interview by Bones

I think it's fair to say that the TOWERS OF LONDON divided opinion when they were first around. A string of excellent early singles preceded their debut album "Blood, Sweat and Tears" with their career appearing to be on upward curve. Brilliant live, to old punks like me they represented the chaotic bands of my youth - loud, proud and not too concerned what other people thought of them . However, to some members of the achingly cool music press they were a reminder of a bygone era that they would rather not acknowledge.

A TV series on Bravo and Donny Tourettes appearance on Big Brother should have heralded commercial success, but the bands self destructive streak was never far away. The departure of lead guitarist Rev and drummer Snell in 2007, when added to the lack lustre second album "Fizzy Pop", saw the band run out of steam and go on indefinite hiatus by late 2009.

Well, out of nowhere, they are back playing live and with a new single to boot. So, this seemed an opportune moments to catch up with lead singer, and main hell raiser, DONNY TOURETTE to see what has caused this Lazarus like reawakening.....

Lucy: Your band have been quite quiet for the last few months. Are you looking forward to playing gigs again?
Katie Jane Garside: I think I give very obtuse ans

First up, how’s life in the Towers camp at the moment?
It's great. We’ve been dormant for such a long time that I feel like a volcano must feel when it finally erupts. Relieved I guess...

The band have been lying low for some while, so what’s caused this sudden burst of activity?
Its been coming for a while. We’ve been really busy writing and rehearsing for the last 18 months...and just felt like it was the right time to put something out.

What’s the present line up? Have there been any changes since we last saw you?
Yeah we have a new drummer (Rocco) and new guitarist (Stevie Sunset)...

You’ve got a new single out “Shake It” which has been generally well received (even by the NME!).  How (and why) did you come to write a song about masturbation?
Ha ha, I be honest, I was shocked we got such a good reception! We’re an easy band to slag off. But I guess people just judged us on the music and the new video and left all the other stuff out of it. Which is great. Surprising but great! It's almost like they listened to one of mum's old sayings ‘if you haven’t got anything nice to say...don't say it at all’...ha ha...where as first time round it was more a case of ‘think of the nastiest thing you can say about that band without actually listening to the music, and say that’! I’m sure the haters are still out their though...I’m not kidding 'em all is what I say.

You looked like you all enjoyed yourselves in the video.  I guess it was fun to make.
Who doesn’t enjoy jerking off?? I’m actually surprised it didn’t get premiered on red tube first, never mind NME ;)

Is this track a taster for a new album and, if so, when is it likely to be released?
Yeah it is a taster for the new album...there will be another single early next year and an album to follow...although we don’t have a date as we haven’t finished writing it yet!! We’ve got some brilliant songs ready to go that we’re all loving...just need a few more and we’ll be away...

Are the song writing duties still the domain of you, Dirk and Tommy or do the new guys have some input as well?
Yeah its still Dirk, Tommy and myself that write the tunes. Rocco and Stevie are great at what they do though and their contribution musically is never underestimated.

You were always a touring band and I see that you are doing a short tour of Italy in December. Can we expect any upcoming UK dates in the near future?
Yeah, we gigged ALOT. Which is no easy task when every fucker in the band insists on getting completely smashed after every show! Imagine if Bill Murray had to wake up with the hangover from hell in Ground hog’d feel pretty sorry for him wouldn’t you. Well, that's basically Towers on tour. We never learn. That truth is actually a bit depressing to be honest.

It’s been nearly a decade since the band originally burst onto the scene with a fistful of fantastic singles.  Are you happy that your debut album “Blood, Sweat & Towers”? It seemed to captured the anarchic nature of the band at that time.    
Well it's nice to hear you say so. Thank you. Yes, I loved that album at the time and still do. I think it stood out from other releases as we really were going against the trend of the time. Ultimately that's probably why we weren’t more successful, but at the same time I guess its why the few people who got it loved it so much.

What about the follow up “Fizzy Pop” then?
Fizzy pop was put together hastily. Some songs on that album I still like but to be honest it's not what Towers are about. For me it lacked the spirit of Blood Sweat and Towers and maybe you could say that reflects where we were as people at the time. Kind of broken.

Given the exposure you got in the Big Brother house, do you now regret walking out so soon?
I change my mind on this all the time. Most of the time I regret ever going in at all...and sometimes I wish I’d stayed put as I would never have let that bullshit racist stuff go down.

The Towers supported some big names at the time - Guns’n’Roses, Motley Crue and Iggy Pop to name just a few- are there any particular gigs that stand out in your memory?
I think when we played on the main stage at Reading and Leeds festival, that was a big moment. Supporting those big bands was great...but we made it to Reading and Leeds on our own merit and that's something I’m really proud of.

What eventually caused the band to go on hiatus?
I completely lost my hunger. I felt like I'd been punched a million times round the face and wanted a more simple life that wasn’t quite so fucked up. But be careful what you wish for, because that's exactly what I got and it bored me to tears!! I kind of felt like the living dead without being in the band, so I had no choice but do it again. I can’t speak for Tommy and Dirk though...they would have their own answers to that question.

Over the years the band have had more than a few ups and downs.  Do you have any regrets?
Its easy to say ‘I never regret a thing’ and all that stuff...but yes...I do regret how much we fell out with Snell and Rev. The finger can be pointed at whoever you like but at the end of the day we were best friends on one hell of a ride together and somewhere along the way, that went really wrong. I’d like to think I’ve learnt from it though, as with all the other downs we’ve had (of which there have been far too many to talk about in this interview)!! I’d like this next rollercoaster we’re on to be full of mostly ups...but let's face it...nobody can defy Newton's law of gravity...or can they?? Hmmm...

So what can the fans expect from the Towers of London in the future?
Well its hard to say. All I know is this...we are back because we want to be back not because we need to be back. We are pouring our hearts and souls into our music and we’ll do the same every time we play a gig. The rest we’re just gonna have to make up as we go along...


Past R*E*P*E*A*T Interviews with Towers of London from 2007 here and 2005 here

Thanks to Ben Pester for fixing this up

wers to questions...It's never about looking forward to it. Actually maybe I should change the
script, maybe we are looeir musicm the 3rd album?