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Phinius Gage

June 15th, 2005 · post by tim forster · Make a comment


Phinius Gage

LH: So when did the band actually start up:

Ade: Me and Matt, the drummer, got together in early 2001 with another singer originally and a bass player. That kind of ran its course then we released ‘More Haste More Speed’ as a demo in February 2003. Then Deck Cheese came and saw us, heard it and signed us off the back of that. They were happy with it and released it as it was.

LH: Your name Phinius Gage: I looked it up and he was a guy who had an accident and lost part of his brain in the 1800s. Why did decide to name yourself after him?

A: Basically, it was early on, maybe our first rehearsal, and there was an American guy staying there and he said, ‘I’ve always thought a band should be called Phinius Gage’ and we were like, ‘It’s as good a name as any’ and it stuck, although it gets mispelt loads!

LH: On your first CD ‘More Haste More Speed’ there’s a track called ‘Think for Yourself’ which says, ‘It’s easy to shout, tear the fuckers down, but it’s harder to decide who’ll take the crown’. Don’t just listen to what people want to get rid of but listen to what they want to put in its place.

A: Yeah, yeah absolutely it’s really easy to say everything’s wrong but it’s so unconstructive.

LH: Yeah, there was all that late 70s punk ‘wanna destroy passers by’ stuff. What have you got to offer that’s constructive?

A: Yeah, I’ve got friends of the ‘old school’ generation who don’t think we’re punk. I think punks a matter of being independent, trying to stand alone. It’s being different, it’s trying to do something about problems whether it’s just giving out a flyer on your merchandising table.

LH: So in terms of lyrics do you reach a consensus or do you, Ade, as singer, have final say?

A: Not at all. Mike has written a couple of songs on the new album.

M: I’ve got one on an issue that’s quite close to my heart. I’ve been getting a lot of abuse from meat eaters – like friendly banter – but you know they’re not someone else’s issues. So we don’t all sit there and say ‘I agree with this’.

A: But if you feel like you want to express that opinion in a song that’s Ok. He’s a vegan, I’m a vegetarian, our drummer and stand in guitarist are meat eaters, but you know that’s cool.

LH: A little bit further on in that song it says ’share the wealth’ and on your website there’s a ‘fair trade’ banner. Is that something you feel very strongly about?

A: I’m not far left, I think it’s Okay for people to get more but to have a bit more thought.

M: Yeah, people need to have human responsibility. If people knew a point where they were being greedy, or knew a point where they should do something about something rather than being forced to do it, it would be an ideal situation. I know people are going to say that’s never going to happen but if people are educated right it can happen.

LH: Do you think we need to struggle on bit by bit in the right direction?

A: Yeah it’s like talking about being vegetarian. The odds of the world being vegetarian in the next 500 years – it’s not going to happen. We’re in a rich position where we can choose what we eat… There’s an inherent responsibility in having money, it’s cool to have money, but if there’s an old lady who can’t afford to heat her house it would be nice to pay a bit more tax to benefit her.

LH: How do you see the UK punk scene at the moment because sometimes I hear and read negative comments about it?

A: Band wise I think there’s some really amazing bands, like Failsafe who are supporting us tonight, Mercury League had to pull out as they’ve lost their drummer. The trouble is there’s a lot of shows going on and a lot of bands are finding it hard going and when you get to a certain level, like Lightyear did, there’s a real glass ceiling. If you don’t want to go to a major I don’t think there’s a lot you can do about it. I think it just keeps cycling around, but as long as there are good bands that’s cool.

LH: What bands have you found influential or encouraging? Who do you listen to?

M: The bands we all like in the band – Pennywise and SoCal bands from the 90s. After that we’re pretty diverse. I like Elliot Smith, Fugazi, a wide range; drum ‘n’ bass.

A: I’m a big metalhead. I learnt to play guitar when I was twelve. I’ve still got all my old CDs and I still love them all. If you’re gonna be any good you’ve got to be diverse.

M: But no disco!

Phinius Gage are on Deck Cheese Records.

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