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Interviews

The Straps
01/01/2005



So why resurrect The Straps after all this time?

We`ve reformed The Straps basically due to the amount of interest that we have been getting via the internet from the UK & world-wide in the last year, & Captain Oi! wanted to release a "Straps Punk Collection" on Cd, so we thought it would be a good idea to help promote it as well. To be honest we didn't know that we had made such an impact in the old punk scene as we realised until this last 12 months.

How did the recent Rezillos gig come about? And how did it go?

The promoter for the Rezillos gig (John Curd) who we used to do a lot of gigs for in the old days, got a message to me to see if i wanted to be on the guest list, but he found out that we were thinking of reforming & offered us the gig instead with only 2-1/2 weeks notice to get the band together. Jock lives in Cornwall now so it was a bit of hard work trying to organise rehearsals & we never got a drummer until the Tuesday night, we only managed to have 2 proper rehearsals, on Thursday & Friday night & the gig on the Saturday, but the gig was amazing with loads of Straps fans coming to the gig, it was packed down the front considering we were on stage at 8pm & they knew all the words & were calling out the names of our songs in between as well, it did seem strange after all these years that there were still a lot of people interested in us considering that it was only our 2nd gig in 22 years with the last one being in 92 with Sham 69 @ Brixton Academy, in fact we rated it in our top 5 Straps gigs ever!

What are the main differences with the band and their attitude and ideals today compared with the beginning?

There `s no difference with our attitude & ideals today as they were 27 years ago & apart from being older & wiser we realise now that that you can `t survive without some decent cash in your pocket but we still have the same enthusiasm for the Straps & making music as all those years ago. I was 15 when i played my first gig with The Straps supporting the UK Subs in 78 & we are just glad to be appreciated today for what we achieved in the past considering we did it all ourselves, we never even had a manager, agent, record company or any help from anyone.

What is your favourite Straps song and which song best sums up the band?

Now that `s a hard question! my personal favourites are probably No Liquor (very powerful song & Jim Walkers drumming is excellent), Jock`s favourite is Ex-Directory & i think Brixton sums up The Straps perfectly as the band were squatting in Brixton at the time & it reflects life as a young punk in the late 70`s living there.

What is the highlight and what is the lowest point in the bands history?

The highlight of The Straps has to be touring with The Damned in 1980, it was chaotic as you can imagine being on the road for 3 weeks with Rat & Captain. The low point had to be in 83 when we split, Jim Walker had left along with John Werner (bass) & we just didn`t seem to have the same enthusiasm again without them, it didn`t seem the same anymore & punk was dying then anyway! the band seemed to be falling apart so we decided to call it a day, Jock had started another band with Lester Jones from Crisis & had recorded a 12" single with Rat & Jah Wobble (Bartok) called Insanity/I Am The Bomb

What is the strangest rumour you have heard about the band?

There was a rumour was that Jock was going to replace Hugh Cornwall in The Stranglers.. what a load of bollocks !! & the other rumour was that Rat Scabies was going to buy us a beer... now that really is unbelievable!!!!

The band you remind me most of is Special Duties (and that is a compliment - one of my fav bands). What bands have you been compared to. And what bands today do you hear the Straps influence in?

I `m not familiar with Special Duties so maybe i should have a listen to them, we have been compared to the Ruts quite a few times for some reason but i can`t hear it myself. Jock says that "Kings Of Leon" have a similar sound & may have been influenced by us Ha Ha !

What were you up to in the years when the Straps was in hibernation?

I got married, had 2.4 children etc. I had my own flyposting business in Brixton for quite a few years but packed it in & set up my own building firm again (plastering). Simon Werner had a major car accident in Spain & nearly died & now lives in Hastings, John Werner moved back to Canada, Jim Walker lives in North London & makes horror movies & Jock got married had 4 kids & moved to Cornwall & set up a vegetable delivery business.

Plans, gigs and releases planned for 2005.

Captain Oi is releasing a "Straps Punk Collection" in March 05, we are considering releasing a new album later in the year & are now available for gigs & are confirmed for " Wasted 05 " & " The Cartoon " in Croydon on Sunday 6th March 05 & we are in the process of booking more gigs as we speak, best to check our website for updates www.thestraps.co.uk

Any final comments?

Thanks to all the Straps fans old & new who have supported us over the past 27 years & look we forward to seeing you in 2005.

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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.