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Retaliator - 2nd Interview
05/05/2003 (interview with Ian & Pete)

Wow, it is just over four years since I last interviewed you, since then the band has gone a major overhaul in personnel. Can you say why this came about, who is in the band now and what other bands they have played with.

Pete: Blimey crikey, it can't be four years!

Ian: Yeah we've had something like 10 or 12 line-up changes since the band formed back in '96, can't say why that is. Probably because we're total bastards to work with!

The current line-up is Ian - Vocals, John - Guitar, Pete - Bass and Mark - Drums. Nobody has been in any "known" bands other than Mark who is ex-Special Duties and also currently in Condemned 84.

Do you think your sound and contents of your lyrics have changed much since you started? How would you describe your sound and what are the main theme of the lyrics?

Pete: Our lyrics aint really changed too much over the years, we were obnoxious drunken patriotic bastards back when we started the band and we still are! Our main theme will always be the skinhead way of life, but we like to touch on different subjects to, it depends what's on our minds when we put pen to paper really. I suppose our sound, just like any other band, goes through different phases, right now though, I'd say we're fairly content with our over all sound, it's still Oi! of course, but still hard and heavy with tons of aggression we hope, just the way we like it, although I think we're getting a bit more tuneful, a bit more singalong, well that's what people are telling us anyway!

Ian: Lyric wise, we want to give people a good kick in the bollocks. Too many other Oi! Bands like to play it safe and sing about "having fun". That's all very well, but it 'aint for us. Sound wise has usually depended on what guitarist we have in the band at the time, I'm very happy with the current sound though.

How have you seen the British and worldwide oi scene change since you started?

Ian: Well it's starting to get a bit more healthy again in the UK which a good thing, seems to have picked up on the gig front too. Not seen to much change overseas they've still got loads of good bands emerging and gigs happening.

If you could see any band play live, either of the past or present who would it be?

Pete: Well as every band and his uncle are reforming, that's a tough one, but I wouldn't mind seeing ACDC with Bon Scott on vocals, or the Pistols with Sid, or the 4-Skins with Hodges, or Combat 84 with Chubby Chris and my ole school mate John Fisher on drums!

Ian: Pistols with Sid?? Bah! I would like to see the Jam with the Chords supporting. Bet that shocked ya!

Pete: Sid might not have been able to play for shit, but that weren't the point. The Chords? Pah! Secret Affair maybe!

Ian: Secret Affair?? Pah! The Purple Hearts maybe!… Hmmm are we Mods in disguise?

What is the best sentence you have ever heard, that someone has managed to get into a song's lyrics?

Pete: Oh bloody hell, there are so many! Lyrics have always been really important to me, but I can't think of anything off the top of me 'ead, and I aint gonna go and trawl through me records, so how about this one - coz I just heard it on the radio and it's a song I've always liked - "Assembling the knights and their swords were sharp, there was hope in our English hearts!"

Ian: Yeah, Swords of 1000 men has some good lyrics. As for me…. dunno… I'm jealous of loads of other peoples lyrics, Peter & the Testies have always made me think "Doh… Why didn't I think of that??"

Do politics and music go together?

Pete: Yeah for a lot of people they do, politics is part of life, but there's a time and a place for politics, take your politics to a political gig by all means, just leave them at home for non-political gigs, whatever your politics, left or right, it's as simple as that!

If Retaliator were a type of alcohol, what drink would they be and why?

Pete: Bombardier! A full-bodied, tasty and patriotic, no-nonsense imperial - made in England - pint! You getting 'em in or what?

What bands would you recommend checking out?

Pete: Discipline, Haggis, Argy Bargy, Bakers Dozen, Loyalty, Scum, off the top of me head!

Ian: Yep, Pete has pretty much summed up who I've been listening to recently. Also been listening to the Bloodline and Hatebreed lots.

Plans, gigs and releases planned for 2003.

Pete: We just got back from playing the Stavanger Punk Rock festival in Norway with Haggis and the Exploited among others, which was a great laugh, we're in Italy in June, sunny Hounslow in July, we're negotiating with people in Germany and possibly even the Czech Republic too. We might even return to Norway (Oslo this time) near Christmas, but that's just a drunken rumour at the moment. We're about to release our new single 'The Sweeney' on Camden Town Records, which will be a vinyl 45 and will feature 'Give Us Back St George's Day' on the flip side, a track we've done in support of the campaign to reinstate St George's Day to a bank holiday. We're also about to release a split single on Blind Beggar Records with Loyalty, featuring a track called 'A Bridge Too Far' from us and 'Crack Dealer' from Loyalty. We have plans to return to the studio later in the year with a shed-load of beer and a dozen or so mates to record a 'Live Session' which we'll release ourselves as an extremely limited edition by way of thanking all our mates and one or two people who've supported us from day one, you'll find plenty of past Retaliator members and other dubious characters doing the backing vocals on that bastard. Then it's all systems go for our - as yet untitled - third album which will be on Pure Impact as always and will probably be due for release in 2004 sometime.

Any final comments?

Ian: Thanks Rebecca for the interview! Might have a chat in another 4 years!

Pete: Yeah cheers! Bloik!

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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.