miércoles, 30 de octubre de 2013

Ross Lomas- GBH interview (English version)


ALM. When and how did you decide to write a book about your life and band? How are the reviews that you have received from people that have already read it? Is it selling well?
Ross Lomas. A guy I used to work with on the crew, Steve Pottinger, had just finished writing a book with Steve Ignorant. He asked me if GBH would be interested in doing a book so I asked the others. They, for whatever reason, declined. I went back to Steve, said it was just me and asked if he was still interested. He was. So over two and a half years we'd meet up in his VW camper van and talk. It was great therapy for me, but not so sure Steve enjoyed listening to me for that length of time. We're still friends though so it's all good. So far, the feedback and reviews have been very good which I honestly never expected. Steve and I are very happy with the way the project has gone. As for sales, I have no idea. It's been available online since late July. Official release is 1st October. I'm expecting to sell dozens!

ALM. What type of books do you like? What are you currently reading now? Have you read other musicians’ biographies like Jeff Turner, Steve Ignorant, Arturo Bassick, etc? What is your favorite book about musicians?

R L. I used to read a lot, mainly thrillers. Sad to say I haven't read a book for a couple of years now. Books have been replaced by my computer. Where once I used to read, now I'm watching documentaries on my PC. Usually conspiracy theories or crime programmes. I don't think I've ever read a book about music. I know I've never read a musical biography.

ALM. Although the quote about the Madrid gig that you finally missed due to “the plane affair” (“Plans” chapter), I was expecting to find some more stories about your tours in Spain or Basque Country/ Catalonia… I know you couldn’t write a one thousand paged book, I would like you to explain to us some funny/ weird/ negative, etc story about GBH’ gigs in Spain/ Basque/ Catalonia… Can you?

R L. Without being disrespectful to other parts of the world, Spain/Basque and the Latin American countries are my favourite places. And not just to play. I think that goes for the other three too. Italy is coming a close second now. I don't know why, but Spanish speaking people are the best for me. I'm looking forward to going back to Burgos. I had a spiritual encounter with a plate of Morcilla there a few years ago.

In the late 80's we had a few days off before a gig in Barcelona. We went down to Benidorm to hang out, hired some mopeds and roared off at 15 mph into the hills. At the top of one of these hills was a huge white crucifix and at the base of it we found a rather large, perfectly formed human excrement. Must have been a foot long. Our roadie at this time was Canadian Geoff, high priest of The Church of the Truly Warped. He made a monument for the excrement and was truly impressed with the fact that a fellow human would come to the top of such a big hill to lay waste at the foot of the cross. After bowing our heads and saying a few words of respect, we mounted our mopeds and roared off back down the mountain. later on we met up with Kai, the drummer, who'd disappeared earlier in the day. He told us about how he'd hiked up a big hill to have a look at the cross and how he'd got the urge to go to the toilet. Me and Geoff looked at each other, what were the chances of that? We'd been paying homage to Kai's crap. Another truly spiritual moment.

ALM. I have one story that was not good at all about one of GBH’s gigs' in Catalonia. It was in the village of Bellpuig (3-2-1996) and GBH's performance was all right, but at the end of the festival (5 bands played), some twats sprayed the venue with irritant spray. I remember the entire crowd leaving the place in a stampede and seeing Jock, among the public, with red eyes like the rest of us. At the end the crowd threw stones and smashed the windows of the venue because they were angry and later there were some problems with the police in the village. Do you remember something about it?

R L. I remember a few gigs in Spain where this happened. It's disappointing to stay up until five in the morning, drinking and whatever, go on stage and then get tear gassed off. The state Scott gets into at that time of the morning, probably a good thing. I can remember one time, us and the rest of the Punks washing the gas out of our eyes and laughing like little kids. I'm not sure that was the effect the police were looking for.

ALM. You regretted that you sold the GBH’royalties of Clay Records because you were skint and you didn’t have a choice. Now that you see how easy it is to download from the internet, do you still regret it? Do you think all is positive with the internet or are there some negative issues for the bands?

R L. I try not to think about it, should've, could've would've, doesn't matter now. The point is we did and nothing can change that. Money from records is virtually non existent for us and if there is any we certainly aren't getting it. I'm not sure the internet has that much to do with it. Does it? I don't know. I know that if you tell me the name of a band I should check out, I'll be straight on the internet to look them up. A great way of advertising yourself if nothing else.

ALM. I think you are now living in the USA and you are keeping in touch with a former Los Crudos member who introduced you to some latino punk bands from USA. Can you recommend some good new bands from there? Are you playing with some local bands there apart from GBH?

R L. If GBH have nothing on I go back to California, get the van off my wife in San Diego and drive up to LA. I stay with Juan, bass player for Los Crudos. Top bloke. I usually pick up work while i'm there. Me and Juan go to a few gigs together, lots of small ones with a load of young Latinos banging out Punk Rock. I just missed a big festival in San Antonio. I don't play with any other bands while i'm away although I did play a couple of times with a Ramones cover band when i lived in Hawaii.

ALM. A little test or short questions:

- Exploited or Dead Kennedys: That's not fair I like them both.

 - Pogo in circles made in the USA or common European pogo: Combine the two for a great night out. As long as you're pogoing.

- Clash or Ramones: Not fair again. I can't choose just one.

 - Your three favorites’GBH songs: Slit Your Own Throat - Am I Dead Yet - Kids Get Down.

 - The worst GBH record for you: Ha Ha.

 - Three of your all time favorite bands: Dr. Feelgood - The Dickies - Circle Jerks.

 - A country or city where GBH haven’t played yet and you would like to: Iraq.

 - The most “depraved” (taking drugs) country/village or crowd that you have found: Anywhere in The Basque Country.

 - Most fussy band or singer/ musician that you have ever met working as crew: Mariah Carey. Hired dogs so she'd have something to play with! Among other things.

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