Wednesday, 1 September 2010

I'm well aware that I'm never going to be on the 'Cool List'.

Well, well, well!

Sorry it's been so long. Life rolls along whether you're rolling with it or not... Salut to those that came over to the UK shows recently, we’ve really enjoyed pulling a lot of the old tunes out of the box and giving them a play with. We've been recording our version of 'Totally Addicted To Bass' with our old pal Christophe this weekend which has been great fun and the first time that we've actually recorded with James. I can't wait to hear it mixed actually. There are tons of dates coming up including France, India(!) and a European tour with Less Than Jake so we're certainly keeping ourselves busy. Anyway, enough of my yackin, let's get into those questions...

Tim Johnson asks…

Aite man! so, what was the story with Grimace?

The story of Grimace! OK, Grimace was a ska-punk band that lived from 1997 – 2001 and involved Laila, Neil and I and had our good friend Dave Kelly on guitar and a parade of different brass sections (Ben C ended up on sax in the final line-up) We started out when we were in our teens and friends at school and were playing funk-rock, ska, pop-punk stuff influenced by Red Hot Chili Peppers, Fishbone, No Doubt etc. We were playing general band nights rather than punk nights but we started to get a few gigs at ska nights and with bands like Vodoo Glow Skulls and Spunge which introduced us to the ska and punk scene and really turned our heads. As we got into more US ska-punk like Dance Hall Crashers, Less Than Jake and Save Ferris we went more into a US sounding ska-punk thing. We had a couple of songs on some compilations like Know Your Skalphabet and Compunktion, from which the tune ‘Push You Back’ is probably our best tune. Laila actually sung a duet with Alex from [Spunge] on their second album after playing with those guys. Cos we’d just been rock kids who kind of fell into the ska and punk thing by mistake, we didn’t really come from a punk place so we had difficulty fitting in with the scene at the start and by the time we’d figured it out, we had become a bit burnt by it and felt very disillusioned (which is what ‘Play Inna Day’ was about). Musically, we’d discovered hardcore punk, reggae and drum n bass and I got really into hip-hop so Grimace quietly died a death. We were adding these elements into Grimace once Ben had joined and some of the stuff on the final Grimace demo ‘Demonstrate’ is re-recorded on the first SB6 EP. I think we needed to go out and figure out what we were then come back to the punk scene and do something different.

The rest of the story can be followed just by going and checking out the discography on the Sonic Boom Six site HERE! If enough people ask for it I'd be happy to upload the Grimace discography at some point.

Aaron Lohan asks (well, challenges!)

I've loved a lot of the support bands you've toured with but I
challenge you to take a hardcore band on tour, and if you do, which
hardcore band would you like to take on tour?

Hmmm, sorry to be ‘genre-dude’ but it depends on whether you mean hardcore-punk or hardcore hardcore. We did a tour with Chief in support in 2008 who are my favourite hardcore-punk band around. I think that hardcore-punk bands work really well alongside us and it’s great to play festivals with bands like Strike Anywhere and Paint It Black. We asked The Steal to come on tour a long time back and they couldn’t but one band I’ve really got my eye on at the moment is Our Time Down Here. Those guys supported us in Southampton and we leant our gang vocals to their album and we’d love to take them out one day if we could. You can hear them HERE.

If you mean more in the realms of ‘proper’ tough hardcore like Madball and Judge and stuff, I don’t know if that kind of band would be right for our crowd, much as I love it personally!

And finally, a couple off Kev H

Managing your own label between you guys, being all self-reliant, and constantly touring and merching, doing all that full time, if it's not in bad taste mentioning money, you guys must crunch alot of numbers?
Hell yeah. At the moment Neil actually does the accounting but the whole thing is very much run by us. The operation is divided into a division of labour. In theory, we divide like Voltron and we all do different things within the unit that divides the work into manageable chunks and makes sure that we’re all playing to our strengths towards a common goal. And all that. For instance, I'm shit at business and can't drive so I don't go near the money or the steering wheel but I write all the lyrics and lots of the music and Neil does the opposite so, in theory, we all meet in the middle somewhere... in theory. :)
Double Header! It seems this band you're in, more than any other I've ever seen, are totally open to talking to fans & wasting time listening to drunk people tell you they loved the first album. You've got all this vault stuff on your website and are the 2nd most prolific poster on your own forum, and are merch standing it at every gig... Why and how do you put up with it?

Well, I can only speak personally here but I think it’s basically to do with the whole idea of Sonic Boom Six, which was to be a punk band that embodies a lot of different ideas without trying to draw too much attention to that fact. I personally just think the ‘rock star’ mythos is out-dated, corny and narcissistic. I don't dig on that whole Motley Cru thing in terms of that kind of hokey rock-star image, even when people do it ironically. I remember being totally bummed out meeting Red Hot Chili Peppers outside their gig back in 1995 and I’d made a birthday card for Flea and he basically just pushed past and knocked it on the ground. And this is someone who always likes to go on about how punk he is. I tried to give it to his security but they all just shoved past. Who knows whether he got it. Whereas, not long before that year, at the same venue Pantera had come out and hung with the kids and Dimebag was a proper nice bloke and that meant a lot to us.
I don’t see that remaining aloof brings any mystique or air of mystery to a band in this day and age. I like to interact with our fans because being pragmatic and down-to-earth was definitely always an aspect of what SB6 was about. Pricking the bubble of ‘the cool’, which is generally just something that reminds me of 6th Form common rooms. Like the ‘cool list’. Something journalists write about for kids to read that need to re-affirm their coolness by liking something that a magazine that they sell in Asda tells them is cool. I’m not losing any sleep over it but it’s total bobbins isn’t it? Fuck it. Act like a nice bloke that you’d like to hang out with, not ‘cool’.

As Babar Luck so consistently points out, it's nice to be nice.

Rightio, I'm aware there are another few questions on another specific subject but they'll have to wait until we've got all our ducks in a row to be able to speak about the thing they're asking about! As ever, keep those questions coming in to

I'm off to see Inception in a bit. I like Leo DiCaprio but Christopher Nolan's Batman films - apart from the odd flash of brilliance - haven't been for me. It remains to be seen what I think about a film that he isn't making about a character that I'm irrationally demanding about. I'm ready to be pleasantly surprised!

Barney x