The legendary frontman talks to Eugene Butcher about the original line-up of Theatre Of Hate reuniting and what we can expect from the new Spear Of Destiny album…
For the Theatre Of Hate dates I hear the original band is getting back together again? What’s it like playing with Stan Stammers and the other guys?
"The band consists of Stanley Stammers, John Lennard and me, along with Danny Farrant on drums and Adrian Portos doing guitar duties. Stanley, John and myself are the hardcore of it and we are lucky to have the drum genius of Danny Farrant playing with us. It’s always special standing on a stage with John and Stanley. The nearest I could explain it is some kind of ‘unity’… of person, of being, maybe all this along with the totally unique music being played up there. It’s definitely a very big buzz on stage with the guys.”
Vive Le Rock has heard a snippet of the new Spear Of Destiny album and it’s sounding amazing. How did the recording go and what can you tell us about the album?
"This album, ’31’, is a more uptempo album than most in recent years. Not deliberately so, just that the batch of songs turned out that way. As I have often said, I feel as if I am simply ‘the messenger’ for the music. The universe sends it through and I receive the message. It has a wide range of subjects too. The words, as is always the case, are the hardest to write. Especially after so many years as a songwriter. In the case of ’31’, it has not been so hard. I even wrote three sets of words to the songs without marrying up word and music with a guitar in my hand. Some songs simply write themselves like ‘Titanium Man’ or ‘The Failure’, plain and simple.
"’Titanium Man’, had guitar parts put on by Spear guitarist Adrian Portos that blew everybody’s minds; there are or could be no other parts bar what he put on it that would fit more perfectly than Titanium Man’s cranky, doomed world view. Marvel and the CCCP would be proud.On ‘Cry Baby Cemetery’ there’s a ton of voodoo to the tune, alongside its strange off kilter rhythm, Ade’s ripping lead guitar and plenty of women screaming throughout. An eerie Louisiana copycat crime is its themes and lyrical inspiration.
"‘Speed of Life’ was inspired by Manet’s famous painting of a woman tending bar at the Folies-Bergere in Paris in 1882 (somewhat bizarrely, she looks very similar in appearance to my mother). The disillusionment and bewilderment at the speed of life in her times, at the end of her century, painted into her expression. I transposed that to modern times using famous quotes.
"’Love on The Rhine’ is like a drinking song from 1910, standing somewhere by the famous river. The almost accidental introduction part continually makes me smile, as it sounds like some 1970s dreary German TV series or drama intro music.
"There’s a lot on this album, so I won’t drone on and spoil it for listeners.”
Read more of this interview in the new issue of Vive Le Rock (no.20), out now! Order your copy HERE.