Interview by Sheraz Qureshi,
The Horrors are (cringe worthy statement ahead) "the
band of the moment". Hyped by everyone from the nme to q to radio
so why exactly is it that repeat feel the need to interview
them? Well - its because they also happen to be brilliant (oh and James
Dean Bradfield liking them probably had something to do with it aswell)!
We arranged to meet them before their gig at Junk in southend, and spoke
Thanks to Andy Fraser from somefriendly for helping to set everything
What are your feelings regarding the last ever junk
My feelings are mixed. They're mainly ones of trepidation, thinking
about the looks on people's faces at the end of the night..
What do you think its effect will be on the Southend scene ?
I don't think the southend scene is entirely localised around junk...
I mean these bands aren't just going to disappear.. I think most of
the good bands from southend have kind of already used this as a platform,
and are already starting to make their way in London. But it's unfortunate
because it has been a great few years.
Can other local venues fill the void ?
Well it's different music. You wont hear stuff that you'd hear in chinneries.
There's more diversity at junk; lost post-punk tracks from the 70s that
most people wont have even heard about - weird electronic stuff. It's
a lot less mainstream. You wont really hear the libertines here. Not
that there's anything wrong with that.
Reading through the lyrics, especially to something like ' death
at the chapel ' they come across as having this horror movie esque quality
to them? Do you think that's fair? And are their any horror movies in
particular that have influenced the direction of the band?
I actually hate horror movies completely! I think they're stupid!
Is that representative of the rest of the band or just you..?
I don't know. We're not inspired by them at all. I like Hitchcock and
stuff but I just hate b movies! I think they are cheesy rubbish.
Death at the Chapel isn't about that at all. The lyrics are actually
about all the main characters from the 60s girl groups, songs by The
Shangri-Las and Leader of the Pack and people like that - and its about
this guy who gets sick about the idea of ideal love - and so, he decides
to kill them all.
We got that completely wrong then!
Most people do!
In the NME you are quoted as saying: " We're only ten months
old and we are still learning how to write songs and get a new perspective
on things "
My question based on that is, do you sometimes feel as if you would
have preferred to have the press attention later on? When you have had
more of a chance to develop?
Well I think its maybe about the raw energy that's so apparent in original
punk stuff. And maybe that's what we want to capture. It's the reason
why when you hear a band in their first early stage its so exciting
- and they kind of lose it in their later stages
. So maybe its
better to capture it whilst its their. But I mean - its not ideal to
have so much attention at once, but you take it when you get it, you
cant t say fuck of nme come back in a year!
What books are you reading at the moment?
Vile bodies by Evelyn Waugh
Actually I think I'd have more to
say about the book that I read before that which was.. A Confederacy
of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole.
What is it about these books that appealed to you - and is there a link
between them and your lyrics?
I don't think there is a link between the books that I've just mentioned
and the lyrics
. Reading stuff about Rasputin and things like that
links more. I always found his story amazing, the way he could kind
of, not necessarily hoodwink but captivate a royal family into believing
him so much - and be shot five times and fed cyanide cakes and stuff
like that and still survive.
Does Rasputin feature in a Horrors' song?
Probably - but a rubbish one!
I was wondering if you could you tell us about songs like "
Crawdaddy Simone " and "Jack the Ripper " and what it
was about them that made you want to cover them?
We were all really into a Joe Meek and it's just a great track. We thought
we could do something with it; and we thought it wasn't particularly
well known. Whereas with Jack the Ripper, I guess quite a few people
know it. But it was such an odd release for its time. Im not sure if
you've seen videos of him playing live - but the audience don't really
know what to expect
I read a piece in Q
Most of Q was a lie!
Well the piece mentioned your time in school? And other kids picking
on you because you were different? And I was wondering whether it felt
strange seeing those kind of kids / scenesters at your gigs?
That's how bands work though isn't it? If you only played to the same
people who you played to at your first gig you are never going to get
anywhere. I don't know - I just hate the term scenesters because it
immediately depicts people that find out about a band in a negative
Do you not think there is a certain shallowness in it?
If someone actually went and kept going to see a band because they thought
it was cool then to be honest that's pretty fucking moronic. But to
be honest that's not really something I can affect. You know - if someone
is telling someone else that we're cool and then they come to see us,
then great. If they happen to actually enjoy it then it doesn't actually
What's the weirdest present you have ever received from a fan?
I've had some weird ones!
In Germany someone gave me a flag - they'd made it themselves. And it
said "you're boring" on it! They waved it
and I don't
know if it was meant for me - but they waved it in my face; and they
seemed quite distressed when I took it of them and held it above their
That's seems more like something you stole then something you were
Well they handed it out and then seemed to retract their offer! Erm,
I got given this kind of over night kit with like a razor and a fold
in tooth brush - I don't know why, and then their are the inevitable
things like pictures [some of which are fucking amazing].
Your music comes across as being quite angry and almost manic in
a way how reflective is that of you as people?
Inside our heads we are all psychos !! actually let me start that again
because that makes it sound like I am joking..
There was a recent interview, in which James Dean Bradfield from
the Manics is quoted as saying about you: "they're like The New
York Dolls and early Birthday Party. It's kinda gothic, a bit experimental
but also kind of glammy. I just think they're f*****g brilliant. I heard
at one of their gigs the lead singer goes insane. I like the idea of
someone being so out of control."
When you read something like that - do you think its accurate?
It's true. It's about the intensity of the show and you loose yourself
in that. I am probably as far away from the way I am on the stage in
real life as possible - In terms of physical reaction, I don't go round
hurling myself of speakers when I'm not on stage, - but the intensity
is still there, in terms of the way we all think, but we don't necessarily
communicate that in a physical way unless we are on stage. And that's
the way it is - it's an energy born out of frustration.
Although I am aware that we are still developing in terms of song writing
and we have a long way to go - in terms of the live show this is exactly
what we wanted it to be like.
They're are so few bands who are actually putting on a show at the same
time as getting what they mean across
and I think both are important.
Again going back to the piece in the NME, it said that during Death
in Chapel people start throwing pint glasses at you? Why? And how did
that come about?
That's a complete lie. And the NME also said that we glassed one of
our own fans in the face - which again is a complete lie! We don't tend
to glass out own fans!
Well it seemed bizarre, I thought I'd ask though - because those kinds
of pieces are what people are going to base their opinion of you on.
I remember once someone threw a pint glass at me in Manchester. Unprovoked.
I head butted him. He deserved it.
And there was a guy who threw a pint of water over the organ in London.
and that was just odd because I cant believe that someone would be that
stupid ! But at the end of the show I dived on his head.
He was later seen weeping and led away by his girlfriend
He tried to spit at me but it just dribbled down his jumper.
That's not very impressive...
Well I don't tend to attack audience members unless they deserve it
Well they are all there to have a good time so they aren't going to
do anything anyway?
No but that's the thing though! It's not the case! Its like with the
Birthday Party when they were originally playing; people would come
to the show to just to start fights.
Most fans aren't there to cause trouble though.
What's your favourite song to play live?
The current set list is in a state of change at the moment.
We have a new song that we are playing live tonight. The working title
is ' a knife in their eye' which is probably my favourite song at the
moment. But I don't really want to say what its about at the moment.
Are any your EP songs going to be feature on the final LP?
I think Sheena is a Parasite would have to be. It's our favourite track
and I think we'll have a new version of jack the ripper
Has the somewhat polarised reaction you have received surprised you?
We always expected that - it was the one thing we were always sure we
would do [in terms of the press and the audience] people would either
really [like what we were doing] or think we are complete fucking lunatics.
In terms of the press though we haven't had that much polarisation...
Drowned in sound / NME?
Ok, well we've never had an intelligently written bad review. So until
You make that sound like a challenge!
Well yeah! Absolutely! So far its like, oh its cool to like them; therefore
I won't - and that's what they've written, so if they want to be that
fucking stupid then their reviews have no worth! By all means, I wouldn't
expect everyone to like us - but constructive critism is something I
value really highly and no one has really done that.
Do you agree with people like Thom Yorke when they talk about how
bad a state the music industry is in?
At the moment, there's a chance for a lot of people to put out records
really easily and that's a good thing. I don't think it's in a bad state
at all. There are a lot great bands around. I mean when you can get
a band like Franz Ferdinand having worldwide success. You can't knock
that. They have good influences. [And] I'd prefer to hear them on the
radio then the spice girls. It's more like the death of boy bands really
- which no one is going to argue is a bad thing!
Stealing a question directly from Steve Bateman, (thanks!), if I
were to ask you to burn us a mix cd, what tracks would be on it?
The Diagram brothers - There is no shower. Which is about this disabled
guy who doesn't have a shower in his home, and the government wont help
him. And it's a brilliant song and no one has really heard of it which
is why I've chosen it.
The Shangri-Las - I can never go home anymore. That's probably one of
my favourite songs. Its about this girl who runs away from home and
she's advising other girls not to do the same thing because it just
ends in heart break.. and although it tells quite a naive tale - its
still quite eerie and sinister at the same time.
Jesus and the Mary chain - Taste of Cindy. They've influenced so many
bands - anyone who has ever drenched anything in feedback has been influenced
The Gun Club - Walking with the beast. It's an amazing kind of highway
And.. Shock headed Peters - Parabola. No ones heard of them, they had
a song on the rough trade post punk compilation
they are really
hard to get hold of - but I like the track because its so imposing..
And finally: Chips of cream buns?
I actually don't like pudding. I don't like desert!
Well that explains why you are so skinny!
Well it's not a conscious decision I just don't like it!
Chips by default then !