Articles by Tim Foster
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.
…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.