Discharge have been one of my favourite bands since my early teens, I even like "Grave New World" it just kind of grew on me!
They've influenced a lot of bands in their time, Napalm Death, Extreme Noise
Terror, Anti Cimex and even started a whole music genre 'D-beat'. Skinny
(Cold War) told me he saw Sepultura some years back in London and Cal
came on stage and they played "a look at tomorrow", I've heard Metallica's
awful version of 'Free Speech For The Dumb', their influence is undeniable.
I missed them in 1991, when they reformed(too much money to go over to
London to catch them). Finally now in 2004 got the chance to see them in
Dublin, and to interview them after was even better. The original singer Cal is
no longer in the band, as he didn't want to tour. Rat from Varukers is a perfect
replacement as his a big fan/friend of the band and has the same vocal style.
This interview took place at 2 in the morning, in a Dublin pub on 31/08/04.
There was a large table of people drinking and taking illegal substances (too
many to mention, people that is!), but Beano(Blood or Whiskey) and Naplam
(Blood or Whiskey roadie) were also in the conversation. I should have taped
the whole thing as we talked well into the night. Sorry about the questions
being all over the place, as myself like everyone else there was off my bins!.
Thanks to Discharge and John Toxic for sorting out the interview for me.
Protest zine: What's the reaction been like so far, since you’ve
gotten back together?
Rat: Good, and a lot of new kids getting into it
Protest zine: You've done a lot of gigs and toured the USA,
how did it go?
Rat: We did one tour with Discharge. It was good
(looks at Rainy), Rainy couldn’t get in to America,
he got deported. They handcuffed him and
put him in jail for 2 days.
Protest zine: fuckin hell!
Rat: Yeah on a minor charge.
Protest zine: So what did you do for a bassplayer?
Rat: Luckily our driver could play bass and after
one days practise he stood in and helped us out.
Protest zine: fuck lucky enough
Rat: Yeah, but we did the tour, we did it.
Protest zine: Bones played for Ministry for a while didn’t he?
Does he know of "punkvoter.com" at all?
Rat: Bones wasn't, Tezz was, oi Tezz, Bones wasn’t in Ministry was he?
Tezz: Terry Bones was my name in America.
Beano: As a bit of background, Sean does the biggest kind of anti system punk website
in Ireland, it's not punk as in "punk and oi in the uk", it’s like punk with a political vent.
Rat: Bastard why didn't you tell us that first, (lots of laughs) fuck we're not going to do
Tezz: Is it as glossy as that?
Protest zine: Well it's a site with lots of glossy pictures!
Rat: Excellent, ha ha
Protest zine: Well a question about Ministry, how did you get on there?
Tezz: How did I get on with them, hmmm, I was in them going on 5 years. I played guitar.
Protest zine: Have you heard of "punkvoter.com"?
Protest zine: Punkvoter.com, Al Jourgensen is involved in it.
Tezz: No, I spent a lot of time with Jourgensen, he was like the only one. Me and Scaccia, we
were like the only ones, everyone else was like fucking, that you know the one that’s not with
them no more, the bass player guy. I forget his fucking name......(lots of noise, Tezz’s brother
Bones playing a plastic toy guitar to John Toxic).
Protest zine: Best and worse experience with Discharge?
Rat: Yet to happen
Tezz(looking worse for wear) I don't know man (lots of laughter)
Protest zine: So what other stuff have you've been involved with since Discharge? I know
your still involved with The Varukers Rat, what's the story there, are you going to do
a couple of months with Discharge and a couple of months with The Varukers?
Rat: Yeah, more or less, Varukers are working on an album and Biff’s busy
doing his t-shirts.
Protest zine: Are Broken Bones still gigging/going too?
Tezz: Hmm, had to drop it but..
Beano: Broken Bones are still going, their last album, "without crunches"
was fucking brilliant.
Tezz: Yeah there's some good songs on that. Did you hear the one after that?
I was involved in.
Beano: No, but the other ones great.
Protest zine: You've being playing with The Business too haven't you?
Tezz: Yeah for about 7 years.
Protest zine: Very different crowds, is it?
Tezz: Yeah true, played with them came back played with the subs, I played
every instrument with them. Which is just like switching off different instruments
with different bands. Its all the same to me. To me discharge is like, I just don't
play drums with anyone else, only discharge.
Rat: He hates playing drums.
Tezz: Drums is ok if you play in like a less intense punk band. But with drums
every song I play has energy when I first sit down and I played every song I sat
there with the intent of keeping that up. It fucking hurts me I get fuckin cramps
and shit all the time. I’m getting on now...
(Rat bursts out laughing)
Tezz: Well that's a first, I've never said that before, getting on, over the hill.
Protest zine: Have you been writing much new material?
Rat: We’ve got a new song.
Tezz: We got some good idea's and the like bag.
I've got a bunch of ideas with the last album. I came
up with ideas and show Bones and he'd come up
with different styles of guitar. And then we’d like
practise them out. I was trying to incorporate a little
bit more like stuff like Ministry and shit like that. But
then again after Ministry I didn't think I’d join
another band, that were different. they were
the first band I joined in the states.
Rat: No it wasn't.
Tezz: Oh yeah I was in Naked Raygun .
Protest zine: And Battalion of Saints.
Tezz: Yeah and Pegboy, Agnostic Front.
Rat His been around.
Tezz: Guitar and bass in Murphy's law,
bass in Agnostic Front.
Protest zine: So you’ve must have been in the
states for years?
Tezz: Yeah 16 17 years.
Protest zine: So are you based in England again?
Protest zine: have you been writing much new material?
Rat: Tezz came back to get Discharge back together.
Tezz: Back in Stoke on Trent, resurrect my punk rock spirit ha ha ha.
Protest zine: So it was your idea to get the band back together?
Tezz: Yeah mine and Kalvin(Cal) called me, we shook hands on it. It was going
to happen and all this and I figured he wouldn’t cause he was taking too long and
he was seeing how long I could stick it out. He knew it was tense for me and my
brother was on his side, which was kind of sad. So I fucking took him round. So
he kept us waiting. Then he called me up one day and said well I've changed my
mind, I don't wanna do it. So I said alright, I wasn't even that mad cause I had it
figured he wouldn't before that, know what I mean. So we said we’ll try without him
fucking singing. To see Kalvin fall apart, once when his shoe lace came apart on
stage, fucking hell I'll tell you that was something else. Then he lost his shoe the
gig was off! Ha ha ha
Protest zine: So is it very different then as Rat as the singer?
Tezz: Yeah, its like gone back to our basics we're doing it all over again. I don't
know what the crowd wants.
Rat: It’s a challenge every night.
Tezz: People want to hear the metal shit and then people want to hear the older shit.
Then when they hear like, what is like a collage but done in our own Discharge way.
Rat: Without me or not this is how I'd like to see Discharge playing.
Tezz: Its diverse, because everything is against the rules, you know what I mean. The
first thing you do when you pick up a guitar is play 12 bars or scales, you know what I
mean, Sing a long chorus... no we don’t want none of this. We want this, we don't
want la, la la la fuck that.
Protest zine: You’ve certainly developed your own style?
Protest zine: What do you make of the whole 'dbeat' thing, with bands like 'Recharge' and 'Disclose'?
Tezz: I've heard very little of it, not as much as I should have considering we started it!
(Tezz pretends too play the blues on an invisible guitar)
Protest zine: so what kind of stuff would you listen to off stage? Punk?
Rat: Yeah, (laughing at Tezz now doing an imaginary solo) I’ll dance to any old
bollocks rock'n'roll when I'm pissed outa my head. Does impression of a fifties
rocker singing (lots of laugher).
Protest zine: last question for you then, the usual question, what's the future for Discharge?
Rat: Just to keep writing, keep playing, keep pissing people off.
Tezz: Hmmmm yeah
Rat: All of the above and below(lots of laughter)
Tezz: Well we're older, wiser and..
(Tezz and Rat shout together): AND WE'RE MORE PISSED OFF.
Photos from the gig that night