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Interview

Last Years Youth
24/10/1999
Present for the interview, conducted in the cold amidst finest Sheffield drizzle: D-Generate (D) - guitar : Andy Vacant (A) - drums : Jake 'the-man-who-can' (J) - Bass and me (BP) mouthy shite and typer of this interview. Which means my answers get to be the longest.

Please give a brief history of the band, including current line up.

Last Years Youth was formed one drunk night by me & (D) cos we were shit bored in our little village and wanted to do something to pass the time. Owen surprised us all by sobering up long enough to teach himself the bass in about 2 days and a good friend, Rick, was our original drummer. Andy was originally our one and only fan, and when Rick announced that he wanted to leave Andy stepped in. When we started we genuinely could not play at all but we all enjoyed it so much we carried on regardless. Eventually something like tunes started to appear and amazingly a small but significant number of people took us to their hearts and told us we were still shit, but nowhere near as shit as we used to be. We knew we'd made it! We all jacked our jobs in, bought a massive great removal van and spent a couple of happy years playing gigs around europe, chiefly in Belgium, beer capital of the world. It was the people of Belgium who really made it all worthwhile for us - we couldn't get any gigs in England, but here were these people treating us really fucking great, and really going out of their way for us. We recorded a couple of studio tapes and sold a few (although never had anything released) and then just stopped practising. We never actually sat down and said 'we're splitting up', we just all drifted off. Anyway, to keep it brief, the CD got released, we started getting the sort of interest we'd always dreamed of in the first place, someone mentioned reforming and it all seemed like a great idea for a giggle. And now here we are....The line-up is basically the same as it ever was (BP, D-Generate, Andy Vacant & Owen Money) but we've got Jake filling in for a bit as Owen is temporarily indisposed...

Discography.

a.. The Walls come crashing down - crap tape recorded on a tape recorder and sold for a whopping 1 to any fucker stupid enough to express an interest

b.. Gobbin On The World - first studio tape with vocals that sound like a toddler who's been kicked in the nuts. God we were so proud of this!

c.. Safety Pins, Black Leather Jackets - another studio tape where we tried really hard to be hard.....and failed. Sold better than the first one though, I think we shifted nearly 100 of these!!

d.. Yah Boo! Fuck You! - CD (Step 1) Finally, after we split our first proper relese. Basically most of the studio stuff we ever did, comprising the best of the stuff from the last 2 tapes, and some other stuff we recorded after but split up before we could do anything with. Value for money at 28 tracks kids!

Describe your sound.

(D):Rolf Harris mixed with a bit of Kiss
(J): early Test-Tubes with a bit of Zounds
(A) Its early punk innit?
(BP)Yeah, early punk played by Wurzel Gummidges talentless brothers.

Were you supprised when Step-1 released 'Last Years Youth' CD a couple of years ago? And why do you think there is an interest in the band again?

We were all surprised, except (D) who arranged it. We were always pissed off we never got a proper release out, so it was really cool to actually see a 'proper' thing with us on. I don't know if he's actually sold any though... I think there is interest in the band because a lot of people can relate to a punk band thats just honest about what they are. We arn't anything special, and we probably won't change the world - we just love punk rock and love playing gigs. People get pissed off with all these bands who are like 'well, we don't really want to be pigeonholed as a punk band you know... we're like experimenting with elements of hardcore and jazz fusion and stuff you know, like, its all about a message man...' Fuck that, we're a basic 3 chord punk band and proud of it.

What is the favourite song (and what band is it by) of each member of the band?

(J) SHUT UP - Stranglers
(D) LAST YEARS YOUTH - Menace
(A) ENGLAND BELONGS TO ME - Cocksparrer
(BP) MOVING TARGET - Raped

What is the first record each member of the band ever bought?

Does this mean punk record, or just record full stop? We'll give you both:
First ever record:
(A)SQUEEZE - Cool For Cats
(J)ADAM & THE ANTS - Dirk Wears White Socks
(D)DAVID BOWIE - Life on Mars
(BP)RAY PARKER JUNIOR - Ghostbusters

First PUNK record:
(J) As above (flash bastard)
(D)CLASH - Remote Control
(A)CLASH - Clash
(BP)SLF - Live & Loud

Are the current crop of US bands such as Offspring, who do well in the British charts punk?

(A) In a kind of fashion, but I wouldn't class them as full on punk.
(D) There isn't really US punk, except for Rancid and the Subversives, who are good enough to be like English punk.
(J) I love US punk anyway, so what can I say? I suppose its punk, but the thing is, do they start out trying to be commercial or is it just luck?
(D) Lets face it, if you can make shitloads of money out of it....
(J) Lets face it, I don't think many people would turn it down would they.
(A) They all do sound the same though don't they..?
(BP) Yeah its punk if you want it to be. Some of those bands are excellent. I love NOFX and stuff. Its what you make of it when you hear it isn't it?. Like the Exploited and the Subs were on Top of the Pops and stuff. It didn't stop them being punk did it? And some of the kids who get into punk through the Offspring and that, they're turning out to be just as enthusiastic and commited as any of us. Who the fuck am I to say what is or isn't punk?

What is the Punk/Oi scene like in your area?

(D) My area is like a village in the middle of fucking nowhere and the punk scenes shit. There isn't a scene, at all.
(A)In Sheffield its alright though..
(J) It's intimate, we all know each other
(D) Yeah, you all have sex with each other.
(BP) But at least we've got other people to have sex with. I like Sheffields scene mainly. All the people are decent, and there's quite a few who get off their arses and do stuff. Theres a few bands about now - Violent Affray, SOV & Support (who are both young 'American' influenced bands proving they can be as punk as anyone else), Dollfight ( a girl-fronted band) and various other HC bands and stuff. Not exactly world shaking, but we''re hanging in there.

Plans, gigs and releases planned for 99.

Well we've already done Southend Punk Aid (Cheers to the people who came in to watch) and that was fun. (even though I spent most of our set trying not to be sick). We're arranged to play somewhere in London on DEC 11th and we're hoping to record 4 studio tracks with Jake (which we'd like to put out as a single - any takers? Don't all jump at once you Record label boys...). After that, get Owen back in and see where we end up. I'm trying to persuade Truth Decay to get back together for a gig so we can play with them (oo-er!)

Any final comments?

(J) Don't expect too much. Spit at us! (A) Er.... (D) 6 years on and still punk as fuck (BP)Hello mum! Cheers to Rebecca, not only for the interview but for being the first British person I met who'd actually heard of us! And a big cheers to Jake for bailing us out of a very deep hole. Anyone who wants to get in touch, feel free on lastyearsyouth@blueyonder.co.uk

Oh, and if anyone is prepared to release a single for us, we promise to learn a 4th chord.Honest!


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