Oh Wednesday. That wicked day in the week when you have already begun to tire of the work week and count down to the weekend…yet it still seems so far away. To help you get through, I have decided to throw in a bit of Punk for you. Yeah, Yeah, it is not my usual shoegaze loving self, but those who know me well, know I love me some punk music. So when I received an email from CJ of Faster Than Bulls stating that they were heavily influenced by punk legends such as New York Dolls, Ramones, and MC5 to name a few, I knew I had to have a bit of a quick chat with him.
Faster Than Bulls are a Proto Punk band from the north of England ( I am not sure how far North, I forgot to ask that bit ). Their music might not be classified as ” pure ” punk, it is their attitude that quickly puts them in this classification. Cj told me that the ” punk ethos ” runs through the bands veins, that though their music may not always show it, their live shows and the way they run the band do
“We do what we want, when we want, to whatever crowds we want and we don’t answer to anybody!! We aren’t managed – we aren’t on a label, we do everything ourselves as we believe it’s the best way!!! We also know that this attitude will only get is so far but, do you know what, that’s fine – we are playing great festivals to great people, and if we continue to do this then we’ll be happy – our music evolves with us and so will who/where we play too – Music is life and we love life”
Of course we had to discuss the long ago argument of where did punk rock actually start, here in the US, with the likes of the Ramones etc or there in the UK, with Sex Pistols.
“Now this is an awesome question!! I LOVE punk so much that i’ve looked into the history of where it began (or where people believe it started…) In my absolute humble opinion I believe it was started by in America and the excitement, energy, ”fuck you’ attitude, the anger started as early as the late sixties/early seventies… For me, one of the finest example (and one of the earliest) of a ‘Proto-Punk’ song is the ‘MC5’s single – ‘Kick Out The Jams’… It’s AWESOME doodette!!! It has everything in it that I love and we are going to cover it very soon! (as well as another 1,000 or so bands who have done it before us!! haha) ‘The Stooges’ were right there at the beginning – Iggy being named ‘The Godfather Of Punk’ so Detroit has a lot to answer for!! Then you get NYC at a similar time – ‘New York Dolls’, ‘Ramones’, ‘Velvet Underground’, ‘Blondie’ and well any or most bands who played ‘CBGB’s in the early 70’s… These were massively influential on the UK scene and I know that the ‘Ramones’ did a gig at The Roundhouse in London in 1976 (who were supported by ‘The Stranglers’) and this really kick started the Punk Scene in the UK! Some bands had began before this but weren’t what they became… They sped up, used more distortion so the ‘Ramones’ had a HUGE influence! I also know Malcolm McLaren went to manage ‘New York Dolls’ in 1975 in New York and came back to England and in 1976 he put ‘The Sex Pistols’ together who in a very short time became the face of UK punk! Many bands have come and gone, the scene over here was called ‘Pub Rock’ before it transformed into ‘Punk Rock’ in 1976 but I honestly believe that the ‘Ramones’ really whet the appetite of the kids in London that night in 1976 and it kinda exploded overnight!! You have to remember as well that England was in a really shit place at that time too and needed a release which the bands did with their music! It was a short lived thing too – there were many bands claiming to be punk but after the initial ‘shock’ of the music and the look there wasn’t much more to give – yes they were pissed off but you can only write about ‘Anarchy in the UK’ once i guess!! So, back to your question – for me, it started in the States and the UK used influences for a year or two to make some brilliant music “
He shares much my same opinion, I think the music and the philosophy started here in the US, once the UK got a hold of it, they tied the fashion to it ( if you remember, The Ramones wore jeans and leather jackets ), I also think the UK made it more anger driven than the US.
Enough history lesson for the day….
A few interesting facts I found out about Faster Than Bulls,they have appeared as themselves in two zombie novels called ‘Death In A Northern Town!‘ and also have music in a big international indie zombie movie coming out soon called ‘Apocalypse‘ Many people label them as Zombie Rock for these few things ( that is a new one for me )
Anywhoooo….listen to Soul Survivor and bring some life back into your Wednesday