New Zealand/Australian based rockers SHIHAD have remained a force to be reckoned with in their genre since the early 90s and that’s not counting the time they spent producing quality 80s Thrash Metal. Spectacularly re-adopting their name in September 2004 after a brief stint as PACIFIER, the band then went on to release a kick ass Rock offering ‘Love Is The New Hate’ in 2005 – a return to the classic SHIHAD sound. With 2006 drawing to a close the attention of fans is now firmly focused on the next SHIHAD record for which preparations are well under way and also the upcoming New Zealand tour dates. Rockdetector’s David Borgioli-Jones caught up with frontman Jon Toogood to update the band’s progress and cover some SHIHAD history.
First of all the question everyone has been asking: How’s the next SHIHAD record coming along and what does it sound like?
“It’s really fucken colourful and really interesting and I reckon it’ll be a great record but like the rest of the band I think we want to just keep writing while we’re in the zone. Because we’ve actually been sort of hitting our strides recently and rather than just going right, we’re ready we’re actually having really good fun setting up our gear in a band room in Melbourne and just recording all this shit – and just jamming stuff down. So while we’re on a roll we’ll keep going you know, which is choice. It’s fucken weird, how many years have I been in this band? 18 or 17 years or something… and it’s like just finding new fucken ways to put this limited number of notes down in different ways and different grooves that we’ve never tried before. And grooves that we’ve sort of tried before but failed but now because Tom and Karl are better than they ever were you can sort of pull them off now you know. It’s just shit like that and we’ve been playing heaps live, like with all the touring for ‘Love Is The New Hate’, the band’s really super tight and we haven’t done the usual SHIHAD thing which is make a record, tour for a year and a half or two years or whatever it is per record, and then everyone’s so fucken exhausted, everyone just wants to sit down for three months and not see each other. This time around it’s been like right, we’re touring, and we’re writing, and we’re touring, oh we’ve got a few days off, cool, let’s go fucken write – it’s just been non stop. So while you’re writing you’re sort of remembering what it’s ultimately going to be like when you present this shit live. Because you’ve just played a gig and you’re still in that sort of headspace. It’s like oh right, this may sound good in the practice room or on this computer but we’ve got to pump it through a huge PA in front of 1000 people and it’s got to Rock so it’s sort of keeping you in that zone as well, which is really nice because we haven’t ever done that before I don’t think.”
What’s influencing the music you’re writing at the moment? Are you being inspired by any different bands to the ones who have always listened to?
“Not really bro. I mean I’m constantly on the look out for new records because it’s like what I feed off but I’ve been listening to the classics as well, like going to see ROLLING STONES in Wellington was fucken awesome. I want to listen to my old ‘Beggars Banquet’ record or something. Then also I’ve got the new FLAMING LIPS, which has been on my iPod every day and it’s just kick ass. But yet our music doesn’t sound anything like the FLAMING LIPS or the ROLLING STONES. That’s just what I’ve been listening to outside of listening to what the new SHIHAD record is. It’s really funny you know, it might be misconstrued as wankerism to actually listen to your own stuff a lot but that’s pretty much what I do. I’m so fucken involved in this music that we’re making. It’s like we go along, we jam, Tom mixes the shit down, I straight away put it on my iPod because I just want to walk around and think up things I can sing about over the top of it. I’ll be doing that and then get back in the studio, do some vocals over it, try out these ideas and then it’s like right, cool can you give me a mix of that because I want to have a listen to it. Then I listen to that over and over again and go right, I could do that better. So apart from a few a few records I’ve just been listening to the new SHIHAD stuff. Ha ha!”
What does the new SHIHAD material sound like compared to ‘Love Is The New Hate’?
“Well ‘Love Is The New Hate’? for me, that was a real cathartic experience in the fact that I was so fucken pissed off at the world, at our situation, what we’d been through, and also the state of play in the world like America where we were and what their government was doing. It needed to be a primal fucken scream that record and it sort of was. And I tell you what, even though it probably never got played on any commercial radio stations over here or anything it meant that every night we had this collection of songs that we could walk out on stage and just destroy a fucken audience with. We hadn’t had that for a little while. You know ‘The General Electric’ was probably the last time we’d had that. The ‘Pacifier’ record had some really kick ass songs I reckon. Like we still play ‘Run’ and ‘Comfort Me’ at every show and they’re really good songs but we needed to have an album like ‘Love Is The New Hate’ so we could remember what it was like to be inside something that A, nobody else in the world does and B, it’s just got to be a fucken brick wall you know. It’s just got to slam people over the head when you play it live. That’s pretty much the album we came up with but this record I think we’ve got that chip off our shoulder and now it’s like I’m having fun with melody again. Ever since day one, even on ‘Churn’, I was listening to MY BLOODY VALENTINE and THE CURE’s ‘Disintegration’ and a lot of the heavier end of the Flying Nun music like THE SKEPTICS and BAILTERSPACE but all those bands were sort of like heavy in a real melodic way. They were creating a wall of sound or a wall of noise but still having those melodies that tingle your spine and make the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end. I love that shit so I’ve really been playing around with melody a lot more on this record than on the last record. But at the same time while I’ve been in my own little world doing that, Tom and Karl have been like hiring rooms around Melbourne and just setting up drums and bass and just working on grooves that they’ve never tried before. So it’s like this weird mish-mash of this fucken kick ass rhythm section with all this really melodic music and at the same time there are some fucken brutal riffs that happen as well. Ha ha! So I don’t know, it’s yet to sort of define itself but I think it’ll be colourful as fuck this next record.”
There were a number of political situations involving the US that pissed you off enough to give pound out those kick ass riffs in ‘Love Is The New Hate’. Although you say you’ve got the chip off your shoulder not a lot of those situations have changed and there are always plenty more to cover. So will that political element still be around in the next album?
“Yeah it’s funny because I just did a song called ‘Hedonism’ today and it’s probably not going to be called ‘Hedonism’ in the end because it was just called that at the time since it was just so fucken heavy but you know, I got to scream lines like “Terrorism isn’t even the name, you kill kiddies then you’re one and the same, have you had enough? have you had enough?” And it’s like, I still look at the world today and just go fuck man us lefties have got to step up because we’re getting our asses kicked you know. It’s a different little picture in New Zealand where you’ve still got Helen Clark in power even though she almost lost it on the last election. But we’ve still got a left leading government and we’re pretty open and quite liberal in New Zealand. But in Australia it’s like this hardcore right wing government, hardcore sort of Christian thing coming back up, which is definitely what happened in America and what’s happening in America. And I personally think that it’s a fucken dangerous time for everyone to be going hard back to the right and hard back to the sort of fundamentalist sort of religious idea which I thought we’d sort of all got over. You know this fucken fantasyland bullshit which doesn’t apply to what’s happening to the environment and what we’re doing to the planet at all. In fact, I think people who basically believe in a guy with a beard in the sky should be struck from the fucking argument and not allowed to participate in talking about what we’re going to do about alternative fuels and trying to sort this environmental mess that we’ve managed to plunder upon the earth. There are a lot of lyrics sort of dealing with that. I’m not anti people believing in whatever the fuck they want but right now in history I think it’s not a time to talk gobbledygook and theories and magic, it’s the time to actually talk really fucken sensibly and really plainly and deal with things that are really fucken happening. It gores me that me that we went through the 90s where my heroes were people like FUGAZI and SONIC YOUTH and JANE’S ADDICTION and all these fucking great musicians talking really good sense as far as I was concerned you know… like even Kurt Cobain and NIRVANA. Then all of a sudden you’ve got this pap that’s sort of taken back over. You know this whole Christian Rock thing or even bands like SIMPLE PLAN, which is just basically to me, music that’s been made in a marketing room. You know like “OK, what are the kids into…?” And when you’ve got people like Paris Hilton running around and they’re becoming role models for kids it just makes me go oh wow, we’re back in the 80s again. It’s really funny because 80s music is really cool again but people are starting to think in that materialist stupid bullshit way again and yet they’ve got this “and I’d like to thank God” sort of thing doing on as well. It’s like fuck you guys are hypocrites. It makes me want to puke blood! It’s really funny, I really thought that we’d sort of got over that hump but it seems to have swung hard back the other way. I think it comes down to the way that the arguments are phrased by the right-wingers and the religious nutters. Which is basically its all black and white and you’re either with us or against us. And it’s like the reason I think the lefties, or the liberal people of the earth, are getting their asses kicked – basically because it’s not all black and white as we all fucken know deep down in our hearts. But because of the way the media works or any chance you get to actually talk this sort of shit, you’ve only got a quick fucken 15 second soundbyte. The lefties haven’t worked out a way of actually going “right, you guys are talking bullshit because of this” and in 15 seconds being actually able to frame the argument in a different way. But the right-wingers have sussed it. They’ve just gone “black or white.” It’s easier to be a bigoted, racist, fucking fascist cunt and keep it in a 15 second sound byte. It’s hard to actually be an open minded human being that gives a fuck about other people in a 15 second sound byte and that’s where I’m sort of coming from in what I’m dealing with in the lyrics at the moment. It’s like right OK, I’m still dealing in three and a half minutes of the Pop songs pretty much, but that’s more time than 15 seconds so I can actually elaborate on what I’m thinking. I don’t know, it’s funny, some days I wake up and I feel like a 34 year old man and other days I still feel like the kid that I was when I was recording ‘It’ and ‘Down Dance’. It’s weird, I sort of feel more responsibility to myself now than ever to actually say something with our music. Not that I want to sit here and go I’m the only dude that’s talking sense, I may be completely fucken wrong, but I’ve got to write what I fucken believe and it’s more important to me now than it ever was.”
Even if that means that you don’t get into the American market?
“No I really don’t give a fuck. It’s a time when I think people really have to fucken look hard in the mirror and go, right, we’re living this sort of nice cushy western lifestyle because of people who are being fucked over. I’m not going to sit here and say I don’t need money to do what I do because I fucken do and I need to make a living to support my family etc. But at the same time I also morally need to be able to sleep at night. And although I don’t have the fucken answers I definitely have a few fucken questions that I’ve been wanting to ask… that need to be asked I think. So yeah, I mean it’s all just Rock N’ Roll ultimately but that’s what I do for a living so fuck it! Ha ha!”
Have you guys been throwing around any ideas on a title for the new album?
“Um, yeah what was it… ‘Gay Songs For Jesus’ was the new one. Ha ha! We want to see if we can alienate as many people as possible. ‘Gay Songs For Jesus’ so you fuck off the lefties and the right-wingers.”
So it sounds like great period in time for SHIHAD since you can be more or less free to say and play whatever you want.
“Yeah well it is. I definitely feel no constraints at all as far as the artistic side goes. And it’s really funny because we’re still on Warner Bros and they’re a big corporation. But I think… I mean, we’ve never made them huge amounts of money or anything but we’ve sort of earned their respect and they’ve basically gone “Right, that’s cool, they obviously know what they’re doing.” I mean obviously there will come a time in this writing period where we have to sit down with a couple of people and go right, this is what we want to do so can we have the money please? Ha ha! But I’ve got a certain amount of faith in the fact that they’ll pretty much say, as long as we’re happy with it, they’ll trust us just to sort of do the right thing which is good man. I mean fuck, there are a lot of artists, especially younger artists, that have sort of had one hit album or something and then it’s like well fuck, you’ve really got to play the game big time. We’ve had seven records or six records and it’s always different and it’s always evolving. I think we’ve afforded ourselves a certain amount of freedom in that way because we always sort of step up. Sometimes we disappear up our own arses but I think most artists do that you know. Ha ha!”
While we’re on the topic of labels, did you guys ever have a chance to get onto the Jayrem Records who were releasing a lot of Kiwi Metal and Punk in the 80s?
“That was actually funny because when I was a little kid and I used to go down to Chelsea Records in Manners Mall (Wellington) after school every day basically because all I wanted to do was be in a record store. I used to see that a lot of New Zealand stuff was on Jayrem Records and I used to go, where’s that? And they’d tell me it was upstairs from Chelsea Records. So I remember thinking that it was really cool and stuff but we never actually had anything on Jayrem Records. Our first record ‘Devolve’ was on Pagan, Trevor Reekie’s label. But I’m sure at the time if Jayrem had offered us a recording deal I would’ve gone fucken sweet because it was the only New Zealand label apart from Flying Nunn that I’d ever heard of.”
Back to the present, do you guys get homesick being over there in Aussie?
“Oh fuck yeah I do. I think the rest of the guys left because they had their girlfriends and everything living over here. But me and my wife and stepdaughter have got a house in Wellington so I pine for Wellington real bad. But time tends to fly by when you’re actually busy and as long as I’m busy I’m good. It’s usually on days off in Australia that I usually go what the fuck am I doing here? I want to go home. But yeah it’s just part of the job you know. It’s like fuck I love what I do but yet I love my family and I love where I come from you know. It’s a never ending fucken battle but you just keep you head down and try and to cause as little friction between the two as possible in order to just do what you do.”
When you wrote the song ‘Pacifier’ was that addressing the sort of homesick feeling but in reference to Aaron Tokona from WETA?
“Yeah, actually it was about him in one of his more extreme bi polar sort of episodes. Real highs and lows and stuff. At the same time I’m a pretty manic sort of dude. I’m not bi polar or anything and I’m not overly depressed but I’ve definitely had my moments with ups and downs. I’m not much of an in between sort of guy, I’m either one or the other. ‘Pacifier’ was sort of like a song inspired by him but also written as a sort of way to make myself feel better as well. You know like just to remind myself that it’s actually OK to be in a lull or in a down moment because that’s only because you’ve been in an up part before that which also means that you’ll be in an up part again – it’s just part of life. That was what ‘Pacifier’ was about. Also I think we were sort of all living in Melbourne and the city sort of gets to you after a while because it’s a big fucken city. We were brought up in Wellington and there’s always that sort of accessible nature you know, you can walk out of your house and just fucken be surrounded by trees after a five minute walk just to remind you where you sort of fit into the scheme of things – that humbling beautiful thing that the New Zealand landscape does to you. I think it’s really precious and I think when you’re living in a flat big fucking city like Melbourne you get into that rat race sort of mentality of it’s all city, it’s all people but you forget that people are only one part of this planet you know and that song was sort of that reminder for myself really I think.”
Do you get the crowds doing hey look, it’s Jon Toogood when you’re walking around Melborne?
“Actually it’s funny. They’re definitely down with “Jonny Toogood mate.” It’s pretty funny. Once they’ve started saying “You fucken legend Jonny!” it’s like you’re sort of down with the Australian crew. That sort of happened maybe around ‘The General Electric’ and I didn’t notice it that much and then it seems to have come back with the ‘Love Is The New Hate’ record. I think all the hardcore rockers are down with that record big time and our crowds have been getting big. It’s been good.”
You guys have a good catalogue of singles which are really collectable now. How’d you manage to have so many for each record?
“Yeah I mean we’ve always said to the record companies that we’ve been with, first and fore mostly I want to make a record like 45 minutes or 40 minutes where someone either smokes a reefer or if they don’t smoke reefer they can do whatever they do to feel good and then just stick the headphones on or stick it on stereo and listen to the whole fucken thing. And so the whole singles thing I didn’t even realise that that’s how it works. You know, when we were first making ‘Churn’ and stuff like that it was like fuck that man, I want to make 40 minutes of fucken great music. And then it’s only through being in the game for so fucking long that you do have to have a song out there that catches peoples attention that brings them to the album. OK that’s cool but I’m still not going to even bother thinking about it while I’m making a record and then hopefully we’ll get lucky. Ha ha! Because I don’t want to fuck with the initial inspiration of music. Because I have tried writing music specifically for a format or specifically even for a group of people – not ever like radio stations but say a group of fans or something – and it always feels really fucking uncomfortable for me you know. So I’ve sort of gone back to just doing what the fuck feels right and sort of keeping my fingers crossed but not really worrying that much about it. But because we’re a band like that, getting back to your question, we’ve always said to the record company you’ve got to have four singles off this record because they’re all important. That is obviously not the common business model for a modern record company at all but for some reason we’ve always managed to charm our way around that with them and make them believe that that’s the right idea even if it probably isn’t. But that’s good for us because it just means you get to use all the stuff that you didn’t use on the record as fucken B-sides. I always loved that when I was a kid. I loved finding those gemmy sorts of “oh fuck, why didn’t they put that one the record, that’s the best song” and it’s a B-side on some fucken record. I’ve always loved that about being a record collector or just music fan. I don’t know how much longer we’ll be able to fucken keep convincing the record company to do that but that’s sort of how we’ve played it so far. Ha ha! That also means there’s more artwork. I’ve always been a big fan of decent fucken artwork and I love having different representations of say a theme on a record and fucking with that sort of thing as well – it’s all part of the deal you know.”
That was a really cool theme you had going there with ‘Killjoy’ and the inverted photos that were on the cover of singles like ‘Gimme Gimme’.
“Yeah for sure, I love doing all that stuff. The photos of me and Phil. I think the one with me in the glasses is me at Island Bay (Wellington) Kids Park with Tom on a swing behind me. The one of Phil is just a photo we too across the road from the Sea and he just looks like a freak so we just thought fuck we’ve got to use that! Ha ha!”
You’ve done a ‘B-sides EP’ before, do you guys think you’ll ever release an album of with all of them on it?
Our fans seem to swap shit online and say “have you heard this B-side? Blah blah blah…” And it seems to just happen. If people look for that shit they can just get it. But maybe. I wouldn’t mind if we get maybe one or two more records down the track do a box set of fucken every record that we’ve ever released or every single. I like that sort of packaging. That’s a cool idea to me even though it costs a million zillion bucks or something. That’d be a good collector’s item.”
You’ve got a few demos floating around the ‘Churn’ and ‘Devolve’ ear and they’re being distributed freely around the net by fans of the band. Are you guys cool with that?
“Oh totally. I mean, fuck, it’s all just like sketches and works in progress, stuff like that. I suppose it’s interesting for people to find out how things come about and even at the very worst, it’s people going “ok I really love this record but fuck, some of the shit they were working on before was pretty bad!” At least it’s interesting. You know, I really don’t have a problem with people passing that shit around. It’s cool.”
One of those ‘Churn’ demos ‘Feet First’ has an awesome sound, would you ever think about doing that as a B-side or something even though it’s ancient history?
“Oh I remember recording that at Writhe Studio and the only way we got into the studio is because the guys at Writhe were making money by doing these little day recording courses for people. They used us as a guinea pig sort of band to show these people how to mic up a drum kit and that’s how we did that song. So it was pretty shoddy recording but yeah I used to really like that one as well. I thought it was pretty cool but I think we played it a few times… it’s a real slow mover you know, I don’t think it had that sort of mosh pit sort of bop. And at the time we were going nah, we want to make the crowd fucken rock so that’s probably why that one got left aside. We’ve since learned how to make a slow song Rock but back then I was still bursting at the seams with testosterone you know and I wanted to go fucken hard out bro! Ha ha!”
You guys played many a gig with HEAD LIKE A HOLE back in the day. What was that era like coming from the perspective of a SHIHAD band member?
“It sounds like a dumb cliché but it was pretty much like a big family of brothers you know, I mean very competitive brothers. We were both out to beat each other the whole fucken time but at the same time me and Nigel Regan were like best buddies outside of the band and we would make our own music like we made that SML record. All that was sort of going on the whole time, like Booga Beazley (HEAD LIKE A HOLE’s singer) even fucken drew the album cover for that SML record. You know, we were always trying to one-up each other but personally I think we won out of it not only because they broke up but because they were so fucken good at playing live it made us go, oh we’ve actually got to step up because we’re getting our arse kicked every night. You know, what the fuck’s going on? I thought we were a live good band, nah, that’s a good live band. And actually the competition was kick ass for SHIHAD to tell you the truth. It made us play way better than we ever did. And what else was good? I mean, you know those photos you were taking about on the ‘Killjoy’ single covers? Well Nigel Regan took those photos. He’s an arty dude. It was all just all in one, pretty inseparable you know at that time. It was fucken cool, I really enjoyed it. It was really nice to go around Germany and Europe with those guys because it was eight really strong freaky different characters and everyone’s different take on this brand new world and I think we did really well living with each other. All these crazy personalities actually made good fellows.”
They had some classic gigs with flyers saying you could get in for free if you showed up with a chainsaw or naked…
“Yeah totally, fucken aye. I liked music to be really fucken serious and I still sort of do. When I listen to the FLAMING LIPS it makes me laugh. I like it too. But I still like it when I get a record that’s serious and is fucken beautiful. And that’s the music that really fucken gets me going. And yet the HEAD LIKE A HOLE boys, you know, they were down with most of the same bands I was into but at the same time they were more into the humour of it and that to me was never really that appealing as far as what I would want to do with music. You know, I don’t really have time for joking around… I mean like the closest I get to joking around in SHIHAD is probably like lines from ‘My Minds Sedate’ that say “I trust the police and the government, suck down corporate sentiment” and “Victim of a Sally Jesse Raphaël” makeover. I don’t mind fucking with things in the right context or being tongue in cheek but on the whole it’s far to much of a matter of life and death to me my music. I don’t want to joke about it you know. I don’t want to take myself too seriously at the same time but I like music that’s serious in intent and if it pulls it off it’s really powerful.”
Around that same time as the HLAH days or a little earlier do you have good memories of bands other Kiwi Metal bands like THE NOD?
“Oh yeah, for sure bro. Darren Broughton (THE NOD’s lead guitarist) was a lovely guy and when we were young metallers we saw him play guitar we went ah fuck, I see why everyone’s fucken raving about this dude. But he was like another Aaron Tokona bro. Not mad, more just genius, just a wiz kid on the guitar, just a total natural. I thought he was fucken shit hot when I was young.”
On their album ‘Thirsty Work’ they thank SHIHAD and say “Tom, where’s my tape” or something like that in the credits…
“Yeah probably, Tom was always backing those guys. Tom’s got so much time for other bands he’s fucken good like that. He likes a lot of stuff that I don’t like personally but I find that totally admirable after all these years of having our ear drums completely blown apart from our own band, he just still goes and sees fucken bands all the time and has constantly got his finger on the pulse. I personally find going into a bar a lot of the time like probably what people fell like going into the office in the weekend if they work in an office job. I’ve been around smoky bars so much it’s like going to fucken work for me. So I’ve got to be really into a band now days before I sort of get off my ass and sort of start blowing my eardrums apart again, which is fucked really. Ha ha! but at the same time my ears have been ringing for the last eight years you know. I don’t wear earplugs. I can’t fucken stand wearing earplugs. Actually Karl doesn’t wear earplugs either. Tom does, Phil does. But nah, I need to hear what people are going through at one of our shows. I feel like a complete fake… if I’m sitting there with my guitar at 15 and people are in the front row listening to that, I better be fucken listening to it with them. Even though it causes my ears to ring and on an audiograph of my ears the top end has probably gone down a little bit. I reckon volume is an addiction. It’s weird because I’ve noticed something that you don’t like the sound of hurts your ears quicker than something that you do like that sound of even if it’s at the same fucken volume. You know like if you’re enjoying something and it’s at a really loud volume it makes your adrenaline just pump. It’s like a rush and I’m addicted to it.”
Going back to Tom and other bands he of course did the work with KILLING JOKE on their ‘Pandemonium’ album. Then a year or two later relations between SHIHAD and Jaz Coleman from KILLING JOKE ended up turning sour…
“Oh don’t get me wrong, I think the first three albums and then also there’s an album they did on Noise Records later on, there’s some fucken great music there man and Geordie is one of the fucken most kick ass guitar players. And they’ve always had cool drummers and good beats, it’s just that… I mean if anyone’s got reason to be fucked of with anybody it’s like us. The guy (Jaz Coleman) fucken sued us for $5000 for not telling him that we were going to make our own record in regards to ‘Killjoy’. He sued these kids that were still working in record stores to pay for their band, for $5000! This cunt who’s got lots of money, just because he found out that we’d recorded this album while he was living in London. It was like ah… fuck you dude! You think we can afford $5000? And we had to pay it. He did not let us off. I have no time for that guy. He’s a fucken materialistic fuck you know. And so yeah… fuck him!”
For some reason I’d always thought that Jaz was trying to get back money for producing the ‘Churn’ album as opposed to ‘Killjoy’.
“No, no, no. We produced ‘Churn’ with him. He made us sign this weird sort of dodgy contract when we were doing Churn and one of these weird little clauses was that he had first dibs in recording our next record. OK that’s fine but we called him in London and actually got hold of him and said look, we’ve got this record ready to go and he was like “Oh, I’m busy, I can’t do it.” So we went and made this record and then he got back to New Zealand, needed a bit of spare cash so he fucken rings us up and goes “Where’s my $5000?” I mean what sort of fuckwit does that? What a fucken little cunt you know. As if he needed $5000… or maybe he did. Maybe he’s run out of money or something, I don’t know. I’ve just got no time for him. We had to pay him every cent. I remember putting aside money from my record store job and Tom putting aside money from his working in a drum store job and Phil putting aside money from being a postman for Jaz Coleman’s little kitty, so he could fucken line his pockets. And it was like you fuck! You’ve done nothing and we’ve made this fucken kick ass record. And why are you doing this? Because you’re jealous or because you need a bit of cash while you in New Zealand? I think it’s probably because he needed a bit of cash while he was in New Zealand you know. And it was just you know, what a fucken slime bag. I haven’t really been able to listen to KILLING JOKE since. It just made all his words hollow to me, and words that I used to live and die by. Some of that KILLING JOKE stuff was shit hot but I can’t listen to it… cant listen to it.”
Did Jaz have anything to do with how you guys got onto the Noise Record label?
“Yeah we were on Noise for ‘Churn’, ‘Killjoy’ and the “Fish” album. We signed a really dumb deal there for those three records in Europe and America… even though they didn’t have any distribution in America so it was a complete waste of time. It was a shit deal. Basically it was one of those ones where you went “oh what, can I get a record released in Germany? Yeah I’ll sign that!” Ha ha! It’s just such a dumb classic story. I think so many fucken bands go through that shit, live and learn and all. Noise Records was cool to us because we were young metallers and things like KREATOR had come off Noise Records and that KILLING JOKE record, and CELTIC FROST, and all this crazy Metal that we liked when we were Thrash Metallers. But we forgot that there’s other bands on Noise Records like HELLOWEEN] and [[RUNNING WILD where the singer’s called Rockin Rolf and has developed a new picking technique so that he can play twice as fast as any other lead player… You’re dealing with crazy Germans who are total Metalheads and have contacts at maybe Metal Hammer but if you send a record to maybe NME or Melodymaker with Noise Records on it, they don’t actually know any of those people so that shit just gets thrown in the bin.”
What happened with FRENZAL RHOMB in the end after they were thrust into the spotlight by changing their name to SHIHAD?
“Oh, Jay and Lindsay are now morning breakfast DJs on JJJ over here and they’re fucken cool cats. It’s funny because after all that shit went down… When we heard it was just fucken hilarious but our management was like “Lets fucken go after them!” It’s like dude, that’d be the dumbest thing in the world. It’d be exactly what would be perfect for them and really bad for us and so we calmed our management down. Then we did this festival called the Livid Festival over here and it was usually just us and FRENZAL RHOMB that hung out because we’re both sort of bands who’ve been around for a long time who sort of just do what the fuck they want. But I mean, fuck it was a funny story. What a crazy fucken story, having to change your name because you were called SHIHAD. It was just crazy. So I totally got the humour and they are really naturally funny guys. Jay and Lindsay have a solo duet thing that they do in the weekends called the Self Righteous Brothers. I think even to come up with a name like that is fucken brilliant you know. But I just get on really well with them and Lindsay comes to our gigs. He’s really into it, there’s no animosity you know.”