I’d originally intended to speak to Burnt Out Wreck‘s Gary Moat at the end of last year about the band’s superb Stand And Fight album as part of our popular These We Have Loved series, but, as I’m sure you’re all aware, life has a way of messing about with even the best laid plans; so it’s only now we’re getting the chance to chat about what turned out to be the album we rated as the third best to grace our ears in 2022. It’s a great record, and Gary’s always happy to impart his thoughts when prompted, so here, finally, is a nice little chinwag with the great man…

First off, congratulations on Stand and Fight – it’s a hell of a record. In his review of the album, our man Gavin Strickmann called the album “the most epic Burnt Out Wreck album yet” – would you agree with that statement? “Well I certainly wasn’t expecting a response like that it was quite a shock. I know that the songs are good and that the band are all good on the recording
but to me it just sounds like the other two albums, you know, just me writing songs and putting them out there. I guess its a more diverse set of songs”.

Yes, I think that was the point he was trying to make – it is a very diverse album.  The record’s release came at the end of what you yourself called ‘the worst year and a half of your life”. We last spoke to you in 2020, and haven’t caught up since, which just about accounts for that period. Just how difficult was it to keep BOW afloat, and get this record out? “Yeah its been a while eh? Well obviously 2020 was completely crap for everyone the world over apart from the money men. For me it threw up a lot of the songs on Stand And Fight for whatever reason. We all live so far away from each other as a band that getting together is nigh on impossible at the best of times so with the restrictions FUCK! A lot of bands folded during that time but we were determined to get through it somehow. I managed to write and send the tunes to the band and we got on with it that way. Then half way through 2021 I had a hip replacement operation, so then three months recovery which was no fun at all and still more angry songs were written (laughs). We eventually started in the studio October/November 2021 but I lost my voice after a week and I had only got all the backing vocals recorded – not the lead vocals. I was advised not to chance it as I was singing with three different voices coming out of me at the one time but not in a good way (more laughter). I finished the vocals in March on and off,but it took six months for it to get anywhere near better. Claire, my wife and the band’s manager, said we should change the title to Cursed and blamed the song Turpentine,  which is about the Grim Reaper, for all the shit that was happening around the recording (laughs again). What a life!”

A real story of triumph over adversity! Can you tell us a little about the personnel on this album? “Al (Carmichael, bass) and Paul (Gray, drums) are still in the band on Bass and Drums as from day one. Richard Upson one of our two new guitarists played all the lead guitar on this album and brought a new slant to it I reckon. I played rhythm guitar – might as well eh? We also have another new lead guitarist Andy McGlaughlan, another great player but sadly he joined too late to be on the album”.

Touring seems to be getting back to some sort of normal, gradually – will you be able to spend much time this year touring the album? And do you think the pandemic-enforced layoff seems to
have made fans hungrier for live music or are people feeling their way back into things? “We have gigs booked for 2023, yes, in the UK starting from March so hopefully we will be out and
about throughout the year. People do want to get out to see live music but what with so many venues closing down and lack of money its all gone wrong”.

Stand and Fight is obviously an album rooted in classic styles and feel, yet you’ve managed to keep it from sounding like a nostalgia fest – Was that a difficult trick to pull off, or did you not
think to much about things like that whilst recording? “Thanks, as I said I write what I write. I’m not trying to sound “old style”, I just am old. I don’t think I’ve changed since 1982! (laughs)”.

And there’s nothing wrong with that! We talk about this and that around the Sentinel Daily office, and after listening to Stand and Fight we concluded we’d have loved, with time travel obviously being an option, to have heard you duetting with a few great singers that material on the album reminds us of; So, here’s your opportunity… the names we’ve come up with are Bon Scott, Dan McCafferty and Frankie Miller – who’d be your pick? “Its got to be Rob Halford but The Proclaimers, gawd they would have been awesome on I’m A Loser Too, don’t you think? I guess your other three suggestions would be brilliant too, people often tell me they can hear those in my voice”.

We touched on touring earlier, but what else might 2023 have in store for you and the band? Will we see another album this year? Do you have any non-Wreck projects in the pipeline? “Nothing’s planned at the moment but I’m up for a giggle as you know, see what develops I guess… Maybe 2024 will see another album but I’ve not had time to think about it yet (laughs)”.

Is there anything else you’d like to tell the readers of Sentinel Daily? “Thanks for all the kind words and support it means a lot to us, get out and get on with it. Life’s too short these days!”

Wise words! thanks for the chat!

Burnt Out Wreck’s Stand And Fight is out now – you can read our review of the album HERE