The Murder of Rosa Luxemburg
RN: So is the live thing that you just did what you’ve been doing at all your recent shows, or was this a one off thing?
Bass: No this is exactly the same stuff that we’ve been doing all tour.
vocals: This one’s kind of different to the last tour so we decided to refine our new material.
RN: So that was all new stuff right?
bass: Except one track, which was on the album, but it’s kind of different now.
RN: How come you decided to change it all?
vocals: Well, our drummer left, and we’d kind of got bored playing that stuff anyway. We’ve had that a few times. Like we’ve lost three or four members since the band started, and each time that a person left we’ve kind of re-assessed what we’re doing. And the sort of music that we were playing was always a bit of a compromise but now there’s nothing stopping us, and we can do whatever we wanna do. And the whole point of the band was to make each release try and sound different from each other, so the next thing we record will move on and progress.
RN: Yeah, because there was quite a departure between the 7″ and the full length.
bass: Yeah, there was definitely, and from the record, to what we’re doing now.
RN: Have you found you’ve lost people?
bass: I don’t know really. We kind of thought that people… like the typical kind of hardcore kids would go when we changed, but most of them seem to like it actually!
vocals: We expected them to, but yeah they seem to have taken it OK. But we’re not really doing it for them, we’re doing for ourselves. I’m sure we’ll lose people, but I’m sure more people will become attracted to the new thing that we’re doing.
bass: There does seem to have been a constant cycle.
RN: Are Undergroove still into what you’re doing?
vocals: I believe so.
bass: I think this is the first time they’ve heard it actually. (laughs)
vocals: We’re doing a 7″ on Undergroove with several of our new songs, which is coming out in August so… I think so. Darren seems to be more into us as people, so it’s more like he’s supporting us as people rather than as a band. I think he’d support us whatever we wanted to record.
RN: But there’s… actually no I think I have this preconception about Undergroove that isn’t true.
vocals: Yeah, he releases a whole load of stuff, and different types of music, so I can’t see why he wouldn’t like it.
RN: I just think that Johnny Truant sometimes overshadow the label. At least in my head.
vocals: It’s just because they get the most publicity. But no Darren’s an awesome guy who’s supported us a lot.
RN: Do you ever worry about people going away muttering under their breaths about you guys being pretentious?
vocals: No, not at all.
bass: We don’t care to be honest. (laughs)
vocals: We just play what we want to play.
bass: I don’t understand what this tag is with pretentious. Is it after they’ve seen us, or after they’ve heard us? Because I think it’s after they’ve seen us, because I don’t think that if they’ve heard the CD of us, ‘Oh that’s pretentious’, because they’re probably wearing a Locust t-shirt listening to it anyway. So like… I just don’t get it.
vocals: At the end of the day we’re not going to conform to what those people want us to be or whatever. Like, I think that we’re a punk band in so much as we do whatever we want. If you get dictated to in what you’re supposed to want to do, then that’s just conforming, and that’s completely not what we’re about. We love playing with this kind of music, and playing with these kind of bands.
Security guard: Sorry, you’re not allowed to stand there.
bass: Oh fuck it, we’ll just go stand somewhere further along.
vocals: But… What was the question?
RN: [Pause] Oh people thinking that you’re pretentious.
vocals: Oh yeah. I like playing these kind of shows, where all the bands sound different to each other. I mean it can get a bit shit if you see four bands playing and they all sound exactly the same. It doesn’t mean that we’re being pretentious.
bass: Everybody in the band listens to all different kinds of music as well, and this is just what we enjoy to play.
vocals: It doesn’t make sense to play music that you don’t enjoy. I don’t see that as pretentious.
bass: It’s not like we set out to be a certain thing, I mean we want to develop and do different things, but we haven’t gone, ‘Ok this is our sound’.
vocals: People have always put their thing on us. We’re just doing things for ourselves, but people have always labelled us what they want to label us, but we’re just having a laugh. We’re just having fun. I mean we never thought that we’d play more than three shows, so the fact that we get to go out the country, release records, and play in like big venues to lots of people is ace. It’s like the best thing ever.
RN: It seems that most bands do find that sound and stick to it, so when people hear a band doing one thing they place them into that box and don’t like them leaving it.
bass: That’s probably either because they’re boring people, and they don’t really want to progress…
vocals: Or the bands they’re listening to are just releasing the same records all the time.
bass: I don’t know, I’d get so bored playing the same songs over and over.
vocals: Yeah, like we’ve only been playing those songs for a year, played a load of shows, and we’re already bored of ‘em. As a band, the one thing we’ve done, is go out and play shows, anywhere, and I think if you play a huge amount of shows you’re going to get bored if you’re playing the same thing. There’s no point kidding yourself playing the same songs. If we have to play ‘Cuba’ again I’ll … Oh it’d just be shit. There’s no point in doing it. And if people miss it, it’s not like we weren’t play any shows. We played like fifty shows last year.
bass: But it’s also not like we make music for other people as well. We make music because we like it, and we want to do it.
vocals: We don’t sit there going, ‘Oh, that riff. People will love that riff’. It’s not like that. It doesn’t happen like that.
RN: Do you care then if people are watching you, or if they’re dancing or whatever?
vocals: Not for me. I don’t really look at them.
RN: Do sing-a-longs not make it a better show?
bass: Yeah I suppose so.
vocals: Yeah we’ve had shows where people have gone nuts and it’s been ace. But we’ve also had shows where people have been violent and that’s shit. That’s awful, and we really don’t want to be associated with that in any way at all. But people can dance to what we’re doing, you can still dance. But there’s this macho, fucking fist in the air thing…
bass: And that’s not going to happen very much with our new songs. (laughs)
vocals: No. But I can still dance to them, so if I can, then others surely can. But then again, I do know that this is the first time that people have heard some of these songs, so I don’t expect them to suddenly start dancing and know the words or whatever. People did it to the old songs, but they didn’t sing along before the record came out.
RN: So what’s Worcester like for you guys? Is there any sort of scene?
vocals: I don’t know. I was kind of saying today that… like when I at some point that turned into ska, and I just got really disillusioned. I don’t like ska at all. I think we all kind of came was growing up in Worcester there were – when I was little – lots of metal shows happening, which I really liked. But then together because of a lack of other people in our area.
bass: There isn’t really a local scene anyways. There was one place where they put on lots of shows, where lots of kids came, and went absolutely mental…
vocals: And it kind of got ridiculous after a while. Like you’d watch a quiet, or slow band, and they’d still go mental. We were just kind of… We wanted to do our own thing, and that was kind of the common complaint, and so we started putting shows on, and it’s grown from that. I’ve met so many people from putting on shows and being in a band.
bass: The music was so shit in Worcester, actually, that was what made us want to form a band. We weren’t really inspired by bands, we were inspired by the shit-ness of it. (laughs)
vocals: Yeah, but now it’s good, because like… maybe it’ll get better because there seem to be quite a few people wanting to start bands, but I don’t know whether they necessarily want to do something different, at all, but there’s definitely some starting. I don’t even live there anymore. I don’t really know. I go back and play shows. (laughs)
bass: It’s not exactly a hotspot for music.
vocals: It’s where I’m from, but for me, I feel more at home in other places. Like somewhere like Nottingham or somewhere.
RN: Oh so are you all living in Nottingham then?
vocals: No, well I live in Nottingham.
bass: But I’m still living in Worcester, and Sam lives in Brighton…
vocals: and John lives in Cardiff so we’re pretty much all over the place. (laughs)
bass: I’m going to Birmingham in October time too.
RN: So do you actually get any chance to practice anymore?
bass: Not as much as we used to, but when we do we do a whole weekend so we can spend lots of time on it.
vocals: It’s kind of sporadic. If we have some shows coming up then we’ll get together. That’s kind of why it’s different as well because we’ll have a month of not seeing each other, and then we’ll get into a room and start playing, and we just see what we’re playing, and just make it so that it’s fun!
bass: And that’s even more reason to change because you don’t want to after a month go back to the same place as you were.
RN: I’m right in thinking you didn’t used to have two drum kits?
bass: No, they’re new.
vocals: It’s something that we always wanted to try for a while, we talked about it on couple of tours. ‘Let’s get a second guy to play along on a second kit’, but our drummer of the time really wasn’t into that idea at the at all. I think he was threatened by the idea of it. But I think it sounds great. I think it sounds really cool.
RN: Was the broken cymbal a deliberate effect?
bass: No, it just broke. (laughs)
vocals: Yeah, that was how it came, and we never got a new one. The kit that we borrowed… it’s a borrowed kit, and when the guy finds out he’ll probably want it back. We were wanting to paint it actually.
bass: Yeah we were going to paint it, but it’s not actually ours so we couldn’t do that. I’ve had it in my garage for a year and a half so we decided just to use it. I doubt he’ll ask it back.
vocals: It signifies… I don’t know actually!
bass: We just want to use loads of instruments and all do whatever … if someone wants to start a song on whatever instrument they want to start with, and we’ll play off that. We don’t want anything to be set in stone in anything that we do.
RN: I’ve run out of questions. Do you have anything else you wanna add?
vocals: I find it kind of weird that people want to do interviews with us to tell you the truth!
RN: You haven’t actually done too many interviews.
vocals: I kind of find interviews a bit ridiculous… oh no that’s not true because I like to chat to someone, but when people send you questions you get the freedom to look over it for a day, and it depends what mood you’re in, to see whether you wanna fuck with them or not. But people seem really easy to wind up. (laughs) We have a laugh about things, and people seem to take it really badly. Like the whole DIY, and hardcore scene, seems to be permanently getting ticked out on what we’re doing, which I think is hilarious…
bass: I don’t know why they care so much.
RN: I guess it goes back to the liking to label bands.
bass: Yeah, but what’s that about?
vocals: It think it’s just pure elitism. I mean I think that they’re the people that are in the wrong. People who just kind of sit around doing fuck all…
bass: Who’s getting harmed, who’s getting killed by what we’re doing. There are far more important things to be getting bothered about.
vocals: People give us shit, but we’ve sat in a van for seven hours to play a show and get £5, and we had a great time! And then people give us shit for selling out, because we playing The Underworld.
bass: What did we have to sell out from? (laughs)
vocals: We’ve come from nothing… Oh I just find it really ridiculous, elitist and horrible.
bass: Oh look it’s Darren, we can ask him what he thinks of our new stuff.
vocals: Ask us another question. By the time we’ve answered it, he’ll have finished what he’s doing over there. Oh, no, wait. Darren! Darren! OK, we’re doing this interview and this guy wants to know what “Undergroove” think of the new material? I don’t want to put you on the spot or anything.
Darren: Oh no, it’s cool man. Yeah we’re putting out more stuff, so it’s kind of testament to the fact that I like it. Undergroove’s all about creativity and these guys epitomise that. I don’t want another ‘Everyone’s in Love…’ record, I want something’s that progressed, and if they do that then they’re being creative.
RN: Oh well I may as well ask you, since you’re here. Why the name? Like are you historians or radical socialists or something? (laughs)
bass: Oh god, we get that all the time. It was the name of this painting that me and Tom saw one time by an artist called R B Kitej, and we just liked the painting, and we just liked the name, it has nothing to do with the historical event like everybody thinks.
vocals: I mean yeah…we had this band, and it was just three of us, and it was this quiet band, there were vocals, but it was quiet, and we wanted to start a heavy band as well, and so we had this name, but no songs!
bass: It was nothing to do with the historical event, though that was quite interesting. If you look at our name, and look at the meaning…
vocals: But we’re more aiming to emulate the painting side of things though.
bass: Yeah, the painting’s where it came from. Me and Tom saw the painting, liked it and…
vocals: I went out to Germany and checked out Rosa Luxemburg street, and Rosa Luxemburg tube station. That was pretty cool. (laughs)
bass: I don’t know. I think when we go to Europe this Autumn we’re gonna get all these political groups coming to our shows thinking that we’re Marxists.(laughs)