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Deadline 2nd Interview


Deadline are a band that need little introduction. After exploding onto the London punk scene in 2001 the band have embarked on a punishing work schedule with a regime of constant touring and recording. With four albums now in the bag including their latest ‘Take A Good Look’ released on German punk label People Like You Records the time was right to catch up on the activities of quite possibly the UK’s most popular contemporary punk band.
Sean McGhee talks to bassist Herve and vocalist Liz…

You obviously started with a more identifiable skinhead band look, was it a conscious decision to change your image?

Herve: Not at all… I have been into psychobilly and all things Rock n Roll since I was a teen… I guess I just went back to my old hairstyle. I had a skinhead when the band started but it didn’t last long. We never set out to be a “skinhead band” anyway. Everyone has always been welcome to Deadline shows. Skinheads, Punks, whoever, haircuts and the clothes you wear don’t make any fuckin difference.

Liz: Don’t you like my new hair cut? I find it funny when people say they’re not going to listen to our music because I’ve grown my hair. Before I was in Deadline and before I met Herve I had mohicans and spikey tops of varying colours. I went for the feather cut cos it was a bit more acceptable for work but still different. My hair now has caused more controversy than all the others so I’m gonna keep it like this just to piss everyone off!

What do you feel it is that’s helped the band become so popular throughout Europe?

Herve: Hard work and good tunes I suppose…. We’ve played every youth club, squat and Punk club across most of Europe. That helped us secure good slots on bigger festivals and then it’s a snowball effect. We’ve done it all ourselves, no major label behind us or anything. We’ve also made hundreds of good friends along the way. It’s a good feeling.

Liz: Yeah we’ve spent a lot of time over there and we always make time to meet the “fans” as well, which they appreciate and makes them wanna see us again.

The new album has a more melodic edge than previous material. Are you attempting to widen out the appeal to a much larger potential audience?

Herve: That’s funny how perceptions differ…. We did a lot of interviews in the last 2 weeks and many asked why the new album was heavier and more aggressive. I guess it’s all down to personal perceptions and Deadline has ALWAYS had a melodic edge anyway (Read out our first interview for Punk & Oi! when the band was only a few months old)

At the end of the day we don’t want to put out the same album 4 times!!! So yes, all albums will be different from the previous ones. Our albums change as our songwriting matures. We wrote the first album in 2 weeks and recorded it in 6 days… it was a bit rough round the edges, but it was all we could afford… in true DIY style. Now we have a bit more cash to record, a label behind us, so we can afford to polish the final product a bit more. And yes, we’ve always attempted to appeal to a larger audience while playing what we like. We really love this new album. It’s probably the first one we’ve released that we’re 100% happy with…. (Or 99%).

Rancid are fans of the band, how did that friendship start?

Herve: Rancid are great guys and know good bands when they hear them ;)
They’ve always tried to help the bands they like and give them local support slots. They gave a London Astoria support to my old band Gundog about 10 years ago and when they came back in 2003 they gave Deadline their Brixton Academy support. Playing that show in our hometown in front of 4000 kids really did us a hell of good. They’re coming back next month and offered us a support on their 2nd London show. Unfortunately the 2nd London date got cancelled in the meantime so we won’t be supporting…. But at least Argy Bargy are doing the 1st (and now only) London show, so it’s all-good. We’ll be there and get drunk…. Even better!

The popularity and commercial success of punk bands in the USA and the UK is literally worlds apart. Have you ever contemplated relocating to the USA to heighten your chance of international success?

Herve: Never! We’d love to have “international” success as you put it but I wouldn’t suck American cock to get it! I prefer touring Europe anytime. We’re not kids anymore, we can’t just relocate like that and we don’t believe we’re gonna be the new Distillers or Offspring anytime soon. We love the way it is right now. We do the band on our own terms, we tour, write and record albums cos we love it, if one day it becomes a chore we’ll slow it right down or stop it altogether!

Liz: We went to the US twice and it’s not all that. We know some really great people over there but you have to put up with all the bullshit talking.

The multi-cultural element (Anglo/French) of the band. Do you think that gives you a different perspective than other UK based punk bands?
Herve: No, I don’t think so…. What might help is the fact I’ve always traveled Europe and beyond, so organizing tours abroad is not a big deal for me.

Liz: Herve was in the French army so he runs things with military precision! No, joking aside, we’ve always worked hard but Herve has been the driving force maybe cos he’s French? So that is why we’ve achieved so much in such a relatively short time period.

What inspired the Blondie cover? Any further ideas for cover collections?

Liz: I’ve always loved the song and I wanted to do something a bit more melodic so I thought it’d be a great way to show a different side to the band. Plus I wanted to see the boys in suits!

The well-earned rest. What do the band plan to do in their ‘time out’?

Herve: We just wanna concentrate on our families & relationships for the next few months. We worked so fuckin hard in 2006, we needed a break from airport waiting rooms and week ends in cheap foreign hotels for a few months. We’re still playing all UK shows as planned as they’re near home and aren’t as time consuming as the odd weekend show abroad. But no worries, we’ll be back on the road properly in February 2007.

Liz: The last 18 months has been a huge strain on Herve and me in particular and we just need a bit of time out to be husband and wife for a bit.

How do you juggle your real jobs and the band, and does it prove difficult?

Herve: Fuck yes! Picture being on the road playing 30 shows in 31 days all across Europe. Then comes your last show on a Sunday night in the North of France and you have to drive back overnight to be at work for 8am on a rainy Monday morning after a 32-day unpaid leave. It’s really hard to get back to normality. Basically we all juggle between unpaid leave, part time jobs and getting the sack.

What ambitions do you still have for the band?
Herve: Keep doing it as long as we enjoy it! Touring Japan & the Far East would be nice too!

Liz: WORLD DOMINATION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Well a few more shows in England anyway.

Future plans
Herve: Some big UK shows coming up (Shepherd’s Bush, Speedfreaks Ball, Islington Academy) and back on the road for most of February and April.
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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.


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