What Do You Think About The Way Some People Project Garry Bushell As The Working Class Hero And The Voice Of The Streets?
Its hilarious, really, because no-one that was working class and stuck for the White race would ever get a job for one of the national newspapers.
How Did You Come About The Name Skrewdriver?
We got named Skrewdriver by the record company, because we didn’t have a name at the time.
But Wasn’t Your First Band Called The Tumbling Dice?
That was just a rock band we did rock covers. Then we did a tape in punk style, we didn’t have a name, so the record company called us Skrewdriver.
So How Did Your Band First Get Picked Up By The Record Companies?
Well, we were playing a lot of pub gigs, doing the circuits, and then we went to see the Sex Pistols in Manchester with Buzzcocks and Slaughter & The Dogs, we really enjoyed it cos we thought that it was fresh, new sort of thing, so we did a tape more on that sort of line, sent it to a load of record companies. We got answered by a couple of companies who said that they were interested, but they would like to hear a more professional tape, because the one we sent them, we recorded in a metal factory! Chiswick asked us to come down and do a session in a studio, and we got a single deal out of that, and then once we done that single they updated the deal to two singles and an LP.
Why Was Your Third Single “Built Up, Knocked Down” Recorded In Manchester And Why Was It Released On The Indie Label Tjm Records?
Well, I moved to Manchester and reformed the band for a while, actually it was with the Manchester line up that we supported Motörhead at Blackburn. We had already split from Chiswick records so we went on a local label TJM records. We played a lot of local gigs and got really good turn-outs. Then the gigs started to die down and we split up again.
So Why Did You Leave The Chiswick Label?
Basically because they were leftwing and didn’t like the way we wouldn’t denounce the skinheads.
What Made The Image Of Skrewdriver Change From Punk To Skinhead?
Basically because we got fed up with punk turning a bit leftwing, whereas before everyone came along and had a laugh and danced about, but then it got to the stage where it became high fashion, and people would just stand there seeing who had the most drawing pins through their nose. When it got to that stage it got really silly. We had all been skinheads in the past so we all just reverted, and a lot of our mates coming to the gigs were skinheads.
Is That True That You Supported Bands Like The Police And Siouxie And The Banshees In The Earlier Days?
When we supported the Police they were just a small band and most of the people came to see Skrewdriver anyway. We also supported The Boomtown Rats, Siouxie, The Damned, 999, loads of bigger bands. I can’t remember all of them now.
Can You Tell Us The Story Of King Road With The Punk Versus Ted Fights, And The Experiences You Had?
The worst occasion was when we were playing with the Police at the Railway Hotel in Putney, this was at the height of all of the violence between Punks and Teds. We were the last ones out of the gig and there had just been a rock and roll disco down the road, there was only about six of us left and we took a right hammering. Our drummer got his teeth knocked out and everything.
Changing The Subject Slightly, What Was Your Involvement With The Madness Film “Take It Or Leave It”, Also Can You Tell Us The Story Behind The Much Reported Friendship With Suggsy?
Suggsy used to be the roadie for Skrewdriver back in 1978 and I went back down to London for a while and stayed at this mothers flat cos he’d moved out of his room and bought a house so I had his room. I was only there for about seven months, that was basically it, the picture was taken in his mums front room. The Madness film was done in about 1981 or something like that, anyway because I didn’t have much money at the time, they just got me on the film, that´s all. I got the agency fee which was about £60 or something, and that´s why I was in the film.
Are You Still In Contact With Suggsy, When Is The Last Time That You Heard From Him?
No, I’m not in contact, not since the article in the Sun newspaper, I didn’t try and contact him and he didn’t try and contact me, which is fair enough, he’s got to make a living and if he’s mixing with a nationalist he is gonna find it hard to make a living. We didn’t fall out or anything like that and as far as I know we were still on good terms with eachother, I’ve got nothing against the bloke, he’s done me a lot favours in the past. He’s just trying to make a living. If he wants to make a living like that, its up to him. I’ve got no intention of slagging him off, and why should I?
What Made You Turn The Band Political, As In The Early Days You Kept Out Of Politics, Did You Just Get Up One Morning And Say “Oh Fuck It”, And Went For It, Or Was It A Gradual Change?
I wasn’t really political at all to be honest, I didn’t like blacks, because I’d never seen one till I went down London, and there I met lots, and they all seemed to have a chip on their shoulder, I didn’t like the lefties funny enough, because they all reminded me of student being all anti-British and that put me off them. Most of our mates that came to our gigs were political, they were either NF (National Front) or BM (British Movement) and in the end what happened was the press ordered us along with Sham 69 to denounce those people in the audience, or get banned. We refused and Sham 69 said OK. So Sham 69 became very big and we got banned from everywhere, they banned all of our adverts from the music papers and everything. All this was in 1977.
Are You Still In Touch With Any Of The Original Members At All?
Yeah, I went back to Blackpool a couple of months back and bumped into the old guitarist and drummer. They still know that Skrewdriver are still going, and the drummer still buys the records. They’re good blokes and are doing quite well for themselves now. Ron’s a bit of an alcoholic, good guitarist though. He’s on the front cover of the All Skrewed Up LP although he didn’t actually play on it. Our original guitarist Phil actually played on the LP.
What Is Your All Time Favourite Song, Out Of The Hundreds That You Have Done?
Well, it changes from time to time, you go off songs. I’ve always liked “I Can See The Fire”, on the “White Rider” LP. I keep thinking about playing it live, but I think that it might be a little bit too slow for a gig. Another one of my favourite songs that we have done more recently is “Freedom What Freedom”, not the Skrewdriver version but the one on the latest Klansmen LP. At the moment, they’re the main ones.
What About The Older Songs, Do You Still Like Listening To Them?
I like “Tomorrow Belongs To Me”, I’ve gone off the tunes a little bit, I’ve been playing them for such a long time, I like the lyrics especially, I think that they’re brilliant lyrics. Obviously “White Power”, “Free My Land”, I’ve played them so many times that I don’t really listen to them at home anymore.
Is There Any Songs That You Wished You Had Written, When You Heard Them By Someone Else?
Yes, I would like to have written “England” by the Angelic Upstarts, I can’t believe that Mensi wrote it as he is such a left wing prat. He used to be nationalist until he realized that he could make more money being a leftwing. (Ian then proceeded to amuse us with some stories he’s heard about Mensi).
Is There Any Gigs Out Of The Hundreds That You’ve Played That Stick In Your Mind As The Best, Worst?
Well, we played the Vortex twice, they were quite good. It was the first time that a lot of skinheads turned up, one of those was with Siouxie And The Banshees. We played two or three gigs at the Roxy and broke the house records, we had the most people there, they were brilliant gigs. And then, what turned out to be the main event, but got called off, but we maganed to squeeze about six or seven hundred people in a two hundred seated pub, now that was a good gig basically due to the satisfaction of getting something on, despite the fact that everything was stacked against us. To me now, any gig that goes ahead is a good gig because it’s such a battle to get a gig on that when we do it, it’s great. Another good gig was the one in Newcastle a couple of years ago where there were six bands playing. We’ve also recently played in Italy and that was a brilliant gig, really well organized.
You Lived In London For Quite A Few Years, But Why Did You Decide To Leave?
Basically because it was getting that there wasn’t very many places to drink where everybody can mix. It got to the stage where the leftwing followed me around every pub I went to. They tried to get me banned from my cafe by picketing, but the cafe wouldnt ban me, although the pubs were different. I used to go into a pub and I’d only be drinking there for about a week and then the reds would start to hassel the landlord and then picket the pub, so obviously I got banned. All this was happening, and also the fact that there was literally nowhere where we could meet and have a drink. Also everytime there was a leftwing march in London, they used to visit my house, plus I was getting demonstrations outside of my house every three to four weeks. The police always informed me that if I came out out of my house while they were there I would be nicked for inciting them to cause violence. But the main reason for leaving London was because the police harassment. One day, a load of BNP supporters were attacked by IRA supporters. The police arrived on the scene and took all of the BNP supporters´ names and numbers, they went around to their houses later on and asked them if they would testify in court to get their attackers charged. The only problem was that the police had made a mistake and thought that they were the IRA supporters. I was tipped off by these BNP people that they should say they saw me causing all of the trouble. Basically, if they hadn’t got the IRA and the BNP muddled up they might have got away with the frame up. It was the same when a gay got stabbed a few years ago at Kings Cross. I had nothing to do with the stabbing, I was around the corner when it was supposed to have happened. But I was still slammed in Wormwood Scrubs for two and half months until they decided that they hadn’t got any evidence. So I thought that if this is what´s gonna happen every time anything happens in London and I’m gonna get stiched up for things, I mean, it was time to go. I wasn’t too bothered about the commies because they were arseholes, it´s when the police started to try to stich me up. There´s not a great deal that you can do.
You Were Actually In Prison Serving A Twelve Month Sentence, What’s The Story Behind That?
Well, we were attacked by a mob of blacks after Searchlight had been giving out leaflets with my face, my address, where I drink on them, we used to get trouble most weekends from gangs of blacks going past my house on the way home from collage, and one particular night we got attacked by about eight or nine of them, we fought back, the police arrived and we got arrested. The blacks didn’t even turn up at court for three days in a row and the police had to go out and bring them to the court. Searchlight has tried to smear me on several occasions, I’ve been called several things in their pages, child pornographer, arms delaer, conspiring to murder Patrick Harrington (one time National Front/White Noise frontman), a drug pusher and an acid house party organiser. I’ve even been accused of printing Swedish nationalist magazines. God knows where I keep this printing press, under my bed probably! I can’t even understand one word of Swedish! I must be a busy man!
You Are The Founder Of Blood And Honour, Do You Think That It Has Been A Success And What Do You See Has Been Achieved By Blood And Honour?
Blood And Honour has took off so well because of its idea. There has been no other magazine that promotes the advancement of the White race and that does not tie itself to any political party. B&H is not tied to any party, it is mainly run by the bands. The bands are popular so the magazine is popular. Its main achievement has been to get more people involved in the White cause and to push the music of the bands over to a lot more people than would be possible otherwise. Food for thought, that Blood And Honour has got at least five times the circulation of Searchlight. That´s a fact.
What Advise Would You Give To Anyone Out There That Is Thinking Of Starting A Nationalist Band?
Don’t start unless you´re willing to accept a hell of a lot harassment and a lot of hard work to get anywhere. You’ve got to be very dedicated to do it. If you want to make money, just forget it, sing like Englebert Humperdink or get interviewed by Terry Wogan.
Has The Recent Problems With Skrewdriver In Germany Deterred You From Playing There Again?
I don’t know about the rest of the band but me personally, it made me want to go out there and cause a lot more trouble. The way that I see it is that Skrewdriver are being made scapegoats for the fact that the German government have brought too many immigrants into the country. So if we have had anything to do with waking German feeling up, all the better for it. Although I do not think it has got anything to do with us. It´s just the German people rising against the influx of immigrants and I wish that the British people would do the same.
Do You Think That Perhaps Skrewdriver Was The Catalyst For All Of The Trouble In Germany?
No, not at all, it started before we played over there, I think that it may have been aggravated a little bit by the fact that the police kept them all in prison, obviously I was still out which was a bad mistake on the police´s side. Cos I was able to go to the gig and tell everybody what had happened, and after the gig obviously there was some trouble with the police.
Why Did You Decide To Sing One Song In German On Your Latest Lp? (“Stolz” On “Freedom What Freedom” Album)
Basically, we sell more records in Germany than anywhere else. As the Germans support us and give us so much support, I thought that it was about time we done something in German for them. I wrote the song in English, I got a German lad to translate it, put it on a tape for me so I could hear the accents and pronounciations and done it from that. Also Germany has probably got the biggest growing skinhead scene in Europe, and German people have stood by the band almost as long as the English have. We’ve been on a German record label since 1982. It’s a lot easier for Germans to obtain our records in Germany too, a lot of normal record shops stock them, and even if they don’t, people can order them through the record shops. They’re not banned over there, as a matter of fact they are not actually banned over here either, the newspapers say that they are, so all the shops won’t stock them. We can’t really win either way. Axel Rose from “Guns and Roses” can get away with saying that naughty N word, because he’s a druggie and has got a black in the band, but I can’t risk saying that N word, unless of course I smoke a joint at gigs and get a rasta bass player, then it’s ok. That’s how fucked up and hypocritical everything is.
Can You Tell Us A Little Bit About The Trouble You Have Had Recently With The Police In Your Area?
Well basically all that is, we were doing regular gigs around here, getting increasing audiences, getting a lot of locals interested, so the police firstly tried to stop the gigs, which they managed up to a certain extent by threatening the governors of the pubs with their licences. Then we were rehearsing at a pub at dinner times, and people used to come in on their dinner break to watch, so the police spoke to the governor of the pub and said that they are allowed to rehearse but they must shut the doors because no-one is allowed to listen to them. Then after a while of rehearsing behind closed doors they decided that we wouldn’t do it any more, and then more recently they have tried to stop me and a friend from even drinking in the pubs, but they didn’t really get away with that, and we, due to the governors sticking up for us, the police have let that one drop for the moment, so we are not banned from drinking anywhere yet.
Why Did You Decide To Record Under Klansmen, Ian Stuart And White Diamond, Rather Than Use This Material For Skrewdriver?
The fact is that I just write so many different songs and they just wouldn’t be used otherwise. Plus the fact that the Klansmen songs are in more of a Rock and Roll vain and wouldn’t really suit Skrewdriver. Also with the Klansmen it has brought in a lot of rockabillies into the Blood & Honour movement, which is a good thing. Hopefully the White Diamond will do the same thing with a few bikers. Basically we are just spreading our wings and trying to appeal to everybody, not just skinheads.
What Has Been The Response To The White Diamond LP?
Well, it hasn’t been out that long, but the people that I have spoken to about it seem to like it. As far as I’m concerned the guitar could have been a little bit louder and the vocals a little quieter. The original mix of it, the guitar was too loud and you couldn’t hear the vocals, so we took it back to be remixed and it went the other way around.
Is There Going To Be Another White Diamond LP?
Oh yeah, definitely.
Do You Have Any Plans For The Klansmen To Play Live?
I haven’t got any plans at the moment, but we could well do one day. There’s been plenty of people asking if we would. We have had several requests from Germany for the Klansmen to play over there. We normally do a couple of Klansmen songs at most Skrewdriver gigs anyway. The Klansmen haven’t actually been a steady line up anyway, we tend to use musicians from other bands. It’s good for them, as they get to record, which a lot of bands don’t manage to do, and it also gets more people inolved in our cause. The first LP we used musicians from Demented Are Go, the second was with The Krewmen and the third was from some local rock band from around this area.
What Would You Say To People Who Are Just Getting Into Nationalism, But Are Puzzled By The Way That The Authorities Are Harassing Them?
I think that you’ve got to expect it, it’s the way that the people above run things. You’ve got to be very dedicated to become a nationalist. It is better to educate people at a younger age, some of the old parties used to leaflet schools. We must use every way that we can to get our message across, through music, leafleting houses, town centres, postering, we must use every way we can. The odds are against us, but it is important.
What Are Your Views On Religion?
I don’t really belive in it, I don’t go to church or anything. I think that my religion is my race. I’ve got nothing against Christians or Odinists, but I think that Christianity is being pushed into being very weak at the moment. I’ve lost a lot of respect for the Christians, but hopefully they’ll rise up one day and become powerful as they once were. I agree with all of the Norse God mythology, and there is something in it, but personally I’m just fighting for my race and I’ll work with all of these people so long as they’ve got the same views as I have.
What Are Your Views On The Unity Movement And The Raven?
Well I haven’t even seen the Raven at all yet so I can’t really comment on that, but I presume, going by the name that it’s an Odinist thing. Unity, when it first came out I wasn’t so sure that it was a good thing because I thought that it might be distracting from Blood & Honour a little bit, but when it got off the ground, it was good. It worked alongside Blood & Honour. It’s a good thing to have different organizations all working together, as long as there is no rivalry. Kev Turner is a dedicated man, he’s been in jail a lot of times, but he has never even considered giving it all up. He’s doing a great job up there and has quite a lot of influence.
What Are Your Views On The Imprisonment Of Two People For Basically Selling Skrewdriver Merchandise?
Well, it’s just unvelievable, being put away just for selling records. As far as I’m concerned and as far as anybody I know is concerned, there has never been anything to say that you can’t sell records, whatever they were. I mean, there’s bands going around singing songs about killing God and loads of these anti-religion groups, they’ve all got a bit of stick, but there has never actually been any courtcases trying to stop them selling records. Take American rapper Ice T, some stores said that they wouldn’t stock it, but most stores do still stock it. It was all a publicity stunt and has sold more records because of it. He’s never been charged. Obviously there is nothing wrong in singing about killing White people and police. No-one was ever done by the law for selling Ice T records, and no-one has ever been arrested either. Our records do not incite violence at all, our lyrics are basically about being proud of your White race. If it’s illegal to be proud of your race, why isn’t it illegal to be proud to be Black, Asian etc…?
What Are Your Views on Waterloo (Skrewdriver´s Comeback Gig In London 1992), and In Particular the Massive Media Coverage That It Achieved?
I except the sort of coverage that we got. It’s obvious that you’re never going to get anything good said about you. It would have been nicer if a lot of the lads that came over from abroad actually got to the gig. It made it a lot more awkward having so much publicity about it in advance. But in the end the gig went ahead, it was a good gig, everybody that made it there enjoyed it. So basically it was a victory. But then again, I do think that it was a bit of a shame that the police acted illegally again by shutting down a main line train station, to try and stop people getting to the concert. They shouldn’t have allowed a leftwing demonstration at the station on the day because it was pretty obvious that they were only there to cause trouble. The police knew that was the case but they never banned it. If the NF ever want to march, the police ban it straight away because of the trouble it would cause. It’s the same with the recent Bloody Sunday IRA march, the IRA who kill British people were allowed to march while the police did all they can to stop the people against the march by arresting 378 people. It seems that to be proud to be British is a crime.
What Have You Been Up To Since The Last Time We Spoke?
We’ve played loads of gigs. We’ve got a new Skrewdriver LP written, we should be going in to record within the next six to seven weeks. That should be out in 3 or 4 months then. Same applies to the new Klansmen LP. White Diamond and Patriotic Ballads LP’s should be coming out within the next few weeks. The White Diamond LP is called “The Power And The Glory”, the Patriotic Ballads is called “Patriotic Ballads II Our Time Will Come”. I’m not too sure what the Skrewdriver LP will be called. The Klansmen LP will be taking the theme of the American civil war, although I’m not too sure exactly what it’ll be called.
Changing The Subject Somewhat, Are You A Football Fan?
I used to play football when I was younger. I don’t really want to go into football at all. If I ever said that I supported a team, I think that you’ll find that could cause problems. Football is a very popular and passionate subject to many people. I’ve got to admit that I’ve never supported a team seriously, but my favourite footballer is George Best. I watch it now and again, but not a lot. I used to prefer playing it to watching it.
Do You Participate Or Watch Any Other Sports?
Not particulary. Boxing is quite good. Rocky Marsiano was my favourite boxer, he was a European that beat everybody in the world and always could have done. Alan Minter was good, I liked him until he got beat by Marvin Hagler, and then I went off him.
You’ve Recently Got A Few More Tattoos, After Being So Long With The Two, Tell Us A Bit About Them?
I don’t like being lop-sided, so I make sure that I’ve got one on each side. Every time that I have one I have to get another one on the other side. I’ll have a couple more on the back of my arms and that’ll be it. I won’t get them sleeved. I wouldn’t like to say who does mine, in case he got attacked. Let´s just say that it’s a biker from the Midlands. Every single tattoo I’ve got is of a political subject.
What Sort Of Reading Material Are You Into?
Since I’ve been in prison I don’t read anything, all I did in prison was read books and listen to the radio and that’s put me off. I used to read a lot of books at one time. If I want to read a newspaper, I read, would you believe, The Sun, they are the ones who done a full page story on me the last time I was in prison. The only reason I read the the Sun is because I do the crossword and because it’s not labour. But I don’t really take any of what’s in it seriously, it’s as much crap as the others. In the past I’ve read a lot of David Irvings books, they’re very good, but I reckon that my favourite author has got to be Tolkien, The Lord Of The Rings is the best book that I’ve ever read. I’ve read it over ten times.
What About The Fantasy Book That You Once Wrote?
I’ve lent it to so many different people that I can’t get it back, so I can’t write it out again. Unless I re-wrote it all, but I can’t even remember most of it. It was basically a fantasy story about a land that was being invaded, all of the tribes fought against each other, but in the end they all united to fight the invaders. I was hoping to publish it one day, but I lent it out to so many people that I’ve lost track of where it is. We could even have done a concept LP to go with it. The book was called Invasion.
Tell Us Your Feelings About The Subject Of Nicky Crane, Once A Close Friend, And Then Turned Out To Be A Gay.
I feel more betrayed by him than probably anybody else, because he was the head of our security. I actually used to stick up for him when people used to say that he was a queer, because he convinced me that he wasn’t. I always used to ask him why he worked at these gay clubs, telling him that he’d get a bad name. He used to say that it was the security firm that he used to work with, that they used to give him the jobs there. I accepted him at face value, as he was a nationalist. I was fooled the same as everybody else. Perhaps more than everybody else. I felt I was betrayed by him and I want nothing to do with him whatsoever. He’s dug his own grave as far as I’m concerned. He has actually been in touch with me after the program was aired, he wanted to assure me that he wouldn’t sell out the nationalist cause, which I wouldn’t expect him to do anyway, considering that he went through so many things for nationalism. It’s a big shame that he turned out to be a homosexual because he could have been a good nationalist. It just goes to show that nationalism and homosexuality do not fit in together, because Nationalism is a true cause and homosexuality is a perversion. Nicky Crane left, and I think that it was the best thing he could have done, but he should have left a hell of a lot earlier. He was living a lie for all of them years. I’ve got no respect for the bloke anymore. (Bottomboy Crane died of an aids related disease in december 1993 Rot in peace)
What Can You Envision Yourself Doing In 5 Or 10 Years Time?
Probably being in prison. They’re bringing in so many new laws in this country. Or dead!
If It Came To The Crunch, And The Laws Were Really Strict, What Would You Do, Would You Change All Of Your Lyrics, Or Carry On Regardless?
I would probably change all of the lyrics. Change them completely. In the end I’d probably do songs about white rats and black rats, and see if they can change things about that. I mean, where is all this going to end?
Alright you can sing about the dove and the crow, so the dove’s going to have to win a fight in the end instead of being the bird of peace. In the end it’s going to get to the stage where you’re going to have to sing like that to get a song out. Everyone’s still going to know what you mean. They’re making it so pathetic now.
So What Will Stop You Carrying On?
Either put me in prison or kill me, there’s no other way that I’m going to give up.
If There Was Anything That You’ve Done In The Past That You Could Change Now, What Would That Be?
Nothing, there’s nothing that I would have changed, nothing at all. Obviously I would like to have made a lot of money and been on Top Of The Pops and all that, what other person who’s been in a band wouldn’t? But I’m singing the wrong sort of lyrics aren’t I? I would never changed my songs just for the fame, though. There has never been any major thing that I regret, maybe a few minor things, nothing to do with politics though, except I should have joined this and I shouldn’t have joined that.
Rumours Are Rife That You Are Going To Move Over To Germany To Live, Is There Any Truth In That?
No, that’s a load of rubbish. It’s not even crossed my mind. I like Germany though.
If It Came To A Stage Where You Had To Move Out Of England, Which Country Would You Choose To Live In?
It’d have to be a country where you wouldn’t get so much hassle being a nationalist, and I think that at the moment Germany is far from that. I’d probably go somewhere like Antwerp in Belgium. It’s a nice city, there is a hell of a lot of Vlaams Blok MPs in the Antwerp city itself. It’s probably the most right wing city in Europe at the moment.
You Are Quite A Well Travelled Man Because Of Many European Gigs With Skrewdriver, Where Are Your Favourite Places?
I loved Sweden, the country is brilliant. Germany is brilliant.
What Is Your Favourite Band At The Moment?
Manowar, I change my opinion now again. But it’s them at the moment. I have always liked the Rolling Stones, I like the Almighty, they’re quite a new band. AC/DC I’ve always liked.
Changing The Subject Once Again, Back In The 1977 Days, Skrewdriver Sound Was Very Different To Now. What Were Your Influences Back Then?
I had a lot of favourite bands before the punk bands came along. I saw the Sex Pistols´ first gig in the north in Manchester. I thought they were brilliant. But we still weren’t influenced by them, Skrewdriver were at that time still called Tumbling Dice and we used to cover Who, Rolling Stones, Zeppelin, Deep Purple and all of the rock type numbers. Then we started to play the punkier stuff. I couldn’t play guitar at that time so our guitarist wrote most of the songs. I started to learn to play guitar about then, obviously you get better as you go along.
Suggsy Was Your Roadie Back In 1978, I Know You Don’t Keep In Touch, But Did You Watch The Massive Madness Comeback Gig On Teli Over Christmas?
No, I’m not interested. I think that they’re a crap band. I can’t stand that sort of music. I like heavy rock music. Madness were the best of those type of bands, they were the only White one, and a lot of their fans were rightwing. They chose to sell out for money. We never did that. It was the same with Sham 69. I remember seeing Sham 69 playing to 7 people down the Roxy, I enjoyed them, they were great. Now Jimmy Pursey hangs around with Rastas and all sorts. He’s totally gone in the head. He’s never been a great singer, he had a bit of a stage presence cos people identified with him. The thing about all that is that I saw Jimmy Pursey turn up at gigs wearing baseball boots, change into DMs for the gig, then change back into baseball boots after the gig. The geezer has never been a skinhead, he sings about it but he’s never been one. There was only one skinhead in that band ever, and that was their first bass player, Alby. He was the only skinhead that’s ever been in Sham 69.
You Played With A Lot Of Bands That Became Big Names, Were You Ever Good Friends With These Now Big Names?
We played with Motörhead, this was a lot later, they were really decent blokes. We would always have a drink with the other bands´ members if we were at one of their gigs. We often had drinks with Jimmy Pursey and the likes. One person that we were very good mates with was Stick Smith, he was in a band called Shag Nasty, who used to support us all of the time. I used to let them support us mainly because their guitarist looked like Keith Richards! Anyway, he went on to play for X-Ray Spex, we had a few arguments about it, but he was a decent sort of bloke. When we played with the Police we had a drink and chat with Sting, they borrowed our P.A at that gig. The Damned were really good blokes, we supported them a lot.
Musically, Would You Consider The 1977 Days To Be Better As Far As The Atmosphere Was Concerned?
When Punk started in London it was great atmosphere. It was a new thing, it was shit hot. We used to go to a club every night, get in free because we were in a band. It was really a good time to be there. We didn’t get hardly any hassle except perhaps a little bit of the teds. I used to get on with most of the teds anyway, especially when we turned skinhead, when we were punks they used to hate us, though.
You’ve Done A Lot Of Cover Versions In The Past, What Makes You Decide To Do A Cover Version, Is It The Group, The Lyrics Or The Tune?
All of those. I wouldn’t do a cover version from a band that I didn’t like. Obviously the lyrics mean a lot but I do normally change them slightly to go with what I’m singing about. We’ve thought about doing an LP with all cover versions from nationalist bands songs, we were going to do Brutal Attacks “Ocean Of Warriors” and “For You” by Public Enemy, amongst others, but nothing’s ever came of it, I’d like to do somehting like that one day, though.
What Do You Think About Brutal Attack Reforming?
The more nationalist bands the better, they were always a good band, they were always popular. If they get back together that’s great, it’s an extra band. Ken is a good frontman, and now they’re going to be an additional band to the Blood & Honour circuit.
It’s Been Said That You Personally Are Probably One Of The Most Influential Skinheads In The World, Perhaps More So Abroad, What Do You Think Of That?
I think that it’s because Skrewdriver have been going since 1977. We are the longest running skinhead band. I never really think about it to be honest. Sometimes it seems like that abroad, when there are hundreds of skinheads queuing up to speak to me, because they’ve heard about things I’ve done, and they’ve got all of your records. It mainly brings out to me how important the whole movement really is.
Tell Us About Skrewdriver. I’m Sure That A Lot Of People Have Lost Touch With Who’s In The Band Now.
Stigger is the Guitarist, He’s Been in for quite a while now, he’s recorded both of the Patriotic Ballads albums, he’s also played guitar on The Strong Survive, and my last solo LP Patriot. Sickly John came from Lionheart and he’s been on bass since The Strong Survive. We’ve got a new drummer now, Mushy, he used to play for punk band Resistance 77.
What’s Your Answer To The People Who Say That You Are Only In It For The Money?
If I didn’t belive in what I believe in I would go to the newspapers and deny all of the stuff they put in about me. I could just as easily get out of it. If I went to the press and told them that I’ve changed my ways I could be on top of the pops. I could make a hell of a lot of money that way. If I was only in it for the money I wouldn’t be as dedicated as I am to the nationalist cause. I would have sold out years ago.
What Are Your Views On The British Royal Family?
I’ve always thought that the Royal family should be kept as a British tradition, and I never think that they should ever of had a political voice. They’re a hell of a tourist business, they’ve always been a British tradition. I never think that we should get rid of the Royal family. It’s something that people always think about when they think of Britain. They think of the Royal Family when they hear about Britain. It seems to me that most of the people that want to destroy the Royal family are either Irish or commies. I don’t want to destroy them, but I wouldn’t let people like Prince Charles be telling the people what they ought to do. My personal opinion is that it would be better to have Prince Andrew as the King rather than Prince Charles. At least Prince Andrew fought for his country. We should get rid of a lot of the cling-ons. I feel strongly that we can’t get rid of the Royal Family. It’s always been something special about Britain.
When You Were At School, You Obviously Never Even Imagined How You’d End Up, What Were Your Ambitions, What Sort Of Career Were You Training For?
When I first left school I was an apprentice coach trimmer, I left that because it was boring. After that I was a car washer, then I was a civil servant. I worked as a clerical assistant at the Premium Bonds. I left there after a couple of years and that’s when I went to London. I’ve got a couple of O Levels and that’s about it. The first band, Tumbling Dice, started about a year after I left school.
Did You Ever Imagine At That Time That You’d Be Still Doing It Now?
I didn’t expect to be still doing it now, although I’m very glad that I am. I think that if I’d been just playing music like when we first got the contract, I don’t think we would have been doing it now. It was only when I became politically aware that’s really kept me going. Bands like Sham 69 who toed the line, basically ran out of things to sing about. But we can sing about normal life and politics, and the way that affects us. That’s probably why we’re still going. Plus the fact that they’re so hard to stop us, that makes me think, well, fuck them.
What Does It Mean To You Being A Skinhead?
Although it’s a bit of a cliche, it is a way of life. I don’t actually go around saying to myself “I’m a skinhead”. But I’ve been one since 1977, and before that I was one the first time around in 1971 when I was at school. I do believe in what the rightwing skinheads have got to say, and on and off due to various reasons, since 1977, I’ve been one. But that doesn’t mean to say that everyone who comes to our gigs has to be one. We get a complete mixed audience.
Do You Have Any Regrets?
No, not really, although I didn’t like being in jail much. But that wouldn’t stop me defending myself from a gang of blacks again if I had to. But no, I’ve no real regrets.