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Lime Spiders by Steve Gardner

Noise For Heroes #16 in the spring of 1989 - Updated for Divine Rites.

"This one originally was just an interview, and I added some bits from a live review and also wrote a history piece that goes up to the time when the interview was done, which was just when the lp "Volatile" came out."

Many thanks to Steve Gardner who wrote and sent the article.

I had hoped I was going to have this article in the last Noise For Heroes...the folks at Caroline had promised to set up a phone call to the band in Australia, but it never came off, which didn't surprise me...after all, who'd want to pay for an overseas call for a band that's getting as big as the Lime Spiders for a small time magazine like NFH?

But now I am surprised, because when Caroline got #15 and didn't see a Lime Spiders article, they got right back to me to find out what was going on, and in two days I found myself hustling home from work early to call collect to Richard Lawson, the drummer for the band, just as he was waking up after a late night in Melbourne, where the band is currently playing as part of a tour of the homeland.

I'd seen the Lime Spiders at a show in San Juan Capistrano, an upper class beach town that's 60 miles north of San Diego in October of 1987 when they were supporting their lp, The Cave Comes Alive. It was a weird show...the Spiders venture into the very heart of yuppie-dom on earth billed as the opening act for the Silencers, that watered-down times 25 version of U2 formed from the remnants of the fairly watery-to-begin-with band Fingerprintz. When I arrived, the Silencers were already playing, and they were as awful as I might have anticipated, knowing their background. And then I went into the head between sets and all these clean scrubbed Laguna Beach types are going "God they were so great! I can't believe what a great show they put on!" My reaction was, please Gorby, push the button now! I don't mind dying if it sets the world free of people like these.

Anyway, the Limies came on and in about three songs they just about emptied the club. Sign of a great band, that, regardless of what they sound like. Me and my friends loved it...from the opening "Out Of Control" through just about the whole of their lp the Lime Spiders were a powerhouse. Drums, bass and guitar couldn't have been better as all three were just amazing. Mick Blood's vocals aren't as strong live as on the record...he tends to pour on the gravel right through everything instead of backing off and saving the really raw voice for emphasis on the key parts, but beyond this I had no complaints. The highlights were "Just One Solution", "NSU", "Ignormy" and "Theory of Thira" from my viewpoint, but I'm biased towards the ones with the cool drum parts, and all of us there thought it was all great. To top it off they gave out a free green vinyl single with 4 live tracks on it.

Anyway, to set the stage, a little history is in order. The central figure of the Lime Spiders is lead vocalist Mick Blood. Blood formed the band with Darryl Mather in the western suburbs of Sydney. The band's name comes from a tropical drink that can be had at bars down under. Mather later made his name as a power pop maven working with ex-Stems frontman Dom Mariani in the Someloves, but early on he and Mick were heavily into 60s punk bands...all that Pebbles stuff, the Sonics, the Chocolate Watchband, and bands like that. Locally they were big fans of the Lonely Hearts, who were a more poppy band from the early 80s in Sydney and had two singles on Waterfront. Blood had seen Radio Birdman a couple times, but he was much more impressed by the band Rob Younger fronted after Radio Birdman...the Other Side. Blood felt these guys were the wildest band he'd ever seen in Australia.

The first Lime Spiders gig was in 1979 (Mick played guitar!), but it was two more years before they would play another, and by this time the line-up had changed substantially. Especially key to the reborn band was guitar player Richard Jakimyszyn, a man whose name appears on credits of all kinds of mid-80s Oz records by bands like the Celibate Rifles, Hitmen and New Christs. The Lime Spiders soon began to make an impression in the center city with their wild covers of classic 60s punk hits in openers for the Sunnyboys, Hoodoo Gurus and Scientists. They split up again in early 1982, but later that year, Darryl suggested they get back together to try to record a single. There was a "battle of the bands" competition at the Sydney Trade Union club with the winner getting money to record a single, and Darryl suggested they go for it. The competition lasted for 3 weeks and included 64 bands...the Lime Spiders got into the competition only at the last minute, and in the end they won the prize, knocking out a band called the Most for the honor in the final round.

The result of the single session was the classic double 45 they released in 1983 on Green Records, a substantial Aussie independent of the early 80s. The package includes 4 tracks: "25th Hour" by Mather, "Can't Wait Long" by Jakimyszyn, "1-2-5" by 60s punk band The Haunted, and another nugget called "That's How It Will Be". The band approached Rob Younger to produce, and Alan Thorne engineered. The result is the rawest and most obviously 60s influenced record the Lime Spiders have done, and one that many people regard as their best. An interesting and little known fact is that ex-Radio Birdman Warwick Gilbert sat in on bass for these sessions because the band's actual bass player, Dave Guest, didn't feel confident enough in his playing and suggested that they find someone more capable to record with. The keyboards on the record were also a guest appearance, by Bruce Tatham, who later played with Decline Of The Reptiles and also can be heard on the first Celibate Rifles album.

After the single, the band fell apart again in what was to become a commonplace situation...Jakimyszyn couldn't seem to make up his mind whether to commit to the band or not and repeatedly would step out, only to join up again a few months later. When he came back in June of 1983, the band had to be reconstructed, and this time it was with drummer Richard Lawson and bassist Tony Bambach, who passed a tryout by playing the Dead Boys "Ain't Nothin' To Do". In one of those weird quirks of the music business, Bambach and Lawson had both played with the Most, the band that the Spiders had cashiered in the battle of the bands in 1982. Bambach was selected over Colin Barwick, who had played in Brisbane band The End and later played with Died Pretty.

After 6 months of gigging the band took another break and Jakimyszyn went to play for a while with the Celibate Rifles. He returned in March as the Lime Spiders went to the studio to record their second single, "Slave Girl" with "Beyond The Fringe". The eighth single released by Citadel Records, "Slave Girl" was the number one indie single in Australia for 1984 with over 5,000 copies sold...a staggering quantity for a country with such a small population. The single A side features a simple, brutal riff played over and over until the listener is completely overpowered, and with Mick's throat-demolishing vocal on top of it, the result is about as barbaric as anyone could ask for. The flip is more uptempo and also excellent, though certainly not the signature piece that "Slave Girl" is.

After the single came out, the band added guitarist Gerard Corbin, also formerly of the Most. The addition of Corbin to complement Jakimyszyn gave the Lime Spiders one of the toughest twin guitar sounds since Radio Birdman, and their popularity rose dramatically on the strength of the band's improved playing and the notoriety provided by "Slave Girl". This in turn led to the overseas release of a 12" mini-lp that compiled all 6 of their recorded songs under the "Slave Girl" title. This release seemed to break open the floodgates of international underground acceptance, and articles about the band began to appear in hip fanzines worldwide. The Lime Spiders were becoming a big name in indie circles.

In January of 1985, Jakimyszyn left once again to do a tour with the Hitmen, and this time the band decided to plug on without him. As a four piece they recorded the single "Out Of Control" with "Save My Soul" on the flip, and again it was released on Citadel. The band switched back to the Younger/Thorne production/engineering team for this single, and the result is the hardest and nastiest sounding song they ever recorded. "Out Of Control" drops the 60s punk feel and goes right for the throat with a production that sounds closer to New Christs - like Detroit metal than anything else. Fans of the band who were attracted by the garage style of the first two singles were put off by the change, and there were a number of so-so reviews, but for this writer's tastes the resulting single is the masterpiece of the Lime Spider's collection and one of the 10 best singles ever released in Australia.

The Lime Spiders had a couple months of gigs as a four piece and then Mick decided to take some time off and go traveling to Europe. He had tickets all booked and was just about to leave when the band got an offer to do a single for the movie "Young Einstein". The movie's producers wanted "Slave Girl", but the song's rights were already assigned internationally and there was no way to undo the deals. So the producers asked if the band could come up with a song that matched the feel of "Slave Girl". The result was "Weirdo Libido", which didn't come out until early 1987 as Blood went off on his vacation anyway. The movie was held up for even longer, so their lateness didn't much matter, and when the movie did come out, it stiffed rather badly (albeit deservedly). As for the song, it was the first Lime Spiders single not to attain a new height...as a copy of the feel of an earlier song, it's hard to see how it could have much chance of artistic success, and it rates at best pretty good. This single came out on Virgin as the band were now signed to a major label, which provided them funds for overseas touring and much more recording.

While on his vacation, Blood toured around the UK and Europe and spent lots of time going to gigs, doing fanzine reviews and guest singing with Swedish band the Pushtwangers (for a single release) and with a Greek group called the Last Drive. His time in Europe seemed to provide the band with a promotional boost even though the group was inactive, and when he returned to Australia expectations for the Lime Spiders were at their highest ever. The band then returned to the studio for their first full length lp, The Cave Comes Alive! which was released in late 1987. The album was another jolt to people who loved the group for their garage sound. It's a great record, but it's not a great garage record...the band heads into a pop/rock sort of vein with Mick's vocal mellowing out quite a bit. Clearly the wholesale change of the instrumental backing since the first single made for a major upheaval in the direction of things. But for those who listen without preconceptions, the whole of side one of the lp is just outstanding as it moves from one potential hit to another. The second side isn't as strong, but overall it's a hell of a fine record.

This brings us pretty much up to date; their batch of great singles are getting hard to find but can be heard on a new compilation lp called Headcleaner that has all of those great early tracks and loads of b-sides and other non-lp stuff. And it isn't a bunch of naff leftovers...some of their best tracks are on this record, so if you haven't heard 'em, go for it!

The lineup now consists of singer Mick Blood, drummer/backup singer Richard Lawson, Gerard Corben and Mark Wilkinson on guitar, and Phil Hall on bass. Blood has been the one constant in the band, although Lawson and Corben have now both been in the Lime Spiders long enough to claim tenure. Wilkinson and Hall are new, and Tony Bambach, who'd played bass for several years, is no longer with the band.

After some preliminary remarks about who's paying for the call and who the hell I am and all that, Richard Lawson and I got down to talking about the band:

NFH: So you're in the middle of touring in Melbourne now?

Richard: Yeah, that's right, all the unies and colleges.
NFH: Tell me about the tour some...I haven't heard anything about the band since you were in the US about a year ago.
Richard: We got back and recorded Volatile last year, and then we started touring for that. We couldn't get back to America because of the change of record companies and we went to Europe instead. So when we got back from Europe, we took some time off because we lost our bass player and rhythm guitarist. And now we're just starting up again. Basically we've been playing since December. We've been writing songs for the next album, actually; we've got about 20 new songs.
NFH: What was the story with Mike Couvret joining and leaving? That seemed to be a real quick thing...seemed like he was in one minute and out the next.
Richard: Yeah, he was astrologically unsound.
NFH: I guess I can understand that. So you're back to one guitar now?
Richard: No, we've got two guitars. We've got Mark Wilkinson from a Brisbane group called the Girlies, and Phil Hall from an Australian band called the Drop Bears.
NFH: How did you meet up with them?
Richard: We knew the Girlies from Brisbane...we'd seen them up there. Mick basically was on holiday up in Brisbane and he went and saw the Girlies a few times and managed to speak to him, and he jumped at the chance. And Phil we'd tried out on guitar when we were trying out for guitarists when we got Michael Couvret, but he's a better bass player than he is a guitarist.
NFH: What was the story behind the record company switch in the US?
Richard: I think Virgin were just going through a bit of funk and stuff like that in America; they're too excited with their Stevie Winwood and Kool and the Gang and all that.
NFH: But isn't there an arrangement where Virgin records are sold through Caroline?
Richard: Yeah, but Caroline is just an independent branch of Virgin. We're trying to get signed up to some other company actually, but they wouldn't really have us because of the situation with Virgin in Australia because Virgin in Australia own our rights. So at the end of this album we should be able to sign up with maybe somebody bigger, hopefully.
NFH: Does it kind of hurt you with Caroline since they're pretty small?
Richard: No, not really. They seem to be doing a good job over there. We'll be coming over hopefully in April and so we might be able to get a better deal happening around that time. We did have Enigma and people like that interested, but they didn't want to go into it because someone in Australia already owned our rights.
NFH: Caroline seems to have done all right...I've seen the video from the new lp on MTV, and I didn't see any of the others from before Volatile.
Richard: There are two..."Just One Solution" was on MTV a bit when we were over there. And we did one interview with the Cutting Edge, and also some stuff on "120 Minutes".
NFH: Rob Younger said he was really disappointed that the Lime Spiders early singles couldn't be used for Citadel's Take Everything, Leave Nothing compilation. How come that turned out that way?
Richard: That's because we'd signed our back catalogue to Virgin at that time, and they wanted to put it out, all our early stuff. They've got the rights to that in Australia, so it never saw the light of day with Citadel, but it's all on an album in Australia which is called Headcleaner. It came out as a cassette last year, and it's just come out as an album. Hopefully we'll be able to line up releases for that so they see the light of day fairly soon in America. But it wasn't on Citadel because we'd been offered a fair bit of money from Virgin.
NFH: Where'd the idea for the Headcleaner cassette package come from? (It's a strange, pop-open case that takes a degree in mechanical engineering to get the cassette out of.)
Richard: It just came up in a meeting with Virgin, just sort of off the top of our heads...the first idea that came into people's heads. It's a Hong Kong invention...one of those record company things.
NFH: The Lime Spiders seem to pay pretty close attention to music around that world. So where are things most happening in your opinion? What bands do you like?
Richard: Well, having been overseas, we've got a good idea what's actually happening. In England we really like the Godfathers, and there wasn't really much else there. There's a few bands, but they all seem more involved with their image than their music. Then in America we're REM and Smithereens fans. Then there's all the bands we've always stated that we liked in interviews, our influences and stuff. And also we just had Iggy out in Australia, which was fantastic...we supported him when he was over here, and we've all got right into the Instinct album at the moment. And we're all into heaps of different stuff ourselves. I'd be going on forever if I was to tell you about who we're really into. But those bands that I mentioned before are what I'm really into as far as live goes.
NFH: Are you into many of the Swedish rock bands? We've seen the single with the Pushtwangers and Mick...
Richard: Yeah, Pushtwangers. We actually linked up with them while we were in Sweden and took the guitarist around with us to Bergen and stuff like that. And there's a few other bands in Sweden which I can't remember the name of.
NFH: It seems like a few years ago much of the independent Aussie scene was more conventional rock and roll, like the Spiders, Celibate Rifles or New Christs, but there's more variety now. What do you think about the evolution of noise bands like Lubricated Goat, King Snake Roost or Thug?
Richard: Well, that's in the thrash sort of scene, that sort of started with the Scientists and the Birthday Party in Australia. A sort of dirgy sort of thing, like going to hell and all that. We don't really pay much attention to that because it's not really uplifting at all; it just sort of breaks down everything. We like the spirit of it, but we don't get off on the music very much. The image and the attitude is great. Lubricated Goat recently played a TV show in Sydney, and they appeared naked on it. And they got on the front page of the papers.
NFH: Like "The Filth And The Fury" with the Sex Pistols...
Richard: Yeah, it certainly had the same sort of effect.
NFH: Do you think the Australian scene is pretty healthy right now, or do you think it's dying down?
Richard: I think it's starting to die down a bit actually. I think we just had a few good years, from 1980 to 1987 or 88 or whatever. But the scene is dying down a bit because there are not enough venues to play anymore. Bands in Australia tend to go around in circles; they can't get out of Australia so they end up breaking up a bit. But the bigger bands like us and other bands that can get overseas, they're the ones that are going to survive. But there's just a downturn in the industry, really.
NFH: Damien Lovelock said in B-Side that he feels that the Celibate Rifles weren't even big enough to break out and tour Australia, and he made it sound like the Lime Spiders were the only band in the last several years that wasn't blatantly commercial who had made it to that level.
Richard: Yeah, we've always had a fairly strong work attitude in our band. We've always wanted to try to do the best we could and get overseas and being signed to a major record company was the biggest help we could get, whereas the Celibates aren't actually signed to a major company. We were able to get things like tour support and help to get overseas both times, and other bands who aren't signed to majors just can't. The Celibates have a fairly relaxed attitude to what they do, and it's not really the sort of thing that we do; we tend to take our music and our career in music fairly seriously. Those guys have all got jobs, whereas we sort of do it day to day. It's our career; it's what we make our money out of. If you're making the money out of it then you really have to start getting into it.
NFH: But there's kind of a hump you have to get over before you can really say "I can afford to spend all my time on the band and not work". And it seems like crossing that threshold is really hard.
Richard: Well, we've certainly crossed it. There's only been two periods in the last two years, for about two months each, where we haven't been able to pay ourselves, and that's because we've been off the road. You have to go out on the road and slog it out to keep going. And as I said, that barrier is the major record company.
NFH: Do you compare your progress to some of the other bands around, like the Tribesmen, or Died Pretty?
Richard: Oh, yeah, definitely. Bands are always comparing themselves to each other. The Screaming Tribesmen are really hard workers. They were just over in America and they're not even signed to a major record company. They got some money probably out of Rykodisc to help them on their tour. But they've got a good attitude to how they work. They're good players.
NFH: So what about the material for the new record?
Richard: Yeah, we've just been in rehearsal studios, and we've come up with about 20 new songs, and we're hopefully going to go and demo them next week. When we come over to America in April, hopefully we'll be going to speak to a few record companies about it in New York?
NFH: How do you decide which songs out of the 20 will make it on the album?
Richard: We've got no idea, really. There's a few songs that are really strong, but there's no real idea yet as to what form the album will take, although there's a few full on songs that are ready. Like there's three that would easily be as full on as Volatile, "Can't Hear You Anymore" or "The Captor". It's still going to be basically the same sort of mix as Volatile but probably a bit more cohesive a la The Cave Comes Alive; more of a theme to it. And the songs are a bit stronger I think, as well. (There's a lot of racket in the background as others start to get up...) We had a rather big night last night. We were at a pizza bar till about 4:00 in the morning.
NFH: I liked your tour diary in the Bob...it seemed pretty honest.
Richard: Yeah, I tend to probably get a bit too honest. I hope I didn't offend too many people. I think I offended some of our groupies in Los Angeles; they wrote some letters to some of the other guys in the band and said "Who IS this guy? I've never been so insulted in my life."
NFH: I'm always interested to hear the viewpoint of travelers from outside the US who come here, because people here are so wrapped up in themselves and they don't pay much attention to either the outside world or what the outside world thinks of them.
Richard: I did notice that in America, but having been in America and worked around there, and then comparing it with Europe...Europe's so fragmented in that there's like 50 million people in each country, but in America there's like 300 million and they're all united in their vision, so it tends to have a bit more of an effect on you when you're going through the country. When you go through Europe, there's so many different cultures. It really had quite a big effect on me.

The party's waking up around me, and everyone is still pissed. We went drinking last night with the guitarist in the New Christs. He's playing in a band down in Melbourne at the moment which is called Catfish. I don't know if you've ever heard of Cold Chisel, quite a big Australian band, and their keyboard player and songwriter is in this band. So we were raving on with him about various things in New Christs and Cold Chisel and what not.

NFH: Have New Christs put their album out yet?
Richard: No they've just recorded it. He was telling us they've got 9 songs, and they went a bit longer than they expected, because they started to jam out a fair bit on the album. It sounds like it should be a good album. Rob's producing it at the moment, just doing the mixing and stuff like that in the studio. They spent a lot of time on their last two singles, and they both sounded really good, so I think this album should be quite good.
NFH: How did you ever manage to get paired with the Silencers when you played here?
Richard: We were wondering about that too. That was just a marriage of convenience, you know. They had two bands which they had to get some work for and they just put them together. The Silencers weren't on Virgin; they just happened to be in California at the same time as we were. It didn't really work that well. I think it affected them more than it affected us. When we get put with a soft band then we tend to show them up a bit. Like last night we played with Ed Kuepper and the Yard Goes On Forever, and they played before us, and the crowd was sort of standing and nodding off; falling asleep. And then we came on and they just went berserk. We've quite a big gig that we're doing tonight at one of the unies down in Melbourne with us and Ed Kuepper and the Ups and Downs and James Griffin, which should be quite good.
NFH: How many shows do you play in an area like Melbourne when you do a tour?
Richard: Usually five in a week. We came into Melbourne over Christmas, and we're into February now. You can go around to all the major cities in Australia probably about three, maybe four times a year, and that's about all, so you're only touring for about a month or a month and a half at any stretch, unless you go overseas, which is what I was coming back to before about bands just going round and round in circles in Australia. Unless they have some mainstream success, then there's really not much reason to go on with it.
NFH: Do you feel like people overseas are paying a lot more attention to Australian bands now?
Richard: Yeah, definitely. There's been sort of a succession now, with Little River Band, they were an early one, but we won't compare them with us. And then later we've had AC/DC and now last year at one stage there was seven Australian bands that had singles on the Billboard top 100. I think it's a matter that Australian bands now are being recognized as world class.
NFH: Well I was thinking more in terms of the independents, like the bands on Waterfront, Aberrant, Citadel and Greasy Pop...
Richard: Well, it's our attitude to rock over here...there's more passion and more commitment. We have things hard here, so you tend to have to work harder to get above the heap. And also just the fact that we're influenced by England and American music, so we've got this sort of English style of the sixties and the beat groups, that are quite a big influence in Australia, like the Who and the Yardbirds and the Pretty Things. And then there's quite a big American influence as far as the psychedelic punk bands went, and also the heavy metal bands of both England and America. So it's sort of like a melting pot. And I think that's why we tend to come out a bit ahead, because we're so insulated and we tend to develop on our own, but with help from listening to all these American and English records. So now we're giving our own back to America! Our own sort of interpretation of what American bands have been influencing. Like the influence that Iggy and the Stooges and the MC5 in Sydney alone has had is just...unless you've lived here you wouldn't have seen it, but it's been over ten years and people still walk around in Stooges, Radio Birdman and MC5 T-shirts. They've had such a big influence on music in Sydney.
NFH: I've never been anywhere that had as many clubs and bands as I saw in Sydney when I was there...would you say it's the most active place for music you've ever been?
Richard: Yeah, that'd be about right, I think. Even in Los Angeles there's only about 3 clubs where you could go to see bands, whereas in Sydney on any given night there's about ten little pubs where a good band will be playing, and then there's three bigger clubs where the bigger, better bands will be playing. So there's definitely a lot of scope in Sydney and quite a healthy scene. While as I said it's just starting to die down a little bit now, we've always had a big influx from Adelaide and Brisbane as far as good bands go. Like there's a Brisbane guy in our band now, and another band will have people from Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth in it.
NFH: Sydney seems like the big magnet for all the bands...everybody wants to get to play Sydney...
Richard: Yeah, it's the big apple as far as Australia goes. Like we're down in Melbourne now, and Melbourne's almost as big as Sydney, but Melbourne is in its own little world as far as rock goes. They tend to look up to Sydney in terms of rock; it's more of a dance/funk sort of scene down here.
NFH: I was interested in the version of "Sparks" you did on the flip of "Jessica"...
Richard: Well we did a session of old covers; old Who songs and things like that...the Blue Cheer version of "Summertime Blues" and a few Velvet Underground songs and a few Motorhead songs. And "Sparks" was just something that we wanted to do all the time. It took us a long time to get together because there's so much guitar and drum interplay...we only finally started to get it together around the time of that recording actually, which was just before we headed over to America on our first tour. So it ended coming into the Spiders set just as a bit of an encore. It's the only instrumental we've ever done, which is quite interesting.
NFH: Is that the sort of stuff you played in Adolphus? (Adolphus is the band that had Richard, Gerard Corben and Tony Bambach in it while Mick Blood was traveling in Europe.)
Richard: We played heavy metal, some Velvet Underground, and that's where we got the idea to do "I Heard You Call My Name" which is on the b-side of "My Favourite Room", and some Motorhead songs; sort of more heavy metal-lish basically than the Spiders, less of a psychedelic tinge to it than the Spiders have. Just a bit more full on really. That's when I was doing the vocals, so it was quite funny. My voice would be breaking and things like that, so we'd end up just jamming out. A lot of people compared us to the Cream actually, when we were doing that sort of stuff.
NFH: There was just three of you in that band?
Richard: Yeah, just three of us. It was great fun because we could just concentrate on the music and have a good time. And we could just play what we wanted.
NFH: "Sparks" is just one of the all time great drum work-out songs, I think. Keith Moon has so many good drum bits to learn from.
Richard: Oh, yeah. I'm totally wrecked after doing that song. A certain drummer in Australia that's influenced me; Rob Hirst from Midnight Oil. Their early albums you should try to get a hold of. Their first and second albums are simply titled Midnight Oil and Head Injuries, and the drumming on those albums is just unbelievable. I've spoken to him, and he's just a Keith Moon freak, and so am I...Keith Moon and John Bonham. You get the madness of Keith Moon and just the hard hitting precision of John Bonham.
NFH: I thought Hirst was a lot of fun to watch when I saw Midnight Oil here...
Richard: He was even better ten years ago. You can't imagine...he was just manic then. But I'm a little bit more interested in song writing at the moment. I managed to get a song or two on the last album, and I've got about three or four songs contributed towards these demos. That's what my main goal is, to end up being a songwriter, basically. There's just not much scope after a while for a drummer. And I do the main backup vocals, which I've always done with this band.
NFH: Is that hard for you to do while you're playing?
Richard: Oh, no, not really, it comes naturally for me. I've always enjoyed singing, and it was just natural for me. It's just the breathing I think, having lots of breath. I've always been full of hot wind, so it doesn't matter.
NFH: So what solid plans are there?
Richard: Well, we've started to get a tour together for April/May starting off on the west coast in San Francisco and Los Angeles, so hopefully that should be able to come off (as it turns out, it got to the point of shows being advertised, but the tour was canceled - Steve). But as I've said, we're in between record companies at the moment, so it's hard to get tour support. We're going to be searching for a deal in America. We're recording our demos now, and it depends on what happens over the next few months as to what record company we'll go to, and then we'll record the album in the winter, our winter, like June/July, hopefully with an American producer. We're chucking around a few American names at the moment like Bill Laswell, who did Instinct and PIL the album, and Ed Stasium...I think you know what Ed Stasium has done, and Vic Maile, who did the Godfathers in England, we're trying to get on to some of those guys. And we've even tried to speak to Iggy Pop and see whether he wanted to produce us. That would be quite interesting.
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