‘The Bar Stool Preachers’
A Punk Rock band with a Message
Interview 21st September 2019 Cardiff Clwb Ifor Bach
By R*E*P*E*A*T's Maria Jose Hernandez

The stereotype of punk rock evokes the idea of rebellion, anarchy and disobedience, but if you look beyond all this, punk is one of the movements with more socio-political awareness of alternative music.

On Saturday 21, the British punk, ska and reggae band "The Barstool Preachers" took its musical vision to Clwb Ifor Bach, in the Welsh capital, Cardiff on their tour of the United Kingdom. They are one of those bands that is excited to tell you about their beliefs, their passions, their goals and their dreams.

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

R*E*P*E*A*T's Maria (RM): Hello everyone, thanks for taking the time to talk to me today. Let´s start with a typical question. The name of the band is “The Barstool Preachers”
TOM: Those are us, all of us.

RM: What and who is inspired the name?
TOM: The name is originally a lyric from a Chas & Dave´s song, are you know Chas & Dave?

RM: No, unfortunately I don´t know them.
TOM: They are two working class musicians from North London who write incredible songs that were really popular in the 60´s. I and my family grew up in it and so did Bungle's. So when we were sitting there listening to the song, we heard the name with a sense of what it used to and we found it. That was us. So apart from, you know, being drunk and old guys at the end of the bar telling people how they should live their lives. It was seen as something.

RM: Could you tell me a little story about the band?
TOM: Sure, I moved to the UK six years ago. I didn't want to live in the UK, so I had to move back. Family reasons. I met Bongo on the first day that I moved to Brighton, fell in love, started playing some music together, fell in love even more. It was at the same time because I just moved to the new city and I was looking for my people, you know, trying to find someone and Gibbs was DJ, he is the guitar actually, He was DJ at an underground club and I was like, this guy is really cool.

RM: I have to ask you an obvious question. You have a punk rock legend as a father, how influential has your father Colin McFaull and his band “Cock Sparrer” been to you personally and to your band?
TOM: (Laughs) I think when you raise a child, it only goes one of two ways. They are influenced by your personality, not outside influence. We're best friends. So we have a very, very rich and very healthy and very diverse relationship. It's cool. He's a good fucking guy and I love the music of Cock Sparrer.

RM: You released your debut album “Blatant Propaganda” in 2016 and now, 3 years later, you have “Grazie Governo”, how has the band envolved in this time?
TOM: “Blatant Propaganda” is more aggressive. It´s more an open message that nobody in the current political world is being heard. That everybody is lacking a voice. Everybody is underrepresented and it almost feels sometimes that no matter how much you scream, you never gonna get heard by the political parties, and “Grazie Governo” is more about a call to arms for people.

RM: An inevitable question right now, do you think that the Brexit will be affect British bands that to want to playing in Europe?
TOM: Yeah, absolutely. I think it will. I think we're going to need visas or one visa a year. They say that now. But more than that, it's going to be and everything that you sell, there's gonna be tariffs. So as a lot of other bands will tell you, we work our butts off and we still barely make enough money to perpetuate gassing the van and keep some food and pay the boys sometimes. So if we have to start paying £20 of every hundred that we make, then we're going to struggle; along with lots of other bands, we are going to struggle to to stay alive, unfortunately. It's going to be really difficult for bands.
ALEX H.: Also border crossings are going to be much tougher. They're going to have to buy visas. I've heard tales from friends who were in bands late 80´s and early 90´s before that. You get stopped, searched everywhere. They have to go through to you, searches and stuff.
TOM: I have mixed feelings on that. Like, yeah, I think it's going to be a pain in the arse for the extra amount of time it takes but also I feel that times are going to change. I feel like you won't be able to hop from major market to major market in six hours anymore, that you'll have to start playing in small towns in France, in Germany. And that may well bring some musical life back to these towns that didn't have it there before. So, I mean, you know, there's that there's definitely audience for it against but whatever way you paint it, it's going to be harder. And yet and it was going to be worse off financially.

RM: You're a very young band; it is 3 years since you appeared in the music scene, more or less, so, what can we expect from the band in the future?
TOM: I think that as a band we have realised that we talk about what not many other bands are talking about, that not many other bands are taking our stance and trying to stand up for things. The people that are in their communities, you know.

RM: Has a pretty different musical taste, how does this mix of influences affect the music your write?
TOM: Absolutely. We find that the ska, punk, even things that rap. These were branches of the same tree. You know, it's a working class voices. People telling stories of real life is people telling real emotions in a way that's not meant to confuse you. It's meant to engage with you.

RM: Where you find the inspiration for compose your lyrics?
TOM: I think we've just been really influenced by different musics growing up and we're really lucky that we had this as we came of age musically. Now we live in a time that if I want to listen to something stand, if I want to, you know, go and listen to them. Slap is there. What is ABBA?. There wasn't any other gives these that then, you know. So it's one of those things where which I think we just have a very broad, diverse love of what music is. For us, it's always been about the melodies as well, more than anything else. We must play but instead of that, it's always been a balance of what feels good.

RM: What is your aim or mission as a band?
TOM: The aim of the mission of the band...apart from survival. I think the aim and the mission of the band has always been about spreading positivity. I think that's always been the main thing for us that we've never focused on earning lots of money. We've never focused on becoming famous. I mean, if you're trying to be a rich and famous punk rocker, you are in the wrong world. But I think that for us, it's always been a case of we enjoy playing so much. We just want to play, you know, and we're really lucky that when we play, people get really happy. So we just kind of realised that early on and the goal of the band is to keep that going.

RM: Do you think that now it's more difficult to play than before?
TOM: I think anybody nowadays can get sort of known or famous from one song in their bedroom. You know, being a touring band is harder now than probably it's ever been, though. So, we talk about the world is so much more connected now. We're flying to America three times. Coming up, it's you know, you can get to different places that you couldn't get to perform.
ALEX H.: So little things flipped on its head. Like back in the days you'd get record sales, you got ninety three radio airplay, things like that. But nowadays, you don't get out there and show off on the shelves. Go to all these different places. Go to the people. I mean, why be so much on the Internet that people get on with it?
TOM: Totally. Back in the day when you made a CD´s or made a single, you used to have to take that single from town to town, from country to country and show the people the music that you created. Now there wasn't any money in making CD´s or records at the very beginning. There wasn't because you had to take it from town to town and then the age of the CD, you made loads of money from record sales and then they died off again because people read the Internet and they could do that. Nowadays there's no money to be made on the Internet either. So you have to go back around town selling and selling your record. So it's all just got a big cycle.

RM: It's like a difficult thing because now we have internet where is more easy to found music and also you have platforms such as youtube, spotify...
TOM: Yeah, absolutely. You earn their money from them but at the same time, if you don't go on Spotify, if you don't engage with the people on Spotify, then when you go to a new town, you should play in front of 30 people instead of 300. You know, so even though you're not making money, you see that it's like you make a table if you do everything right all the time. Then your chances of failure are less. One of the things that you have to do, the labels were doing and you know, you have to do it yourself now and that's that's kind of cool, too.

RM: I think, for example, like me, that I consume a lot of music, different music, concerts, festivals, etc. My feeling is that the record labels are looking for a product don´t look for a band or singers, what is your opinion about it?
TOM: It's a true feeling. Record labels don't want to invest in bands, any old artists any more than a marketable product and be on the complete package. So if you're going to join a record label, you have to already look good. You have to already sound good. You have to already have the merchandise, release your ideas and own your own guitars. All this sort of stuff that, again, 30, 40, 50 years ago wasn't wasn't the case.

RM: In UK, you can find a huge amount of different festival, with different types of music and also venues when you can play, what is your opinion about it?
TOM: Yeah! Absolutly! but we find that we play festivals, “Boomtown”, for example, that has a really big mainstream crossover and DJ´s and they watch us and they go, oh!, wow!, look, I have no idea the guys in bands still play guitars!. You're like, where are you? What are you doing? Where have you been? Here. Life. Like, is that a thing?.
BUNGLE: It´s a great thing that festivals like “Boomtown” or “Glastonbury” are for so many people and different kind of music. So many different styles of music. I mean, not just for the people going to festivals, but other bands. I mean, I play for kids kind of they like oh, they like this, but only if you like this band. Some guys like this band and you just discover so much more the influence that you get as a musician as well as a person that goes to the festival is incredible. Is this. There's always something good that you play one that should be of festivals.

RM: Do you think that certain types of music have a stigma?
TOM: Yes! I think so. I think we were really talking about this the other day, when you grow up you really think that grunge is the most important thing, for example. Always the names you know, children in black jeans always go. And so on. Yes, I think there is still a bit of stigma, but I also think that I suppose actually today, when times are a bit scary and a little, everything went wrong in the world. People have been so passive for so long, maybe they will turn to grunge and the people who have always been.
ALEX H.: Yeah, well, they said I was in big business like that. So anyone is wearing band T-shirts and they were asked to name their songs and they wouldn't have a clue. They just like the design. Yeah. It's not infiltrated enough. Punk subversion has been a sideline that's been going along with the music, but no one says about the fashion. Always the music.
TOM: And I think a lot of that as we always like those bands that we loved, not just names to these kids. You know, like there's names of things they should like because they're edgy and that's kind of cool. We're old and that's it. That doesn't matter if they do, they dominate.

RM: Do you think that the punk is a damned style?
TOM: Yeah. It's like I've said, I can't be that way but we find like we go alomng with it. We have silly hair. You know, we have tattoos all over as we have gold teeth and I think he's always been for us like we're happy to be the ones that carry the old lady's shopping. You know, that's the way that's always been, the way it should have been for us. So, yeah, punk has a stigma to it, but it's up to every single punk boy and girl to be as nice as they possibly can be.
ALEX H.: That whole thing judging by its covers. So that's what's all that whole thing judging the book was going to do it right back with you.

RM: What do you think is the special ingredient in this band?
TOM: In this band, the special ingredient? I can't tell you the actual ingredients because I'm not sure what this is gonna have (Laughs). Oh, man, I want to get all my clothes. So some will give better odds and may I say, if we're really good (Laughs). I think this special, Alex go on
ALEX H.: A special blend of everyone bringing something different into the band
TOM: Yeah, sure.
ALEX H.: Energy
TOM: Energy
ALEX H.: Energy and enthusiasm
TOM: Energy and kindness
ALEX H.: Positivity.
TOM: But we're really good (Laughs)
RM: What you expect about the audience?
TOM: We're very excited to meet them. We've not done a headline show ever in Cardiff, so I don't think you'll be the most busy. I think there'll probably be 150 people, something like this, but again, for our first time, it's not bad. Expect like most of our fans, they'll be smiling, lovely and happy.

RM: Now, you are touring around UK and, in December, you starting touring around USA, What is the different?
TOM: So, we finish this show tomorrow and then we go straight to the recording studio and then we have two days off and then we do basically a month in California. Come on, then fly to New York and Philadelphia and do another three weeks before Christmas on the East Coast.

RM: What is the difference between the audience in Europe and United States?
ALEX H.: We're a novelty in America. People just like us because of a funny accent (Laughs). In England, that's where all the cool bands that influenced people, on either side of the Atlamtic.
TOM: There's no other UK punk bands breaking at the moment. Like in America from the UK. So, where Alex is right. We've definitely seen as a very exciting thing over there and the crowds in America just seem to be 20 years behind but I just don't really mean the crowds in America seem to still be engaged with live music like the UK was ten, fifteen years ago. So they still get down early. They still want to meet the musicians.

RM: And is it different, the punk made in UK and the punk made in United States?
TOM: Yeah, Absolutly, completly different. The punk in America has always been there. You know, now, in our opinion and it's definitely time for a UK version of the 90´s and then 2000 so-called punk thing that happened. So the UK's influences and mix of cultures that live in the United Kingdom were always a lot more than the Americans. So, if you look at the Windrush generation that came to live in the United Kingdom, from the Caribbean, if you look at the amount of different drumbeats that came over all the way through the 90´s or all these people, countries in the Empire and the Commonwealth. America never really had that. So America and UK are very, very similar, but we're very, very different nations and that's reflected in this punk.

RM: Maybe, in UK, the punk is the unpolite way to say the things?
TOM: Yeah, I think so, I think that's one of the reasons I'm so upset at the UK´s punk scene at the moment is because the UK´s punk scene has always been the place where you can have a dig at politicians, where you can tell them straight and not give a shit, you know? And now that just doesn't exist.

RM: Thanks again for taking the time to talk with me today. All the best for tonight’s show, I'm sure it’s going to be a great night, and all the best for the American tour. Thank you very much.

For all music and tour dates, visit:


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?