Last Rough Cause Interview (07.12.2014)

Mit neuer Platte im Gepäck meldet sich die Oi!/Punkrock-Band Last Rough Cause 2014 zurück! Einigen, gerade den älteren Semestern, dürfte die erste Single „The Violent Few“ definitiv noch in den Ohren klingeln, auch wenn die Veröffentlichung schon ca. 29 Jahre zurück liegt. Last Rough Cause haben damit damals einen wirklich mehr als guten Start hingelegt, der dann auf Roddy Morenos Oi! Records-Label und der Split mit Societys Rejects weiter fortgeführt wurde. 1989 erschien noch ein weiteres Split Album mit Anhrefn wonach es dann allerdings verdammt ruhig um die Jungs aus Darlington wurde. Jahrelang war musikalisch dann erstmal Funkstille angesagt bis im Jahre 2010 wieder eine CD veröffentlicht wurde. Darauf folgte eine Split mit Antipati, eine mit Gimp Fist und nochmal 2 weitere Jahre später war dann endlich ein neues Album am Start. Musikalisch nichts eingebüßt, sondern ganz im Gegenteil frisch wie nie klingen Last Rough Cause 2014 als wenn sie nie weg gewesen wären. Grund genug mal ein wenig bei der Band nachzuhaken warum man sich damals soviel Zeit gelassen hatte und einfach von der Bildfläche verschwunden ist. Da mein englisch nach wie vor ein bisschen zu Wünschen übrig lässt und ich das übersetzen schon so lange vor mir her schiebe, kommt das ganze jetzt doch im Originalton! Andy und Max standen mir per Email Rede und Antwort und bewiesen sich dabei als absolut sympathische Zeitgenossen.

1. Last Rough Cause does exist a long time. Please can you introduce the band for the younger generation in the Oi/punk scene? Who started the band? What was the reason to form a band and and which year did it all start?

1Andy: Me and Max started the band back in 1983 along with Ste Smith on guitar. Previous to this we had tried to get a band going a few years earlier when we were still at school but we could not play very well so nothing ever came of it. The idea to play in a band was inspired by the music we were listening to and we just wanted to be like our favourite bands and make some noise. We started to write songs very early on when the band was formed as it was easier than trying to play songs by other bands which were too difficult for us to play at the time. As we got better at playing we then started to play a mixture of our own songs along with songs by the Sex Pistols, the Clash and Stiff Little Fingers that formed part of our set in our early gigs.

2. In the 80ies Last Rough Cause released the awesome Violent Few EP. Why didn’t follow up with a full Record? The only Releases after i know, was a Split with Anhrefn and Societys Rejects. Why not an LP?

Andy: After the violent few we had planned on doing another single then follow the single with an album but it never happened as Ste announced he was leaving the band. We replaced Ste with Dave Moore but unfortunately we never got beyond rehearsing and the band slowly drifted apart. So the main reason the violent few was never followed up with an album is because there was no band. By the time skins and punks came along the band had already split up so we decided to use all the recordings we had done to make up the tracks that appeared on the album. The tracks included were the 4 songs from the violent few ep, 2 songs that we recorded when we had Des Robson singing with the band and the final tracks roughin it and pretty boy that was supposed to be the 2nd single. By the time skins and punks was released Max had started a family and Ste was serving in the Royal Air Force. I did try to recruit new band members but unfortunately things did not work out. By the time we did the 2nd split album 2 years later the band did not exist and at the time I was reluctant to record anything new as the original members were not playing music anymore. So after much persuasion I decided to go ahead and record the 2nd album with a new band. I asked Dave Moore who had played in the band following Ste’s departure and he agreed but he did not want to do any live shows. I also recruited Andy Lazenby who now plays with major accident to play drums and after only 5 practices we recorded 7 songs that made up our side of the album. The reason we recorded it so quickly was due to pressure from the record label who wanted to get the record out as quickly as possible and unfortunately I think the record suffers because of this. Anhrefn had not completed their songs on time to meet the original release date so it did not get released when it should have. If we had known how long it was going to take to get released we would have spent more time on rehearsing and recording it and it would have been a far better record. As it is the 2nd album remains virtually unheard of and though I think the songs would sound great if we were to record them how they should have been done I cannot see us ever doing that as we have moved on to new things.

3. Let’s get back to The Violent Few Ep. Can you tell me something about the Lyrics from the song „Violent Few“?

2Andy: I wrote the Violent few 30 years ago and believe it or not and in all these years I still get asked about this song and what it is all about! To explain what the lyrics mean I have to tell you about the inspiration that gave me the idea for the song. What happened is I was with some friends at a gig watching Major Accident and there was some people causing a bit of trouble. The people causing the trouble were not skinheads they were actually boneheads but people’s perception of a skinhead is they all have shaved heads and wear boots and beat people up. So the songs tried to say that the “violent few” are those people that might look like skinheads who are not and that they give true skinheads a bad name. Hope what I have said makes sense as it is very difficult to explain what the song is saying without something getting lost in translation. It is still one of our most popular songs and I’m very proud that Gimp Fist chose to record the violent few when we did the last orders split album with them.

4. I think it is everywhere the same in the World. Skinheads get the blame for a small group of a political confused minority. Are there still actually problems with Boneheads in the U.K.? Especially in the Punk & Oi! Scene?

Andy: I don’t think the problem with boneheads is around anymore to the level it once was although there were rumours that they had been some trouble in Blackpool last year during the Rebellion festival. There is an underground scene where promoters have attempted to put on certain bands that appeal to boneheads or the white power mob but in most cases these events get cancelled once word gets around about who is playing. I do agree though that it is the same anywhere in the world you go where the perception of what a skinhead is, is often confused with something that is not part of the skinhead way of life. It is the same with punks too where some people still have this belief that a punk must be an aggressive person to dress in such a way which is of course unbelievable in this day and age that people hold such misguided views.

5. You released your new Record „Subculture“ on the Sunny Bastards Label. How did you get to know the label and are you happy working with them?

3Andy: We did a split album with Gimp Fist in 2012 called “Last orders” and that was released by Sunny Bastards which is the label Gimp Fist record for and this led to the label inviting us to Germany in 2013. Whilst we were over they asked if we would be interested in doing an album with them so we said yes and that was basically it really. They have done a great job with the album especially with the vinyl issue as it is the first time they have done a double album release and they have put a lot of time and money into getting it released so I would say we are pleased with them.

6. Can you tell me something about the new Album? How long does it take and what do you think about it?

Andy: We spent a long time putting the album together during 2013 and we are very pleased with how it has turned out. A lot of effort went into recording it and there was a lot of thought went into writing the songs for the album which is all down to the efforts of Max and Phil. I think we can confidently say it’s the best thing we have done as a band and we are already planning the next album with Max and Phil already bringing new songs down to rehearsals. In our recent gigs we have made every effort to play as many songs from the new album as we can which is something we didn’t do with Aggrophobia and last orders. It’s often difficult to put a list of songs together for a gig as we all have our personal favourites and so does the audience but so far the new songs have been very well received. Time is a problem too if we only have a half hour slot as that makes it very difficult to pick what songs to play but if we get 45 minutes it gives us better options on what we can pick as some of our songs a quite long. I think if we could we would probably play the whole album at a show some time as we are very proud of the whole thing and possibly one day we will get the chance to do that. Obviously we will include some old favourites like we always do from the other albums as that is what people expect us to do but we always like to try new ideas too.

7. I like the new record very much! When can we take the chance to hear the new songs live on Stage in Germany?

Max: We have heard a whisper we might be getting invited to play the Sunny Bastards label festival next year in Oberhausen so if things go to plan, there could also be chance of an extra gig the night before in Hamburg. Sam at Hard and Smart is currently trying to sort something out I think so this has not been confirmed yet but we are really excited at the possibility of travelling and playing with our great friends Gimp Fist. Fingers crossed things start moving and we can make this happen.

8. Did Last Rough cause ever play before in Germany and are there many differences between shows in germany or in the U.K?

4Max: Yes we have played the label festival before as well as a gig before this at Hamburg in a fantastic venue called Knust. There was a great crowd at both gigs and although we were not too well known, the German people were so good to us and said we did a great set so it was great to meet new people. We also did a gig in Berlin with Gimp Fist and Geoffrey Oicotts at Wild at Heart which again was another really great night thanks to Tom Chapman who set the show up with friends from Core Tex in Kreuzberg.

9. Thank you very much for answering the questions! Do You have any closing coments?

Max: Thank you for being patient while waiting for our answers. We will be doing our very best to get another record out as soon as we can and hope to hell it doesn’t take as long as the last one to finish. With a big piece of luck Sunny and Chris will stick with us and help us to bring this out and we can continue to gig over in your wonderful country too. Already looking forward to getting my new ideas down and recorded. Max