Action Directe Interview
Introduce the band to people? ie how did you meet,
who is in the band and why formthe band in the first place?
Joel: "We were called Shoot The 18 but no landlord
in Leeds would give us a gig 'cos they were scared of
retribution from the boneheads. So we became Action Directe after the French
terrorists-cum-poets. We adopted
Phil, co-opted John and drafted Spider and here we all are!"
Spider: "I got in contact with the band through a wanted ad in
a record shop. I
never go through them, but somehow I spotted both the Clash and Killing
Joke in the influences and thought it must good stuff these guys are
doing... and I wasn't wrong!"
John: "I met the band by being the sound engineer at a gig of
theirs. I liked
what they were doing so I got the venue promoter to book them a few
gigs and so I got to know them. Last year they needed a guitarist to
fill in and they got in touch with me and asked if I'd do it. Since
I've never looked back".
Phil: "I'm in the band.
I met Joel in a queue in 1996 - it was hard times and the gruel rations
were running low.
I met John when drunk
I met spider while I was asleep"
Describe your sound, and what bands have
Spider: "Recently we've been described as the Clash
of burgeoning industrial
punk in Kaleidoscope magazine, which I think is a brilliant way of putting
it. There are many influences, but I would have to limit it to 5 I would
say the Sex Pistols, the Clash, Killing Joke, Rancid and the Exploited.
As a guitar player my style is pretty similiar to Steve Jones'."
John: "The Clash meet Skinny Puppy with Front 242 watching on....
Phil: "loud, with nasty drums and screeeeetchy feedback and digital
influences for me - Autechre, Mission of Burma, Kid 606, Doc Scott, ATR"
Joel: "Loud, edgy, fast, and smarter than your average bear. The
big bands for me are The Clash,
Killing Joke, New Model Army and Manic Street Preachers, although my
first love is Dub."
Which is most important about the songs, the
sound or the message
Joel: "Some bands have the message but no tunes and
bore the tits off me, whereas some bands sound great
but their message is disgusting. However, we believe that there is a middle
ground between Billy Bragg and Combat 84,
Spider: "Lyrics are really important, but we won't be changing
the world with
just singing, so the music must be really good as well."
John: "I think they're complementary. I see my role as working
on the sound, so
in a sense that's more important to me, but that's only because Joel
already had the message thing down when I joined. If it's not broke don't
it and all that :)"
Phil: "One would be meaningless without the other."
What releases have you had out so far, and
what track are you most proud of and why? How have they been released?
Spider: "The only one of the release I play on is
our new single '60 Million
Guns'. I think I will be most proud of the stuff that we will
eventually get written, recorded and put out on the upcoming album. I feel
excited about re-working some of the old songs for the 'Def Before Dishonour'
John: "Just two singles since I joined, Sixty Million Guns and
England. I'm most proud of England, I think the music and the message
fuse really well on that one. You can listen to it without considering
and its still really powerful."
Phil: "I think that the fact that we have gelled so much as a band
recently bodes well for
the future with our forthcoming remix/reversioned comp
Although I do love a mix of "Nemesis" that is sitting on a
broken harddrive of mine"
Joel: "We've had two albums, 3 EPs and a couple of singles so far;
'60 Million Guns' is the best song we've
written, but my personal favourite is 'Better Dead Than Red'. It sounds
really, really fucking mean and could
have been done by any of my favourite Oi! bands, plus it's about Alan
'Judas' Smith. People thought we were
crazy to do an industrial-punk hooligan anthem, but we pulled it off!"
What are your thoughts to the internet music
Spider: "Internet plays a huge part in music these days. Vital
for smaller bands. I don't know how keen I'm personally on all the mp3
stuff since nothing beats owning the real thing. There is a lot more
feel to it
when you have it on an actual cd or a vinyl.
Personally I've discovered countless bands through Internet and
file-sharing. The idea is the check out new bands via downloads and
then go and buy their record if it sounds like it's worth it."
John: "It's a great tool for lesser known bands, but hype makes
it hard to know
exactly where one stands. I still like to have a piece of plastic in
Phil: "Best thing that has ever happend to music since wax cylinders.
The way people are
combining different musical styles into new ones via the massive availability
if music is
astonishing. Its tape swapping on a global scale. The amount of bands
that are coming out
of the filesharing/CD-r scene at the moment is fantastic"
Joel: "It's great and it's important, but there might just be too
much of it nowadays. Plus you can't
put a webpage in your scrapbook, can you?"
What is the best gig Action Directe
have ever done and who else
was on the line-up?
Joel: "The Bassment, Whitby, InFest and some great
gigs in Reading, Cambridge and Bradford...plus 3 gigs and
counting with the current - and best - line-up of Action Directe."
Spider: "I've only played two gigs with the band so far... but
Punx Olympix (June 9th) in London is going to be a highlight!"
John: "The first one I ever did with the band at the bassment in
Leeds. It was
absolutely packed and I wasn't sure if I was going to play anything
right but it rocked."
Phil: "Playing at the bassment (John's first gig). Stealing all
the riders in Whitby a few years back.
Infest was pretty cool as well."
How did you all get into punk in the first place?
Spider: "Somehow I heard about the Clash and I went
to the local library and
got out a 2 cd punk compilation... 'Anarchy in the UK' by the Pistols
was the first track on it and I was hooked! Ended up looking just like Johnny Rotten for years!"
John: "I'm more industrial influenced. I like the Clash and a lot
influenced stuff. It depends exactly what you mean by Punk - I like the
ethos and a lot of stuff that doesn't "sound punk" probably
is in the
ideological sense. Like Skinny Puppy for example."
Joel: "Got in through the Pistols but the Clash were more important.
Plus there's so
much of it that there's always new bands to get into."
Phil: "Er, listening to music?"
Describe today's scene.
Spider: "The whole idea of being what you want and doing
what you want seem to
have disappeared. The homogenity has taken over. I mean I probably
shouldn't say that since I got a mohican, piercings, tattoos and
black leather jacket, but I still somewhere down the line it changes.
The creative freedom kind of died to a certain degree. I mean
at the bands and people that were involved in the late 70's. It
different thing back then. I think with Action Directe we're kind
going against the grain with not having your usual line-up since
don't have a drummer, but I think it's a brave move, pushing the
boundaries a bit."
John: "There's lots of them....."
Phil: "Which one ;-)
Pretty good. There are loads of DIY gigs/festivals/zines about
and it makes up for a great community."
Joel: "Patchy in the UK - too many old bands plugging old
records, not enough new ideas from the new bands.
In Europe it's a lot healthier - some great bands like the Stage
Bottles, Betontod and Emscherkurve 77, and
the best festivals and labels. If I could become a born-again punk
i'd move to the Ruhr in Germany where all
the best bands are!"
Plans, gigs and releases
planned for 2006.
Spider: "At the moment about half a dozen gigs planned and
more to come! Got
some filming done, so there will be some visual material coming
well along the 'Def Before Dishonour' cd and the yet untitled new
Phil: "Def Before Dishonour remix/reversion comp, some audio/visual
stuff, and some gigs as well.
all one our myspace page: http://www.myspace.com/actiondirecte "
Joel: "New album in September-ish, and plenty more to come
Any final comments?
Spider: - "No"
Joel: "Keep up the good work, Rebecca - and don't let the bastards
grind you down!"
All the best & thanks!
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
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