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Entrevista a Citizen Fish de Dave brown

Entrevista a Citizen Fish (fuente desconocida)

Kieran: Well, hows it been so far?

Jasper: Fantastic, yeah, particularly this afternoon, because its a free gig, the crowd is very friendly, it's just a bunch of friends, there's no ego trippen. When you stand on the floor and your'e one foot away, you cant bullshit.

Richard: I've got a subhumans tape and there are a few reggae songs on it, have you always been into dub/reggae/ska?

Phil: Personally, since the Subhumans days, I was listening to dub and two-tone and stuff, because it was around before Subhumans started. As for Dick he got into that stuff slowly.

Dick: I was more into the two-tone stuff, reggae was always to slow and empty for me. But then you suck a few fucking joints and it all starts to make sense.

John: Culture Shock (the band Dick and Phil were in after the Subhumans and before Citizen Fish) is slower than Citizen Fish, isn't it?

Dick: There's more punk rock energy in Citizen Fish. Energy is a loose word. Culture Shock had a lot of rhythm and Citizen Fish have a lot of energy.

Kieran: What inspired the change to faster music?

Dick: Different people playing the instruments. There was nothing planned, you play your notes and set your beat to it, one song turns out slow and the other turns out fast. It's just the way it goes.

Kieran: What funny things have happened to you over the years?

Jasper: We've got some great stories. We were in this club in Hollywood, we finished a gig, and it was really good. I think we played with sublime. We left that gig, and Jason (the man that was looking after us) sat outside in a white Toyota van. When we finished the gig, we hopped into our van, followed the white van for two streets, four streets, ten streets, then we were thinking "hang on, he only lives twenty minutes away." We were trying to catch up to him but he was going so fast, our van could only go 80 mph. We were in the valleys, heading for San Francisco , following this van. Then we looked at the map. We got to Jason's and a twenty minute trip took four and a half hours. Thats us, that was pretty good.

Kieran: Have you ever had any trouble?

Phil: Yeah, the van breaking down

Dick: All of your problems are related to the van. If the van doesn't break down, then all the other problems are minimal.

Phil: When the van broke down, we just piled into this little hatchback and stuffed every available space with teeshirts and records and stuff. We just carried on and left our roadie to change the engine in the van.

Jasper: It was great because we would turn up to the gigs and people would just think that we had turned up to see the show, which was great. It suited us to the ground.

Phile: Incognito D: Hi, we're the headline band.

Kieran: How do you like the DIY management thing, does it ever get a bit rough, or do you like handling yourselves?

Dick: It's better to do it yourself. It gets a bit tricky when you have to set a tour up and get the gigs flowing, from one place to the next without going huge distances. If you fuck up, you learn from the mistake and if it goes well, it's like self congratulations, it's a great feeling. Anyone can do it, it's just laziness on the band's part. They think that they should have someone else to do it.

Jasper: We were sitting around designing a record cover for our new record which comes out in September, and that's a classic thing for us. You know, 'ast minute, sticky tape, glue, paper, looking at this thing for so long, thinking it's not us, then deciding that's us. Sometimes it may seem a bit too much, doing it yourself, but then when something good happens, we're like "yay, we got the stickers made!" or something. It's very satisfying. This tour, the geography of it has been set up by Sylvia and Rita, and they were thinking "lets see, do five shows then give the lads a couple of days off to have a look around."

Kieran: Monday/Tuesday?

Dick: Well, its not that they've given us a day off, you cant get a gig on Monday or Tuesday.

Richard: Was it a conscious thing to go into Citizen Fish as ex-Subhumans and be billed as ex-Subhumans?

Dick: It's just a location thing. Jasper and I were coming out of Culture Shock, it's lucky that Trotsky was in the area and not drumming for anybody else at the time, Phil is in the area and not playing guitar. The fact that we used to be in the Subhumans is more coincidence, sort of. It's not just a Subhumans reformation, or we would call it that.

Richard: People could see you being billed on your past reputation.

Dick: Well, promoters tend to panic. They say "no-one's heard of Citizen Fish," so they put ex-Subhumans on the flyer. People want to know what you're doing and where your'e coming from. We're very proud of having been in the Subhumans, its not like we say "disregard all that past stuff."

Phil: It's more for the promoter's piece of mind than for us. We'd prefer it not to be on there.

Jasper: Like the first time we toured the USA, ex-Subhumans was written bigger than Citizen Fish.

Kieran: How many times have you done big tours?

Jasper: We've toured America eight times, we've done about 40 tours in all. We go around Europe.

Richard: What's going on with Bluurg Records, is that yours?

Dick: Sort of. John from Southern Studios has been financing it from the Subhumans days. He financed Crass to do their own label. We wanted to do our own label as well, so we called it Bluurg, which might have been a mistake, since no-one could spell it or pronounce it. It's sort of ours, but I'm not going to say that, because he finances it. It's reached the point now where we're going to transfer over to Lookout! Records because there's no contract. They've got a bigger name, they can sell more records. Bluurg is sort of on the downhill, we don't have the time or the money to release other bands' stuff on the label, so it's just a vehicle for our product.

Phil: We feel a lot of kinship with the bands on Lookout!, they are definitaly into us.

Jasper: Now that I live with Dick, I help out with mailing people. We send tapes that are really cheap. The profit margin on these tapes is minimal, and we give a slice of an event from usually quite a number of years ago. That's a distribution of ideas and music in a really cheap way.

Richard: Since you've been around for so long, you're always cited as influences for people. Do you have any influences yourselves?

Dick: I guess Crass for the way of thinking things. The DIY way.

Jasper: I was pretty blown away by the gang of four, I must admit, because the lyrics are so political but so abstract. I liked it. The year before that it was Jethro Tull, then Rolf Harris, then Al Caiola. That's not a joke.

Phil: For me it was a bizarre mix of Jimi Hendrix and the Sex Pistols. That's the way it was in England at the time

Kieran: Have you ever played to a boatfull of crazy skankers before?

Dick: Nope, we're looking forward to Sunday's show. The boat thing is just brilliant. We want to carry on doing bizarre gigs.

Kieran: Thats pretty much all I had to say, thanks for speaking so well. Maybe Richie has more to say.

Jasper: Can I ask a question? What's "kiddie-core?" (referring to my t-shirt)

Kieran: Well, we are kids and we write for kids.

Richard: Would you like to speak generally?

Jasper: I'd like to reiterate we're just a band. We do loads of other things as well. We're involved with the inspiration of heaps of other people like yourselves doing this. A lot of people who read these things and listen to the lyrics know more of the bigger world (Kieran-good call). We're all part of a bigger thing, it's not just the band or the fanzine, it's a all part of a big underground structure. I'm increasingly inspired.

 

Entrevista a Citizen Fish de Dave Brown

Dick: My name's Dick and I sing for a band called Citizen Fish. I wear vegan shoes. These trousers are a bit sweaty especially around the groin area because I just finished a gig in Eugene; Eugene, Oregon.

TIS: How long have you been playing music?

Dick: Well, really since 1979. I was in a punk band called the Mental Rockers. Lousy attitudes. Highly inefficient, loud, grating, silly punk rock.

TIS: Who were your biggest influences?

Dick: The Damned. The Whine. The Sex Pistols. Then we found out about the Stooges. They majorly became a large favorite. I'll stop there or it will just become a list of early punk rock bands, you know? I like some classical music.The fast vibrant stuff that makes your spine go somewhere. All music is of the same nature. There are certain notes that do chemical things to the brain or the spine. You can find it in most forms of music except Country & Western, there is not ONE tune that does that.

TIS: How did you get into integrating ska with your music?

Dick: We liked ska. Ska was part of the early eighties scene. There was like punk rock and you went to see punk rock at discos. And Ska music was the other alternative music that was going on. At first you're like "fucking mods, fucking bastards." Then you get a bit older and you quit saying fuck the mods and the rest of that stupid shit. Then you start to realize that some of that Two-Tone stuff was actually really good. And you sneak out with your jacket up and you buy all these Two Tone records and listen to them. Then you dig a bit deeper and go back to the 60's skankin' bands. Then you find out about Reggae and Dub, and so music is sort of a progressive thing. You find something you like and it sort of leads to other things you like.

TIS: What messages do you feel Ska carries with it?

Dick: Most Ska bands don't have any messages at all. Operation Ivy is a point in difference, exception to the rule. A lot of Ska bands sing of getting drunk and falling in love with hats and things. I think it's such a good form of music. It's a fun music. I think it is more of a fun music thing.

TIS: What was your favorite venue?

Dick: Koop de Kopee in Berlin. It's an old squat with houses about where you played for several hundred people. It was massive, you knew you were really up there. It was a small, letter C shaped ramp with a big courtyard, with busses parked in it, and a car out in front with weeds growing in it. And we played there three times. The gig is a late gig, your'e going on at half-past one or two in the morning. The food is fantastic The beer is German, so like people are getting stoned around the place. By the time it gets to half-past two o'clock in the morning, that's if you're still in your sober head, something's gone wrong if you're not falling by the time you go on stage. Well anyway, it's like boom, it's fantastic. It just clicked. Now, I mention that one because we played there three times, and that's happened every time. That's like a rarity in really, really good gigs. If it happens once, you go back and its like something just doesn't click like the time before. Quite often, the novelty of being in a different place can be a large amount of what is good about the gig. A good gig goes beyond the place, or stays in the place.

TIS: How did Two-Tone effect the path of Ska music?

Dick: There wasn't much path in Ska music before Two-Tone came along back up out of the 60's, (they were) faster, revitalized and with socio- political lyrics. They made the path. They cut the road. They sort of blazed the path or something jet fuel, instead of a horse and cart. They did it so well, it's sort of a major event in the 80's.

TIS: Was anyone else mixing Punk and Ska when you started Culture Shock?

Dick: No, not really. Back to the Planet did, but I think they may have started after us. The idea kind of came out of the festival scene where there were lots of Dub Reggae music with bits of Ska, and sort of a festival punk attitude. It all sort of came out at once. There was AOS3, Culture Shock, Back to the Planet, and all the other ones. But a lot of punks didn't like it because it wasn't punk. A lot of rude boys didn't like it because it wasn't pure Ska, but that's how they think. We think differently. Play what you want. Mix it up. Mix and match I say.