24/01/2007 - 2nd interview
John Robb - Vocals/Guitar (JR)
Keith Curtis - Bass/Vocals (KC)
Johny Skullknuckles - Guitar/Vocals (JSK)
Rob Haynes - Drums/Vocals (RH)
Pete Brychmore - Guitar/Vocals (PB)
As for factual stuff; Goldblade were formed in 1996 when ex-Membranes front
man, journalist, and some time TV pundit John Robb met up with a like minded
musician in a local gym. They were joined by ex-Membrane Keith Curtis on
Bass, and ex-Hounddog drummer Rob Haynes. The initial line up set about
shaking up the then stagnant live music scene. Signed by Ultimate Records,
they released a couple of low key singles before 'Strictly Hardcore' hit
the UK national charts in March 1997. 'Hardcore' was taken from the album
'Hometurf', and the Blade set about a relentless and still continuing tour
schedule. A follow up single 'Hairstyle' was released which was made Single
of The Week on BBC Radio 1, the band were invited, and appeared on Saturday
morning TV; A second album 'Drop The Bomb' was also released before the
bands label collapsed scuppering any chance of capitalising on their initial
success. A couple of line up changes took place, with Pete GEORGEUS and
Johny Skullknuckles being brought in on dual lead guitar.
The band signed to a small Scottish indie, who released a ltd edition single
'AC/DC' as a taster for the follow up album 'Do You Believe In The Power
Of Rock 'N' Roll', but once more fate took an unhealthy interest in the
Blades activities, as this second label went bankrupt, thereby making 'Do
You Believe..' virtually unobtainable.
However none of this dented the Blades passion for the live spectacle,
as they toured the UK, America and Russia, being invited to appear at festivals
and the like the world over. At one of these festivals; Wasted, the Blade
were seen by the label bosses of Captain Oi! Records. In a break with there
usual style of putting out re-issues, they signed Goldblade on the spot.
'Rebel Songs' was released in 2005 to enormous critical acclaim, and basically
has not stopped selling since, becoming the bands biggest release. In addition
Goldblade have been signed to SOS Records in the USA, with distribution
by Sony, which is helping them gain exposure in the States. 'Rebel Songs'
has just been picked up by German label KB-Records, and we are currently
negotiating with a number of labels for a Japanese release.
2006 saw Goldblade release their first live DVD 'Testify' (Cherry Red Records)
filmed in Blackpool during Christmas 2005, it ideally demonstrated the
experience that is Goldblade live, the energy, the chaos, the entire audience
Goldblade then toured with Stiff Little Fingers, The Misfits and The Damned,
in addition to performing all over the UK for their own headline sets.
Due to the unavailability of the three early albums Captain Oi! took the
decision to issue a compilation CD 'Strictly Hardcore' and bundled on a
couple of tracks from 'Rebel Songs' - This release has been very well received,
though its caused the Blade to be in the enviable position of being forced
to make all their albums available as digital downloads in an effort to
As the year comes to a close they are writing new material, a few of the
songs already making it to the live set, in preparation for a new album
in 2007. The album will be supported with a single release and a full UK
headline tour, plus a tour of America. Dates are already booked in Holland,
Germany, Austria and Switzerland, so things are certainly not slowing down
for Goldblade, quite the opposite as they are tipped to break through to
a much larger audience in the coming 12 months
Please update people on what the band have been up to
since the last Punk & Oi UK interview five year ago? Is the line-up
JR – No, Wayne and Jay are not in the band anymore, Jay left to
run a venue in Manchester (Night& Day Café) full time and to
do his band Bone-Box, Wayne left because he wanted to concentrate on his
photography (which is great - he's putting together an avant-garde book
of photos of myself which looks fab - like computer generated graffiti
art with yours truly poncing about in the middle of it all), they were
replaced by the demon twin guitar attack of Johny Skullknuckles and Pete
Gorgeous...Goldblade is an idea and ideas cannot be destroyed! We are punk
rock, we are the revolution!
JSK - Jay and Wayne have gone and Pete and Johny make up the twin
guitar assault - full throttle, full power Rock 'n' Roll - never looked
back Goldblade really ROCK now!!
How has the bands ideals, lyrics and sound changed
over the years? And how do you see it continuing to progress in the future?
JSK - Its got far better, the songs are now consistently good where
as there are some weaker songs on the first two albums interspersed with
absolute dynamite songs, by the 3rd album there was a stronger and more
coherent approach to songs and style and by ‘Rebel Songs’ it
was cemented into what people think Goldblade to be. The new album will
go even further to do this.
PB - The band has toughened up, turned the volume up and in my opinion
shifted the quality of material up a gear. We're like a bloody Landrover,
just when you think you're in top gear you discover there's another higher
one to shift into - we're just gonna keep driving this thing hard. With
Johny and myself coming into the band in 2001 it was bound to move on
a bit, and it took some time to evolve but now, in my opinion, the old
band was a different entity completely. Great, but different.
RH - Each album has been faster, louder and more musically streamlined
than the one before, but the arrival of Pete and Johny and the twin lead
guitar line-up really took us to where we wanted to be. Soon after they
joined we hooked into the whole punk scene via our first Holidays In
the Sun / Wasted festival and that has helped us massively.
JR – Well the sound has got faster, that’s the most obvious
difference, plus we have stripped it back to our punk roots; we still
have some of those early influences – going right back to James
Brown and stuff like that; it’s just not as obvious. We dropped
the horns, as to be honest outside of the studio; they were just getting
drowned out at gigs. Then with the line up change, in came Johny and
Pete – and that brought about the twin lead barrage that is Goldblade
now, I loved one review which described our sound as ‘a full on
beach assault’ just about sums it up.
I still like to get in to the mosh pit, so we are currently looking at
the possibility of video feeds onto a projector to keep a Goldblade gig
both a visual and physical event.
How have you seen the audience change over
the years, and where are Goldblade best received? What do think of
today's punk scene?
JSK - This years Wasted shows were stunning from audience response -
really good. There are many, but I enjoy virtually all live shows; I
can count the ones I have not on the fingers of one hand.
JR - It was great playing in Russia, we played in huge stadiums and
the audiences were wild, massive and crazy, but to tell you the truth
its great playing everywhere, to be on stage is so fucking exciting,
the music gives you such an adrenaline rush, and we have met so many
great people all over the world from America to the UK to Europe, its
Where does the 'brother' thing come from?
JR - When me, and former member Brother Wayne started
the band we were into being a gang, we were rock ‘n’ roll
guerrillas; come to save the world like the MC5, ha ha ha. We decided
to make it a brotherhood - a soul power brotherhood, a secret punk rock
society, we just didn't want to be a bunch of blokes in a band ha ha
ha! and, err, it just carried on from there!
RH- It’s kind of a gospel thing. When we started out, one of the
bigger influences (less noticeable now, but still there) was funk stuff
like James Brown, the skewed gospel-soul influence of The Make Up, and
the mission statements of The MC5. Also it can be taken as a general
punk solidarity thing.
PB - Well, when you get to our age you can't remember peoples' names
so calling everyone Brother and Sister gets round this nicely.
JSK - I don't know, it was happening before I joined the band – it’s
pretty silly; but I like it.
Your website has had a makeover in the last
12 months. What are you thoughts on the internet revolution for bands?
JR - The internet has been brilliant for punk rock, it’s the
only way you can actually communicate with anybody who is interested
in this kind of music. This kind of music is pushed away from the mainstream
all the time, and ignored; the internet has made a big difference for
us. Take myspace, even though its owned by the evil media fuehrer Rupert
Murdoch its great, instead of having to grovel to get on the radio people
can come and listen to your stuff online, some days our myspace page
will get more hits than some well known late night radio shows that ignore
us, and that always makes me chuckle. I know a lot of punks are distrustful
of the internet, and a lot of people can't afford a computer but you
can get online free at your local library....its well worth doing...there's
loads of really cool websites like this one keeping everyone informed
of what’s going on; and we need to know what’s happening!
RH - It’s an amazing development and I don’t think the music
scene as a whole, or the public, has quite kept up with it. It’s
changed absolutely everything. It’s given everyone a chance to
be heard, although it makes things so diverse that it can be difficult
to be noticed.
PB - Anything that helps bands get a wider audience can only be a good
JSK - The internet is a great and cheap way of publicising gigs and
making your music available to a potentially huge audience. It’s
good! - of course the internet is evil as well, but there you go, all
good things have a dark and unpleasant side, just like me really
How did providing some of the soundtrack
for the gangster film Hell To Pay come about? What track do you have on
there? Do you have any more similar projects coming up?
JR - It came through Steve Whale who used to play guitar
in The Business, I got to know him through Lars from Rancid, they asked
me to sing on a couple of tracks on their upcoming punk super group project,
The Masons - along with Mensi, Steve Ignorant, Charlie Harper etc...The
album is fucking great, I wish they would hurry up and release it; Steve
wrote some great songs and Lars is brilliant at producing stuff- really
on the ball.
While we were there Steve said he was compiling the soundtrack for the
film and asked for a track, so we said “take what you need” and
he did! There is another film, this one is currently at the story board
stage; its based on a typical British council estate and involves group
of kids escaping through their dreams of being pirates – Its not
quite Johnny Depp in Pirates of The Caribbean, but I have been asked to
appear in this one, as well as contribute a song to the soundtrack; will
let you know about that.
PB - It's ‘Psycho’ that was used on there, think we just
got asked; probably via our publisher. Nice to be wanted! We keep getting
offers to contribute to extreme sports DVDs and such like - fine by me,
and I think the American version of ‘Celebrity Come Dancing’ were
gonna use 'Power Of Rock n Roll' or some other tune but that fell through.
Shame, that would have been a proper larf.
JSK - I co-wrote the screen play and insisted that they use Goldblade
music - "I'm a liar liar, I never tell the truth" - name that
Do all the band members do other jobs as well
as being in the band? If so, what? Has John's media profile helped
or hindered the band?
JR - Everyone does bits and bobs of stuff just to keep
Sometimes having a high media profile can be help for the band, and sometimes
it can be a hindrance- most of the time it’s irrelevant; it depends
on the mindset of the person your dealing with! If they find it a problem
then it shows that they are narrow minded and that’s their problem!
PB - Well, you can't separate one from the other really can you! I guess
fans of the band think it's great and people who don't like us think
'oh no, not that cunt again'. I personally think his face on telly can
only help our profile, besides which it makes me laff. I think the Punk
booked helped us loads too, though I don't like it when I'm asked to
sign it - nowt to do with me, wouldn't expect him to sign a GORGEOUS
or Nightingales CD would I ?
RH - We all have jobs. It surprises some people, but it’s near
impossible to earn any sort of living at all from a band of our size.
I’m a freelance journalist, which gives me the flexibility to fit
in the touring.
And John’s media profile helps us, I would imagine.
PB - Keith restores vintage bicycles, Rob is a Journo, Johny has his
shop – Rockers England, and I teach the guitar and do session work.
I think you know what JR does.
JSK - Ha - we all have to do stuff to make ends meet, Goldblade make
no money. Johns media profile on the whole is neither here nor there
but I have met several people who dislike John just from his TV appearances
(that’s not appearances as a TV)
Please tell the readers 5 facts about the band they
will not know?
JR - Brother Rob collects meteorites, and broccoli.
Brother Keef collects old bicycles, and broom handles.
Brother John collects trilobites, concrete, and the insides of old fish.
Brother Pete collects 1950's jam-jars, and fresh air.
Brother Johny collects old tattoos from dead bodies.
RH - Under the right conditions I can say “Archbishop of Canterbury” in
a single belch.
John has a formidable knowledge of small Eastern European countries
and republics, and, of course, of trilobites.
Pete once shared a taxi ride with the crown prince of Denmark.
Keith has furnished his flat with chairs made from rusty bike frames.
Johny has completed two 147 breaks in snooker.
PB - Everyone in Goldblade started out as a bass player except Keith
who started out on the Guitar.
We like dinosaurs (that’s 'like' not 'are')
Although John and Rob don't drink, Keef, Peter and Johny are very fond
of a pint.
John supports Blackpool FC, Rob supports Man City, Keef supports Millwall,
I support Stoke City and Johny doesn't like football but loves Formula
We don't like the fuckin' Killers
JSK - The majority of the band are well into Prog Rock
All band members started playing bass in bands apart from Keef (our
bass player) who started off on guitar
Johny Skullknuckles used to be in a band with Simon Wright who next became
the drummer in ACDC (now in Ronnie James Dio's band)
John Robb is interested in dinosaurs because he has one thing in common with
them - an incredibly small brain compared to the size of his body.
Newer readers may not know that Goldblade were once on CDUK!
Plans, gigs and releases
planned for 2007.
JR – I suppose the main aim of the year will be to get the
new album out in the autumn. We’ve got loads of songs piled
up at the moment; can’t stop writing the damn things, some
of the songs are in the set now, ‘Jukebox Generation’/
'Outer Space Girl’/ ' Riot (Riot)’/ ‘Rude Boys’...its
hard to say what the theme is until we’ve finished! We are
trying to make an album of riotous songs that you can sing along
to and set the moshpit into party mode; every song should create
a stage invasion and mass sing along. I think we have succeeded with
songs we have got so far!
PB - Can't speak for John's lyrics yet - though on 'Jukebox' he
seems to be continuing with the themes of 'Rebel Songs'. Music wise,
it's gotta be big catchy verses and even bigger catchy choruses.
We do have a couple of slightly different tunes this time, a kinda
slow brooding thing, (with a big chorus), and a Pirate song called
'Mutiny' which is gonna be a real mosh-pit classic.
RH - It’s a distillation of all our usual musical influences – as
with 'Rebel Songs', we’re going for a classic punk sound,
powerful and musical, with a few left-field influences – Clash,
Pistols, Stranglers, Subs, Kennedy's, Ruts etc.
Any final comments?
JR – Be yourself
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
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