What was the very first record you bought?
I am not sure Sadly, I cannot remember the actual first one. It was in the punk days and I and my close friends had little money to buy lots of records. We were 14 years old and used to buy whatever we could and share them around. Mainly 7” singles as LP’s were out of reach to begin with. It would be from one of these though, Stranglers, Pistols, Damned, Sham 69, Jam, Penetration, Boomtown Rats, X-Ray Spex. Ants and Siouxsie. We often used to record John Peel shows to tape cassette.
What is the most expensive record have you bought?
I have never bought an expensive record in monetary terms. I have only bought/sold/given/received emotionally valuable records!
Who are your 5 very favourite bands ever?
There are so many wonderful bands and groups of all types over my decades. My list would change every day, but some candidates who would stay on this list most days would include the Sex Pistols, The Clash, The Cramps, Bauhaus and Adam and the Ants.
Name 5 bands that have changed your life?
The Sex Pistols as even today when I hear the songs on the Bollocks LP, the hair on my arms stand up and I become that young teenager again who wanted and expected nothing from anyone. Final Scream was the first band I was in with my closet friends. It was first time at making music which set the scene for a life time of doing more of the same with a family of friends and musicians. 13th Chime was one of the first to produce a dark and macabre sound. Bauhaus were so special. Music and theatre together and led by a front man who knew how to hold a crowd. After punk and the post-punk scene, I was inspired by the pop tunes of Prince in his various forms.
Name your 3 favourite Gothic Fests?
Many years ago I used to go to free festivals and one or two larger festivals like Elephant Fayre and Reading. Bands of all genres played these. I had never been to what it is now described as a Gothic festival until recently when 13th Chime has been invited to play. I have been inspired by and have huge respect for the people who put these on and drive these festivals with their true DIY values. Just like the old punk day values. It is all about the music, the people and the community. I love that. Tomasz and his bat crew run the Return to the Bat-cave festival in Wroclaw, Poland. Daniel and Symon run the Gothic Pogo Party in Leipzig, Germany. We played both these and it was a privilege to be part of these. Others I have heard about and I suspect are run with the same key values include Sacrosanct, Drop Dead and Campus Noir. 13th Chime may be taking part in the Day of the Dead festivities in Mexico later in 2017.
Name your 3 favourite gigs as a musician and as fan?
As a musician, recently 13th Chime played in Saint Petersburg and New York which were my first and only gigs in those two wonderful, but polar opposite, countries. In the mid-80’s I will always remember a Vanishing Point gig at a hospital to a crowd who all had special needs. It was a really bizarre, but humbling experience.
As a punter there have been so many. I reckon the Sex Pistols reunion gig on Finsbury Park in 1996 sticks in the mind. I had never seen them, but you had a sense of the heritage of what they were about. The gigs by Siouxsie and the Banshees at the Royal Albert Hall and Bauhaus at the Adelphi Theatre were both magical. So many others though
Name the most 3 influential albums for you as an artist?
Bauhaus (In the Flat Field), Adam and the Ants (Dirk where’s White Sox) and I will say Gang of 4 (Entertainment)
Describe yourself with 3 adjectives?
Loyal, passionate and observant.
What is the most overrated gothic band?
It is not right to answer that. There were a few who did commercially well, but did not always have the memorable tunes to back that up.
What is the most underrated gothic band?
In the 1980’s I will go for Play Dead. They had a good thing going and always had energy live. I have also seen many good bands in recent years.
In which band would you have liked to play live?
I have mentioned some bands already, but I would say The Cramps. Rock n’ roll played at a raw and primitive level.
Name 3 new gothic bands that have caught your attention lately?
I enjoyed The Hearse album you put out and they did a great live set playing with 13th Chime at a recent Cambridge gig. I enjoyed Varsovie when I saw them in Poland too. Finally, I will go for Zola Jesus whose track called SKIN is epic.
Gothic Rock or Post Punk and why?
The terms gothic rock did not really exist in the early 80’s. Post punk or Positive punk was the term often used. I don’t care. I don’t really do names and labels.