Biff of



1. Tell us about your musical career to date and how you ended up as an animal in a Zoo made of Leather?

I don't have any kind of musical career to shout about. I learned to play Guitar at Uni in Brighton. I spent every spare minute I had playing around in the sound lab there or playing rugby. Joined up with a few other muso's now and again but never got to proper gig level. We never thought we were good enough. More recently I started playing guitar for Mel then wrote a load of midi backing tracks to drive a synth for a back line and just the two of us toured around mincing along to covers done in a punky style. It was rubbish really so we got a proper band together. The first song we ever wrote together was called 'Incest'. It came about as we were in Austria area called Lungau and in previous times it used to have a very high rate of suicide because of inbreeding antics by the somewhat isolated locals!!  So we made this kind of comedy take on the  'game for all the family' and the locals loved it!!  Incest is the same word in German! So based on the great success of 'Incest' we decided to try writing a few more songs. Our first gigs in the UK were at the old 'Classic Rock Bar' ..RIP... that was on Ecclesall Road. It was run by the great Sas..RIP.... and his Mrs, Buffy. She still puts on stuff now at the Moofoot Tavern but that's due to be put down any time also now.. probably has gone already! The Classic Rock Bar was the best live venue in Sheffield for my money by miles. It was one of those places where they had to fire up the motorbikes and drive them out to make room for the band! We have made up so much bullshit about where the name 'Leather Zoo' came from that none of us actually know the truth any more.

2. How are you finding the scene at the mo, and what advice would you have for other budding musicians trying to make some headway?

I would describe the level we are at as Part time, Semi Pro. Which is pretty tough in the UK as an original act. We started just wanting to play to anyone interested enough to listen and it has always been about having fun. But now we expect payment for playing..I know..its almost a crime these days to say that with so many bands around gagging for gigs. But it's a part of getting 'established' and its a healthy, maybe even vital thing for the survival of a band. It is sad but true.. the old Capitalist money mechanism is probably your most honest critic! Any budding musicians reading wanting to make headway? Not sure if I'm qualified for this but here's my 2 penneth

  1. Get a proper job!
  2. On the other hand try to develop a really arrogant bad attitude, wear a scarf and sing about your fucked up teenage hormones being on acid in a really irritating phoney accent.
  3. Or finally and only if you really are really serious ..most important...Vocalist ...look for an outstanding front man/woman. Don't even think of being serious if you don't have this. Also...look very hard for your audience.... don't expect them to come looking for you.

3. Your vocalist said about the band that the main focus is on having fun which I find wholly commendable. Would you consider yourself to be realistic about this ego-soaked scene that is ridiculously fickle and built on, to be brutally honest, bullshit! If you feel the chances of making a big break are slim then what goals have you set!

Yeah well that's what she would say ..she doesn't do anything!   Just turns up, jumps around in a mini skirt, twirls an air raid siren and gets all the glory! Pulls all the blokes... And girls!  The chances of the 'big break' for us are not even slim! We did get signed to a very small label that went bust so that was a small kind of break. The goals we set at first we achieved amazingly quickly. It was to play an open air festival and get something played on a radio station. So we have achieved all our goals. Going on tour with a band like Eddie and the Hot Rods and Prima Donna (who have just been touring with Green Day') would have been awesome so we are really gutted that it has been cancelled. Getting music on to a soundtrack for two different films is really the biggest achievement for me personally though but it was a real surprise so ..yeah I would say I am totally realistic about this.

4. Desmond Prong, has a nob that is long whereas Douglas Sprig has the buttocks of a pig, Humberto Sauce has the balls of a horse and Charlie Chaff has the bell-end of a giraffe. All this is well and good but poetically describe the following demons of depravity for a chance of a weekend break in Clacton with Norman Collier:- John Frond, c, Acorn 'O' Spanner and top dome DJ Mikey Flange.

Norman Collier is a bit more jollier than Old John Frond who fell in the pond
Poor Old John, now soaking wet will what he saw never forget
Exposed he plunged with dying cries by what had filled his prying eyes
As Weeburn Egg was showing a leg to A. 'O' Spanner in provocative manner

Weeburn's Leg, It has been said
is long and soft and shaved aloft!

Legs. The lust of Flange the Jock, famous for his big dome cock
He was the locals bet to bed the fiesty young well bred red head
He would first her pardon beg and be the man to crack Ms Egg
But Weeburn was no slutty fool. She was after Acorns tool

5. The best and worst of your CD collection, book collection and DVD collection?

I haven't got a CD collection. Got an ipod with tunes on mostly for ideas though and any songs that we have considered to cover. Probably listened to The LeNingrad Cowboys the most this month. They do really awesome heavy covers of old classics like the Bond theme tune 'Goldfinger'. The only serious music listening I ever do is when my mate comes round and plays selections from his huge vinyl collection. It's like I have a private DJ round! People often give me copies of their guitar heroes masturbating on a 6 string like a chimp on acid tabs coz they must think I'm into that but I'm not and some are still on there so they are the worst. The best two books I have are both by China Miéville..'The Scar' and 'Perdido Street Station'. An amazing creative imagination. I have some great DVD's Music wise I don't like 'videos' to music..I much prefer to see a 'live' performance recorded. My favourite music DVD is the Ramones. I love it for the crowds going so wild and them getting mobbed. Films I have and like are realistic hard core tough stuff like 'Unforgiven' and 'Band of Brothers' 'Vera Drake' or real cult movies with good dialogue and music like 'Repo Man' or 'Pulp Fiction' I hate all American softy black and white blockbuster shite.

6. Your fave Leather Zoo song please with elaboration's regarding its construction and also the meaning behind it?

I kinda hate to hear a songwriter or any artists going on about stuff they created themselves. Its a bit anal. If someone asks personally then that's different. Years ago I once heard Michael Stipe going on about one of his songs. (Some of the really early REM stuff like 'Country Feedback' I quite like.) But he totally ruined the song for me after I heard that. My interpretation was much better to me than his....even though he wrote it! If someone likes something then they usually form their own take on it and that's the best way to leave it. A bit like when you read a good book and then see the shit film. 

I should be saying 'Fleur Du Lys' I guess. It has a strong message about what makes folks rally round...stand up and fight against the odds. It was something that came to mind when a friend of mine was dying of cancer but all through the terrible ordeal he refused to give in. He would find strange things to cling on to give him some hope to make carrying on worthwhile. I am no poet but I think I captured somehow something about his torment illustrated by the image of a war tired de-moralised French soldier who becomes re-inspired in battle when Joan of Arc goes charging by!

But really when we play together my favourite songs are on a big stage when the 'engine room', Jk and Jamie, get it  together really tight and I can feel it more than hear it. Yeah then all I have to do is make some pretty feedback, Mel jumps around and its all good!

7. Heroes and zeroes in life and music please?

My All time sport hero's are Steve Redgrave... I was lucky enough to meet him and gave him some lessons in a skid car on a Jaguar promotion day.... and Chris Hoy. I used to work with him but we have lost touch now. They are both so modest and super talented. Craig McClain, another Olympic medalist with Chris, once played bass for us at the Classic Rock Bar. I was really impressed how good he was. He can play drums, bass and electric guitar really good AND launch a bike over 250m as fast as anyone in the world!  Music hero is Keith Moon. I can't play drums but if I could I would want to play like he did. Maybe I am a bit frustrated as I think that if you try to express yourself a lot with a guitar then you just look like a wanker. But if you are whacking the hell out of a drum kit and going nuts that's cool.

I hate bullies. Especially legalised ones like Police and Customs. I really hate how we can travel all over the EU and never get stopped but as soon as we try to get back into the UK there are these nobs that act really clever Dick and ask a load of stupid questions with that attitude 'look sonny you dont want to see me in latex gloves now do you?' Its not like they are even effective at the job. There are more kids on drugs and illegal immigrants in the UK than probably anywhere else. I often get a bit militant and write complaints. Last complaint I wrote was to the Advertising Standards Authority about Adverts being so much louder than programmes. We exchanged around 5 letters and I got no justifiable reason from them for not doing anything about it.. They talked about compression but they clearly have no idea what it is. Sometimes its really amazing how thick people in responsible positions are.

8. Webbed testicles - now then should they be banned from Olympic Swimming contests, can they be used as satellite dishes and if you suffered from this fate would you be tempted to use the webbing as an after dinner body-popping mat?

Testicles are ..well.. a bit webbed ..aren't they? As in folds of skin joining them together? Anyway, If I had really excessively webbed testicles, I wouldn't worry at all about the politics of Olympic, I would join those 'Puppetry of the Penis' chaps and go on tour with them. They must have a right laugh! If they wouldn't have me I would go it alone with my own show called 'Baggy Bollox' The 'Satellite Dish' would most certainly be in there but top trick would involve a young female member of the audience and be called 'The Sleeping Bag'

9. The highest and the lowest points in your career so far and also add to this where you get your motivation to carry on from?

Best gig was at the Rocktreff in Berlin at the Folkspark Football Stadium. We were the first band ever to be asked back to play again also. Best moment for me so far was when I first saw the 'Tattoos: A Scarred History' Trailer. They used two of our songs and 'Some Kind Of Monster' from The Wildhearts..which has the most hard core video I've ever seen. That will be out in April this year and looks proper good. We are listed on the 'Cast and Crew' Page just under The Wildhearts. That kind of motivation keeps me going easily. Yeah its all the people out there like yourself Dave that more than show an interest in us.... folks who actually go out of their way to help us. The one thing that I really hate about doing this is that we have professional back line guys and we just cannot pay them enough. We are scamming their talents a bit which makes me feel bad sometimes.

10. The best and worst of:- bands you have played with, venues you have played and pies you have tasted?

The best band we have played with is one called Maze from Holland. They have changed some members and their name to Lesoir now. They wouldn't be out of place at 'Download' or somewhere like that. We played with the Vibrators and Vice Squad here in the UK and they were both proper good and real nice folks too. Early on we have played with some real rubbish though... Razorlight/Arctic Monkey wannabees. We like down to earth venues and out door festivals ..the rougher the better. Biker festivals are the perfect audience for us. Most bands in Sheffield are terrified if the S.U.F.C. drunken rowdies spill over into town on their gig night. We love it! In fact they used to play one of our songs over the PA system at half time at Bramall Lane! I love going to a new venue. With our quirky spunk-punk music we can have a fantastic response one day, selling signed posters, T shirts and CD's to a queue of happy new fans an almost complete blank out from an audience. That's really weird! It does tend to be the other bands and their mates though. We have tired a bit of 'headlining' smaller gigs. Would be nice to get on the road with a good band now.

Mel used to work in Denby Dale and she would bring pies back for us now and then. They were really good although I'm not really a pie man. If you count Pizza as pie then I can make you the best pizza you've ever tasted. I am much better for pizza than any slick riffs.

11. Which of the following would you take on so as to promote the bands name - careful explanation to the answer is needed so as to satisfy my thirst for inane knowledge and warped witterings? a. A trip to the moon on a cocaine fuelled wombat, b. An attempt at reaching the north pole using nothing more than 5 sun dried penises and a quarter of Old Jack Onions shag tobacco or C. The quest to find the missing link between scrotal lice and Ronnie Corbett using nothing more than a box of Milk Tray, two rubber rice puddings and a rolled up TV Times.

The top fuel wombat would be the ride for me. No question about it. In fact the whole concept sort of sums me up in a slightly embarrassing way! I would want to go through a rigourous acclimatisation and training programme of course with the wombat during which time we would get a very close bond going. I'm not the type to just jump on any old marsupial, whatever fuel its on just for the hell of the ride. Even if it can drop square shaped turds! No I'm no adrenalin freak, more of a control freak. So wombat and I would learn to trust each other and have at least some mutual respect. I am not certain of the dose needed to get wombat up to escape velocity and then on course to the moon but I would be generous with the fuel load as lets face it...this is a one way trip. Getting there is the exciting bit that will also launch the Zoo name into similar orbit but ….insurance for a happy and painless demise up on the moon with the man, the wombat and me? Hell yes! And there are for sure worse ways to take the final bow.

12. Finally the great overlord of punk has had an attack of the Eartha Kitts and has released a semi-motherload in the fruitful garden of noise. The sun is bright and the stools are baked and you are the sole possessor of the Chisel of Promotion. You have a chance to hammer out a message on the dried up turds - what is the message and how will it help your crew.

To be honest, I would be a bit nervous to face the great overload of punk on the great hallowed garden of Punxcrement. I don't know if I really qualify as a 'Punk'. I certainly don't look much like one and I'm not trying to be one. I'm not sure if I have rebelled enough... or am angry enough... or hate anyone enough. And although I am anti establishment in the extreme, I am just a small creative Pisces that's not too happy going round and round the same tiny bowl. It's clear to see that Joey Ramone was a punk and many of the great rebel legends that followed him and they will have known that they were punks. But then there are some punks that don't even know they were Martin Luther King and Joan of Arc. So just maybe the great Overlord would be kind towards me and put me into this category. And he might even be generous and offer me the chisel of promotion to carve my message..which would be..

Please help us urgently to source a large quantity of top quality cocaine and a strong and loyal wombat. And if you look up and notice the man on the moon with a big smile on his face and glowing a little more brightly one night then go online to Leather Zoo and do something to make them happy.