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11/09/2005 (2nd interview)

What have the band been up to since I last interviewed you two years ago? Who is in the band these days?

Quite a lot has happened! We finally found a steady drummer in the form of Pez, then released the "Rock n' Roll Tyranny" EP, followed shortly by a split 7" with our Bristol cohorts Bad Blood, on Campary Records (Germany.) We then toured in support of these releases. However, last year, Eddie Lee (guitarist/joint vocalist), Tommy (guitarist) and Pez left as they kind of fell out with punk! I decided to carry on with the band as it had been my baby from day one, so I recruited Matt Spartan and Jamer Hendrix on guitars, and Matt Pants on drums. We don't have a second vocalist this time round. This line-up has been in existence since September 2004, and I'm enjoying a thousand times more now.

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

Matt Spartan still plays in Bristol streetpunk band the Spartans, and was previously in Four Letter Word. Jamer and Matt Pants were in the Surfin' Turnips (best west country themed band next to the Wurzels!) and recently got it back together, but are still playing in Valdez.

I believe you have some new tracks, what is the bands favourite and what is it about? What is involved in the song writing process.

We have around 10 new tracks written with this line up....one or two I wrote during the old line up's days but never got round to gigging them. Our favourites are probably 'Cider Violence, Cider War', a true story about a dumbfuck racist attempting to bottle me on the streets of Leeds in 2003 after I told him to shut the fuck up (he failed, and consequently screamed that I had made him late for his bus.) Another favourite is 'Urban Rape', about people from the cities going to the countryside to relax, but ruining it for anyone due to their incapability to relax. With regard to what goes into a song, myself and Jamer do a lot of the writing....I do 90% of the lyrics, Jamer has written a few in the past two. Then whoever has written the music brings it to the rest of the band and we pretty much jingle it around and tweak it until we're happy with it!

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

Probably 'You can wear my balls on your Nazi chins' from 'The Only Good Fascist is a Very Dead Fascist' by Propagandhi.

What has been the bands fav gig of the past 12 months, and who else was on the line-up? Any tour gossip?

Hmmm, tough one...our gig with the Queers this June in Bristol was fun, but probably got beaten by our last gig at the Wunderbar in Midsomer Norton. Its my home town, and our first gig there in 14 months (and first ever with the new line up!) We went down a storm, packed the place out and had some great times.

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

For me, the Ramones, without a doubt. I recently fulfilled my dream of seeing Social Distortion in concert, now all that is left is for Naked Raygun to reform!

Describe punk at the beginning of the 21st century.

I think the 21st century is a great time for punk. A lot of scenes seem to be more into helping each other out, which is great to see, and a lot of great bands are coming out of nowhere which always makes going to gigs fun. I think some of the scenes out there could stop being cliques and open their doors to more ideas and out of town bands, but, generally, the punk scene seems to be thriving and getting stronger.

What bands would you recommend checking out?

Shouldn't have asked me that, we could be here all day, but for now.....in the UK:Drongos for Europe, Chokeslam, the Dangerfields, Shut Up Benson, Mumrah, The Sex Maniacs, The Leif Ericsson, Goatorcycle, Hacksaw, The Setbacks and the Surfin' Turnips. Worldwide: Schleprock (who have just reformed), The Generators, Reno Divorce, The Street Dogs, Pistol Grip, The Hell City Kings, Anal Thunder, Flatfoot 56, The Black Furies, Electric Frankenstein.

Plans, gigs and releases planned for 2005.

We've recently completed out debut album 'Exception Becomes the Rule, due in November on our own label, Cider City Records. Although we will also be hoping for a USA label release too. We also have a split 7" with Electric Frankenstein slated for a January '06 release on Denver's Antidote Records. We're supporting the Real Mckenzies next month, and playing a fund raiser for Troma Films in Torquay, which should be fun....in addition, we're (hopefully!) going to the USA for a month in summer 2006 with Reno Divorce and to do some shows with some of our friends' bands. So we seem to be living in busy times for Valdez right now!

Any final comments?

Thanks a million for the interview Rebecca. Check out our website www.valdez.org.uk for gigs and news of where to get our releases....and buy the new album when it comes out!

Cheers and, to everyone out there, we'll see you soon!

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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.