With Nige Rockett – Guitarist
Interviewer Becky Brown
Photography Graham Hilling
We caught up with Main Guitarist Nige Rockett before their live performance at the Garage…
Hey, How is your tour going so far?
Nige :“ Er, so far so good were on day 4 out of 27 , we only have 2 days off the whole tour. Its a long tour but I don’t mind, as the beds are comfortable, its dark so I get sleep, your body clock changes though, you do a gig then you get back on and then drink until 4 or 5 in the morning, then you go to bed and you wake up in the next place!”
What influences your music?
Nige : “My musical influences? I came from quite a hardcore punk back ground, so stuff like GBH, Discharge; are my favourite band in all honestly but then again I was into motor head, Sabbath, Judas priest as-well, My Metal head side came from them and my punk from the rest. They fused together when I learnt to play guitar.
Me and a friend when we were kids, followed Discharge all around the country on tour, it got to the point when we said, why are we doing this? We love this so much why dont we form a band? Which is exactly what we did. We bought some instruments, we couldn’t play them Obviously”
I got lessons from the guitarist Dave Bateman from vice squad ,he lived maybe half a mile down the road from me, we got chatting one day, he told me to come round and teach me, that’s exactly what we did and that was it, we were off.”
You started off As a punk band and then changed over to metal?
Nige: “We kinda started playing hardcore punk and as we improved as musicians, quite rapidly actually, I put a lot of time in as there was so many things I just wanted to learn more and more off, and obviously to be able to play some of the solos in motor head songs was exciting. I actually learnt all the songs off the “ Hammer Smith” album by Motorhead, all of the solos, everything in a matter of weeks.”
So since your style has changed do you think the crowds are different?
Nige : ” Nope, the bizarre thing about this band is that you have such a broad fan base, from punks, thrash metal fans, death metal,black metal and mainstream metal fans, we’ve touched a lot of areas and we’ve managed to take the fans with us. There was loads of punks in Bristol, loads.
The lovely thing last night, is that one of my best friends, he always comes along every time we play, I said to him last night, mate thank you if you didn’t do what you did for us a the beginning we wouldn’t be here today, he was only 17 and he started putting on these massive gigs in Bristol in 1982, we had a really cool venue called the Trinity Hall and he was booking big British and American Punk bands and there was gigs every two weeks for about a year, they were always packed and I remember he put us on at every single gig so we built up a reputation in Bristol.So from Bristol to America for the first 18 months ago, the records have all sold so well in America. It’s different in America, they had such vast spaces, I mean we worked our way to California, Texas, Arizona back up to Chicago and new York, it was a big old area we covered.”
Time for a random question; What’s the craziest thing you’ve done on tour?
Nige: “We use to play, Holland and Belgium a lot in the early days and I remember playing on a Sunday afternoon and it was really really hot, we had all been drinking all night and all day and I dont know why I did it but I just whacked a main fire hose out onto the deck and turned it on! I managed to reach both ends, it was that powerful, everyone that was sun bathing they all ended up soaked and the captain came out and actually found it hilarious, he could of quite easily got me arrested, I think everyone didn’t mind though cause it was just so hot. That’s one of the stories I can tell.”
How are things going with newest member Lee?
Nige: “ He’s standing in for Andy while he has some time off, which is a shame cause he’s a main part of the band. We have a great writing relationship and it’s a shame we don’t get to play it and enjoy it… but you know.
Lees been with us for over a year now, he’s a fantastic guitarist and bought a lot of energy, so yeah Lee is the run around for us, his so excited by what his doing that his quite happy to do that. We don’t put too much on him though, LEE?! ”
What do you like to do in your spare time?
Nige: “I have spare time? [Laughs]
I‘m a massive football fan, I support Chelsea! I’d go to every game when we were on the road and they’re not cheap!”
Do you have any embarrassing Albums, or guilty pleasures?
Nige: “Yeah I have loads of them! Haven’t we all? Its just weather you want to admit to it or not.
Mine would have to be George Michael!
I wouldn’t have put you down as a George Michael Fan!
“He is a talented man!, I like a lot of stuff his done. But i’m a massive funk fan but that’s not a guilty pleasure.
I really like Funkadelic and Parliament, the one song that would get stuck in my head when I was a kid on the way to school or everyone out on a Saturday night in the park is “One Nation under a grove”, it just stuck with me.
I actually did a project with a girl for this song, she got me to do the rap part, but yeah, I love the version we did with some metal guitars, it worked actually quite well and the woman had a beautiful voice and sung it really well. They are just incredibly weird.”
Are you working on a next album?
“Yes, I’ve started already!
I have a lot of ideas but I’ve at least for 5 song titles, that’s the way I like to work, I like to have the song title first so you have some kind of idea what the track is going to be like, so If I told you about the song, and then you went to listen to the song you would know what that song was going to be like.
Chaos of kings is going to be fast, where as children of sound comes across as something a little darker ya’ know. So yeah we get the song title and work it from there, we’ve got 5 out of the 8 were going to use already. Although we bought one out last year, were just trying to crack on after the break we had, we know that we will get record companies banging on your door asking for the next one coming.
This one has been very successful in the past two weeks so far, so you know our next one will be done in two years time. We’re going to be touring from a year to maybe 18 months, its going to he hard work, but the band need to do it, it’s a tough market out there and you always need to keep your name around but I get fitter and lose weight while i’m on tour so I end up quite healthy by the end of it!. ” [Laughs]
Thank you for your time today!