City Baby Grew Up!
Jock Blythe of UK Punk Legends GBH Shares His Thoughts on All Things Punk
With eleven full length releases and countless singles and compilations under the belt, the band is currently signed to Lars Fredrickson’s Hellcat Records. The band has stayed true to its original sound and they continue to tour regularly maintaining a schedule that would tax younger men. These are not men going through the motions of their youth; this is a formidable and completely relevant band, with just as much anger and vitriol as when they initially formed. GBH are an exception to the rule. They didn’t grow softer and more complicit with time. On the contrary, onstage the band is impossibly tight and as solid as a prizefighter. Founding member Jock Blythe was good enough to sit down and let us pick his brain for a bit.
Jock Blythe: No I didn’t really think about how long we would be playing…we just lived for the day when we started . . . its been a great surprise and a pleasure to be playing music for this long! We give each other a lot of space too, I think that’s a big reason we have stayed together so long!
MAR: Was there ever a time when you wanted to leave music for a more traditional career?
JB: Sometimes when I’ve been very poor I might have thought of it, but not for very long I work stage crew so I have plenty of time to play music too. I like doing both.
MAR: Do you still enjoy performing as much today as you have in the past?
JB: Yes, I love playing, and travelling and meeting people in different places. Its always interesting, and good fun!!!
MAR: What’s the most difficult thing about a career below the radar of the mainstream media?
JB: We’re quite lucky really. With the internet you can reach a lot of people quite easy, our record company Hellcat distributed and advertised our last album really well so we’re quite happy outside the mainstream! Less stress!
MAR: Who are the bands you currently enjoy?
JB: At the moment I am listening to a lot of 70s punk again. The Damned, Sex Pistols Stranglers, Clash, Stiff Little Fingers and a lot of obscure ones too. I like a lot of reggae, Roy, Dillinger, Dr Alimantado, Bob Marley, Steel Pulse I also like New York hardcore, bands like Agnostic Front, Cro-Mags, 80s punk, some rock and that’s about it.
MAR: How much has punk changed from when you discovered it to now?
JB: Its a bit more aggressive maybe. More than in the 70s, I think the spirit remains the same. Maybe a little more political now too!
MAR: Do you have a favorite song to perform?
JB: Maniac, Drugs Party, or Generals!!!
MAR: What are GBH’s plans for the immediate future?
JB: We are writing songs for the next CD. We are also thinking about performing the whole of leather bristles studs and acne live a few times. We’ve rehearsed some of it and it sounds really good! And it’s great to play some of those old songs again! We’re also going on tour in Serbia, Japan, Australia, Malaysia and Singapore, and maybe America this year too. So we keep busy and happy!!!