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Interview

The Guttersnipes
02/10/2000

website.lineone.net/~dhmg/snipes.htm

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

In 1987 The Guttersnipes were formed in London by Shug O'Neill and Andy Kline.. Early gigs in London quickly gain the band a reputation as an exciting live act, supporting the likes of Splodgenessabounds, Mega City Four and The Senseless Things. During Mid 1989 their debut album "The Poor Dress Up" is released by the independent label Razor Records. This album went on to sell 1500 copies despite complete lack of promotion or advertising by Razor. The album sells only because of Andy and Shug's work in promoting the band through the fanzine network in Europe.

During 1991 they make their first trip to Germany where they are astonished at the reception. This keeps the enthusiasm going and they sign to new label Vice Records who release their second album "Hairy On The Inside". In April / May 1993 the band tour Norway which is a great success culminating in a gig at the prestigious "Hulen Club" attended by various Bergen based bands, music press, radio, etc., including the infamous "Count Grischnacht" (the death metal singer now serving a 21 year stretch for murder and arson) to who the band were introduced. They made a bit of an impression on the Count who finally walked out after Shug's impression of a death metal singer on stage. The gig ended in chaos and the band decided that then was as good a time as any to settle their grievances with each other. The band split. Advance cassette tapes of the "Asylum" album had been sent to various people before the band had broken up. In fact the album was already receiving airplay on the continent and in the US. A DJ called Brian Damage on campus radio UCLA in Los Angeles phoned Shug to say that the response he was getting to the tape was incredible and that in a listeners poll taken at New Year to vote for the best piece of music played on the show that year The Guttersnipes came second to …….. Metallica !?!?

May 1996 saw the remnants of the band invited back to Norway for a mini-tour. With new drummer Fintan Smith in tow, they once again blazed a trail across the fjords. However, this line-up was not fated to last. Fintan, having knocked Shug out cold after the second gig and destroyed his drum kit in Bergen, was last seen heading for Moscow on a motorbike / sidecar combination !? The band landed back in Norway for an extensive tour with yet another drummer Duncan Greig during the autumn of 1997 which ended in a spectacular head-on collision with a pregnant women driver leaving the tour bus a write-off and Andy laid up with a back injury for the following six months. Incidently, the pregnant women is still getting free beers from the story - 'The Guttersnipes Tried To Kill Me'. On returning to England the band began to make plans for 1998, Unfortunately, being an itinerant soul, Duncan had a habit of going missing for months at a time, so not much got done that year. When a tour of Germany was offered for December, and with Duncan AWOL again, Shug & Andy teamed up with Baz Davies on Drums for the tour. The tour was a great success and the band went down a storm, especially in the East where the gigs often turned into a big party, with the band playing for hours. And in the case of The Bureau gig in Gütersloh - 6 hours.

October 1999 saw The Guttersnipes embark on another tour (suicide mission) around the more salubrious parts of Northern and Eastern Europe to promote songs from their new LP. Denmark and the night before the first gig new guitarist Ritchie gives Shug a shiner. On to Germany where the fighting and drinking continues and Stevie Wonder is driving the tour bus through the mountains. The Czech Republic (beer capital of the world) and the lads partake as only they know how. Then there is a big blur and then back to Munich as the tour finishes at the Backstage festival where drummer Baz becomes EX-drummer and is left in the Black Forest with no money. HAHAAhahahaha.

Current line up :- Shug O'Neill - vocals & Guitar, Andy Kline - Bass, Duncan Greig - Drums

Discography.

Singles
· Addicted To Love 7" - Razor GUTT1 (1988)
· Guns & Rockets 7" flexi - free w/WOT fanzine

Albums
· The Poor Dress Up - Razor RAZ42 (1989)
· Hairy On The Inside - Vice HABIT 002LP (1991)

CD's
· Hairy On The Inside - Vice HABIT 002CD (1991)
· Asylum - DHMG1 (1994)
· The Poor Dress Up - Captain Oi! re-issue AHOY CD54 (1996)
· Harry Baldini & The Beer Monster- DHMG 107 (1998)
· Hungry Hill - DHMG 110 (2000)

Compilations
· Unknown 14 Cassette ("Hideaway")
· Scum (ANL Benefit) Cassette
· We Don't Need The American Bands Cassette ("Hideaway", "Love's Young Dream", "Sale Of The Century")
· OI! The Rarities Volume 3 CD - AHOY CD 53 ("Addicted To Love", "Love's Young Dream")
· 100% British OI! CD - AHOY DCD 83 ("Addicted To Love")
· Genetic Mutations Volume 1 CD - DHMG 108 (1999) ("The Whole World Wants To Get Me Drunk")
· Anarchy For Money CD - Detroit Noise Compilation (1999) ("Time Of Our Lives")
· Genetic Mutations Volume 2 CD - DHMG 112 (2000) ("Dreaming")

And too many bootlegs to mention !!

Has any band member played in other bands, if so what?

Shug O'Neill played for Cock Sparrer on their Running Riot and Live & Loud LPs between 1980 and 1982 before they split up for the second time. His picture also appears on the cover of Shock Troops although he joined after the recording was finished.

What is the best gig The Guttersnipes have ever done and who else was on the line-up?

Cottbus, Germany December 1998 with Zona A (CZ). Shug's birthday, gallons of drink (as you would expect), a riot outside and even more of a riot inside. Shug got married to a non-English speaking East German girl and managed to lose her before the end of the night when we had to evacuate the building because the police where hellbent on arresting everyone. How we laughed !!

Why do you choose the name The Guttersnipes?

It was the name that best described the original line-up of the band. Four ragged Dickensian street urchin chancers trying to drag themselves out of the gutter.

Do you think street music will rise again?

I certainly hope so. Wider coverage across the internet will give people easier access to a lot of sounds that they would never have heard previously and this has got to be a good thing. People who I speak to are tired of listening to the music industry fodder that passes for music these days and are more inclined to look for an alternative. We can only hope that common sense prevails.

If you could take a vocalist, guitarist(s), bassist and drummer from different bands to make your perfect band who would you choose (can be deceased)?

Vocals : Kikki (Punishment Park), Lead Guitar : Greg Ginn (Black Flag), Rhythm Guitar : Steve Jones (Sex Pistols), Bass : Albie (Damnation), Drums : I can't remember the kid's name but the ultimate Oi! drummer (Haggis).

And the worst would be ...

V : Anne (Ex-Guttersnipes), LG : Steve Wale (The Business), B : Phil (Guitar Gangsters), D : Mark Hannan (The Crack).

I suspect this will cause several of the above to have a sense of humour failure !!

Please give me a question to ask the next band I interview.

What IS it about drummers ?????????????????

Plans, gigs and releases planned for 2000.

We've had to cancel all gigs for the rest of 2000 because Shug has a problem with his throat and has to give it complete rest. Hungry Hill will get a proper release (hopefully) before the end of the year and I'm picking tracks for a live LP which were recorded on our 1999 tour and this should have a release date at the start of next year.

Any final comments?

Make lots of noise and drink like fuck.


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