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Here’s the English version of the interview originally published at:
- Gerard please tell us more about the early days of FITD – were they more prolific or it was a kind of teenage enthusiasm?
Lots of teenage enthusiasm and idealism and plans on changing the world. In some ways we were less prolific in that half the energy was spent trying to learn how to play our instruments! But we were all unemployed so we had a lot more time to put into everything, so we got things done more quickly.
The early days were very much defined by UK political context – to me at least – when I think about the early 80s I’m inevitably drawn to the Cold War and the imminent threat of nucleur destruction; to how Thatcher destroyed the UK and set a cruel and selfish political agenda that is still thriving today (same with Reagan in the USA) and indeed was largely adopted by eastern Europe after 1989. Dark times, but paradoxically easier to shine a meaningful light. Of course, we did try and change the world with Stop The City etc
Also, we’d only just grown pubic hairs! Now they’re turning grey.
- What it meant to be a punk back in 80’s and what is it to be today? Is there any significant changes?
Back then there were all sorts of different kinds of people who called themselves punks so it was a more confusing word for me. I’d loved the 70s punk rock but had varying opinions on all the sub-categories that had sprung out of it by the early 80s.
The main change in that respect is that I’m far more comfortable with the term today. Though punk has essentially settled into a (small c) conservative version of itself, I’m very happy that important things like animal rights have been retained.
In the past, there was always the future – where did that go?
- There is something like big revival in the so called UK anarcho punk scene – All The Madmen Records are back, also The Mob, Zounds, Rubella Ballet and other are still in. What do you think about this?
I think it’s great – I think the politics of anarcho-punk (as I understand / interpret it) is broadly still very much needed, partuclarly with regards to animal rights and being against the right wing.
Last few years most of these bands gained enormous popularity around the globe and some people around considered that this return is mainly for profit (charity gigs and big festivals with fat paychecks), other thinks that this is not true…
Do you mean bands reforming for the money? I can see why Led Zeppelin might do that, but anarcho bands are never going to get rich by reforming. If bands manage to go and play gigs around the world without losing money, then good luck to them.
I think the idea that bands are expected to lose money is absurd – it relegates the artist to a status below many of the worst paid jobs, which is insulting and degrading to art itself and the sign of a philistine society with all the wrong values. If you keep doing this over generations, art will become more and more worthless and even more people will just watch TV and play video games. Then where will we be?
Punk rejected the old rock dinosaurs who rode around in private jets and played mega stadiums, but it’s now gone so far in the other direction that it will eat itself. My plea to everyone reading this is to please rediscover your respect for art in general.
- Punk was rebellious way to distinguish system but it has become something different. Do you agree with Crass and their ‘punk is dead’ conclusion?
I believe fighting injustice will never die until all injustice has been defeated. I would hate it if punks thought that you had to be into a certain kind of music or dress a certain way to fight the system, or injustice. Clothes and ways of walking are useful tools, but they’re not actually weapons like words or actions are.
The important things that came with the punk package will never die. Just as it doesn’t really matter if the unimportant ones vanish forever.
- Tell us something interesting – maybe story or personal experience from the 80’s
(sorry, too wide a question… I’ll happily come to Bulgaria and chat with you for hours thoughnif you want stories )
- 5 of your favorite bands – no particular way
- Personally: Sex Pistols, Adam & The Ants, David Bowie, Crass, The Mighty Wah!
If you’re looking for a band that FITD as a whole like, it’s hard to look past the Mob.
- The music or the idea behind the bands is most important?
I’d say it depends on the band. Some I like for their ideas and some for their music – and the very best for both. It’s a shame that you don’t seem to get bands with original ideas anymore – or many artists of any media really.
So for me, the ideas are what gets me excited, when they are present.
Too much contemporary punk is simply recycling other peoples’ ideas though – that’s a fair enough thing to do, but it doesn’t excite me the way new ideas do. We need to accept that where we are right now as a species and a planet isn’t great – so we need new, different ideas to be embraced if we want to end up somehwere different. The definition of stupidity is to keep doing the same things and expect different results.
- What do you think about todays political atmosphere? Is there any change or is it the same as back in time? Does it make sense to resist?
There are changes every day and always have been, but I suspect that you’re actually asking if there is any improvement or whether things have got worse? In which case, the UK is the only place I can speak about with any authority.
Thinngs feel a lot more controlled these days. There doesn’t seem to be that sense of space that punks were generously bequeathed by the earlier hippies from the 60s and 70s. The arteries have hardened and we are heading for a planetary heart attack.
Does it make sense to resist? That’s not for me to say – that’s up to the individual conscience of the person reading this. I’m not in charge, and nor is any band, you are.
- What do you think about the kids of today? Are they lazy ‘gadget era’ consumers or do they have the exclusive chance of breaking the system through her best defenses?
I don’t believe anyone is naturally lazy, much as I don’t believe anyone is irredemmably bad. I think that once you give people a chance to fulfill their potential, they tend to jump at it. What’s usually missinng is the opportunity and the sense of hope.
I think young people today are finding it harder to establish any identity beyond an online one. But I have faith that the human spirit will prevail – you have to have that faith, don’t you?
- What do you think about the scene today – do you have any favorite new bands?
Faeground Accidents are great. Mutton, who supported us at out last London gig are worth looking out for. Peel are a new UK band doing new things.
- Do you know anything about Bulgaria? If you have a chance would you come for a gig here?
I’m afraid I don’t know a great deal about Bulgaria if I’m honest, but I’d love to know more! We would love to come and play in Bulgaria though if that’s possible. Experience is the greatest teacher.
- Last words for our readers and your fans here.
We would love to hear from you. The chance to connect is is the greatest gift of all.
Announcing the new line-up, presently scheduled to debut on October 25th at the Green Door Store, Brighton with The Mob!
The long lost FITD album is finally available on limited edition vinyl, with silk-screened sleeve & booklet:
Is It Real
Lick My Crazy Colours
Why Does It Hurt ?
The Mob / Flowers in the Dustbin – Green Door Store Brighton, October 25th 2014
Tickets £7 here:
A new FITD song featuring:
Gerard Evans – vocals, guitar & programming
Sue Buckler – vocals and violin
Jez Cunningham – bass
The video features the above 3 in the first half and then the second half features archive footage from a mid-eighties FITD in and around the Mr Clean studios in Bermondsey, South-East London. This was shot by Tim Soar and also features many close friends of the band, including ex-drummer Joanne Karczewski and future guitarist Antje Klaehn
Allan has kindly made a great video for Abnormal: