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The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world
THE PORKERS PETE COOPER INTERVIEW 2014

ROCKPIT INTERVIEWS 2014 - THE PORKERS PETE COOPER

THE PORKERS

we talk to main man Pete Cooper about the band's resurfacing for Soundwave 2014 and what might lie ahead for Australian Ska's finest...

 

FEBRUARY 2014

THE PORKERS WERE THE BEST AUSTRALIAN SKA BAND AND THEY'RE BACK FOR SW14!

Mark: Thank you for taking the time to talk to the Rockpit Pete, how’s things?


Pete: Not so bad, yourself?


Mark: Let’s start with Soundwave! You’ve dipped off the radar for the last few tears so how did the call up happen?


Pete: Well we’ve sort of been on hiatus the last five years so it all happened by running into AJ backstage at a show in Sydney and at the end of the conversation we were doing Soundwave!


Mark: So do you think that playing the Festival will inspire you to do anything more or will Soundwave be strictly a one off for you?


Pete: Well at the moment it’s all we’re doing and all we’re committed to and the new players in the band, that’s all I’ve asked them to commit to; but me and XXXX 2:05 (Sax player and co-founding member)are keen to look at seeing where this takes us and so we’ll give this a bash and see what happens.


Mark: That sounds great and you have a warm-up gig in your hometown of Newcastle on February 8th that everyone should come down to?


Pete: Yeah we needed a live run-through to get rid of the cobwebs and initiate the new members to the shit that’s going! And we’re looking forward to it. The venue is a place where many Porkers things have gone down so it seemed a very fitting place to hold it.


Mark: For a band that has throughout its career had pretty good press and always delivered the goods and had great support from the fans, why did you take that break? Was it to take a break to try something new? A change in circumstances for band members?


Pete: Erm, you could say that, yes a change in circumstances for band members, where a couple of them just became c**ts!


Mark: Sounds par for the course for the industry! We’ll leave it at that. Have you been making any music in the interim?


Pete: No really a helluva lot, though I’ve been making a lot in my heard. I have done a bit of stuff though, there’s a young SKA band from Canberra called Los Capitanes, who I’ve sort of taken under my wing, produced and released a couple of their albums. We did a couple of shows where they set up with me and we called it ‘I can’t believe it’s not Porkers’!  But that’s kind of what I’ve been up to and also I’ve been talking about starting an entirely different kind of band playing rock and Blues and Gospel music! But that hasn’t come about as yet.  


Mark: SKA to me has always seemed such an energetic genre bursting with fun and life and you’re know for your great live shows are we going to get a high energy workout?


Pete: Absolutely! I suppose we’re known for a fun live show and coming back I knew it had to be as good as it used to be if not better, so we’ve been training to get ‘match fit’ and we’re almost there!


Mark: Does the thrill of playing live change over the years?


Pete: I’m still getting really excited about it, the thrill of being onstage and playing a great gig is one of the best experiences I’ve had in life and I suppose like a drug is something you want to go back to and have one more go! Just one more! So yeah, getting really excited but sometimes I’m a little bit weary about all of the other shit that goes into getting it together, but it’s all worth it in the end for that time on stage.

Mark: We’ve got a lot of US readers on the site and of course you’ve played some great tours over there do you have any great memories of particular tours or shows on the road over there?


Pete: Oh so many great memories! On the Vans Warped tour, the bill with Eminem, Ice-T and Black Eyed Peas and some great punk bands like Pennywise and Suicidal Tendencies was the best and at the end of that tour we played some great venues outside the tour – one of them at the Middle East club in Boston where we played with a couple of great local SKA bands – The Slackers and Bim Skala Bim and that was just a crazy incredible night in Boston. Then in New York we supported the late Laurel Aitken who was known as the Godfather of SKA, and one of the originators! Not only that, one of the Ramones was in the audience! Too many good stories!     


Mark: I saw Bim Skala Bim had a new album out recently too.


Pete: Indeed they have, and it’s actually quite a good album! And again they have been one of my favourite American SKA bands forever and a very underrated band, so playing with them in Boston was incredibly cool! Mark: A couple of questions that came in over the internet now. The first one from Stacey is ‘Where would someone new to the Porkers start with their back catalogue?’ I guess they are really asking what your favourite album is maybe? But I won’t put words in their mouths!


Pete: I suppose our most popular album has been ‘Hot Dog Daiquiri’ and I guess that’s kind of the middle of things so you can either go backwards or you can go forwards! So probably that, either that or start at the start and wipe all the way through!


Mark: Start at the start with the EP that had that wonderful name!


Pete: Yes!


Mark: And another from social media from Terri, and I think you’ve kind of answered this one: ‘with the 30th anniversary just around the corner do you have any plans to celebrate it?’


Pete: Not at the moment no, but the fact that we’re playing again in the twenty-seventh year the 30th isn’t too far away, so why not! (Laughing)


Mark: Don’t worry Pete I’m not planning my birthdays three years ahead either!


Pete: No!

Mark: What sort of music are you listening to at the minute, with you mentioning that Blues/Gospel band are you listening to a lot of that, or are there any new bands that have caught your attention?


Pete: Not a lot of new bands, personally I’ve been listening to a lot of Rock and Roll, Rockabilly, Soul and Blues and some Gospel, a lot of stuff I’ve missed over the years that I’m slowly working my way through. As far as absolutely new bands not a helluva lot, but that makes me feel out of touch! But I’m always listening to good SKA and Punk and Reggae and Dancehall.  The ‘Sublime with Rome’ album a few years back was pretty incredible. But just finding pockets of things here and there and I guess that’s what it’s like these days, stuff I missed when I was too busy doing other shit!


Mark: I’m just hoping that you don’t clash with ‘Rocket From the Crypt’ at Soundwave! And if we can close with a couple of questions we ask everyone: 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?


Pete: Ohhh, of the top of my head – Fishbone’s ‘The Reality of My Surroundings’.


Mark: Cool, that’s such a  great album everyone should hear. And finally: what is the meaning of life?
Pete: To have fun before you cark!


Mark: Thank you so much for this morning Pete it’s been a pleasure. See you at Soundwave.


Pete:  Alright, no worries, should be awesome!

 

 

SOUNDWAVE FESTIVAL 2014 
SATURDAY 22 FEBRUARY - BRISBANE, RNA SHOWGROUNDS
SUNDAY 23 FEBRUARY - SYDNEY, OLYMPIC PARK
FRIDAY 28 FEBRUARY - MELBOURNE, FLEMINGTON RACECOURSE
SATURDAY 1 MARCH - ADELAIDE, BONYTHON PARK
MONDAY 3 MARCH - PERTH, CLAREMONT SHOWGROUNDS

 

 

Pete spoke to Mark Diggins January 2014

 

 

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