Arthritic Foot Soldiers

You’ve gotten things done pretty quickly since your inception a year ago. Give us a run down on the band, its history, and how things got started?
CJ: You can blame Munki Boi for that, he just mentioned it in passing about being on Gnarly Dude 2! and forming a punk band.

Munki Boi: What he said !,always wanted to be in a punk band since I was a kid, never happened, mentioned the idea to CJ and the rest is history
Burt: Then I foolishly volunteered to play bass. I’m a guitar player really. I really have to think down to 4 strings.

Did you think you’d get an album out so quickly? In fact did you think you’d get your first EP out so quickly – after 6 weeks?!
CJ: I think it was 7 weeks but still that’s forming the band writing and recording and mixing it, it was great fun, and nice to be bashing stuff out. The album, eeerrr, I guess it was under a year from forming to release of the CD, yeah I guess that is quick, I hadn’t really thought about it .. we just got on with it.
Munki Boi: Getting the EP out so quickly was a bit of a surprise for me, and as for the album, well if you’d have said you’ll have an album out within a year I think I’d have politely said ‘no fuckin’ way’ . Credit to CJ tho for driving the project forward
Burt: The music always came together pretty quick. It wasn’t much of a step to get it down on tape.

You guys ain’t that young, not that I’m saying yer old now, not kids (only at heart!). I presume you grew up listening to punk? If so what was it like to be around the punk scene in the 80’s and early 90’s before the likes of MTV tried to high jack it? And whats your earliest punk memory?
CJ: 1977 my mate played me Banana Splits by the Dickies 7 inch yellow vinyl on his Fidelity record deck, before we got the 126 bus to school it’s LODGED in my fucking head forever.
Munki Boi: Earliest punk memory was seeing Siouxsie on TOTP doing Hong Kong Garden in ’78,totally blew me away and I’ve been hooked ever since, best punk memory was seeing The Ruts at St. Andrews Hall in Norwich on their ’79 tour, quite possibly one of the best bands I ever saw
Burt:. I didn’t take much notice of it at the time. I remember a kid from school telling me about safety pins and people wearing black plastic bags and thought he must be kidding me.

We were first introduced to AFS (well pre-AFS) by Slammaster J (Munki Boi) and Burt, Cokain & Nirbanana (International) on the Gnarly Dude compilation. Those two projects/bands still going?
CJ: This is now’t to do with me
Munki Boi: Nah ! ,just a one off thing I did for a bit of a laugh
Burt: Burt, Cokain & Nirbanana (International) were going for a good few years. The bass player left. I had some idea of starting doing skate-psychobilly, but psycho slap double bass players aren’t easy to find, so it never happened. Now look what’s occured, I am a fucking bass player!

What kind of reaction have you been getting to “Tales of Drunken Generation”?
CJ: Really fucking good
Munki Boi: Pretty fuckin’ amazing to be honest, looks as though we got it right!
Bur:. We’ve had excellent reviews, but I have no faith in people’s musical taste, just look at the charts! I still don’t know if it’s any good or not. It seems to be different to what most other punk bands are doing though.

The lyrics range from humor to stuff more from the heart, do you want to explain a couple of the more ‘serious’ ones, like ‘Year of the Barricades’ maybe?
CJ: I will leave this question to munki man
Munki Boi: Was reading “Passion is a Fashion’ about the Clash and one chapter talks about the riots in Paris, Vietnam and Grosvenor Square and suchlike, just really focusing on the spirit of rebellion that ran through the Clash camp in the early days. The chorus is actually a quote from some Greek geezer, Plato maybe (can’t remember) ‘When the mode of the music changes, the walls of the city shake’ – perfect
Burt: I tried it, it doesn’t work. I went from Dorian to Locrian modes playing Smoke on the Water and the walls didn’t even fucking tremble. What the fuck did the Greeks know about anything?

Whats this about Channel 5 using tracks – what tracks, what show?!
CJ: Skate to Live from the Texas Idiot EP and the program is RAD a skateboard program
Munki Boi: Wheres me fookin’ royalties
Burt: It’s a kids skate show, but the presenter Christian Stephenson seems like a cool dude. Except he longboards and he’s under 50 and he’s got long hair and he’s over 30.

You got your name from Sidewalk Skateboarding Magazine, are you still skaters? You got your own AFS board from Buffalo Boards?
CJ: Yeah they called the skaters on Athritic Foot Soldiers .. and when we were thinking what the fuck do
we call ourselves it sort of worked, it is however one of the WORST names for a band ever, yeah we do have our own AFS skateboard, Buffalo did it as a thank you for recording a punk version of ‘Buffalo Soldiers’ for there compilation CD they are doing.
Munki Boi: Yeah, I still skate whenever I can, and having our own deck is a tad strange but a nice nod to what we do
Burt: I skate more than those fuckers. Not on an AFS board though.

Who made CJ’s Sk8ar?
CJ: Me and my mate Big Woody also a skater, and hand painted by Dave Dixon
Munki Boi: And christened the SK8ar by yours truly (I think !)

What gigs have you got lined up?
CJ: Yes we have we are starting to get people asking us to play which is great, tracking down gigs is just a fucking ball ache at times.
Munki Boi: Far too many to remember it would seem, supporting King Kurt in a couple of weeks and playing on the same bill as 999 in a couple of months which will be weird as they were one of my fave bands as a kid
Burt: 999? Who they?

Tell the readers 5 facts about the band/members no one really knows!
CJ: Fuck that’s a difficult one, Burts a guitar player and not a bass player, our drummer played and electronic kit on the ‘Texas Idiot’ EP, I play mandolin and Irish folk, I only got my own copy if Banana Splits by the Dickies in the last few months, my mom wouldn’t let me have my pocket money to buy it as a kid, and I can’t think of a 5th thing to say.. sorry
Munki Boi:  snogged Hazel O’Connor, Tried to bum a lift off Big John(Exploited) in ’81 after The Apocalypse now tour and was politely told to fuck off !, Gobbed on fat Mike of NOFX and he stopped the gig to give me a load of shit ! (well deserved I admit), Went and saw The Skids instead of The Dead Kennedys (seriously bad choice), can’t think of a fifth one!
Burt: I am really a woman. I secretly play pedal steel in a country and western cabaret band. I used to be the president of Russia. My other car is also a SAAB. I have a birthmark in the shape of an exotic carp (but I’m not saying where it is).

So what do you guys do and work at away from the band?
CJ: I work for a small record label and a writer for Mass Movement Fanzine
Munki Boi: I’m a Retail Logistics Manager
Burt: Web/graphic designer. I also fuck around with some recording and audio stuff. I do a lot of transferring weird tapes to CD’s for divorce cases and shit like that.

If I were to look thru your CD collection would I find any embarrassing albums?!!
CJ: Hang on I will go look. Yes shit loads .. and too many for me to possibly mention J
Munki Boi: Natasha Bedingfield, The Bangles think that’s more than enough to admit to
Burt: I don’t own any CD’s. All my stuff’s on vinyl, but I don’t listen to that either. Natasha Bedingfield!!!! You dubious fucker Munki.

What have AFS got planned to finish of the year and bring them into 2006…
CJ: A split 10 inch vinyl single and a live EP
Munki Boi: Hopefully more recording for the 2nd album and a decent handful of gigs will do just fine
Burt: I’m hoping to get a massive sponsorship deal with a major manufacturer of cheese. MMMMM unlimited cheese.

Thats all I got, thanks for the interview guys, the last words are yours…
CJ: Someone shoot Bush and Blair!
Munki Boi: fuck religion/fuck politics/fuck art/fuck television/fuck bush/fuck blair
Burt: Somebody shoot Blair. In the bush. Cuntcheese, soapytitwank.

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