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




No one was ever quite like PWEI and probably no band ever will be again, frequent visitors to our shores back in the day its been a long time between drinks but finally they are coming back to see us kicking off at Perth's iconic Rosemount Hotel on August 31st before heading east and then to New Zealand. This is your change to see a true original. We caught up with Graham Crabb to ask the questions big and small...

You finally make it Down-under to see us in Australia (and New Zealand) later this month.We know you used to love us but it must have been twenty years since your last visit. Whatdid we do to upset you? The beer wasn’t it?

Well, maybe. British lager is pretty crap too, but our ales are good. For quality, strong lager, you
can't beat European though. Belgian in particular. These days I actively fight against the beerbelly,
so I drink wine or spiced rum. La de da.

What are you most looking forward to getting up to down here?

We're coming purely for the snorkelling opportunities. That and the lady-boys in King's Cross. It will be a joy to return, it's been too long.

This time round there’s pretty much a whole new band – how has playinglive changed for you over the years and what are these guys like?

Well, the new band are session-quality musos in shit-kicking bands like Killing Joke and Gary Numan. It's a bit different as the old PWEI were more like a friendship that turned into musicians and the new band is
musicians that turned into friendship. That's not strictly true as me& Mary have been buddies since prehistoric times.

What sort of setlist can we expect? Will it be a singles show or do youhave something special planned?

The sexlist, for it is pure sex, let's not erm, beat about the bush. It will be the singles that people know & love (so I'm told) plus a selection of personal faves and new stuff.

Will we get to hear a lot of new Poppies material?

We will be playing a new track 'Watch The Bitch Blow' that came out as a single recently. if we can rehearse another new one in time, maybe something else too.

Latest Album – “New noise designed by a sadist’ from 2011 got someattention down here will there be a follow up?

Yes. There not only will be a follow up, there IS a follow-up. It's completely recorded and was going to come out in October, but that may change to Feb 2015. It's too good, it needs a proper build up and a
campaign of violence to force the right people to take notice. We'll keep you informed.

Will we get to hear ‘Equal Zero’ from the album on Tour?

It wasn't on the shortlist but I always feel guilty when people request something we hadn't shortlisted to play. Aw, it would be good..

How do you approach the creation process today? and has it changed overthe years?

We always used to be quite short of writing time and struggled to fit it in between bouts of touring, socialising and rehab. But for the last album we just kept writing until we got to 30 ideas and then whittled it down to the best 12. So as quality control goes, it's a cracking album - and that seems to be the word from most people who've been afforded a sneak listen.

What piece of music you have created over the years do you feel mostdefines you as a band?

With the current band it's the last but one single 'Watch The Bitch Blow'. It's heavy, monstrous got the rock/rap aggression thing going off in your face. It's awesome. Over a longer time span? Maybe Wise Up Sucker or Ich Bin Ein Auslander. Over the course of an album 'This Is The Day, This Is The Hour, This Is This' pretty much defined what we were about.

What song could you never leave off a setlist?

Their Law, the Prodigy collaboration. It has a quality of songwriting we could only dream of. Thanks Liam! Seriously, I'm kind of jealous of The Prodigy at the same time as being one of their biggest fans. They took the kind of thing that we did, but did it better, more succinctly and hit the nail bang on the head. I don't think they copied us at all, as some people suggest, they came at it from a different angle and progressed organically along the way. Awesome band. I feel privileged to have had the chance to collaborate.

In a world where technology and fast food has led people down a path toinstant gratification at the expense of quality and larger more fulfillingexperience do you see a way back for music that seeks to engage theintellect and the dulled senses?

It's either an emphasis on quality, that people are prepared to spend the time on finding and investing in, or a new kind of punk rock style revolution. That could take any form, unknown as yet, but the climate
seems too conservative right now.

What is your greatest fear for the world?

Human survival would be disastrous. We just fuck things up for the other occupants of this planet. The world will be a far better place without humans. Apathy and lazyness are taking over. We allow billionaires and multinational corporations to rule the human world without putting up a fight. I'll get in the ring with all of 'em.

If you could turn the clock backwards what time would you feel mostcomfortable?

Maybe when I was 18, 19 and left home. The first taste of independence is sweet. But I'm happy now and like living in the present. I'm not one who yearns for the past. Getting PWEI Mark II together was a desire to continue the story, not be a retro safe option.

What are the bands plans beyond this year?

Getting the new album out which will probably be around February of next year. Making people realise that this is not a retro band, it's a current band who are as good as ever and if we can get people to realise and witness that, our future should be good.

Who is your most enduring influence as a musician?

Robert Smith is a great example for just being yourself. In more general terms, the punk rock explosion has shaped my thinking the most. Don't let anybody tell you you're not qualified to do what you want to do, get stuck in and make it happen.

Do you listen to contemporary music, and is any of it any good?

I try very hard to like modern stuff cos I think you end up a complete wanker if you only listen to favourites from back in the day. You become irrelevant and annoying. I like Sleaford Mods, Noizia, Silver Arm, Audio
Bullies, M.I.A.


What is your most disgracefully rock and roll moment?

Really? How many are allowed on the shortlist? Erm, probably ending up in a police cell after a night out with Nick Cave.

Have you any unfulfilled musical ambitions?

Yes, I'd like to duet with Sting and collaborate with Coldplay. I'm joking. Being mega successful would be nice though. Being a cult pop star is overrated.

If you could compose with anyone living or dead who would it be?

The decomposing composers.

Can music still have the power to change the world in 2014?

No, but it can in 2015 when our album comes out. Sadly, music isn't uppermost in the thoughts of the younger generation. Music used to be everything but along came computer games, iPhones & iPads… But I'm a big believer in against-the-grain theory; the things that make the most impact are things you least expect to.

Have you thought about how you would like to be remembered when you stopmaking music?

'Genuine, lovely bloke, we'll miss him' will do. Don't overdo it though. Don't spend a fortune on flowers.

Thinking back to your early memories of music, what was it that first made you decide you needed to
be in a Rock and Roll band?

Music was the currency through which you did everything when I was younger. I needed to be in a band to
elevate my social status. Sad but true. I was probably insecure, low in self esteem and definitelyy short of a shag or two. I was a good footballer when I was younger, but when that waned music took its place.

From what you’ve learned so far what is the most valuable advice you’ve been given so far as a

Don't eat when you're singing. Actually Chuck D once told us to just keep hammering away at what we do.
People will eventually get it. We did. They didn't.

If you could have been a ‘Fly on the wall’ for the creation of any great album from any period, just to
see how the magic happened and it all came together, what would it have been for you any why?

Easy. Public Enemy's 'It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back'. The sampling and beat-building and
layering and general fury of that record was genius.

What is the meaning of life?

To make that nanosecond between birth and death seem longer than a second. Spend your time wisely, there's no refunds or money back guarantees in this game.



Graham spoke to The Rockpit August 2014





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