Doom Alive   [March 2002]

Interview by Nick Ruskell with Kevin Burges, bassist from Marshan 24th March 2002, Camden Barfly, after gig with Sea of Green and Tree.
Transcribed by Emily Ebdon

Kevin: Are you allowed to drink outside here?

Nick: Dunno

Kevin: There’s a police van behind us so…

Nick: Hm? Oh shite, whoops

Kevin: (laughs) Certainly where I’m from you’re not allowed to drink on the streets so…

Nick: Yeah

Kevin: Hide behind the van

Nick: (laughs) is this your van?

Kevin: Yeah

Nick: Cool

Kevin: Well, I say our van- it’s hired but

Nick: Yeah. So are you sleeping or do you sleep in… Fantastic

Kevin: So far yeah we have. There’s 7 of us, we don’t all sleep in it, uh last night there was just 2 of us in it, the first night, before we picked up Sea of Green all 4 of Marshan were in there. It’s actually not bad, its not bad.

Nick: It sounds like a laugh, I wanna… I wanna do something like that, like touring in a crap van…

Kevin: It’s good fun, good fun

Nick: ..with too many people in it

Kevin: About half an hour before we left to come here we were phoned up by a guy from the record company to say could we take Tree, the band who’re just starting just now, asking if we could take them in the van as well- that’s like 11 people. That’d be 8 people in the back (laughs)…we said no to that.

Nick: It just seems like a really cool idea, I was gonna…I’m at college at the moment… I was gonna take a year out and like do a band like properly, and drive around in a transit van…

Kevin: If you get a chance…do it, cos it’s really good fun

Nick: I was thinking about it cos, my sister um… she just finished at uni and she’s living just near the university where she was. She hasn’t come and she’s got like a day job, working in a shop and she’s just doing whatever. She’s just having a laugh, and not turning up to work and stuff like that. Just having a laugh for a year

Kevin: yeah

Nick: It sounds really cool

Kevin: It’s good fun, I mean when I left uni I decided that I didn’t want to get a job, I just wanted to spend a bit of time basically…well when I say doing nothing, doing lots for the band kinda thing, y’know, but not having a proper job, but, I’ve got a job, I was offered something really fucking cool by someone at uni, basically I work from home and I really small hours and all that, so basically whenever I’m not doing stuff for the band I can work, so it’s pretty cool.

Nick: I started a band last year at college, but unfortunately we split up. But we did a couple of gigs- uh, it was a laugh.

Kevin: What sort of stuff did you play?

Nick: Pretty much the same sort of stuff as you but, um a bit more like, pop, some of it, kind of, not like pop pop but.

Kevin: I know what you mean

Nick: Like big hooks and- sort of like The Cult. It was cool, um yeah. But my new band, we’ve got a gig next month.

Kevin: What’s it called?

Nick: We haven’t really got a name at the moment, I’ve only just joined. They sort of formed, and they needed a second guitarist, and they asked me. And um… I don’t think they know what sort of stuff I like. They do Bon Jovi and that sort of stuff, which is cool but its not really the stuff- I’m sort of more...

Kevin: I know what you’re saying man, I know what you’re saying. I wouldn’t want to do Bon Jovi stuff- that’d suck! Our drummer’s a big fucking Bon Jovi fan

Nick: I’ve a bit of a reputation for being into 80s cheese with all my mates

Kevin: Ah, that’s cool…

Nick: Stuff like Poison and Motley Crue…

Kevin: Ahh, that sort of…our drummer like’s that, I don’t like that kind, I like the 80’s kinda like pop cheese

Nick: Like the Police?

Kevin: But the rock stuff, but I’m not into 80s rock stuff. I mean it’s good now and again. There’s a tape player in the back of here on the way down here that was that kinda stuff like lots of…y’know 80s glam and all that, and was…good stuff, but I would never buy it, y’know, it’s good to listen to

Nick: It’s my downfall if anything. I’ve got loads of Poison like, picture disks, that sort of stuff. ‘Look What the Cat Dragged in’ on picture disk

Kevin: You’d get on well with our drummer then, he’s an 80’s freak as well

Nick: And also like 80’s films as well. Stuff like ‘The Breakfast Club’, all that brat pack sort of stuff. It’s the one with the kids, they all go to Saturday morning detention

Kevin: The reason something came into my brain when you said that, somebody sent me, I do, well used to do a website for four years or something, and somebody sent me a tape, I think it as just one guy, and he’d laid down stuff on a computer or something, uh, and one of the songs on that was kinda like a spoken story about something to do with ‘The Breakfast Club’ and it was like, some government testing thing where like, they’d gone into a mental home or something and put drugs…experimental drugs into people’s milk for their breakfast, and stuff like that. Fucking weird story man! Weird story- and it’s true apparently

Nick: I’m doing some um… I got a load of stuff written- recording it all on Thursday, like just me, playing all the instruments, but um yeah, I’m doing it on Thursday. I’m starting at like half past seven in the morning or something stupid like that. Setting up it all by 8.00 hopefully and doing it all in one take just to get it all done. Then I’m off to Fu Manchu in London.

Kevin: We’re missing all that stuff cos we’re on tour. It really sucks

Nick: Well, it’s this tonight, Thursday it’s Fu Manchu and Saturday it’s Orange Goblin at the Garage

Kevin: We’ve got a day off on Friday, and Goblin are playing Nottingham on Friday so we’re hoping to go along to that maybe, cos I don’t wanna miss it. Roadsaw- I fucking want to see Roadsaw, they’re brilliant. I got Nationwide a while ago- it got sent to my magazine, it was the fucking shit. I’ve not heard Rawk N Roll yet, but Nationwide is brilliant.

Nick: It’s good

Kevin: Really good stuff. The new one's out on Lunasound recordings… records I think… they’re from Sweden, they’re a brilliant fucking label. Everything they’ve done…Gorilla, do you know Gorilla? Have you heard of them?

Nick: Yes, I’ve heard Gorilla…yeah

Kevin: They’re on Lunasound aswell, they’re fucking awesome stuff. We’re playing with them on…I think maybe tomorrow night actually- Tunbridge Wells

Nick: Ah, Tunbridge Wells, cool, I’ve got a mate who’s going to see that. It’s a shitty venue, it’s like a converted public loo

Kevin: I heard someone say that yeah,

Nick: They’ve knocked all the insides out

Kevin: Literally playing in a toilet!

Nick: It’s cool, I’ve been there before, I went to see one of my mates bands play there, it was cool. It’s apparently quite a rough venue, lots of fights and things

Kevin: Oh well, I’m kind of genteel; I don’t do that kind of stuff. We’ll try and stay on the stage then

Nick: I’d better get on with the real questions

Kevin: That’s cool

Nick: What do you think of Andrew WK?

Kevin: (laughs) umm…

Nick: I think he’s fucking excellent

Kevin: Well, in a way it’s kind of difficult to answer, cos, up until a few weeks ago I hadn’t heard any of the stuff. I think I’ve now heard one song once, and I’ve got a bad memory so… I don’t really remember it. I don’t thing the song was all that bad to be honest. Um, but obviously as commercial as fuck

Nick: It’s hard to say cos he’s… if you listen to it without liking him, but if you were neutral on it you’d think it was really commercial and pop. But its not so bad. I quite like it, but I’m the only person I know that likes it.

Kevin: I heard an amusing story, I don’t know if it’s true or not, but despite the millions and millions of pounds that’d been spent on promoting him, that in the first week…

Nick: ..yeah he only sold 4,666 copies

Kevin: 1,500 it was I heard, fucking, its ridiculous- spending that amount of money on the guy.

Nick: I think he deserves to do quite well, he’s quite good, he really likes it

Kevin: I don’t know anything about the guy, I’ve not read any interviews or anything. The posters are fucking ridiculous- that blood thing

Nick: Blood and all that shit

Kevin: I don’t follow that, that’s just rubbish.

Nick: I was supposed to go and see him playing with Lostprophets, but I didn’t go in the end. What do you think of Lostprophets?

Kevin: I haven’t seen them, again, the same night I heard the Andrew WK song was the first night I ever heard them aswell. I don’t really remember anything about them. I’ve heard lots about them but…

Nick: They’re quite good, I saw them with Hundred Reasons who live like, down the road from me, I went to see them in Kingston. They’re alright, but I think they’ve sold out a bit.

Kevin: The song I heard, that’s what I kinda thought. Like when I read about them, I read like an interview with them and stuff and they sounded like really cool guys, y’know, and it sounded like I’d quite like them, but when I heard it. I don’t remember what it sounded like, but I remember kinda thinking that it was more commercial than I expected it to be

Nick: They re-released the album, they like re-recorded it, and made it sound like…

Kevin: They re-did it totally?

Nick: They re-did the whole thing with like a really big budget, and it sounds really shit. I’ve got the original version…it…it’s shit cos it sounds really good

Kevin: Yeah, really glossy and all that

Nick: Like the singing’s not the same, it’s like he’s been told to sing like Brandon Boyd- from Incubus.

Kevin: I know what you’re saying man, I know what you’re saying. It’d be interesting to hear the difference actually- between the two. See what actually what a major label does to you. They’re on a major yeah?

Nick: Yeah, they’re on Colombia I think. Yeah, Hundred Reasons are on Colombia, but still kept the same sort of thing they were doing. They’re a fucking good band. Their singer used to work in a computer shop in the town centre, and uh, you used to go in there and see him and you’d talk to him and he’d say, yeah, I’m off to…I got to leave early tonight because I’m going off to Manchester or Sheffield or somewhere to do a gig. And the guitarist used to work in one of the pubs in…where I live. And you’d see him pulling pints, then later that night you’d see him playing his guitar on stage in the pub. They’re really good. What do you think, in general, of the state of like rock n roll at the moment?

Kevin: Ahh, well, there’s a fucking, there’s a lot of good bands out there. There’s a lot of shite out there as well. There’s…there’s…it’s a hard one to answer man. I mean there’s a lot of bands that I do like in the recent…y’know the newer stuff like Roadsaw… is fucking awesome, they’re great. Ummm, Atomic Bitchwax, now split up unfortunately.

Nick: Yeah. Have they split…I heard that they, that Ed had just left, that they sort of carried on, they’re releasing a new album

Kevin: Well maybe, I dunno. I’ve heard they split up. You could be right- I hope you are right.

Nick: Cos that’s what I read on

Kevin: Yeah, okay, I’ve been out of the country for the last week and a half, so I’ve not really heard much about it so…

Nick: I don’t really know- it’s difficult to get information

Kevin: Yeah, yeah. They should give it a go. I don’t know what they’ll sound like without Ed- certainly be interesting to hear- they’re a great fucking band

Nick: Really good. What do you think of um stuff like Korn and Limp Bizkit- all the sort of baggy trousers music

Kevin: Not into that kinda stuff at all

Nick: Some of it’s pretty cool, some like Incubus and stuff like that, cos its got, its sort of jazzy

Kevin: Incubus are quite interesting. They’re obviously these days extremely commercial, but at the same time they do, I do like them, they’ve got a good style to them

Nick: They’re doing it right I think, cos they’ve got to that stage where they’re sort of playing in arenas, and they’ve started playing arena type rock

Kevin: Yeah, yeah, they’ve always kind of adjusted to the kind of commercial lifestyle, y’know, they’re doing that kind of stuff, but I like them, they’ve got some good ideas and all that, and they sound good. I don’t really know their stuff that well, but I’ve heard one of their albums

Nick: They’re one of the only bands around that sound actually sort of half decent with a DJ. I mean DJ Lethal, his stuff with House of Pain and some of his solo stuff was pretty cool, but with Limp Bizkit… it’s just… shit

Kevin: I’m not into Limp Bizkit, I mean, as a bunch of guys, well, Fred Durst anyway, he’s a tosser but, ah, musically, I’m not saying they don’t have any good songs but

Nick: It’s more stuff you listen to in a club or go and see live at a festival

Kevin: It’s not so bad when that happens, but I wouldn’t ever pay money for any of that stuff, y’know. I wouldn’t go and see them, I wouldn’t buy an album, but s’aright, but it’s just the whole fact that all that money’s behind them, and that’s all they- its just ridiculous

Nick: It’s a bit annoying when you see bands like that getting big and you sort of recommend stuff like Electric Wizard and Sunn to people

Kevin: Ahh, Sunn, fucking, we saw them in Glasgow at the… can’t remember who they was playing with… maybe Goatsnake and someone

Nick: Goatsnake and was it Orange Goblin as well?

Kevin: Did they tour together- if they did it was probably that- about a year ago

Nick: It was just after Big Black came out

Kevin: That would’ve been it yeah

Nick: I really wanted to go to the one in London but I couldn’t get there. Apparently they were fucking, awesome

Kevin: It was good. The Sunn thing, was fucking, y’know, it was great. It was like half an hour, twenty minutes like of basically loud noise

Nick: I used to be in a band like that it was just the two guitarists, just making loads of weird noises

Kevin: We like to do a bit of that during practices and all that but we don’t tend to bring it too much to the stage, but certainly when we’re practicing, we like, well I personally like well all this fucking making noise. I’ve got all these like pedals- I only had some of them here tonight

Nick: Just like jamming…

Kevin: Just making y’know making like feeling row and music

Nick: A bit like Tool really

Kevin: Yeah, it’s great to do that

Nick: It’s almost like prog rock

Kevin: It’s like getting a paintbrush like and… splat! That’s exactly what it’s like, it’s all, it’s just totally new, you’re just doing it. It hardly ever gets recorded. I wish I did actually sometimes, I’d like to put some of the stuff up on the website or something. Some of it sounds really fucking good. But the problem with it cos you’re just doing it off the cuff, you don’t know when it’s gonna be good

Nick: You can’t really repeat it, and either that or you get a really wicked idea when you’re doing it and then you go home, or you go down the pub afterwards, and you just completely forget how it went, you sort of sit there and go… ugh!

Kevin: Even if you did remember it wouldn’t be the same the second time. The whole goodness of it, the fun of it, that it’s just happened

Nick: It’s just there

Kevin: It’s just out of the blue

Nick: It’s like a one-off

Kevin: None of the guys knows what’s happening, just suddenly everyone plays something and it sounds great.

Nick: It’s like Electric Wizard never, they don’t really practice that much, they sort of jam, then when they’re on stage they jam, depending on how they feel and how the crowd is. And if the crowd is really shit, they’ll jam tons

Kevin: That’s the beauty of it aswell, if it’s a big crowd and all that, and it’s an important show, then you don’t want to jam too much cos… it can go wrong

Nick: And people get bored and slide off to the bar

Kevin: And people do tend to get bored, because, by the nature of jamming, it tends to go on… one song can be twenty minutes or something. People don’t wanna hear that live.

Nick: It depends cos, I see bands when they jam and like, it’s impossible to get bored of it

Kevin: For the band playing it… it’s great to do… Lee Dorrian… he’s just met Lee Dorrian… is he in there? Have you seen him?

Nick: Fantastic

Kevin: He’s just arrived

Nick: So what do you think of the death metal boom that’s been going on at the moment, I see you like Napalm Death

Kevin: I was… back in the early 90s me and Graeme just left- we were totally into all that death metal stuff back then, y’know- Obituary, Carcass, Deicide, all that kinda shit we were fucking hardcore freaks for that, um, there was a week in 94, sometime in December, all the death metal gigs, in fact all the death metal gigs always happened in December or November. It was snowing and pissing it down with rain. The worst nights. They’d make you stand around for hours until the doors opened and stuff cos we always turned up early to make sure we’d get a good space and all that, and one week where there was like, I think it was over a two-week period, there was like 6 shows or something like that, there was like Carcass… I can’t actually remember who the other bands… Cannibal Corpse fucking great bands, it was just the best fucking time. So yeah, we like all the old stuff. As far as new stuff goes, Arch Enemy… they’re fucking great… I mean Mike Ammott, from Carcass,

Nick: And uh… Spiritual Beggars

Kevin: Spiritual Beggars, they’re fucking awesome aswell. That guy is just…

Nick: He’s like Bill Steer isn’t he? On guitar… he’s… have you heard Bill Steer’s other band… Firebird

Kevin: Firebird, yeah, I got their first CD a few weeks ago

Nick: I got that aswell

Kevin: It’s great. I don’t have Deluxe, but Firebird I’ve got yeah, um.

Nick: But Deluxe, the guy who did the illustrations for the Joy of Sex books, he did the illustrations for the cover

Kevin: Excellent, that’s cool, yeah, but Mike, he’s a fucking…he’s brilliant

Nick: He’s a genius

Kevin: I interviewed the guy and spoke to him for quite a while, and he’s a lovely guy, and fucking talented as hell. Mike, lets have a quote on him

Graeme: Mike Ammott, uh Carcass

Kevin: That’s not a quote man!

Graeme: Heartwork… fucking greatest death metal album of all time

Kevin: It is, the best isn’t it? I was just telling him about our two weeks. Who were the bands who played in those two weeks

Graeme: Christ Almighty, um, Carcass

Kevin: Cannibal Corpse

Graeme: Slayer, The Almighty, someone else… I fucking can’t remember.

Kevin: Cubanate were supporting Carcass… they were shite

Graeme: They weren’t shite, they were interesting man

Nick: They’re shit

Graeme: …the abuse from the stage man

Nick: Saw Cubanate supporting Pitchshifter… eons ago, and they were… bollocks

Kevin: I’ve heard a lot of people say they’re good but I don’t really see it at all

Nick: They’re probably better on record

Graeme: I don’t think so… live they’ve got this kind of belligerent thing going on … they like to piss on a crucifix

Nick: I thought they sucked. Have you had the chance to hear Nile?

Kevin: Nile? I’ve got one of their songs… I don’t really… I remember it interesting me… I don’t think… I don’t know whether I’d say I liked it, I wouldn’t pay money for it… but it was interesting, it had some interesting stuff on it

Nick: Their earlier stuff’s really wicked cos it’s got some fast bits, and it’s got some groovy bits aswell

Kevin: It was certainly different to most of the stuff that’s out there, so it was good to hear, but I wouldn’t buy it I don’t think.

Nick: And The Haunted aswell.

Kevin: The Haunted… I saw them in Dublin, I went to Dublin last summer and Entombed and The Haunted were doing a show over there and fucking… I’m there for three days or something and Entombed and The Haunted were playing- it was great! So I went to see that

Graeme: I’ve seen them too

Kevin: Yeah we saw them in Glasgow or somewhere. At the Gates they were… awful that show

Graeme: It was an awful show, but At the Gates are a great band… but the sound… it was the worst sound I’d ever heard

Nick: Slaughter of the Soul was an excellent album. It’s got the guitar players and the old drummer from The Haunted

Graeme: Oh right is that how that works, I wasn’t sure…

Nick: It’s got the bloke from Lockup singing

Graeme: Yeah

Nick: They’re a cool band, have you had a chance to hear them?

Kevin: I don’t think… they’ve played Glasgow but we didn’t see them, no

Nick: They’re pretty cool. It’s got Nick Barker from Cradle of Filth on drums- fast as, brilliant

Graeme: Shane Embury

Nick: Yeah, Shane’s in it, and um, I think it’s someone from Napalm Death aswell

Kevin: Yeah, Shane’s Napalm

Nick: No, someone else from Napalm Death, the guitar player- Mick Harris, no, no that’s it Jesse Pintado

Graeme: Jesse

Kevin: That old mate of ours!

Nick: What do you think of stuff like Mogwai?

Kevin: I would fucking love to hear them, I’ve never heard them

Graeme: The first time I heard Mogwai was years ago cos I know a guy who used to go to school with one of the guys from Mogwai, cos they’re from Glasgow, so uh, he played me them and I thought… they were really quiet then it went into this sort of ferocious kind of verse section. I think it was the Young Team, I thought it was fucking… it was really dreamy and you were falling asleep then like all of a sudden UUURRRGGGHHH!

Nick: They’re a bit like Sleep I think

Graeme: Yeah

Nick: They’re apparently really, really good live, one of my mates went to see them at Brixton. Apparently they played that really really long song… My Father, My King.

Graeme: Yeah, that’s like a prayer or something

Nick: Jewish prayer or hymn or something

Graeme: It’s like 24 minutes long or something

Nick: Then at the end it was like deafening and then they switched everything off at the same time, so it was like really loud then really quiet

Graeme: That’s fucking really hard

Nick: There’s loads of bands where I live ripping that off now, which is a bit of a shame

Graeme: They’re a good band though… from Glasgow so… we’re all good up there!

Nick: I didn’t think their last album was much cop- Rock Action

Graeme: Rock Action? I’ve not heard that one

Nick: There were a couple of good songs on it but it’s not like their other stuff, sort of really loud. It was mainly acoustic guitar- it was a bit like Anathema I thought

Graeme: Right, yeah, I like Anathema, so maybe I should check it out…

Kevin: I like Anathema… peaceful… serene… what’s that programme?

Nick: That’s The Raccoons!

Kevin: Yeah, quiet, peaceful, serene

Nick: Cyril Sneer, and what’s Cyril Sneer’s son called?

Kevin: Cedric Sneer. Fucking ruled that cartoon! I used to get up every Saturday… Saturday/Sunday morning, something like that like half seven in the morning or something

Graeme: You really didn’t have a life did you?

Nick: I remember it was on Going Live, back in the day

Kevin: Going Live… Gordon the gopher and all that!

Nick: Sarah Greene and what’s his name… Phil

Kevin: Phil, the grey-haired guy

Nick: Philip Schofield, he was in Jason… no Joseph! It was Jason Donovan, was in Joseph, that’s why I got confused

Graeme: Jason Donovan, from Mogwai

Nick: Jason Donovan was a major coke addict or something

Graeme: Yeah, he got fucked up man

Nick: Like Corey Feldman

Graeme: He got fucked up majorly. That’s why he’s not too successful no more

Nick: Who’s that… Corey Feldman or…

Graeme: Well both of them really!

Nick: Corey Feldman started a music career- he’s releasing albums and stuff

Graeme: Ooooh! Must check one of those out!

Nick: Actually looks pretty cool, it’s got a really psychedelic cover

Graeme: Well, if he’s a coke addict…

Nick: I’ve got the phone number you can use to book him on!

Graeme: Come on then, get a show

Nick: I’ll book him, I’ll tell you what, I’m doing a mini festival thing where I live, I could get him… I wonder what he’d play?! I wonder what instrument he plays?

Graeme: Probably sings

Nick: I bet he croons

Graeme: I don’t know man, he might be all psychedelic and fucked up man- years of abuse- y’know, he maybe just gives you lines from his films and shit like that

Nick: It’d be like that episode of Friends with Ross playing his keyboard. He’s got like all the noises and helicopters and shit like that

Graeme: “I’m gonna concentrate on my music!”. It’s been a good night so far.

Kevin: Tree are in there, have you heard them, I don’t know what they’re like

Nick: They’ve got kind of heavy bits

Graeme: Then quieter bits, then back to heavy again, kinda like hardcore mixed with something else, I’m not quite sure, pretty fucking tight anyway

Nick: I thought you were really fucking excellent

Graeme: Thank-you!

Nick: I’ve been to a few gigs in the last couple of months and most of the bands have been pretty shit, like all the support bands, pretty difficult to find something that you like. I saw Hundred Reasons in December, and they had Copperpot Journals with them and I thought they were a bit shit. They were a bit too like emo.

Graeme: Ah, okay, too emo man

Nick: Emo’s cool though

Graeme: Ah, well, I suppose as long as there’s emotion in music there should be something

Nick: The thing is though when you call a band like an emo band or a stoner band or like death metal. Like black metal bands, people think it’s just all screaming and noise, but some of the stuff, a lot of Burzum stuff...

Kevin: Some of those bands really are shit, but Opeth, they’re a fucking great band

Nick: I think Opeth are a bit like Tool

Kevin: I don’t know, I’ve heard some of their stuff but I don’t know them all that well

Nick: I only recently got into Tool actually

Kevin: Well, it’s cos I’ve been sent an Opeth album, I haven’t been sent a Tool one

Nick: Tool are a band that have kind of passed me by, sort of

Kevin: Yeah, I think that’s what they’ve done to me, I’ve always wanted to hear them

Nick: It’s cos they don’t tour like, all the time, and release stuff every year and a half or whatever.

Kevin: Everyone keeps talking to me about them, and I want to hear their stuff

Graeme: The singer from Sea of Green, that’s his favourite band at the moment, so… he’s a big fan of Tool.

Nick: Tool are cool, I only just got into them, I heard them and they weren’t what I was expecting really, they were sort of funny time signatures and…

Graeme: Kind of prog almost

Nick: They can have really long songs, but you don’t really notice it, cos- it’s a bit like Stairway to Heaven, it was really long but you didn’t notice cos it was really cool

Graeme: Like in sections… movements, just like classical. It’s the best way to write a long song. Sometimes you get away with just one riff forever- like Jerusalem

Nick: It depends. If you’ve got one riff and do it right it sounds cool, but if you try and do it over and over again it starts to sound shit

Graeme: Jerusalem… it’s kind of like one of those albums you can’t really listen…

Nick: Or like Bohemian Rhapsody- it’s a fucking long song. That as a song was either going to be really cool and successfully or it was going to be really shit and no-one wanted to hear it

Graeme: Operatic metal

Nick: But there was a load of bands afterwards that tried to copy it and they fell on their arses. I think the Chinese Democracy by Guns n Roses is going to be a bit like that

Graeme: Yeah, well I don’t fancy that whole idea

Nick: It’s been hyped up a bit too much I think but, it’s going to be really, really, really good or it’s going to just suck

Graeme: I think it’s gonna suck. So many people worked on it and all that, I don’t know if it’s going to be cohesive. Sometimes it better to just get a band playing rather than getting 50,000 people to do one guitar line for you.

Nick: Apparently Wes Borland was going to do most of the guitar stuff

Graeme: Is he in it?

Nick: I dunno, it’s just rumours, but I heard that off Zane Lowe, so I don’t know how accurate that’s going to be

Graeme: I thought he was going to get Slash.

Nick: That was like 1995 it was going to be Slash then it was Zakk Wylde, Buckethead, there was all sorts. Apparently Eddie Van Halen was involved for about 2 minutes!

Kevin: Everyone’s been involved… we’ve been involved

Graeme: Yeah, we’ve done a few tracks…! But I don’t think Axl’s gonna use them!

Nick: He fired you all, told you all to fuck off, erased all your tracks

Kevin: We’re big friends of Axl!

Nick: I think that the album that Slash is doing with Izzy Stradlin and Duff McKagan is just going to be wicked… it’ll come out sooner as well!

Graeme: Will Chinese Democracy ever come out?

Nick: I dunno, I’ve been hoping, I’m saying that’s going to be the best album out this year, but I’ve been saying that for the last 3 years. He apparently keeps finishing it and then gets new ideas. I don’t know why he doesn’t just put it onto 2 albums or whatever

Graeme: 8 albums he’ll have!

Nick: It’s going to be like an 8 disk album or something

Graeme: It’ll be a box set. I think he keeps trying to update it, but everytime he updates it, the song moves on

Nick: The thing is when he tries to update it, he listens to the radio or whatever and hears people like Limp Bizkit, Puddle of Mudd, stuff like that and he goes aha! And then when Korn and Limp Bizkit move on he changes it all

Kevin: The first one was all industrial

Nick: That was on End of Days… the soundtrack.

Graeme: And then, it’s not like that now, moved onto nu-metal. He’s going to have to take a stance

Nick: I think he’s going to have to get his arse in gear, just record some songs and release it

Kevin: I mean it’s a Guns n Roses album, they should be big enough to carry it themselves, and release the best album that Guns n Roses can do as opposed to…

Graeme: Well, he needs to get his eyes back in

Nick: He’s told everyone else to fuck off which is a bit of a shame really because, I mean that was what was good about Guns n Roses cos it was… all the best bands had the wicked guitarist, the wicked singer, the wicked drummer and the bassist with crap hair, a bit like Van Halen and Led Zeppelin and bands like that

Graeme: They were like the Led Zeppelin for the late 80s early 90s. They had like Slash who was Jimmy Page.

Nick: Everyone said they were hair metal but they were a lot better than like Poison. I really like Poison though

Graeme: Well, as soon as our drummer come along… fucking 80s metal guy

Nick: He sounds really cool

Graeme: Sea of Green, we’ve come across a lot of 80s metal with them… Quiet Riot

Kevin: It was good to hear it but I’d never fucking pay for it!

Nick: You go to rock clubs and you go and request it, and it just really, really pisses people off. I dunno why! You get the DJ to play like Andrew WK….


Kevin: …He’s well worn…

Nick: Is that Lee Dorrian?

Kevin & Graeme: Yeah

Nick: Where is he?

Kevin: I dunno, the backstage area.

Nick: I’m never ever going to meet that guy. Every time he’s at a gig I always miss him, I’ll walk straight pass him or…

Kevin: Speak to Eric… big bassist

Nick: Have you had a chance to hear Clutch’s last album?

Graeme: I’ve not heard Clutch’s last one, no. they toured not so long ago

Nick: Yeah, it was with uh, Raging Speedhorn

Graeme: Yeah, we went to uh…

Nick: They were cool

Graeme: You need to get on the guest-lists or something

Nick: Yeah, start an Internet site and uh… yeah!

Kevin: I’ve been at quite a few shows.

Graeme: The guy from Sloth’s here aswell

Nick: Ah, fantastic, Sloth are another band that…

Kevin: We played with Sloth years ago…was it Will?

Graeme: I’m not sure, long black hair…

Nick: I’m trying to put on like a festival thing, with Marshan and Sloth as like the 2 proper bands, and then have a load of local, unsigned bands

Kevin: We could be up for doing that

Nick: Cos then you could get people to come cos they’re all mates with people in the local bands. There’s a band where I live, they’re pretty good actually, but everyone knows them, all their gigs are sold out. I put on a gig of theirs a couple of weeks ago and it was absolutely packed, we had to turn people away. It was wicked, they were absolutely mental, throwing shit off the stage and all sorts of stuff. They were really good. It’s not really stoner type stuff, it’s more like… they’re a bit like Black Flag, but they don’t like me saying that. They'll probably think it’s shitty 80s hair metal.

Kevin: Black Flag, 80s hair metal?

Nick: Yeah, I don’t get it, it’s cos they were around in the 80s I suppose. And they equate any 80s band with being hair metal, like Metallica, as being hair metal

Kevin: You can’t call Black Flag 80s hair metal

Graeme: I’ve never heard that before. Yeah, you should try and meet Lee Dorrian and that, he’s really chilled out.

Nick: Is he back stage?

Graeme: Yeah, it’s really big, luxurious!

Graeme: I was fucking, changing my strings and Lee Dorrian comes in it’s like, shit! Alright! How you doing?! He’s out by the bar now

Kevin: Ah, right, he’s out by the bar

Nick: Have you had a chance to see Cathedral?

Kevin: I’ve seen Cathedral four times now

Nick: Every time they play I’m either busy or I’ve got another gig, or I’m skint.

Kevin: Lee Dorrian’s a great frontman

Nick: He does all like the oh yeah!

Everyone: Huggy Bear!

Nick: I didn’t think their last album was as good as some of their other stuff

Kevin: More dreamy the last one… wasn’t as up-beat

Nick: Cos all the rest of its something like you’d put on at a party or whatever, like Caravan Beyond Redemption, stuff like Hopkins

Kevin: That’d the fucking best song ever

Nick: Have you had a chance to see the film?

Kevin: It was on about a week ago on Carlton Cinema, and I watched like, a few minutes of it, and it was people like…on horses

Nick: Most of the film is like people galloping across the countryside

Kevin: That’s what it was, and I thought right, this is gonna end soon, and I’ll watch it, and I’ll see what the film is, this dull bit is gonna end, and it just kept going, eventually I turned it off and went back to it later and it was still people galloping through the woods on horses

Nick: I bought it on DVD and apparently there were 2 versions released, there was the British version and the export version, and the only difference is that one of them’s got more sex scenes in it. It’s a cool film, it’s really…violent

Kevin: I never got to see those bits, I just saw the horse riding

Nick: Hopkins sort of propositioning women by saying “Perhaps you’re a witch”

Kevin: (laughs) Excellent man, excellent, I can see why the song…

Nick: And Mark of the Devil, that’s another cool film

Kevin: I know

Nick: Dunwich horror

Kevin: Cool guy, great frontman Lee Dorrian

Nick: Yeah, So what really cool bands have you played with?

Kevin: Sloth, Karma to Burn, Sally, Alabama Thunder Pussy, Orange Goblin,

Graeme: On their first tour, on their first UK tour

Kevin: Just as the first album was released we played with them

Nick: That’s like ages ago, that’s like 1996 isn’t it?

Kevin: 98, 97?

Graeme: I can’t remember

Nick: 97 I think cos I remember reading about them in Kerrang, in like the upcoming bit where you normally don’t hear from the bands ever again

Kevin: It was good to play with them. Who else… a few other bands. Some other non-stoner bands, Medulla Nocte, we’ve played with them

Nick: They’re cool, they played pretty close to my house, it was fucking, brilliant. I saw them supporting Soulfly. I thought they were brilliant, really, really loud.

Kevin: Warning, Solstice… a lot of other bands

Nick: What’s the coolest band you’ve played with?

Graeme: Sea of Green I should say, cos that’s the diplomatic way, uh, well I kinda liked that first Goblin thing, cos it was quite underground then. Stoner wasn’t like what it is now, cos we really enjoyed the album, and then to play with them.

Kevin: At the time they weren’t famous or anything so… It was like playing with us, it was underground, no-one knew who they were.

Graeme: It was such a good gig aswell, it was such a cool gig

Kevin: It was a tiny place, there was no stage or anything, you’d just stick your amps on the floor and play

Nick: The first gig I ever played was just on the floor. That was bad. We planned to set up a load of tables at the hall we were playing at but they were really unstable so we had to play on the floor, so everyone…

Kevin: The whole idea of playing on tables sounds ludicrous!

Nick: Big proper tables though, they just weren’t screwed on properly, so when you tried to stand on them they moved, so we thought, fucking hell that’s not a very good idea, so we phoned up the vicar, who was in charge of the church hall and asked if we could borrow the stage blocks out of the church, but we couldn’t get over to the other church in the Parish and borrow the stage blocks from there, so we had to play on the floor. It was cool. Everyone was stood really close

Graeme: That’s like blasphemy, playing rock n roll in a church

Nick: Oh quite possibly! I’ve done loads of gigs. There’s like a church with really good acoustics and a wicked PA

Kevin: A church with a wicked PA!

Nick: I’m quite chummy with the vicar aswell. If he heard some of the stuff that was said in there I doubt he’d like it very much, but they were cool with it. They don’t really mind. The only bugbear they have about is that there’s an old people’s home right behind it, so you’ve got to turn it down after 10 o’clock, which was fortunate cos we were on like at 8 o’ clock or whatever and we only played for about half an hour. That was the first time I smashed up a guitar. It was an accident, I sort of threw it on the floor and the neck burst off, so I smashed it up.

Graeme: The first time you smashed up a guitar? Is that a routine thing for you?!

Nick: Not exactly a routine. I think I’ve smashed up about 3. It’s just a laugh, it sort of happens by accident, and you think, when am I going to have the chance to do this again? So you smash the fucking thing on the floor.

Graeme: What type of guitars do you play?

Nick: Cheap ones! I’ve got like my proper guitar, I’ve got an SG, and then I get a cheap one that I buy in a charity shop for 20 quid or whatever, and throw that around.

Graeme: Pete Townsend

Nick: Yeah, Pete Townsend or like Hendrix

Graeme: Hendrix- set it on fire. Our guitarist’s just going away now

Scott: I’m just going home

Graeme: We’re playing as a 3-piece for the next couple of shows

Scott: I get a train and go to work for the next 4 days. I’m basically going to leave just now and get a flight back to Glasgow tonight, and come back. I’m missing 4 dates

Kevin: I’d forgotten all about it. So you get to see Fu Manchu and Orange Goblin.

Scott: And I get to fly back to Glasgow, and I get to fly to these gigs

Nick: It’s a bitch isn’t it?

Scott: Working’s a fucker

Kevin: It’s gonna be kind of interesting, stripping down to a 3-piece for 4 shows, I hope it goes okay. We’ll do it man, done it before once so…

Scott: Just unfortunate circumstances

Nick: But you get to see Fu Manchu and Orange Goblin… and Roadsaw

Scott: I might get to see Goblin twice, cos I think they’re playing Glasgow on Thursday, then Nottingham on the Friday

Kevin: Two days in a row then?

Nick: So are you not playing on Friday then?

Graeme: No, we’ve got a day off then so we see can them. We’re playing at Stoke the night before so we can go across to Nottingham to see them

Nick: Is that Stoke-on-Trent yeah?

All: Yeah

Nick: What’s the band that came from there… Charger.

Kevin: Yeah, they’re cool, I’ve got their first EP thing.

Nick: I nearly supported them, the gig they did near me, but the band split up before we had the chance to. I got the confirmation, but the drummer had left so we were sort of minus drummer grindcore type stuff

Graeme: I can see how that wouldn’t work! No blast beat

Nick: It was a bit weird, it sounded pretty cool. We were planning to do a cover of ‘You Suffer’, but it didn’t happen- some shit local band did it, they were crap

Kevin: That sucks doesn’t it, when some other band gets it and you think- you’re shit.

Nick: Round where I live it’s mostly ska bands and punk bands- bollocks, I fucking hate ska. There’s about 2 ska bands I actually like and the rest just sound the same.

Kevin: You could say the same about everything you don’t like

Nick: When it becomes a scene you could cos think, yeah, that’s really cool, I like that

Graeme: That’s what stoner’s kind of getting like at the moment. There are a lot of bands who are trying too hard.

Nick: But then there are some bands that sound exactly stoner and they sound really cool and they’ve actually done something with it

Graeme: I think to play stoner you’ve got to be semi-talented like musician. You can’t just come and parrot chords. There’s a lot that are quite good bands, but it’s just whether they want to take it further than playing Kyuss songs

Nick: I mean, it’s whether or not you can write a good song by yourself really. I think that the only reason why bands like Linkin Park are big is because they’re doing that cheesy Bon Jovi metal

Graeme: It’s like 80s

Nick: It’s like the 80s cos Linkin Park are a bit like Bon Jovi, and Papa Roach who remind me of Poison

Graeme: I wonder whether they’d like that comparison?

Nick: I reckon Rage Against the Machine are the new Van Halen, cos they’ve got the good frontman, the good guitarist, the good drummer and the bassist with bad hair

Graeme: The guitarist who kind of changes the way the guitar can be played the way Van Halen did

Nick: He reminds me a bit of Jimi Hendrix

Graeme: He does a lot of weird stuff

Nick: Weird stuff that you didn’t think of before really. But when anyone else tries to do it it just sounds shit. Cos they’re trying to perfect it, but they haven’t got enough record company money behind it to make it sound good with all the right effects

Graeme: Do you think Sea of Green are coming on soon, you don’t want to miss them. We’ll cut it short now and continue it later, we could even get Sea of Green if you want

Nick: Well I’m going to have to leave pretty sharpish afterwards actually cos I’ve got to catch a train. So just to close then uh…

Graeme: Sure… I just don’t want you to miss Sea of Green man

Nick: I want to get another drink aswell

Kevin: So do I!

Nick: What gig would Marshan really love to play? In the next year- Ozzfest?

Kevin: Ozzfest, actually, we’d like to do the SHOD. We’re trying to get on the SHOD in America, so I suppose… it’s not the greatest gig but

Nick: It’s cool because people there will actually like it

Kevin: Yeah, exactly. We think we’re probably going over to that, so of all the possible gigs we could do, that one, but impossible, yeah Ozzfest would be fucking good man.

Graeme: Yeah, John Bonham rises from the dead, Led Zeppelin reformation

Nick: That Led Zeppelin thing you did was really cool

Kevin: Yeah, we do that sometimes man

Graeme: Jam around sometimes, do a bit of Sabbath sometimes, y’know.

Nick: I’ve done that before, done, How Many More Times, just gone into it.

Graeme. It’s a good one man, quite an easy riff

Nick: It’s quite easy to play, it’s catchy, and it rocks. It’s a guitar shop riff. Like Smoke on the Water

Graeme: It’s a basic riff, but at the end of the day, those are ones that sound the best

Nick: It sounds huge

Graeme: It’s an old blues riff-that’s where it all comes from anyway

Kevin: Sat the SHOD, yeah

Nick: Apparently Earth are playing there this year

Graeme: That would be interesting. We’re trying to get on it this year but it just depends whether we can afford to get to it so watch this space man

Nick: Anyway, cheers

Graeme: Thanks a lot Nick, for coming along- good to speak to you

Nick: Cheers for letting me in for next to nothing

Graeme: No worries

Nick Ruskell