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Interview

Zero Tolerance
12/02/2000



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

Simon (guitar) and me (bass) started the Zeros in 97 with Martin on vocals and Brayo on drums. Shortly after recording our first single Martin died. Hed been warned to stop drinking but he loved his booze too much for that. He went on a bender on tour in Ireland and the result was a shock to us all. We decided to carry on as a three-piece and Simon took over the singing. We parted ways with Brayo in 98 and our mate Criss, formerly of External Menace, was recruited on drums. Thats how it is now. Simon, me and Criss. Thats the way we like it.

Discography.

Sick Of You 7 EP (Helen of Oi) 1997
Time To Move On (split LP with the Restarts) (Rejected)1998
Home Sweet Hackney LP (Combat Rock)2000
Plus two tracks on Oi its Streetpunk 2 (Helen of Oi)

Describe your sound and what are the main themes of the lyrics?

We started off with a sound that was traditional British streetpunk/ Oi or whatever you want to call it. Over the last couple of years a few more influences have crept in. Some of the songs are more 77 and others are thrashier. But we still go for that sing-along-chorus cos thats what the kids love after a few pints of lager, right?

We all have a hand in writing the lyrics. Were not trying to play the big political commentator and we dont want to be the next poet laureate. We write about things that piss us off like CCTV or things that have caught our attention in the news like the Paddington rail disaster.

What is the favourite song (and what band is it by) of each member of the band?

Now thats a bit of a tricky one but Wanna be a winner by Brown Sauce has got to be up there in my top ten cos I know all the moves and everything. Simons fave is Tiger Feet by Mud and who can blame him cos thats a song and a half. Criss insists that his is Led Zeps Stairway to Heaven but I think he might be making it up.

Why are you in a band... are you dim, very dim or very fucking dim? (Question supplied by Magoo of ANWL, when interviewed I asked him to provide a question for the next band I interview.)

Being dim is a very good reason to be in ANWL.You have to admire that mans perception. But for me, its certainly not the money and its not the glamorous lifestyle. I love that 15 minutes of fame. I love having the opportunity to stand up and make some noise. By day, responsible mother: by night, punk rock diva. Being in a band is addictive.

What is the best gig Zero Tolerance have ever done and who else was on the line-up?

Theres been some gooduns and theres been some when you want to go home and cry. Our second ever gig was at the Point in Stoke Newington with the Casualties. There were hundreds of punks spilling out onto the street waiting for something to happen. When the bands eventually came on they went mental. It was a good start. The Point never put on another punk gig. Funny that. The Fleece and Firkin in Camden with the UK Subs was memorable cos it was so packed you couldn'tt move. There were 50 people outside who couldn't t get through the door. The atmosphere was brilliant. Lots of dancing, lots of shouting, lots of drinking. Thats how a gig should be.

What question would you like to be asked in interviews, but you are never asked? And what is your answer?

Whats my favourite film? Rita, Sue and Bob Too, if you must know. What bass do I play? A Fender Jazz 77. Who were Elviss parents? Gladys and Vernon. God dont you know anything.

What is the Punk/Oi scene like in your area?

Hackney is big in Spain. Theres a lot of punks here from all over the world. The main problem is the lack of decent venues. The Golden Shoe puts on bands fairly regularly but they always run out of beer by 9 oclock and the dried flower arrangements on the wall put you right off. The Swan in Tottenham has occasional gigs and the regulars are friendly. The Garage is good for bigger gigs but its too expensive and the beer tastes like piss. The bands I rate around London are the Restarts, PAIN, the Tone and Airbomb.

Plans, gigs and releases planned for 2000.

The new CD Home Sweet Hackney, which Im sure Ive already mentioned, is out now on Combat Rock recs. The UK distribution is in the process of being sorted out. Meanwhile, you can get a copy off me for 7.50 including p&p.

22a Chatsworth Road, Clapton, London, E5 OLP. UK
email - clara.simon@tesco.net

A follow-up 7 is in the pipeline, also on Combat Rock, so look out for that in the spring. We are hooking up with the Casualties for a few gigs in the UK at the end of March and we are touring with them in Germany in April.

Any final comments?

Final comments. This is whats gracing my turntable at the moment: Red Flag 77 - Short Sharp Cut, Lunachicks - Luxury Problem, Clash - From here to Eternity. Thats all.