ARMY OF FLYING ROBOTS interview

ARMY OF FLYING ROBOTS

AOFR are from Nottingham and are possibly one of the best bands in the UK. Imagine Unruh fighting Systral while plaiyng Slayer songs backwards in Void's practice room! Hectic crazy hardcore metal but NOT 'metalcore'. Interview was in Infinite MOnkey no.3

Members? Instruments? History?
henry = vocals
Chris = vocals
simon = guitar
steve = bass
andy = guitar
lewk = drums
C= there was a different line up for a while with brendon on drums and tom on bass, aLTHOUGH I THINK RIght at the beginning Kasten played drums but that was before i was in them. brendon left cause his course was getting too much. tom was a bit too far away. we still dont have a solid line up actually! thats why were so rubbish live! were waiting to sort out the line up so we an record and do more gigs.
L= also we had one practice with steve playing drums and i played bass for one gig.

Where did you get the name from?
C= i think henry came up with it actually! he likes names like that, hes got a book full of em.

What are your influences?
C= personally Id say the wicker man, rorschach, swiz, systral, angel hair, red house painters, gastr del sol, shudder to think, !!!, autechre, skanfrom, cex, all henry listens too is senor coconut and ive caught andy listening to break machine. Alan Partridge too.
S= I don't think we can really trace our influences that easily 'coz the way we write songs is very 'band in a practice room jamming'. I don't think any of our songs were written just by one person so there's a big mix of ideas and influences going into the melting pot.
L=yeah, also when i joined the band i noticed the structuring of the songs were kinda different.

Apart from the usual hardcore/metal stuff what else are you into? Any weird/embarassing stuff that we wouldn't expect you to be listening to?
C= oh yes I certainly am!! i like all sorts, I enjoy listeng too gothy stuff like the sisters of mercy, fields of the nephlim, bauhaus, the devils and the swans as well as hip hop'y rappy business like jazzy jeff, public enemy, cLOUDEAD, company flow, dstroy and all that rubbish. I love electro stuff too. i own lp's by chas and dave, suicidal tendencies (late), max bygraves, rupture, anal cunt, the police.... loads of rubbish!
S= My brother is a Hip Hop DJ so I get to listen to a lot of that. I really like Dr Dre. in an ironic 'what a poser he is' kinda way. I love Iron Maiden, tanks and war!!!!!
L= i think im the only one in the band that isnt into metal. i cant stop listening to the Wallflowers (Jacob Dylans band) and Suzanne Vega. and no, im not joking. i normailly listen to stuff like billy bragg, tom petty, the replacements and american 'rock'. and of course the criminals and every other lookout! band.

How did you get into the whole hardcore/DIY thing? Did you get into any terrible stuff that you're embarassed by now?
C= I did yeah! I got into skatepunk through being into metal and indie. I was into the typical nofx type bands like most people. Its just a natural progression from being into that stuff (for some people i think). Local bands like the babies and company policy were doing diy stuff and that really got me into it. I started going to see loads of gigs in houses or at the back of pubs and saw some wicked bands!! Now there are some great bands in margate that are still doing stuff thats totally great and diy like north by northwest and four random words. Bands like canaan are really getting a load of people into hardcore punk as well. I cant talk for nottingham cause i was into punk before i moved here!
S= Bad Religion was the first punk band I listened too - I saw 'em on MTV!
L= it was pretty much the same for me. you get into nofx and epitaph sort of bands and then it goes on from there.

What do you reckon will be the next hot punk/hardcore fashion?
C- I think people are gonna get tired of gsl bands and are gonna really get into Oi! again. that would be wicked!
S= Not listening to punk/hardcore.
L= i think more anologue keyboard stuff will be popular. or that whole thing will just dissapear up its own arse. of course thats not to say some of it isnt good.

How's the scene in Nottingham? Any good bands etc or is it an emo/indie rock wasteland like everywhere else?
C= There are a few emo/indie bands (a lot of whom are really indie!), but there's a few good emo type bands like the osterman weekend (derby chaps) and stars rain down (just chris that lives here but there still kinda local!). There is a new band called phantom limb management thats meant to be great, they are ex hard to swallow and have a drum machine. They used to be called grind prix! The wolves are ace as well if you like yr chaos. Twinkie are good if your into indie/noise stuff. Clambake are a wicked surfy rock band, really good at it tho. As are aqua vista vs the surf creatures. Im really lookin forward to STF gettin together again after the sad death of Jas. And of course watch out for the almighty cap n spazz!!!
The scene here is quite good most of the time in regards to the amount of gigs and the turnouts. A lot of the time outside of termtime gigs can be a bit shit (apart from bigger gigs like DS-13 and the locust). Ive managed to see a load of good gigs here like submission hold and catharsis. There are a lot of people who put gigs on like Sally who does the more political punk rock gigs (usually have a good dub dj at her gigs too) I put on a gig with her once, with the band cementerio show after meeting her at submission hold and she put so much effort into makin the night go smoothly-god knows what i would have done without her! Marv from the varaukers puts on gigs ND DOES A PUNX PICNIC too, hes doing out cold and broken soon which im looking forward too. Jimmy seismic does a lot of gigs at the old angel, he was on tv today as well i should mention!!! on a game show, he didnt win though. He generally does more emo gigs and also does a record label and distro. He has put on great gigs by catharsis, good clean fun, all scars and loads more. In the future hes doing engine down. Chris from reynolds and the wolves does gigs too, a lot of the bigger indie ones (good ones mind you!), bands such as oxes and les savy fav. In future he is doing gigs with melt banana, les savy fav, trans am, the fucking champs, damien frost, the lapse, pleasure forever, unwound...im glad cuz i like these kinds of bands!!! Anton is probably the biggest promoter here and has done some amazing gigs (200 or something!!!) and has put on everyone from bob tilton to the trail of dead, some great gigs he has done in the last year have been him, the first wolves gig, tristeza, david grubbs... I put on gigs too dont forget! Got The rah bras, creation is crucifixion, tangaroa and that milemarker gig comin up. email me on iwearblack69@hotmail.com or write me at christhrash, 1 seymour court, raleigh street, nottingham, ng7 4dg. Also Were not far from leicster or derby where they have a load of great gigs. In derby there are a lot of pop punk // emo gigs (but also great metal gigs like entombed!). Ive only been to a few gigs in leiscter which were done by the same guy and they were the dirty three, cat power and electric frankenstein. I think he gets gigs through the same channels as anton. So yeah, its good for gigs here and most of the people are nice.
S= There's quite a history of banks bands from Nottingham though: Hard To Swallow, Iron Monkey, Heresy, X-Rays, Bob Tilton (Mansfield), Varukers etc. etc. Though nowadays it doesn't compare with Leeds etc. etc.
L= the wolves are great. the best band from nottingham at the moment i think. also a new (i think) garage band called the grips. i saw them with the pattern and they were so so good. i was really suprised with them. the singer looked kinda like brian ferry but was such a good front man. twas great! also not forgetting consumed. big up will massive....and i was in 3rd stone with andy but god knows whats up with us all. maybe we'll play maybe we wont...

I've heard that there's some people in Nottingham trying to set up a place called 'The Rainbow Centre' along the same lines to the 1 in 12. Do you know anything about this? Any news on it's progression etc?
C= Yes, I never went into the old rainbow centre (even though we organised a benefit gig for it once! it was with someone who regularly got involved in projects there tho!) but now that its moved Im going to go and check it out. I wanted to put on tragedy there.
S= Yeah, the Rainbow Center was a collective of lots of different groups (Veggies, CND, Notts Anti-Fascist Alliance, Animal Rights groups, Hunt Sabs etc.) that had a Cafe Library and offices on Mansfield road in Notts. It was there for ages but it was really small and smelled of dogs so they've moved to a bigger better place in Forest Fields which is just out of the center of town. Its the old Ukranian Social Center on Gladstone st. and its pretty big - bigger than the 1 in 12. It should be finished very soon with a bar, cafe, library, internet access, permaculture garden and hopefully a room for gigs too. They've got a wacking great mortgage to pay off though and they definitely need loads of help to get it all up an running. If anyone is interested talk to Patrick at Veggies (www.Veggies.org.uk).

What the hell are you screaming about? Are the lyrics (if there are any!) deep political statements or just random stuff?
C= Mostly random stuff i suppose although its not all crap i promise! We have a song about the shock that me and henry got when we went to see nosferatu and lots of songs about work.
S= Yeah, Henry seems to write most of the lyrics. I wrote the lyrics to 'Collective Amnesia' which is about the Israel-Palestinian problem and how most people, especially in the mass media and lots of supposed 'academics' too are either completely ignorant of the facts of the problem or have chosen to forget about them. These are quite uncomfortable facts for lots of people. Like all the shit that happened when the Israelis invaded Lebanon and massacred thousands of people and that they attacked and sunk a US spy ship to cover it up for example. People should remember things like that when they talk terrorism:- Islamic fundamentalists don't hold a monopoly on it.

As we speak the whole refugee 'crisis' thing has blown up in the news again. Any views on the debate?
S= I see it as just another feature of the economic status quo. All this shit about 'genuine refugees' and 'economic migrants' basically boils down to an unwillingness to let poor people get themselves out of poverty by migrating to rich countries. In some cases its just racism or xenophobia but in terms of government policy its all about upholding economic imbalances so that the UK stays a rich country. If migration to the UK is allowed then wages in this country will tend to go down and go up where people are migrating from. That would mean fewer sweatshops for Nike and co. to get their shoes made in because there won't be so much surplus labour to keep wages down. It also means that speculators won't be able to make vast sums of money by basically betting on the imbalances in the world-economy. They need to make sure that they can move their capital freely but also that people can't move freely to offset that movement. Its sheer hypocrisy to therefore to talk about reducing trade barriers when people aren't allowed to move freely between countries. That's why talk about 'free trade' is so bogus because what people in the WTO etc. are really talking about isn't economics-text-book 'free trade' but protectionism for the rich - effectively a regressive welfare state. It is also hypocrisy to go on about how evil and oppressive regimes like that in Iraq and Afganistan are and not accept the refugees that they produce. The whole thing about 'illegal refugees' also ignores the fact that someone who has just fled from Iraq cannot get a visa and so necessarily has to enter the UK illegally.

I know Chris has moved up from down south. How are you finding life further north?
C= Its not that different apart from I cant wake up to the sea everyday which I loved! I think people are pretty much the same everywhere in different ways if that makes any sense. Its a bit colder.
S= I'm actually moving back down south 'coz it smells better.

What does the future hold for 'Robots? Gigs, tours, releases? Any final words?
C= Were playing twice this week after a big break, once with arkangel (!) and then with a mexican band at a anti nazi league benefit gig. Were gonna write some more songs, sort out the line up and record for two split 7"s. one with the Jhai alai and another with the parade of enemies (but we havent heard much about that badboy recently). Also i think were doing a track for a wicker man comp (oh yeah!), i just hope someone does an omen one or a rosemarys baby one!!! Maybe we will tour one day, fuck knows!! Cheers for the interest ewan!
L= id like to do some records with t'robots but id rather not be playing drums so if you want to you can play instead of me. fanks. also we might be doing a tape for animal rights organisation in russia i would like to do.
S= Big ups to all our ho's and bitches.


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