weekly updated blog for Oi! – punk – ska – reggae
A few months ago i received some demo recordings from a few guys from England, aged 15-16, who just started an Oi! band. A few months later the band released their debute EP and just played their first foreign gigs. The band already impressed me with their demo but on the EP they take it a step further. Enough reasons to contact these guys for an interview. All questions were answered by Sid.
July 2014 – band website
Please introduce the band to us…
Grade 2 are a new Oi! band from the Isle of Wight (UK). The band is formed with three members aged 15-16 with Jacob Hull – Drums, Jack Chatfield – Guitar/Vocals and Sid Ryan – Bass/Vocal.
You just released your debut EP, how are the first reactions?
Yes, the release was last month and from the feedback we have had so far, the reactions have been pretty good. It’s great to hear that people enjoy the music we have made and we hope this can carry on through future releases.
Judging by the decreasing record sales and number of people at gigs i think we can conclude Oi! music is over it’s peak yet you’re quite a young band. Can you tell how you got involved in this Oi!/punk scene?
I’m not sure i totally agree with this, some of the recent shows we have played have sold out such as the skinhead reunion and the Voice of Oi! weekender… As for record sales there are lots of great new bands that are just starting, so i think within the next 2 years there will be a lot of rising Oi! bands.
I got involved to the punk/oi scene through my dad who is also a skinhead, i’ve had music being played day in day out since i was very young and the first band that i really caught on to was Rancid at a really young age… So thats how i come about into the scene.
Recently you played your first foreign gigs. Can you tell a bit more about it?
Yeah, we played two shows in France one in Paris and the other in Normandy. These were some really great shows, we all had a brilliant time! We played with Lion’s Law, Control and Gonna Get Yours and both shows had a good crowd…
There is quite a lot of difference to the english scene, in france the scene is young and energetic with crowds going crazy and singing along to every band, in my opinion one of the best scenes i have experienced.
At this moment the world cup is being played. The English national team failed (again!) while in the English competition the best player is a bad dracula imitator from Uruguay. Is it still fun to be a football supporter while living in England?
Haha, yeah! As a band we all follow different teams, which is a reason we have not really written a song about football… But yeah its still good to support football in the UK apart from ticket prices which are sky high!
Sid, you recently took part in a video for Brutus clothing. Most brands aren’t very keen on being associated with skinheads, so how did they came in touch with you?
I come in to contact with Brutus about a year and a half ago now… Me and two other friends took part in a blog for the company, but now these two have moved on from the scene and have got into there own thing. I stayed in contact with Brutus and was asked to take part in a short advert which has just been published, it was to represent where Brutus had started in ’66 with the skinhead movement being a strong part of the company.
Do you have any closing comments?
We would just like to say thanks, and we hope you enjoy our future releases!
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