The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

MARK TALKS TO SCOTT HILL OF FU MANCHU

ABOUT THEIR AUSTRALIAN TOUR

PLAYING THE CLASSIC 'THE ACTION IS GO'

AND THE CHANCE OF MORE VINYL!

 

 

 

Mark: Hi Scott, it’s great to speak to you, and great to see that you are coming over to Australia shortly. What’s it like to come over to Australia?

 

 

Scott: We like it, everything is by the beach and the coast.

 

 

Mark: How many times have you been over before?

 

 

Scott: We’ve been over three times, the last time was 2002. We just like being by the beach, we grew up surfing, and it’s great. I remember one place in Perth, I think, we were playing  and I remember looking from the stage out the back of the club and it was right on the beach, and I remember thinking it doesn’t get much better than this!

 

 

Mark: Yes, we are from Perth, and I think that was the time you played in Scarborough. You’ve been doing the Action is Go Tour now for a little while, and I know it’s going well and that you are going to Europe, after you’ve been to Australia, there was also talk of a King of The Road Tour as well, will that be happening after this tour?

 

 

Scott: I have no idea! I didn’t even think we’d be doing Action is Go, but it’s fun to do, we’ve never done the record played whole thing before, and our  old record label’s let us have vinyl again, so, it’s fun, it seems like new songs.

 

 

Mark: It’s interesting the whole concept, I guess it’s been done a fair bit now, but I was just wondering if you’d just waited until it was really uncool to do it, before you decided to do it!?

 

 

Scott: No, we never thought about doing it in the first place, the manager just brought it up, and we thought, yeah, sure, we’ll give it a shot. Yeah, it’s fun to do.

 

 

Mark: Do you play it quite straight, or do you play around with the songs a bit?

 

 

Scott: Opening song to the last song, that’s it! It’s only a forty minute record, so we come out and do about five songs off the various records and then I pick up my guitar, we use the same gear as we did in search of, my old fender etc. and then we start with the first song and play it all the way to the last song and there you go!

 

 

Mark: It must be quite hard these days, because you’ve been going so long, to actually put a set together.

 

 

Scott: Yeah, it is, it’s hard because you do five or six songs and then you forget to do this one or  who wants to hear this one, if people shout out songs, if we can remember it, we’ll play it!

 

 

Mark: I love the fact that you’re doing so much vinyl as well, I’ve got a copy of the covers LP you did last year, on vinyl.  What was your favourite song on that LP?

 

 

Scott: I think the most popular is “Godzilla”, I think my favourite is the SSD cover “Nothing Done” or “Moving in Stereo” by The Cars. I don’t know, I like them all!

 

 

Mark: Yeah, it’s great, and there’s so much variety on there as well. Your last studio record, “Signs of Infinite Power” was a fantastic album, I absolutely loved it, some of my favourites were “El Busta”, “Bionic Astronautics”, and the real psychedelic one “Web Foot Witch Hat”. When is the follow up coming?

 

 

Scott: As soon as we get back from the Australian tour.  We’ll get back, take a week off and then start writing the new one and hopefully we’ll have it recorded by the end of the year or beginning of next year.

 

 

Mark: Yes, I saw you have a gap after Australia before you go to the UK and Europe, so is the plan to write then?

 

 

Scott: Yeah, I think we’ve got twenty five to thirty ideas that we want to really start working on and piecing stuff together. So, we’ll probably take the summer and just work on new stuff. We’ll demo it, listen to it and probably rewrite the stuff a thousand times!

 

 

Mark: So are you one of those bands who spend a lot of time re- visiting their songs?

 

 

Scott: Yeah we spend a lot of time working out the ideas and what best fits where but by the time we have studio time booked the song is what it is. But, yes we try and mess with it as much as possible, and try different things, and by the time we get in the studio, it’s done.

 

 

Mark: Here’s a very unusual question, that someone wanted me to ask you, how cool is it having a band named after literature’s first super villain?

 

 

Scott: Yeah, we got it from the old Fu Manchu movies, the black and white ones! We were looking at old movies, like sci- fi, old B movies, magazines, and we saw the name and thought that sounds pretty good, wrote it down and kept looking around, but kept going back to it and so it became the name.

 

 

Mark: You are coming over on tour with Black Cobra, who seem to be doing alright, in their own right. How well do you know the guys?

 

 

Scott: We’ve met a few times, we got to know Rafa, the drummer, pretty well, when he was in Acid King, and we’ll get to know them a little bit better in a month.

 

 

Mark: you have some good shows coming up, in Australia, The Cherry bar over in Melbourne, is a little, but iconic venue here. And even though it’s relatively new, I was talking to the promoter there the other day, James Young, and he was over the moon that you guys were going to play there! You are probably the biggest coup they’ve had at the bar so far.

 

 

Scott: Yeah, we’ll play wherever! We’ve got a couple of days spare, we’ll play in your living room in the two days we have spare, it doesn’t matter to us!

 

 

Mark: That’s fantastic! I might take you up on that!! We are just by the beach, so bring your surf boards as well!

 

 

Scott: What do you think the weather will be like while we’re over there?

 

 

Mark: March has been hot over here. I guess when you come, maybe mid 20’s, so warm in the day. Now for our stock questions that we ask everyone. If you could have been involved in the creation of one piece of music from any point in time, what would it have been and why?

 

 

Scott: Black Flags, “Damage”, that’s my favourite record of all time, everything, the songs, the sound, they are the best band ever! I heard Greg Ginn would duct tape the headphones on to his head because he would get into it so much when recording, they would fly off his head! I would have loved to have been there.

 

 

Mark: Finally, the easy question, we ask everybody, what is the meaning of life?

 

 

Scott: Boy, I have no clue!! I’ve got a four year old daughter so I’ll go with her!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mark: One more, what can Australian audiences expect, how long are you going to be playing? I know you’re playing the album in full. For people who are undecided as to whether to come and see Fu Manchu or not, why would they want to come out and see you?

 

 

Scott: A really loud, fuzzy rock show!! We’ll play as long as people want us to play for, if they give us a couple of hours, that’s how long we’ll play, whatever! Yell out a song and if we remember it, we’ll play it!!

 

 

Mark: I certainly will! I’ll be there taking photos, the Rosie, where you are playing in Perth, has pretty good sound in that room, so I think you’ll go down great!

 

Mark: What’s your take on the music business today? I know a lot of bands are finding it hard. You guys seem to have embraced the ethic of bringing back the vinyl, and have stuck to your guns as far as the music is concerned. There are a lot of people out there, especially in Australia, who love the band and are happy you are still around after so long. Are you quite happy doing what you are doing?

 

 

Scott: Yeah, we definitely enjoy playing music and writing songs, and recording. Our main thing is playing live, that’s the whole reason we are a band. I wanted to be in a band so I could hear a guitar cranked up loud. It’s real tough to sell records nowadays, with people getting stuff on line, but then again you are making new fans, who have never heard you before, so they can check out the band to see if they like it, buy a record or shirt and go to a show. But, for us it’s all touring, we like getting out on the road and playing live, that’s never changed.

 

 

Mark: Yes, it’s great to see a band like yourselves coming over to Australia, as many bands miss coming over here, so we appreciate the fact that you’re heading out. As the remaining founder member of the band, how do you feel the band’s progressed over the years?

 

 

Scott: To me, I think we’re kind of consistent with what you are going to get, you’re gonna get a loud, fuzzy, guitar driven record. There’s not a lot of change between records, maybe a few tempo changes, but that’s what we want to hear, Fu Manchu want to play live, and play songs with a big loud riff!

 

 

Mark: You are consistent, like on “Signs of Infinite Power”, there doesn’t seem to be a weak link on there. Are you still conscious that you are making such great music after so long?

 

 

Scott: No, no, to hear you say that is very nice, but we just put the songs out, and listen, and hopefully it doesn’t drag at all, as I said before, we just like making loud rock!

 

 

Mark: I read somewhere that you’d found some demos, from around the time of “Godzilla”, and there was talk of putting them out on a re-release?

 

 

Scott: Yeah, I found the master tapes at my mum’s house. We did a cover of “Jailbreak” by Thin Lizzy, and there were two or three unreleased songs, but we’d have to go in and re mix the tapes and we couldn’t remember the songs at all! Maybe when we get back from Australia we’ll have some time and go in the studio and check those out.

 

 

Mark: So, there’s probably going to be some re issues in vinyl along the way?

 

 

Scott: Yeah, maybe later this year we are going to re issue our first couple of records: “No one Rides for Free” and the “Daredevil” record too, hopefully by the end of the year.

 

 

Mark: Well, thanks for taking the time, Scott, I really appreciate that, and I’m really looking forward to seeing you in Perth.

 

 

 

FU MANCHU PLAY THE FOLLOWING DATES DOWN-UNDER:

April 27

San Francisco Bath House, Wellington, NZ

 

April 28

The Studio, Auckland, NZ

 

April 29

Cherry Rock Festival, Melbourne

 

May 2

Fowlers Live, Adelaide

 

May 3

Hi Fi Bar and Ballroom, Sydney

 

May 4

Hi Fi Bar and Ballroom, Brisbane

 

May 5

Rosemount Hotel, Perth

 

May 6

Hi Fi Bar and Ballroom, Melbourne

 

 

 

 

By Mark Diggins