metal talk
facebook
Type band name, album name, artists name etc here...
Search all our articles by typing band name, album name, artists name etc here...
news now
metal talk






  CAPTAIN SENSIBLE ANSWERS QUESTIONS ON THE DAMNED 35TH ANNIVERSARY TOUR
7th November 2011

the damned

Pin It
Share |


The Damned embark on their 35th Anniversary tour of the UK this week, during which they will be playing albums 'Damned, Damned, Damned' and 'Black Album' back to back and in their entirety.

Captain Sensible of the band has explained exactly where the band are at now and has looked back at what made The Damned the band they are today in the following interview. Catch the legendary punk trailblazers at the below dates.

Article continues below...

   


November:

9th - Bristol, O2 Academy
10th - Birmingham, O2 Academy
11th - Cambridge, Corn Exchange
12th - London, Roundhouse
13th - Brighton, East Wing
14th - Norwich, UEA
15th - Nottingham, Rock City
17th - Newcastle, O2 Academy
18th - Leeds, O2 Academy
19th - Manchester, Academy
20th - Edinburgh, HMV Picture House

Q: Why have you chosen to perform 'Damned, Damned, Damned' and 'The Black Album' in their entirety?

A: For 35 years in this band of oddballs and eccentrics you deserve a medal... and there were times when we lived life close to the edge. We are celebrating survival here (as a band AND as live human beings) as much as the music, but when it came to a setlist these two groundbreaking albums were the obvious choice.

Q: Has there been any problem rehearsing the songs or getting the tour together?

A: Ha ha, funny you should say that because as soon as we started rehearsing the Black Album material we realised what a job we had on our hands. In three years since 'New Rose' kick started the UK punk scene we'd come a long way as songwriters and the likes of 'Curtain Call' and 'Twisted Nerve' still present quite a challenge..... especially if you want to stay faithful to the original.

As for the tour schedule, and being a bit more mature these days we are never going to hit the road for months on end like the glory years so apologies if we're not playing everywhere people want us to.

Q: How does gigging them now differ from when you were originally promoting the albums?

A: On the 80s 'Black Album' tour I seem to remember we dressed these three raunchy punkettes as dancing nuns for the original tour. Gyrating suggestively and occasionally flashing the audience - it gave the performances a theatrical edge that none of our contemporaries could compete with..... they were VERY naughty ladies - it was a VERY fun time for the band.

In 'Curtain Call''s autobiographical lyric Dave sings about a "reckless gambling pace" which is fair enough because we'd bet on absolutely anything..... from whether we could record a song in one take to the exact time the wheels of the plane would hit the ground. Some of the band made a few bob on this wheeze when we flew.

And we used to drink all day too back then, especially when travelling so gigs at that time could be quite variable depending on the state of the band when they turned up at the venue. These days it's quality rather than quantity on the beverage front so performances are consistently much improved overall. And I enjoy the shows more knowing I'm playing the right chords. A couple of posh ales usually suffices.

Plus I awake in the morning without a stinking hangover these days...... why didn't somebody tell me?

Q: With 'Damned, Damned, Damned' you've got the first UK punk album that's full of guts and 'The Black Album' represents the birth of Goth, how did the punk fans take to the new sound? And do the Goths like the punk classics?

A: You'll have to ask them. Seemed to work though but sometimes it's a challenge to balance the setlist. Easy at Whitby goth fest though.... Just nix all the thrash and replace with dark matter.

Q: In 1977 you started the 'Anarchy' tour with the Pistols, but only lasted for one show, what happened? Did the publicity surrounding the Sex Pistols, with things like their infamous Grundy interview, help or hinder your own career?

A: After the Pistols said a rude word on TV they got so much press Malcolm didn't need the Damned to help sell tickets, which was the only reason we were there after all. Loved the guys in the band, funny bunch, especially Sid - didn't care for their manager too much though. And he had a habit of rewriting history with him as the puppet master. It simply was not like that, the Pistols were more than capable of thinking for themselves.

We were busy doing our own thing anyway.... Going on our strange but wonderful musical journey.

Q: Punk had strong support in London, how did you find audiences outside the capital? What were the locals like?

A: Considering there was a lot of country rock about and Little Jimmy Osmond was top of the charts I guess our manic energy must've been a bit of a shock to some audiences, and it's true that we did see some gig attendances dwindle to almost nothingness during the odd performance in smaller towns (High Wycombe!). We soon had a clan who would follow us anywhere though and I remember them all bundling into the venue through our dressing room window on many an occasion.

Some dossed on our hotel room floors, others in the bands van..... there was a funny incident one night when some potential guitar thieves attempted to rob the vehicle and got rather more than they bargained for...

Q: You were the first UK punk band to hit America, what were those gigs like?

A: Rough and ready, sleeping on other bands floors after getting thrown off the Television gig and hastily arranging a gig so we could try and earn the airfare home. Crossing Rod Stewart off the guest list (he could afford to pay). Getting thrown out of the Whisky A Go Go in LA for drinking too much whisky. I ask you...

Q: For your second album, “Music For Pleasure”, you originally wanted ex-Floyd Syd Barrett to produce the album. Did you manage to have any contact with him? In the end you used Nick Mason, what was that experience like?

A: For a punk band to have anything to do with Pink Floyd, who at the time were doing huge stadium gigs must've seemed like insanity but their genius ex leader Syd Barrett was the one we wanted to produce a punk / psych hybrid 2nd album. He never showed of course so that project was shelved until 'Etiquette' which really has some epic moments that Syd would've liked I'm sure. The improv sections in Antipope and Looking' At You spring to mind.

Nick Mason was a nice enough bloke but it wasn't a meeting of minds and to be honest, I wouldn't mind the MFP getting a remix by someone who understands garage music a little better.

Q: “Music For Pleasure” didn't do so well and you called it a day, only to reform. What made you decide to have another go?

A: DV, Rat and myself had not been receiving the songwriting royalties that Brian as main writer had and thus we were broke. So we arranged a couple of gigs for some much needed dosh. I changed back from bass to guitar, which was my instrument in previous band Johnny Moped and our mate Lemmy completed the lineup on bass. Apparently (according to Lem) we messed up the one Motörhead song we attempted. Oops.

Q: When you got back together, James - who was the main songwriter on the first couple of albums - had gone. Did you have a plan or were you bricking it?

A: Without Brian's songs I think the rest of us were expected to disappear fairly sharpish but in one of those unexpectedly lucky things that happens around this band occasionally we found that we all had a knack for songwriting and from then on the problem was which ideas to leave out rather than where's the material coming from. After our less than rewarding experience with Stiff we were loathe to sign with another small indie label but Chiswick said you don't have to do an album unless they got Love Song in the charts, which somehow they did. So we gave it another go and we're still going...

Q: On his show, Marc Bolan championed punk and in '77 you supported him on tour, what was that like? Was it a good mix?

A: Perfect - he liked punk (unlike some other rock stars), we liked him..... He souped up his set so our crowd dug what he was doing and the Damned's theatrical tinge appealed to his audience too.

Bolan was a nice bloke and his band of session guys were a laugh too..... and Herbie Flowers showed me how he played the bass on 'Walk On The Wild Side'.

Both bands had a big final 10 minute jam in Portsmouth on Get It On. It was chaos if I recall correctly.

Q: Looking at pictures from the 70s with the Captain's beret and bright clothes and Vanian's chalk white face you seemed to keep away from the stereo-typical punk image, was this a conscious decision?

A: Yes, I would generally wear white or coloured clothes to contrast with the others..... and in particular DV and Brian James.

But you're wrong, there was NO stereotypical punk look until the 2nd wave of punk bands like Exploited, etc.

The class of 77 (76 actually) looked nothing like each other. Clash, Stranglers, Pistols, Buzzers, Damned..... All had their own looks and none are stereotypical punk.

Q: As mentioned, the 'Black Album' represented the birth of Goth. What was the idea behind the change in style?

A: We were all writing and when we brought our demos to the table Mr Vanian's had taken a sudden lurch to somewhere altogether darker. His imagination was working overtime and it became a real pleasure to help arrange the pieces when we started the sessions at Rockfield studios in Wales. A total creative workout for all involved, and we had some fun with the locals too when we took the odd break and popped down the pub. Some of them thought Dracula was in town..... especially when Dave borrowed the horse and went galloping around the place with his cape flowing behind him.

Q: You've all dipped your toes into different musical ventures – your solo career and Punk Floyd, Vanian with Phantom Chords, Monty's experimental jazz – what makes you come back to the Damned?

A: The audience, who have supported this band through thick and thin. The records are nice and everything but it's all about doing it live and that's thankfully something we are not bad at. The fans can be quite entertaining themselves too, and that's nice for us. Keeps it fresh.

Q: Knowing what you know now, what advice would you give to a young David and Raymond?

A: I got the best advice in the world in 1980 when an ear specialist told me to get rid of the huge amplifier I was using and cut the stage volume dramatically. It saved my hearing.

Advice I wish I HAD been given? Don't buy a motorbike (I had a bad smash), don't expect to get stinking rich... just enjoy the experience. It's a privilege to twang a guitar for a living anyway.

Q: Why do you think there is still such an interest in bands from the UK Punk era?

A: Because you cannot beat thrashing drums, cranked up guitar and an impassioned vocalist giving it their all as though their lives depended on it. Some cracking songs came out of the UK punk era too..... I always play 'Into The Valley' when DJing. What a song.

There were some wonderful characters as well.... Jimmy Pursey, Charlie Harper, Lydon, Moped, etc. These people have boundless energy too, you'd still get worn out after a few hours with either of them.

Q: Do you have any contact with James and Scabies? Do you think you could ever play with them again?

A: I cant remember what the disagreements we had in the past were about anyway, so why not? They're both great players but if there WAS some reunion then the setlist would be severely limited to the first couple of albums.

However the current lineup is also exceptional, and never fails to deliver. Pinch, Monty and Stu are genuinely Damned in character and musicianship and have contributed Grave Disorder and So, Who's Paranoid to the discography. These albums contain our heady mix of alternatively dark and melodic tunes and if not on ITunes can be got hold of from officialdamned.com or captainsensible.com.

Q: Has anyone claimed that you've been an influence that's surprised you / you've been embarrassed about?

A: I suppose you're talking about people from famous bands who dug us - Noel Gallagher, etc and a bunch of big US punk outfits. I tend to like the fact that Damon Hill and Jo Brand have attended gigs. They're very welcome to come again sometime too. Oh, I think Morrissey likes us as well.. good luck to him!

Q: What have been your career highlights?

A: Just being on TOTPs was good enough for me..... And Meeting Fluff Freeman and Jimmy Savile. Wonderful eccentrics. Not arf..... guys and gals.

Seriously though, many people tell me how much joy the band has brought into their lives over the years so it's real nice to know that it was all worthwhile after all that we've been through.

Q: What does the future hold?

A: No idea.... The Damned is a rudderless pirate ship plundering various territories seemingly at random. And that's the way we like it. You never know what's round the next corner. Maybe a nice chap offering a multi million pound record contract - or possibly a maniac with a chainsaw. That's life in the Damned, I've kinda got used to it. Laughs.

Tickets for The Damned are available now by clicking here.






 
iron maiden IRON MAIDEN RELEASE VIDEO GAME BASED ON 'SPEED OF LIGHT'
This is your chance to control Eddie Donkey Kong style...

lemmy MOTORHEAD PULL SALT LAKE CITY CONCERT AFTER FOUR SONGS
A statement on the official Motorhead Facebook page said: "The people are great, but the air is just too thin..."

heavy metal kids HEAVY METAL KIDS ANNOUNCE GARY HOLTON TRIBUTE GIG
The show marks the 30th anniversary of Gary's death. He passed away at the age of 33 due to his excessive rock 'n roll lifestyle...

the sword THE SWORD TO COMMENCE UK TOUR IN SEPTEMBER
The tour is in support of their fifth album 'High Country'...

wolf GENTLEMANS PISTOLS ANNOUNCE LONDON SHOW AT THE UNDERWORLD
"We hope you can dust off the Monday blues and join us for a debauched evening of wine, whiskey and song..."

wolf WOLF ANNOUNCE TOUR WITH ENFORCER
"This package is so much Metal that everyone coming to the shows will have a hard time passing airport security and metal detectors for a foreseeable future..."

jared james nichols JARED JAMES NICHOLS TO RELEASE 'HIGHWAYMAN' EP
The EP features the new single 'We're An American Band'...

michael monroe MICHAEL MONROE REVEALS 'BLACKOUT STATES' ARTWORK + CO-HEADLINE TOUR WITH HARDCORE SUPERSTAR
"It has all the ingredients of a perfect rock n' roll record - strong melodic songs with great meaningful lyrics that defy all clichés..."

turbowolf TURBOWOLF ANNOUNCE UK, EUROPE & US TOUR DATES
"Seeing all your wonderful faces, staring into those expectant eyes, and giving you all exactly what you're looking for, and maybe a little bit more..."

mike shinoda MIKE SHINODA'S FORT MINOR TO PLAY FIRST LONDON SHOW IN 10 YEARS
Shinoda will fit in these special one man shows around Linkin Park's European tour...

babymetal BABYMETAL TO HEADLINE WEMBLEY ARENA NEXT APRIL
Can't wait till April? Two new live DVD releases have also been confirmed for October release...

cats in space CATS IN SPACE ANNOUNCE THE RELEASE OF DEBUT ALBUM 'TOO MANY GODS' FOR OCTOBER 2015
Welcome to a new brand of Power Pop Rock from a band with a stellar CV...

nightwish NIGHTWISH TO RELEASE 'ENDLESS FORMS MOST BEAUTIFUL' TOUR EDITION
The special edition is released on October 30th and comes with a DVD stuffed to the brim with bonus features...

iron maiden IRON MAIDEN ANNOUNCE MASSIVE 2016 WORLD TOUR
The new Ed Force One will take the band, crew and over 12 tons of equipment more than 55,000 miles (88,500km) around the planet...

glenn hughes BREAKING NEWS: GENE SIMMONS' HOME SEARCHED UNDER WARRANT IN CONNECTION WITH CHILD PORNOGRAPHY INVESTIGATION
Police have confirmed that neither the Kiss bass player or any members of his family are considered to be suspects in the investigation...

glenn hughes GLENN HUGHES UNVEILS OFFICIAL PHOTO OF NEW BAND
Glenn hits the UK for live shows in October. "There is no greater high than performing and to reach out to my fans..."

gentlemans pistols GENTLEMANS PISTOLS PREMIERE NEW TRACK 'THE SEARCHER' ONLINE
"The song is about becoming apathetic towards things you once enjoyed and searching for where you are going in life..."

vreid NEW ALBUM FROM NORWEGIAN METALLERS VREID IS RELEASED IN OCTOBER
"This is the definition of our lives and heritage...the fire burns stronger than ever..."

napalm death NAPALM DEATH JOIN UK LEG OF "DEATHCRUSHER" TOUR
The Deathcrusher tour contains the very best in Grindcore...

blitzkrieg EXCLUSIVE: BLITZKRIEG RELEASE 30TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION OF 'A TIME OF CHANGES'
The classic album has been completely re-recorded and contains two bonus tracks...

w.a.s.p. W.A.S.P. PREMIERE NEW SONG - 'LAST RUNAWAY'
"The song is an intensely personal account of what happened to me, not only then but over the years and the success that followed after..."

nervosa NERVOSA UNLEASH NEW VIDEO FOR 'INTO MOSHPIT'
The band are currently on tour in the UK...

metal allegiance METAL ALLEGIANCE POST STUDIO TRAILER FOR 'DESTINATION: NOWHERE'
The track features Matt Heafy on vocals and guitar. A special launch show has been arranged to celebrate the album release...

uriah heep URIAH HEEP STAGE CLASSIC REUNION WITH CORE MEMBERS OF THE CLASSIC 1970S LINE-UP
Ken Hensley and Lee Kerslake are welcomed to the Moscow Crocus in October for the exclusive event...

rage against the machine RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE 'LIVE AT FINSBURY PARK' TO BE RELEASED
The free concert held after the success of the Christmas Number One campaign is now available in a quality package...

helloween HELLOWEEN ANNOUNCE LONDON FORUM SHOW FOR FEBRUARY 2016
"We feel pleased and honoured to yet again come to London UK..."

rammstein RAMMSTEIN UNLEASH NEW 'RAMMSTEIN IN AMERIKA' DOCUMENTARY AND 'LIVE FROM MADISON SQUARE GARDEN' DVD
The incredible package is immaculately filmed and bursting with content...

amulet AMULET LAUNCH VIDEO FOR 'BLOODY NIGHT' & ANNOUNCE TOUR DATES
Be preapred for a Heavy Metal attack...

guitar of your dreams MAKE'N MUSIC ANNOUNCES $3,250 GUITAR GIVEAWAY
Calling all guitarists - there isn't a cooler giveaway throughout the entire industry...

dan patlansky JOE SATRIANI EXTENDS EUROPEAN TOUR WITH DAN PATLANSKY AS SPECIAL GUEST
This part of the tour now encompasses 10 countries, 25 shows and 33 days...

tad morose TAD MOROSE TO TOUR EUROPE IN SEPTEMBER WITH SILENT CALL
The Swedish double bill celebrates the release of Tad Morose's new album 'St Demonius'...

iron maiden IRON MAIDEN PREMIERE VIDEO FOR 'SPEED OF LIGHT'
The brand new track is taken from 'The Book Of Souls' double album due out on September 4th...

pentagram PENTAGRAM ANNOUNCE UK AND EUROPE SHOWS
"We all are itching to perform some of our songs off of our new album 'Curious Volume' for you..."

born again BORN AGAIN - HEAVY METAL SOUNDHOUSE DAYS REVISTED AT THE BLACK HEART CAMDEN
Relive the glory days on the 22nd August with the best music around...

wildfire FIRST BANDS ANNOUNCED FOR WILDFIRE FESTIVAL 2016
Scotland's stellar Rock and Metal festival starts the buzz for 2016 with six quality names...

hotei HOTEI TO RELEASE DEBUT INTERNATIONAL ALBUM 'STRANGERS' ON OCTOBER 16TH
With an impressive range of guests, the world renowned Japanese guitarist and songwriter unleashes an epic album...

rich robinson RICH ROBINSON ANNOUNCES ACOUSTIC TOUR FOR SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2015
The Black Crowes' guitarist presents a stripped down, storytelling evening...

sonic syndicate SONIC SYNDICATE ANNOUNCE NEW BASS PLAYER AFTER THE DEPARTURE OF KARIN AXELSSON
The band premiere the new line up with the profound video for 'Diabolical Work Of Art'...

motorhead MOTÖRHEAD ADD EXTRA LONDON SHOW TO 2016 EUROPEAN TOUR WITH SAXON AND GIRLSCHOOL
We suggest ear-plugs and fortitude, because Lemmy, Phil and Mikkey are more intent than ever on showing at great volume that they are Motörhead and they play rock n' roll...

venrez VENREZ PREMIERE NEW LYRIC VIDEO AHEAD OF MICHAEL SCHENKER EUROPEAN TOUR
'Children Of The Drones' is the title track of the new album...

majesty GHOST PREMIERE 'MAJESTY' FROM FORTHCOMING ALBUM 'MELIORA'
Papa Emeritus III and his nameless ghouls will return to North America and Europe with a tour this autumn...

imperial state electric IMPERIAL STATE ELECTRIC SUPPORT GRAVEYARD & RELEASE NEW ALBUM
The release of Imperial State Electric's 'Honk Machine' brings their live show to the UK for the first time...

chantel mcgregor CHANTEL McGREGOR ANNOUNCES HER NEW ALBUM 'LOSE CONTROL' AND UK TOUR DATES
After four years of touring and festival appearances, Chantel returns with a vengeance with ten new songs...

lynne jackaman SOUL-ROCK SONGSTRESS JACKAMAN PERFORMS NEW EP 'NO HALO' LIVE IN LONDON
The show at Camden's Barfly on September 24th is set to be memorable for all the right reasons...

steve hackett STEVE HACKETT RELEASES THIRD REHEARSAL VIDEO CLIP FOR 40TH ANNIVERSARY TOUR IN OCTOBER
Preparations appear to be going very well indeed...

steve n seagulls STEVE'N'SEAGULLS ANNOUNCE THE SEAGULL HAS LANDED UK TOUR & NEW VIDEO
Anyone for hillbillified Iron Maiden...?

gentlemans pistols GENTLEMANS PISTOLS ANNOUNCE TRACK LISTING AND UNVEIL THE ARTWORK FOR 'HUSTLER'S ROW'
"A turbulent voyage of the sweetest sufferings and the most inexpensive of thrills..."

queensryche QUEENSRŸCHE REVEAL ALBUM COVER ART AND TRACK-LISTING FOR 'CONDITION HÜMAN'
The hard rock giants continue to thrill with their latest offering...

udo U.D.O. SAYS FINAL FAREWELL TO ACCEPT'S CATALOGUE
In a surprise announcement Udo Dirkschneider has confirmed that he will no longer play songs from the Accept library after one final tour...

operation mindcrime OPERATION: MINDCRIME REVEAL 'RE-INVENTING THE FUTURE', THE FIRST SINGLE FROM NEW ALBUM
The release from Geoff Tate's current project marks the first of a trilogy of albums...


metal talk
© All written site content is copyright MetalTalk.net 2008-2015, unless otherwise stated, and is not to be used without prior permission.
Ads raid data recovery