From The Guardian:
The suburbs of the 1970s are a vivid presence in the opening chapters of your book. Was forming a band a reaction to the bleakness of it all?
People forget that in 1970s England there was still a hangover from the second world war, postwar austerity was still around and that didn’t change till the 80s. The only thing for us to do – our only defence – was to make our society. In that way it was a good thing, because it stimulated people to do stuff. If you’re too comfortable, you probably don’t want to change things too much.
You and Robert found an escape in punk – what was it that appealed?
I can remember the first Clash album, and it was something completely different for us. We’d been used to either disco or overblown prog. But the energy of punk completely resonated, and that idea that something had to change. But then, of course, we put it through a slightly different lens because we were more isolated than somebody who was living in the capital; we took longer to register how things changed.
There are quite a few violent incidents in the book!
I look back on it now and I realise it was probably all quite dangerous, but it was something we were used to. We dressed in old mohair jumpers and jumble-sale trousers and walking down the streets in Crawley, people would always say things to us. And then sooner or later, someone would come out and try to take a pop. At one of our first proper gigs in Soho, we had a lot of skinheads there who had assumed something entirely wrong about us from the title of Killing an Arab. We were expecting them to lay into us but then the biggest guy, with a tattooed eagle on his chest, decided he loved us and after that, we were fine. Even at that age, Robert was able to make people feel somehow included.
Read the rest at The Guardian.