Lee (J) of
1. I am more than a little familiar with The Kingcrows - give us a brief lowdown for the uninitiated and more importantly give us a history of your own personal musical journey?
The Kingcrows – noisy, shambolic, fun rock & roll. The emphasis is on catchy, memorable songs. Dynamic delivery on stage. And making sure that everyone, the audience and ourselves has a memorable, fun night. My personal journey down the dark road of R’n’R began with Twisted Sister – we’re not gonna take it on 7”. It all went to hell from that point. I was really into the whole glam/hair metal thing and from that point it blossomed into all the deviant branches of rock. Being in the Kingcrows for 9 years (yes, really) opened my ears to all things punk, the good, the bad and all things in-between. As I see it, it’s all just rock ‘n’ roll. As for playing in bands, I got into my first real one back in the 90’s, it was quite average to be honest. I didn’t know what I wanted it to be and it was quite aimless. So, I binned it off for a while and became a bedroom warrior guitarist. It wasn’t until I ran into Ratbag, who was hanging around the gents toilet at an Alice Cooper gig that I considered being in a band again. And thus the Kingcrows was born. It all seemed to work out fine in the end!!
2. The wankers and spankers in the scene mate, and of course life, and what trembles thy turnips when it comes to playing in a band?
Promoters who don’t. Putting a poster up doesn’t constitute promoting. We once did a gig over in Blackpool, nothing was done to push it. Hell, the promoter wasn’t even there. It was a long journey to play to half a dozen people. The “audience” got a cracking show none the less, but you know – trembled turnips!
3. Tell us about the style you use as a unit and as a lone element - how do your combine your musical desires within the bands needs - is it a matter of give and take (in a non-sexual way).
Hmmmm, I’ve never considered my style apart from that I’m not a noodler. I don’t insist that every song has a lead break. My ego isn’t that fragile. When a song comes into the band, whether it’s a fully formed song brought in or one born out of a jam. We all just know what to do with it. We turn it into a Kingcrows song. If after that it doesn’t cut the mustard, then it’s binned – simple as. Our songs do vary in style and this is a conscious thing – we don’t want to stagnate ourselves, we dabble with fast, we’ve abused country, poked a finger at jazz and whole heartedly took the three chord boogie under our scabby wing. It is very much a case of give and take. Knowing when not to do things, when to add and when to drop parts. We all have varied musical tastes and backgrounds which is really useful when it comes to writing. We have a vast knowledge of which songs are good to rip off!
4. Cauliflower nuts - the hazard of testicular war and a long lasting complaint that causes sperm deficiency. The question is threefold - a/ if you had a pet sperm what would he be called and why, b/ are testicular bags good for carrying tobacco and if so which flavour and c/ is Ronnie Corbett a golf hole rapist?
The sperm would definitely be called either Spunky McSpooge or Kevin. They would be awesome for carrying tobacco in. Fit a little draw string on the top. Happy days. Would probably be an idea to shave it first though, it’d be quite disturbing leaving a hairy nutsack tobacco pouch on the kitchen table. As for flavour, something exotic, something mellow, anything to take you away from the fact that you have a nutsack in your hand full of baccie! Ronnie Corbett is defiantly a deviant, have you seen his golf pants? Worrying…….
5. Thy local scene - if one exists and the scene as a whole - the good, the bad, the ugly and your overall thoughts please?
The local scene in Leeds fairly awful for our type of music. We’re too uncool for the hipster kids. Give us south Yorkshire any day. The scene is still bouncing about, although venues are shutting at an alarming rate. That needs addressing. There are still a lot of young bands coming out, which is good to see. And the stubborn old gits, like ourselves ain’t going anywhere. Through thick and thin, carrying on.
6. The best Kingcrows song to date (in thy humble opinion) and tell me the positive and negative points each member brings to the unit!
The favourite at the moment is a newbie from the next CD. It’s called Beer and Whiskey. It’s a great song to play and we use it now to end the set. We’ve finally binned off the obligatory cover version and replaced it with this one. Proper anthem. Ok, time to dish the dirt. Ratbag:- positive – he drives the van. Negative – megalomaniac. Phil:- positive- knows not to write a song with solo’s in it. Negative – can’t keep up with me when it comes to drinking. Rocco:- Not scared to do the whole Status Quo dance with me on stage. Negative – eats really crap food. Lee J:- positive – Rock god! Negative:- I’ll get back to you when I find one.
7. The best gig you have played, the worst, the best books you have read, CD's you have heard and film you have watched - also thy favourite dish?
Best gig, we’ve had some good ones. The immediate answer would be the last nice and sleazy we played. Full tent, everyone was into it and I didn’t fluff up. Also playing as Tenpole Tudors backing band the year before was also quite a moment. Worst gig, I’d have to say the primrose in Leeds. We were the first band on of an all dayer. There was no one there at all, we played to a bunch of balloons. No joke. The best book I’d say is good omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gainman. It’s about good, evil and hell hounds. Funny as hell. Ha! Bit of a pun there. Favourite CD, that’s a difficult one. The last CD that I thought was awesome from the start was Presidents of the USA by Presidents of the USA, it just worked for me from the off. The last film I thought was brilliant was Hatchett 3, sheer bloody fun. My fave film though would probably Fail Safe or Devil’s Rejects. Favourite dish is Chicken Tikka Balti – Hot, and anything else nice and sparkly. I love the burn.
8. Have you ever considered using your penis as a needle on a record player, no - well reconsider young man and tell me what benefits to the output it could create - this is not a game!
Thinking about it, I’d be terrified of burning and blistering the end. Plus try explaining that one away! Also, there’s the whole issue of “residue” in the grooves. Plus if you got caught doing it!
9. How do the band concoct a tune, how does that embryo come to be a fully fledged flutterer that all the band are pleased with?
Two ways. Firstly a fully written song is brought in. We’ll mess about with it, change words, bin some off. We’ll then practice the hell out of it. If it works out then it goes into the set and job’s a good ‘un. Secondly, which is my favourite, is the jam. Typically I’ll be fannying around with a riff at rehearsal then Phil for arguments sake will say “oooh – I’ve got some words for that”. Then we’ll poke about a bit, create more tuneage for choruses etc., and there you go, a bonafide classic. This is how a lot of the Kingcrows numbers we’re written.
10. The joys and gripes of being a musician and the hazards of dealing with so many unwashed warriors within the scene?
Playing live is awesome – I love it. It’s a proper thrill. I suppose the worst part for me is lugging the Marshall around, it weighs a ton! Also travelling back from a gig, your sweaty and tired and all you want is your bed. Unless you’re drunk and you sleep all the way home. The great unwashed masses, you’ll notice that in my gig bag there’s always a can of deodorant. A Kingcrows top tip there.
11. Would you have your kidneys replaced with 2 dolls heads and your lungs replaced with two light bulbs - if yes (I won't accept 'no’ as an answer), why the fuck and what are the obvious benefits to yourself and others.
Why the fuck? Fuck knows – seemed like a good idea at the time. And they’d have to be action man heads, for two reasons. Firstly, I’m a bloke and blokes don’t play with dolls, and secondly the eagle eyes and flock hair would tickle inside. Which would be nice. Probably. The lungs are obvious – you’d look like ET.
12. Lastly grab your oars, push out the boat and paddle away some promotion for the band in the spotlight. Go ye rhythmic rowing machine, go, go, go!
New album out in the early part of next year. Thanks to the lovely people at STP records. It’s gonna be called Funland. 11 brand new tracks. All killer no filler. We are playing a lot of the new tracks already to entice all the splendid people out there to buy it when it comes out. Still gigging massively, shows in London, York and Sheffield. Plus we’re doing a mini tour with the Bay City Roller in October – which should be interesting!
So basically, Check out our Website and Facebook, come to our shows, buy our quality low priced t-shirts (only £5 - bargain), CD’s etc. And let’s keep everything coming up Kingcrows!