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Interview

Carpettes
10/02/2002 (interview with  George)



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

Formed in Sunderland early 1977 by 3 school friends, George Maddison(Bass/Vocals), Neil Thompson(guitar/vocals) and Kevin Heard (Drums). Sent first demo tape to upcoming independent label "Small Wonder Records" and by the end of 1977 had our first record released. One more single followed as well as two sessions for the John Peel show on Radio 1 before we moved to Beggars Banquet Records, who released 2 albums and 4 singles before
we parted company towards the end of 1980.

After a long break, during which time Neil`s other band The Only Alternative released an album and a few singles, we got back together for the Holidays in the Sun punk festival in Blackpool 1996. We have played live every year since then. In October 2001, the current line - up George, Neil and new drummer Paul Thompson (yes it`s his brother), undertook a successful tour of Japan and as a result secured a record deal with the Disk Union company in Tokyo. A new single and album are to be released before summer 2002.


Discography.

Singles
1977 - Nothing Ever Changes (Small Wonder Records)
1978 - Small Wonder (Small Wonder Records)
1979- I Don`t Mean It (Beggars Banquet)
Johnny Won`t Hurt You
1980- Nothing Ever Changes
The Last Lone Ranger

Albums
1979- Frustration Paradise ( Beggars Banquet)
1980 - Fight Amongst Yourselves

CD
The Best of The Carpettes (Anagram Records)
The Early Years (Overground Records)
Frustration Paradise/Fight Amongst Yourselves (Double Album) (Captain Oi ! Records)

Compilations
Beggars Banquet - The Punk Singles
Small Wonder - The Punk Singles Vol 1 and 2
Holidays in the Sun (Live)
British Punk Rock - 1977
20 of Another Kind 2

Videos
Live in Morecombe 1997


Describe your sound and the main theme of the lyrics

We have been described in many ways - punk, powerpop, new wave too pop for the punks and too punk for the pop fans - you take your pick.

What is the highlight and what is the lowest point in the bands history?

Highpoints
- receiving the letter from Small Wonder to say that they would pay to release a record by us.
- hearing our first record start off The John Peel Show and be played every night for a week.
- recording 2 sessions for the same program
- securing a contract with a label backed by a major record company with no help from any manager/agent at all
- recording the 2 albums
- touring in Italy, Holland, Germany and Japan.
- having all our songs reissued on CD
- being offered a new record deal in Japan
- loads of our live gigs.
- appearing on the Old Grey Whistle Test

Low Points
- being dropped by Beggars Banquet.
- having all our instruments nicked by a scumbag burglar in Clapton.


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

Impossible to answer - changes constantly. My currentis "Rockaway Beach" by The Ramones but it`ll be different next week. Havent asked the other two. I`ll ask them next week when we rehearse for the new album.


Do you still go and see other punk/oi bands when they play in your area? If so, what was the last band you saw and were they any good?

I don`t ( and you don`t get many playing in my area), but Neil constantly buys and sells records and attends gigs in London.


Describe punk at the beginning of the 21st century.

You probably have a better idea than me. I like fast, punchy exciting songs. I hate all this hard core stuff. So I like stuff like Blink 182 and Greenday, but hate Linkin Park etc. Just as in late 70`s I liked The Undertones, Buzzcocks etc and hated the later bands - Exploited, GBH and the like. A mohican haircut does not a punk make !


Tell the readers five facts about the band / band members they will not know

Our original drummer had a foreskin shaped like a parrots beak !
The guy who wrote lyrics to a couple of our songs on the first album now lives in Azerbyjan!
Our current drummer has had numerous wives.
We were onced offered the chance to record a song written by a member of hippy band The Strawbs called "Nice Legs Shame About The Face". It was crap but later a hit !
I once shook hands with Chuck Berry !



Plans, gigs and releases planned for 2002.

Recording brand new album February 2002 for release in SummerNew single planned for release late spring early summer ( "It Does`nt Matter") on Japanese label but to be distributed in UK and USA.

Gigs in UK February 15th - The Victoria Derby 16th - The 13th Note Glasgow
Tour of Japan summer 2002



Any final comments?

Thanks for your help and remember the saying - "Don`t Judge a book by the cover", this goes for bands too !
(What the fuck am I going on about ????????????????)