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The Riffs
06/07/2002 (interview with Dave,Andy, Duane, Mark and Spen)

Disclaimer: The Riffs would like it to be known that we were asked to do this interview months ago - and didn't! But now we have and it should be read tongue in cheek and beer in hand - cheers!!!

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

[Dave] I'll leave it to Andy.

[Andy] You bastard, he always does this! The Riffs have been going for years, and the current line-up has been together since 1993. Today we are Mark (Clem), Dave, Andy, Spen and Duane. We have been as many as 10 and as few as four. We have also been very very drunk too.


We are still chasing that one (check out the relevant page on our web). There have been a number of official releases and hundreds of compilations since then featuring The Riffs. We're kinda depending on you guys to tell us what we're on, cos we don't know!)

Has any band member played in other bands, if so what?

[Dave] All Riffs members have been involved at some time or another in other studio projects i.e. soundtracks, video title tracks, sessions work, dance records. Bands I've been in include Toot & Skaman, Those Lovely Fluffy Bunnies and You can do it Duffy Moon.

[Andy] My other bands include a punk take on the Beatles whilst at school, and a Mod band (sorry lads, forgot the name). Currently I occasionally play with I Can't Believe It's Not Punk (a wicked covers band), and recently No.1 Station have asked me to play with them whilst Eddie Tan Tan goes on holiday.

[Duane] I was in The Booze Boys (Punk, drunk & disgusting. They got arrested, chased outta venues & towns, made 1 LP, and had a 6ft penis made up to squirt punters with stuff). Also been in Idolize (a musical collective thing).

[Mark] I was in the Mysterons in 1985-86 (psycho-billy), Frantic Flintstones in the early 90s, and Those lovely Fluffy Bunnies 91 - 92 (indie Rock) whilst the Riffs went into hibernation.

[Spen] A blues band called the Blues Broadcasters, and I've toured with Bad Manners too.

What is the funniest thing that has happened to you whilst touring?

[Dave] The van breaking down in West Germany, turning up at 10.15pm to play in Leipzig (East Germany); Aidan had Bronchitis and was introduced to 'Absinthe' by the promoter, the rest of the band also began to enjoy the deceiving medical type taste. This led to Ian (ex-bass player) pissing on stage, Spen falling (banana skin style) on his back mid guitar solo, then Aidan tumbling into crowd before inviting everyone back stage afterwards for a party (which led to some strange encounters with some slightly odd people).

[Andy] As Ian's not in the band any more I can mention Suzie Hubner in Germany, but that was scary rather than funny. I fell off stage the other day in London, but that's happened before. Still, I only spilt half a pint this time!

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

[Dave] Booker T/Small Faces/Madness/Specials/Don Drummond/Bob Marley extravaganza!

[Andy] Same as Dave, and also Bill Haley & The Comets, The Beatles in their early days, The Clash, the original Wailers, the original Pink Floyd, and to witness the original UK punk scene.

[Duane] Probably someone like Linkin Park. No, on second thoughts Bob Marley and Pink Floyd.

[Spen] I suppose I'll end up saying summit like Jimi Hendrix

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

[Dave] 'Sandy' by John Travolta - the love-dog that I am.

[Andy] Not including Pinky & Perky or the Rainbow theme tune, it would probably be either "Mull of Kintyre" by Wings, or something by Showaddywaddy.

[Duane] I Could Be So Good For You" by Denis Waterman.

[Spen] Bad Manners, an album I think. I lived in a pub so we got all the old 7" singles with the middles missing out of the jukebox.

[Mark] "I don't like Mondays" by the Boomtown Rats.

Name the best 5 releases of 2001.

Dave] Reggie Kray and three small rodents and a spider monkey back into the wild.

[Andy] Hey, don't forget that little donkey too!

[Duane] Clint Eastwood - Gorillaz, Sunburn - Muse, My Name Is - Eminem, Echoes - Pink Floyd, You Should - Third Day Coming.

[Andy] and the lovely Kylie Minogue of course!

Describe the British ska scene at the beginning of the 21st century.

[Dave] The Riffs.

[Andy] Dave.

[Spen] In detox. In fact I am the Leader of the British Ska Scene.

Plans, gigs and releases planned for 2002.

[Dave] Increased repertoire, reduced mundane crap, higher quality compositions, new inspiration, set over-haul, nu-energy - A long awaited album by next year.

Future gigs (see website - www.theriffs.com) include The Cartoon in Croydon Friday 12 July with some skacore and punk on support, Sat 13 July at the Hop Pole Aylesbury, August is holiday time, and then Austria on 6 September, and London on 21 September. Is that enough????

[Andy] We've all promised to try and obey our manager this year and not to laugh at him too often, Mark has promised (again) to build a studio in his garden shed and Spen has threatened to help him, and I'm learning to play the tambourine properly. Oh and we've also written some wicked new tunes and all learned to tie our shoe laces too.

[Duane] Re-group, re- discover ourselves for 2001, realise it's now 2002, have a beer, and something else.

[Spen] I'm gonna try to learn to play guitar behind my head and possibly with my teeth cos I think it will look good on stage, and be a major contribution to both road safety and to the band visually.

Any final comments?

[Dave] Follow me I'm right behind ya !

[Andy] Which is better than following Mark cos he'll lead you to Wales, whether you want to go there or not! Freedom for Tooting!

[Duane] Still great fun playing for The Riffs. We would really like to record an album this year. We have some great ideas to put down on vinyl and we can't wait to get in to the studio. [Spen] Duane is too tall.

[Mark] With The Riffs it's strictly dancing business. And things.....


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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.