An INTERVIEW with
'Legend' WATSON (Guitars
on the 27th August 2002 by Rigsby
Welcome guys, thanks for taking time out to do the interview. For someone who hasn't heard Helvis before, could you briefly describe your music?
Steve Watson (SW): Pagan thrash for the unemployed
Chris Marygold (CM): Downtuned misery from the hearts of weary men.
Knowing a little about the heritage and connections to others bands that you have, could you give us a brief history of the band? Things like when the band was formed, where you're from and how you all came to be together.
SW: We came from Ochtriffe armed with sacks of corn and spiky iron balls to conquer fake London merchandise.
CM: Following the "discovery" in 1973, Drown were forced to split, and we fled for Middle England where we dispersed and lived as fugitives with false names and false moustaches We found refuge in such work horse bands as Iron Monkey, Hard To Swallow, The Varukers and sixhundredandsixtysixdead. We re-grouped in 1998 but were close to destruction from the Welsh faction, namely Dexter Presley of Black Eye Riot, but we remained strong and rode north to our new homelands of Middle England.
Where do you see the future of Helvis? Is commercial success important or is this all for fun?
CM: This is much fun at the moment, we've all been mates for years and this is what we do best. We are not expectant of commercial success, we are FAR too long in the tooth for those thoughts It's a shit business.
SW: Fun is for mainlanders only.
We all have favourite bands or songs that make a difference to our lives. But what are the bands primary musical influences?
SW: Old man George and his flute army... and choir master Alex and his tuppeny whistle brigade.
CM: Each other, AC/DC, Discharge, Master, Accept, and life back on the island, where we could dance naked over the fire without modern intrusion, or the risk of Christian retribution.
When writing music and lyric, what sorts of subjects motivate you guys?
CM: As you may tell from our lyrics, they are hastily written and drag influence from all over. From the Wicker Man, French philosophy, and blood and anger from those who have crossed us. As Bloody Kev lives in London, we do music in Nottingham, and send him a CD, then he comes up and we record. We did the last L.P without a single band rehearsal And some say it sounds sloppy, we prefer rough and live. That's what we are, and would not be happy going over and over the tracks with loads of overdubs and solos.
SW: Burning mainlanders stuffed full of paper monies.
Your album has been out for a few months now. Retrospectively, how satisfied were you with it? How would you do the next one differently?
SW: Pantograph electricity will be used next time.
CM: Recording the L.P was a hoot. Johnny and Paul are top mates and we had a blast doing the album. It sounds great, and they have captured everything that we are about. We are very pleased with it, and will be doing the next one in exactly the same way. No ego inflated over paid producers telling us how to play!
You released that album on Loudspeaker Records. How did that come about and how happy are you about it?
SW: Very happy.
CM: Baz Barrett passed a demo of ours to some cheeky crafty cockney who passed it round the office and they signed us. Very Happy
On to the live environment: I've heard bits and pieces about this legendary "six minutes of shame" gig. Was that your most memorable gig or can you recall another? What happened there exactly?
SW: Chris and myself imported fruit bon fwarey's for all to drink and it all got out of hand.
CM: NOT the best gig for sure Our drinks were spiked by Punk Saboteurs who wanted to see our careers ruined Best gig so far was most recent Camden Underworld show I think, or Manchester with Raging Speedhorn.
Is there any other band or individual, with which it would be an honour to share the stage with? Or is there a place that you would really like to play?
CM: Dynamo or Donnington with AC/DC, Venom, Celtic Frost, UFO, Scorpions, Alice Cooper and Judas Priest (all original line ups!!!)
SW: Old father dad
For some time there seems to be a healthy rock scene in and around Nottingham. Is this the case and do you consider yourselves part of it or is it just a case of a few bands scattered around the same region?
CM: We are the black sheep of the Nottingham scene really, which is fine with us. As Bloody Kev stated, Notts is full of filth and incest, we did get a bit of new found respect at Rock City last weekend though which was cool to see.
SW: We invite bands to play in our commune...they sometimes have spiky shaped guitars. sometimes they don't.
Okay, that's about all I have to ask you guys this time round. Once again, thanks for your time and finally is there anything further you wish to add?
CM: Thank you for your kindness and questions. The L.P Reverence The Sacrifice is out now. If you can't find it in the shops, get it from us direct at www.helvis.co.uk. Cheers.