No strangers to the music scene, rap meets punk in the very capable hands of winning rap artist Alex Lusty and Goldblade’s Pete Byrchmore and Rob Haynes, joined by Andy Taylor, formerly of The Strawberry Blondes, on second guitar and Kev Jones, ex Blunt, on bass. Set to make their debut at our very own Mudkiss Party, new band Who Shot Who? are already attracting plenty of attention in the build up to the release of their first single.
Lorraine: Hello Lusty, I have been having a fun morning, complete with moisturising face mask, listening to Frigid Vinegar, Acarine, The One Three, Loner Party and Lusty and Buzz. When and how did you get into rapping?
Lusty: The first rap record I heard was Renegades of Funk by Afrika Bambaataa and the Soul Sonic Force in 83, I then discover such other gems like Melle Mels 'white Lines' and 'The Message' and was hooked. The beauty of hip hop is that anyone can give it a go, it’s much like punk in that sense. So a year or two later I began mucking around at home, then by ‘87 and still at school I would get up and rap at local discos. I also started recording jingles for DJ's at the local radio station and then entered the rap line battles on Nite FM on Radio London. I won that 5 times and the prize was to have a session played the following week. By this time rap had changed so much you had Public Enemy, Schoolly D, KRS 1 and the Beastie Boys taking it to a whole new level. In ‘89 and at 16 I signed my first record deal and supported the London Posse but months later the label went bust, yet they held me to a 3 year exclusive contract. I eventually became a bit disillusioned and drifted away. It was then I discovered speed and started raving but I also discovered a whole back catalogue of punk from a neighbour who lent me a box of records. I got into Dead Kennedys, Crisis UK, and Sham 69, I also got to see my first love as kid and went to the Madness ‘Madstock’ shows. I had been so wrapped up in rap, pardon the pun, that discovering angry guitars was like being reborn.
Lorraine: Who Shot Who? Seems to be a bit of a departure from past projects you have been involved in, how did you meet Pete and how was the band formed?
Lusty: I met Pete when Acarine was in its early stages and we just immediately clicked. Pete is one of the most passionate people about music I have ever met. I can mention one of the most obscure acts I ever thought existed and he will know them and who produced their B sides! He really believed in Acarine and was a great supporter. We just became mates and it was inevitable we would eventually work together. Time was always against us but this year we just finally made the time. It was just something that had to be done, although most of our time is wasted discussing the genius of Half Man Half Biscuit.
Lorraine: Referring to Who Shot Who? as "Pete from Goldblades’ other band" seems to be trap everyone is falling into, does that bother you?
Lusty: It does and it doesn't. With Pete being such an established character on the punk scene it’s easy for people to say that, especially as the majority will know nothing about Who Shot Who? at present, but hopefully after a few shows and records the band will be able to stand on its own feet and be known as band that just happens to feature Pete.
Lorraine: You have a new single due for release on October 26th, 'Have you seen Annette?’ What has been the general feedback so far?
Lusty: The feedback has been great. A lot of people have said a lot of nice things about it and Stevie Caldwell who presents the punk show on Phonenix FM sent me a really nice email saying he thought it was amazing and that it was great to hear something so fresh! So when you get people like him who know the punk scene inside out saying things like that it makes you stick ya chest out a bit!
Lorraine: Are you the songwriter in Who Shot Who? What are the dynamics of the band?
Lusty: I write all the lyrics and Pete writes the music. then when we get to play the songs Rob Haynes, also from Goldblade smashs the skins and Andy Taylor ex Strawberry Blondes is our second guitarist, along with Kev on bass we are like the A Team, holed up in a studio with just a welder and tool kit!! And as the man once said ,”I love it when a plan comes together!”
Lorraine: The band are pretty spaced out around the country, geographically speaking of-course, how does that work, how often do you get together?
Lusty: It’s not really a problem, Pete, Andy and Kev all live in Brum, Rob’s up in Manchester and I moved to Devon a few years ago so we use Birmingham as a base. The Brum boys are the lucky ones whereas Muggins has a two and half hour drive to rehearsals...er over three hours if the traffic cops are reading this.
Lorraine: Acarine featured in the sound track to Green Street and I understand you had a brief cameo: any inside stories? Did you meet Elijah? Lorraine: Do you have plans for any more?
Lusty: Yeah blink three times and you might see me. We got introduced to the director of the film by the ICF after Acarine had supported the Cockney Rejects. She heard our track and promised us the main song for the film. In the end I think they used 12 seconds ha ha! But not that I'm bothered as I thought the film was awful. Shockingly bad. We met Elijah lots, he was a nice lad; a bit bewildered by all the real life hoolies on set but a very down to earth chap who’s bang into his music.
Lorraine: You're quite heavily tattooed, when did you get your first tattoo and what was it?
Lusty: As a kid I hated tattoos, probably had something to do with my old man saying to me when I asked him if I could get my ear pierced...'You can have a ear ring but if you ever have a tattoo I'll scrape it off with a pen knife!' I was 20 when I had my first one, a skull and crossbones which sadly has been covered now.
Lorraine: Which one means the most to you and which was the most painful?
Lusty: The answer to that is the same tattoo, the back of my neck hurt like a bastard. Felt like he was hacking my head off with a blunt butter knife. It’s a copy of my actual dog's front right paw. Took me ages to get a perfect print of it and had it done on my neck so where ever I go my boy will be with....I know, I know, all together now......
Lusty: The thing is with tats once you’re inked you can never fully leave it. I mean originally I was gonna have one, then I was never going below the T shirt line, I was never gonna get my neck or hands done etc etc ha! Now look at me, I haven't got much room left but this year had my right thigh done and getting my left one done in a few weeks.
Lorraine: The projects you have been involved in have been pretty diverse in character, which have you enjoyed the most?
Lusty: Frigid Vinegar was pretty enjoyable because I had knocked music on the head for a good couple of years then suddenly had this urge to make a tune, it was on Radio 1 four weeks later and two months later I was playing to 25,000 on a Radio 1 roadshow with S Club 7 ! We played to 250,000 that year and had the most requested record on Steve Lamacqs show. It was all very surreal.
Lorraine: If you could perform with anybody of your choosing who would it be?
Lusty: Mmmm, that’s a tough one. I'd fancy performing 'Handsome Devil' with The Smiths, I'd also fancy being the fourth Beastie Boy for a day, Performing with the late great Johnny Cash would have to be up there, but I'd really, really love to sing 'Aces High' with the mighty Iron Maiden at somewhere like rock in Rio !!
Lorraine: What are you most looking forward to, besides the Mudkiss Party of-course?
Lusty: The Mudkiss party is going to be fun as it'll be our debut show so it’s gonna be a special day for the history of mankind! Plus I get to meet you. Other than that I'm just looking forward to getting the album out there, playing more shows and spreading the word.
Lorraine: Finally, any last words for our readers in your own stylee?
Lusty: Firstly it would be to those people who may see the words Punk and Rap and be put off. All I'd say is you won't hear no mock gangsta throwdown ryhmes spit over punk riffs. That’s not we’re about. Our sound is very British and I always write very British. It’s important to write your environment. I don't write gangs and drive bys , I write for the under dog and anti hero. Also to those people who do furrow a brow at rap and punk marrying up together we've always seen the two genres as being strong allies. They both came from the same ethic and “fuck you, yes we can” attitude. When I was at school, out of a thousand kids I was the only kid into hip hop, and Pete says it was the same for him being the only Punk. Both scenes came up against prejudice. When I was 16, I was sacked from my first job for been a ‘Ni**er lover’ after an argument with my then boss about hip hop. Amazing I know as he'd never have got away with it these days but its true and then I would go to the Electric ballroom to see Stetasonic and get taxed for being the only white boy in the joint! Ha happy days!
Interview by Lorraine 01/09/09