Who recalls “New wave of new wave” back in early 90s? Well we still do! Being at my late teens, and listening to S*M*A*S*H great tunes like ‘Lady Love Your Cunt’, ‘Another Love’, ‘Real Surreal’ & ‘Another Shark In My Swimming Pool’ (personal favorite!), I never guessed that there would come a time interviewing my then punk ‘heroes’. Yes, the band is still active, and are preparing their follow-up to last year’s excellent ‘Goodbye W.G.C.’. Last Day Deaf is proud that caught some words from the NWONW band just before hitting the stages at Soundhouse (Leicester, April 20) & Fibbers: Live Music Venue (York, April 28th) with Salad.
Hi S*M*A*S*H! Really glad to have you! Feel free to tell us the latest new regarding the band then…
Hi Thank you Lastdaydeaf. This is Ed from S*M*A*S*H.
We are currently in the studio finishing off our new album. I am really pleased with what we have recorded the songs are fantastic and everyone involved is giving their all. Nick Mailing, who engineered our last album ‘Goodbye W.G.C.‘ (Welwyn Garden City), is with us again. We have a new bass player and some guest appearances from other musicians.
We also have a few gigs coming up supporting Salad and some of our own gigs over the summer.
Last year you released ‘Goodbye W.G.C.‘ on your own label. Are you satisfied with its reception and in general outcome? It’s your least ‘punk’ effort to date if you excuse me the characterization. Please discuss.
I am very pleased with ‘Goodbye W.G.C.‘. It is the record I wanted to make. Punk is an attitude and GWGC is a Punk record. It says: “We are going to do whatever we want”. The songs are about anorexia, corporate greed, abuse and manipulation. Women in science (all walks of life) being over looked and kept down. The loss of my father and my friend. Punk as Fuck.
I remember myself sometime around mid-90’s reading the now defunct NME (at least the print version) about a tribute to New wave of new wave. You were among the bands among ones like These Animal Men, Sleeper, Echobelly and Compulsion. After all these years, what do you recall from these (glorious?) days? Did this ‘hype’ help you in the end of the day?
For a history of NWONW watch the documentary “Flawed Is Beautiful“. S*M*A*S*H and These Animal Men the rise and fall.
You are a band with huuuuge(!) intervals. Although you started the band in 1984, your first gig took place in early 1992. ‘Icon‘ was released 14 years after its predecessor and your latest one 10 years after the aforementioned. May I ask why should we wait for so long? Hope the next one won’t be around 2030!
Our first gigs were in 1984. We played around the country with another band from Welwyn Garden City called The Astronauts. We did benefit gigs in support of the Miners strike amongst other good causes. Yes we have had some gaps between records. Between ‘Icon‘ (2007) and ‘Goodbye W.G.C.‘ (2017) there were a few releases. In 2010 Rob and I recorded and EP with the producer CASH (Cash & David) using the name Bozwood. The album is called ‘(Murder At) Fresh & Wild‘, it is fantastic. In 2013 we went back into the studio with Andy Davis who recorded the singles ‘Real Surreal‘ and ‘Shame‘ with us back in 92’ – 93’ . The project was to re-record ‘(I Want To) Kill Somebody‘ with a new hit list of crooked scumbag politicians. We also re-recorded a few old S*M*A*S*H tracks. The EP was called ‘Spring ’13‘. In 2014 we recorded ‘(Without Regret)‘ again with Andy Davis this is a 6 track EP.
So we’ve been quite busy and the gaps aren’t as big as you think.
Going back to 90’s. I’d like to ask you about two of your most important tracks: ‘Real Surreal’ & ‘Lady Love Your Cunt’. What’s the story behind these gems?
‘Real Surreal‘ was inspired by a friend of ours – Kev Sharp –
He challenged me to think differently about everything. How we label things, people, take things for granted, trust the establishment people in authority ! “A table’s not a table” !
‘Lady Love Your Cunt‘ came together around ’92 ’93 with newspaper reports of judges and politicians using prostitutes and the usual ‘sweeping things under the carpet’ and (as with recent cases Weinstein and Michael Fallon and many others) how with a bit of spin and the compliance of the media the ‘public’ are steered towards feeling sorry for the men. Fucking unbelievable… society encourages us to view women as things to have and to use.
The title ‘Lady Love Your Cunt‘ was suggested by my mother.
If you could turn back time, would you rename ‘(I want to) Kill Somebody’ then?
Which bands of the Brit scene would you consider we should take notice of? Any chance of a brit music renaissance? And I’m not talking about hype only. Do you believe that bands like South Londoners Shame will lit the flame again?
Cash and David.
Humanity is going through a dark era the last years. Wars, poverty, unemployment and political instability among many others. What do S*M*A*S*H think about this situation, and if bands/artists should be involved with highlighting this sociopathy and propose solutions, or if you prefer psychological “embarkments”?
Is humanity going through a dark era?
Is it any darker than other ‘era’ ?
Is there any light ? Any good news?
Facts are not what the media sells and good news doesn’t sell.
Facts are often not what we share with each other. We share feelings and opinions and our own historical beliefs.
Bands and artists have always highlighted injustice and inequality and lies and challenged our thought processes. This will continue.
FACT: Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, Libya and Egypt have life expectancy above the world average.
Read Hans Rosling “Factfulness: Ten Reasons We’re Wrong About the World – and Why Things Are Better Than You Think“.
After all these years how do you feel with each other? Is it more a family thing now, or you are still cockfighting sometimes?
In order to play the songs from the last album live with all the samples and keyboards that I used we have a keyboard player and sometimes a saxophone player.
The songs for this album have all been written, have evolved, taken shape exploded, fought their way to the front without Salvatore.
We have a new bass player Simon –
This is S*M*A*S*H.
Which have been the most memorable moments as a band so far? Preferably good ones!
Crowd surfing Leeds Duchess 28th March 1994
Top of The Pops
Supporting the Ramones 25th September 1994
American tour. European tour.
Supporting The Cramps
Supporting The Smashing Pumpkins
Coming back to life recording ‘Icon‘ 2007
Hanging out, practicing, writing songs with Rob and Salv.
Making the documentary “Flawed Is Beautiful” with Adam Foley and Playing at Heaven with These Animal Men 2015.
The leap forward with Goodbye Welwyn Garden City and now this New ALBUM
Do you want to know what it is called?
What should the audience expect from you upcoming gigs with Salad on 20th & 28th of April? Will you include any early tunes too?
The Greatest Hits + songs from ‘Icon‘, ‘(Without Regret)‘, ‘Goodbye W.G.C.‘ and the New Album. YEAH ! we rehearsed last night and it is sounding and feeling fantastic.
Last, but not least: What holds the future for the group?
“The future of the group is in doubt”.