Good day to you sir, and thanks for representing Heavy Pettin in Kwarantine Kutz! On with the questions! As the world writhes in the grip of Covid-19, there’s a better-by-the-day chance of the general population being put into total lockdown. Which five classic albums are you planning on giving a good listen to when the unthinkable happens, and why? “Okay, rarely a day goes by that I don’t listen to a Rush tune. Since I first got introduced to A Farewell to Kings back when I was eleven years old (1977) by my older brother JB. So my classic Rush would be 2112 – the road map to all that is Rock, Prog and beyond and still sounds as inspiring forty six years later. Since his recent passing it’s true testament to the ‘A’ game that Neil Peart brought to Rush.
Up next would be the Ace of Spades album. Motörhead are another band that resonated with me as kid. Back then, my friends and I would travel into the city, to the legendary Glasgow Apollo to catch a gig it seemed every other week. Motörhead was always a must. I love this album and have it on Gold vinyl!
I guess my next classic album is probably up there as one of the best debut rock albums – Van Halen. I vividly remember sitting in my brothers room with the headphones and hearing Eruption for the first time. What The Fuck… a game changer! Love it!
Jumping forward a bit, Dirt by Alice In Chains. I just love this band! From start to finish this album grinds and rocks my soul. I saw them at the Barrowlands in Glasgow touring this album and they were unreal. Two choices left, this is difficult, but I am going to go with what I have been listening to recently – Slade in Flame. Stuck it on the other week and straight away my wife shouted into the room – who is that singing! Noddy (Holder) just has such an amazing voice and for me How Does It Feel is just one of the best songs ever- the end!
Right, number five… Pondering! Okay, as I am choosing from my vinyl collection I am going to go with another album that I played just recently – Firing on all Six by Lonestar. This album is just so out there. From 1977 featuring Paul (Tonka) Chapman (who later joined UFO) on guitar. The opener Bells of Berlin is just amazing. Again, another album from my youth”.
Erm, that was actually six albums but I was enjoying you talking about them so much we’ll let it go! And yes, Lone Star were a great band, and certainly incredibly underrated… Now, you’ll have a lot of time on your hands even after repeated spins of those old faves – any new bands you’ve heard about that you’ll be able to lend some ears to? Who is on the up-and-up in your opinion? “To be honest I am a bit of a creature of habits and tend to dip in and out of my all old faves – not sure if this counts. A band that I do really like, are Big Wreck who were around in the late nineties. They reformed a few years back and frontman Ian Thornley is just such a talented writer, singer and guitarist. I would recommend their Albatross album (2012)”.
I’ll have a listen – thanks! How will you otherwise handle the comparative solitude? Do you write music on your own well? Or do you need other musos around to catch the spark? “As it so happens we are following up our recent 4play EP with a full length album. As fate would have it we recently set ourselves up so that we could all record remotely – kinda like homeworkers! The beauty of this we can still bounce ideas off of each other. So that is what we are going to be spending this time of Social distancing doing”.
Away from music, what books, podcasts or TV do you recommend to while away a few quarantined days? “Probably like most people these days I am a Netflix addict, that and Prime, and I’m currently bingeing in between recording watching Fear the Walking Dead, which apart from the Zombie bit, seems very current. Books wise I will give my friend Gary John Bishop‘s self help book Unfuck Yourself a name check! If it’s good enough for Nikki Sixx!”…
Indeed! again, I’ll have to take a look. I’m loving all the suggestions I’ve picked up from this series! There is a lot of comment on social media about the damage being done to our industry by the virus and its attendant countermeasures – how do you see ways to fight this situation working? What, for instance, do you think of playing shows for the internet and hoping fans throw a few coins into the hat via Paypal or Gofundme, et cetera? “I think we live in an era that is constantly spinning this way and that for whatever reason, whether it be this current crisis or whatever. I guess as musicians we just have to adapt and have an open mind to new ways of doing things. If we can generate any revenue from that, well that would be a bonus!” (Laughs).
When it all dies down, what plans loom on the horizon for you? “A new Heavy Pettin album out and touring like crazy!”
Will rock n’roll be the same after the scare recedes – are there any lessons for the music industry to take from what’s happened so far and implement for a better tomorrow? “It definitely feels like we have shifted into a new era from a social point of view, however I think rock n’roll as an idea transcends all of that. As far as the music industry is concerned? I am sure it’s not any different from any of the other kind of businesses out there in the real world, who right now are trying to figure how to work through this. You will be hearing a lot about disaster recovery strategies is my guess”.
Anything else you’d like to say to our readers at this difficult time? “Firstly thanks for asking me to do this, all I would say is be safe, be mindful of each other, as it seems we are in this together and remember to wash your hands!”
Cheers and stay safe!