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Punk & Oi In The UK - www.punkoiuk.co.uk: Devilish Presley Interview
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Devilish Presley Interview

05/08/2007

How did the band members all meet? At one point did you decide to form a band and how long did it take to your first gig?

JN: We met in AA actually, so we had a shared interest in trying to find bars to play that offered a discount for alcoholics.This is why we play the Underworld in Camden quite a bit.

Truthfully our first gig was at The Spitz in the east-end which we promoted ourselves, We did a lot of those self promoted shows to start with and still do,
which makes us pretty DIY punk in spirit I reckon. Doors were closed to us so we made our own doors.

You have gigged with some major bands and always seem to have loads of gigs on. How do these gigs come about and is there one person in the band who does most of the arranging? Is there any band you would be partially happy to tour with?

JV: We have a lot of agents who help us to get gigs, it is all about contacts in this business and we got to know all the right people by hanging around seedy bars and strip clubs for a few months with a camera-phone...we have the dirt on all the big promoters. We have been really lucky, as you say, to play with some great people like The Meteors & The Damned plus loads more. I still want to play with Deadolt more than any other band. In reality we get a lot of gigs because we work hard.

Tell us some of the weird and wonderful things that have happened when on the road?

JV: Johnny suffers from narcolepsy so we often have embarrassing moments when he nods out in the little chef face first into his breakfast.

In Poland we got taken to the house of a witch who gave us some spells and a "gig-mojo" for fucking wth other bands. On the last tour in Germany we were so drunk we tried to go swimming in the river Elbe at midnight and it was minus 12 or something. We have drunk absinthe through our eyes in Slovakia, we had our own butler on tour with us for 6 months after we won him at poker, we slept in a funeral house in Strasbourg complete with coffins & a mortuary table which we ate dinner off of. We do get weird people following us 'cos we are a weird band I guess. One guy texts me everyday to tell me his exact whereabouts, and Johnny gets given weird stuff like home made soap for washing away his sins!! We also had a pvc clad nun on stage with us a few times whipping us after we stole her from The Damned.Her cry of BOHICA followed us around the UK (Bend Over Here It Comes Again)

Do band members have time to work as well as tour? If so what do you all do?

JN: None of us work we are landed gentry.

Why do you think there are more Psychobilly and rockabilly influenced punk bands around at the moment? Do you think it is a passing phase or something that is here to stay and grow? What other bands would you recommend checking out?

JV:The Psychobilly scene is very strong and has been so on the underground for years..I don't think punk & roll is a passing phase, and I hope it isn't because any hybrid is a good idea, after all rock n roll was a hybrid and so were punk & psychobilly at the beginning. It is narrow mindedness that destroys creativity and narrow mindedness is a constant annoyance to us, 'cos we use the drum machine. To be honestI tend not to recommend other bands 'cos I will upset the people I dont mention.

How was last years' album Memphisto received? What is your favourite track on it?

JN: We got great reviews, (kkkk) in Kerrang 8/10's in Terroriser and Metal Hammer which is amazing for a self released and self funded album, better than a hell of a lot bands with "labels" behind them. "Hammer Horror Glamour" remains my favourite track because it still sounds like a harpoon gun going off...woosh.

Why is horror and the dark side such a major interest in your lyrics? How do you come up with the subjects?
JV: Well we are going even darker now. I guess because we are influenced by punk, psychobilly & glam we have elements of all those styles of music and the psychobilly bands always followed The Meteors lead and sung about horror or serial killers etc. so that might be why, or maybe we are just morbid bastards. When we are writing Johnny and I are locked in a sound-proof room with copious amounts of booze and cigarettes...after that we come out and rip off everyone elses ideas .....the same as everyone else does..

30 years of punk - something to celebrate or embarrassing commercialism? Describe punk at the beginning of the 21st century?

JN: 30 years of punk is certainly worth celebrating and I am glad to have played with The Damned, Jayne County,The Vibrators, 999, Markey Ramone and many others from that time. Punk at the beginning of the 21st century has maybe lost the one vital element it had when people first got together in New York & London in the seventies and that is the "no rules" idea. For Devilish
Presley rules are made for breaking and we will be our own creation, book our own shows and put out our own music, just like those " proper punks".

Plans, gigs and releases planned for 2007.

See the wonderful Punk & Oi gig page or visit www.devilishpresley.com to see our 22 upcoming shows.On September 29th we play Bedlam Breakout at the Soundhaus in Northampton on November 10th we play The Psychobilly Bash in Birmingham and we are supporting The Creepshow from Canada on their UK tour in November. We will be recording our 4th album "The Devil's Bible" in December with P.Paul Fenech of The Meteors producing at his MadDog studio in Germany.

Any final comments?
Punks Not Dead. It's A Zombie!

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.

 

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