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THE BAND

A TEN QUESTION FAR FETCHING E-INTERVIEW
So, the Milky Wimpshake homepage and the print zine "Tasty" have combined forces for this e-mail interview.

Please feel free to not answer any of the following questions.

1. Why the effette, dare I say 'twee', name? Because there IS a pop band out there called "Fuck". Or is this just along the lines of absurd juxtapositions, like "Yummy Fur" and "Avocado Baby" and "Inspiral Carpets"?

Um, well, "Yummy Fur" is actually taken from the name of a great comic by Chester Brown, and "Avocado Baby" is actually the name of a children's book, but as it happens Milky Wimpshake is actually an original name at least. I agree it's effette, but we are quite effette people really - not particularly macho. I always liked wimpy bands with wimpy names like Talulah Gosh and the Sea Urchins, so I guess the name was harking back to that. Also, we never expected to do much stuff when we formed the band, so the name didn't seem too important - we might drop the Milky though, if I can persuade Grant and Christine. I think Fuck is a good name for a pop band, and so is Fistfuck.

2. What of Slampt? For goodness sake, what of DIY pop punk?

If people continue wanting to make that kind of music, it will survive. If people stop making it, or if only bad bands play that style, it will shrink and fade - it doesn't keep me up at night wandering about the future of DIY pop, but I think I will always be making music with Milky Wimpshake for as long as people will listen, because I enjoy it. As for Slampt, it was good fun, and it said what we felt needed saying.

3. Did you ever feel out of place amongst Slampt's other bands?

Not especially - I certainly never worried about it.

4. You've written love songs in many fine traditions: love from afar, love despite poverty, teen infatuation love, deliquent love. Why nothing in the love lost subgenre?

"It might sound dramatic" on the LP is one of our best songs, and that is a total "love-lost" song! We also have one lined up for the new album called "Didn't I break up with you?" which is along those lines. But, admittedly, most of my songs are more "I'm in love!" than "Why did you leave me, you heartless bitch?" I guess David Gedge has already got the copyright on that kind of thing.

5. We know that "Blow out" is autobiographical. But in general, how much do you draw on past experiences for lyrics, and how much is plain old nonsense?

A good proportion of it is plain old nonsense, but probably the majority is based on me or my friends. Yes, I did date a girl who worked at Lancashire Dairies... Yes, I did buy a disco record for one pound from a charity shop (or thrift store as you americans would say)... yes I do enjoy watching '77 punk boys pogo-ing... yes I do love Noam Chomsky and the Ramones. But I'm not a nightclub voyeur, in fact I hate nightclubs...

6. What did you make of the London Socialist Alliance result in London? Would you like to see a coming together of the left throughout the country, and under a Socialist Alliance banner, during the next general election?

I don't know much about the socialist alliance - I think the parliamentary left is pretty much dead in the UK. Since the Labour Party dropped clause 4, they have become increasingly right-wing, and thus the new Labour leadership have pretty much put a full-stop on the UK labour movement. I am, broadly-speaking, an anarchist or anarcho-syndicalist - I believe that we can police and govern ourselves, and whilst labour organisations can be very worthwhile, they are unlikely to go far enough to address the real crisis which capitalism has foisted upon us. Therefore, what is necessary is the sort of radical thinking which challenged industrial capitalism in the 19th and early 20th centuries, if we are to solve the environmental and social disasters connected with the late-capitalist system. I don't see these difficult questions being even properly discussed by the modern British socialist movement, who have have become dogmatic and fixed in their thinking, like Catholics in that sense. Thus I don't expect much good to come from them.

7. The unofficial MW website has, without forethought, linked to a page with mp3 and wav files from a live show. Is that okay with MW? How do y'all feel about songs from your more official recorded output (records/CD's/tapes/comps) being posted on the 'net?

Who cares? Nothing's for profit with me - music is music, and if they are going to play it on the radio (which I wish they would) then why not play it on computers too? Fine by me. Fuck copyright!

8. Would you say the whole "Peace Punk" thing has any influence on Milky Wimpshake?

Yes! On me at least. I love Crass, dude.

9. There are a number of references to people and things of what one could call the indie subculture in your music but you seem less enamored with pop culture. And the "Home is where the Hate Is" 7" certainly takes a dim view of popular entertainment. What is your favorite episode of "The Simpsons?"

I am an inverted snob. Unless you have everything ever issued by Fast recordings, and all the Shop Assitants records, you ain't worth talking to in my book. Only joking, but I must admit that I prefer records to TV - sorry if that offends you! But the Simpsons seems like a pretty funny show, although I couldn't name you an episode. I like Love'n'Rockets comics, is that any use to you???

10. Please feel free to type in anything below about or not about the possible death of punk music.

Is punk dead? It is when I get my hands on it.



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