PIRATES FROM THE RAINBOW CITY ARE COMING TO GET YOUR SOUL. TAKE YOUR GUTS AND ENJOY IT OR RUN AWAY. NOBODY CARES WHEN THE MISFITS ARE ON THE STAGE PLAYING THEIR SET. BRIGHTON PUNK ROCKERS ARE COMING TO MESS WITH YOUR LIFE. ABANDON SHIP WAS A GREAT BAND, THEY ARE DEAD, BUT THEIR LEGACY CONTINUES…LETS HAVE A LOOK BACK IN THE HISTORY.
Q: Dont you guys think that you are pretty old to play pirates? Who had the idea to established this band? What Abandon ship stands for?
CONAN: You’re never too old to play pirates, people just get told their too old to do something and stop. You are never too old to do anything. The band was originally called ‘Ship Of Doom’, a fine name in itself but soon became streamlined to Abandon Ship which flows off the tongue a little easier. We all live by the sea, its a fun name and has some cool images behind it.
I don’t feel lost or alone in society. I dunno about anyone else but i think we’re all pretty functional people on that behalf.
ROB: I like the nautical reference. I put nautical stuff into my lyrics as analogies. SHIP OF DOOM was a bad joke. The result of a “Who can think up the worst name” competition.
Q: How old are you? What do you do job wise? Do you live alone or with parents? What are your plans for the future?
CONAN: I am 24, Matt’s the youngest at 20 I think and Rob’s the oldest at 28. We all have jobs except Matt and Steve who are dirty, fuckin’, student, scrounging scum but we all were at one point. I work in a skateboard shop which is ok I guess if a little boring, Rob works with computers and Andy is a care worker.
Personally I’d just like to carry on as I am. I wanna move to London this year and try and get a bit more of a career based job in the media bizzzzz but otherwise I wanna skateboard and play in bands. I’d be happy if I did that till I’m 80.
ROB: I want to be happy in life. Content. I’m at a stage now where I want to make a plan and see it through. I’ve spent the most youthful years of my life not having a clue what to do. I still don’t to an extent but I do know what makes me unhappy and I want to build my life so as to move away from the things that I get no satisfaction or fulfillment from.
Q: How did you get involved with the punk rock or hardcore scene and what do you think about this subculture? Dont you think that the whole idea is useless? Can punk rock change anything in human life? What it means to you?!
CONAN: I watched the Beastie Boys’ Sabotage video and on it they cover Screaming at a Wall by Minor Threat, so I went out and found that record and went from there. For about 3 years I didn’t know hardcore still existed. I just listened to Bad Brains, Black Flag, Circle Jerks and Minor Threat.
Then I moved to Canterbury, met the guys who were just getting xCanaanx together and went from there.
I think it USED to be an amazing and really interesting sub-culture. Nowadays unfortunately, I see it as not much more than an extension of a high school playground. The idea is certainly not useless, its an amazing idea but it arose from a period in time and thats what made it so interesting and dangerous. The world, and the world of punk rock, is very different now so I feel the original ideas are becoming less and less relevant. Punk rock opens your eyes to hundreds of things, ideas, beliefs, otherwise hidden and thats awesome but it’s whether people fully embrace this idea or merely come to the scene for the music.
I think hardcore can really give people a false sense of superiority among themselves and their peers which is completely against what it should stand for. Punk rock means to me being able to look, do and say whatever I want. It’s freedom within your head I guess, to not be bound to one style of music, dress, thought or belief.
ROB: I’ve always been into rock and metal of some sort and I got into rap-metal in the 90s and then started checking out punk like Minor Threat and Bad Religion then got onto stuff like Undertow and Inside Out and realized there was this whole world of music waiting to be discovered that seemed more down to Earth than the rubbish that you found at the Reading Festival or on MTV. I was switched on immediately.
Like Conan said, I think the idea is brilliant. I still think the DIY ethic can be applied to your life. You just need to figure out how. It’s the only thing keeping me here. I see so much shit in the hardcore scene. Just rubbish. I hate it. But there’s also this prevalent aspect of dedication and commitment in some people to the punk/hc/diy idea that still inspires me. I’ve never thought that Punk-rock would change the world. Maybe it influenced change in the beginning like many new movements but it’s not going to save the world.
Hardcore to me is having control in your life outside of the everyday things you can’t realistically control. That and music.
Q: How is life in Brighton? How is the scene down South? What kind of punk rock or hardcore is popular nowdays over there? Any good venues?
CONAN: Brighton is OK. I loved it when I first moved here but recently I have grown more and more tired of the city. I think it’s a really superficial place where at first it’s really nice and inviting but when you spend time here a lot of the people here are really closed and secular. Hardcore shows here are just growing and growing. I think you can easily get 80 people at a show. Traditional punk and ska are really popular here. There’s a strong tradition of those styles so they’ve been built up over years. Hardcore punk has only started happening regularly in the last few years here. There are some great venues to play but as there is so much music of all kinds happening here it’s hard to book the good ones and they getting expensive too. Hopefully a nice little hall or youth center will show up soon but to be honest, I like the bars and clubs. There’s always more atmosphere. Halls are too big and light in my opinion.
ROB: I’m in love with this city. There is enough here to make me love it and enough idiots here to keep my ever present cynical bad moods ticking over.
Q: Do you see any differences between London and Brighton or London and the rest of the UK scene? If you do, could you tell me more what is it? What do you think about UK scene in general? Where do you think is the best scene in UK /which city or area/?
CONAN: Yeah, there’s differences between every city in the country. London has its own hardcore scene and that’s just a part of the larger English hardcore scene I guess. Shows there tend to be a bit bigger but that’s to be expected as it’s the biggest city I guess. You could say there is more of a ‘tough guy’ element there but thats what it’s always been known for and its cool. Show-wise, I think England is great. A lot of kids come out and support the bands, more and more bands are getting to put out records and tour and go to Europe but there’s only a handful of bands that I would call good hardcore bands. It seems that a lot of people are still content to regurgitate whatever is the big sound over in the US and then hype that band to hell on message boards till kids bow down and just go with it, shame as a lot of the more interesting bands just get overlooked.
I dont think anyone’s scene is better than anyone else. That’s not what punk’s about in my opinion. It’s about having your own scene and working with that and being proud of what you have and what you’ve built.
Q: What band is your favorite one and why ?
CONAN: At this very second in time punk Devo is my favorite band ever, because they just sound like nothing else ever. I can imagine being a kid in the late 70’s and hearing that band and just bein fuckin’ blown away. I get that now and its nearly 30 years later, I could just skate to that band all day long.
ROB: My favorite band is Damnation AD. the riffs and song structure just hit me like a sledgehammer. No one can come near. Especially no band playing the heavier side of HC.
Q: Have you ever been afraid about your life ? Have you had an experience when you thought that this is the end … ? …I m gonna die or something bad its gonna happen ?
CONAN: Sorry to be so boring but thats a flat ‘no’. Never happened to me yet and hopefully never will.
Q: What do you dream about? Do you remember your dream in the morning? What do you think about after life? Maybe we are living our dead right now and the true dead would be our birth to a new better life, haha. Do you believe in God?
CONAN: HaHaHa that’s a funny fuckin’ question. No, I dont believe in god at all. I mainly dream about skateboarding and having sex to be honest. It’d be fuckin cool if we were living dead now, but in a zombie ‘the dead walk the earth’ kinda way. I think you’re getting a bit ‘new age’ there I dont like that shit, too many fuckin hippies in Brighton.
ROB: I don’t dream much anymore for some reason. Or at least they’re not interesting enough to be memorable. Eternal life is procreation. You’ll live for ever through your ancestors and if you pass down some good stories, they’ll remember you. You’ll be God-like. I don’t believe in God. It’s shit made up by cavemen and pandered by bastards who need to control other people’s lives in order to give themselves a purpose in life.
Q: As a sailors do you love spinach? And what about Popeye the Spinach guy?! Do you like old cartoons or cartoons in general? What is your favourite one?
CONAN: HaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHa!!! Congratulations on asking the worst question in hardcore history. I love spinach! It’s rad! Popeye fuckin’ rules too!!! Nah, I cant be arsed with old cartoons not my thing. Mask was fuckin’ cool though.
ROB: Spinach is by far the most noble of vegetables. I love it and loads of it.
I love old cartoons. I love all the old Warner Bros. We used to have a program here in the UK called Rolf’s Cartoon Time and was hosted by Australian Musician and Artist, Rolf Harris. The man is childhood hero. He really loved the cartoons and loved explaining the out-dated topical jokes in them to a young audience. Awesome stuff. I wish they’d repeat it. It’s beat re-runs of The Simpsons and Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.
Q: What is your opinion about emigration and people from abroad? Stealing your jobs haha.
Do you actually think that we are stealing your jobs?
CONAN: I’ve never given it that much thought really. I’d like to think our country is open to let in anyone who is genuinely seeking asylum here and I hope we do and that continues. But at the same time I love England and I’m proud to be English and I feel in the past 30 years the vast majority of England’s culture and traditions have been lost to compensate for the ever growing influx of foreigners. When we travel to other countries we as English need to adapt to fit into their culture and lifestyle yet here it seems to be us changing to make these people feel welcome at the cost of our national identity.
ROB: No one’s stealing anyone’s job. If the job’s available and there’s housing space, let them work. It contributes to this society. Unlike Conan I couldn’t give a toss about englishness beyond supporting the football team and appreciating the fashion of bygone eras. I am sad that you don’t see more Bar Billiards tables in pubs nowadays but I don’t think that’s got much to do with people emigrating to this country.
Q: Could you tell me anything about government and political parties in UK, I am new here and dont have a clue what is going on here? What do you think about politic and UK vote system?! Are you interesting about this issues or are you the guys who dont care to much about politics?
CONAN: I personally dont care too much about it. I’m not registered to vote and I’m in no rush to. I occasionally follow it but to be honest I have found no one I’d want to vote for. Labour is fucked, the Conservatives are fucked, the Lib Dems seem OK but I’m sure they’re fucked too and all that hippy Green Party bullshit just doesn’t sit right with me. I have far more interesting things to be doing at the skate park.
ROB: It’s a matter of voting for the best of bad bunch really as far as I can see. Just so long as people don’t vote Tory. I wouldn’t really want to live in a country where the government looks like it’s taking it’s ideas for society from mid-30s Germany.
Q: Can humans handle freedom right? Dont you think that people dont know what to do with their freedom when they have one? I mean in some point of view too much freedom is like a bad dream… people dont know how to handle it…I think I am tripping here.
CONAN: I think if everyone was given freedom then the world would collapse. Some people just cant deal with it. It’s too much. They need a structure to their lives. People need to be told what’s right and what’s wrong and there needs to be a system in tact to keep the boundaries clear.
ROB: Everyone needs to find their own freedom in their life. It’s all relative and dependent on what ultimately makes you happy. No one should every tell you what is right and wrong. That’s for you to decide. Unfortunately, if you go against a majority opinion then you’re probably going to end up in jail. Everyone should do something in their lives that lets them taste freedom at least once.
Q: Can you tell me your favorite websites? What kind of design do you like and what do you think about money involvment in art?
CONAN: Ummm, I like Myspace. It’s fun and I can keep in touch with my friends. i dont really have a favorite. I love design, all kinds. Recently I’ve been really interested in the Art Deco movement and have been looking at a lot of that stuff. Anything punk related from the mid 70’s through to the mid 80’s I love too. The album covers, the style, the imagery and ideas are all great. Skateboard art from the early 80s through to the present is my main artistic interest right now. I could sit for hours looking at old board designs I’d love to be able to collect them if I could afford it. I recently got a book called ‘disposable’ which just takes you through all the main board artists and the eras. Its great. As for money I’d love more of it. I like to think I dont need it but I do. I wanna buy all the old Vision and Zorlac boards. I want a whole new bunch of records. I wanna buy some more old vans so yeah, I need it. Everyone does.
ROB: D&G? I don’t really dig too many websites. Most of them are shit. Any about wrestling are good. I like the poster work of Alfonse Mucha. I love propaganda poster art from the mid-20th century as well. All the communist stuff and all. Money is shit. Art is great.
Q: Go and check them on internet, just search, it was great band and great live set. Hope they are doing well. Say hello sailors.
If you love this interview you can always support and get a my photo book on amentma.bigcartel.com, UKHC2 and WWHC is still available.