[Interview conducted and submitted by Mick
Mercer. Mick Mercer has a very large collection of press
and photos of gothic rock bands available on CD-ROM for sale
exclusively through him. Drop an email if interested!]
THERE is a time for
history and reflection when dealing with bands, but this is
not it. Blood And Roses reveal all they have to reveal at gigs
or on vinyl. That is where you may learn. They are viewed in
the present and that should be sufficient. So!
So there's Bob guitarist with me, playing at Mr Mole, stalking
round his room, sifting through the carnage and Jez, the bass
player, pale-faced and still, locked into a seated posture.
They have an attitude...
"The music's only a soundtrack to one particular event that's
happening at one moment. An explosion of energy...it's something
you can't separate from the music because the music isn't
the only thing that's causing it. It's less of an action,
more a flow from it. It reflects everything around it; how
we live and how everyone who goes there lives. How we feel
at the time."
As opposed to...
"Some bands are definitely playing with the old rock'n'roll
myth...'We're all going to be important, we LOVE our fans...y'know,
sarcastic. It's like this high class snobbery trip and there's
a load of bands like that."
Jez: "We're not just
a band playing to an audience. Take The Tribe (Club). We're
all in The tribe having a good time and we just happen to
They have a record company (the 'enemy') but say that their
contact, Saul, understands.
Bob: "There's Situationalism
where art and life become one thing, where everyone is just
living the moment. And I think he's beginning to see that
as well. He wants the feel to spread, not just have a band
who sell records, goes on the road and does things. Going
on the road is irrelevant anyway. It's like the Vikings thing,
going off to conquer these strange towns up North. Gigs are
generally redundant activities...a 'promote the single;''
thing, whereas it should be something you should live for.
"It's difficult to put into words...so that you LIVE your
dreams instead of your typical rock'n'roll shit where you've
got megastars and people want to stick their pictures on the
wall. They're coming to town so we've got to GO and see them,,
our HEORES, and all that crap. I don't want that. I want a
party that spreads everywhere."
Is there danger in this theoretical movement?
Bob: "I just see that
someone calling it a movement, the attitude's going to spread
rather than...oh God, if we have to have a historical reference
then it's '77 but it's more than bullshit like The Exploited.
We are punks, we live outside the establishment. It's just
a spirit you're raised on, you did everything you wanted to
do., all craziness instead of wander around whinging about
fucking the system up.
"Government and leaders become irrelevant when you live your
life, because they don't need to exist, you can live outside
them. You just throw all caution to the wind. It's almost
insanity, I suppose."
The link to this 'movement' is the audience, but that's
London based. Outside, the innocence may be lost. A gig may
be simply that.
Bob: "It's better to
have six months where everything's crazy than not having the
six months. rather have that than go through six months of
shi/. I can't put a length of timer on the attitude lasting.
It doesn't matter how long it lasts as long as it happens.
It happened before and it'll happen again. Original Punk died
when they started talking in terms of music. It just finished
and got all arty. The cause got less and less."
Jez: "The bands became
separated from their audience whereas before you had Jimmy
Pursey saying, 'You're us, we're you'."
Bob: "He was a pretentious
Jez: "Yeah, but apart
from that. That was the general idea, the support when there
were no differences. This is what we've got and I'm frightened
it will become an 'us and them' thing."
Open the door and in stroll drummer Richard, friend Sean (he'll
grab a mike if he likes) and singer Lisa, Sean sits near the
tape, Richard and Lisa hug the walls. Richard with droll rock'n'roll
sniggers and Lisa with her silence. Sean bubbles where they
are seemingly unbothered.
So we discuss outside London and its safe interest.
Sean: "The sets are never
pre-conceived. You're at the gig and ten minutes before Bob
says, 'what do you feel like doing?'."
Jez: "In Leeds and Bradford
they hadn't heard of us and in one place we had 24 people.
How can you play to 24 people? It's ridiculous. We changed
the set because we knew some of the songs wouldn't have gone
down well. We realised what we were trying to do wouldn't
What did you think you could put across in the songs you
chose that you couldn't in the others?
Jez: "Playing standard
numbers people to expect to hear from a band rather than what
we want to do."
Standard numbers? You said they didn't know you?
Jez: "They didn't know
us so we couldn't play as part of the audience, so we played
as a band."
Any problems you can forsee?
Jez: "Being honest, the
difficulty I see is we're all hard up. It will be hard to
make money and keep the same values. That happens to every
band. Naturally a rapport becomes harder to maintain. At the
moment we're the same as them. We're all on the dole."
I can't see why making money should affect the attitude.
It's all down to you.
Bob: "Money doesn't motivate."
Jez: "I'm saying it'll
alienate us from the audience."
Bob: "Not to an old boozer
like me, I'll always find someone to drink with."
Jez: "Don't you see it
as a possible danger, Bob?"
Bob's too busy mooching in the rubble to answer.
Sean: "The band aren't
singing about being on the dole and not having any money.
The behind the band is 'Do what you want'. Money doesn't come
into it. If you make some, fine. If the audience makes some,
The only danger I see is if a record company tries to dictate
Lisa (she speaks!):
"That's what I'm worried about."
Bob: "We can always go
on strike. We don't have to comply with anything. I don't
do anything I don't want to do. And if they get fed up, tough
shit. I think record companies are smarter than that these
days. They see most bands become successes out of their own
ideas and they wouldn't be stupid enough to manipulate."
Bob's a surly churl and no mistake, but there's a grin beneath
the lank hair most of the time as though any situation is riduculous.
Imagery gets well and truly toe-punted into the distance.
Bob: "That doomy imagery.
It's so stupid. People think we're doomy. I don't feel doomy.
All this positive punk, gothic punk, acid punk...Gothic Punk!
Shit! Who wants to sit round in a primordial castle going
round sticking their fingers in skulls? It's boring."
At times Blood And Roses people have an image of testy belligerence,
their thoughts wrapped up and hidden from all enquiries. At
other timers their openness exists, but seems less than total.
The air of mystery may be real or it may not. I couldn't care
less. I'm interested in the music and that's mean enough for
my tastes, and glorious to.
The attitude, party wise, won't spread. Well, miserable bugger
that I am, I can't see it and that leaves us with a good band.
If only people wouldn't whisper about the shambling Bob as though
he's the new Messiah. If only his laugh wasn't so peculiar.
If only I could have left the tape running and walked away.
Sitting at home later with the machine as my companion, I heard
this last education, from master Robert.
"Attitudes spread and music doesn't, because you can catch
a feeling. Feelings are everything. That's why so many people
commit suicide listening to Joy Division records. is that a
fag [cigarette] I can swipe?"