Articles by Tim Foster
Platinum Rats is 12 examples of great songwriting, musically fresh and exhilarating and lyrically intriguing, the whole album sounds like one beautifully crafted melodic punk gem after another!
Against the backdrop of late capitalism’s domesticating of so much cultural output Girls In Synthesis stand out like a searing, prophetic burst of uncompromising honesty, like a beam of condensed light, waking you up, reminding you of the importance of art as insurgency.
I believe the answers she was seeking through her art are as relevant today as they ever were. I also believe that she was almost prophetic in her description of what the world would be like in the future – we are very much living in that world now.
People want to like it, they want it to be good. I guess it could have gone so wrong, I mean I’ve seen a lot of bands that get it wrong, it wasn’t really an option. We have all put so much work into getting it right, but giving it its own Ruts DC twist, breathing life into it
“Hopefully this period in our history will pass and we can once again look to a bigger world-view, which looks to tackle critical issues of poverty, corporatism and climate change.”
Often we don’t think but are ‘thought’ by the medium(s). For example the kind of thoughts my brain has when scrolling Twitter is not the same kind of thought I have when talking face to face with a friend over a bottle of wine. Most behavior is chameleon-esque. That’s the danger of over-exposure to vapid media : You become vapid yourself.
This album is a thing of excellence, musically inventive and diverse, lyrically insightful it superbly critiques dystopia-in-the-making Britain in the 21st Century while also taking time to recognise both (global) interconnections and the struggles of individuals trying to construct meaningful, positive selves in an impoverished cultural landscape.
A lot of our songs addressed mental illness or the glossy packaging over the shit we really get sold. It does seem that democracy is suffering from some kind of mental illness in 2018 and we are still being sold the same overpriced shit dressed up as gentrification, or must have consumable. Flea have still got traction.
Tim Foster caught up with anarcho-punk band Active Slaughter to find out how they’ve been getting on since reforming.
I think the separatist take on the project made it easier for everyone to feel safe and focus on being creative rather than spending energy on claiming your space as a musician etc. We could get to work immediately so to speak.
I have performed a lot more since moving. That makes me do more variations on my songs and so everything is always constantly in motion and evolving.
The Sex Pistols were the Sex Pistols and it was the sum of the people that were in it, once you step outside of that and you’ve got different people it’s a different thing. If you try and copy that you’re either going to fail miserably or you’re going to be dishonest, pretending you’re something you’re not.
Punk at it’s best! Truth Equals Treason manage to encapsulate all that makes punk important-intelligent, engaged, angry, compassionate. This album is the distillation of hours of reading, thinking, discussing, acting. I’ve just read Reminiscences of RAR this band carry on that struggle.
Middle aged men coming up to me after a show and sharing their own stories about their difficult relationships with their dads, about feeling invisible, about never giving up. I discovered it was a common experience that I had gone through. Talking about stuff like that at a gig rather than at some men’s group was incredibly rewarding.
You probably haven’t heard of White Skull Death Snakes of Death, you’re confused by their name, it’s got two ‘Death’s in it for one thing but you are seriously missing out if you don’t give this album a listen.
…audiences do react if you give them an opportunity to. We’ve had shows where people will just grab the mic and start doing there own thing. We’ve given people our guitars and let them get on with it… we’ve only really just started touching this aspect, really.
I started reading Heinrich Boell… His views were very much ones of the politics of the everyday – how we relate to people, our thoughts when confronted by people less fortunate or different than ourselves, how sharing a conversation or a coffee or a cigarette could be interpreted politically or even take on an almost sacramental value.
The act of creativity I feel is something I have put consciously into my life to avoid the traps and pitfalls of consumption within the capitalist system. I think music and the creative projects I have been involved in have massively defined my sense of self.
…there is no reason in the circus that is Warped Tour to keep standing there if you’re not into something. So for that reason, we might have avoided some run of the mill heckling. But there were plenty of men and boys who told us they were surprised to realize that they liked our band, and even “got it” after seeing us play live.
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.