Paul and Ed of
1. Introduce yourself to us Paul and Ed and tell us about your own personal musical careers and that of the band!
Paul – I’m Paul, the one responsible for putting The Blissetts together back in 2004. The Blissetts is the only band I’ve ever been in so I don’t really have a musical career to tell you about. I formed the band along with a few fellow Hunt Saboteurs, general rejects and layabouts in order to get stuff off my chest and get messages across to others and to be honest I never really thought of it as a musical career to begin with, it was all about the cause. Anyway, we played our first gig in June 2005 in Watford, released our first DIY single ‘Destruction Day’ in September of that year and played a few more gigs before literally killing each other and splitting in March 2006.
The band was started up again about a month after the split by me and Gaz, the drummer at the time. We roped in Arup on guitar. Arup was an old school mate of Gaz and drummer with Welwyn Garden City based weird anarcho/folk band ‘The Astronauts’. He played on several of their albums and performed hundreds of gigs throughout the 1980’s including the ‘Stonehenge Free Festival’ with ‘The Enid’. He always fancied playing guitar and he’s just as into it now as when he first joined the band in 2006.
We returned to the live scene in August 2007 and soon built up a solid and loyal following. We did a gig in Brighton in December 2007 and our bassist couldn’t make it so we borrowed Ed, bassist with Clash tribute band ‘The Trash’ for the gig and he enjoyed it so much that he wanted to join us full time which he did in May 2008. Ajay, son of Arup joined a couple of months later and it’s been the same ever since.
We’ve done loads of gigs, supported the likes of the UK Subs, Crashed Out, London and the Bleach Boys. We’ve done a lot of charity stuff like ‘Punk 4 The Homeless’ and ‘Punk 4 Japan.’ We’ve been played on local and national radio, including the BBC, internet radio and even received a death threat after our song ‘The God Delusion’ was played on the radio in the USA. We’ve released two more singles – ‘The Death of Freedom’ and ‘Liars, Cheats, Thieves and Politicians’ which came out on Election Day in 2010. We put the singles and other tracks from various compilation CD’s out last year on the CD ‘We’re The Blissetts, Who The Fuck Are You?’
Ed - I'm Ed, the bassist who got roped into standing-in with The Blissetts in front of 8 people at the Cowley Club in Brighton (see above.) I am actually a guitarist by trade and still teach guitar for a living but get a real buzz out of playing bass because it's easier to do pissed. (Less strings, bigger strings, bigger frets and you don't need to worry about chords or solos, put your finger on the right note (or as close as possible) then smack the fuck out of it with the other hand.
Paul – Arup would be - Loud, Testosterone, Nutter, Weetabix! Ed would be – Guinness, Forgetful, Farts, Fruit Loops. Ajay is Quiet, Armed, Dangerous, Weetabix Mini!
Ed – (Paul, you and I are going to be having words; forgetful? Fruit loops?) Only breakfast I'm aware of is Guinness. Paul : Megaphone, twiglet, taxi, Guinness. Arup : Nutter, late, helpful, Guinness. Ajay, conversion, breakages, late, Guinness.
Paul – What with the disasters we seem to suffer, calling it a slog is an understatement. We struggle to get gigs, what with so many bands out there and what seems to be fewer promoters than ever. The plus being that it’s so much easier to get our stuff heard via the internet and radio play, social media etc…. We don’t have to wait for a Record Company to come along and pick us up. There are a few promoters out there who are loyal to The Blissetts cause and will put us on, but it’s getting the attention of the big boys that’s difficult as they always seem to stick on the same old bands. We’ve tried to get on at Rebellion for the last 5 years and never received so much as a ‘thanks but no thanks’. We’ve had a couple of very influential people put in a good word for us but still nothing. We’ve taken our fair share of knocks but we carry on regardless and it makes us all the more determined to fight on. I view it as ‘what doesn’t kill us only makes us stronger.’ We piss in the face of adversity.
Ed - The current music scene is in an abysmal state. Many people these days seem to think a live act is someone singing karaoke (thanks to Simon Cowell.) I have actually been having a smoke outside one of the few pubs in Hertford that still put on live music to witness two customers approach and say to each other "Oh no, not another live band!" (Those two individuals will never make the mistake of saying something like that in front of me again!) I think the key for hanging in there is to genuinely enjoy the music you are playing and getting on well with your band mates. Both our rehearsals and our gigs are energy (and Guinness) fuelled riots! We come out of rehearsals and gigs physically knackered.
Paul – A – Honey Monster is a twat. Yes he may be big but one good hard kick to the love spuds and he’s going down like everyone else. Crikey O Kellog needs to get some of Bruce Lee’s ‘Fighting Method’ books, available from all good book shops. B – Jelly telephones will never catch on, I wouldn’t know whether to answer it or eat it but chances are one of my sons will have eaten it first along with the Special K. C – You want to eat 85lbs of Fruit and Fibre a day then be my guest but I’ve got enough hair in my arse crack to coat an entire battalion of dogs, I will quite gladly shave it and post it to you in some form of ‘arse wig’ if you want it.
Ed - A : What the fuck? B : jelly telephones sound more advanced than mine so yes please, C : not brave enough to try.
Paul – For me the lows are the setbacks we tend to get and we get more than our fair share! The worst being the split of the bands original line up as a lot of long-time friendships went out of the window that day. But it was something that had to happen as it resulted in the current line up and I wouldn’t swap it back for all the tea in China.
Ed -Will have to ditto what Paul has said above regarding the bad luck this band has had. A big low for me is travelling a long way to a gig getting all psyched up and playing to 5 people. The audience gets their energy from the band and the band feeds off the energy from the audience, the more people there the more energy and the bigger the riot. There is also the financial aspect of gigging. We all pay to rehearse, then on a gig night I will very often have had to cancel guitar lessons or bar work plus travel expense and Guinness expense. It is very rare to be paid for a gig and you very often find yourself out of pocket.
Paul – I remember that, Ed went barmy at the end of ‘The God Delusion’, threw his bass down on the stage and started jumping on it. As he jumped, all the money came out of his pockets which led to a scramble of people down the front trying to get their hands on Ed’s small change.
Ed - Personal fave is "Streets of Shame." It's got so much energy in it and I love the bit in the middle when it stops and everyone thinks it's over and start clapping, then it kicks off again and everyone looks at each other a bit embarrassed. "Chains" is another, when people who haven't seen us before see Paul, Arup and myself standing at the front of the stage screaming "Fuck your politics, fuck your laws, fuck everything, you stand for" there is usually this look of shock horror, then some grinning, then everyone singing along to it.
Paul – For me it’s got to be Blaggers ITA and Argy Bargy along with our mates, the brilliant Skurvi, Brocker, Jesus Hooligan, Dole Queue Heroes and of course, the mighty Blissetts! A tenner on the door will do nicely. We’d only bar politicians as they’d all obviously want to come to this gig, plus the Mayor of Watford, I can’t stand her.
Ed - Would also have to say the mighty Blaggers ITA, us, Jesus Hooligan, Brocker (cos they are great and lent me a bass when mine gave up the ghost,) Two-10 ( a great young local rock band,) the Trash (clash tribute) and Stiff Upper Lip, (Local AC/DC tribute.) I would have said Los Ladrones de Amor but it would be arrogant to put on 3 bands that I play in so I'll just mention them for a bit of shameless advertising! Plus I would need time on the night to get my daily quota of Guinness down me. I would charge £13 on the door, £3 for a local charity and the rest to be split equally between all the bands.
8. 'Conker nob, conker nob how do they grow' are the first words on Chaff Chafflings latest retro onion pop song - they task is to complete the first verse my friend!
Paul – Conker nob, conker nob, how do they grow / conker nob, conker nob, how far they throw / conker nob, conker nob, chuck ‘em at yobs / conker nob, conker nob, hit in the gob / conker nob, conker nob, stuck in your throat / conker nob, conker nob ………I’ll get my coat…………….. Terrible. I suck at comedy lyrics.
9. Tell us about the Blissetts song writing process please and do songs ever change the form on a continuing basis?
Paul – We used to write stuff and would have forgotten it by the next rehearsal, we lost some great riffs and ideas that way. I’ve got an old 4 track recorder so when we write I tend to record everything until it’s safely stored in our memory banks. I convert the recordings into mp3’s and then email them out to anyone if they need them.
Ed - Songs have come out in many different ways. When warming up before a rehearsal one of us might randomly play something that someone else likes and before we know it Arup, Ajay and I will be giving it some structure while Paul is either scribbling away or rummaging through existing unused lyrics to find something that will fit. Once the general structure is sorted then the detail i.e.: stops, dynamics and backing vocals get put in place. It is very rare for one of us to present a complete song to the band. Only one I can think of is "Devil's Garden."
Paul – Scene? What scene? Most people won’t come out and see you unless there’s a ‘name’ band on the bill. Like I said earlier, there’s a few promoters out there still doing it for the right reasons rather than for the cash. But as Ed mentioned, the entire music scene is in a terrible state. As usual, people need to be told by the media what to listen to, people don’t go out and discover bands anymore. I’ve seen a lot of great bands come and go, they get sick of playing to nobody so they just give up. I guess there’s only so many times you can bang your head against the wall. We’d love to do Rebellion. If I had a pound for everyone that says to me ‘You should get on at Rebellion, you’d go down a storm’, I’d be bloody rich. But they put on very few new bands.
We’re involved with some good promoters like The ICM in Watford and have built some great relationships with other local bands like Brocker, The Bleach Boys, Ministers Dead, Jesus Hooligan etc…. and we all support each other and carry on regardless. Then there’s ‘Punk 4 the Homeless’ and everyone that is involved with that like Skurvi, Oiz II Men and Born To Destruct. We’re all doing it because we love it and I still do it because I still care.
Ed - Listening to all the shite that everybody is buying these days I do often think ‘what's the point?’ On very rare occasions I get dragged into a dance club (only when it's the only place open selling booze) and watch in disbelief all the morons going mad for what is effectively a computer program. However, I try to be optimistic as I believe that life works in cycles. What is in vogue one year is out the next but comes back into fashion a few years later. Hopefully soon people will realise that listening to some prick trying to look cool in headphones playing his I-Phone is not a patch on a live band.
However the turn-ons are when you see a crowd really enjoying what you're doing and going mental. That's why I'm still doing it.
Ed – Damn, thought I'd got away with the garden thing, and I didn't smash it up, it was expressionist garden art. Dogshit Binoculars would be about Jedward.
Ed - Arup wos ere!Paul – We’re back out on the road later this month (April 2012) and will hopefully record our first proper album later this year. So check us out at www.theblissetts.co.uk or on Facebook, Myspace, Punk Rockers and Reverb Nation. We’re also giving away copies of the CD ‘We’re The Blissetts, Who The Fuck Are You?’ so drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and bag yourself a FREE copy NOW!