If you are remotely interested in the punk/hardcore scene, there's a fair chance you've heard of The Business. Street punk/hardcore/Oi! legends. End Of. Chris, their drummer is in a new band called Kicked In The Teeth. They are fucking awesome. I don't have their LP's in stock as i'm having trouble sourcing them from the label, but i urge you to go get them from their bandcamp. You won't regret it.
Straight off the bat, if you were to introduce extraterrestrials to music using only 5 records, what do you choose?
Holst – The Planets
The Misfits - Teenagers From Mars
Billy Lee Riley – Flying Saucer Rock ‘n’ Roll
The Rezillos – Can’t Stand The Rezillos
Gwar – Gor Gor
Pretty alien friendly stuff!
Kicked In The Teeth formed and put out a fantastic album just before the covid pandemic shut the world down. Not ideal, but how hard was it to stay positive while basically having your momentum stop before it could start?
Firstly thank you, we were really pleased with how that album came out and it really kickstarted us taking things a little more seriously once we listened back and decided we all liked what we were doing. We had picked up a decent bit of momentum and we were playing some really fun gigs, as you point out the pandemic put a stop to a lot of that. It was the same for everyone though and we are pretty aware that for us not being able to play didn’t threaten our livelihood, we didn’t have big extensive tours lined up or any crew relying on us, so really we aren’t in a position to complain. The band on the whole is a pretty positive outlet, we did a few fun covers recording remotely in the initial lockdown which actually gave us a bit of something to do, hopefully that entertained a few people for a couple of minutes too.
Assuming 2022 let's the world return to some sort of new normal, what are the plans for K.I.T.T?
We actually recorded a new album about this time last year, due to the global vinyl shortage that is only just about to arrive, so we will be releasing ‘Salt Rocket To Nowhere’ very soon, it might even be out by the time this is published, we are really pleased with how it’s turned out, feels like a good progression from what we’ve done before and it’s probably the best record I’ve ever played on, so pretty excited to get that out and see if people like it as much as we do.
We’ve also got some good gigs booked, we go out for a short tour with Mexican Sugar Skulls from Spain in March and then we are touring with The Queers in May, we are playing Forever Young Festival, Manchester Punk Festival, Skate Aid 8, Rare Vitamin Annual Diverson and Rebellion festival among a load of other great standalone gigs too, so just looking forward to getting out and playing to people and with other bands again.
You were in The Business for 10-ish years. What have you been upto between the end of The Business and Kicked In The Teeth?
When The Business ended I felt like I’d done all I really wanted to do in terms of drumming, we toured all over the world, I saw the best of people and the worst of people, I won’t get too bogged down in anything negative, but it seemed at that point like people would happily crawl over each other just to get slightly higher up the food chain or get to sit next to someone important. That’s the antithesis of what I think music, and specifically punk music, should be about, so I figured I’d had a decent run and I would stop. I’d already started looking into opening a bar of my own, so I continued on with that and we opened The Salty Dog in Northwich where I live, specialising in craft beer and live music (stick to what you know!), it’s been a really great experience and dealing with young grassroots bands who just wanted to play because they like doing it really reminded me what it as about, that’s ultimately what led me full circle to wanting to play again.
What was the catalyst of Kicked In The Teeth forming?
So this follows on from the previous question (well written questions, good continuity). I’ve known Joe, Jay and Mike for years, we are all from the same town, all played in bands as kids and have just always known each other. It initially started off as a thing to do on a Tuesday evening, like the way some people play football or go on nature walks, then it gradually got more serious as we realised that we liked what we were doing, I still consider it to be my hobby, it’s always been my hobby really, we get to hang out with our friends, play music and get to watch loads of great bands, what’s not to like.
If there was one song you didn't write, but wish you did, what is it?
Snuff – Nick Motown
Outside of music, what keeps you busy?
I have an 8 year old daughter, she’s pretty active, so I drive her to a lot of places. I also get involved in a bit of promotion too, either at my place or other local things, there’s actually an Art Deco Cinema where we rehearse that we are helping to convert into a bigger venue, already done some pretty cool stuff there and hoping to ramp that up.
Who or what got you into the punk/hardcore scene?
Green Day, not unlike other people my age I was pretty well in that demographic for when Dookie came out, we caught the tail end of grunge, all the idiots were getting into Britpop, so it made sense to gravitate towards something that was good but didn’t take itself to seriously, there was a few people in my school into punk so they would point towards other bands and then we’d get the train to Manchester to go and buy the albums of the bands that popped up in the liner notes of whatever we’d previously bought. The DIY thing was a massive appeal, the idea that anyone could do it and you didn’t have to be classically trained was pretty cool, at that point too it was almost a given that other people in the scene would have a similar outlook to you, we were all pretty progressive liberal I guess, something I assumed was the norm for a long time, but sadly isn’t.
It would be remiss of me if I didn't ask you how your experience in The Business was? And how did the opportunity come about?
It was great, I played around 30 countries over 5 continents in the space of 10 years, had plenty of unusual experiences and saw some cool stuff. It’s fair to say there were a few situations I wouldn’t want to repeat and times when things could have turned out much worse, but for the most part I loved it. I fell into the band really, I’d recorded with The Hyperjax with Fish who was in Section 5, they needed a drummer for a gig in Serbia so he asked me, Tosh who was their guitarist also played in The Business and when it transpired they needed a drummer he put me forward, I initially came on to do two short tours and stayed until the end, Fish actually ended up taking over on guitar for the last few years of the band too. Being in that bands and becoming friends with Mick definitely influenced the way I approach things now, I was perhaps a little more naïve beforehand, it was certainly a novel way to cut your teeth.
Anything you'd like to add?
I think if people have read this far they’ve done pretty well, I hope the answers have been satisfactory! If it strikes a chord with people I’d love them to take the time out to check out Kicked In The Teeth, I’m really proud of what we are doing and it’d be great if people gave it a spin to see what they think.