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Vice Squad - 2nd interview
18/07/2003 (interview with Beki Bondage)

It has been a couple of years since the last vice squad interview for this site. Please bring the readers up to date in what has been happening with the band in the last 2 years.

We spent time writing and recording "Rich And Famous" which comes out July 21st and also toured USA again as well as doing gigs round the uk and a few festivals abroad. Our last album," Bang To Rights" came out in 2001 and we finished most of "Rich And Famous" by the summer of 2002 but couldn't get a record company to release it, so we went back to song writing feeling pissed off that no-one wanted it. When I say "no-one" I mean the 2 record companies I approached!!!! It's pretty tough being rejected personally, but as we don't have a manager we didn't have a choice. We were very pleased when EMI offered to release the album and went back into the studio to re-record some of the songs that were previously released on our "get a life album".

We also got the rights back to "Get A Life" and "Resurrection" last year - so I actually own some of my own back catalogue...

Ohhh and... A recent addition to the family...... The rock n roll stork brought me a new baby in the form of a beautiful 30pound Gibson s.g. 'Gothic' guitar,who I've named 'Sigmund-Gustav' , he is the baby brother of my gorgeous Gibson Les-Paul custom 'Granville Goliath' who is black and weighs in at three tons !! Yes, i am a sad doting guitar bore who spends her days reading 'dirty' guitar books , total guitar, guitar techniques and Les-Paul weekly !

I hear you went down a storm at hits. How did the band find the crowd and what bands did you enjoy seeing that weekend?

It was a very,very,very pleasant surprise for all of us. We only got added to the bill at the last minute because paul kept on and on at Darren to book us and offered to do it at half price... ( that'll be payment of £3.75 cash, an assortment of bongo mags , a family pack of Kit-Kats and as much council pop as we can drink ) and we expected the market arena to look very empty as we were on pretty early. It was brilliant to see the place fill up and to meet people after the show and we were photographed and was signing stuff over the next two days. It was definitely the best H.I.T.S we've played !

We saw Glueball, Gbh, Nerf Herder ( who told us they were massive Vice Squad fans), the Addicts, Anwl and brief snatches ( ooh err ) of the Slits and our buddies Mdm. We didn't get to see anywhere near the amount of bands we wanted to , partly because we had to stay in Lancaster as 'no room at the inn' was the story in Morecambe, and partly because we were asked to sign autographs and have photos taken with loads of people, which was a real privilege as they are the reason we were there.

What is the best and worse gigs vice squad have ever done and who else was on the line-up?

The worst one for me as a singer was CBGBS in 2000 because I had some awful viral infection and couldn't even whisper, let alone sing. All I could do was thrash about on my guitar and I couldn't even say "hello" or "goodnight"!!! However, the crowd were mega and stormed the stage and sang the songs for me !! We had to only let girls onto the stage in the end as it was about to collapse, but because the audience was so mad for it, it made it more frustrating for me because I couldn't sing a note or even say thank you.

One of the best gigs we did was at a little club in Huddersfield called "Abraham's" in April this year. We just really clicked as a band and I felt I could keep going all night.

We've played some much bigger places, like the Orange County Arena, where we were stunned by the size and enthusiasm of the crowd, but sometimes I don't feel that I've played particularly well. Even if it's in front of three people I feel I've had a great gig if I was able to do my best. The best gigs have been with the current line-up as they are the best band I've worked with.

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

It involves Paul our guitarist and our old bass player Trace, who was / is a heterosexual (and very attractive) man, but who liked to perform certain oral services on other men, if you get my drift!!!! This happened in the back of a tour bus on the way home from a gig and I must confess it was me who held Paul down while trace performed! We've got photographs to prove it and for an encore trace tried to drink a bottle of my urine (he dared me to wee in an empty Newcastle Brown bottle while the bus was doing 70 mph, and of course I obliged him), I knocked the bottle out of his hand as I thought he'd make himself ill due to the high alcohol content of the urine in question. Trace loved dressing up in my underwear and wearing my "wanka the warrior woman helmet" - funny how bass players are into cross-dressing , are bi-curious and tend to have feminine names ( Tracey, Mildred etc ).

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

They're not here right now. The communal Vice Squad bed is empty. So I can't ask them.
I would guess that Tone would have bought something by "Chas & Dave", Paul would probably have got something by Zodiac Mindwarp, Mildred`s was definitely "Ymca" by the Village People" and mine was "Stand On Your Man" by Tammy Wynett.

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

"Oh Wasn`T It An `Andsome Punch Up,
Oh Wasn`T It A Darling Fight,
I Wish That We Could `Ave A Bundle Like It Every Friday Night".

If anyone can guess what track that is they win a bottle of mildred`s urine. Don't all write in at once ...

Name the best 5 releases of the last year.

"I Believe In A Thing Called Love" by the Darkness. Any band that has a singer who insists on wearing a zebra print catsuit and has about a 5 octave vocal range and has 2 Les Paul players in the band gets my vote.

"Red Neck" by Dragster. I don't know if it's been released yet, but they sent us a copy as they're playing with us at the Borderline...anyway, I really like it, and I'm hard to please ( ooh 'err nurse ).

"United States Of Whatever" by Liam Lynch, because he's peanut butter.( actually that may have been released last year, but I can't remember).

A band called "Sick 56" played with us in Birkenhead and gave me their demo cd which I thought was great, but I don't think it's been released yet.....sorry, i`m not really answering the question properly....but much of what I listen to is demos given to me by support bands, and many of them are far better than stuff in the charts.

And last, but not least, a stunning masterpiece from a very underrated combo called Vice Squad." Rich And Famous" probably the best release of the year etc etc. Well I've had to listen to it in order to re-learn the guitar parts and I actually like it, so it`s the first album I've made that I'm pleased with. This may have something to do with the fact that most of the previous albums are old material cobbled together by greedy record companies who don't pay any royalties...advice to any young bands reading this: get good legal advice before giving your songs to some one else, always try to retain ownership of your material, that way you have control over how and/when your creativity is exploited.

Since vice squad started out, how has the music scene changed, and what do you see as the way forward?

The scene seemed pretty exciting when Vice Wquad first started, but things have really changed. It's nearly impossible to get anywhere if you're in a band these days because most record companies want nice malleable pop puppets with nothing to say who can't actually play or sing either. but there has always been an underground appreciation of guitar-based music and it does seem to be getting more popular now. Maybe the record companies realise that the public want more than manufactured pop. We meet a lot of young kids and most of them are into punk and metal, because the truth is that when you're young (and hopefully when you're old as well) you want to rebel, and pop aimed at kids is tamer than Des O`Connor these days, so of course they want something better. I don't know what the way forward is except to just keep at it, doing what you love.

Plans, gigs and releases planned for 2003.

Launch gig for our album at the Borderline, London w1, Wednesday 23rd july.

Fri 12th Sept Civic Hall,Whitehaven
Sat 13th Rio`S,Bradford [With Sham 69]
Sun 14th Sept Mean Fiddler London [With Sham]
Sat 20th Snooty Fox,Wakefield
Sun 21st Rock City ,Nottingham [With Sham]
Fri 17th Oct Fibbers,York
Sat 18th Oct The Attik,Leicester
Sat 25th Oct The Rifleman,Hounslow
Fri 21st Nov The Brickyard,Carlisle
Sat 22nd Nov The Studio,Hartlepool
Sun 23rd Nov General Wolf,Coventry
Thu 11th Dec The Underworld,Edinburgh
Sat 13th Dec The Corporation,Sheffield
Thu 18th Dec The Iron Door,Birkenhead
Fri 19th The Star And Garter,Manchester

More dates to be added soon..............

"Rich And Famous" is out on Monday 21st July and will be available in all good record shops. Also available from Amazon and all music retail web sites...to quote a man in a catsuit," I implore you to buy it!!"

Any final comments?

Keep doing it !!!
Beki xx


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