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Smut Peddlers
29/06/2005 (interview with Julia Smut)

Please introduce the band to readers and explain why you got together in the first place?

Julia – Julia Smut, I play drums, Gish Stiffness on electric bass, John Ransom on vocals, Sean Mallard on stage right guitar and Prospect on stage left guitar.

How was last years album 'Coming Out' received? Is the bands favourite release, if not what is and why? What would you put if you were reviewing the album?

Julia – It seems to have gone over pretty well. It was our 5th full length release, but our first release on TKO. It’s hard to pick a favorite release because each record is so different and we’ve had a different line up of guitar players with each one. I can’t stand record reviews. I used to try to write them for a friends magazine and hated it. I’m way too close to our records to review one.

What process goes into writing the lyrics and constructing the songs? Which song best sums up the band?

Julia – Well, the music is a group effort. We all add things when one person brings something into rehearsal. John writes most of the lyrics so I’m not sure what his writing process is. I’ve written lyrics a couple times and just a matter of writing them down when something pops in my head. I don’t think any one song could sum up the band.

How do you think coming from California effects your sound? What bands influenced you and what bands in your area would you recommend checking out?

Julia – I think a lot of great punk bands started an amazing punk scene here in the late 70’s that laid a strong foundation for bands like Smut Peddlers. Bands that I could go see and hear live. All bands influence me, whether they’re good or bad. Local bands I think everyone should see... Throw Rag, SMOGTOWN, the Crowd, the Stitches, Broken Bottles,... Tons more I just can’t think, it’s kind of early.

You had problems earlier this year just before you were supposed to tour Europe. Please give your side of the story?

Julia – I’m over it, don’t feel like rehashing it anymore. It’s all a bunch of political bullshit that shouldn’t be mixed with music, in my opinion. We’re not a political band and never have been. We did a United States tour instead, thanks to Deb at Devil Dolls Booking, and we got to see the country and meet great people along the way.

What is the strangest rumour you have heard about the Smut Peddlers?

Julia – That one of guitar players ran off with a gay lover to Mexico.

Over the years how have you seen your audience and the punk scene in general change?

Julia – Well, people change as they get older, so I see fans getting married, having kids, bringing their kids to shows, etc... It’s weird because we will get a new group of fans that never saw us in the early years, so all they want to hear is material that’s 10+ years old. We have over 100 original, recorded songs. I mean, that’s the way it works, right? You stay a band for 10+ years, you keep writing songs, but these people actually get “mad” we won’t play all these old songs. If we played 15 songs a night (which is more than usual) that would still be only 3 songs per full length and then that would still leave out exclusive comp & 7” tracks. Sorry to ramble, it’s just something that bugs me...

How Do you feel about people being arrested for downloading music. Would you care if they downloaded some of your music?

Julia – We have music available for free download. People are going to burn copies and download stuff and there’s nothing you can do to stop it. If they really like it, they will buy a copy to have the real deal.

Plans, gigs and releases planned for 2005.

Julia – We hope to get at least a new 7” out on TKO and we’re releasing a live dvd on TKO in October. Shows are ongoing, you can check our show dates page for those.

Any final comments?

Julia – I’m drawing a blank right now... My Grandmother died yesterday, so I’d just like to give her a “rest in peace”.

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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.