Booze & Glory are true punk icons, they left the world of work behind to travel the world playing punk music for the fans. Before they set off on their Euro tour, I spoke to bassist Bubbles about the band, their latest album Chapter IV, punk music and Rebellion Festival among other topics.
Jack: Hey, thanks for taking the time out of your day to speak to me. How are you doing?
Bubbles: We are doing great, going from strength to strength ! Thank you so much Jack and MetalRecusants for giving us this opportunity.
Jack: The band formed in 2009, how did you all meet?
Bubbles: We all met in London, we attended local punk shows, reggae nights and, of course, the football. All of these pastimes brought us in touch. Having so much in common guaranteed we would be the best of friends, we had a common interest besides that though, starting a band. After arranging a rehearsal and jamming a few songs we thought we made a good match and considered possibly playing a few shows. Eight years down the line and here we are today!
Jack: Does being an international outfit improve the dynamics at all?
Bubbles: It definitely does, you guessed it! We all originate from different cultural backgrounds, which means that we are a diverse mixture of people. It is a winning recipe that always keeps things interesting. You never know what to expect from each other, which reflects in our music too. There is all kinds of influences in our songs, with Liam’s Irish roots being prevalent in many tunes. All in all, being a multicultural band is a massive part of our music’s character and it is something we are very proud of.
Jack: Your genre has been described as street punk, define street punk?
Bubbles: Street Punk was the musical genre that sprung out of the 70s Punk explosion in the UK. Most 1977 bands sung rebellious activist songs or melodic love songs, then came bands like Cockney Rejects and Sham 69 who spoke about reality and its everyday struggles. Their lyrics reflected on how working class kids were living in the UK towards the late 70s. This slightly different twist of the original Punk was baptised “Reality Punk” or better yet, just Street Punk. 40 years down the line its still going strong with more and more bands springing up in every corner of the world.
Jack: What are your main influences?
Bubbles: Each band member has his own personal and individual influences. Of course we have more in common than not and that’s what it is most prevalent in our songs. Early Reggae and Northern Soul is something we all share a love for. Hippies aside, the 60s were a great musical decade. Other than that we all love 70s punk such as The Clash and The Jam. We have a passion for early Oi! and Street Punk which we will always hold close to our hearts. A lot of recent bands, European and American, also influence us. Way too many to list here, lets save that for another place and time!
Jack: Your about to release your fourth album, Chapter IV. Is there something you hope people take from it?
Bubbles: We have spent countless hours working on this record. It is our personal favourite work to date. There will always be mixed emotions about any new release, and of course everybody is entitled to their own opinion. One thing we hope though is that people, our new followers and the die hards, will take the time to listen through every song on the record carefully. We are confident people of all ages and continents around the globe are going to love it.
Jack: How has the band grown since the previous release?
Bubbles: The band has matured both mentally and musically. Part of this is due to the countless hours we have spent on the road, constantly touring and spending day after day stuck with each other in vans, hotel rooms and backstages. We have been given the opportunity to get to know ourselves better whilst testing our limits as musicians and as individuals. This is very obvious once you take the time to listen to Chapter IV and compare it to our previous releases.
Jack: Did you approach the recording process of Chapter IV differently to As Bold and Brass?
Bubbles: Our approach to writing and recording has always more or less been the same. Each band member brings his individual ideas to the table and we work on one song at a time until we are satisfied with it. Only when all of them are complete we will head into the studio and get down to business! As with our previous record “As Bold As Brass” we have been honoured with guest musicians and friends lending some talent in the studio such as our mate Jet from the magnificent Buster Shuffle. We have been slightly more experimental on the new record and have not held back from trying new things.
Jack: You’re going to be touring the UK soon. Will you mainly be playing material from Chapter IV?
Bubbles: We will be playing a lot of our new songs in order to promote the new release but rest assured it will be a balanced set list of new and old stuff. We have a lot of die hard fans which have been following us for almost a decade. Its due to there ongoing support that we are here today and we will never forget that. We want to keep everyone happy and satisfied at our shows, therefore a balance of old and new tunes is what we feel works best of everybody! We aim to please.
Jack: How is the USA different to Europe?
Bubbles: The punk scene is one massive family all around the world, no matter if we are in South America, Asia, Europe, USA or back home in the UK we always feel welcome! Loud guitars, gallons of beer, friends and good vibes – no matter where we are in the world our shows don’t differ that much [Laughs].
Jack: What makes touring Asia so unique? I hear the fans are particularly fanatical out there?
Bubbles: Asia is a part of the world that not many big punk bands or bands in general get to visit. There is a big demand for music out there and a lot of kids to experience it. Giving that they don’t have many opportunities to see their favourite bands, of course the kids are going to go ape shit when the music starts! We love playing shows in Asia, one of our favourite destinations to visit and play.
Jack: What makes Rebellion Festival such a special festival?
Bubbles: Where to start!? Rebellion is the annual pilgrimage of every punk rocker in the United Kingdom. Lately there is more and more people coming from all over the planet. It is a massive gathering of common minded folk all up for a good time. Throughout the years we have all become great friends. The bands and the people attending create such unique atmosphere and we believe that this is what Rebellion is truly about, friendship and good music.
Jack: What are you most looking forward to about this year?
Bubbles: Seeing all our friends which we have gotten so close to year after year of attending this incredible fest! That and of course ripping up the stage for as long as we are permitted to. [Laughs]
Jack: With such an extensive touring schedule, do you have day jobs outside the band?
Bubbles: We all had pretty ordinary jobs up till now. For years and years we have tried our hardest to balance our work lives and personal lives with the ever-growing demand of our band schedule. This year we decided to quit our day jobs as carpenters, cooks and warehouse staff and give all that we had to give to our main passion in life… Booze & Glory. This is more than just a band, it is a family of friends that unites at every show in every corner of this beautiful planet. We are ever grateful of our fans and supporters and will continue to put all our passion and effort into what we do best.
Jack: Finally, what is the best alcoholic drink?
Bubbles: British Stout.