The Throbs , punk rock, caveman _ interview with the organ fanzine photo archive blog copy Organ Fanzine Interview Off we go on our travels, already elsewhere in this globe trotting world tour edition of THE ORGAN we have taken you to Switzerland, Germany, Florida, Chicago, (with da mob) tapes from Italy and now we’re on our Skateboards From Hell over to the wilds of Surbiton for a big Organic Throbbing interview with THE THROBS. Now for those of you who managed to avoid us and our strongarm selling tactics and have not read Organ 5 we shall, at the risk of being somewhat repetitive take you back and reproduce the review of "Skateboards From Hell", the latest Throbs demo.
The THROBS have a four track demo tape out, "Skateboards From Hell" and it’s really good and very different. Question is, how do I describe it? Laid back hardcore? Four tracks…"We Make Homebrew Not War", "Burning Rain", "September" and "I’m In Love With Una Stubbs". The THROBS are really original (unless they sound like somebody I’ve never heard). They put over their message, they are concerned, they are as angry and frustrated as the rest of us, but they smile…"Smile, if you’re working for change". A very refreshing style of punk, with the money from the tape going to Greenpeace. Why complain and sing about wrongs if you’re not going to do anything about them says singer, Steve Throb.
"I’m In Love With Una Stubbs" has got to be heard, poor old Cliff gets kicked off the bus. What I’d like to know is _ how comes Cliff Richard and una Stubbs didn’t get pulled up by good old plod when they went on the road, not one truncheon through the windscreen? They just drove about in their big red bus.
The Throbs homebrew tastes good, try some now.
Right, now that’s done on with the Throbs interview, which incidentally was done via the post. What you didn’t really think we went to Surbiton did you?
The questions were answered by singer Steve and drummer Tony, who quite rightly points out that drummers never really get a chance to say anything much because they are always stuck at the back with no mike and everyone ignores you, whinge, whinge! Seamus the guitarist, oops make that one of the guitarists also puts in a word or two so onward with the interview…..
What’s so good about Homebrew?
Steve: It’s cheap and when you’re at parties it’s always the last thing to be drunk so when you’re sobering up it’s your saviour.
Tony: None of us make it at the moment coz we’re all too busy and too lazy. The last time I drank some it was at a commune called Lifespan, oh yeah, Matt, the old guitarist, makes the best homebrew I’ve ever drunk!
How are things going live?
Steve: We’ve done about 30 gigs in all now and have been as far as Durham. We’ll play anywhere for expenses only as long as it not right wing and the door price is reasonable. A good gig for us is one that is full, doesn’t matter about the size of the venue, where people enjoy themselves and are interested in what we have to say. This seems to be happening more often now.
Tony: Having fun at gigs is important, they are a place to mix ideas and share experiences, the last few gigs have just had a really friendly atmosphere and we’ve all enjoyed them.
What’s the most important thing with the band? Lyrics, music or what?
Steve: Depends really on which member, to me it’s the lyrics and all the good friends I’ve made out of it. To Chris I think it’s playing live and just being part of it. James only really likes the musical side.
Seamus: The most important thing is that we all feel the same about boring old politics and we all play the music we enjoy and not really care what others think.
Tony: Playing in a band which says roughly what I want to and especially playing live and meeting people.
Have you an interest in Stonehenge, or free festivals in general. Would you consider playing at Henge?
Tony: Well, I’m labelled the hippy of the band and I feel very strongly about festivals. They are the "fun" part of the alternative lifestyle, communes, squats, shared housing, an alternative to the shitty society we live in today. They show that we can all live together _ sharing food, problems and enjoyment _ free festivals pose as a threat to "The System" as they show that you do not have to pay (and therefore work) to have fun. I believe government is scared of all these "bloody hippies" who offer an alternative to the endless nine to five shit and dole queues. Unfortunately many festivals have become very commercially orientated and possibly over the top on drugs, all money making. Free festivals are organised by individuals for individuals _ not for money or fame. The more punk picnics and festivals we have and the more people go the less the state will be able to do _ I hope. The more the state can control them _ a tax on fun? Oh yeah, we did an open air gig, there’s nothing like playing with the sun shining in the fresh air!
Steve: I think it’s ridiculous that well over a hundred thousand people can be told that they can’t do what they want to on land that belongs to them. One more year and the police would have had to allow it. Not everything about ‘Henge was perfect but it was a good place for people to get away from the drudgery of normal life which is becoming increasingly more difficult these days. People need space but they want to take that away from us.
Seamus: I’d personally love to play although I’ve never been on the convoy etc. Free festivals are great and should be enjoyed to the full. What’s good about the ‘Henge is when it was on the TV news loads or ordinary people supported it…..
Do you think the Anarchist dream is Utopia and is there any chance of Utopia?
Tony: All dreams will never come true, but we can get much closer, we can live together despite what the authorities say some dreams do come true, go for it!
How do you feel about violence at punk, hardcore type gigs? I’ve found it a problem at such gigs as Conflict, English Dogs, Anti Nowhere League. It seems that a lot of people resent successful bands and just go along to give the bands and audience trouble.
Steve: Violence at gigs now seems to be on the decrease especially at the smaller gigs where a lot of the people know each other. Bands like English Dogs and ANWL seem to attract a more moronic violent person. I personally have seen English Dogs on more occasions than I care to remember and can only remember one isolated bit of trouble, but bands like them are followed by the "Oh, I’m so more punk than you coz I’ve got a triple ten inch purple mohican so you can F.O.A.D". These people have very little to do with the H/C Anarchist punk scene. Conflict are being slagged at the moment which I think is unfair as in nine cases out of ten the people who do it have done nothing themselves. I think that if all the time spent slagging bands was spent on more useful things, then we would have got something done. Still, it keeps the bands on their toes. Violence at gigs is the worst aspect of the scene, it’s not as bad as people make out though. I feel it’s a pretty sad state of affairs when in a movement that’s part of a struggle to organise an alternative society, we can’t organise a gig without fighting and slagging each other, what do you reckon Tony…?
Tony: Violence at gigs is stupid _ to anyone who is into it, why don’t you go down the local disco / skinhead gig _ we don’t want you. If it happens you must know who will help stop it, stop playing etc. So it defuses the situation _ beer is often the cause of as well, anyway _ I also agree with Steve about bands slagging people and people slagging bands _ "divide and rule" _ and also a lot of slagging comes from jealousy, it’s pretty pointless.
Would you like the THROBS to become a household name?
Steve: What along with Domestos and Evo Stik? Ambition to be the biggest band in the world is non existent in this band. Keep it small and lean! I think it would be good to be larger than we are but on our own efforts. I can’t really see us being on the front page of Smash Hits ever. Still the money would come in handy when Woolies have their next homebrew clearance sale! Maybe we will be front news when I assasinate Margaret Thatcher for callous murder.
Tony: They are in my house hold already! I want to play more gigs outside London, new material and more conviction, we rarely practice!
Seamus: Well I’ve just joined the band and my immediate aim and hope is for the lazy bastard Throbs to have a practice! I hope the band inspires me to get more active, well rad man!! And have the courage of my convictions, but more realistically, to have a bloody good laugh and a do a tour of anywhere other than bloody Kingston!
A thing that has happened since thrash metal came along is mixed audiences and bands crossing over, metal fans taking an interest in bands like yourselves and punk H/C fans doing likewise, going to Donington and such. How do you feel about the scene, paying 15 pounds for Donington ticket seems to be a bit of a change round.
Tony: I didn’t go to Donington, I dislike most rock, as to H/C / Metal / Punk crossover _ well I listen to most kinds of music and labelling it only helps when comparing tastes with others. Incidentally Glastonbury, which originally was a free festival, cost 20 pounds this year.
Steve: I think it’s good that there’s this crossover. I don’t consider us as part of it though. Like most bands we’ll play to anyone who will listen and even some people who won’t. I think metal can benefit from punk attitudes, lyrics etc. but I don’t really like some of the influences coming from metal, I mean are we going to get 21 pounds Napalm Death sweatshirts? Metal is more commercial orientated than hardcore and I resent Kerrang! etc. cashing in on it, like they had this UK hardcore scene thing and the bloke who did it was OK (Paul Miller) but he had his head fairly well up his bum. They had a picture of Napalm Death but in fact it was Holy Terror from the US!! I like a lot of metal though and a lot of the music pisses on punk. Bad Brains are the best crossover band out _ Reggae, punk, hardcore metal _ Yeaarghh! I went to Donnington this year and to me it was pretty shit to be honest. Rain and mud and a sound that was like sitting in your back garden listening to your neighbours car radio. Fifteen quid _ it wasn’t worth it but I still had a good time and you can’t put a price on that! It annoys me that "punks" say they won’t pay three pounds to see Conflict but’ll pay through the nose to see Metallica and such. Still, live your life to your own rules.
Money from your tape goes to Greenpeace. What are your feelings on Greenpeace and Green politics?
Steve: "I hate Greenpeace, they are a bunch of trendy lefties with beads and beards aren’t they? I couldn’t care that multi national companies are exploiting the worlds forests so fast that in fifty years time we will have no air to breathe, or that people in Sellafield are dying because of radiation, or that Hilda Morrel was murdered by British Nuclear Fuels because she had some damning evidence about them. So what if they pump nuclear waste into the sea, burn industrial rubbish, discharge their fuel tanks and wipe out entire species of animals every year? It won’t affect me beer and fags will it? They invent things like the ozone layer, I’ve looked out of me window and I can’t see any hole in the sky. Nah, but we’ll be alright ‘coz it won’t happen in our lifetime".
This is the attitude too many people have. Here we are faced with an eco_tastrophe and what do we moan about? Pathetic things that rule our everyday life like the cost of fags. These things will / are happening in our lifetime and we have got to face up to them. There is no point in arguing about anything when we could end up in a trillion specks of dust. Chernobyl is still burning and it’s melting downwards, if it hits the water basin we’re going to end up with a huge hole in our planet yet they still build power stations!?.
No we’re not doom death merchants all dressed in black walking around with solemn faces saying the end of the world is nigh. You can have a lot of fun fighting back to save the planet and the environment. It makes you fell good as you’ve actually done something positive. Support your local Green Party or Greenpeace group or if you haven’t got one then start your own.
Tony: Greenpeace used to be an aging hippy group, now becoming yuppies with a conscience _the activists have a lot of bottle and keep the issues in the media _ this education does more than the actual actions, they need a lot of money to do this and sometimes I think it could be better spent, but instead of moaning I should be setting up a new group which I would agree with more _ any ideas? Well have you got any ideas. The Throbs, a fine example of creativity. Don’t you think that Una Stubbs is a bit old now or do you see yourself as a toyboy figure? Is it really fair to kick Cliff off the bus?
Steve: Una Stubbs, old? You philistine! Really she is the goddess of the 1990’s, you mark my words. Matt, our old guitarist had a signed picture of her and my mum has her embroidery book which I borrow all the time to gaze into her eyes. She’s really intelligent as well, always good on “Give Us A Clue”. Ah for the chance to be her toyboy . I think possibly we’ll get to meet her one day and it’ll smash all my preconceptions about her and my dreams will be ruined.Of course it was fair to kick Cliff off the bus! I mean when he produces such dirge as that last single, I mean that’s pop music at it’s worst, bleeurgh! “Wired for Sound” was pretty rad though, that shredded and truly maimed. Someone must have written it for him.