Refuse To Lose is always a drunken affair. That kind of debauchery is what makes people want to come back, and Saturday was no different. The tiny basement club at Retro Bar (Manchester) played host to three of the finest punk bands in the UK at the minute: Above Them, Bangers and The Arteries. We managed to catch up with, a rather drunk, Oli Wood from Above Them and ask him a few questions. Or was he interviewing us?
Oli Wood: I reckon you’re gonna be shitter than me.
Ian Critchley: Probably yeah, you’ll be alright.
Anthony Barlow: We’re shit interviewers, don’t worry about that. We’re fucking terrible.
OW: Thing is, you’ve interviewed the wrong guy out of Above Them because I have not got a clue what’s going on. Ever.
AB: Well then, I guess the first question is, how’s it going?
OW: Really… Really great. Yeah this is really, I think I’m the most drunk I’ve been in a while like.
IC: Well one of the questions was, you were drunk at the Southsea fest and you still did that without a hitch.
AB: That was a brilliant set.
OW: Tonight is a different level of drunk.
IC: Was that before or is that now? You didn’t seem too pissed on stage.
OW: On stage was, decent. Like now… I’m not gonna lie. I can’t feel my hands.
IC: I hadn’t realised until the other, but you’ve got a video for one of your songs. Has that been received well? Any major play?
OW: Nah, to be honest, it wasn’t something we did to like, we didn’t think we’re gonna do this video and we’re gonna take it out there and everyone’s gonna love it. We did it through a friend, everything about it was really relaxed. We turned up, it was a Saturday night, it was through a guy from inhaler records, he worked at an airport so we had like an old aircraft hanger…
At this point a girl came over and said she was going to join us as her friend had gone to the toilet, then apologised profusely when she had realised she’d interrupted an interview. We told her it was fine and she hung about for the rest of it.
OW: ….yeah, we played that aircraft hanger?
That Girl: The what?
OW: You play in Above Them as well!
TG: Yes. I play the recorder on the secret tracks on the album.
IC: Yeah, it’s like, REALLY in the background so you’ve gotta turn it up a lot.
TG: Turn it up really loud and I’m the music in between the track, and the extra track.
IC: You just hear a little, Doodeleedoo. It’s like when you level up on Pokémon or some shit.
TG: I’m sorry. I’ll be quiet now.
OW: So basically, we didn’t have a clue what we we’re doing.
IC: Well it looks really professional.
OW: I think they paid like £70 for it to get put out on MTV and shit, but I don’t think we ever got played.
IC: Maybe once?
OW: Not even that.
AB: We heard talk of a new album coming out next year. Any details on that?
OW: I dunno, maybe like January, it’s gonna be all recorded and out there. We’re close to it. It’s not fully done, we’re only ten songs in, we want like 12? At least.
IC: The songs you’ve played are sounding good.
OW: Aww. You guys. You guys.
AB: You said that you were pretty much on the bill too late at Southsea, do you still feel that way?
OW: Yeah. Definitely. We were far too drunk and far too rubbish to follow Attack! Vipers!
IC: There’s always a crazy crowd atmosphere when you’re playing. Does it ever aggravate you when people rob the mic or basically just knock shit over?
OW: No. No. Not at all.
TG: Oh! Can I ask a question? Do you remember at ManchFESTer when someone kept shouting in your face and you were like, “Fuck off, you’re not my manager” or something?
OW: I don’t know.
IC: That wasn’t me, don’t worry.
OW: Aww, was I a dick head?
TG: No, no. This guy was the dick head!
AB: Have you anything in the pipeline before the new album then? You said you were doing a split?
OW: I think we’re doing a few splits. After the (first) album we had the Amistad split. We had err… I’m the worst person to be doing this.
AB: Who’s the new split with?
OW: Cheap Girls. Such an awesome band. If you haven’t heard Cheap Girls…fucking.
AB: Have you noticed at your gigs, there’s some guy who always shouts “get your dick out!”
IC: It’s okay if you haven’t, but it’s me.
OW: Thing is, if I heard ya, I’d probably go “oh, good idea. Great idea! Why didn’t we think of that before?” But, I haven’t noticed.
IC: I’ll shout louder.
OW: Yeah, you should shout louder. Can I ask you a question?
AB: Yeah, do it!
OW: Have you noticed that, I haven’t done this a right lot?
IC: It’s alright!
AB: Drunk interviews are the best ones.
OW: I am so useless at everything.
AB: Our final question is, if Henry Rollins, Chuck Ragan and a shark had a fight. Who would win?
OW: Not Above Them. So we’ve got Henry Rollins, Church Ragan and a shark?
IC: Just any general shark, probably a Great White, maybe Jaws?
OW: That’s the hardest question you’ve asked so far. None of them. I reckon the bar guy would come out and behave and they’d be like “yeah, okay, sorry.” But to be honest, it’s gotta be Chuck hasn’t it
OW: I’m gonna sound so stupid on this.