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Q: Where did the name Sick On The Bus come from?
A: While Biff was working on a building site his bosses son was starting a band so his dad (Tony Write) told him to call the band Sick on the Bus because he said “everyone has been sick on a bus at some point in their life”, but his son hated the name so Biff asked if he could use it because he and Brian were starting a band but they didn’t have a name, so SOTB was born in a building site canteen. Q: Are you vegetarians? A: Biff no, Tony no, Brian no, Wag yes.
Q: Are you racists?
Q: Are you sexists?
A: No, but we like sex!
Q: What influences your lyrics?
A; Life in general, girl problems, shitty mates, what’s going on around us, you know the kinda thing.
Q: What band influence your music?
A: Motorhead, UK Subs GBH, Iggy Pop, 999, etc.
Q: Where is your favorite place to play?
A: Everywhere has something good about it, Europe has great beer and you can drink it all night, America has great coke and cool bars, England you can go home if the gig was shit and sleep in your own bed, Japan has a great party after nearly every show, and everywhere has cool people and some pretty girls.
Q: What was you favorite gig and why?
A: Maybe the last show in Berlin at the Fetteke Haus with Fleas and Lice, one cos we always have a great party time with the Fleas and Lice guys ‘n’ girl and maybe cos two other venues had canceled the show and this was the only place that would put us on, earlier in the day the atmosphere was kinda hostile, but when the gig started it was a great, both the bands and the crowd had a fun night out.
Q: What was the worst gig and why?
A: Probably the last day of the Ladronka fest in Czech, we had a nightmare getting there but then things looked up after we met with our mate Ales, we got drugged and beered up and then we went on stage, about 30 minuets into the set and everything was great, the crowd were having a good time and so were the band, then some CUNT threw a bottle at me (Biff) and broke 3 teeth and cut my lip open, we stopped playing but the FUCKING COWARD ran off! We didn’t let it spoil the rest of the night though as we partied into the next day and beyond.
8) How many groupies does the band have?
A: As many as we can lay our hands on, (none).
9) Have any members of the band had problems with heroin?
10) How many pills do you take with your alcohol?
A: Biff loads and the rest of the band as many as he's got over.
11) What is your favorite drink?
A: Biff Vodka / Tony Strong lager / Brian anything / Skum XXXX mate!
12) Do you smoke weed?
13) Do you skateboard?
A: No, no sense of balance.
14) What do you think of skating these days?
A Never got into it, always down the pub.
15) How many tours have you been on?
16) Have you played with any big acts?
A: The Damned, Subs GBH, Angelic Upstarts, god knows to many of the old punk bands to mention.
17) Will you ever sell out?
A: Can't sell out cos we were never in!
18) How old are you?
A: Old enough to not answer personal questions like that.
19) Any advice on how to pick up on chicks?
A: Yeah, get rich parents, a fast car and it helps to be good looking, but we usually drug them!
20) Do you like Kid Rock?
A: Not sure, we'd have to hear him first.
21) Do you have any questions you'd like to ask yourself?
A: Where did I go wrong? amongst many others.
26) Does your town smell like cowshit?
A: No it smells of kebab shops and dog shit.
1. Have you lost relationships during your time being in a band? Pls explain.
A:Yeah 5 and counting, too much time away from home, as the band gets more work your life starts to change and the people around you sometimes don't like that so you have to decide to either stay at home to please them or go out there and do what you wanna do.
2. Do you write about ex-relationships? What are some of the nastier stuff you write about?
A: Yes we do, fucking behind there backs and having it done to you.
3. Is there any good "hippie" stories you can tell? Were they disappointed or were you disappointed in them?
A: No stories, but I should imagine hippies are a constant disappointment to them selves.
4. Does the fallacy of the movie "Almost Famous" really exist?
A: None of us have ever seen it so the answer is yes.
5. What is the future of your band? i.e. tours, albums.,
A: We will just keep going until it ain't fun anymore,we'll do tours and gigs as long as they keep coming, writing albums as long as we have ideas and shit to shout about I guess..
6. Anything else to say regarding heartbreaks?
A: Yeah go to the pub sit on a bar stool, drink like a damn fool and wave your baby goodbye.
An intoxicated interview with Biff by George Steele
From the depths of the murky and scum-ridden UK punk scene, Sick On The Bus comes rising up like a burning dirty phoenix - well, maybe more like a vulture - to leave it's indelible mark on the current state of musical affairs. In the spirit of such great bands such as Motorhead, The Damned and Anti-Nowhere League in the early parts of their careers, SOTB really don't care about trends and what the masses think - they do what they want and they do it with authority. It's that authority which puts SOTB over the top of the rest of the sewage being pumped out by a 1001 other punk rock and roll bands. It's evident in their latest releases "Set Fire To Someone In Authority" and the double CD set "Punk Police/Suck On Sick On The Bus" on Go-Kart Records in the U.S. I had the pleasure to talk with lead singer/guitarist Biff, who also splits his time as a member with the classic U.K. anarcho-punk band- The Varukers. Biff was kind enough to take his time between hangovers to answer some questions and I thank him for that.
GEORGE: Is it difficult splitting your time between two bands? Especially two bands that are signed and do some extensive touring of Europe and the U.S....
BIFF: Not really, sometimes the odd gig clash but we work it so that whoever got the show on that date first does the gig, unless a tour comes up and there's just one show that conflicts, then we sort it out by having a band fight.
GEORGE: Your lyrics deal with personal issues rather than the usual socio-political lyrics that most of us listeners are used to hearing from U.K. punk bands. And you seem to have no regard for what's politically correct. Do you guys get any negative feedback from other punks because of it?
BIFF: I get sick of thinking and hearing about politics let alone singing about it, and besides - what the fuck do I know about social politics, multinational corporations and what goes on behind closed doors? What I do know about is life and if my life ain't PC then I make no apology for it, and do we get any feedback because of it? Well I've been called racist and sexist before which just goes to show they never took the time to really get to know me, so they can shut the fuck up!
GEORGE: When I listen to Sick On The Bus, I definitely hear influences ranging from Motorhead to the Damned to Anti-Nowhere League. What other bands are big influences on your songwriting?
BIFF: Apart from the bands you've mentioned probably the UK Subs, GBH and just other punky Rock 'N' Roll bands - Iggy Pop, that kinda shit. Me and Brian listen to old rock bands and anything really. We've even nicked stuff off Deep Purple before.
GEORGE: Even though Sick On The Bus' sound definitely gives a nod to the punk rock of the late 70's and early 80's, you still keep it energetic and fresh. As far as new stuff is concerned, what's your opinion of current bands and musical trends? Is there anyone out there, whether punk rock or not, that you enjoy listening to these days? And what kind of stuff do you really dislike?
BIFF: We originally started SOTB cos no one else was playing the kinda music we wanted to listen to. For me there's not a lot of new stuff I like - The Restarts, The Lunachicks are good bands. Zero Tolerance, Thug Murder - there are a lot of really good Japanese bands. I dislike death metal that pretends it's punk.
GEORGE: Knowing you somewhat, I could guess you are either drunk at this moment or you are nursing a hangover. Describe a typical night out drinking with you - what and how much do you drink and are there any other substances involved?
BIFF: Well I normally start drinking at about 1 or 2 in the afternoon (cos the bars shut earlier over here) I drink pints of Stella or something about 5% until I'm full to bursting, then I start on the Vodkas. Most of the drinking takes place in the garden of my favourite pub with my mates. We usually smoke weed while we're getting drunk and at about 7pm the man who can arrives then I'll have a pill or 2 (ecstasy), maybe some speed or some coke, it depends on what's available. We leave the pub at about midnight and go to a shitty club for more Vodka until 2 am. Then it's round to someone's flat for whatever they have to drink and sniff have a jump around, get laid, etc. I really like Absinthe when I can get it - I always bring some back from CZ but it don't last long.
GEORGE: Looking at your press kit, you guys seem to have come close to destroying some of the places you've played in England. What was the most dangerous show you ever played?
BIFF: The most dangerous gig we have ever done was in Prague when some cunt threw a bottle at my face and broke 2 of my teeth and cut my lip open, the dangerous thing about that gig was if I could of got my hand on them before they ran off I would have killed the cunt.
GEORGE: Alex and Simon from the NYC punk band Thought Crime were with you recently for some punk festival shows in England - they both told me that you were doing vodka "eye shots!" What is that and why would you do that? BIFF: I don't advise this cos it may send you blind, I only do it when I'm fucking drunk, the idea is that your eyes are very vascular and it's a fast way to the brain.
GEORGE: Has your excessive drinking damaged your vocal chords at all? Or has it actually been beneficial - in a Motorhead/gargling-with-glass-and-razor-blades sort of way?
BIFF: I think it may have been beneficial. In the studio my vocals usually go down first time now. When I first started I used to have to shout myself hoarse.
GEORGE: You're recordings are very live and in-your-face sounding, which I think sounds appropriate for what you do. Do you spend a lot of time in the studio trying to get sounds on tape, or do you just wing it and play the same way you would live and hope it gets across?
BIFF: We don't spend a long time in the studio getting our sounds. If the band sounds good, I don't even listen to my guitar on it's own. If it ain't broke don't fix it, and that goes for the others, too. We record mostly live - both guitars, bass and drums go down together and just the leads and the vocals get overdubbed.
GEORGE: When could we Americans expect Sick On The Bus to come over and tour? Is there any possibility of you guys touring with the Varukers? Would you be able to handle that?
BIFF: We want to be there tomorrow. The Conflict thing fell through - we really can't wait so we'll be there ASAP. I can handle playing with the Varukers and SOTB at the same show, but I would sooner concentrate on one or other band when we're on tour (but it's nice to get paid twice in one night).
GEORGE: And finally, where does the name Sick On The Bus come from?
BIFF: While I was working on a building site my boss' son was starting a band. So his dad (Tony Write) told him to call the band Sick on the Bus because he said "everyone has been sick on a bus at some point in their life." But his son hated the name. So I asked if we could use it because me and Brian were starting a band but they didn't have a name, so SOTB was born in a building site canteen.