1. The man, the music, the highs and the lows - introduce thyself sir and bring us up to speed with thy tuned travels to date?
Hello there – I’m Russ Crimewave and currently play acoustic guitar both solo and with Kay from Decadent Few in a duo called DeKadanCe. I have played in various punk and non punk bands thru the years, since about 1981 including my first punk band First Come Last, followed by The Twits, Echo Theatre, The Poetasters Of Ispahan, Curse In Vain, Robert Calvert & The Starfighters, Denied, These Murders, Endangered Species, Willy Snot & The Money Shots & Crimewave among others I can’t remember. For about seven years I played bass for The Warriors and also Surgery Without Research for a couple of years at the same time.
My lowest point was when I had to stop playing bass (leaving both The Warriors and Surgery Without Research) about a year ago due to a damaged hand that acted up every time I played bass. So I borrowed a mates acoustic guitar because there was no way I was giving up playing and found that the hand wouldn’t play up while strumming it, which was a bit of a result as far as I was concerned. Round about January this year, I sold a lot of my beloved posters, bought myself a new acoustic and did my first solo gig about two weeks later punk rock style.
2. What forces you to get up and do some noise making, why not sit back and leave it to others - where is the motivation coming from?
I get up and make noise because everyone is so complacent these days, thinking everything is OK, agreeing with whatever bullshit the media feeds them on a daily basis, even some of these so called anarcho bands have nothing to say any more and are quite happy to play their songs hoping that someone will pay attention to the lyrics and pocketing the cash at the end of the night. I'm not going to get up on stage and say nothing and just play my songs, that’s just not me. There are a lot of people who will say that they are going to do this that and the other but when it comes to the crunch, they are the ones finding any excuse NOT to do something. If I left it up to these people all we would get is a load of bitching about why they shouldn't be doing it and why I shouldn't either. At least I'm getting out and doing something and not sitting behind a keyboard all the time pretending and bitching about how unfair the whole world is. Don’t like it – go out and do something about it, no matter how small.
3. The multi-layered melodic mush is a devil to rise up from - how do you plan to rise up or are you happy to do your bit and just see what transpires?
No plans but I’m going to say whatever I feel needs saying as often as possible and as long as possible and If people don't like that, then tough shit, as long as one person walks away from a gig with a bit of knowledge or a different way of thinking about things, even if it’s just slightly, then I consider that a good gig. Same with listening to my songs online or on an mp3 player or whatever. Listening to how well someone plays and not to what they are saying is just a waste in my opinion – Listen to what I say not just what I play
4. Old school or new school sounds and your thoughts on festival fever and nostalgia nuts who can't move forward?
Don’t get me started on festivals, I have played them and I have been to them and personally I think they are killing the scene. I know people that will go to Rebellion, Nice & Sleazy, 3 Chord etc. etc. and wont go and support their local band, why not? 'Oh because I’m saving to go to whatever festival it is', 'Come and see this band at this venue, its local and free' - 'Nah, I’m going to see them at whatever festival it is' etc etc - the excuses are endless.
Some people say that these festivals are good value for money, not if you live where I do they're not. I calculated that for me and the Mrs to go to Rebellion without drinking or eating comes to nearly 800 quid on tickets, accommodation and travel alone, so no is the answer as far as I'm concerned, the ticket price may be good value but affording it is another matter. Don't get me wrong I quite like festivals but think that with the amount of them is killing what is left of the scene.
I have no preference on old school or new school as long as it is (reasonably) original and has something to say.
5. Brandon Bullfinch has a 40ft arm, an inflatable head and a spoon for a foot - he is an incredible shoplifter and can arouse a lady from quite a distance? What other advantages do you think can arise from these arousing deformities?
He would be good to hire out as a miniature crane that can go onto any building site without the need for a scaffold as he would inflate his head til he floated up to where he was needed and at break time would be able to eat his pot noodle without having to search for something to eat it with. Other than that I really do not have a clue how to answer that – maybe he would be good as the next Prime Minister – I have no idea
6. Rhythmic restrictions in music are plentiful and I come across many din creators not willing to step outside their comfort zone and push their ability - how do you plan to keep doing this?
My comfort zone was my bass guitar, I had to learn to play guitar because of damage to my hand and as a result decided that I wouldn't wait til I was good at it, I would do what the original punks did, get out there and play, regardless of how good or bad I was and write the songs as I was going along. I have been known to link a guitar up to different pedals, hit the guitar and play with the pedals instead of the guitar, this was before I learnt the basic three chords. if I get complacent and boring I will do whatever I want to make it different. At the moment I am still learning to play acoustic guitar so it’s a journey of discovery that I am quite enjoying and will continue to.
7. Best and worst gigs to date mate – discuss?
I haven’t really had a singular best gig, I have had quite a few good ones, one of my favourite gigs was playing for Surgery Without Research supporting Discharge in Canterbury – we just all went for it and the crowd went absolutely mental, leaping over each other and crowd surfing in a small pub – wonderful. The Twits final gig was rather good where we managed to jam about ten minutes worth of songs into forty minutes while throwing Wellington boots around the pub destroying the air conditioning and try to assault anyone who came near with a foot long dildo – that was fun.
My worst gig was in Gillingham with The Warriors, our drummer thought he would borrow the support bands kit as he hadn’t got his own any more, only to find when we got there he had to play on a skiffle kit which was a half size kick drum, a snare and a couple of cymbals, to make matters worse I had left my bass behind while loading the car to get there and had to borrow the opening bands bass, it had dead strings and no tone control to boot and we played shit – it was the worst gig - easily. I did have a fair few good gigs with The Warriors, and rarely had a bad gig with them. Not had a bad one solo … yet, a couple of dodgy ones but nothing bad.
8. You have been given a wedge of dosh, choose your charity and pick ten bands to play an all dayer promoting the cause. Explain the reasoning behind your decisions.
Oh bugger pass ha-ha. I have booked all dayers before but not for charity but if I had to I would probably pick the Pilgrims Hospices in Margate, Canterbury and Ashford as the Charity as most (75%) of their funding comes from donations and from the local people and you know the money is going to them and not into the pocket of some director or siphoned off for other things. As for the bands, I would have them all local (Kent) with maybe an exception for the headline band unless it was Anti Nowhere League as they are from Kent – bands I would choose in no particular order and not including myself or bands I have played in are : 1 – Deano's Hose 2 – Arthur Kitchener 3 – Jesus Fix 4 – All Flags Burn 5 – Ted Dibiase & The Million Dollar Punk Band 6 – The Half Wits 7 - Tyrannosaurus Alan 8 – The Commited 9 – Anthrax UK
Plus headliner but that could be anyone from Kunt & The Gang to The Last Resort (another Kent band) to Discharge.
With a reasonable headliner and a wide variety of punk (Pop punk, Ska punk, Psychedelic Punk, Oi, Hardcore, Goth, Anarcho) to choose from there should be enough interest to fill a reasonable size venue and save some of the wedge of dosh for a rider for the bands and maybe a bit left over to donate, knowing that a fair few of those bands would play for petrol money if it was a good cause and as it’s a local charity more people are likely to donate http://www.pilgrimshospices.org/.
9. Uniformity in clothes, noise, day to day living - I find it all destructive and quite characterless but then again it creates a unity and harmony necessary, especially to those who want to avoid risks. How do you feel about these points and is individualism a dying stance?
Mmm – uniformity is fine if you want to blend in and not make a noise and be mostly like everyone else, just trundling thru life and not really doing anything apart from doing what is expected (Working for the man, Children, Marriage, Mortgage, Boredom). If that is what you are into then fine, just don't question my motives coz I don't want to be like that. We all conform to some things, I don't dress as loudly as I used to, not because I want to fit in but because I don’t want to stand out as much.
Noise (as averse to music) is an everyday life thing, I live on a main road, near traffic lights so hear all sorts of noise all day long but I do wish that they would put a restriction on pumping shite music out of car stereos at three O clock in the morning when the car stereo pumps out more noise than the band that was in the pub across the road earlier that evening.
One thing that I do find quite a let down as far as uniformity, conformity and individualism is concerned, is how so many bands are sounding like every other band, using the same amps same guitars or variations of and getting roughly the same sound. I am put off by a lot of bands just purely on how they sound on a recording, live is a different matter when you are sharing amps etc. A band might be very good but if I never have to listen to another track with a heavily distorted ESP, Gibson or Tele, played thru a Line 6, Marshall or crate I don’t think I would care. I wanted an original sound for my acoustic and think I may have one and all it took was a bit of time and a chorus pedal.
Individuality is definitely a dying stance as more and more people are too happy to conform to what others think, do or say, they are happy to go along with media lies and “can't be bothered” to find things out for themselves or get a decent original sound for their instruments.
10. You have 4 grasshoppers, 2 matches, a napkin and 3 naked dwarves - you have to get from Crawley to Kings Lynn in 4 hours using nothing more than the aforementioned assets - tell me your plans?
Oh bloody hell - a challenge – Righto! The journey alone takes nearly three hours by car so it would be impossible to walk there in that time. So being as Grasshoppers are also aeroplanes and I can’t fly four at the same time, use the three naked dwarves to fly the other three grasshoppers to Kings Lynn telling them that they will get a prize if they get there within the allotted time frame at the other end if they do it – on landing in Kings Lynn give the dwarf that landed first the prize of a new bed-sheet (the napkin) and the other two runners up prizes of a fashionable walking stick (the matches) – mission complete.
OK I cheated and it did take a while to work it out but, you know.
11. The presentation of music is an important factor and seems, in some instances, to outweigh the melodic value (a disgrace I feel). How do you go about exhibiting your vibrations to the masses and getting them to take note?
I haven't really thought much about that be honest, I love playing live (I love playing – period) and doing it all on my own has come as a bit of a culture shock as I’m used to being in a band and having some (rarely all) of the other band members taking responsibility for doing something promotion wise. As far as presenting it goes – I stand up on a stage shout at people while playing and usually wear a T shirt with a design that I have created as part of the image and using that design in as much of what I do as possible. I think it is important no matter what you do to have some sort of original identity that goes with your sound and to keep that identity as part of what you do whenever and wherever you do it no matter how small it is.
12. One man, one paintbrush, one public building to vandalised - do your stuff, seal your cause!
Sprayed across Westminster in bright colours
Russ Crimewave – Acoustic … Angry Acoustic
If you want to have a listen to some acoustic sounds that actually have something to say rather than the majority of acoustic which is just drippy folk music with the occasional punk lyric (there are a few exceptions) then get yourself over here for some acousticness which is free to download - http://soundcloud.com/russcrimewave
Or if you prefer a female vocal to your acousticness then go here and check out DeKadanCe and have a listen – the new CD can be ordered from there as well. http://urbanfallout.bandcamp.com
If ya just want to contact me and give me some abuse or whatever then find me on facebook - http://www.facebook.com/russ.crimewave