Paul and Ed of

The Blissetts


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.
   I went to the fantastic Perth College from '89 to '91 to get an "HND in Rock Music," came back to play for a local Hertford band called Thirteen, released an album then split up. Currently play bass for The Blissetts and The Trash, guitar for Los Ladrones de Amor and the Hertford Allstars. I teach, do session work and work behind bars. I also promote local musical events and run an open mic. night at the White Lion in Bengeo.

 2.  Describe your fellow band members in 4 words a piece one which must be based on a breakfast cereal.

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.
 3.  How are The Blissets finding the current climate - getting gigs, spreading the word, making any sort of progress?  It can be a real slog - what is your recipe for hanging on in there?

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.
4.  Crikey O Kellog has began the Sugar Puff War where all the overlords of the breakfast bar will come together to banish the Honey Monster to the realms of Analgrape where Tom McToastie rules the underlings with a rod of jelly.  Sounds easy but several whippings a day are had for all as well as weekly visits to the clap doctor who will fill your rectal eye with Quaker Oats.  The question is threefold - a/  Can Crikey O Kellog beat the Honey Monster, b/  Are jelly telephones the way forward for communication between individual morsels of Special K and c/  Do you believe that eating 85lbs of Fruit and Fibre a day will cure balding of the buttocks?

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.
5.  Tell us about the highs and lows of band life and what it’s like working as a unit with your fellow musicians?

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.
  Another low would be when, back in 2009, we had to cancel the first appearance of the current line up when Ajay came down with glandular fever the day before the gig. We couldn’t rehearse for three months and during that time Ed was kicked out of his house and living in a tent. We finally got back into the studio and wrote the song ‘Streets of Shame’ in one session only for Arup to nearly sever his fingers in a bizarre hedge trimming accident. After all that, we ended up making our live debut some nine months later than intended. People will remember that we recently had to pull out of Fungalpunk’s weekend festival in Stoke after Ajay was diagnosed with a potentially serious heart condition and who says lightning doesn’t strike twice!
  But the highs for me are just getting up on stage-I bloody love it and seeing people in the crowd singing my lyrics, that’s cool too. I love hearing us on the radio-I’m like an excited little child every time we get played. When we got played on the BBC we were recommended by Watford Jon from Argy Bargy and he introduced us on the show too. I rang my Mum and said ‘Hey Mum, look who’s on the fucking BBC!’
  We all have a fantastic working relationship and we’re all mates too. There’s a lot of practical jokes and general buffoonery at every rehearsal but it’s a riot and we love it. Our rehearsals are just like gigs, we still leap about like nutters regardless of whether we’re being watched or not.

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.
   However it is all forgotten once you are on stage. Even if we are playing in front of 5 people we all still perform as if there are 1000. A personal high for me was at the end of the UK Subs support gig. I had gone a bit mental with my bass, stamping on it, jumping up and down on it then picking it up and throwing it off the side of the stage. The look on the Sub's guitarist face as my bass went bouncing across the floor missing his 2 beautiful Gibson Les Paul guitars by inches was priceless!

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.

 6.   The best Blissetts song to date - details please - what makes it your fave, who wrote it, what is it about and how does it go down 'live'.

Paul – I suppose it’s going to have to be ‘The God Delusion’. My personal fave is ‘Nothing To Lose (But Our Chains) as I’m just as angry about stuff now as I was when I first wrote it but the collective band Favourite has got to be ‘The God Delusion’. I came up with the lyrics for it first and sang the first verse acapella and the guitar was fitted around the tune I sang it in. It’s probably the fastest song we ever wrote considering the amount of stuff that goes on in it. It’s out and out punk with a classic rock guitar solo in the middle and then builds up back into the last verse and the big sing-a-long last chorus.
  I gave it the working title of ‘The God Delusion’ after reading the book of the same name by Richard Dawkins. I thought the title is a bit misleading as it’s not having a go at God but at organised religion. People are free to believe what they want but we can’t accept people believing stuff just because they’ve been told to. Whenever someone criticises religion there is usually some sort of shit storm in the press, lots of toys being thrown out of prams etc…. People forget that religion is the word of man, not God. I received a threat from a moron in the US calling us every name under the sun after he heard the song on the radio. I e-mailed him back and thanked him for proving every lyric in the song right and if he wanted to meet up for a fight to send me his address. Needless to say he never replied. I always wanted to call it ‘Belief Without Question’ but the rest of the band voted me down so the original title stayed.
  It’s a stonker live and is the last song we play at gigs. Ajay speeds it up at the end and we all go mental. It’s the tune everybody in the place sings along to as the chorus is so bloody simple.

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.
7.  You are promoter for the day and have 7 slots to fill.  The bands please as well as price on the door, reasons and who will be on the barred list?

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.
   Simon Cowell is barred, anyone who is or wants to be a politician and that twat from the Go Compare adverts.

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.
 Our early stuff was very formulaic, but as we’ve grown as a band and had new people introduced along the way our song writing has improved. I still tend to write far too many lyrics and have to trim them all down but as long as I’m still getting my point across then I’m not fussed. The last three songs we’ve written, ‘Stabbed In The Back’, ‘Streets Of Shame’ and the forthcoming ‘Born To Rule’ are all very different from each other. So we really need to get into a recording studio and nail these buggers down.

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."

 10.  Your personal gripes and grievances with the scene please as well as the things that most turn you on?

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.
 11.  Dogshit Binoculars is a great song title - if it was given to you what would the song be about, would Peter Purvis and John Noakes of Blue Peter get a mention and do you think it could make the Indonesian top twenty.

Paul – Didn’t we already write that? Sounds like a song about spying on the Conservative Party. There should be more songs about Peter Purvis and John Noakes, that elephant that shit in the studio and when Ed got pissed and smashed up the Blue Peter garden. If we did it, it would be a hit in Indonesia as we have fans there and if they buy 10,000 copies each then I’m sure the Indonesian version of Simon Cowell will come knocking on our door, and then swiftly put on his back-side.

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.

12.  Finally - the knickers of the punk rock whore have fallen, she's bending down to hitch em' right back up but you see your chance to scrawl a message on the foul flabby buttocks so that all partakers of this harlots delights will see and take note of - go for it - promote thy wares!

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 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 and bag yourself a FREE copy NOW!