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Savage Circle + Paul Fox (Ruts)

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

Mark: I have been a punk rocker all my life. I had been in previous bands with Pete. But started Savage Circle around 1998 after seeing Stranglers cover band 4 More Heroes (then Orange Alert). Originally we were going to be a Ramones cover band. But Pete is not into punk, he likes his heavy metal, but after lending him a Ruts album he was totally blown away and became a huge Ruts fan. Anyway 13 drummers on, the lineup is now……

Mark - Vocals
Pete - Guitar
Paul Fox - Guitar (sometimes)
Karl - Bass
Matt - Drums


No releases so far, but an album is planned, plus the live recording of today's gig (Sun 13 Oct / Wakefield). The album may be released under the name Ruts 2, or Savage Circle or maybe something different again. The band have not yet decided, but Paul Fox the original guitarist in the Ruts will be working with the band. The album will be new tracks.There may also be a single out featuring a Ruts original song, backed with 2 new tracks - nothing has been finalised yet.The live recording of today's gig (featuring Paul Fox) will be available from Paul & Liz.

Question to Paul - How did you meet up with Savage Circle, & how does it feel to see someone else playing your guitar parts?

I met up with the band through Stan Richardson. The band had already contacted Segs (John Jennings - Ruts bassist) who is now in Alabama 3, as they had wanted to communicate with at least one Ruts member. So after seeing them in York a year ago, I received an email. We then met for the first time via WebcamIt felt honoured, but it was also scary seeing someone taking my part. Plus I had to take the piss out of Pete's hair and ask what that was about.

To the band: How did you feel about Paul joining you on stage and is it going to become a regular occurrence?

Great. Paul has even been up from London to a band rehearsal in Huddersfield. And we have been down and stayed on his house-boat (and had great eggs for breakfast).
Paul will be joining us for as many gigs as possible - hopefully HITS next year?!?! As mention there is also an album planned with Paul playing on it.

Question to Paul: Have you been involved in music since the demise of the Ruts?

There was Ruts DC, and then a couple of bands, but not serious. For a while I was really a bit of a recluse just the boat and the dog (and maybe some more dogs after this interview - Paul had left his dog with Mark's bitch - so maybe some Rutletts on the way).

The Ruts must be one of the most challenging of bands to cover, with the punk and reggae elements. If you had to go down the root of either just punk or just reggae tracks, which way would you go and also what bands out their can you hear the Ruts influence in.

The Ruts were musically a rock band with a punk singer.

The Clash in parts had a similar sound and Nirvana also had some of the same style.

Question from Liz to Mark: You have the same look and mannerisms of Johnny Rotten on Stage - is that deliberate? (Mark can also do Johnny's whine and facial contortions).

It is fun to do. I have been asked to join various Sex Pistols cover bands, but I am happy doing the Ruts.

What are your favourite Ruts tracks?

'It Was Cold' and 'Sus'. (Mine is 'Starting At The Rude Boys').

What other bands do you rate?

Pink Floyd, Metallica, Stranglers, Chelsea, Dickies, Red Flag 77, Damned, Slaughter & The Dogs, English Dogs and many more.

Question to Paul: When was the last time you played Wakefield? And what was your last interview?

I last played Wakefield in 1980. My last interview was for 'Q Magazine' - an article on 'Where Are They Now'. I also did the quiz show 'Never Mind The Buzzcocks' last year. I was in the line up where the panel have to guess which was the real band member. Mark La Mar was a wanker, but Phil Junipur was really nice - infact he said he used to wear a Ruts badge years ago when he listened to punk.

Plans, gigs and releases for 2002/03?

We need a good manager - so interested parties get in touch. We have the name issue to resolve as well before the album is done.

Any final comments?

This is our first interview ever (Savage Circle)!We would like to thank….
Keith & Nicola Ramsden, Stan Hemmingway, Porky, Liz & Paul and Malcom for sound.

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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.