1. The Dischord style has me impressed, the screams, the horror, the disgust, the rage and most important of all the artistry that binds all together. Give us your take on the bands erupted vomit, the style you have adopted and where you think you fit into the massive musical jigsaw?
I'm not entirely sure we fit anywhere, the rage and frustration which drove us to create these songs in the first place came from a feeling total alienation and disgust with everything ... We've never aspired to be part of any particular scene or genre, and as such we've never been creatively restrained. But people seem to appreciate our eclectic mash, whether they're punks or metalheads or, God forbid, normal people!
I'm glad you mentioned artistry, that's always been a massive element of what being in a band means to us. I think "the album" is the ultimate form of art, there's so much scope for expression. As a fan of music, I'm not interested in something you can listen to casually, in the background. I want to connect with a song or album, I want to come away feeling like I've been beaten up. Or fucked. Or both. I'll always strive for that intensity in the music we make.
2. One thing that I immediately found out about Dischord was their willingness to play for the sheer love of it, the approachable nature of all concerned and the lack of pretentious bullshit around the band - this appeals to ones who want to keep it very real - is this something you hope to maintain and is cash and kudos of any importance to you?
The day we lose that willingness and that love, the band is dead to me. That's a big deal for us, we've each wasted great swathes of the past being held back. Certain bygone collaborators have dragged their feet, thrown tantrums and refused gigs for the most pedantic of reasons. We don't care how badly organised they are, how many people are there, or how dreadful the sound is, we're going to play it and make the most of it, because the alternative is doing nothing.
Kudos is important, too. I don't care if that sounds egotistical. The purpose of music, primarily, is to entertain. So if people don't like what we're doing, if they don't dance or sing along then it's pointless. I think ego becomes a problem when bands think the audience are there for THEM, when in fact it's the exact opposite. We're the entertainers, the jesters juggling for the crowd's amusement.
At first, the words of reviewers were incredibly important to us. It was odd, our album was getting fantastic write-ups, but nobody was actually coming to our gigs, so that was the only feedback we had. Now that we have ... Dare I say "fans"? I prefer to say "friends"... Whatever, now that people actually come to our gigs it matters much less, the reviews of our second album will inevitably declare us sell-outs, but as long as our audience appreciate what we're doing, we won't care. We're human, and we like being praised for what we do. Sometimes I look at the crowd and think “Does anybody actually give a fuck? They're all pissed. I could be singing anything. Anybody could be up here playing something fast and loud.” So when we get emails from complete strangers telling us that The Wakes is their favourite album, it means more than we can say. It justifies our existence. Your own fungal feedback has given us much strength, not because you are “a critic” but because you are a person, and one with whom our efforts have struck a chord – and that's exactly what we set out to do.
Money is of no importance to me whatsoever. It doesn't even exist in any real sense, it's just an idea. We live in a world where a person is valued by how much they have in the bank, so I'll always be sub-human by most people’s standards, but that's what happens when you put music first.
We're not doing this for the money, but out of an insatiable love of creating art. But that said, we do want to do this for a living. Why wouldn't we? The fact that we don't try to make a profit from the band means that we have to use other means to fund everything. Because we're not on a record label we pay for everything from recording to printing, and it's not cheap. We stick price tags on things in the vague hope that somebody might buy a CD and give us the petrol money we need to get home. But anybody who's been to one of our gigs and seen the way I just throw out T Shirts and albums will realise that we're losing money! We made these songs so people could hear them, not so we could sell them. If I was after wealth I'd probably stop writing songs with words like "Suicide" in the title!
Funding your band means we need to have jobs, and it's very hard to find something that won't make you want to blow your fucking brains out, or, at best, imbue you with an irrepressible self-loathing. I work in a not-for-profit vegetarian wholefood workers co-operative, which I can just about live with. But when you're up at the crack of doom, and working long hours lugging about 25kg sacks of flour and potatoes, it takes it out of you. There have been occasions when I've driven straight from work to play a gig, and whilst I give it my all I know that the working day has taken it's toll and I'm not on top form. When working life effects creative life it raises difficult questions - the only reason I have a job is to keep me alive and in pocket so I can make music. If I wasn't in a band I'd just sign on and never get out of bed. When work takes over, it sidelines the band as a "hobby", which is a disgusting word. This band is a vocation, and deserves all of our time and energy.
3. Your first album really rocked the rafters for some people and yet there are many, many noise lovers whose radars you have to hit - how do you hope to combat this and do you think that the scene is too fractured for its own good and so impedes thier liberation of damn good tuneage. Also give us an insight into how your album was constructed?
Self promotion has never worked for us, yet word of mouth is priceless. Were it not for Mayhem Freak and Potential Victims sorting us out with our first gigs, in all likelihood we'd still be in an empty room in Blackpool with a truckload of unsold albums. I suppose it's another major disadvantage of being an unsigned band – you need to be an artist and a businessman, and we're fucking terrible at promotion. So, in answer to your question, I have no idea. The best we can do is just keep on playing, we meet new friends, we give them T Shirts and badges and they spread the word on our behalf. I'm loathe to use the word “networking” as it implies a cynical, two-faced approach.
We've noticed various cliques within the scene, but we don't get involved. We didn't start this band to be involved in popularity contests. The music is there for those who wish to hear it.
4. Best and worst gigs you have played, your favourite places and faces within the scene, the biggest regret of your life please?
The worst gig we've ever played was in Oldham. The place itself is a shit hole, it's concrete oozes racism and tension. I'd broken my foot onstage the night before, but hadn't been to hospital and was still attempting to walk on it, this was made ever more unpleasant by the fact that the pavement was iced over. Virtually minutes before we were due on stage our drummer, Parker, received the news that his nan had died. We almost went home, but we pulled ourselves through it. The soundman threatened to "fill me in" after I moved a mic stand. Still not sure if he was threatening hit or rape me. Either way, he was really fucking rude at every available opportunity. By the end of the night I just wanted to burn the whole fucking town down. But, as it turns out, it wasn't all bad. We met the guys from Manifest and Better Than Jesus, who we've gone on to have some fantastic times with. We also discovered No Decorum from seeing one of their stickers in the toilet. So there you go, it's a place where dreams come true.
Better Than Jesus asked us back to Oldham a few months later. We were slightly apprehensive...We were a member down and I was still concussed and bleeding from a misadventure at our gig in Lancaster the previous night, but we did it. I'm so glad we did, we had a fucking brilliant time - it totally absolved Oldham of its sins. We'll be back again in February - I can't wait!
Also - I'm sorry, Dave, I know you were partially responsible for this one - Elsecar was a disaster. They had us playing in the middle of the afternoon to a beer garden full of children and families having Sunday lunch, overlooking a playground and a bouncy castle. We're not a family friendly band. (However, Senton Bombs at the Sports Centre later that night was a different story altogether, fantastic crowd and a great venue.) But even that got us a few new fans, it's very rare you'll find a gig not worth playing.
The last gig we played is probably my highlight to date. We played The Yorkshire House in Lancaster - one of my favourite local venues. Dischord first played there last December to absolutely nobody. I was thrilled to even be on the same bill as Subhumans, but everyone was in the beer garden for our set. Less than a year later we're playing the same venue, it's packed, there are Dischord T Shirts and Dischord tattoos... And everyone knows the words. It's surreal. Humbling, fantastic and utterly terrifying. There's a daunting moment when you realise "We're doing something right, here. People actually want to hear this.." If we carry on getting crowds like that then we'll be doing this for a very long time.
The biggest regret of my life is wasting five years in a band that was going nowhere, although I like to think that I have since atoned for that.
5.Varley Voluptuous has just developed her own 5 ton titties - sounds delicious doesn't it. Stop, apprehend that rising pecker - this is not what it seems. Having taken a course of Mr Nips Mammory Marvel Tablets it seems there is no going back and the aforementioned paps have not grown where expected. One is on top of Varleys head and the other on the end of her right big toe - yes, shocking isn't it? No longer can she wear hats of shoes - very poor. The question is threefold -
A/ if you could have two giant titties on yer body where would you want them to be.
B/ if all your fingers turned to little breasts how would you type a letter.
c/ if all breasts gave vent to Bisto would you be on pie, chips and gravy for every meal for the rest of your life.
A - Wherever. You can't go wrong with tits. Who needs shoes and hats?
B - By lactating milky letters onto a blackboard, naturally. In fact, it's such an effective method of communication that I would declare myself to be mute and never communicate any other way.
C - I wasn't actually aware there was any other kind of food.
6. The songwriting procress - elaborate of the way Dischord do it?
The words come first. Randomly fitting words to a pre-existing riff doesn't work for me, it's too disparate and vague. Not necessarily all the words, but the song should have a title, or at least a theme. That way the vibe will bleed into the music, and make sure that we're all on the same page. It can be harrowing, suggesting a half baked idea of a song that might not work, and I think that fear holds a lot of people back. We're lucky in the sense that we're close enough as a group of friends to suggest things. Humming a tune to two or three people is more intimidating that playing to a huge crowd. When I feel nervous or apprehensive that the others won't like an idea of mine, I take that as a good thing. A sign that we're doing something new. I'm not sure I ever want to feel entirely comfortable.
Once the component parts of the song are there, we take it to the rehearsal room, plug it in and turn it up. It's amazing how much a song can change just from thrashing it out live. Pen and paper's all very good, but you can never know exactly what will work until you've heard it the way the audience will hear it. As perverse as this sounds, when you're tired and you want to go home, that means the song isn't finished, when you love the sound of it so much you want to play it again, it's done.
7. Politics, religion and sex - thoughts please on how they mix with your music, what boundaries you feel there should be and if you have ever thought of dressing up as a vicar and trying to bum a captive walnut?
I've always said that all music is political, whether intentionally or not. I've never wanted to be labelled as a “political band”, as it limits the opportunities of song writing, and also because it requires a degree of knowledge about what's actually going on … and I don't really care. Everything's dreadful. That's my opinion, and I don't see it changing any time soon.
Rightly or wrongly, sex is important. Because music is sexy. Let's face it, “Rock 'n' Roll” was a euphemism for sex long before it was a genre. It's very hard for someone not to look amazing when they're holding a guitar … I think the main reason I've never got on with prog music is that it's just so sexless. Oxbridge boys with too much money who've never had girlfriends and retreat into fantasy worlds … it just doesn't do it for me. I do love Pink Floyd, though. I once read that “Great Gig In The Sky” had been voted the best song to listen to whilst having sex. That can't be coincidence. In relation to our music, I have no idea. There's no intentionally sexual element, and although a few of my lyrics deal with sexual themes, it's never in a pleasant way. But then we never sing about anything in a pleasant way, we're all about the discord. I guess, to tie it in with the other points, Rock and Roll has always been about rebelling against authority, whether it's the government or the church. Rebels and free thinkers have always been sexy and dangerous and appealing. That whole James Dean thing. In some ways, you can't have Rock music without authority, because then there would be nothing for it to rebel against. That's why I hate the overweight ageing punks singing the same old anti-Thatcher songs. I don't care how old you are, keep it fucking relevant!
I would love to say that religion isn't a part of my life, I abhor all religions. Prisons for the mind. But I went to a Catholic school, and I've still got the scars. I was scanning some of my lyrics the other day and I realised I use the words “God” and “Hell” quite a lot. Which is strange, as I don't believe in either of those things. I'm often being metaphorical or sarcastic, but my subconscious seems to like biblical terms. My brain is seared with guilt and apocalyptic hatred. I used to make Dave dress up as a Vicar – can't remember why – so you'd have to ask him about the walnuts.
8. Do you have restrictions within the band as regards your output or will you be mixing up several different genres in future outputs. A bit of punk ballet perhaps or hardcore opera - there should be no rules tha' knows.
Non whatsoever. You've made me want to go down the hardcore opera route, now. That would be incredible! Perhaps we'll invent something new. There's an annoying trend of placing the word "core" after a word and claiming it's a new genre. "Blandcore", that's the direction we'll be going in future.
We're at a slightly odd stage now, where we have to decide what dischord sounds like. Initially, we said "let's make a really fucking angry album". So you could say that was the mission statement. To be "angry". But I prefer to think that Dischord is the sound of the three of us doing exactly what we want, without compromise.
9. Wank wallets- flip em' open, toss off, re-seal, empty at the spermbank - great idea but a real swine for pick pockets. Tell us your thoughts and also would you rather have sex with the letter 'a' or the letter' m'.
I'm not a fan of spermbanks - anything that seeks to perpetuate human existence is a very bad thing. We all deserve to die, everything is fucked. The last thing this planet needs is more of us. With any luck some intergalactic monitoring agency is prowling galaxies, searching for un-civil civilisations who think iPhones are a great achievement, and they'll obliterate us. One can only hope. With regard to the letters - a's gaping whole isn't too inviting, looks like I'd be the hundredth customer, whereas m has three exciting limbs, which opens up many avenues of possibility.
10. You are promoter for a day - 8 band please, price, venue, guest list, barred list and who will headline?
I'm assuming this isn't one of those living-or-dead fantasy lists? If it were, mine would include Hamburg-era Beatles, Marilyn Manson circa 1996 and Mansun playing their album “Six” in its entirety, probably alongside some old school Gallows and an acoustic set from Chumbawamba.
But, back in the real world I'd just have a big piss-up at The Yorkshire House with (in no particular order) Better Than Jesus, No Decorum, CSOD, Manifest, Potential Victims, Senton Bombs, Eye Licker and Mayhem Freak. Free entry, obviously. Terry Wogan would be barred. As for the running order, we'd just draw straws. I actually got that idea from Crackshot's Harry, they're not on the bill because they've split up, but what with the straws and everything they'd be there in spirit. I didn't have room for A Victory at Sea, they'll have to fight one of the other bands... You can't please everyone.
11. Complete the 6 line ditty - Wheelbarrow, Wheelbarrow how fond I am of you?
Wheelbarrow, Wheelbarrow how fond I am of you,
Your handlebars so shiny, your barrow so blue.
With every hard day's work, you help lighten the load
For a lad can strain his back, you know, dragging corpses to and fro
We'll wheel them to a wasteland of un-consecrated ground
Oh wheelbarrow, wheelbarrow, let's pray they won't be found.
12. Music is raping thee, you are naked and in need of a good promotional thrust - your chest is bare - you have a knife - carve into the flesh you bit to get us interest in all things Dischordian and convince us you are the band to see.
I would carve those same old words: MUSIC IS DEAD. What the fuck are you going to do about it? We've had rock 'n' roll, punk, goth... Where the fuck is the new movement? Where are the guitars? We grew up watching Scuzz and Kerrang and now they're full of polished pop shite, not scuzzy, not heavy and, much more importantly, nobody has anything to say. We sweat and bleed for this band. Come out and scream with us.