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Interview

 

Spizz
22/07/2001


Please give a brief history of the band, including current line up.

Spizz came to prominence in 1978 supporting Siouxsie & the Banshees as half of the punk skiffle duo SPIZZOIL. Following an invitation to session on the John Peel show (the first of four), Rough Trade Records released two EP¹s. Despite their success Spizz and his side-kick Pete Petrol parted company only to be reunited for a SPIZZENERGI UK tour in April Œ79. At the start of the year Spizz was introduced to Ha-Ha Germs bassist Jim Solar and pianist Mark Coalfield. With no permanent drummer they toured the UK as part of a Rough Trade package tour with The Raincoats and Swiss group Kleenex. The band replacing Cabaret Voltaire who had pulled out. Their first single Soldier, Soldier (Spizz¹s third) was awarded N.M.E. Single of the Week. Later that year came the big one Where¹s Captain Kirk? Coincidentally released at the same time as the first Star Trek movie. It topped the newly formed Indie chart and stayed there for eight consecutive weeks, it also
remained in that chart for the whole of 1980. Not to be out done by NME - Melody Maker¹s Chris Bohn also gave ŒKirk¹ Single of the Week status. Following a European tour and a third John Peel session, the band with a new drummer changed their name to ATHLETICO SPIZZ 80 and were becoming known as the band that changed their name every year. Fifth single ŒNo Room¹ was an
instant Indie chart topper and subsequently A&M signed them, releasing their first LP - ŒDo A Runner¹. It was a top ten hit in the ³proper² charts and ALL their releases re-entered the indie chart making them the biggest new band - this was reflected in various reader polls at the time. After a
meteoric rise comes the inevitable fall. However Spizz continued his metamorphosis and in Œ82 the band split.

Spizz went solo as SPIZZORWELL in 1983 (a year ahead of other 1984 Orwellian projects!), then later with six all female backing singers as he performed his bleak futuristic dark cabaret The Last Future Show in 1984. During those years Spizz also made numerous appearances on European pop TV shows as a guitarist for Heaven 17. Always prepared to diversify Spizz made forays into the world of broadcasting making pop-news programmes for TV with Claire King (Emmerdale¹s Kim Tate) and ILR Radio shows co hosting ŒRocks Off UK¹ with Angie Bowie. In 1986 saw a return to form as the wildly provocative SPIZZSEXUAL. Musically raw and with its exotic dancers the band rebuilt some of its following which also saw guest appearances of Jim Solar and Pete Petrol. A new dance version of Where¹s Captain Kirk? in ¹87 entered the Indie chart and topped the fashionable VIZ chart. Another 12² only single Love Me Like A Rocket followed under the name SPIZZORBIT and Spizz took the unusual step of going on an ITV game show ŒChain Letters¹ as a contestant to promote the record. With the birth of Spizz¹s daughter Molly in 1991 all went quiet, Spizz devoting his time to looking after her as a house husband (like John Lennon without the fortune).

One interesting event was in 1992 when R.E.M. recorded Where¹s Captain Kirk? Although never released it was produced for their fan club membership as a Christmas gift, which was nice.
The Sex Pistols reunion stimulated interest in Spizz¹s recordings and this lead to Cherry Red Records releasing an extensive compilation in May Œ96 of classic tracks entitled ŒSpizz Not Dead Shock!¹ which is to be re-issued in October.

Spizz¹s latest CD also available from October - but only by ordering via the website is entitled ŒThe Custard Channel¹ and includes two cover versions, the Kraftwerk hit The Model, produced by his old friend Martyn Ware (Heaven 17 & Human League) and John Lennon¹s Happy Xmas (War Is Over). Also included is Spizz¹s World Cup song E For England which was voted 5th best by MOTD Magazine and a Villa song The Sun Never Sets On Aston Villa
which was shortlisted by the AVFC in their search for a ŒSong for Villa¹.

Spizz - Vocals
Jeff Walker - Drums (since 1996)
Matt Broughton - Bass (since 1991)
Simon Kinder - Guitar(since 1991)


Discography.

See above for highlights or visit www.pncl.co.uk/~skuds/spizz


What is the best gig Spizzenergi (or any of the many re-incarnations) have ever done and who else was on the line-up?

Roundhouse 1978 Spizzoil supporting the Banshees - Rave reviews in all music papers.
Deeply Vale 1979 Free festival - 6000 people fabulous M.Maker "...thank Hari Krishna for SpizzEnergi!"
The Venue 1981 a homecoming atmosphere
The 100 Club Keep music on/Save GLR gig. Only Strummer/Bez out performed SpizzEnergi in a 10 act event.

What question would you like to be asked in interviews, but you are never asked?

Can we pay you for your time?

And what is your answer?



Yes

Why did you choose the name Spizzenergi?

I thought - Oil produces energy - and it sounded great.


What is the favourite song (and what band is it by) of each member of the band?

I don't know, I don't care and I doesn't matter - Is this for Smash Hits?


Do you still go and see other punk bands when they play in your area?

Not especially... see below.


What was the last band you saw and were they any good?

Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros. 75% Clash, dripping with authenticity - I got given the ticket by a bloke who was trying to sell his spare to the touts but they were so hostile to him he gave it to me. I was actually handing out flyers for my gig a few weeks later. What luck!

What is the best sentence you have ever heard, that someone has managed to get into a song's lyrics?

Holiday, Celebrate - Madonna


Plans, gigs and releases planned for 2001.

1 - Punk Aid
2 - Cherry Red New CD launch gig both at the 100 Club

Any final comments?

It's very sad that something as radical and refreshing as punk has gone very stale, stereotyped, predictable and has not lived up to its promise. Now stylists do a punk styled video for an Mel C (Council-Dyke Spice) or a set and costume change for part of Madonna's show. Cheer Up - Its all crap, we've nothing to loose (but our spikey hair and zip-jackets)
Re-invent & Destroy the Punk stereotypes
I'm Revolting! Ha Ha
We are the Da-leks
Spizz


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Please note that the opinions expressed by band members does not necessarily reflect the views of this website. Punk & Oi in the UK Limited are in no way liable for comments made by interviewees.