Tom of

The Stopouts


1.   I spoke to Mr Jones, he clued me into to a band quite a few years ago, the band are called The Stopouts - I gave them a gig.  I repeat the sonic procedure several times, I have reviewed the CD and met the crew - what a joy - ooh thank you Mr Jones - Nah then, clue all of us in to who ye be, how ye have arrived together in the marvellous band and how you plan to keep this thing going?

Well the current line up is Tom (vocals), Dejan (guitar), Rob (drums), Anna (Sax) and Fletch (Bass). Originally the band was called the Skaadvarks... just awful... We met through a series of adverts online and on posters in various music stores in Liverpool. Dejan and Rob put the band together and the rest kind of gravitated towards the group you can see and hear today. We don't really plan ahead, which is probably a failing on our part, we just take every day as it comes. Plans generally lead to disappointment when you are a Stopout...
2.  Let us get things clear straight away - describe one another in 3 words each, one of which must relate to gardening?

Anna - Musical runner bean

Dejan - Chief potato head

Rob - Funny lanky hose

Fletch - Earthworm Jim doppleganger

Tom -  Smug like tomatoes
 3.  You seem to take a great deal of time over your produce and don't play as many gigs as I hoped but all the vibes are golden, the opportunities are there for you - any plans to up the ante or is life just too busy?

Well, plans are not our strongest point. However, we are going to start trying to gig outside of the usual places in the next year or so, meet new people and find some new sounds to inspire us. We have a couple of new ideas for some tunes bouncing around as well which is very positive. We hope that 2015 will be a good year for The Stopouts.
4.  That last (only) album was a peach, how did it come into being, how did you find the whole construction process and how did you find working together on your sonic produce?

The concept came through just being pretty pissed off with the world as it was. We wrote the majority of the tunes as the last Labour Government was dying out and the whole feeling around the place was of disappointment at the broken promises and the end of hope I guess. 1997 was a massive year for this country, Blair took power under a banner of regaining British pride and fighting inequality, even his victory speech "a new dawn is breaking" inspired those who heard it... When you look back at that, following the Iraq war, the destruction of our civil liberties and the biggest economic crash the Country has seen since the Depression, it just makes you feel so fucked off and helpless. Bleak, but musically inspiring I guess. In terms of working on the album, we had a top producer, Mark Dillon (of Chief fame) and we all knew what we wanted from it, so it came together very, very well.
5.   Scouse Jelly Babies are in a tug of war with Jamaican Freddo Frogs and in truth it is tearing the whole sweet industry apart.  As a promoter of sugarised liberation and protector of Wales' Saccharine mountains I feel quite affected by this - do you have a solution.  Do you think the war is all about sexuality or do you believe the propaganda machine and that rubber underwear is making everyone uptight - please help?

Scouse Jelly Babies have this in the bag, I'd duck out of it if I were you...
6.  Your fave Stopouts song, your fave location to play, your most adored gig and any heroes and zeroes in life and music please?

Fave song - 'Break The Wall' is my favourite one musically but I love the Morning After because I was at my most angriest when we wrote the lyrics to it. 

Fave location to play is anywhere were the punters are close to the bands. I hate playing on stages. Connecting with an audience is definitely the most important thing in any gig, and it's very hard to do that from up high.

As for Heroes and Zeros... We'd pretty much be nowhere without the promoters, other bands, singers and other various members of the music scene that have helped us and the countless other bands across the UK, they're my heroes at this very moment. As for Zeros... we once had a gig in Manchester at Day and Night, the promoter shouted at us because we didn't bring in enough people to make her a decent profit, she's a Zero and that's the politest thing I can say about her.
7.  Why ska?  Why this two-toned route and are the any plans to diversify the sound and throw in a few angular moments - metal, jazz, opera etc.  Also, when is your next release due because I for one am sick of waiting ha, ha!

Ska is what joins us ha, ha. We all love it and it'll always be the way we play. I think the next CD offering may have some different sounds to it... watch this space. It could be sooner than you think.
8.  What is the main theme of your songs, where do you find most inspiration springs from and who do you see as you main audience?

As I said before, our music is probably a result of getting so angry with the way things around us work out especially as we feel we are powerless to stop them. I'm all for protesting but the HUGE decisions that govern our way of life are so beyond our control it is upsetting to really think about. Take climate change for example, we're all suffering from the devastating effects industry around the world is having on our bodies and communities, but we can do very little to stop it. Regardless of how many lights we switch off or how many vegetables we grow in our own patches, Government's across the world will still burn oil, they'll still fund the building of masses of cars and aeroplanes... we can't stop that and it's depressing to think, but we don't really have a voice. That's the bleak stuff we write about, terrible isn't it ha, ha.
9.  Pledge Plankton has just had is body covered with train tattoos.  The 7.58 to Luton is seen to be leaving his rear passage,  the coal wagons of Barnsley are parked up under the left armpit, and the penis travelling South Oxford Express is on a one way journey to Bellendsville!  The poser for you is - if you could have your body tattooed with a form of transport what would it be and where would the most interesting work of art be put (nudge, nudge).  

I'd have a massive yacht on my chest, with a full on Captain Birdseye sat on deck. No idea why, it would be a great talking point though.
10.  Old school vs new School - your preference please, and why?

Your school! I think labels are kind of us and them... I love the old stuff but the new stuff has such a place in my heart. Without Blink 182 I would never have found punk music and would then never have listened to the Pistols... I appreciate it all.
11.   Politics and noise - your thoughts please and before we run out of questions - what are your feelings on the festival fever in every scene - madness, money making, marvellous - spill the truth!

Just let folk be folk. There's a uniform code to some gigs I attend and that makes me feel uneasy. You go to certain venues in a t-shirt that isn't black or has the wrong band on and suddenly you get a dirty look... weird. I grew up loving the mod scene; The Small Faces, Kinks, etc so obviously I dress accordingly. If that doesn't fit into someone's version of punk and they have a complaint... fair do's but take it to someone that cares. As for money making... everyone has to make a wage, I don't begrudge that at all. However when it becomes the only reason for doing something, you probably need to take a step back and reassess.
 12.  And finally - Ken Dodd is ejaculating ink but his globes are nearly dry, grab the dude’s pecker, use it as a pen and write the message on the toilet walls of tuneage promoting The Stopouts - be honest, be bold!

The Stopouts have just held Ken Dodd's dick, beat that!