MUSIC INTERVIEW: Scuzz TV UK Throwdown Tour Ft. Max Raptor, Allusondrugs & Press To MECO
When we took a trip to the final date of the Scuzz Throwdown tour in London we caught up with Wil Ray (Max Raptor), Damo Hughes (Allusondrugs) and Lewis Williams (Press To MECO) for an end of tour chat. We talked super bands, raccoons in the audience and making noodles with a bin… it was a weird one to say the least!
We’re here at the final date of the Scuzz Throwdown tour, how are you all feeling?
Damo: Pretty wiped but we’re all sad that it’s going to end.
Lewis: Everyone’s got the tour lurgy that’s going about.
Wil: I feel really strong, I felt terrible this morning but now I feel really good. There’s an aura in that room and it’s brought out something in all of us. Everyone seems happy, I feel ready it’s all good.
Well let’s hope you’ve not gone and jinxed it with the illness!
[Followed by all three touching the faux wood we’re sitting on]
There’s been a load of mishaps along the way especially with illness, but how have Allusondrugs avoided it unlike Max Raptor and Press To MECO?
D: I can’t speak for the rest of the band but I’m living on a diet of caffeine. I mean me and Jason (vocals) keep our voices in shape by keeping as hydrated as possible.
W: I think it’s because the rest of the bands live in the South and that’s why you guys are like hardened and used to the cold.
So you’re simply blaming the South Coast?
W: Yeah I think so.
L: The soft old South.
W: I’m south deprecating.
You’ve all made really good friends on this tour, but what are your pet peeves about the other bands?
L: Either that or we’re really good liars. Max Raptor are WAY too tall.
D: Yeah you are in fact.
W: I’m the smallest in the band so I can’t really say anything.
D: You’re still taller than everybody in my band though.
W: But in my band I’m the smallest and I’m the scapegoat. ‘Where’s Wil he’s so small?’ Where’s Wil is always the joke. I’m 6ft2 and I’m just right there. They say it as a joke but it does grate and does bring you down but I am a stronger person than they are.
L: You’re the bigger man.
W: There’s more peeves about my own band than there are the other bands.
L: When we come on after Max Raptor we have to climb the microphone stands to reach the top to undo it and drag it back down to your own height.
W: King Kong.
L: Yeah I’m swinging about throwing cars.
W: That’s how rock and roll it is, throwing cars about with a woman in his hand.
L: A different woman every day!
[Wil and Lewis erupt into fits of laughter]
Now for an individual question about each of your respective bands. Wil, last time we chatted to Max Raptor we spoke about the new release saying there would probably be just one ballad but heavier songs. Have you stuck to this at all?
W: There’s no ballads. There are slower, kind of I guess anthemic sounding songs on the new release.
None of those radio-friendly tracks you mentioned either?
W: Well, my voice isn’t radio friendly it’s kind of grating in fact. You can get sick of it.
L: That’s why we’re all ill!
W: It’s a progression definitely. What does that even mean? I reckon it means that err. Well Pete and I have been writing a lot as we’re now living together so we’ve got Pete’s influence on guitars and I guess you’ll have to wait.
W: Exactly, that good old cliché.
Press To MECO your name is connected to when there’s no turning back in space as the main engines cut off, but who would you send to space and never bring back?
L: Don’t start me on a bitchy path! I dunno, I don’t want to get too political as I don’t really know what I’m talking about. Just like… myself.
[The whole room at this points burst into hysterics]
W: Then you wouldn’t have to worry about anything else.
L: Yeah because I’d just have a few podcasts on my phone, the new Max Raptor album and I’d probably be alright. No coming back. See ya!
W: Is that what it means?
L: Well MECO stands for main engine cut off so basically the point where you reach the right height and velocity to get out into orbit the big engines come off as you don’t need the same amount of thrust.
W: Mmm same amount of thrust.
L: [whooshing rocket sound provided, described as exhaling deeply and sensually by himself]. So yeah me, I’ll take the bullet as I don’t want to have to put that on somebody else. No matter how bad they are.
D: Can I go?
L: Damo! He was the one I actually wanted to say anyway.
Damo, Am I Weird? is an album that many of your fans have found as a support mechanism due to many of the tracks singing of relatable experiences. But would you say these are experiences you’ve faced and the inspiration behind the tracks?
D: Am I Weird? is about not fitting in in high school, it’s a pretty clichéd emo feel sorry for me kind of thing. But for lots of people it’s cliché as everybody goes through that. Magic College is about where we’re from and there’s a music scene that’s sort of really exclusive and a bit hipster and they won’t let you in if you don’t do what they like. It makes everything stagnate as they won’t let anyone bring any new ideas to the table and it’s really rubbish and a bit of a dig. Sunset Yellow is about Irn Bru, sunset yellow is actually an e-number
W: Really? That’s amazing. I love Irn Bru.
D: It’s just about stuff, crap things you go through. I Should Have Gone To Uni is about seeing everyone around me making the right choices and seeing everyone starting families and all that. Whilst you’re just so not and you think you should be doing that. There’s sort of a list of things you’re meant or expected to do in life and it destroys a lot of people. As people think they need to stick to that and a lot of potential gets squashed as they get pressured into doing things they don’t really want to do. You can follow your own path or dye your hair green!
L: Yeah like why not just go cow tipping?
W: [thinking about it] Cow tipping. You see it all the time like on Facebook, ‘oh I’m staying at this hotel and eating this breakfast’ why not just put it in your mouth rather than take a photo of it!
L: What’s that one Ron Swanson said? Places are for being, food is for eating. Parks and Recreation. Little bit of knowledge for you there, but yeah I agree!
D: We don’t do it to like whine, I wouldn’t write a song about a really specific thing that happened to me once as there’s no point and nobody’s going to get anything out of it.
Now we’re at the final date of the tour there must be some tour stories to share, you must have some funny ones!
L: I don’t think anything’s really happened. We kind of missed the golden age of rock and roll. We’re the pussy generation. Yeah, it’s like we’ll have a few beers every night but nothing crazy. We had a good night at the Craufurd Arms where because we stay above the flat, I don’t know if this is against licensing or anything but allegedly we went down and partied in the bar afterwards. Stayed up pretty late and had a little rave with a smoke machine, crazy times on tour motherfuckers!
W: I heard that Damo got naked and got put in the vivarium with a gecko. That’s only allegedly though too.
L: And when its tail fell off, they stuck it well I can’t really say.
W: Use your imagination.
D: Stuck it back on they taped it so that it was fixed.
L: Yeah exactly that with blu-tack. Allegedly. No lawsuits here. But seriously what’s actually happened?
W: We’ve all met some people.
L: Every day has been fun because we’ve just been hanging out.
W: Well we reversed into a London bus today that was crazy.
L: Everyday occurrence. You don’t have to be in a band to reverse your van into a London bus but obviously don’t do that.
W: Yeah that’s it really. I had a fight with Pete our drummer, which was just quite bad. Imagine four guys in a hotel room wearing just black boxers and a white t-shirt trying to stop each other. Ben got me in a headlock to stop me going from Pete. Fighting keeps us closer together.
D: Oh! I cooked some noodles in a bin at a Travelodge. There wasn’t a microwave and we only had a kettle but it was the kind of noodles like you know Super Noodles go really gooey but the cheap ones stay like a brick unless you really steam them up. I put them in a bowl but needed something to go on top or the steam wouldn’t work, there was nothing to cover the bowl part except the bottom of the bin. So I put that on top for about then minutes and they were perfectly cooked. Nobody gave me any support, they said it wasn’t going to work but it did and tasted beautiful.
Can you sum up the tour using one of your own lyrics?
W: That’s really good. After you Lewis!
L: No, no. Can we pause this for like five minutes and let me grab the album booklet out? I can’t think on the spot. Why’s everyone looking at me?
W: Old romantics die together.
L: They do. [Cue a long pause for thought] it’s good you’re writing this up as this dead air is a sin, a sin to radio. How about you Damo?
D: Every day I play with myself.
L: No, every day I haven’t played with myself and that depresses me and puts me in a bad mood.
[Laughter occurs once again as Lewis realised why everyone was laughing]
L: I really can’t think.
W: How about the swingy ballad one?
L: This ending, the end of this tour lacks the majesty that we were promised because no-ones coming. So yeah no-ones coming.
If you could make your dream band from others on the tour who would be in it and why?
L: I’m going to change this and make what I’d like to see in a band. I’d like to see Wil fronting, a lot of Allusondrugs as it would just be a well weird mix and yeah it would just be fun.
W: I think just the three of us we’re going to branch off. [To Damo] you’d have to play bass and guitar. We’d all do singing and have a horrible, horrible it would sound horrible and dark. We’d have a really dark noise band but with beautiful harmonies.
D: What are we gonna call it?
L: Dark Noise.
W: No-ones coming. Then at the gig ‘who you going to see?’ ‘No-ones coming’ ‘oh I won’t bother going then’. It’ll be the name of the band and it’ll be a joke and everyone will catch on.
L: It won’t lose it charm.
D: Well it can’t because nobody knows about it as no-one’s coming.
L: See we’ve already started.
As it’s the final night of tour are there any tour tricks or surprises planned?
L: Last night I doused all of the others bands clothes in flammable liquid so when they play tonight I’m going to run up and set alight to them. They’re going to burst into flames and it’s going to be so funny!
W: I did a thing. Lewis doesn’t know about it but I put one of his long lost relatives in his kick drum and so at a point tonight they’re going to break out and surprise them.
L: I sprayed the stage with racoon pheromones so when the doors open it won’t be a wave of people but a wave of racoons and that’s the people we’ll be playing to. The bands will still have to take the capacity but once it’s full, you have to account for body mass but one body is a body. Yeah, so we’ll just be playing to racoons.
D: I put a tiny microphone inside the main front of house feedback so there’s going to be constant feedback and nobody can tell where that’s coming from.
W: That’s evil but I like it.
Thanks for your time guys, enjoy the final show of tour
All: Thank you!
Interview By: Nicola Craig