Articles by Tim Foster
This album is a thing of rare magnificence; intelligent, self reflective, humourous, honest, angry. An ageing group of men who refuse to accept what is, who still dream of, and hope for, what could be. Call it Utopian if you like. Interrobang‽ are part of the original punk generation, the generation who believed things could be changed for the better and still believe that despite all the disappointments along the way.
“And the Overton Window is not enough for us, it’s too narrow. I don’t want to even get into that tube, y’know what I mean. Our whole politics is about everyday personal politics, how you treat people and the way you treat yourself” Tim Forster talks music, punk & politics with the legendary band.
…a stunning set of pounding, driven, riff based politically tinged thrash that the crowd loved and that fitted in very nicely alongside the metal punk of Radioactive Rats and Meinhof.
The Only Way Is Lost EP, three tracks of intense, masterful rock that is dramatic and visceral, without ever being overblown, and draws on a wide range of musical resources without ever sounding derivative.
A superbly realised album of intelligent, well written, modern rock music that is full of texture and complexity while expertly critiquing social injustice in the UK.
I don’t think you need to understand all the lyrics to understand the meanings and feelings. In our music and lyrics there is a lot of anger, but it’s hard to say whether I feel anger on the stage. It’s more that I just feel the music and energy.
“Again there are influences, people like Biafra, Rollins early on in Black Flag, Albini. A bit of Iggy. Nick Cave even, with The Birthday Party”.
“We can’t change the world from our keyboard, or through Facebook, so we have to get out there and work together. Along the way, we should all challenge our own thinking, and the thinking of others. Music has a part to play in this but, ultimately, it’s all about communication and reflection.”
“A song like ‘Fuck off back to Eton’ can be seen as flippant and knee-jerk, but it comes from a serious place – sometimes I’m adding the politics to the personal experience sometimes vice versa. I really haven’t been putting pen to paper very long, but I’ve been ranting all my life so it comes naturally – hahaha!”
‘The album explores themes of gentrification, the commodification of areas, communities and culture, the death of music venues and creative spaces, the worlds of consumerism, advertising and marketing and surviving as anarcho-creatives in the modern age.’
‘It is saddening that some venues are dropping off the face of the earth due to capitalism, building flats and gentrification etc, however, there are bigger concerns we have with the world than music venues closing – music will always exist, even if it is driven underground by the dystopia’.
‘In all seriousness, I care strongly about a lot of things. Intersectional feminism is the bee’s knees and there’s a lot to talk about and stand up for and get angry about right now’. Tim Forster talks to lo fi feminist punks Jitterz.
‘I don’t really look for outside sources although they’re probably there, they go into the back shelves of my mind, somehow they just come out. I get inspired by lots of things… you might go into a crowded room and you hear somebody laughing and that might trigger something in your mind…
“…we often find ourselves sat in a pub having a moan about those middle of the road bands that people nod along to and go ‘Yeah, that’s alright, I might buy that album, that’s quite good’. And really you want to go one way or the other, you want to make people go ’Fuck, that’s brilliant, that’s amazing!’ and then it changes people’s perception of what music is currently.”
Complex, catchy, energetic, nimble rock that, yeah, fulfils some of the criteria for being ‘classic old school rock’ but is far too light on its feet to be compared to the more lumpen bands that term can conjure up. The Franklys might cite Led Zeppelin as an influence but their music is much more agile, much more interesting.
This isn’t the Guardian telling you what it has heard, via a third party, life is like for the JAMs and the not at all managing this is the voice of someone who is well acquainted with life at the bottom of the pile. This isn’t pretty, it isn’t slick, it’s dark, you’ll find it uncomfortable but it does have an authenticity, immediacy and integrity you just might find arresting.
“I think that ‘the system’ or ‘people in power’ or other things that we are singing about over time just changed names or methods of brainwashing people but it is still same old shit. They can not trick us. We have our eyes wide open all the time.” Tim Forster chats to Ewa Zablocka from Radioactive Rats.
“…but I think from the point of view of the band it is still about ensuring that the way in which the music is created and what’s happening in the performance space is almost like the hallowed ground that you have to occupy first.” Tim Forster talks to Peter Garrett from Midnight Oil.
‘My view is that punk is still alive and well, you just need to ﬁnd it. From a woman’s perspective, like I said, I think it is one of the better environments to play in.’
As an artist, I do not feel the need to brand myself as a feminist or a punk or a riot grrrl, really: I make music for people to listen to if they are so inclined-full stop, without the need to justify myself for it.
Wondering how to respond to structural (and other) misogyny ROAR, in an attitude of solidarity (with victims of violence), resistance (to oppression) and celebration (of equality), has got together four ferocious, danceable female fronted punk bands plus solo artists to raise money for local Women’s Refuge, Leeway.