Moon & Back Music Presents :: Album Of The Year 2010

And the winner is…

With the year quickly coming to a close, Ian and I felt it only right that we do some kind of end of year awards thing. I asked every member of the M&B staff what their top 5 albums of 2010 were, and the results were pretty surprising. There’s something here for everyone Whether you want futuristic R&B, tales from New Jersey or politically charged punk anthems, look no further.

After dealing with a debilitating addiction to prescription drugs, Eminem is back with Recovery. The rapper’s seventh studio album still isn’t a patch on his early work, but it easily beats out the likes of Encore and Relapse. The new record hearkens back to the old days, with Marshall being increasingly self deprecating, even going as far as commenting on the poor quality of his recent releases. Recovery is a gem in the sea of shit that is modern hip-hop.

Since signing with Sire Records in 2005, punk fans have reacted pretty harshly towards anything with Against Me!’s name on it. With the release of White Crosses earlier this year, the cries of the band ‘selling out’ continued. However, it’s hard to see why this is being aimed at Tom Gabel and co. Both this record and it’s predecessor New Wave may have been released on a division of Warner Music, but the music remains very similar to everything before that. As Ian would be quick to point out, it’s the same chord progressions and lyrical content as ‘old’ Against Me!, it’s just better produced. It’s Moon & Back’s fourth favorite of 2010 and I think fans should take a second look before dismissing the band outright.

Janelle Monae was the artist that most surprised me in 2010. Her debut full length The ArchAndroid: Suites II & II was the soundtrack to my summer, and it’s good to see that it’s not just me that took notice (cheers Jodie, for pushing this into our top 5). Miss Monae is, without doubt, the most exciting woman in R&B at the minute and this record is a soul-filled throwback to times passed. This is real R&B and I for one am tipping the 25-year old, Kansan songstress, for big things in the future.

Coming in at number two, sadly -because I think it should have won – it’s Fake Problems’ new record Real Ghosts Caught On Tape. The Floridia-based indie/punk four piece have wowed many with their fresh, upbeat sound and off the wall antics, both on and off stage. 2010 has been a big year for these guys: RGOT released to rave reviews, they’ve toured all over the US on the Vans Warped Tour and even did a stint with the winners of this years award. With catchy lyrics, great production (Ted Hutt is a genius) and a fun, retro take on ‘pop punk’ I can’t help but think this record has been a tad overlooked. These guys best tour the UK next year!

This year’s Moon & Back Music Album Of The Year goes to…American Slang. The Gaslight Anthem’s third album seems to have had an effect on the Moon & Back staff (though Ian remains adamant of their ability to bore him). The New Jersey group’s tales of murky cities and urban saviors might not be for everyone, but the follow-up to, 2008’s, The ’59 Sound has secured messieurs Fallon, Rosamilia, Levine and Horowitz a place as one of the best bands of recent years.

So there we have it. That’s Moon & Back’s verdict on the top 5 albums of this year. If you don’t agree, you’ll have your chance to vote on all the albums picked by the Moon & Back staff in the ‘Readers Choice’ award coming later on this week. This will be followed by the ‘2009 Album of 2010’ award – awarded to the albums of last year that we only got around to in 2010.

Canada, Eh? :: The Flatliners

“What kilometer per hour does this boat go, eh?” – Chris Cote (Kut U Up)

The Flatliners brand of ska-infused punk rock is one that’s really easy to get behind. Like many of the bands on Fat Wreck their music is really high energy and a lot of fun. Their success hasn’t come without hard work. Since forming in 2002, the Ontario-based foursome have garnered quite the fanbase. They’ve toured across North America and Europe relentlessly, releasing three albums in that time too.

Their latest record Cavalcade was released this past April and is a real tour de force. It’s no surprise that it’s vying for record of the year at a number of publications. Some might have thought it too clean, but it’s hard not to be won over by Chris Cresswell’s powerful, throaty vocals and the record’s sheer sense of urgency. Though many would beg to differ, for me, they’re a punk band with ska influences, not a ska-punk band. That distinction is very important.

The band have announced that they’re on their way back to the UK, and will be playing a host of shows in February next year. Along for the ride will be, Swansea punks, The Arteries and, Exeter’s own, OK Pilot. Before that they’ve got a run in their homeland with, fellow Canadians, Mockingbird Wish Me Luck, The Menzingers (who played with The Arteries just the other night) and, Moon & Back favorites, Fake Problems. Check out the dates below:

  • 9th Dec. – L’Agitee, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada w/Fake Problems, The Menzingers, Mockingbird Wish Me Luck
  • 10th Dec – Mavericks – Ottoawa City, Ontario, Canada w/Fake Problems, The Menzingers, Mockingbird Wish Me Luck
  • 11th Dec – Underworld – Montreal, QC, Canada w/Fake Problems, The Menzingers, Mockingbird Wish Me Luck
  • 13th Dec – The Red Dog – Peterborough, ON, Canada w/Fake Problems, The Menzingers, Mockingbird Wish Me Luck
  • 14th Dec – The Mansion – Barrie, ON, Canada w/Fake Problems, The Menzingers, Mockingbird Wish Me Luck
  • 15th Dec – The Schwaben – Kitchener, ON, Canada w/Fake Problems, The Menzingers, Mockingbird Wish Me Luck
  • 16th Dec – The Casbah – Hamilton, ON, Canada w/Fake Problems, The Menzingers, Mockingbird Wish Me Luck
  • 17th Dec – Sneaky Dee’s (19+) – Toronto, ON, Canada w/Fake Problems, The Menzingers, Mockingbird Wish Me Luck
  • 18th Dec – Sneaky Dee’s (All ages) – Toronto, ON, Canada w/Fake Problems, The Menzingers, Mockingbird Wish Me Luck
  • 27th Dec – House Of Blues – Boston, Massachusetts w/The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, H20
  • 2nd Feb – Bang Bar – Basingstoke, UK w/The Arteries, OK Pilot
  • 3rd Feb – The White Rabbit  – Plymouth, UK w/The Arteries, OK Pilot
  • 4th Feb – The Croft – Bristol, UK w/The Arteries, OK Pilot
  • 6th Feb – Speakeasy – Dublin, Ireland w/The Arteries, OK Pilot
  • 7th Feb – Hobo’s – Bridgend, UK w/The Arteries, OK Pilot
  • 8th Feb – TJ’s – Leeds, UK w/The Arteries, OK Pilot
  • 9th Feb – Night & Day – Manchester, UK w/The Arteries, OK Pilot
  • 10th Feb – The Crown – Middlesborough, UK w/The Arteries, OK Pilot
  • 11th Feb – The Gaff – London, UK w/The Arteries, OK Pilot

Visit The Flatliners official website

Listen to The Flatliners on MySpace

Download Cavalcade on iTunes

Be sure to check out our Canadian friends Unrated Music too!

Frank Turner, Tegan & Sara, Fake Problems Featured On Bad Religion Tribute Album

Germs Of Perfection

The words “tribute album” might send shivers down your spine, as you think about all those terrible CDs sold in infomercials. Fear not, you won’t be getting anything like that here. I’ve talked a little about this on Under The Bridge, but haven’t had any solid details until now. To celebrate their 30 years as a band, Epitaph – with partners MySpace and Spin Magazine – are putting out a Bad Religion tribute album.

Germs Of Perfection: A Tribute To Bad Religion will feature artists like Polar Bear Club, Fake Problems, Tegan & Sara, Frank Turner and Ted Leo covering some of Bad Religion’s most famous songs. The album will be available to stream online, with a new track being debuted each day, before being compiled and available to download. The best thing about all of this is that it’ll be free of charge. You can’t argue with that, can you?

You can listen to the tracks here. Polar Bear Club’s cover of ‘Better Of Dead’ is streaming now.

Bad Religion’s latest album The Dissent Of Man was released on Monday (27th) and you can buy it from the official Epitaph Records store.

Advance Album Review :: Fake Problems – Real Ghosts Caught On Tape

This is my attempt to put a huge grin into words

It seems those in the know are already anticipating the arrival of Real Ghosts Caught On Tape, and I’m happy to tell you that it’s been worth the wait. If, like me, you’ve been itching to get your mitts on the album since the release of ‘Soulless’ a few weeks ago then you won’t be disappointed.

I know I talk about Fake Problems a lot, and maybe some people out there will see this as me, yet again, bigging up one of my favorite bands. There’s no doubt that’s exactly what I’m doing, but you won’t find any false praise here. Real Ghosts Caught On Tape is one of the best albums of 2010. Fact.

Right from the off, it punches you in the face with a plethora of sounds, all of them building up and easing the listener into a fantastic audio experience. The album perfectly encompasses what Fake Problems are all about – great music, great lyrics and a great time. It shows off the serious side of the band, but is still filled with music to dance to. Each track also bares the trademark introspective nature that I’ve always appreciated about the music these guys make. It’s been a hard album to review, but I think I might’ve cracked it.

Fake Problems brand of indie-punk has always been different; quirky might be the best way to put it. Musically their records are ever changing and you can’t accuse them of repeating themselves or re-hashing songs. There’s a definite retro feel to this record that sets Real Ghosts… apart from their previous work and the work of their peers. It’s a highly influenced record, but no track seems derivative of anything that’s gone before. Overall, the album has a very 1960’s sound, but I noticed nods to The Cure amongst other bands in there too. I like the fact that it’s thematically similar to their previous albums – there’s still mentions of religion and the occult – but there’s a lot that sets it apart from How Far Our Bodies Go or It’s Great To Be Alive.

Fake Problems’ music definitely relies on personal experience a lot, but it’s on this record that it really shines through. ‘Songs For Teenagers’ is a perfect example. The subject matter is personal, it’s definitely more serious, but it’s also one that many will be able to relate to. Throughout the album there’s minor pieces of percussion that really make it the sonic tour de force that it is. There’s no doubt in my mind that Ted Hutt had some part to play in these subtle inclusions. He seems to have brought the best out of  the songs, and Fake Problems as a band. Ted is definitely one of the best producers out there, and he seems to understand where each band he works with is coming from. He takes what’s good and improves on it. He’s made a band with a big sound, into a band with a huge sound. Tracks like: ‘ADT’, ‘Done With Fun’ and, of course, ‘Soulless’ show this off perfectly. Those slower songs aren’t neglected either, something that will please a lot of fans.

There’s always been a unique-rawness to Fake Problems’ music. This is definitely still there, but is less prevalent. Chris’ vocals are quite a bit softer in comparison to previous efforts. Whether this was a conscious decision or not, I don’t know. What I do know is that it’s a non-issue. It’s different, but the effect is still as powerful. I want to allay fears that something is lost or the album is over-produced. Believe me, that’s not the case.

It’s safe to say this will be the band’s most mainstream effort to date, but that’s not a problem. There’ll  be a few out there who slap on the ‘sell out’ sticker – as there is with every band when they put out something new – but Real Ghosts… just shows that, as a band, Fake Problems are evolving and their music is too. It’s a natural progression and one that will be welcomed with open arms by the majority of their fan base. So, if you’re a Fake Problems fan then you’re not going to be disappointed. If you’re looking for something new and interesting to listen to, then look no further. This Floridian four-piece’s quirky, brand of indie-punk could be for you.

Real Ghosts Caught On Tape is released September 21st.

Podcast :: Under The Bridge – Episode 4: If We Don’t See You Through The Week, We’ll See You Through The Window

“Hey look, that’s Marilyn Manson. He’s got shit loads of money. Let’s suck on his dick” – Ian Critchley

This is episode 4 of Under The Bridge and after we’ve solved one problem, we run into another. The sound quality is better, but Anthony had his microphone too close to his mouth. Apologies for the perverted heavy breathing. This week we talk a lot about Epitaph’s bands, Anthony talks about Real Ghosts Caught On Tape and we attempt to further beat the dead horse that is illegal downloading.

Music this week comes from Monster-0. The tracklist is as follows:

  • ‘Terminator Vs. Robocop’
  • ‘Ryan Writes Plays’
  • ‘Never You Mind’
  • ‘Burt Bacharach Was Right’
  • ‘Keep Me Informed’
  • ‘Doubt It’
Thanks to Matt Volp for the wonderful False Conundrums artwork.

Go on, have a listen:

Under The Bridge – Episode 4: If We Don’t See You Through The Week, We’ll See You Through The Window

Under The Bridge Podcast  – Episode 4: If We Don’t See You Through The Week, We’ll See You Through The Window
With: Anthony Barlow & Ian Critchley
Guests: N/A


  • Weezer sign to Epitaph
    • New album ‘Hurley’ coming soon
    • What an awesome album cover
  • Bad Religion compilation on the way
    • Very few details
    • Fake Problems on the record
  • Greg Graffin to release new book
    • Anarchy Evolution
    • Out Sept. 28th
    • Coming out alongside new BR album ‘The Dissent Of Man’
  • Set Your Goals headline dates – more to be announced
    • Liverpool Academy – Dec 8th
    • Leeds Cockpit – Dec 11th
    • Northampton Soundhouse – Dec 14th
  • Jimmy Eat World announce UK dates – more dates to come. No Manc date!
    • Nov 13 – Norwich UEA
    • Nov 14 – Bristol Academy
    • Nov 17 – Belfast TBC
    • Nov 18 – Dublin TBC
    • Nov 19 – Glasgow Barrowlands
    • Nov 23 – Brixton Academy
  • Guns N Roses cancel Leeds/Reading?
    • Afraid not. What a piss take.
  • Jay-Z is the highest earning man in hip-hop
    • Made $63million in the last year according to Forbes
      • New album, tour, clothing line and investments
    • Top 20:
      • 1. Jay-Z: $63 million
      • 2. P. Diddy: $30 million
      • 3. Akon, $21 million
      • 4. Lil Wayne, $20 million
      • 5. Dr. Dre, $17 million
      • 6. Ludacris, $16 million
      • 7. Snoop Dogg, $15 million
      • 8. Timbaland, $14 million
      • 9. Pharrell Williams, $13 million
      • 10. Kanye West, $12 million
      • 11. Drake, $10 million
      • 12. T.I., $9 million
      • 13. Swizz Beatz, $9 million
      • 14. Eminem, $8 million
      • 15. 50 Cent, $8 million
      • 16 Young Jeezy, $8 million
      • 17. Common, $7 million
      • 18. Soulja Boy, $6 million
      • 19. T-Pain, $6 million
      • 20. Lil Jon, $5 million
  • Katie Price to launch iPod range
    • Sold through her website
    • Who buys this shit?
  • Marilyn Manson splits with fiancee Rachael Evan Wood
    • Seemed amicable
    • He went and got smashed the night after
      • Well done
  • Katie Perry Gatecrashes, all male, high school prom in Australia
    • Heard her song playing and went to investigate
    • Did a bit of karaoke
    • Apparently she was smashed
  • Smell like the Sex Pistols
    • Sex Pistols launch new perfume
    • What the fuck?
  • Bono’s started smoking again
    • Hopefully he’ll die quicker this way

Main Topic

  • Illegal downloading: A discussion.

What Anthony’s Been Listening To:

  • Fake Problems – Real Ghosts Caught On Tape
  • Monster-0
  • Rise Against

What Ian’s Been Listening To:

  • Joy Division
  • Charles Manson
  • Our Podcast
  • Fu Manchu


  • Hahahaha John Berna is amazing – Pete Sk
  • How do you guys get all of these interviews – Danielle via Formspring
  • Why did you put “Scoop!” at the end of your Monster-0 review. It really didn’t make any sense – Anon.

John Berna’s Ian Critchley’s Words Of Wisdom:

  • “Act like a ho, you get smacked like a ho”

Where Can We Find You On The Internet?


Get Yourself A Free Fake Problems Track

Fake Problems, a super cool band from Florida, have got a new album coming out soon. Real Ghosts Caught On Tape is set to be released on September 21st, but there’s many of us that can’t wait to get our hands on anything that Chris Farren and co put out there. Being the nice guys that they are, they’ve released the track ‘Soulless’ free of charge.

If you need your Fake Problems fix, then head on over to their official website and download the song. Trust me, it’s awesome. The new album was produced by Ted Hutt, a man who’s previous works include Chuck Ragan’s Feast Or Famine and The Gaslight Anthem’s The 59 Sound and American Slang. If you’re a fan, you won’t be disappointed. The track is an upbeat punky tune, enthused with a little bit of a retro vibe. If you haven’t heard these guys before, then what the hell are you waiting for? Download it now!

For more, visit and be sure to check them out on MySpace.

Podcast :: Under The Bridge – Episode 2: Real Idiots Caught On iTunes

“If You Don’t Like James Brown, You Should Fuck Off” – Ian Critchley

We’re back for a second episode. That’s right, we didn’t get canceled and Paul still hasn’t chucked us so all is well. This week we’re ‘Real Idiots Caught On iTunes’. We got some beers and a better set up and hopefully this is a little bit more listenable than it’s predecessor.

We’ve tried to tidy up the show a little bit more. We couldn’t help, but give a few more mentions of Frank Turner. This episode was really all about Fake Problems. The, Florida-based, indie-punk foursome provided us with music for this week and we talked up their new album, Real Ghosts Caught On Tape, and their support slot with Gaslight Anthem on their US tour. We also try and find out which new/recent artists we’ll be listening to in 50 years time and discuss the niceness of, Against Me! frontman, Tom Gabel.

We’ve also got a new segment that comes courtesy of, tour manager extraordinaire, John Berna. He’s provided us with some ‘Words Of Wisdom’. Under The Bridge is a podcast you can live your life by. Fact!

Prepare to listen to us getting drunk. Also: We mean “stalk” in the nicest possible, non-creepy, way.

Under The Bridge – Episode 2: Real Idiots Caught On iTunes (Featuring Fake Problems)

As I mentioned, music this week comes courtesy of Fake Problems. Here’s the tracklist for this week:

  • Sorry, OK, Sorry
  • Alligator Assassinator
  • Diamond Rings
  • Born & Raised
  • Rumble In The Jungle
  • Heart BPM

Disclaimer: Apologies to anyone offended by this episode of Under The Bridge (especially you, Chris Farren). Everything said was said in jest and is not meant to be taken seriously. I mean, when do you ever take us seriously and, honestly, why should you? We’ll try and curb the drunkeness, but it’s highly unlikely this show would exist without the help of a few Scrumpy Jack’s. – Barlow x

Interview :: Chris Farren – Fake Problems

“LOST LOST LOST” – Christopher Farren (2010)


As some of you might have noticed, in our past few interviews we’ve been giving mention to a band called Fake Problems quite a bit. More specifically, we’ve been calling out the band’s lead singer, Chris Farren. This isn’t due to any spite or ill will on our part. In fact, I think it’s safe to say that we like Chris and the music he and his band make a whole lot. Sit tight people, there’s a story behind this one. Then again, isn’t there always?

It all started back in October of last year. Frank Turner was back on tour and, being the big Turner fans we are, we went to watch him in Manchester. As expected, we had a bit to drink. A fair bit of alcohol was consumed pre-gig and we continued until Frank left the stage at about 11pm. We happened upon Chris and co at the merch booth and so the drunken ramblings began – drunken ramblings being our forte. From there, we spoke to the guys in Wolverhampton 3 days later and now Chris has become our Facebook friend and somewhat of a muse for us when it comes to interview questions. We might slag him off, but it’s all in jest. We thought it might be time to let him get his own back, so we organised an interview. On our third attempt in three days, we finally pulled it off.

Through the powers of the internet (you’ve gotta love Skype) we were able to talk to Chris and ask him a load of stuff that’s not to do with music, some stuff about music and even perform a duet.

I think it’s safe to say, we love you Chris Farren <3

Disclaimer: If it sounds like a bullshit, jokey question. It probably is.

Ian Critchley: Are you ready Mr. Farren?

Chris Farren: Yes. Completely ready?

Anthony Barlow: Where the hell have you been? We want to know.

CF: Yeah…I was writing a song actually.

AB: Was it about us?

CF: Yes.

IC: *laughs*

AB: Oh, that’s brilliant. I can’t wait.

CF: You’re gonna love it.

AB: It doesn’t include any LOST references, does it?

CF: Yeah. It’s kinda LOST, if it was the three of us.

AB: Brilliant.

AB & IC: *laughs*

IC: Is this actually recording now?

AB: Yeah, this is recording.

IC: Oh right, great,

AB: Anything you do or say…

IC: May be given in evidence. We best get on with the questions then. Right, to the disappointment of many you’ve canceled your 2010 UK tour. Do you think the LOST finale is a good enough reason to cancel a tour?

CF: Well y’know. We can’t be just willy nilly walking around playing shows when the world as we know it could potentially be ending. Y’know, I don’t even think the LOST finale is going to air when we we were supposed to be there so that’s a little flawed accusation that you guy’s are throwing out there.

AB: Are you calling us out now? You do realise, by doing this, you’re also calling out a certain Mr. Turner?

CF: Well ok, I read the interview and you guys baited that. He was like ‘ok, I don’t know what the fuck you guys are talking about, but whatever’

AB: He did it in exactly that voice as well

CF: Yeah ok *stereotypical English accent* ‘Oh ‘ello, I don’t know…’

AB & IC: *laughs*

CF: That’s my best English accent

AB: Yeah, ok we kinda did bait it. You would’ve missed a fair bit of LOST if you’d have come to the UK. So we were kinda right.

CF: That’s true, so yeah you are kinda right.

IC: Has it been rescheduled, the tour, or has it been caneled?

CF: Well it’s officially canceled, but we’re definitely gonna come back. It’s not like we’re sworn off the UK. We just need to figure out when it’s gonna work out the best for everybody.

AB: Do you reckon it’s gonna be any time in 2010?

CF: If it’s in 2010, I would say we’ll probably be supporting another band. It’s a secret, a huge band.

AB: Can you not tell us who that secret, huge band is?

CF: Secret.

AB: Not even off the record?

CF: Nope, because I don’t trust you. I just can’t do it.

AB: We’re impossible to trust, obviously.

IC: I was speaking to someone about the band and they said you were “like a punked-up version of The Eels”. How’d you feel about that comparison?

CF: That’s cool. It’s pretty good, I like that. Have you guys seen that Eels documentary, where that guy looks for his dad or he talks about his dad? What’s his balls from the Eels, his dad is like a chemist or something. He was like a famous physicist and he invented some crazy idea and the whole thing is about the guy from The Eels dicking around.

AB: It sounds brilliant, I can’t wait to see this.

CF: It’s good. I’m not really selling it that well, but it’s good.

AB: Can we expect any documentaries about you and/or Fake Problems dicking around?

CF: I guess only unauthorised biographies and documentaries. I mean, people are just pounding down our door for stuff like that all the time.

IC: We’ll make it!

AB: Yeah, can we option the movie rights to ‘Dicking Around With Fake Problems’?

CF: Yeah. Perfect.

AB: Oh, it’ll be good. We’ll get Tom Gabel to play you.

CF: Perfect. He’ll totally do it. You know why? Because we look alike and we sound alike. Right?

AB: Definitely. There were comparisons made In Manchester, by me when I was very drunk.

CF: I’ve heard.

AB: You were there, I was speaking to you.

CF: *laughs*

AB: Anyway, if you do come back to the UK It’s not you I want to see. It’s John Berna.

CF: Yeah. I just saw John Berna last night.

AB: Did you? I’m jealous.

CF: He was fun. He was fucking fun.

IC: Barlow’s got a man crush on him.

AB: I kinda have. I tried to ask him for words of wisdom in Wolverhampton. Couldn’t get him.

CF: Yeah, we were at the bar last night, or the ‘pub’ as you would call it, and he came out of a bathroom and some guy held the door for him and said “There you go, Conor Oberst”. I don’t know if you know what Conor Oberst looks like and what John Berna looks like, but they don’t look anything alike.

IC: No, they don’t.

AB: Not at all.

CF: That was funny. We had a chuckle about that one.

IC: Do you still want to cover the LOST theme song?

CF: Yeah. I could give you a sample right now. Pretty good, huh?

AB & IC: *laughs*

CF: Oh, and the end theme song.

AB & IC: *laughs*

IC: Just start and finish the new album with them two.

AB: We’ve got it recorded, I’ll just send you the MP3, it’ll be alright.

CF: Actually, Derek had an idea where we, since people don’t really buy records any more, y’know because of downloading

AB: They just steal them

CF: They just steal them. Which is cool, I do it too. I do it all the time. I just did it yesterday, I’m actually doing it right now whilst I’m talking to you.

IC: We’ll buy your albums, don’t worry.

CF: Thank you.

IC: I bought one of your vinyl’s in Manchester, to give to a fit girl.

CF: Nice.

AB: You signed it as well and she seemed pretty happy with it.

IC: I didn’t get laid.

CF: How did that work out?

IC: Not very well, she had a boyfriend. Ah, well.

CF: Well I’m sure they’re enjoying it, the record, together.

IC: *laughs*

CF: I don’t even remember what I was talking about. Oh, Derek had an idea where we sell ad space in the record. So we give little commercials for products between songs in the actual records. So, you might hear some little jingles between songs on the next record. We’ll see how it works out.

AB: If you were to do that, who would you pick?

CF: McDonalds, Pepsi, Coke, Burger King. Maybe a movie that’s coming out. Iron Man 3.

AB: The thing is, that wouldn’t really work in the long run.

CF: In the long run, you’re right. It’s all about instant gratification these days.

IC: What’s the new album called? Has it got a name yet?

CF: I’m just wondering if I should tell you.

IC: Tell us or die!

CF: Alright , I think we’re gonna call it Real Ghosts Caught On Tape.

IC: That’s not from that YouTube video where they’re having a fight with a quilt on their head is it?

CF: It’s from a bunch of different YouTube videos.

AB: Are you really gonna call it Real Ghosts Caught On Tape?

CF: I think so.

AB: I like it.

IC: That’s a wicked name, yeah.

AB: Can you mention us in the liner notes?

CF: Erm…yes. You might not be able to read it, it might be a code people have to decipher. It’ll work out.

IC: The thought will be there.

CF: Yeah, for sure. Hey, if you guys wanna buy some ad space on the record, let me know.

AB & IC: *laughs*

AB: We must mention that the reason this interview isn’t being done face-to-face is that you have placed restraining orders on us.

CF: Oh yeah, of course.

AB: You know, what with all the Facebook slagging we do. Do you enjoy that?

CF: Oh yeah. I really like any attention I can get, so…

AB: When’s the new album coming out? We need to know.

CF: Well we’re gonna record it in May and June. Which would probably put it out in September. Worst case scenario, would be November.

AB: So we can expect it two weeks before the release date on the Pirate Bay then?

CF: Yes. Hopefully, two weeks. The way things are going things are leaking three months in advance.

AB: Yeah, the new Against Me! album got that treatment. Going back to Tom Gabel.

CF: And Gaslight.

AB: Oh yeah, Gaslight leaked. Is that what you’re downloading now?

CF: No, I already downloaded it. It’s really good. It’s really freaking good. Not to encourage anyone to download illegally, but it’s freaking awesome.

IC: Sweet. I’ve got, kind of, a serious question…

CF: Oh, no.

IC: …On It’s Great To Be Alive, there seems to be a lot of references to heaven and hell and all that kinda stuff. Are you religious at all?

CF: No. Not at all. I was raised with religion, but you kinda smarten up after a little bit.

AB: Yeah, you realise God’s not real and Jesus was a carpenter.

CF: Yeah, if even.

IC: He might’ve been a good carpenter though, you don’t know. You might want to worship him if you needed a good table.

AB: Who would you rather have make you a table. Jesus or Chuck Ragan?

CF: Chuck Ragan.

IC: Yeah, definitely.

AB: We talked to him for a bit, about building houses a few weeks ago.

CF: He’s awesome too.

IC: Who do you think would win in a fight between Chuck Ragan, Henry Rollins and a shark?

CF: A shark?

IC: Yeah

CF: Umm…Chuck Ragan

AB: Any reason?

CF: He’s just so nice, y’know. He’d be able to talk everybody out of it, even the shark.

AB: So he’d just calm Rollins down…

IC: And put the shark back in the ocean, I guess.

CF: *laughs* Yeah. Wait, are they in water or are they out of water?

IC: I suppose they’d have to be in water, otherwise the shark would die. They’d have limited movement in the water though.

CF: It’s hard to fight in water.

IC: Yeah, they’d have to find a way around it, so it was equal.

CF: Maybe, in space?

IC: Yeah

AB: It’d be like the whale on the moon in South Park.

IC: Who came up with idea for the Diamond Rings video?

CF: We came up with the idea that we wanted blacklight stuff. Josh, the ex-drummer of Look Mexico, came up with all the storyline. Well Josh and a couple of other guys, he has a music video team or whatever and they came up with the concept and everything.

AB: So that’d be Josh Mikel.

CF: Yes sir. Shark guts. What is it? Shark barf. Shark guts. He’s an artist, he does art.

AB: That’s who Frank Turner was impersonating in your tour video, isn’t it?

CF: Yes. Exactly.

AB: Quite awesomely. I’ve never heard Josh Mikel speak, but I bet it’s exactly like that.

CF: *laughs* It’s pretty much like that, but it’s not so nasally.

AB: Going back to the wonderful topic of violence, who would you like to fight more than anyone else in the world?

CF: Oh god.

AB: See we think we know.

IC: It’s us, isn’t it?

CF: No. You guys. No, I’m not a fighter. I can’t think of that many people that I’d really beat up or could beat up *laughs*

AB: Crazy Arm think they could take you.

CF: *laughs*

IC: Yeah, they said that. A lot of UK people, it’s a lot more mouth than action.

CF: There was a guy, I forget his name, yeah I lost it. There was a guy when we were on the Frank Turner tour in the UK. He tweeted something about us and I saw it and it made me mad. It was mean. When I found the tweet we were still at the show and I ran around shouting his name, looking for him. We went up on stage with Frank at the end of every show, to do Photosynthesis and I wrote his name on my chest and I lifted my shirt up. Phil Singer, his name is Phil Singer.

IC: Find him on Facebook and insult him loads!

CF: Yeah, that works. He was there doing press or something, for some magazine or crap.

IC: Did you kick his ass?

CF: No, and I wouldn’t have. I’d have just made him feel bad.

AB: People like that annoy me a lot.

CF: I don’t understand people who just feel like they have to be mean.

AB: I know. We got ten minutes, drunk, in a corridor with Brendan Kelly the other week and I forgot to ask your question. We did actually question him in the pub afterwards and he does want to party with you, he also thinks he could fight you.

CF: Nice. Did you say he does or does not want to party with me?

IC: He does.

CF: So he wants to party with me and then he’s gonna end up fighting me?

IC: He must be a violent drunk.

AB: He was a really nice drunk.

CF: He’s a really nice guy. Smart as hell too.

AB: Do you enjoy kitten huffing?

CF: Kitten huffing?

IC: Yeah, I sent a link to you on Facebook. It’s basically snorting kittens. Using them as drugs, basically.

CF: I didn’t see that. It sounds great though. I love kittens, that’s for sure.

AB: We’ve seen the amazing Facebook pictures.

CF: Yeah. I don’t even have an iPhone, but that’s an app for the iPhone called Cat Paint. It’s awesome. I had Casey, who has an iPhone, take a picture of me and then put cats on me.

AB: *laughs* here’s one for you, what’s the weirdest thing you’ve seen on Chatroulette?

CF: Umm….not a dick. Maybe any time I don’t see a penis, I think it’s weird.

AB: Yeah, I tried to use it once and was bombarded.

CF: Yeah, that’s all there is really. It’s just dick roulette. Nob roulette, that’s what you guys call them isn’t it? Nobs.

AB: Have you ever seen anything normal on there then?

CF: Hmm…let me think. Well, we were all hanging out on there, there was four of us, and we came across four other people who looked like they were doing exactly the same thing we were doing, so I think that was pretty normal.

AB: An alternate reality?

CF: Yeah, a flash sideways.

IC: They were in a band called Pake Froblems.

AB: False Conundrums

CF: *laughs* Yep.

AB: I was trying to figure out all the ones we saw whilst you were on tour with Frank.

CF: Different takes on Fake Problems? Yeah, I’ve heard a lot of them.

IC: It’s Frank’s tour manager that does that, doesn’t he?

CF: Yeah, he does that.

IC: Sits there, messing about with people’s names.

AB: Have you ever thought about doing a Ben Folds, play live via Chatroulette?

CF: Yeah, but I don’t think that many people would be very interested in that *laughs*

IC: SideOneDummy have been adding songs to the ‘Rock Band’ videogame. Do you think that you’ll be on it any time soon?

CF: Yeah, definitely. I mean, our friends, Look Mexico just got on there. So I’m sure it’s only a matter of time. We haven’t really campaigned for it, but we’ve been so busy writing the record we haven’t really worried about stuff like that. There will definitely be a time when we go full gear back into getting our name into everything we can.

AB: Well we can get Fake Problems’ name in and around Manchester.

IC: Yeah, we’ll just take a pen and write your MySpace address down on walls in huge letters.

CF: Yeah, just write it or you could walk around with an iPod and headphones and be like ‘wanna hear something?’

AB & IC: *laughs*

CF: That’s what a lot of bands do at Warped Tour, I found out. They go around, trying to sell their CDs, with an iPod with a record on it and go ‘you wanna hear this?’ and then all these 15 year old girls listen to it and go ‘oh my god’. So that’s pretty cool, I guess.

IC: Yeah, it seems like a good way to do it.

AB: Aren’t you playing the Warped Tour this year?

CF: Yep, the whole thing.

AB: Cool. [Alkaline] Trio are playing as well aren’t they?

CF: Yep, there’s a couple of good bands playing. A lot of bad ones…

AB: Go on, name some of the bad ones

CF: Oh man. Oh man. What if I just name the good ones?

IC: No. We’re trying to get you in trouble.

CF: Yeah, I know you are.

AB: That’s actually part of the job description.

CF: Hey, Everclear’s playing. That’s cool. “Father of mine..”. Remember that band, from the 90’s?

IC: I don’t think I’ve ever heard them.

CF: Did you guys have ‘the 90’s’ in the UK?

IC: We had a, kind of, 90’s dance thing and it was pretty terrible.

AB: We also has Oasis

IC: Yeah, Oasis. That wasn’t good.

CF: Oasis, you’ve still got them.

AB: No we haven’t, they’ve split up.

IC: Yeah. Thank fuck.

CF: Bring Me The Horizon, have you heard of them?

IC: Yeah, they’re terrible.

CF: They look…funny.

IC: *laughs* They’re such a terrible band. I went to a club onnce and the singer was there. I thought it was someone that just looked like him and I was gonna go over and say: “you look like that dickhead, from that band” and it turns out it was him. I was gutted.

CF: Did you say it?

IC: No, I wish I did though. I didn’t think it was actually him.

CF: I’m just gonna look through these pictures and tell you who, I think, look the funniest. You Me At Six, you’ve heard of them, huh?

IC: Yeah, I’ve heard of them.

CF: They’re from there. You know, they don’t look that funny. I just brought them up because you have something in common. The Swellers, they’re cool. Have you heard of them?

AB & IC: No.

CF: They are a band. Flatliners, have you heard of them?

IC: Yeah, I’ve heard of them.

CF: Dillinger Escape Plan? They’re cool.

IC: Yeah. Didn’t you support Dillinger?

CF: Yeah, we did a whole tour with them and Thursday. It was awesome

IC:  You, Dillinger and Thursday? That seems like a really weird mixture.

CF: It was very strange. So there you go.

AB & IC *laughs*

CF: What do you guys make of Ska? It’s a bit silly isn’t it?

IC: I like some ska. RX Bandits are good, but they’re not really ‘ska’ any more.

CF: They’re not really a ska band are they? They’re kinda like a prog rock band, I’ve heard.

IC: They kinda…grew up a bit.

CF: I’ve never heard them, but I’ve heard a lot about them.

IC: They’re a good band.

This went on for some time and much fun was had by all. However, to save your sanity, we’ll skip ahead a bit.

CF: Is this really condusive to the interview, me just listing off all of these funny looking bands? *laughs*

AB: We’ll make it look cool.

We continued for some time more…

CF: Attack Attack. That’s a band. That’s a funny band, right?

AB: We saw them

IC: Oh yeah, they were at that Go:Audio gig. It was such a bad gig.

CF: Go:Audio? Oh, Go:Audio.

IC: It’s like 14-year old girl music.

CF: Sounds great.

AB: Why were we there?

And now we can get back to something a little more interesting…

IC: There was that video on YouTube, I can’t remember what the company was, but there’s an acoustic version of ‘Heart BPM’ and you’re wearing, like, a tank top.

AB: Issue Oriented.

CF: I’m not wearing a tank top. It’s kinda like a blue sweater-vest. It’s called a sweater-vest.

IC: I learnt how to play that song from that video all by myself, are you proud of me?

CF: Yep. Even the extremely intricate intro? *laughs*

IC: Yeah, well that was the hard bit.

CF: That’s fucking sweet.

IC: It’s the only song I’ve ever just worked out how to play on my own.

CF: Yeah man.

IC: I’m gonna cover it and get famous off it. We should both play it…

You can hear Chris & Ian’s duet here. However, the recording doesn’t do it justice.

CF: Wow. That was awesome.

IC: *laughs* That was really good, I liked that. That’s proper just made my week.

CF: Skype jam sesh for ya.

IC: I’m gonna go up to girls now and say ‘I played guitar with Chris Farren over the internet’. I won’t even say it was over the internet.

CF: I can’t believe how there’s no delay. Skype, huh?

AB: Yeah. Introducing you to new technologies. How do you feel about Frank Turner’s mum thinking you were gay?

CF: Yeah, what’s the deal with that? I guess…Maybe I dress kinda gay. I don’t know. I’ve got to take a step back from myself and re-examine my choices I’ve made. I don’t know, oh well. You know what, it adds a little bit to the band, if people think I’m gay, so that’s cool.

AB: I have to admit, I thought the white skinny jeans you were wearing at the Manchester show made you look kinda gay.

Told you they were white!

CF: *sighs* They weren’t white, they were tan.

AB: I’m sorry, but they were white.

IC: *laughs* ‘It’s not a pink t-shirt, it’s salmon’

CF: *laughs*

IC: It’s fucking pink, dude.

CF: Whatever

IC: On your Facebook, it says you’re in a relationship. Are you taller than your girlfriend?

CF: Yes. Slightly.

IC: You are. That doesn’t help me.

CF: I couldn’t do that. I couldn’t, no way.

AB: That’s actually a question we asked Brendan Kelly about Tom Gabel, if he’s taller than Heather.

IC: Apparently, the guy’s really tall. I didn’t think he was.

CF: He’s really fucking tall.

IC: I didn’t think he was. I thought he was really short.

CF: No way, Jose. Do you guys say ‘No way, Jose’?

AB: We can do. We could bring it back.

IC: Not regularly, but I have done.

CF: Great.

IC: Do you think that the smoke cloud from the Icelandic volcano could actually be the smoke moster?

CF: That’s the first thing I thought, actually, when I heard about it. The world and JJ Abrams have, somehow, lined up together to make the LOST finale something really special.

IC: It’s not just a show anymore.

CF: It’s actually going to be the apocalypse.

AB: Oh god. Oh yeah, if you were Bono for a day, would you do us all a favor and shoot yourself in the face?

CF: No, I would transfer a lot of money to myself, as me, and then maybe…hmm. I wouldn’t shoot myself, sorry. You’d have to keep it going with Bono, but I’d do some really embarrassing things on his behalf.

AB: Is it even possible to be more embarrassing than Bono already is?

CF: Oh man, you’re right. I don’t know. Actually, the secret band that I was talking about is U2.

IC: *laughs*

CF: Yeah, we’re U2’s backing band.

AB: Oh no, that means I have to buy U2 tickets.

IC: They’re supporting you.

CF: Yeah, exactly. They’re trying to get back to their roots.

AB & IC: *laughs*

AB: Why are the rest of the band not in this interview?

CF: Because they’re not here, I guess. That’s the flat out truth of it. I think Sean’s here, but I think he would think it was weird that I was doing this so I’m gonna keep it to myself.

IC: Are you like the ‘nerd’ of the band?

CF: Yeah, definitely. Well…Derek’s somewhere out there too.

AB: Derek won’t add us on Facebook

IC: Yeah, it’s not so much that he won’t, he just hasn’t.

AB: I think he’s seen all the stuff we’ve sent you Chris and he’s like ‘Fuck that’.

CF: *laughs*

AB: Oh yeah, here’s one. How tricky of a dick is the music business?

CF: It’s a pretty tricky dick, to be honest. I won’t go into specifics, but it’s a tricky dick sometimes. Everything’s cool, but things can be annoying.

AB: Is there anything you’d like us to ask you about?

CF: No. I can’t think of anything. Y’see, that’s not my job. Is it?

All: *laughs*

AB: Technically, that would be my job. I just thought that maybe you’d want to promote something

CF: Fake Problems.

AB: Fair enough. How about this then, recommend us some music. Recommend the world some music.

CF: See, everything I like right now is not out yet and it would be…

IC: Promoting illegal downloading.

CF: Not responsible of me to promote the things I want to promote.

AB: Well, being a music industry person, surely it wouldn’t be looked down upon if, say, you recommended us Frank Turner’s new album.

CF: He has a new record coming out?

AB: No but, if he did and it was coming out next week and you told us about it, people wouldn’t be too bothered would they?

CF: If he had a new record coming out, and I was the only person that knew about it, I don’t think that would be a good thing for him.

IC: Not very good promotion.

AB: Frank Turner’s personal mix tape to Chris Farren.

CF: That would be cool.

IC: It’d be really nice though, if he wrote an album just for you.

AB: I think he should do that. Would you not want ‘Chris’ Song’, no? It’d be along the same lines as ‘Dan’s Song’

CF: That’d be cool. I was there when he wrote ‘Dan’s Song’. How about that, guys?

IC: Really?

CF: Yep. I was in the freaking room with him.

IC: *laughs* A slice of musical history, right there.

CF: He recorded a demo of it on his laptop. In front of my freaking face. It was awesome. And you know that else, he didn’t have a harmonica. No, he did have a harmonica, but it was in the wrong key and, somehow, he recorded the harmonica solo and changed the key it was in on his computer.

IC: Good ol’ ProTools.

CF: Yeah, I want that.

AB: Awesome. This interview feels quite awkward, why is that?

IC: I think it’s because it’s not face-to-face. It’s impersonal. At least it’s not over email. Finally, we have a reader question for you. This comes from Ellie.

CF: A reader of what, your Facebook page? *laughs*

IC: No, she’s a reader of the website.

AB: Well she’s obviously a reader of Facebook, because of the question

IC: Good point. Ellie Asks: “Why did you agree to do an interview with two people who are constantly slagging you off?”

CF: Oh, because…hmm. Because I feel like you guys are not really hostily slagging me off so.. *laughs*. You know what? Even if you were, i’d have probably done it anyway. Like I said, I really like attention.

AB: Well you know we love you really *laughs*

IC: I’ll draw a picture for you. I don’t know what of but… I’ll draw it of a kitten.

AB: Is that kitten being huffed?

IC: Yeah, it’s a kitten being smoked.

CF: What do you guys think of Australian accents? How much do you feel it’s different from your own? Like a lot different? See, I equate it to how we look at the Canadian accent.

IC: I think that’s a big difference though.

CF: You think that’s a big difference?

IC: American and Canadian, yeah I can tell the difference.

CF: Yeah, there’s definitely some serious Canadians out there.

AB: Are there any jovial Canadians out there?

CF: They’re all jovial. They’re all really nice.

IC: Are we on to Canadian racism now?

CF: No, actually, I think it’s a stereotype, but Canadians are really freaking nice. Except, one time, we got heckled because I wore a shirt that said ‘Canada Eh?’ on it. I guess I said some derogatory things about Canadians. I just thought that they were really nice. They didn’t take kindly to that.

IC: What’s this about you getting arrested on a strip club roof?

CF: Not a strip club, it was a strip mall. Like a bunch of different shops.

IC: Oh right, I read that one totally wrong *laughs*

AB: I think it would’ve made a more interesting story, had it been a strip club.

CF: Yeah, it would’ve been. But, yeah we were just on a roof and the people below us thought it was bad that we were on the roof, so they called the cops and we got arrested.

AB: You got sent to anger management, didn’t you?

CF: Yeah, which doesn’t make any sense.

AB: Well you must’ve been angry if you were up on that roof.

CF: *laughs*

IC: That’s just like where angry people hang out.

CF: Yeah

AB: If you’re angry, get on a roof. At least we’ll know then.

CF: *laughs*

AB: Have you ever had any mishaps in the UK? I was reading about a turkey flying through the windscreen of your van. Then I found a video on YouTube of said turkey.

CF: Yeah, that was crazy. Nothing like that ever happened to us in the UK though.

AB: Did you experience any of the nightlife when you were last in Manchester, Chris?

CF: Manchester. What was Manchester? That was the one where I met you guys, right?

AB: Yeah, we were very drunk.

CF: Yeah, you were drunk. Y’know, I can’t tell you. I don’t know, I have no idea. Every night is an adventure in it’s own way, but I could’ve gone out and had a crazy night, but that could’ve been somewhere else. When I’m in the UK, I really have no idea where I am most of the time.

AB: When we’re out in Manchester, we rarely know where we are.

IC: Yeah Barlow, but that’s from being too drunk.

Hey look, it's John Berna!

CF: The only reason I know I went to a crazy party in Newcastle, is because there’s pictures of me with a huge Newcastle beer and I’m pouring it over my face. I think it’s on my Facebook.

AB: Well, I’m gonna find it, and I’m gonna use it. Just to illustrate the point that you’re a crazy mo-fo.

CF: Party animal.

AB: We were meant to be pre-drinking with you yesterday. We were like ‘yeah, we’ll do the interview before we go out, have a beer and talk to Chris Farren for a bit and it just didn’t happen.

CF: Yeah, I screwed you guys.

AB: Royally

CF: Sorry

IC: It’s ok though

CF: You know what? I just completely forgot. I looked at the clock and it was four o’clock and I was like ‘oh crap’.

AB: Fair enough, I think we’re about done.

CF: 43 minutes in.

IC: It won’t look like 43 minutes. We’ll make it look presentable.

CF: I think you can leave out the bit where I listed off all the bands on the Warped Tour.

AB: I’ll just keep in the ones you said you hated.

CF: Yep

IC: And them we’ll email them and give them your house address, so they can come and find you.

CF: They don’t need to come to my house, I’m gonna be on tour with them for three months.

IC: Oh yeah *laughs*

AB: If we do hear reports that you’re dead, it wasn’t out fault. Ok?

CF: Yeah, just look for Bring Me The Horizon.

IC: Oh no, you could totally kick their arses.

CF: You think so?

IC: Yeah, those guys spend too much time doing their hair to be tough.

CF: That’s funny.

AB: Right, thank you very much Mr. Farren for taking this 40-odd minutes out of your day.

CF: No thank you guys. Thank you for your interest in me.

AB: We’ll always be interested in you, Chris.

CF: Well i’ll see you on the internet.

Our thanks go out to Chris for enduring that chat with us. What a good sport he is. We urge you all to go and buy some Fake Problems’ stuff right now from here. Do it!

Interview :: Crazy Arm

Green Army!

Crazy Arm are one of the best bands to come out of the UK for some time and we like them. In fact, we like them a hell of a lot. We caught up with Darren Johns and Tim Rowing-Parker in Manchester before they took to the stage in support of Frank Turner. As always, it got political and we may have even started an international incident.

Ian Critchley: First of all, did you name your band ‘Crazy Arm’ after the Ray Price song Crazy Arms?

Darren: Good research man, well done. Yeah, nothing more, nothing less. That’s what it is, just a subtle country reference.

IC: I like it, yeah. Some of you were in a band called No Comply before…

DJ: Unfortunately, the two of us doing the interview weren’t actually in it

IC: Oh no, it wasn’t a specific No Comply question. We just wanted to know if there was any other musical history in Plymouth, because you don’t really hear of many bands coming from there.

DJ: I was in a band called … we were huge in the post-punk scene. We weren’t huge, but we did alright. We did ok, but we weren’t as high profile as No Comply were. Tim here, he was in Loggerhead.

IC: Yeah. I’ve heard of Loggerhead. I’ve heard the name before.

DJ: You didn’t release any records though, did you?

Tim Rowing-Parker: What? No. Well, just little bits here and there.

DJ: They were a good band, I used to like em.

TRP: Well, we’d always be supporting all of your bands.

IC: At the moment, is there actually any other bands in Plymouth?

DJ: Yeah, there’s loads of good bands in Plymouth.

IC: Is there? It’s not very well documented.

DJ: Yeah, there’s loads of good bands. They just don’t tend to do much outside of the town. A lot of them don’t push themselves enough. They create records and demos, but they don’t then say “right, we must get out of this town”.

TRP: It’s a bit further away as well.

DJ: Yeah but if you go on a tour, it’s only far away for the first show.  Then, once you’re on tour, you’re out and about.

IC: I read on your MySpace that some of you are vegetarian and some of you are Vegan. Is that like some are Vegetarian and some are Vegan?

DJ: Two of us are vegetraian, two of us are vegan. On tour, we’re all just vegetarian, mostly because it’s so hard to find supplies.

IC: Yeah, yeah definitely. How do you feel about people who don’t follow your views?

DJ: What, like my mum for instance or my dad? Yeah, I hate them.

All: *laughs*

DJ: I’ve got absolutely nothing against people do as I do. I’m not a Nazi *laughs*.

IC: Yeah, it’s when I go and see my Nan and she’s like “oh it’s only got a bit of ham on it, I’m sure It’ll be alright”. I’m like “no, you don’t really understand what’s going on, bless you for trying”

DJ: The only thing that I mind is when people start picking an argument with me. I used to be quite millitant when I was younger being vegetarian and vegan, but now it’s like if someone wants to pick an argument, well I’ll fucking jump on it. Especially if they’re just doing it to get some kind of oneupmanship on you. When they start thinking they’re more superior. Then it’s like, if you want to talk about it properly, go and read a book. I’ll suggest you a list of books to read. If you don’t want to talk about it properly, then I’m not going to listen.

IC: Could you suggest a book for us now?

DJ: ‘Animal Liberation’ by Peter Singer. That’s, perhaps, the bible of animal rights really. Yeah, there’s no more I need to say, just that one. Although he’s gone back on it a bit, recently. What is it he’s said? He’s said something odd about…yeah, I can’t remember what it is, but he seems to have done a bit of a U-turn on one issue in particular. That’s unusual. I’ve kinda blanked it out. If people are just being arsey, then I’ll give them a whole book list and tell them to read it. It’ll turn them on to a whole level of information. If you just want to be a twat and just try and get a rise out of me, it’s not gonna happen.

Anthony Barlow: So you’re not going to go and beat Frank [Turner] up for eating a ham sandwich before then?

DJ: Yes, I am *laughs*

IC: Actually, speaking of breating people up, last time Frank was on tour, one of his support acts was a band called Fake Problems.

DJ: Yeah, I know them.

IC: Do you think you could take them?

DJ: Fuck yeah *laughs*

IC: You seem quite a bit bigger than them. They were little guys *laughs*

DJ: I’ll tell you who could take anybody, Chuck Ragan.

IC: You could bring out every band that’s ever supported Frank and Chuck would take them all. He’s huge.

DJ: But, he’s also very, very nice. I can’t imagine him fighting.

TRP: Yeah, but I imagine if he was to, I don’t know if I’d want to be on the other side of that.

DJ: I don’t know what Fake Problems are like, I’ve never seen pictures of them.

IC: Oh they’re not big guys. They’re nice guys though. Lovely.

AB: Chris, the lead singer, looks a bit like Tom Gabel

IC: Yeah, if Elijah Wood and Tom Gabel had a bastard child, it would be him *laughs*. It is a pretty looking bastard child though.

AB: So, it’s St. Paddy’s day today.

DJ: Fucking hell, it is isn’t it! I’m a quarter Irish, I’m not lying.

AB: Guiness is not vegetarian friendly does that…

DJ: I hate Guiness anyway.

IC: Are you on the Jameson’s then?

DJ: Whiskey or cider, yeah. Although, my veganism stops short of alcohol. I’ve never been so fussed about the alcohol side of it. We are a bit more now, but there are times when you just think “well, y’know…” Because some cider’s aren’t vegan or vegetarian friendly. I just think, I’m here and someone wants to buy me a drink, I’ll have it. I’m not religious about it. I’m not religious about anything. I’m not religious, so I can’t be religious about veganism either.

IC: Getting back onto the topic of music *laughs*, was your album a full band session recording?

DJ: Yes. As opposed to?

IC: Like, individual instruments recorded bit by bit.

DJ: Half of it was done live. Well, five songs were recorded live.

IC: I could tell that on some of the songs. I could hear, like,  a drum rattle in the background and stuff like that.

DJ: Yeah, yeah.

IC: It’s good though, I like it.

DJ: You’ve done your research you, haven’t you. You’ve really listened and read. That’s good. It makes a change, doesn’t it. Yeah, we recorded four songs first, just because this friend of ours moved down to near where we were, about 20 miles away. He loves us, so he asked us to come and do a weekend of stuff. So we went down there, and we’d been recording the album first in a local studio and it was taking ages. Then when we did these four songs with Pete, it was like, we can’t go back, we have to do the album here. Those four original takes stayed on the album.

IC: It’s not like that’s a bad thing though.

DJ: No, not at all. It’s great.We did three or four really well, with click track and really made them release worthy. Then another couple, we did live. So it’s a good mix of professional and full on live. Apart from vocals, they were always done afterwards. Yeah, so it’s nice to have those little glitches in there.

IC: You’re quite a political band, you’ve got a lot of political statements…

DJ: Yeah, it’s all mouth.

IC: *laughs* Yeah, it’s all just a front.

DJ: It is.

IC: Every time we interview people, “what are your views on the BNP” just seems to crop up. Should they be allowed to say shitty stuff?

DJ: Should they be allowed to? That’s a hard one. We took part in the protest against the BBC allowing Nick Griffin on Question Time. We did a regional one in Plymouth. It wasn’t so much I was against him being on there, I just thought it was a good opportunity to highlight what he’s about, whether it stopped it or not. I was quite excited that he was on in a way. I don’t think anyone was doing anything else for that hour, other than watching him. I like the idea of using that campaign to highlight how idiotic and dangerous he is and they are. I don’t like the idea of banning anybody, but at the same time, if you don’t quash those kinds of extreme views, they rise up and then you’ve got no choice and it’s too late. Hitler used to say that if we’d have been attacked with the most ferocious force Nazism wouldn’t have existed.

IC: Who is it you’re rooting for in the election then?

DJ: I’m not. I don’t vote in elections. I have no faith in anybody. I’ve grown up being an anarchist all my life and I know it’s not realistic in every aspect of life, but that’s one thing I’ve always held true, that there is a field of irrelevance. I do understand the relevance of not getting the BNP in power. I’ll probably spoil my vote. That way it registers as a ‘spoiled vote’ rather than ‘no vote’.

IC: Just draw a picture on it.

DJ: Yeah, or just go into the voting booth and say they’re all shit. I think that’s a fair enough statement, if you want to make that statement.

TRP: You should have an ‘opt-out’ option.

DJ: Yeah. Then again, that’s pretty much what a spoiled vote is. They do get registered as ‘spoiled votes’. I mean, there’s no danger of the BNP getting in this year, so it’s not like you have to. The idea is just to expose them. If they’re not going to be banned, then the idea is to expose them and confront them and fight them on the streets when you have to. That’s my logic. Never let them get away with anything.

IC: You’ve got a live 7″ out with Frank [Turner] haven’t you?

DJ: His is live, ours isn’t.

AB: See, that’s what you get when I do some research. A bunch of lies.

DJ: It is out new single. ‘Still To Keep’ is our new single. It was a digital only release, but then the label said “how do you feel about doing a seven inch of your single with one of Frank’s songs for the tour”. That’s fucking perfect, y’know. We’d like to release our singles on vinyl. The last one we missed out, with ‘Henry Fabian Flynn’, but this one has worked out nicely. The timing is perfect for us to do it with Frank, because we’re on tour. I think it’s released in five days on the 22nd.

AB: Well, I’ve bought it.

DJ: You’ve bought the actual vinyl? Oh, bless you. It’s quite interesting, it’s nice. I don’t really see what’s in it for Frank, to have us on the other side *laughs*. For us, it’s just…

IC: It’s a big thing. As a band, you kind of transcend genre. Sort of like The Queen transcended from Nazi bitch to British monarch. How do you feel about that comparison? *laughs*. In fact, what are your views on the monarchy, The Queen and whatnot.

DJ: What the hell is this question? It started off about music and now it’s about the queen.

AB: We’re saying you transcend genre

DJ: Yeah, like The Queen. I think that’s a bit bizarre. I think the monarchy is ludicrous, it’s outmoded, it’s a waste of money and it’s quite offensive. The other part of the question…

AB: Basically, how would you describe your sound?

DJ: We try not to describe it really. We used to have the little tag, ‘Hobo-core’. We used to use that. I liked it for a while and then it became like a joke and we left it behind. Now, I quite like it again.

TRP: I like the Fugazi with banjos, but without banjos.

All: *laughs*

IC: I’ve actually got this written down as a question, Fugazi are fucking mint aren’t they?

DJ: Yes!

All: *laughs*

IC: I don’t know if that’s a question or more of a statement.

TRP: I think that’s more a statement.

DJ: A statement disguised as a question.

IC: I think I wrote it and then tried to make it a question. Yeah, they’re really good.

DJ: This is it, trying to sum it up is hard because a lot of our songs are different from each other and you’d have to have about ten different tags. I do like the ‘Hobo-core’ thing. ‘Roots punk’ is one I like to use a lot. Folk roots, that’s where we draw a lot from. We’ve got influences from the sixties and seventies in a folk roots style. So yeah, it’s ‘Roots punk’ music, not reggae roots.

AB: You’ve got some mad vocal harmonies in there as well

DJ: Yeah, absolutely. There’s progressive tenancies to it as well. Yeah, we like to mix it up.

IC: So for each of your specific roles within the band – vocals, bass e.t.c. – can you pick out someone that specifically influenced you?

DJ: No, I can’t do that *laughs*. I find it really hard. The others might be able to do it, but I can’t. I was obsessed with Fugazi from like 1989 until 2001, when they split up. I think that informed a lot of my style, but you wouldn’t see it in this band. You would have in my other band, but you haven’t heard it in this band. I still feel that kinship in the way they structured songs and the ideas they had, but you won’t hear that in this band. Baroness, I think, are the band that we aspire to be like. I absolutely fucking adore them. We all do. They’ve influenced us recently, more than any other bands. You won’t have noticed it yet. You won’t notice it until maybe another six months time, when the new stuff comes out. Have you heard of Baroness at all?

IC: No, I’ve not. I think I’ve heard the name, but…

AB: Yeah, I was gonna say I’d heard the name

DJ: They’ve got a few similar scenarios to us and they’ve got the Southern thing going on. They’re quite heavy, they’re very heavy and they’ve got a lot of sixties folk elements in their breakdowns. They’re all over the place, but I think they’re a bit more music based than we are, but I don’t mind that. They’re more music based than vocal based. We’ve got loads of words and they use sparse amounts of lyrics, but they are amazing. There are too many places to draw from really. In the past, The Clash were my favorite band. It’s songwriting that I care about more than how good a guitarist or a drummer or a bassist is.

IC: You’ve been quoted as being: “The most exciting band of the past few years” how do you feel about that?

DJ: Who by? You? *laughs*

IC: Ok yeah, honestly, it was me.

DJ: Really? *laughs*

IC: How does that make you feel?

TRP: I’m flattered

IC: Surely it’s not as good, because it’s just me

DJ: Every review is only another individual opinion so…

AB: I completely agree, by the way

DJ: Oh really? Cheers mate.

IC: I just think a lot of new bands lately have been the same old shit. There’s been some good ones, but…

DJ: That’s the thing. We’ve had a lot of reviews be the same, if not more glowing. Someone said our album was the best of the last ten years. I’m thinking “are you sure?”.

All: *laughs*

DJ: I mean, I’m gonna take the compliment, but have you heard all the albums of the past ten years? There’s been some great albums. It’s amazing, honestly. All the hard work has paid off y’know.

IC: We’ve got one last thing to ask you. Have you seen that advert with the guy going to the football?

DJ: I knew you were gonna say that. Green Army!

All *laughs*

AB: How many times have you been asked that, by the way?

DJ: Never.

IC: When my mate found out you were from Plymouth he was like, “get them to do a Green Army” *laughs*

DJ: This isn’t gonna get heard though, is it?

AB: No, but I’ll make it look cool in print.

DJ: You have a go at it then

IC: Green Army!

All: *laughs*

DJ: Green Army! You do it better and it’s my accent anyway.

IC: I’m glad I impressed you *laughs*

AB: That’s it I think, yeah thanks a lot for letting us sit in a room with you and slag your accent off *laughs*

DJ: That’s alright.

IC: The ‘exciting band’ thing was nice though, wasn’t it?

DJ: *laughs*

Thanks a lot to everyone in that room, especially Darren and Tim, for being such good sports. The best thing is, the “Green Army” thing did catch on and we’ve been informed that the band used it on stage every night after the show in Manchester. Very cool indeed. Do yourselves a favor and download Crazy Arms’ debut album, ‘Born To Ruin’, here.

Interview :: Frank Turner

It’s become an inevitability that whenever Frank Turner sets foot in the North West of England, we will be there to pester him.

Just back from supporting Flogging Molly in the states, Frank has embarked on another Europe-wide tour, just five months after his last, in order to appease the cries of his ever growing fan base. We concocted theories as to why Fake Problems postponed their UK tour, awkwardly talked about his new single and failed in getting some ‘top secret’ information.

Anthony Barlow: Hi Frank, how’s it going?

Frank Turner: I’m good thanks. A little bit rashed today, but tonight is going to be the biggest headline show of my career so I’m excited about that. It’s gonna be a fun evening and it’s St. Patrick’s day so I’m sure that madness with ensue after the show.

Ian Critchley: There’s that ‘Pop, Bubble, Rock’ thing going on after the show, it’s supposed to be your after-show party. Do you actually know about it?

FT: No, I don’t. That happens quite often, people going “official aftershow” and I’m like “no one told me”. I think I’m gonna head off with some friends and go and get trashed somewhere. I’m not drinking Guiness. I can’t stand Guiness. Horrible shit.

IC: Get on the Jameson’s instead.

FT: Exactly. You’re a wise man.

AB: You’ve just come off the Flogging Molly tour, have you not?

FT: Yes

AB: Well, what happened to reducing your tour schedule then?

FT: I said I was going to reduce my tour schedule? Well, nothing really happened with that. It must be said actually. The Flogging Molly guys offered me that tour, like the day after we announced this tour and if they’d have offered it to us 24 hours earlier, we would’ve shifted the whole of this tour back a little bit. We missed the last few shows and I did a thing where I played Saturday night in Chicago, on Sunday I got on a plane, arrived Monday and then played Monday night in Newcastle. That was a fucking headache, to be honest with you. By the end of the show in Newcastle, I was a dead man walking.

AB: I was just going to ask, how’re you not dead yet?

FT: Well, I’ve got some creature comforts. Touring at this level in the UK is cool. I’ve got quite a big crew working for me now and I don’t have to re-string my guitars and stuff like that anymore, which is fine because I’ve got a lot of interviews to do and shit like that in the meantime. There’s not enough hours in the day. It does mean that, once the show’s done, I can get to bed or go out and have a drink or whatever. So it’s, in some ways, more relaxing.

AB: Fair enough, you’re off to Europe straight after this as well aren’t you?

FT: We’ve got three days off, I think, and then to Zurich.

AB: You’ve actually got a day off whilst you’re here to. Has no one commandeered you and got you to play a show yet?

FT: People have asked but, again, I haven’t really had a day off between Flogging Molly and this. I think I’m gonna take advantage of it and maybe have a bath, watch a lot of telly, maybe go to the cinema. Y’know, just chill out for a day.

AB: Yeah, definitely. You had to cancel a show as well in Detroit

FT: I did. I’m still fucking seethingly pissed off about it. I would, literally, rather torture small children than cancel shows. I just fucking hate it. There was a throat infection going around on the Flogging Molly tour and when drummers have throat infections it doesn’t really matter, but when singers do it is a problem. I kinda struggled through. We had three shows in a row where I had a really croaky, horrible voice and it just wasn’t gonna get any better unless I took time off. So I took a day off and just felt like an arsehole about it. Although it has to be said, Detroit is a fucking horrible place. The gigs are alright, the people there are quite nice, but as an actual city it’s a fucking shit hole. I must admit, I wasn’t actually that bothered about going to Detroit.

AB: Did you actually get people turning up this time?

FT: I got a few emails from people saying they were bummed that I missed the show, but I’m going to try and do a show during the summer some time so hopefully that’ll make up for it.

AB: Your new DVD arrived in the post yesterday

FT: Oh cool. I’m glad they’re sending them out. That’s good. I’m really pleased with how that came together. We got as much footage and sound on it as humanly possible to get on to discs. Yeah, I’m pleased that came together.

AB: Chris Farren from Fake Problems seemed pretty surprised that it was actually out.

FT: Shit, we need to send those guys a copy actually because they’re on it.

IC: I bet he’ll have to see if he can fit it into his busy Lost-watching schedule because That’s all you get on Facebook: “lost, lost, lost, lost” about 40 million times

FT: *laughs*

AB: I never thought about that actually. Fake Problems postponed their UK tour.

IC: I reckon it’s because of Lost.

FT: *laughs*

AB: Yeah, I think Chris would miss the Lost finale if he went on tour.

IC: He wants to watch it that much that he just canceled the whole tour

FT: It would not surprise me.

AB: Is the DVD on sale at the merch stand?

FT: Yep. It’s out and about now so.

AB: Are we going to hear any new material tonight?

FT: We’re not actually, but I’m writing a lot of new songs at the moment. Poetry Of The Deed we recorded very quickly. Which is fine. I want to take a little bit more time this time, so I’m doing something I haven’t done for a while, which is writing songs and then sitting on them for a little bit just to kind of mull them over. I’m very, very pleased right now with the material that I’ve got. Again, with Poetry Of The Deed, it was kinda like we wrote 13 songs, put 13 songs on the album and then put it out. I kind of want to write more songs this time and pick and choose a little more. Plus, there was that song called Pass It Along that didn’t make Poetry Of The Deed, but which footage exists of on the web and loads and loads of people keep going on about how much they like that song so maybe that might make a resurgence. So, no new material but every time I do a tour I’m mindful of the fact that quite a lot of people will have gone to the show in October who’ll be here tonight, so I want to make sure the setlist is kinda different. I’ll be playing some old songs that I haven’t played for a long time. We’ll be playing some material from Poetry Of The Deed that we haven’t played before, just to try and keep it fresh and interesting.

AB: And, of course, you’ve got people like us who just seem to follow you everwhere you go…

FT: *laughs*

IC: I’ve got to ask this, what do you think about people quoting you? Like getting tattoos of your lyrics or using them as a basis for things

FT: I think that’s cool man

IC: Oh good, because I’ve got a question and it’s got a quote in it so…*laughs*. On St. Christopher’s Coming Home, you sing the words “chances are that I am far away and so I’m phased out of the plan” and your new single is Isabel, which is about your ladyfriend.

FT: Yes

IC: How does she feel about your insane tour schedule and constant distance. Does it affect your relationship in a may you might regret? I don’t just mean with her, but with family and friends

FT: Well, without going to far into the details, the answer to that question is yes, I am no longer an attached man.

IC: Oh…

FT: No, it’s alright. It’s just fucking terrible because that song’s just getting played on a bunch of radio stations and shit and she’s got the radio where she works, so it’s like she’s sitting there at work all day with this fucking song coming at her. Which makes me feel like an arsehole. You know what, it’s very difficult and I just kind of… Again, I don’t want to get to personal. I’ve taken a decision recently that I’m just gonna do personal life in like five years. I fucking love what I do. There’s loads to do and I’m just gonna focus on my job for now.

IC: Fair enough. A lot of your friends are musicians and in terms of gig tickets, album sales your probably the most successful. If you write a song and Jay [Beans On Toast] gives you his opinion on it, do you find it hard to take on board?

FT: Not at all, no.

IC: You’ve not gotten to the point where you’ve got a massive rock star ego?

FT: No fucking way. I take criticism off Jay. Chris T-T is someone I run material by. I have a small circle of people who I run new songs by and get their opinion. How best to say this? I’m very grateful for the success I’ve achieved, but I’m not going to sit here and say it’s because “I’m fucking Jesus”. It’s a combination of luck, hard work and all that kind of thing as well. I think Chris T-T is one of the best songwriters in the fucking world. I actually think Ben Marwood is one of the best songwriters in the world as well. I will always, always listen to their opinions on their stuff and take it deathly seriously.

AB: You’ve not turned into Morrissey then? Shutting yourself away in a darkened room whilst you write.

FT: I fucking hope I never do. You guys can call me out on it. I like Morrissey, but c’mon the guy cancels gigs because he doesn’t like the acoustics of the room. I’d be like “fuck you mate”.

AB: Are you playing any festivals this year?

FT: Yeah, I’ve got quite a few. I’m not quite sure which ones I’m allowed to talk about. I know I’m allowed to talk about ‘T In The Park’, which is gonna be great. I’ve not done that one before. I’m headlining ‘2,000 Trees’, which is great because it’s an awesome festival. I’m also headlining a festival called ‘Wood’, which is a folk festival run by the guys who do ‘Truck’ festival. I’ve not actually been to ‘Wood’, but I know the Bennett brothers, who run ‘Truck’, very well. They’re old friends, so that should be fun as well. I’ve never headlined a festival before and now I’m on two, so that’s great.

AB: Can you say anything about Reading/Leeds? There was a ‘leaked’ line up and you’re on it so…

FT: I actually, in all honesty, I heard about it I didn’t actually see it myself. I’ve no idea whether it’s true or not. I’m gonna be at Reading and Leeds this year, but I don’t know on what stage, basically. That’s what I can tell you at this stage. In fairness, I should be finding out any day now. In fact, my booking agent is coming to the show tonight so I’ve got a feeling she might know and she’s saving it to tell me in person because she’s like that. So, we’ll see.

IC: What’s going on with the Neil Young thing? Can we talk about that yet?

FT: Yeah, well…I think Neil has postponed his summer tour, which is kind of annoying, but I have got a tour in the sates this September that I can’t really talk about now. It’s with one of my fucking all time favorite bands and I’m getting really, really piss excited about it, but I can’t talk about it yet.

AB: Oh, go on

FT: No, I can’t. I literally can’t. I’ll get in so much shit if I do.

IC: What about the, Turner-fronted, ‘super band’ with Jim Ward?

FT: *laughs* Yeah, I saw Jim Ward the other day actually. I stayed at his house for a night, in El Paso. It’s kinda the same as it was last time, in a sense that everyone thinks it’s a fucking awesome idea, but my tour schedule currently runs through til February 2011 and then I’ve got a plan put together that’s gonna take me through until next summer.

IC: So it’s gonna be a while then

FT: Yeah. I mean, oh this is actually worth talking about actually. I’ve got a plan for next year. I’m gonna do a summer tour of the UK, which I haven’t done for a long time. I wanna do small venues, 200 cap. kinda places, but it’s gonna be a 12-week long tour. I’m gonna play fucking everywhere. So, for example, instead of just playing Manchester I’ll play Manchester, Wigan, Preston, Sheffield, Leeds, Liverpool…

IC: Do you realise you’re gonna get really, like, stalked by us?

FT: *laughs* Literally we’re trying to put together a 60-date UK tour. The thing is, I’m trying to put together an album of traditional English songs out next year as well. The idea is that, we’ll do that together and I’m gonna, this is concept here, because what I’m gonna do is get local people to support in each show and I’ve got a whole bunch of books about English folklore, legend and myth and I’ll read-up about each town before I go there and maybe do a bit of a talk between songs about local folklore and shit like that. It’s gonna be called The Folklore Tour. It’s gonna be really long and really fucking hard, but I think it’s gonna be fun. A thing a lot of people say, which I totally sympathise with, is that it’s been a long time since a lot of people in the UK saw me play a solo show in a smaller club and it is a different thing to see me play a full production show downstairs here. I’m sensitive to that, and I want people to get what they want,  so we’re gonna do that.

IC: Hypothetically, if your music career stopped today (or perhaps didn’t happen at all) where do you think you’d be?

FT: I’d like to be a history teacher. Yeah, I’d like to teach A-Level history. I had an A-Level history teacher who just completely turned me around on so many different things. I like telling stories and, it’s not the whole thing, but there’s a degree to which history is story-telling. Particularly at that kind of level. When you get to university it gets a bit more analytical. I just like the idea of telling people the story of the Second World War or whatever it may be. It’s kind of cool so, yeah, that’s what I’d like to do. Anyway, sorry that got cut short guys. It’s nice to see you again and I’ll see you downstairs.

Massive thanks to Frank and everyone who helped us sort this out yet again. Needless to say, next time he’s about we’ll be there to ask more questions. You never know, we might not put our collective feet in it as much next time. Look for Anthony’s gig review very soon.