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ADDICTIVE PHILOSOPHY – Interview with Gez Addictive

ADDICTIVE PHILOSOPHY – Interview with Gez Addictive

Gez Addictive

Gez Addictive

“Addictive Philosophy are an audio federation not afraid to combine their influeneces and shout about it. They play a range of original music from mellow rocksteady to full throttle thrash, but mainly levelling out in the Ska/Punk area.”

They have a brand new single out (video below) and we were keen to catch up with lead singer Gez Addictive for his views on Addictive Philosophy, the state of the world and anything else we could throw at him!

 

Can you give us the background on Addictive Philosophy – when & how the band
formed?

Well, the concept was formed in my head a long long time ago in the 90s and since that time it’s been an evolving process of having lots of different members, ticking off lots of ambitions, and experimenting with different ways of writing and performing. Initially I wanted it to be something like a cross between Crass and White Zombie – a lot of political anger and frantic guitars but with samples and synths. It ended up going through a lot of different things before it finally got to that because it was also always about working with whoever was around and trying to account for everyone’s tastes. Someone sent me a tape of Spithead and I thought they were amazing and wanted to try and develop that – we had no internet then so you couldn’t just research bands, it was down to who had heard something from someone else and passed it on, or what zines were saying – thankfully there are people in the scene that have taken that way of thinking onto the internet running sites like this

Do all of the band have the same musical influences – which bands & type of
music influence who?

There’s always been very diverse views on music in the band, there’s always been a few of us really into Iron Maiden, some into Madness and 2Tone as well as original ska, and everything in between and it’s about bringing all that creativity together to deliver what we like. The bands that really influence us are bands with an ethos or some kinda bigger back story, Crass, Conflict, KLF, Gong, Prince, Madness; the list could go on – we don’t necessarily always SOUND like our influences, but they influence how we operate and act. What is cool is when you’re at a typical punk gig and someone else in the know picks up certain elements that aren’t obvious and comes to talk to you about it after the show. We do a lot of cross referencing and nods to our influences and it’s cool when someone else notices.

I notice Steve Lake of Zounds offers a nice compliment – high praise indeed.
Are Addictive Philosophy as political as those type of bands?

Completely – we’re outspoken about oppression and practical politics. As a band, it shouldn’t take very long to work out where we stand politically, and we don’t shy away from issues for fearing of turning fans off. Our songs are anti-war, anti-prejudice etc and we’ll speak out on stage about current affairs. Some people just wanna hear the music, but it’s not about that for us, the music is the conduit for what we wanna say.

What really pisses you off about the state of the country/world at present?

As ever, inequality and also ignorance. The world is far more complex than most people care to think about – you can’t complain about inequality and injustice in the world and then turn a blind eye to it and buy sweatshop goods. It’s hard to be completely ethical these days but it’s not hard to try and do a bit – so many people claim to be angry about it but then submissively fund it all. Attending a protest isn’t enough, ticking a box isn’t enough – it all helps but you need to vote with your feet; do your shopping at your local (preferably vegan and organic) co-operative and if there isn’t one and you really care, think about starting one, you know, DO something, don’t just be a consumer, you’re worth more than that.

addictive-philosophy

Addictive pHilosopHy at the Hairy Dog, Derby, 5th December 2015

The new single ‘Supernatural Race Fiend’ is very good & certainly a catchy
number. Is this the direction the new album is heading in or will it be the
usual mix?

We’ve always had  a balance of quite poppy sounding tunes and real hard hitting stuff, and we’ll try and retain that – what we have noticed in the last year or so is that the real poppy stuff has been going down dead well at real punky shows, and I think because we don’t need to preach to the converted at those shows; we’re all angry about the same thing so let’s save that for out on the street, and lets use a gig for fun times. We love to play the harder stuff just as much though so that’s gotta stay, so it looks like a mixed bag for the next album. The follow up single will be out in July and that’s a bit harder so maybe we’ll alternate the singles as well and do a dancey one after that again and so on; who knows – we might all be nuked by the end of the year…!!

Talking of the new album, when can we expect it – how far down the line are
you with it?

This year is about getting singles out – as much as we’re a DIY band, we decided we had a good fan base and should have a stab at trying to break into a more commercial market whilst retaining our DIY ethos so that’s where the focus has been for the first half of the year. We’ll get the third single recorded soon so we’ve always got something in the bag then get on with finishing writing for the album – we might get it out by the end of the year or we might do a 4th single and then start 2018 with an album, it depends if anyone wants to help us out… 😉

On a personal note, you left Anti-Pasti soon after the release of ‘Rise Up’.
Would you like to elaborate on what happened there?

Well that’s another complete interview in itself!! I haven’t said too much about it publicly yet as I wanted to give the band and the album chance to crack on – suffice to say it wasn’t my choice to leave the band; it’s a great shame that the fans that really got behind the new line-up and were chomping at the bit for the new album were deprived of the opportunity that so many music fans live for – buying the new album and then going to see the band play it live. There are people who watched it all happen and still can’t believe it ended how it did.

 

 

Back to Addictive, the list of bands you’ve shared the stage with is a very
impressive resume. Who have you enjoyed most gigging with? Anybody not on
that list who you’d love to gig with?

I think playing with your inspirations is always gonna be a highlight – Roddy Radiation, Rico Rodriguez, Conflict, Lawnmower Deth – that was a particularly cool show as we did a special set with some mad covers and called ourselves AddicDETH philosopHy. But also other DIY bands that have a similar thing going on – we did a few dates with Faintest Idea on the last tour, Inner Terrestrials are always a good one for us. I think Culture Shock would be a great show/tour for us to be on but also with what we’re doing now we’d be good openers for Skindred. Or if there was a KLF reunion, or Carter USM. We could do sets suitable for all those audiences I think, and maybe lets get some more political hip-hop punk hybrids in the mix. Moscow Death Brigade (funnily enough cite Anti Pasti in their lyrics) have got something cool going on so it’d be wicked to play with them – maybe I’ll cite them in a song and it’ll make a vortex of musical fusion and we’ll all be whisked off to Planet Gong in a flying teapot…

Can we expect more gigs to be announced this year?

Hopefully – we love playing, book us, anywhere, and we’ll do our best to make it happen. We drove to Germany for one show with Buster Shuffle a few weeks back, no biggy – in the van, hit the road, do the show, chill at the hotel and drive back!! We love the road trip as much, touring is the best, we’re all vagrants anyway so we love it – European promoters, hit us up!!

We can’t believe how big punk seems to be becoming again. Why do you think
that is?

I think there’s a few reasons, mainly because it was always there, there was always a hard core of bands and fans that kept it alive. What has definitely helped is that there’s a core of people who have been in to it from the start, or for a very long time who have perhaps gone into more mainstream life ins some ways but still supported the scene – there’s now people in their late 40s, 50s and older who have a bit of disposable income and use it on supporting new bands as well as older bands that still do new music. That’s a big part of it I think. That on top of the internet making it easier than ever to network. I think genres have a resurgence about every 10-15 years and punk as a genre never really recedes back into obscurity like other genres because at it’s core it’s not based on being the popular thing and it is based on inclusivity and having a  go so. Also more and more these days, genres are becoming less of a thing – new bands are mixing up all sorts of genres and a lot of smaller shows now are just people watching bands. People can research bands easier now so you only need a pop artist or radio DJ to mention a band and people will be straight on Google, Facebook, Spotify to get the lowdown on it. Exploit it people…

Do you believe that punk still has a place in today’s music scene?
Yeah definitely – the punk scene really put the idea of gig swaps, self releasing, self merchandising etc out there a long time ago. Now in the 21st century everyone’s finally at it – they have punk to thank for that. The desire of punk to continue to exist supports many venues, and outspoken political poetry is really coming into it’s own now – this is punk in it’s rawest form, no music, just attitude and opinion and it can be done anywhere, anywhere is a venue for it. There’s no doubt that this will introduce people to punk who may not have had access to it before.

Where would you like Addictive Philosophy to be in the future?
Is there a vision?

Ideally spending a few months writing, a few months recording, a few months rehearsing and a few months gigging, over and over again. We’re currently trying to incorporate more stuff into our technical set up to make shows more impressive but still doing it with a DIY ethos. Interactive lighting and stage show type things – it’s all possible for big bands but we want to find ways to do it on a budget.

Many thanks to Gez for taking out time to talk to us at Punk Online. Keep in touch with Addictive Philosophy via their website here

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