run a label and it’s not about paving my way towards a big loan from a record company in the future, it’s about the music and memories I’m making right now. Mike Park is my hero, not Richard Branson.
Paul: Would you ever consider releasing something as Radiohead did as a pay-what-you-want release? Do you think traditional releases (press 1,000 CDs, sell 1,000 Cds, repress etc etc) are a dying breed? How do you view the resurgance of vinyl?
Barney: In terms of the pay-what-you-want thing, we’d consider anything. I love what Jeff BTMI! does with Quote Unquote. But at the end of the day, we need as much money as we can get back from our CDs and music unfortunately; we are struggling to make enough to even cover what we do. One thing that is interesting about the whole debate is that I’ve insisted – and gone on the record with this – that we aren’t going to devalue the price of our CDs. In a time where consumers were being extorted by paying £14 for a CD, it made sense to make a punk stance and sell your product for cheaper. In the current time when in the UK CD prices are being driven down by panicky majors and an increasingly demanding marketplace heavily affected by the internet we find the boot on the other foot. Independent music itself is being threatened by the £5.99 new releases. At the scale a label like ours works at, such miniscule pricing wouldn’t cover the first pressing. So, at the moment, I feel it’s actually much more punk rock to ask the conscientious consumer to think about the ramifications of the relationship between them and the artist and label and encourage them to be satisfied and happy to pay £10 for a CD. And I think that’s fine. I understand not ripping the consumer off is punk. But you need to pay for petrol, food and rent. As far as the CD format thing goes I think it’s pretty clear that the music industry is undergoing some big changes art the moment… I find it difficult to predict what is going to be the result of this all. Obviously there is the temptation to theorise that there are good things within it all. The stranglehold that the majors have on the industry is being slackened by bands having tools previously denied to them now just a mouse click away. Big labels are certainly losing their clout but labels are only a cog in the machine. Even though there is evidence of change, the music press, the radio, TV and all these other windows are still ‘business as usual’ as they ever were. It’s the bands with the big press agents and agencies – still often the major label bands – that form the vast majority of focus for the media. Of course, as bands – such as ourselves – get more savvy to the machinations of it all it is in theory possible for us to work with such quarters of the industry without being on a major. You can really see that with bands like Enter Shikari and, as you say, You Me At Six. They ostensibly have all the tools of a major label act at their disposal whilst releasing their own record. Of course, this begs the question if this monocular fixation on ‘label’ is outdated itself… to reach the dizzy heights of publicity those bands have enjoyed you still need to engage with the industry in a very conventional, time-honoured way. In other words the NME and Later with Jools Holland and Q haven’t suddenly started sticking unknown bands on their platform based on a great myspace page simply because that window is there. All that ever was was a nice little story to promote Arctic Monkeys when they were releasing their heavily-publicized single… on Domino Records. So, I think for now, things are in many ways pretty much the same in a lot of the areas that people were celebrating the imminent progression of three or four years ago. In terms of making money as an independent band therein lies the rub. It’s difficult to sell CDs so touring is, for the moment, the key to making your career work. Without a doubt there are more and more established acts releasing their own records and that’s obviously a symptom of all this. It’s clear to see that music itself in terms of rock n roll and festivals and the live scene and pop culture and all those aspects are still in relativity rude health. It’s our collective mission right now to find out ways for bands to make a fair return for their work because the revenue once assured by CD sales is now a huge question mark. In terms of the resurgence of vinyl, I definitely think that is a kneejerk against Mp3s and downloads. Vinyl is the opposite cos it’s so big and collectable and visceral and it’s a statement in itself that you’re willing to put the time and money and effort in to love your music. I think all the vinyl collecting at the moment is really cool and it’s a good sign that people want music to be enjoyed in a physical form.
Paul: “The way I see it is that the term “punk” is basically redundant; the classic “punk” mindset (typically left-wing ideals, DIY ethics, creating something original, etc) seems to have completely gone out the window. Punk is now a fashion, a dress style and a hair cut, a fad for adolescent teenagers and twenty somethings wanting to fit in. Bands aren’t interested in doing something unique and trying to in any way to stand out or make a difference, or say anything at all thought provoking – and even the bands that claim to be “positive” punk bands or whatever are mostly rehashing early 80’s Minor Threat, Bad Brains, Black Flag etc – it’s like those bands did something original and made a scene out of it that had some positive influence on a lot of people but you’d think over 20 years later maybe the human race would be intelligent enough to move forward! I just can’t help over the years noticing all these glaring contradictions in the punk scene’s, I guess, self-imposed manifesto.” Again cribbed from my interview with Matt…do you think the punk scene has died? Do you think bands, on the whole, have less to say than they did in the 80s or 90s?
Barney: Well, Matt’s ideals mean a lot to me! The fact that Matt makes reference to the classic ‘punk’ mindset and it being gone out of the window, to me, serves to say that that concept exists. And whether or not the bands being touted as ‘punk’ in Alternative Press are punk or not, Matt’s concept of ‘punk’ exists as an entity in enough people’s minds to be a force in it’s own right. So hell yeah, that means something. And yeah, all those hair-straightener bands with mad names I’m not into and they’re obviously not what I think of as punk. But that’s just a word that denotes that sound to kids in a magazine at the moment, it’s not gonna make me listen to the Clash any differently. As ever, the ones that are good will do well and last a long time like Fallout Boy and the ones that are shit won’t. I agree with Matt’s assessment of punk and basically what he says punk ‘should’ be is what I’m trying to do with Sonic Boom Six. Be unique and not give a fuck whether my brand of punk is the status quo, even within the punk scene. I think that his digs at the posi-hardcore thing that’s been happening over in the UK underground the last few years, especially where he is from, are understandable. Because – lest we forget – years ago Howards Alias were extremely cool and credible and popular to a lot of kids that in the explosion after the Capdown thing and now a lot of those zines and kids have moved onto listening to folk and D-Beat and bands that sound like the Descendents or whatever. Which is all well and good but it’s going to be very frustrating if you go from playing in front of 200 people to 20 for no good reason other than fashion’s moved on. Especially within a scene where things like fashion aren’t supposed to affect things. Let’s not forget, even in the underground punk scene, kids are as pulled around by the fickle gravity of faddishness as much as everything else. Let’s just not insult our intelligence and say things like ‘this is music played by people who really mean it’. Yes, more than a lot of music it is but it’s still essentially music that suits us at this point in life. The hypocrisies are everywhere. Imagine telling Henry Rollins in 1985 that in 2009 a band called Gaslight Anthem would come along and make it would be trendy for punks to like Bruce Springsteen. Bruce Springsteen. Read up. The dude was like the antithesis of 80′s punk in the US in the way that Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd were here. Rollins would have thrown you down the stairs. You actually apply any sort of logic to these things and they make no sense whatsoever. And if it doesn’t make sense, then ‘selling-out’ doesn’t much sense either and you realise punk is just what you want it to be… if punk as a concept exists, punk as a youth movement and scene doesn’t always exemplify it. You don’t have to pretend it means anything, it’s what you do with your own life that defines you and not punk that matters. It’s all good. There is the same subjective amount of shit and good and all that in every single scene and genre. If you can see the utter absurdity of caring what someone else wears or listens to and the madness of the fact that we are swept away in these fads and tell ourselves that they truly mean anything but at the same time love it all and recognise how important it is within our culture then I think you can escape from it all with your sanity intact. Who gives a fuck at the end of the day? I’m sure I’d get sneered at for saying this but I’ve learnt more about people and the real world from watching Wife Swap than reading Cometbus (and that’s not knocking Cometbus!) These things have a value, but it’s not the real world. I don’t think there are many people attempting to raise a family that care that Tom Gabel betrayed everyone or that new rave isn’t really rave or that Spunge have a big rider or whatever people lose fucking sleep over. Just as I wouldn’t expect anyone in the real world to care about the fact that we’ve devoted the last 5 years and gave up a normal life to travel round the world expressing our own interpretation of this beautiful, exasperating, ambivalent, ridiculous and vital thing we call ‘punk’. And please don’t read this and think I’m knocking anyone, I just know that none of it truly makes you any better as a human being just because you are part of something you’ve found that talks to you and makes you excited. I still believe that punk – the right band, the right lyric, the right artistic expression – has the ability to change people’s minds and lives for the better. I don’t necessarily hold the same level of deference for punk as a genre and a scene with its infinite permeations and meanings. It’s just too shakey a concept.
I guess there are still a lot of bands with something to say, but they definitely aren’t getting much airtime. I think at the moment, the music press’s attitude towards politically energised bands is often very sneering, especially the indie publications. We live in an age where being jolly clever and detached and not caring about serious matters is definitely the in thing. You read these magazines like Vice and it’s like everything is one big in-joke. Nothing is real. Which is probably very close to the truth but to me the glass is half-full. Every time I get an email from a kid to tell me a song has helped them get their head around their drug use, or stopped using the word ‘chinkee’ or just helped them through a bad time means more to me than Kerrang! calling us ‘uncool’ could ever bother me. If half the jebends in there are cool, then uncool me up. I do believe music can change opinions and change lives. But you just have to look at a certain major indie publications constant ridiculing of the political leanings of Get Cape Wear Cape Fly to see how unwelcome all that is over the last few years. I mean, whatever you think of the guy’s music I was totally appalled by the way that the fact he had the audacity to, gasp, bring some political opinions into indie-rock was constantly sniped at. The cool kids at school aren’t doing politics at the moment, there’s no doubt about it. But God knows, it will come back around again and hopefully sooner rather than later. Anyway, stop talking about the environment; I’m trying to watch Skins.
Paul: You’re renowned for being a band with a message. Do you think that, with the state of the political system in this country as it is with two major parties who aren’t as divided on the political fence as they once were, more younger people should have their say on what goes on and the running of this country? Why are people so drowned by apathy when it comes to both local and national politics?
Barney: In terms of younger people having their say, it’s up to them. There is so much apathy that if someone young wants to get organised and involved in politics, they can stand out and do it. I guess I’d just as soon have affairs of state and big decisions being made by people with a certain level of maturity but there is definitely a zeal and gusto for change within the young that can be very effective. A lot of the time I’d take idealism over pragmaticism because that’s the only way that change happens. I think there’s a real trend of kids getting politically engaged with they go to university. Which is all well and good but if it’s a passing phase that just gets rejected after graduation then it’s pretty useless in terms of the way we live our life. We need to find a way to energise the young kids but make sure that they don’t go back and repeat the mistakes of every other generation. Politics get picked up and dropped like clothes a lot of the time. It’s such a huge, intimidating and confusing beast. I guess people are apathetic towards politics because it’s really hard thankless work to get involved in and that takes a great commitment. It’s not simple and easy to engage your time and resources into a good cause and I respect all those that do as I, apart from the odd march if I’m not doing anything better, am completely uninvolved. And I would be lying if I don’t feel bad about that. I definitely respect those that do. Even the good MPs. It’s easier to paint politicians into a caricature and call them all liars than it is to consider the reality of being a politician. It’s like the police. Some of them are hard-working individuals who work hard to make the world a better place and justify their wages from our tax, some (some might say most) of them are boorish bullies that tape over their badges and knock people on the floor. But there is definitely a streak of cynicism in a lot of the population. They don’t want to hear about politics and that is dismaying; we’re conditioned into thinking we can’t change things. It’s a bad place to be in, because it shouldn’t be true. To see as many people marching on London as did against the Iraqi war and the host of everyday people turning up was inspiring. But for them to ignore us, to say that we ultimately make no difference in terms of the government’s decision is definitely hard to take. It takes more than marching to create change and often that’s where the engagement stops. Political apathy, cynicism and the feeling of being powerless are a big and unfortunate problems and they, unfortunately, affect me as much as anyone else.
Paul: Do you think the mainstream music press in this country is to blame for promoting ‘foreign’ bands over their English counterparts? Apart from Gallows a lot of UK mags fail to champion British bands. It’s maybe only the NME that does it regularly and even then they do it for fashionable indie bands and in a way that declares them the next big thing to capitalise on a trend…
Barney: I don’t think it’s necessarily fair to say NME is only doing what they do to capitalise on a trend. Apart from the fact they have the fucking gall to stick Skins on the cover and have a layout like a Top Shop window I don’t think NME are any worse than Kerrang! or anyone else. It’s just that a lot of the bigger bands in there happen to be British. In Kerrang! there is a lot more American bands because there is a lot more big American acts in rock. I agree that foreign bands get promoted over UK bands. It’s not just the press, it’s a vicious cycle, and the same goes for all kinds of the promotion around bands. So I don’t think the press is to ‘blame’ but it’s obvious that the editorial content of mainstream music magazines is almost entirely financially – or shall we say industry – dictated. The labels that spend money on adverts are the same labels that are pushing bands. But it’s just the same that the unknown bands up on the festival bills have the same managers and agents as the headliners. You could be the best band in Britain and the favourite band of any number of music journalists but without some kind of engagement with the industry you’re only ever going to have your face in the magazine’s ‘hot’ column or whatever next to three or four other bands if you’re lucky. Just like Jools Holland isn’t going to stick you on his show, the editor isn’t going to commission a four page spread on a band that isn’t correctly represented. But again, it’s one of those ‘what are you gonna do about it?’ situations. You see it everywhere. You look at Reading 2007 when we played to a packed tent at one o clock. It took till Against Me! at about half six for the tent to get as packed and anywhere near as lively as it was for us and that was fucking starkly obvious. It’s kind of embarrassing and humbling when you see the fanbase and the love bands like us get at Reading and Leeds. Even if you think we’re crap, the tent was full. But the review in the big rock mag didn’t make that point. We’ve not got a tick by our name at that time. We’re not providing them with any sales or any money at that moment in time so it makes no sense to register any excitement about a band. It makes no sense to make a point to the detriment of the US bands above us that are playing to a third of the people we are. Then you pay for an advert and suddenly you’ve got a review in there calling you the best band in ska-punk. Like I say, what can you do? It’s just the business. You just have to hope the good will out. But you have to ask yourself about the idea that bands like us and all those that fell before us could really have been big bands that generated money for the industry and all that with the right kind of press backing. It’s definitely a question mark. The kids are there, they just aren’t getting factored into the sums.
Paul: Has recorded music become too disposable? Has the MP3, myspace and other websites cheapened the ‘product’ and overloaded the world with poor bands seeking fame and fortune for all the wrong reasons? Has myspace ruined a band’s work ethic?
Barney: There is absolutely no doubt Mp3s have made music more disposable, it’s not even a question, it’s absolutely true. Gone are the days you had to physically have something to hear it. Now it’s a click away. Every magazine has a free CD. Put it this way, remember back in the day there was always one kid with a Super Nintendo who had a disc drive and could pirate games on it, so he had every single game. But there’s you with just Zelda, Mario’s Karts and Street Fighter and you’re having more fun! Cos every time the elf gets stuck in the dungeon he just sticks a new disc in. You’ve paid forty quid for Zelda. You’re going to rescue the elf girl! Get your money’s worth. And nowadays you can download all those games for free. You’re not sat there all day playing Super Nintendo now. The games lose their weight when the onus to have to concentrate on them is gone. It’s exactly the same with music. When you buy a CD, especially back in the day, you wake up and play it, you play it when you go to bed, you read the lyrics. If you just download Sick of it All’s back catalogue as a torrent you’ll listen to it once. Maybe ‘Step Down’ twice. And that’s it. It’s just like that with Mp3s. But it’s another challenge we need to evolve with. We are doing a pre-order of our new album with a limited digipak and a fold out poster booklet we’re all signing which people have reacted awesomely to. The trick to make something less disposable is to literally make it less disposable.
As for the websites, I don’t necessarily see the connection between the Mp3s and the poor bands seeking fame and fortune. I think maybe that is perceptible now because they’re simply a lot more visible. Because it’s a lot easier to upload a myspace page and have 10,000 people look at it than it is to send out 10,000 demos and press packs. But even way back in the day there were bad bands, in it for all the wrong reasons, it’s nothing to do with myspace or anything like that. I think it’s good for bands. The bubble’s burst on myspace now, they’re all tweeting on Twitter now so a lot of the poseurs are gone and it’s just a really convenient tool of communications for bands. I like the fact that if someone mentions a new band you can just go onto myspace and see them and hear some tunes, I think that’s really useful and helpful to bands. There were all the horror stories about Rupert Murdoch buying it paving the way for all sorts of changes but that doesn’t seem to have happened. If a band gets lazy because they have 10,000 myspace friends and thinks that makes them famous, they’re gonna have a rude awakening when they actually come out of their own back yard. So then they’ll have to put up the work, or shut up.
Paul: What does the future hold for SB6? Is there any truth in the rumour of a new album for next year?
Barney: Well, before that I’d finally like to say thank you to Paul and Punktastic especially Alex, Spud, Craig and Ben Patashnik for doing such real supporters of us over the years. It means a lot to us and we’ve always been proud to support the web site. Even if we don’t necessarily have the same taste in music all the time, we can recognise the hard work and respect for a job done properly that has always gone into the site and recognise it’s word counting for something. And long may it continue. It’s taken me over a month to do this interview so sorry if anything is slightly out of date. And it’s the longest one I’ve ever done so if anyone enjoys it, please leave a comment or whatever. Spread the love!
Our new album ‘City of Thieves’ comes out next Monday. You can read the review on Punktastic now! I’m not going to toot our horn too much but what I want to turn people onto is the line ‘Think you’ve heard everything Sonic Boom Six has to offer? Think again.’ I just implore anyone who thinks they’ve heard what we are or everything we have to offer to take a listen to this album and hopefully more kids will see what our fans have been saying for years – that we’re an international-standard punk band that is worth believing in. It’s a lot darker, a lot heavier, it expresses a lot of frustration but it’s still got that sense of humour and comic edge. We just went all out with it. The album was done in January with Pete Miles and we’ve got Al from King Prawn on there, King Django, Robin from Random Hand, the artwork is unbelievable. It’s the total package, it’s our best record and I hope it’s gonna make a real splash and push us forward. If there is any justice in the world, it will, because we worked so hard to get it right and the buzz and reaction from everyone that’s heard it has been massive. I’m just mad excited about it.
From then on, we’re going on a full UK tour with Random Hand in May, the dates are on the website now. And we’ve got allsorts happening throughout the rest of the year. We’ve got two of the best band’s in UK ska and punk just about to be added to the Rebel Alliance family which I’m stoked about too. It’s all feeling very exciting at the moment. One thing is for sure, if we don’t make it any further, it’s not for want of hard work and it’s not because we haven’t made the right record because there aren’t many bands on God’s green earth making records as real as City of Thieves right now. And I’ve a feeling that that is a fact that people aren’t going to be able to ignore.