And The Music Is Still So Invigorating: Ian Glasper

Ian Glasper – The Scene That Would Not Die, England, United Kingdom

And The Music Is Still So Invigorating: Ian Glasper

“And The Music Is Still So Invigorating: Ian Glasper” is an insightful interview you are about to read at a time where it is the most required. Veteran Punk-Rock musician and author Ian Glasper will have, by the time you are reading this, sent out his latest and perhaps biggest work yet. The Scene That Would Not Die: Twenty Years Of Post-Millennial Punk In The UK is being published by Earth Island Books and is again the latest in a long run of works cataloguing that one ubiquitous thing in Ian’s life and that of many, the tenacious underground and Punk-Rock music scenes. I cannot stress enough how the scene that ‘would not die’ globally but specifically in the UK is so crucial to our culture. It’s an evolving mass of people, noise and ideas that quests for a better world and a space to express but that’s enough from me. For now.

Get yourself comfortable! – And The Music Is Still So Invigorating: Ian Glasper.

So, before we dive into the dirge. Tell everyone who you are in the fashion of a blurb. However, said blurb must read as if Donald Trump wrote it.

My name’s Ian Glasper, and what I don’t know about Punk-Rock isn’t worth knowing. In fact, I’ve forgotten more about Punk-Rock than most people know. I really do know quite a bit about Punk-Rock. And some other stuff. But mainly Punk-Rock. I think everyone knows that when I say ‘I think I know about Punk-Rock,’ they know that I really mean that ‘I do know about Punk-Rock…’ Probably more than anyone else actually.

I’ve written five books about Punk-Rock. Proper books, with long words in and everything. The only thing I know more about than Punk-Rock – did I mention that I know about Punk-Rock? – is writing. And Thrash Metal. I wrote a book about Thrash Metal too. The best book ever-written about Thrash Metal, in fact. I don’t think there’s ever been another writer who knows more about this stuff than me. You ask anyone and they’ll tell you. I was a Punk before anyone else, and right away I knew I was good at it, and I thought, ‘If I’m going to do this, I’m going to do it bigger and better than anyone else,’ so that’s what I did. You ask anyone. You can never be too big. Or too smart. And I’m a bit of both, but mainly the latter. Ask anyone. And I’m modest, probably the most modest Punk-Rock writer that ever lived. I’m not doing this for me, I’m doing it for you. And the fans. Am I allowed to call them fans? I guess I am allowed to call them whatever I like. That comes with the territory, don’t you think? I’ve played in all the best Punk bands too, and we’ve been all over Europe and America playing for everyone, and they love me over there too. I did great things over there – all the things that everyone said no one could do anything about, I did something about. But that’s because I know about Punk-Rock. And now you want to send me some questions about Punk-Rock? Talk to my people and we’ll make it happen.

Wow, Mr Glasper! Given your seamless control of the English language and your verbosity therein, the audacious concept that you could ever lose anything is simply beyond any conceivable understanding.

That was really very magical, thank you. So, to start, how have the respective lockdowns been for you given your somewhat unique perspective of being both a writer and an active and touring musician? Has there been much of a dichotomy on how the year has affected you or has it been a rounded word count?

I’m both fortunate and unfortunate, depending upon your perspective, to not be a ‘full-time’ writer or musician, and have a day job to pay the bills. Over the years, this has been a curse when I haven’t been able to vanish off on tour for months at a time, but also a blessing when I’ve not been worrying about my kids going hungry if I’m not earning. It’s been a difficult tightrope to walk, but I feel like I’ve had the best of both worlds – I’ve kept my head above water financially and provided for our family, but have still managed to record 13 albums, do over a thousand gigs and write six books, not to mention thousands of features for Terrorizer, Record Collector, Bass Guitar and Down For Life etc…

I’m also very, very fortunate in that my day job is one I can mainly do working from home if needs be, so I’ve managed to kinda coast through the lockdowns to an extent. I was bringing the new book over the finish line and engrossed in some intensive proofing, so needed to sit in front of my laptop for hours on end anyway. I also had a very creative period as a lyricist and songwriter – I’m sure everyone will agree that 2020 provided plenty of inspiration for Punk song content! – and I was recording endless riffs and bouncing them backwards and forwards with the other band members, so even though we weren’t together as a band, it felt like we were making progress. And sure enough, as soon as we could get back in a rehearsal room in August, we nailed thirteen new songs which we were recording two months later.

But I have REALLY missed gigs. In fact, 2020 is the first year I’ve not played a single gig since 1983, which is really eating away at me. I keep that disappointment at bay with lots of exercise and reading, consoling myself with the fact we’ve still written songs and have been as creative as we can in the face of adversity.

Keeping things “at bay” I think is probably one of the most-used phrases this year for a lot of people, not to mention the scene. I think being ‘as creative as we can in the face of adversity‘ is a good way to articulate 2020. I’ve interviewed and spoken to a lot of musicians this year and although the answers do vary, that seems to be only consistency when there is one. That’s excellent news on the recording, are we to expect anything in the following months from you musically speaking?

Right so, before we jump into the new book, I wanted to ask you, was their a specific point or occurrence at which you became resigned to scribbling about the underground Punk and Metal scenes? Did you read something? Were you at a gig or did it seem like the right thing to do? For me personally, it was simply an ask from a stranger at a festival.

Yeah, I probably should have mentioned that the new band I’m doing is called Zero Again. We recorded thirteen tracks for two 7″ EPs and some compilations in October, and they’ll be out in the new year. The 7″s are coming out on Sanctus Propaganda and Kibou Records, and are basically dark, twisted Punk, very rhythmic and very heavy (without being Metal). We’re based in the Southwest and kinda coagulate in Bristol for rehearsals.

As regards the writing, well, it was a long time ago, but I started buying fanzines in the mid-Eighties and quickly decided I wanted to do my own, which was called Little Things Please Little Minds, and ran for five issues, but petered out when I got too busy with my then-band, Decadence Within. In 1993, I started writing for Terrorizer – that just came about when their editor Rob Clymo asked me if I wanted to write a Hardcore column – Hardcore Holocaust, as it became known – because he ran a record distro, and I was always ringing him up after obscure Hardcore and Metal imports, so he figured that I knew my onions, and he took my word for it that I could string two sentences together, haha! That went from strength to strength, and I became a permanent fixture at the mag; soon after that, I was also writing for Record Collector too, mainly covering Punk reissues.

It was when I was reviewing for RC that I felt inspired to write my first book though. Every month I seemed to be sent another book about the Sex Pistols or The Clash, and being a product of Punk’s second wave (I was only 10 in 1977, after all), I thought, ‘When the hell is someone going to write a book about Discharge or GBH or The Exploited?’ When I realised the answer was probably ‘Never!’, I decided to do it myself, and ‘Burning Britain’ was the result.

That’s quite the story! Would you say the desire and motivation have been consistent or have you ever felt the motivation waning at all? Reviewing and critiquing others work can sometimes feel quite heavy going in my experience, especially when trying to find the time outside of work and I suppose in your case, being in an active band.

We will move on to the new book next.

Yeah, it’s nigh on impossible to maintain 100% enthusiasm. When I track through back issues of Terrorizer, there are some where I contributed four or five interviews and over a dozen reviews, and there are others where I just did a demo round-up or something. Some of those times it would have been because I was out for a few weeks with the band, when I knew I couldn’t make the deadline (I’m not a proud person, but one thing I am proud of is having NEVER missed a publishing deadline!) but some of them would have, been a lack of motivation to put my hand up and take the commission. Thankfully those periods have been few and far between, mainly because I beat myself up so badly when I’m not doing something productive. Sometimes I would just be wiped out, and too exhausted to be bothered to think of questions, but I’m pretty driven so that never lasted for long. Although once I’d been writing for Terrorizer for ten years or so, I stopped reviewing records I didn’t like – life’s too short to listen to music you don’t enjoy.

All of the books have seen me hit the proverbial wall as well, usually, when I’m about two-thirds of the way through, 200,000 words done – only 100,000 to go, haha! When I’m doing a book, I try to spend a few hours a day on it (more at the weekends). I’ve even taken them with me on tour and on holiday but when you hit that wall, it’s time to take the rest of the week off and recharge the mental batteries.

That’s as good advice as I’ve heard! I can resonate with you there, sometimes forcing it will yield sub-par work and especially the beating yourself up a conundrum, it’s such a curse. Do you have any specific “do-nots” when it comes to writing that you would tell to anyone thinking about taking it up?

It’s obvious that you’re a busy man when you’re not taking time to off to ease the cognitive strain. How long had the idea of covering the Post-Millennial Punk scene been hovering before you put pen to paper? Based on the chronology of your other work, it seems on the surface at least that it was the sequential and natural choice, was this the case?

I’m not sure about ‘Do Nots’, but I have a few ‘Dos’ that I’ve learnt the hard way – not least of all to back up what you’re doing on a memory stick every day. There’s nothing quite like going to turn your computer on and nothing happens the day after you spent six hours transcribing an interview! And don’t erase a recorded interview until you’ve backed up the transcript, haha!

Another ‘Do’ was to always try to progress your book a little every single day, so you’re always making headway, no matter how small. Even those days when you’re too dog-tired to write, chase up an interview or email a photographer; just chip away at it. And do get a trusted literate friend with knowledge of the subject matter to proof it for you – no matter how many times you read it yourself, you’ll be seeing what you think you wrote. A fresh set of eyes sees those annoying little typos. The thing with Punk and Metal books is, a lot of the bands deliberately spell their names wrong, and a professional proofreader struggles with ‘Annihilated’ spelt with just one ‘n’.

Don’t leave that proofing to the last minute either; get it done as you go. There’s always a moment in production when the publishers or printers or whatever want everything ‘like yesterday’, and you’re never ready to hand the book over, to be honest. There’s always something else you could tweak on it, but you just have to learn to let it go and accept it’s a finite, imperfect thing.

As far as the post-millennial book goes, I started thinking about it almost as soon as I finished the Nineties one, as the next logical stage in the series, but there didn’t seem to be quite enough ‘distance’ between me and the subject matter at that point, and I’d also been toying with the idea of a UK Thrash Metal book (who doesn’t love a classic underdog story?) so I figured I’d slot that one in there first. Of course, by then deciding to bring the post-millennial volume right up to date, instead of stopping at 2010, I removed the time buffer between the book and the subject matter anyway, which meant I was writing about some bands in real-time, as they were releasing new material, changing line-ups and even splitting up, which added another level of complexity and frustration to it. But no one ever said it would be easy!

I would have to agree on the “seeing what you think you wrote”. I am very guilty of that and I’ve had to train myself out of it as best I can but it’s a constant struggle. I think the pressure to be productive has only but increased this year. Creatives have been locked away from their jobs or working from home with less of a change in direct scenery, has that affected you at all outside of the “normalised” battle with motivation?

Back to The Scene That Would Not Die […], twenty years is a considerable stint to cover and the longest chronology you’ve written yet. Did the process differ in any other ways at all or was covering bands in real-time the main challenge? Did the instantaneous nature of communication help or hinder you?

Actually, I’ve never been more inspired than by my current circumstances. Having the playing live outlet removed has really focused me on writing new material, so I’ve picked my bass up almost every day, sometimes for five minutes, just to articulate a riff I’ve had pop into my head, sometimes for hours on end. Lyrically the inspiration has been almost continuous, and I’ve probably penned 30 songs in the last six months – what with COVID, lockdown, the killing of George Floyd, Donald Trump’s reign of chaos, the shit show that is Brexit. Every time you switch on the TV news, there is some fresh injustice that infuriates you, and writing about it is very therapeutic.

But you’re right about the new book – I’ve never tackled a twenty-year period, only ever decades. In fact, someone joked that I’ve done three books on the Eighties, one on the Nineties, and now half a book each on the 2000s and 2010s, referencing ‘diminishing returns’, haha! One of the reasons for this, I think, is that with the benefit of the internet, you can pretty much find whatever you want out about a band whenever you need it, which makes a reference book a bit of an indulgence for most people unless you’re a book lover. So we thought we’d go for broke and make it a big one!

Also, the reason the Eighties was covered by three books was that there was a distinct division between the ‘UK82’ Punk scene and the ‘Anarcho’ Punk scene and the ‘UKHC’ scene of the late Eighties, which lent itself to three separate volumes. Likewise, the Nineties felt very different again. But I would struggle to highlight any major differences between the 2000s and the 2010s, so opted for the ‘post-millennial’ overview instead.

The process was very much the same though – make a list of bands I rated and start reaching out to them! I think I listed almost 200 bands, and a lot of them automatically excluded themselves from appearing by not replying, or not following up on requests for interviews and just not getting back to me. I also decided to not try and incorporate all the many weird and wonderful sub-genres of Punk – you know: Grindcore, Hardcore, Pop-Punk etc. – because it would have been a vast project. 

The instantaneous communication we enjoy these days was definitely a benefit – finding people is so much easier with Facebook and Discogs etc. For the very first book I did – ‘Burning Britain’ – I was still writing to addresses on the back of old records and even using electoral rolls and stuff… proper detective work, which was very satisfying, but also time-consuming and frustrating when leads went cold. Years later, some of the bands I couldn’t track down got in touch once the internet was a widespread thing and they’d read a review of the book online etc., and we squeezed a load of them into the expanded US edition.

You say the process for procuring the bands was much the same despite having an easier way of getting in touch and such. When you were choosing the bands you rated and wanted to feature, without giving too much away, did you “just know” who you wanted? Were there any difficulties at all or was it as you say, simply a matter of who replied?

There were definitely bands that I really wanted – almost needed – to appear, and happily, I got a good few of those. But there were some I really wanted that didn’t come through for me either, despite me chasing them over and over, but such is life – you can’t force someone to do an interview with you. Well, you can, but torture is meant to be against the law, haha! Then there were others that weren’t so ‘essential’, but would be good to have, and some that I hadn’t even thought of, and then someone reminded me of them.

One of the latter bands got in at literally the last minute! Once I got up to about 90+ confirmed bands, I was shooting for around 100, but I accidentally went over, when a few bands I didn’t think were going to bother coming back to me got back at the eleventh hour, so then the OCD was kicking in a bit when I was sat at 103 or 104 bands. That was when I decided 111 was a good number – I could squeeze a few more in, and it felt right. It’s always a bit of a juggling act, especially as you near the maximum number because you always have one eye on the word/page count too. As usual, I overwrote the book and had to trim over 50,000 words in my final edit to bring it in at a manageable size. Also, as usual, once the book was completely put to bed, a few of the bands I really wanted to include finally got back to me.

You can make things like that up can you really?! Once you hit 111, did you consider going over at all? Especially as some of these “wanted” interviewees suddenly materialised.

Speaking more specifically of the interviews, were there any, without naming names, that you found particularly difficult, insightful or particularly intense as you were putting the book together? 

There was actually no way we could go over 111 bands because the book would have been up to almost 700 pages and just too big – plus those ‘wanted’ bands came in after the design was already done, so it would have meant unpicking everything to insert them. and to be fair, they’d all had well over a year to get their act together, haha!

Unfortunately, due to obvious circumstances, most of the interviews were done by email and Zoom etc., so the intensity of talking about difficult stuff was removed from the equation to an extent, although there’s still plenty of pathos and controversy. As is the way when Punk bands are recounting their touring experiences, there’s lots of drink and drugs, and lots of road accidents and violence, showdowns with Nazis outside European squats, and the like. But the bands also had plenty to say about politics and class and discrimination of all kinds. A big thing these last two decades for Punk in the UK is the annual Rebellion festival, which many of the bands hold in high regard as a vital social get-together, whilst others have a scathing contempt for it because they feel it’s little more than a nostalgia-fest and that Punk is going the way of the teddy boys and rockers before them, so that was a divisive topic.

I guess the hardest thing to talk about is when people die, especially unexpectedly before their time, and this book was marred by – amongst many others – the sad passing of Dave Cart, who ran Nunny Dave Records and was instrumental in putting out records by many of the bands I covered. Also, one of the band members lost his little boy in a tragic accident just as I was editing everything down, so he wanted to dedicate their chapter to his memory. It’s things like that that remind you the trials and tribulations of the Punk scene pale into insignificance next to family and humanity. What was wonderful to see though was that a fundraiser to cover funeral costs raised thousands more than expected, so it was good to see the Punk community pulling together and rallying around one of their own when in genuine need.

That final point is heartwarming to read but at least given this year, it’s nice to read and hear about instances where the community has actually acted like one rather than falling into being divisive or worse. There has been a huge amount given to charity this year in the name of the Punk and Alternative music scene, not to mention a huge amount of work put into saving the likes of gig venues and record shops and such.

You’ve touched on Rebellion and the meeting of the old and the new. Personally, whenever I’ve been, I’ve enjoyed it but I have admittedly spent my time in the company of the new, contemporary and progressively minded wings of the festival. Now, with that in mind, obviously, you have covered bands from different scenes, generations and backgrounds in your time writing and met such through touring. What would you say are the prominent differences between Punks and Punk devotees “then” and in this Post-Millennial scene?

Yeah, I’ve always enjoyed Rebellion as well, and I’ve probably been half a dozen times and played it twice as well. There are so many bands on, you’re guaranteed to be able to find something you want to watch, and it’s always good to catch up with old friends and everything. At this moment in time – mid-COVID – what wouldn’t I give to spend a long weekend up in Blackpool watching Punk bands?

And whilst I think the means of doing things has changed – downloads instead of albums, streams instead of demos etc. – there’s not much to separate the young Punk fan of today from the young Punk fan of yesteryear. They still love the music as much, they still get excited when they hear a new band, they’re still forming bands of their own. It’s just that technology has changed the landscape. You can look up a track someone recommends you listen to in seconds, you can book a tour in a few hours but the emotional attachment to the music is still the same, I think. Certainly, young Punk fans now seem just as enthused about the music – and the messages – as I did when I was a teenager – they just don’t have to sacrifice so much time and effort to access it as I did, waiting a week for a demo to fall through the postbox, catching a bus at the weekend to the nearest big town to go to the record shop etc. And they have such a huge array of music to wade through online, they’re literally spoilt for choice, but I don’t think that cheapens the experience for them like some old die-hards would have you believe. 

One good thing about today compared to the Eighties – there’s much less violence at gigs. No one’s sorry to see the back of all the aggro.

I found the festival such a juxtaposing experience. On the one hand, I’d find the above and have a great time but I did also find there to be trends on the regressive side of things. How do you feel about the internal struggle with the more conservative elements of the scene and those who take it that step further? Have you had much experience with it? Obviously, the experience of others will be in the book.

I think you’ve hit the nail on the head there, the enthusiasm has changed but hasn’t lessened. What would you say to these diehards if you were within earshot of one of these comments projected at a younger Punk-enthusiast?  

I talk about this in the intro to the book, as the rise of conservatism in Punk is something I find disappointing personally. I say ‘personally’ because obviously this is only my opinion, and Punk means different things to different people. But I find it ludicrous when anyone – never mind ‘Punks’ – condemn movements like Antifa. Fascism is dangerous and should be opposed, so being Anti-Fascist is basically a default for any decent caring person. Or so you would think. Yet Punk rockers around the world back Trump’s claims that Antifa are terrorists, or ‘ruining the scene’. You also have people diluting the BLM message with ‘All Lives Matter’ and ‘Animal Lives Matter’. Of course they do matter, but that’s a different struggle and mustn’t detract from the very specific issue being confronted by BLM. Punk has always been about questioning authority for me, questioning what the government and media pump out, not taking everything at face value, looking for the hidden agendas when they demonise illegal immigrants etc. Of course, social media has introduced a whole new level of subtle propaganda, and myths are promulgated even more insidiously. Chaos is encouraged as legislation is slipped under the radar.

But whenever I hear a die-hard ’70s or ’80s Punk fan saying that youngsters these days ‘don’t know they’re born’ and ‘their music is just a noise’, and even taking the piss out of how they look, I just remind them they sound like the old fogies they used to scoff at when they were teenagers. Punk keeps moving – it belongs to the youth and rightfully so! You enjoyed it, and still enjoy it, but it’s their turn now. Don’t be a bitter, twisted old cynic – why not encourage and inspire, and help shape something positive for once, or at least pipe down and let them get on with it?

It’s really quite jarring how Punk has taken on these different political tribes in some countries and political systems, I very much agree that it means different things to different people but the prevailing attitude is that of progress and community for everyone but again, “everyone” doesn’t seem to mean everyone. 

Bar the above, the onset conservatism and past-dwelling “in my day” types lurking about, what do you think are the biggest challenges for the contemporary Punk scene? In recent times a drive toward social-inclusivity has been pushed with some sad and unsurprising opposition for example, that and of course the blessing and abject curse of social media.

Apart from COVID fucking the live circuit up and Brexit fucking up touring Europe, you mean? Haha! I guess the next biggest challenge is to walk the tightrope between staying relevant and becoming a nostalgia trip. Musically and lyrically many of the bands are in fine form, and there’s plenty of exciting music out there in the underground. Social inclusivity isn’t a problem in that grassroots scene, and why should it be? No one should be marginalised! But the more mainstream scene is where some of the older, more traditional folk still struggle to overcome generational prejudices and their own insecurities – and they don’t like some young whippersnappers challenging their preconceptions. The times are changing though; attitudes are evolving, and Punk is playing its rightful role in this cultural shift.

Brexit? I’m not sure what that is, but it does sound world-beating. Do you have any profound words on it Mr Glump?

I would agree that Punk is very much doing its job but there is that older, complacent element rearing its head, especially given the social media age. Have you seen much of it online yourself or no?

Speaking of Punk’s rightful role in the cultural shift. What bands in your opinion would you say are really pushing this movement forward at the moment that you’d recommend? That and additionally, who are your top five from the period the new book is covering?

Brexit is a clusterfuck of the highest order, and as I type a deal looks most unlikely, which doesn’t fill me with optimism for the next few years when taken in the context of a brutal post-COVID recession. Personally, I rather liked being an EU citizen and voted against it all, with being able to tour without green cards etc. which was a major factor in that decision. And yes, I’ve seen plenty of nonsensical comments online recently from people that should really know better. But hey ho, I also believe in freedom of speech, and this is one of the annoying things about that you have to put up with, haha!

There are plenty of new Punk bands still challenging the status quo though, like The Menstrual Cramps, Bratakus, Brain Anguish, Abrazos, In Evil Hour, even Pizzatramp, who appear completely comedic on a superficial level but push savvy politics in amongst all the piss-taking, which is often a great way to win people over and get them thinking at the same time. But if you push me for my top five from the last twenty years, after cussing you for putting me on the spot, I would currently say Grand Collapse, Rat Cage, Natterers, Agnosy and Salem Rages but that list would probably be different tomorrow.

Absolutely, the European scene is going to suffer on both ends now. Bands could potentially use the “US-Model” and borrow gear but that’s not the point. I completely agree on most of those names and I now have some others to peruse, so thank you for that. – You’ve nailed it on Pizzatramp, I have to say and as a related point, their internet presence is wonderfully articulated considering the complete contrast of the above. That said, echo-chambers achieve nothing.

That is entirely why I do it mate, I won’t lie to you there! However, I suppose ill just have to ask you tomorrow!

So as I draw my boring of you to a close, I have a couple of quickfire questions for you! Firstly, within your personal preferences, is there a “sub-genre” you gravitate towards in Punk or do you alternate based on what’s spewing out of the Punk music-verse? Secondly, do you collect vinyl at all? Personally, the majority of my collection is now directly derived from the DIY and more localised scenes.

Yes, I’ve done the ‘US thing’ several times now – sneaking in as tourists and borrowing gear when you get there. It works well enough, but presents problems as regards being lumbered with strange gear you’re not familiar with and ending up with unsold merch at the end of a tour etc. So it’s all a massive pain when it used to be a piece of piss. But we will find a way. We always do.

My favourite sub-genre of Punk is Anarcho-Punk. The whole Crass, Subhumans, Rudimentary Peni, Flux of Pink Indians, Mob, Zounds scene. That really spoke to me when I was a teenager, heavily influencing the way I thought (and ate) and still resonates powerfully with me today. I can go back to those classic records and ‘re-set’ whenever things start to feel like they’re getting too much or I need some perspective. And the music is still so invigorating.

As far as my record collection – it was huge once, but now gone. I made a conscious decision to say ‘Enough is enough’, and let it go about twenty years ago. I ‘made’ thousands and pumped it straight back into the Hardcore Punk scene, setting up Blackfish Records and using the money to do the first three releases, after which the label financed itself for a few years before I jacked it in. I sometimes regret selling it, because I pretty much bought all the UK Punk releases that came out after 1980 as and when they were released – plus an awful lot of US Hardcore and Thrash Metal and stuff – but I picked all the music up on CD as I sold the vinyl, so I could listen to it non-stop when I’m driving (I do a lot of driving with work), and as long as I can hear those songs whenever the mood takes me, I’m fine with it.

You can talk to countless people in this scene and you hear a different relationship with music each time. 

Well, Ian, I just want to thank you for your time tapping away in response to me over the course of this, I’ve had fun and its been insightful. 

So, as one final question, you’ve already talked of your musical endeavours this year and their path but what of your work as a bonafide wordsmith? 

Is there anything you’d like to say to the people reading this?

Thanks for the interview – it’s been great to answer some questions slightly different to the usual email grillings.

The new book is due back from the printers next week, as I type (early December), so I’ll spend a month or two pushing that, and then jump into the next project, which looks to be a collection of the many interviews I did for Terrorizer in the ’90s and ’00s. I compiled the list of bands I interviewed and it’s a veritable who’s who of the Victory, Epitaph and Roadrunner rosters, so it’ll be nice to make those available again. That’ll be out end of next year. And then beyond that I’m planning a collection of all the many song lyrics I’ve penned since 1983, surrounded by stories behind the songs – so that’ll be a more personal overview of the scene from the perspective of the bands I was in and the songs I was writing, that were usually informed by events going on at the time. But meanwhile, I just want to thank everyone who’s supported what I do these last four decades; it’s much appreciated and never taken for granted.



Founder of Ear Nutrition, Matt is sadly over 30 and first cut his words writing for the now defunct site, Musically Fresh. He enjoys a variety of guitar-driven music but can usually be found navigating a web of Skate Punk, Hardcore and everything in between.