Friday, December 10, 2004


Dawn Of The Replicants

My first interview for No Pictures was with Dawn Of The Replicants just after they'd released their DIY debut EP, So Far So Spitfire, on their own Dumb Sulk Trigger label. Almost exactly one year later I interviewed them again, in Chelmsford. Now they're on East West, a major label run by the man. They're from Galashiels and put out EPs more frequently than they cook their own meals. I'm typing this as the Italian Job is on telly. Its the end and the bus is about to fall over the edge of the cliff. Its tipping..... Another Self Preservation Society, the Replicants are Paul Vickers (pop singer), Roger Simian (rock axe and fanzine man), Donald Kyle (rumble bum bass), Grant Pringle (better than any fucking drum machine) and Mike Small (all sorts of sounds and stuff. Not called Mike Muso for nothing). For the interview the band, sans Mike, were accompanied by Matthew their manager and Justin their engineer type bloke. I was accompanied by Joe Lando and Jimmy Lando:

J: How are you today then?
R: Ok. How did the accountancy exam go?
J: Probably past it, usually do. Are you looking forward to the Ultrasound tour?
R: Yeah, I think it will be magic. Paul? Paul?
P (mumbling): .......magic.........
D: Ha, ha, ha.
R: Er, we saw them playing live last year somewhere and they're brilliant live.
J: Are they really any good?
R: Live they're brilliant. Don't know about the recorded stuff, I'm not so keen on that...
D: ...but live its a brilliant show.
R: I bought the single and was a bit disappointed because I'd seen them live and thought they were magic live..... Ah, Beer! Hmmmm. So, Ultrasound really good live, unsure about them on record but I think they will be good once they get a more rocking sound.
J: Haven't they got a song called Kurt Russell?
R: I've not heard that, no.
J: Its the b-side of the new single. They like him.
Joe: Kurt Russell? Yeah!
R: Yeah? Cult hero. When did this begin?
Joe: Big Trouble In Little China.
R: I've not seen that one.
Joe & Jimmy: Its a classic!
R: A classic of its genre?! (still unconvinced).
J: Paul, whats this shit about you having a voodoo stick?
P: I did, I did....
R: No shitting pal, its true. He sawed the head off it in London.
J: Was that with Arab Strap?
D: Yeah, in Camden.
J: At Dingwalls? How'd you like playing there?
G: Brilliant venue.
R: I enjoyed it. Its the most people we've ever played with.
J: Really?
R: Yeah. It was probably like us coming down and expecting the whole Camden kind of like wankers coming down but it was brilliant. We actually got an audience that liked us unlike when we play in Scotland. At least people in London have heard of us.
D: You've never been to Scotland? You don't know until you've been there.
J: Have you played with many other Scottish bands? Like Mogwai.....
R: We haven't played with Mogwai. We've played with Arab Strap a few times. I'd like to see Mogwai live.
G: We've only done like 15 gigs so far, so we've not played with many people.
J: Really?
R: Not many gigs.
G: We recorded the album before we'd even played together which was strange because we didn't have any gear. We were signed but we didn't have any gear! Which was a bit of a bugger.
J: Did you play the (Sheffield) Leadmill with Jonathon Fire*Eater?
R: No, it got cancelled. We only found out about it two days before it.
D: I don't know what excuse we give to Jonathon Fire*Eater.
R: You'd broken your leg, had you not?
D: Yeah, something like that.
P: They're following us around now.
J: Are you looking forward to tomorrow? (the Brat gig at the Astoria)
All: Yeah.
G: Its been a bit strange because we've been doing a lot of radio stuff and that so no worry. We just met Justin yesterday so we rehearsed yesterday with him. We've not had the chance to think about it too much but yeah we're really looking forward to it.
J: What was it like doing a Peel Session?
R: That was brilliant.
G: Thats what really suits us because we like recording quickly, its probably what we're best at doing.
J: We know about that.
G: Yeah. That was really good. Its magic working with people like that who just suss it out immediately, you know?
J: Who was the bloke who did it?
R: The Peel session? It was a bloke called
G: Robinson.
P: Aye he was brilliant.....
D: It was like Mike Mansfield. Ever seen Mike Mansfield? Its just like cue the music, to like T'Pau and stuff.
P: .....he's got a magic belly.
R: Cor fucking hell.
J: Don't you rub bellys for luck?
R: What do you mean like a turtle?
J: So will you do TFI Friday?
R: I'd rather not personally but I don't know about the rest of the band.
D: Chris Evans is a tosser but could we really turn it down?
G: I'd love to do it, you always get a really good sound.
D: I'd like to do it like.
J: Would you do it if Placebo were on there as well?
G: We could double up as Ugly Bloke and Paul's probably got... what's the name of that?
P: Freak Or Unique.
R: You could do some arm wrestling
P: Hairdressing?
R: Arm wrestling.
P: I can turn into the Elephant Man at a minutes notice.
J: It'll be that Voodoo Stick. Who's the strongest in the band?
R: Couldn't you lift your whole weight?
G: I used to be able to.
R: Ah, but not really though, could you?
G: Do you want me to lift myself up?
R: I thought only brutes could do that?
G: Nah, nah, nah, its easy.
R: I can't lift my own weight.
G: I wouldn't like to try and lift your own weight.
R: No, no.
D: Grant's the strongest, the rest of us are weak men.
G: Paul prides himself on his.....
R: You have moments of power there.
D: I walked past him and saw him cut a piece of wood a few months back. This isn't interesting though.
P: I only have, at least, one sort of major vitamin running through my body at one time.
G: Its the one that means you can see in the dark.
P: It fails to nourish me in any way.
J: What did you have to eat just now?
R: Er, an Indian meal that took an hour and a half. Bit disappointed really.
G: The chicken dinner was really good.
R: Chicken Tika.. er, er...
D: It wasn't the number 26.
J: Say whatever you want, I won't be able to spell it.
D: Topinanza.
R: The food was good but it just took too long.
J: Have any of you experienced tour arse?
Justin (very loudly): YES!
D: That was Justin.
G: We've not done enough gigs to experience anything at all. The most gigs we've played in a block is 3. Its fucking hard work.
J: You've got 20 coming up.
G: Yeah I know, we're all lazy old bastards.
J: I heard that you're doing a compilation album as well.
R: Well, its like all b-sides and stuff. We've actually knocked that together, its been mastered and everything. Its going to be called Frankenstein In Drag but we've no idea when its gonna be released. Maybe in October, towards the end of the year.
G: It might go with the Japanese version of the album, which might be good because they don't get any of the singles out there.
R: Theres usually like an extra couple of tracks on the end.
J: Paul, John Power, is he an influence?
P: John Power. I've got nothing against John Power apart from I don't think I physically resemble John Power. I think I probably look a lot more like Tommy Steele.
J: Its been said John Power's got a turnip for a nose.
G: Fucking hell!
R: A turnip for a nose? That explains a lot.
Someone bursting in: Theres a coach load of police outside, so they're (the Y Club) getting really paranoid about puff. They said you can puff but theres a door there that opens to go outside and puff out there.
G: A bus load of police? Thats all bull surely.
Someone: Shall we get them in?.........they fight crime.........
G: What if they fucking appear at the door?
J: Did you see the letter in Melody Maker where it said "I'd give that Paul Vickers one"?
All: Yeah.
J: Who sent that?
Matthew: I Know him, he lives in Southend.
J: Shit, Southend, its just down the road. Its very close.
P: I've yet to meet him but I'll certainly take him up on his offer.
J: It was announced in NME, about two weeks ago, that you haven't got a girlfriend.
P: I'll take anything.
J: Is that why you've come on tour, to meet groupies?
P: Erm, I think I need some heavy sex.
J: You're in Essex, so........
G: We've heard great things about Essex girls.
P: Yeah, pencil me in. I don't know the sorts of.....
R: Ins and outs of sexual.....
D: Procedure.
P: Er, nah, nah, nah. I don't know what to say.
Joe: Do you like Blade Runner then?
R: Yeah, thats kinda where we got, well it is, where we got the name from. I'm not a huge fan but I really liked it. You like it a lot.
P: Its one of my favourite films.
Joe: What about the book?
R: I like Philip K. Dick. I've read a few of his novels. I read that as well, its totally different from the film.
P: The Spice Girls Movie is excellent.
R: It gets 4 out of 5 from you doesn't it?
P: Its the most enjoyable ninety minutes of my life. I thought it was excellent.
R: You did get quite effervescent. Were you not quite bubbly after?
P: I was on a total high.
R: Fizzing over?
P: I had at least two vitamins passing through my body.
J: Which Spice was that due to?
P: You can't, you can't, you can't pick favourites.
G: You can dismiss Geri though, surely.
P: Er, Mel B. I still like Mel B but anyway I'm also very drunk.
J: Are you nervous about tonights gig?
All: Yeah.
J: Ever coming to Colchester?
R: Are we playing in Colchester?
Matthew: You wanna know when you're playing in Colchester?
R: Yes.
Matthew (after looking): You're not playing there.
R: I don't think you sound like Bianca from Eastenders.
J: No? Cool!
Matthew: Are you going to do something?
R: We should try and talk to you after the gig.
Matthew: You gotta talk to the Thurrock Gazette afterwards.
J: Thurrock Gazette?
R: Thurrock Gazette?
J: Why? Sounds like Fuck Gazette. Jill from the PR company said to me make sure you speak to Paul. Why was that then?
R: You should talk more in depth with Paul later on.
P: I dunno what I've been talking about. I'm very drunk you see.
J: What is the advantage of being on a major as opposed to an indie and vice versa, other than the obvious reasons?
R: Well, like for instance contacts and stuff like that. Justin's a magic engineer who's worked with hundreds of people throughout the years. Theres no way we would, if we were still just doing Dumb Sulk Trigger and were based in Scotland, have even have heard of him or anything. Things like that.
P: I think the advantage of being on a major label is, I mean say if you're on Creation you can say like what else is on your label: "oh, we've got Oasis, we've got Primal Scream, we've got Teenage Fanclub" and all this sort of nonsense. Bollocks to that. If you're on East West, you can say "we've got Jimmy Nail, we've got Simply Red, they're arena fillers!".
J: I think I better tape the Thurrock interview because they'll like sound professional when asking questions.

Since then they've done a barrow load of gigs.
They've released (in just over a year):
So Far So Spitfire EP
Hogwash Farm promo 10 inch
Violent Sundays EP
All That Cheyenne Caboodle EP
Rhino Rays EP
The Diesel Hands EP
and the
One Head Two Arms Two Legs album

My interview in No Pictures 3 was more sober and informative.

Dumb Sulk Trigger
PO Box 13220

Jason Graham (taken from No Pictures 8)


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