An Interview with
that took place at O2 Academy on Thursday, 26th March, 2009 by Glenn Milligan
(L to R - Toby MacFarlaine, Glenn Milligan, Robin Goodridge, Dan Hawkins & Richie Edwards)
Glenn: Where did you get the band name from?
Richie: The band name came from Dan’s guitar tech actually, a guy called Ady Vines who used to be in a band called Swervedriver years ago, if you remember them? While we were writing and recording the album we were trying to come up with a band name. I don’t know if you’ve ever done that but it’s the f*ck*ng hardest thing in the world to do. We’d got a pad of A4 paper with the worst f*ck*ng band names you’d ever seen in your life on. Some good ones as well but some absolute howlers. You’ve got two problems – the first one is to get 4 guys to agree on one name and then when you’ve done that, you google it and the chances are that someone in the world has already f*ck*ng got it. That weren’t a problem a few years ago before you had Google and that - it didn’t matter before the internet did it (he says to the other members). If you had the same name as a band and you got more successful than them (they’d have to change theres and it didn’t matter). But these days you can’t really do that so we....
Toby: Public Domain.
Richie: Yeah exactly. So we were getting absolutely nowhere and Ady was on his way back from the studio one night on the train and he called us up and said, “What about ‘Stone Gods’”, and we thought, ‘Not Bad’, but he sold it to us by saying how good it would look on all our flight cases stacked up on the side of a festival stage and also how good it would look on a black t-shirt, so we went for it didn’t we (to Toby).
Toby: We did.
Richie: And that was that. I think band names are weird as well because when you first come up with a band name it sounds daft, whatever the name is, even some of the great band names that you just think, ‘F*ck, I wish I’d thought of that’. The first few times you say it, it’s weird but the band becomes the name and the name becomes the band before too long and that’s it really. It’s kind of.. it didn’t take long to settle in really.
Toby: Like a new pair of shoes
Glenn: What about the name of the album (Silver Spoons & Broken Bones)?
Richie: It was Toby.
Toby: It was. The album was gonna be called ‘Toby’ originally.
Richie: Toby LaRue
Robin: But you didn’t really want the album all to yourself did you.
Toby: So it was sort of a phrase that popped into my head one day. At the time lots of people were sort of assuming that we living in houses made of gold and having swimming pools everywhere – that the Silver Spoonity bit. The ‘Broken Bones’ bit - the reveal of the...
Richie: The Horrible Reality.
Toby: Yeah. There’s a lot of honesty within the songs on the record and I kinda thought that was a good way to go.
Glenn: What influenced the song, ‘Burn The Witch’? Is it a certian person or are you going back to the... (persecution times)?
Richie: To be honest, to be perfectly honest with you it’s a bit of both really. I’m not gonna lie to you, it is a thinly veiled dig at one person in particular but at the same time every reference is taken from fact, what used to happen when they, well I say fact, from books that tell you about what used to happen when they burned witches. As far as I know, no-one who has written a book on it was actually there, so it might be true and it might not be. So it’s a bit of both really thst song, it’s a bit of both but it was a real event and the line in their, “Come on Children, bring a match and start the flames” – it was like a family outing really and they used to go down and take the kids and watch people being burnt. Interestingly enough, the last person burnt at the stake in England was, I forget the name of the person but it was in Market Square in Litchfield which is where I’m from.
Richie: So there you go.
Toby: It was also inspired by that film, ‘Witchfinder General’ which was filmed around the corner from where we recorded the album in Norfolk.
Glenn: I like the fact you’ve got so many musical styles on the song as well.
Toby: I think it’s a meal in itself – it’s a bit like guiness really.
Richie: Yeah, yeah. I think it’s a very diverse album and that is as a result of four guys writing songs together and although we collectively like a lot of the same things, we like a lot of different stuff as well and when you kickin’ stuff around, you know, around a table with a few guitars, everyones bits and bobs kinda get thrown in and I like that. As a fan of music I’ve always liked albums that take you on a bit of a journey like ‘A Night At The Opera’ for example and albums like Led Zep 4 which aren’t just f*ck*n’ linear, you know what I mean?
Richie: I love AC/DC – one of my favourite bands of all time and they don’t really deviate. But I like an album you sort of listen to that makes you feel differently with each different song.
Glenn: That’s what I like about your album – you can’t categorise it – it is what it is.
Robin: Well you can – Good. (We laugh). You’ll find it in the ‘Good’ section.
Glenn: What’s the story about ‘Don’t drink the water’? Is it about someone’s vacation and they drunk some dodgy water and ended up with the sh*ts for 2 weeks?
Richie: Ed (Graham) who was our drummer at the time had just come back from the Grand Canaries – a god-awful week in Brit Holiday Hell, I think it was and he was just telling us about it and we just though it might be a nice idea for a song so we started sort of writing down the things we kinda associate with those kind of – you know those wonderful resorts that have been destroyed over by British.. Lager Louts that they used to call them in the 80’s and we were just writing down everything that we kind of associated with it and wrote a song with it. The ‘Don’t Drink The Water’ thing was sort of ‘Don’t Drink The Water’ on holidays that you’d find. There were all sorts of things we wrote down a lot – from imagery from rivers of vomit down cobbled streets and how many sh*ts did you guys have – all the sh*t pos – all the things that could have made it into the song.
Robin: We’ll definately do, ‘Don’t drink the water Part 2 – the post water drinking party.
Glenn: You’ll have to have an album cover based on the song. (They laugh). Yeah excellent. What about ‘Oh Where ‘O My Beero’ – it’s such a great song.
Toby: That’s our stab at political commentary really.
Robin: It’s our favourite place to get ;’The Clash’ on the album.
Richie: We wrote a protest song about drinking hours just after they introduced 24 hour drinking.
Toby: That’s how on the ball we are! We’re not really bright put it that way. That basically came out of us written throughout the day too late into the evening to be able to go for last oders at the pub and having sense to be wary about it – really.
Richie: It was weird really – kinda fancy a pint and can’t have one. It was a weird song that because we wrote it and demo’d it really quickly and just played it back and thought, ‘What we done? It actually sounded quite dirty and we were there at the studio going, ‘What the f*ck have we done?’ but went in the next morning and listened to it and thought, ‘Actually that’s pretty good’ and I think as an album closer,and on our own shows we tend to use it as like a set closer.
Robin: There’s nowhere else to f*ck*n’ put it you know?
Richie: Because you can’t put it anywhere else in the set can you?
Glenn: Do you wait ‘til the bars shut though?
Robin: If you like.
Richie: You can do. We like to be off stage before it shuts to be honest, ideally before it opens.
Glenn: Where did you get the sound effects and the voices talking - you’ve got that didgeridoo?
Richie: That was me.
Glenn: That was you?
Richie: Yeah. F*ck*n well spotted man - no-ones ever spotted that before.
Toby: There’s also a Sharon the Cat in there as well.
Richie: And there’s me grass blowing
Toby: Grass blowing.
Richie: And I did a lot of that and the animal noises. There’s a fantastic CD knocking about with these various animal noises. (we laugh)
Well I’m glad you spotted the didgeridoo.
Glenn: Well I’ve got one at home. (and I imitate the sound)
Richie: I think the idea was to have something as big as the production as Michael Jackson’s ‘Earth Song.
Robin: Or a poor mans ‘Biko’.
Glenn: What actually inspired ‘Magdalen St.’ And is it a real person that it’s come from?
Richie: It’s actually a true story. Dan had a really nice little kinda folky guitar thing that he was playing. While he was doing that I was reading a book that in the studio that was called ‘Hauted Norwich’. It told this story of this girl who was raped and murdered in a bar in Norwich. But just above the bar there was a bit of a knocking shop, back in the day where young city folk would take their ladies and have their wicked way. She died in there and apparently she’s still seen to this day. It’s a really sad story and she doesn’t actually know that she’s dead apparently and she keeps trying to speak to people and contact people. The old bar has been many things over the years, one of the things is that it was an Oxfam shop and one morning they went in there and everything that would have fitted a 19 year old girl had been taken out of all these bags, folded neatly and just put on the side there in the dead of night. So it’s quite a sad story and I just started writing these words along to Dan’s little folky guitar riff and I think it’s a lovely song that is. It’s a nice moment live as well that. I think a lot of people, kind of before we released the album and we were touring a lot of people that were coming to the shows sort of locked onto that one quite early really. We were getting people to sing a long to that before they got the album.
Robin: Here he is.
Dan Hawkins enters and I greet him.
Glenn: What about Road Stories so far ? I’ve got 3 hours of tape so don’t worry about it but you’ve got a gig to do as well.
Richie: We can have road stories.
Dan: Well it’s a bit hard to pick them out immediately. It’s a bit more after the event because I do a lot of writing. Go to our tour diaries and go to our on our myspace thing and look at Toby’s blogs.
Toby: Have a look at my blogs.
Dan: They are extensively – everything is documented in there.
Toby: It is yeah. It’s a wonderful effect.
Dan: Quite a talented writer is our Toby.
Toby: Probably too early to find out.
Glenn: Did ‘I’m with the band’ come from that or did it come from your general Rock ‘n’ Roll...
Toby: Yeah – it’s a legend innit. We want people to recognise exactly what they expect it to be about – I’m some of it happened at different time periods and countries, but it’s more about the legend of it than anything specific, I think.
Glenn: Here’s a controversial question – Could you ever imagine like a dual headliner with Hotleg?
Robin: We’ve talked about that and I don’t think you can ever say, ‘Never say never’ to anything. The only part I think that will be the hard bit would be the requests at the end of the gig for The Darkness and that would be the bit that pisses it off because they want a medley of Darkness at the end and that would be the bit that would never happen. If ‘The Darkness’ were to do it, it would be on their own terms, not on the basis of 2 other bands with members of it. The idea of us 2 bands playing together I don’t think is a problem. The pressure would be, the minute we started playing, everyone would be shouting Darkness songs at us. Both bands would end up really narky and I think they (the crowd) would be slightly dissappointed. If somewhere, at some gig, it could, some night happen.
Dan: It would also have a horrible sort of potential of becoming like that Moscow Russian Peace Festival.
Toby: Oh that Moscow Musioc Peace Festival where everyone wants to photographed and be a part of it at the end. I just think it’s frought with an awful lot of musical dog turds that could be trodden in and around.
Richie: I think also as well, I think the 2 bands appeal to a different audience really which is no bad thing sometimes though as those bills that are a bit strange kinda work but I don’t know – you never know do you? I think Robin’s absolutely right.
Robin: I’m playing the f*ck*n’ drums though.
Glenn: What about recording the album – what would you say are the highlights of doing it?
Dan: For me, when I went over to Portland and mastered the record – when you finally hear it back – that’s always a moment.Any record that you make – it’s like last thing listening back – it’s completely out of your hands – it’s been mixed and it’s the final thing. It’s like when you make a record you listen to it kind of as a punter almost and I listened to it kinda back and think, ‘That’s great’. I also went to New York and hired a limo and just drove around New York with my girlfriend in the backseat with it full blast and it sounded ‘F*ck*n’ Ace’. And you get p*ss*d on the in-house vodka.
Robin: It’s always got the moment. It’s always good to see what it sounds like for the 1st time because at the end of the day you write songs in the rehearsal studio or wherever you write them as a debut album you really genuinely don’t really know where you are gonna end up until you actually get to put the 12 songs together and mix them individual songs because you can spend up to 2 weeks not listening to one as you work on others and out there is a point where you actually sit down and listen to all 12 and that’s the moment where you finally realise what your sound’s workin’ and without and up to that point – that was for me has always been like.. and your first record is always like ... ‘f*ck*n’ hell’ well, a lot heavier than we thought. There’s always some element you didn’t quite expect.
Glenn: I remember when you guys played ‘Corporation’ up the road and I’d never actually heard Stone Gods and I knew what The Darkness sounded like and it was like, ‘F*ck*n’ Hell’ - they’ve got their own sound and it throws you off balance slightly. Your thinking, ‘This is good stuff’ because you are thinking, ‘It’s either gonna be just like Darkness or it’s gonna be like, I don’t know’.
Robin: Yeah - you know.
Dan: I think people kinda get it pretty quickly because there’s not a lot of tunes to open and ....
Richie: I think it’s because it’s very, very just honest, you know what I mean – it’s a f*ck*n’, it’s a rock band and people just realise straight away that it’s not rocket science – we f*ck*n’ love makin’ loads of noisy songs. Here we are – we’re on stage.
Robin: You know it’s, ‘Don't try this at home kids!’.
Glenn: Why did you choose ‘Start of Something’ as a single – is that an anthem like a real quote for the band?
Robin: It is the start of it yeah. My thought as in my view of thing sums, is that it’s a celebratory song. It has that sort of cure about it. First we started out and it’s quite a nice way to go out after a year plus theirs touring and the talking about it and all that stuff it’s like a year. I mean in a while we’ll bring out another record and it’ll be exactly what you want and I think that song sums it up for everyone. If everyone sort of goes away and (they) mope for a bit and there won’t be any more material for a bit then I think that’s the tune to keep them up.
Richie: That’s absolutely right that. It’s important for us on this record to sort of set our stall out as you yourself admitted, you came to see us not really knowing what to expect. I feel a lot of people had maybe made their minds up about us before hearing a note of our music because at the time, three of us had come from the previous project. So it was important for us to set our stall out and kinda let people know what we were about and build up a fanbase properly so we released ‘Burn The Witch’; ‘Night Of The Living Dead’ and ‘Don’t Drink The Water’. We released stuff that we knew wouldn’t get any mainstream radio play pure to kindly and simply say, “Well this is what we’re about, this is what we’re doin’ and if you like what we’re doin’ f*ck*n’ jump on board”.
It’s not The Darkness MkII. It starts off and I think if we’d have started of as a kinda of thing we could have released at, I hate to say the word, but campaign, I’m sure it would have got lovely – loads of radio play but I think it would have been the wrong thing to do because we needed to let people knoiw what we were about before we did that and it’s worked quite well. We’re building a fanbase really nicely and organically and hopefully that’s the way you to get people to stick with you and buy your next record. You’ve gotta lend in less heavy songs and put in more melodic songs on the record and I think which is right. If we wanted to get across the record and have people the chance to buy the record, see us live and see that it’s quite a heavy band really and it would probably have given people the wrong impression, whereas at least the vibe at the back end we’ve played to on this album campaign and they have an idea of the band. I think they’ll get it a bit more. I think we’ve produced it actually and mixed it straight off.
Robin: Straight off yeah. People could assume we are a kind of melodic rock album and that we’re a melodic rock band which is clearly not the case. In the long term one and in the short term, you get one song on the radio and then everyone goes, “Yeah - but it sounds nothing like the rest of the album” – boom – there goes your album. So it’s a better way of looiking at things and the proof is that we are now playing festivals this Summer and they are rock festivals so everybody will go out and know it’s a rock band.
Glenn: You wrote the song, ‘Wasting Time’ – is that very autobiographical as well.
Richie: Yeah. He’s always wasting time (looking at Dan & laughs).
Dan: ‘Wasting Time’ is autobiographical in a way. It’s about moving to London and basically the sh*tty jobs you have to do and all the kind of places where you’re penniless ‘n’ struggling but spending every penny you earn have having a good time and basically not giving a flying f*ck really. Living like a party animal. It’s like although that verse - the opening verse of stuff is like i dunno, emotionally, I suppose on a bit of a downer in terms of trying to open doors – it’s not gonna get me down.
Richie: I’m not living for the weekend - we do this everynight.
Dan: Yeah, yeah.
Richie: It’s the classic Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday..
Dan: Chill on Sunday... working hard and playing hard – that’s what that songs about.. playing harder.
Glenn: What would you say your personal favourites are on the album and why?
Richie: I sorta like ‘em all really in their own way – ‘Defend Or Die’ I really like.
Dan: I like ‘Defend Or Die’. That comes a long way. It gradually makes you feel more and more tense. It’s something about it – it puts you on edge.
Richie: I’ll have that one as well. I find it difficult to break ‘em all out – I can’t remember the titles.
Dan: They are all brothers and sisters. I don’t like to strike them out as I can’t remember them.
Glenn: What would you say the highlights were of touring with ‘Airbourne’?
Richie: The Airbourne Tour as a whole was a highlight. In fact I think I’ll go as far as to say that that tour with Airbourne has probably been my sort of highlight across the board really I think. It was was f*ck*n’ fantastic from start to finish. They are a great bunch of lads who looked after us really well. Their audiences were quite obviously our audiences in the sense that we went down so well every night and I’ve been touring in various guises since 1992 and I think that’s my favourite tour that I’ve ever done – it’s f*ck*n’ great and we loved it.
Glenn: How did the ones with ‘Velvet Revolver’ and ‘Black Stone Cherry’ compare?
Robin: The Velvet Revolver were nice.
Richie: Velvet Revolver was different because it was only 2 shows but it was great. The 1st one we did was Brixton and we were... we sort of didn’t really know how it was gonna go. I mean, you play with bands like that and sometimes when your are put as a support band you can kinda suffer really because let’s face it, people are only there to see f*ck*n’ Velvet Revolver and to a certain extent you are actually gettin’ in the way of people’s f*ck*n’ evening. So you’ve gotta really f*ck*n’ pull it out the bag and it can kinda go either way. We walked out on stage and the place went f*ck*n’ nuts didn’t it. (To Dan), You remember. It was like..... (imitates a crowd roar)
Dan: It was like we were ‘Velvet Revolver’.
Richie: It was like the crowd were thinking, ‘Look the singer’s had his head shaved’ or something but they really good and we did Brighton the following night and that was great as well. It was really good.
Dan: We were very well recieved I thought on those 2 shows.
Robin: Obviously we didn’t play as well as we do now as we have Robin Goodridge now on the drums.
Richie: But they were good, they were good. And the Black Stone Cherry one was fun really.
Robin: It’s like its all this again really. They are a slightly different band – they are kinda a bit more American, a bit more, you know, muso’y, but I thought we acquitted ourselves well. I mean, ‘Sevendust’ opened which was a bit of a f*ck*n’ corny, you know having a band like that – a bit heavy duty but well. We did our thing and did pretty well so it was quite nice to find out our own thing really.
Glenn: Do you find that with these gig/support slots etc – do you get them or does the agent get them?
Robin: Yes – agencies generally and I think we’ve gained a reputation for being a good band and what that means is if you go and see a big band and who everyone knows is good, being the current popular band, doesn’t necessarily get you the gig. They are much more likely wanting to pick a band that... and they go, “Hang on a minute, they got songs and they can play really well’ because otherwise the audience is just gonna go, “We’re here to see some real musicians”, and then get a sort of, you know, a latest hot act that could may or may not be experienced or not have quite got their sh*t together and that’s the one thing we definately have the right to say as a band that live on stage, you know, in front of anyone’s audience, they are gonna go, “They can f*ck*n’ play” and it’s a good show. We them them to become fans and it’s down to their toast (to us). I think we do what we do very well.
Richie: The Black Stone Cherry thing, the band actually asked for us because they originally had ‘The Answer’ as main support who went off to do the AC/DC thing and the drummer and the guitarist found out that we didn’t want to do that yeah.
The drummer and their guitarist asked our agent if we were available to go and do the tour. But if you are playing with the right band, supports can do you so much good. They make you step up your game as well. I think the Airbourne Tour being a case in point. I think we made them work harder and they made us work harder. Not in a rivalry way – we got on with them very well. But it was just, you know, they knew that we were a good band and they knew that they’d got to follow us so they had to f*ck*n’ be at the top of their game and we knew that they were a f*ck*n’ awesome live band so in order to stand out, we had to do our best to be on before them. So it’s f*ck*n’ great when it works like that, you know, and they really spur you on but they were watching us side of stage every night and we were watching them every night and we learnt a lot from them and they learnt a lot from us. As far as supporting goes, we couldn’t have asked for better than that really – it was f*ck*n’ outstanding.
Glenn: How was it for you playing the festivals?
Robin: We were born for that sh*t. (We laugh) Definately. The music itself lends itself to that kind of stage. Certain acts get worse and worse but ours gets better and better. But you know - Hallelujah – Bring it On. We’ll be doing it this Summer where we can and next Summer, well one day we’ll be doing it when it’s f*ck*n’ dark. That’s what you’re trying to achieve in the world of festivals – the night-time. To get to the spots where you always have to use lights and things, so we’re always attempting to achieve that. That’s what we’re intending to do – it might even be next Summer, who knows. You never know.
Glenn: What did you think to the Classic Rock awards – well you got nomiated and that’s a start?
Robin: I mean, we were next to Airbourne for f*cks sake, I mean their records are really good records. The debut album – I mean, that was what it was all about. A debut album. It shows how good it was after a few weeks for us – theirs had been out like seven months. I mean, they deserved it - they had momentum on us really. Without a doubt – if it was seven months from now we’d probably be battling on an equal level but I don’t think they didn’t deserve it but I think we deserved it as well – they should have had two.
Richie: I mean just being nominated for something like that – it’s quite a piece of an honour.
Robin: We got nominated for best album as well.
Richie: It was our debut album that had literally been released a week and ... I mean, look at the f*ck*n’ list – there was us, there was Def Leppard, Whitesnake, Alice Cooper, Journey... erm... need I go on and there was f*ck*n’ us in there!
Glenn: It puts it all into perspective – I mean, you’ve been out 5 minutes and they’ve been out like 30 years – it’s such a comparison.
Richie: Incredible. In way it’s kinda, if we won it, it would have been great but
Robin: Where do you go from here?
Richie: It’s nice to think that next album, you wanna work up.
Robin: Yeah exactly, exactly – next album we’ll win the Oscar – yeah best album – can’t wait. Best album.
Glenn: What’s it like to be back in Sheffield again?
Richie: It’s always good to come back to Sheffield. We were last here with Black Stone Cherry and that was a really good show.
Robin: The last time I played here I played this pub – I’ve played there many times.
Glenn: Oh you mean The Boardwalk.
Richie: Last time we played here was on a really high stage. A funny old gig but it was packed though.
Glenn: What do you enjoy doing outside music?
Richie: I don’t have any other interests. I really don’t. It’s sh*t and I should have interests but the only thing I’ve ever only been interested in is music. It’s all I do. I don’t really do anything else.
Dan: I like to read, write and read.
Robin: Toby likes cooking. Vegetable Resotto. (laughs)
Dan: I like watching cooking programmes. I like cooking but I just don’t.
Robin: Cooking. Getting p*ss*d with your mates, playing music.
Dan: I like sea fishing.
Richie: Cuddling the missis – I like that
Robin: I like cuddling his missis.
Dan: Walking around.
Robin: Walking Yeah. I like walking around and podcasting. I’ve got into podcast. I’ve got into loads of those. I downlad about 20 a week now and there’s obviously normal people on the train and Ilaugh. I have actually caught myself laughing out loud on the train. (Imitates his own laugh).
It’s good that. F*ck*n’ ‘*ll – (like) someone’s forgot their medication. I like laughing. I can recommend Colin Sineeri and Adam & Joe of Six Music – they are really f*ck*n’ funny.
Toby: Ricky Jervais.
Robin: Yeah. There’s a lot of good really stuff out there. They are a very interesting medium. Anyone can do it – post it up.
Glenn: What’s your view of the music industry as a whole?
Richie: There’s no other business quite like it. People come into it to make money and epecially these days it’s getting ever more difficult. It’s the kind of business where you’d only be in it if you love it you know. If you were starting a band because you had dreams - simply dreams of being famous, and I mean, you want to be able to fire up the aga and get them on the f*ck*n’ table – your not gonna last very long – you’ll only ever last in a band if you can’t f*ck*n’ live without it. Kind of anything you get from it is a bonus.
Glenn: A lot of people think that members of bands are like f*ck*n’ millionaires or something but they don’t understand the industry.
Richie: Well I think that people don’t really understand the music business anyway. They think if you’re in a band and you’ve sold a few records then you’ve made an absolute fortune.
Dan: I think peoples fear is a bitterness towards the music industry as a whole and bands that are starting out – they can’t seem to get a break. But I think a lot of things... they gotta f*ck*n’ get up and play some shows. There’s so much you can do for yourself. It’s a perception that labels and big managers and stuff make people careers. It’s not true...
Glenn: They make their own careers.
Dan: But don’t go around the pubs for six months, rehearse like b*st*rds, spend your money on the band and go out and tour. That’s it for some time.
Richie: Which is kinda what it’s all about. It’s not all f*ck*n’ glamour – f*ck*n’ not glamour at all. Don’t get me wrong. Touring at arena level’s very nice but how many bands get to tour at arena level. You spend a long time touring sh*tholes in the back of avan and if you are only doing it because of some stardom dream then you ain’t gonna f*ck*n’ last very long then. Anyone.
Glenn: That brings me onto this question. You’ve done arenas to like small clubs again – what’s that like for you personally? Is it like kind of demoralising or is it like ‘what the f*ck – we’ve got our core following and we enjoy it no matter what.
Dan: I mean it certainly isn’t demoralising. I don’t know why. I mean any gig is. I mean, the thing is, you spend like 10 years playing small venues and you might get a chance to play big venues but it can’t take away from the fact that 10 of those 13 years you don’t even get that time, which is basically what... it’s more your joy mark (playing the arenas) and it’s more intimate at well (in the small venue setting).
Glenn: I prefer it and I hate going to places like Sheffield Arena or Don Valley because there’s no atmosphere...
Dan: Well it can depend on the band. I mean you can with an amount experience by getting something going but it depends whether you’ve got your minimals and also the show to do that. But I think it can. It’s not always that carrys (across to the audience), but I know what you mean – if it carrys, it carrys.
Glenn: It kinda takes it away from the band.
Dan: The band, well yeah, as well. If you’re blind like I am, you can’t even see the f*ck*n’ audience or half of them. But if they... I don’t know – if both have got a good view it’s an experience. I’d personally prefer, I’d say like the bigger venues than this, mostly because I keep tripping over stuff and the bigger ones will always be...
Richie: I think you’re absolutely right. Some of the really tiny venues – it’s difficult to put a show on. Do you know what I mean?
Richie: Becacuse you physically can’t do sh*t when ya move.
Dan: That’s why both of us can be lying around on our f*ck*ng *rs*s and looking complete d*ckheads.
Richie: So you kinda feel fruststrated because we’re a pretty f*ck*n’active band on stage so when you are kind of penned in you are like a f*ck*n’ caged lion and I know that means that just that next level up when you’re in your sort of 1000-1500 seat, the sorta main room caters – it’s a f*ck*n’ world of difference. But everywhere’s got its own charms.
Like anyone that sits there and tells you it’s not f*ck*n’ brilliant to play an arena or play a stadium or play, you know, a massive festival stage is lying to you because it is f*ck*n’ ace! But yerah, just as good in its own little way could be a 300 capacity club – the place f*ck*n’ rammed, sweatin’ like a c*nt (we laugh) with people like right f*ck*n’ near ya and really feeding off you, you know, it’s got... they’ve both got their own f*ck*n’ charms. It’s all good and at the end of the day whether your playing to 20 people in or 20,000 people in – they’ve all bough tickets to come and see you and I see that as a bit of a f*ck*n’ honour really and I feel priviledged to people who’ve done that and so, it’s all good. A show is a f*ck*n’ show and people here tonight will get the same show from me personally and from him (Dan) as if we were playing Don Valley Stadium tonight, you know, but you just donlt get the production.
Glenn: What would be your average tour rider?
Richie: Well there it is (points to it) – 2 bottles of red, 2 bottles of white, a Jack Daniels..
Dan: And we must have Jagermeister. Must have.
Glenn: Oh I love drinking that in Florida – loads. It’s great stuff.
Dan: Love that stuff.
Glenn: Yeah – can’t fault you there. Dare I ask, what your thoughts are to ‘Hotleg’?
Richie: F*ck*n’ Great.
Dan: I went to see the last week actually in Brighton and it was good. It was weird seeing my brother performing and not being on stage.
Dan: I thought it was a good gig, you know, entertaining and doing all that, what have you..
Glenn: We saw then a few weeks ago in here – in this dressing room as well in fact. I think both bands are good and so different to one another.
Robin: Good on them. Good on the ‘Leg and Good on the ‘Gods.
Glenn: Yeah and why not.
Robin: There’s room in the world for both of us.
Glenn: What’s next? Have you got another album coming in the future?
Dan: Yeah. We’re writing loads. We all know that as soon as this tours finishes it’s straight into working on the next record.
Dan: We like the way its working. Like straight away - straight off the mark. The ideas – it’s taking a certain direction. We are further on than where we were when we started.
Glenn: You gelled well and it’s your own band.
Robin: Well everyone knows what are roles are now and we’ve sort of settled into them.
Dan: A lot better. It’s true sort of the character in the way that the guitar work has developed or we just kinda wear it and get an idea off what works and what doesn’t and where to go.
Richie: It’s knowing what idea compliments what they do and the 1st place.
Dan: Yeah definately whereas before we kinda work it out in the studio and it makes it happen on the spot sort of thing. Whereas now it’s kinda pretty much, you know, unless you’re form an agenda, I definately think we’re gonna form the sound alone driven by, probably sound probably, I’d say, totally more individual. It’s very, very personal for me and that’s my kinda thing. I’ve got a feeling on the next record you will definately find our definitive sound.
Glenn: Mmm. That makes sense. Can you ever see yourself ever writing your autobiography?
Dan: I’ve been approached in the past but I’m not even remotely interested in that (laughs) because the amount of people that just lie and have sh*t books.
Richie: Full of lies.
Dan: It’s way too early in time in the career for doing that sort of thing.
Glenn: Do you have certain songs on stage that you enjoy – like I can’t wait to play this one?
Robin: Yeah – the last one. (I laugh). Yeah – I got all the gags tonight.
Dan: ‘Burn the Witch’ is the one of, you know, is a favourite of mine. It’s like the first three songs in one.
Glenn: Yeah. It’s like when you get that big, long instrumental at the end – it’s like a different song altogether but it’s like the same thing. I had to look last night and thought, ‘Oh it’s the same song’.
Robin: I think it’s true which is nice as well. It’s nice to came from a different place so it has a different feeling. You see our songs shape and how the reaction and the feel is when it’s played in a different part of the set. And after, you know, you’ve soaked up all the adrenaline and for the song, you know, so you’re all flat out, we’re down, and the audience is going mad and it’s nice to play that song later on when the band has settled down and then you really see how tense the audience are and that is really nice as well. You can bring ‘em down with like ‘Magdalen Street’.
Dan: You can bring ‘em down now and let ‘em cool off a bit.
Glenn: What were your thoughts when you were in ‘The Darkness’, when you got these tribute bands trying to be ‘The Darkness’? Was that really f*ck*n’ weird?
Dan: At one point – I sh*t you not, one of the tribute bands of The Darkness were playing bigger venues than we were..
Dan: In ‘The Darkness’ at the time because it was one tribute band that was headlining the Edinburgh or whatever ‘End Of Year’ kinda thing and it was something quite ridiculous – like 40,000 people – we were only pulling like 6,000.
Glenn: That’s unsettling aint it.
Robin: (Joking) We were thinking of actually putting our own Darkness tribute band together and we could reach the audience out there.
Glenn: Yeah – I bet that would go down well. (I laugh).
Dan: More money doing it – you gotta go where the money is.
Glenn: Yeah – that’s great. I’d call that a wrap – that’s fantastic.
Robin: All good – there’s your interview.
(L to R - Toby MacFarlaine, Dan Hawkins, Glenn Milligan & Richie Edwards)
A Big Thank you to Warren @ Chuff Media, Owen @ Hero PR, Stone Gods Tour Manager John Haskett, Alan & Tracey Shooter (Camera), Stone Gods My Space Administrator, The very helpful Staff and Security @ O2 Academy & of course Stone Gods themselves for a brilliant informative and humourous but totally intellectual (well at times) Interview.