weekly updated blog for Oi! – punk – ska – reggae
Last Rough Cause has a history which dates back to the mid 80ies. After an EP and two split LP’s the band called it a day. Last year the band released their first full-length presenting a combination of classic Oi! and punkrock. All questions were answered by Andy.
June 2011 – band website
Can you shortly introduce the band and the members?
The current members of Last Rough Cause are: original member Andy Wears, original member Max Turnbull, new man Phil Coates and new man Phil Heathwaite.
You build some reputation during the 80ies. At home i have the split LP with Society’s Rejects. Was this your only release during that era?
Our first release was the Violent Few EP in 1985 and Skins and Punks vol.1 followed in 1986 and finally Soft lights and Loud Guitars was released in 1989. By the time Skins and Punks was released the band had already split and our contribution to the record was made up of all of the songs on the Violent Few EP and songs taken from our first and last recording sessions. When we did Soft lights and Loud Guitars three years later it was a split record like Skins and Punks featuring us and a band called Anhrefn, who were a punk band from Wales.
At some point you quit with the band. What was the reason for this and when and why did you decided to continue again?
We first quit playing in early 1986 before Skins and Punks had been released due to Max starting a family and Ste joining the Royal Airforce. I tried replacing them with new members but I was not happy with anyone who came to play for the band so I decided not to go any further.
A few years later during 1988 I was asked about doing another split album for Released Emotions Records and at the time I thought it was a good idea as I had some new songs written. The only problem was we had to meet a deadline to get it released quickly so I recruited two new people to help me with this as the original members were not available. So I recruited Andy Lazenby on drums and Dave Moore on guitar and after only five rehearsals we had completed our recording for the album.
The annoying thing for me at the time was that we had done our recording as requested, very quickly but the other band missed the deadline with their songs so the release date was rescheduled for the next year. The result of this was our side of the album was not as good as it should have been as it was done too quickly, but I’m still proud of what we achieved in such a short time.
We promoted the album with a lot of shows but things were really quiet in the punk and Oi! scene at that time so we decided not to carry on as there was a lack of interest. During the period from 1995 to 1997 I went on to play with Major Accident and the G Men as the scene was becoming interesting once again and it was also around this time that ‘Skins and Punks was rereleased on CD. Due to this renewed interest in punk I tried to bring Last Rough Cause together again but this failed as the original members were not interested in playing that kind of music anymore.
There was another attempt to bring the band together in 2003 and we managed to record four new songs but following this the rest of the band were not interested in taking things any further. So this brought us to 2007 and what happened was I mentioned to Max that it would be good just to get together and blast out the old songs one last time as 2008 would have been the 25th anniversary of the band. Surprisingly Max agreed so we recruited two new guitarists and in 2008 we started to rehearse with the new version of the band. Shortly after our first few rehearsals we played our first gig and this inspired us to play some new ideas and things really just came together from there.
Do you see much difference in between the Oi! & punk scene in the 80ies and now?
We are all older these days so it’s a bit more chilled out than it was in the 80ies, but the heart of the people who support the scene is still there. I also think in some respects it’s a better scene now than it was in the 80ies and that is because of festivals like Holidays in the Sun or Rebellion as it is now known who try so hard to keep the scene alive. There is also a good scene in Europe where promoters are putting on bands which keeps the scene going whereas in the 80ies you would play in smaller venues as it was more of an underground thing.
In 2010 you released your first full length. Are you satisfied with the record and how are the reactions so far?
We have always wanted to do a full album as a band and never got the chance to do this so it is a very satisfying experience to finally put out our first full album release by last rough cause. We put a lot of effort into the album and we are pleased with the result and so far people have responded positively to it.
Why did you choose to release the record yourselves? Isn’t it difficult to get it distributed?
The reason why we chose to release the album ourselves is so that we can keep control over the songs which is something we have no control of on our earlier recordings. Since Skins and Punks got re-released in 1995 on CD some of the songs have appeared on compilations without anybody asking us if it was ok. So to keep control of the songs we decided to release the album ourselves. We also took the decision not to use a distribution service and decided to sell the album ourselves at gigs and also direct from our myspace site and on eBay.
By doing this we are not paying money out to anyone outside of the band which means we can sell the album at a price that is good for the buyer and good for us so we can invest the money back into making more recordings.
The only problem is that it will take longer to sell the album as it is not available in the shops, but all the money goes to the band and not into somebody else’s pocket.
Your debut record is called Aggrophobia. This was also the name of a record of Franky’s Flame Superyob. Is this coincidence or meant as a tribute?
Aggrophobia was also the title of an album by 70ies artist Suzi Quatro but in truth it is a coincidence that Aggrophobia was chosen as the title for the album. Originally we considered calling the album Thug Rock but decided on Aggrophobia as it just sounded better and seemed to fit the theme of the album.
Both Max and Andy take care of song writing. How do you write the songs, is it individually at home or together while practising?
Normally we write the songs at home and then bring the ideas to the rehearsal and play them through and see if anybody can expand on the idea and make improvements to it. The exception to this was Glory Days, which is our first joint effort and is also the song we are putting forward for the split release.
I heard there are plans for a 10″. Is it already recorded and can you tell something more about it yet?
Yes, we have recorded the tracks for a split release with Swedish band Antipati who we played with in Stockholm back in February. The record will be released by Randale records later this year. Originally it was going to be a 7″ record, but because Glory Days runs at about seven and half minutes long we were concerned that it would not fit on a 7″ record. So we put the idea of a 10″ record forward and then suggested putting three tracks on each instead of the planned two and everyone was happy to do this. We have heard one of the tracks that Antipati have done so far and on the strength of what I’ve heard all I can say is it promises to be a great record.
Do you have any closing comments?
To everyone out there who remembers us but does not know we are playing again, get in touch with us via our website for the latest updates on gigs and recordings by the band or if you want us to come and play in your country or anything. Or if you have never heard of the band before take a chance and buy the album directly from us by contacting us at any of the above addresses.
Click at the image(s) to purchase band releases from Aggroshop.com