|Pete Stride & Nigel Moore - The Lurkers GLM - Uber Rock Interview Exclusive|
|Written by Dom Daley|
|Sunday, 24 July 2016 04:00|
With a brand new album in the bag and lots of new things going on behind the scenes now is a pretty good time to have a chat with a pair of original Lurkers. Covering the past, present and the future, I give you Pete Stride and Nigel Moore.
Hi, Pete & Nigel - before we get to the new album can you tell us about how you came to use the name The Lurkers GLM? Were there any conversations with Arturo Bassick about the name? Was there a plan when the three of you got back together and started playing new music?
Nigel: As the three of us had the time, the ability to record independently and were living close enough to rehearse and record without a problem we thought it was a chance we couldn't miss. The plan was, and still is to take it as far as we can.
Pete: Basically we really want to reach as many people as possible with our music so hopefully using The Lurkers GLM name will help us achieve that. Going out under a different name as we did with GLM (Gods Lonely Men) for the 2012 'Chemical Landslide' album makes things a bit of an uphill struggle. And as we are all the original members who created and named The Lurkers in the first place we feel that we are totally justified in using the name.
After you recorded the album in 2012 how did it take almost 4 years to release 'The Future's Calling'?
Nigel: Without record company pressurising you to release material you can take your time with arranging and recording. It was a conscious effort not to rush 'The Future's Calling'.
Pete: Yeah, it has taken a long time to get 'The Future's Calling' finished, unfortunately the way we work can be very time consuming, we actually bring each song to completion over a period of time rather than recording a whole album at once. We think it works well that way because each song gets the attention it deserves and you get a good variation in sound, but if a song doesn't work out then you have wasted months and it's back to the drawing board.
There are rumours of a box set of Lurkers albums that Beggars Banquet are planning - what can you tell us about that? I hear it might contain the excellent 'New Guitars in Town' album which will be the first time on CD. What was Honest John Plain like to work with and is there anything else recorded or plans to in the future? Do you still keep in touch with the likes of Mick Talbot and Howard?
Nigel: The box set has not been released yet but Beggars Banquet are in the process preparing it as I write. We are not involved in the project as it's being devised and realised by the people at Beggars Banquet. Howard was approached when we first started recording again but he has left the music scene behind him now I think... wise man. John Plain's guitar added a new dimension to the Lurkers sound which we were looking for at the time. I didn't get to know Mick Talbot.
Pete: The “boxset” is definitely happening, I've seen most of the artwork and they've done a great job, to be honest I wasn't that keen on having the 'New Guitars in Town' album included at first because it's not actually The Lurkers, is it? But on the other hand it will be good to have it out on CD and I think people will enjoy it. Also it’s a nice tribute to our old roadie and mate Pete (Plug) Edwards who sings a few of the tracks, sadly he passed away recently. Working with John was good fun and musically I think it was definitely successful, we certainly had a good drink too! No, I haven't met up with Mick Talbot since then but he was great to work with down at Rockfield Studios where we made most of the album.
What are your memories of signing for Beggars Banquet? Weren't you their first signing? Weren't they record shops first then a label?
Nigel: Yes, prior to forming the record label Beggars Banquet consisted of three record shops all in London; one in Earls Court, one in Fulham and one in Kingston. We were their first signing and 'Shadow' was theirs and our first release. I can remember Martin Mills and Nick Austin the founders of the company talking us through the contract before signing us, it was in their rehearsal room in Fulham. I was excited that we were actually going to be able to turn professional, make records and tour; every band's dream. The music business was as much a learning curve for Martin and Nick as writing, recording and touring was for us. Some great times were had during our days at Beggars.
Pete: You are right, we were the first signing for Beggars Banquet records, we used to rehearse under one of their record shops in Fulham and there was a guy called Mike Stone who worked there who took a shine to us and persuaded Martin Mills and Nick Austin (the Beggars directors) to get involved in this "new punk rock thing". But things really took off for Beggars when they got involved with Gary Numan and he hit the big time, incidentally Gary actually used to support us quite often in his early days!
You had success early on with so many singles charting and being able to tour the States - what were your memories of clubs like Max's Kansas City and the Marquee back in the day?
Nigel: I just wish the singles had charted higher! The original Marquee in Wardour Street was just about my favourite venue we ever played. Even though we got to play much larger places none of them captured the feel of the Marquee, it was ideal for band and audience alike, we had many great gigs there. Max's Kansas City was the Marquee of New York. We pulled good crowds here and always got a good reception although one night we did smash up the gear, very naff, the Who had done it years ago.
Pete: When we were having some chart success things certainly opened up for us regarding which venues we were able to play and we did play some fairly big shows, such as the Lyceum in London, but generally back then I found the smaller venues to be more fun and suited to the general mayhem of our live shows; like Nigel I think most of us really enjoyed The Marquee where we had a number of residencies and the atmosphere was always great. Max's Kansas City in New York was okay but I think maybe it had become a little touristy and corporate by the time we got to play there.
Campino clearly loved the band and organised some shows in the late '80s as well as covering Lurkers songs - how was that because they (Die Toten Hosen) are a big deal in Europe.
Nigel: The 1987 Dusseldorf show was organised by Campino and Arturo who had now re-joined the band as the singer. It went well and we were asked to do more gigs and record, this resulted in the album 'Wild Times Again' being recorded on the 'Weserlabel' and released by Totenkopf in Germany prior to it becoming available in the UK.
Pete: Yeah, Campino from Die Toten Hosen was (and hopefully still is!) a big fan of ours and he arranged a show in Dusseldorf for us in 1989 (?) to celebrate his birthday, which we reformed especially to play, it went pretty well and he went on to organise a tour and produce an album for us, 'Wild Times Again', and later on Toten Hosen would record a couple of our songs - 'New Guitar in Town' and 'Just Thirteen'. And right now Vom Ritchie the Toten Hosen drummer has released 'The Future's Calling' album on his Drumming Monkey label as a vinyl edition which we are very chuffed about, and it looks great in the larger 12” format too.
When you revisited albums like the collaboration with Honest John Plain what were your thoughts and memories of the recordings (that is presuming you haven't heard them in some years)
Pete: Looking forward to hearing the 'New Guitars in Town' album again in its entirety; I heard 'Laugh at Me' recently and it sounded very strong.
The record industry has been through some changes from when you first got involved - are there things that happen today that are exactly the same, say recording the debut compared to recording 'The Future's Calling' or are the experiences worlds apart?
Nigel: The record business has changed beyond all recognition and from recording to release comparisons with our first recording is virtually impossible. It's much easier to record and release now as recordings can be made in home studios and the formats and outlets for the release of material are a hundred times more varied than they were when punk first stared, even the promotion and distribution are a world away from how it was when we first recorded. The amount of material released has increased and the amount of sales has declined overall so it's an even more chaotic industry today than it was when vinyl was king.
Pete: Yes, massive changes in the record industry - it's now virtually impossible for most musicians to make any kind of a living. Although I suppose the huge advances in music tech mean that it is much easier these days to record cheaply in home studios, etc., and the online aspect means you can quickly reach wider audiences than before so it's not all bad.
What advice would Pete Stride 2016 give yourself back in the mid '70s? What advice or guidance were you given back then that has stuck with you through til today?
Pete: Maybe “try to enjoy the journey” and “don’t sell your Gibson guitars”!
You did some Radio One sessions for John Peel - what are your memories of that with him and his sessions being so iconic. Was it a big deal at the time being asked and did you ever get any feedback off the guy?
Nigel: The BBC recording studio was primitive compared with most studios even back then. You were not given much time to run through and overdubbing was minimal, also mixing was a very basic affair. The result is probably the truest recording of how the band actually sounded at that time. We never got to meet John Peel; I don't think many bands did.
Pete: We did quite a few sessions for The John Peel Show, they were recorded very “live” and raw which worked well for us, and I must say that John was a huge help to us in getting wider exposure cos he would play our stuff all the time in the early days, I think he played every track from our 'Fulham Fallout' album, for example. But he didn't seem to be very actively involved in the sessions and we never met him in the Maida Vale BBC studios although he did turn up one night at the Vortex club when we were playing and he seemed to enjoy himself.
You were described as "London’s Ramones" many years ago - was that a tag you liked / laughed about / didn't mind?
Nigel: I thought it was a compliment although if you listen to a Lurkers album followed by a Ramones album you will find there are not a huge lot of similarities in sound, maybe in sentiment. We got the ‘English Ramones’ tag because we played very loud and fast live.
Pete: Yeah, we were often labelled as The British Ramones or something similar but we took that as a big compliment and we certainly didn't mind. We were (and still are) big Ramones fans.
What did you think of the material the Lurkers released after you had left?
Nigel: It’s good, but not as good as the original band.
Pete: No, not interested, not the real thing…
Finally, what next? Is there another album on the way or any collaborations, maybe with Honest John Plain possibly?
Pete: Actually very busy right now, we have just started recording sessions for a vinyl single on the Human Punk label, we have a number of songs underway and we will choose the best later on, but it's sounding extremely powerful stuff at the moment.
Good luck with 'The Future's Calling' and if that box set comes off I will be first in line for one, and thanks for taking the time to answer my questions.