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17 Stitsches

You have been going around 5 years, are the band where you thought they would be when you first started? Ie Level of interest in the band, musically and band level wise?

Actually the band has probably been round longer than that, more like 7 or 8 years I reckon. When we started we had no real ambition other than to be a punk band and enjoy doing it, thats still the ambition today really. We have never been into the whole networking bit, like sticking flyers into peoples hands, kissing peoples arses for favours and name dropping the band every 5 seconds. That to us is embarrasing, either people like the band or they don't, there's no point waving it in peoples faces. We're really happy with the band in every aspect I guess, we wouldn't still be doing it if we weren't.

Tell people about the releases you have had so far, and how people can get a copy - are you pleased how they sound?

To date we have two 'proper' releases. The 1st came out in 2001 on skipworth records, that's called 'closer than you think' and the other came out in 2003 on dislocate and thats called 'the antisocal e.p'. You can get them both either at our shows or through our site. Theres always opportunities to pick holes in things when you listen back to them but on the whole we are pleased how they both sound...nice and raw, it's punk after all we don't want to end up sounding like ELO or anything.

Why the name 17 Stitches? What other band names do you rate?

We get asked about the band name ALL the time and there is no real answer to it. We tried making a reasons up over the years but the truth is we just liked the sound of it. There are so many good band names out there we wished we'd thought of before like knuckledust, one way system, poison idea and, of course, Hackney sex pest.

You did a great set at HITS last year, which gig have you most enjoyed and why? Any disasters along the way?

We actually thought we had a shite gig that day, it wasn't til we got offstage that people were telling us how good it was. We'd arrived in morcambe 4 hours late and 20 mins before we had to go on. The train we were on was really badly delayed and we thought we would miss the gig altogether so we were pretty knackered by the time we got on, also some fucker helped his/her self to a boxload of our merch backstage whilst we played! We've had too many disasters to mention over the years, so many it's stupid.

We've had so many gigs over the years that it's impossible to say what one was the best, I guess the best one lately was the 'Wankered' festival at the poison club late last year, the crowd were going nuts and we really got into it, It was really good.

What inspires your lyrics and do politics and music mix?

I dunno if you could say politics and music mix, it clearly creates trouble, but its gotta be better than sitting on the fence and singing about'birds and booze', that stuff is awful. Some people have said we're a political band but I don't think so. The songs are just about how we see things from our perspective, It all depends what you define as 'political' i suppose. I don't think singing that the government is a bunch of shit or that we think that racism is a joke makes us a political band in the same sense as say conflict. Our songs are about a variety of different things but we don't have a manifesto or an agenda or anything, we're not trying to tell people what to think or how to act, they are just about how we feel.


What was the first gig you went to where you really thought - I wanna do that, I want to be in a band?

I can't even remember! Maybe peter and the test tube babies at the powerhaus years ago? Or the pogues at Shepherds Bush Empire before that? I've been into punk since I was 15 and the band kinda started as a mess about so it didn't really happen that way.

What were your favourite releases of last year?

Drongos for Europe - Barcode generation.....fucking brilliant, and the new exploited albumn was pretty good too.

Tell us about the London scene?

It's as healthy as we've ever known it, mainly due to the influx of younger kids coming to shows over the past 2 years. There are tonnes of punks etc. from overseas squatting or visiting here too, it's pretty mental the amount of languages that are spoken at the average poison club gig! we have a few regular venues for punk shows some are proper ones like the underworld and others like the poison club that are squats and the shows tend to be more lively in places like that.

Plans, gigs and releases planned for 2004.

We're planning a european tour in the summer and then maybe the USA again in the autumn....all th details for that will be on the site when its confirmed.

We have a 4 way split coming out soon with Drongos for Europe APA and another american band TBC called 'escape from camp x-ray' thats all recorded and gonna be released in europe in Dislocate. We're working on writing our first proper album at the moment which we'll record and release before the end of the year hopefully.

Any final comments?

Errrrrrrm, I hate this bit.............Yeah check the site www.17stitches.sphosting.com and errrrm..........
a big hello to all the yoofs that get drunk on Camden Bridge (CBR!). Bye.

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Please note that the opinions expressed by band members does not necessarily reflect the views of this website. Punk & Oi in the UK Limited are in no way liable for comments made by interviewees.