Interview with Muzika.hr portal permission
Authors: Ivica Cikač & Tomi Phantasma
For this occasion edited by Tomi Phantasma
Punk rock legends Anti Nowhere League, are at the moment one leaders of rock bands of “old generation”. The reason for this interview with charismatic punk-biker, singer and the band leader Animal are two shows the band will play in our part of the world.
1) As far as I know, you are common guests in Europe. You had done an European tour, then you went to the US leg and now you are back. Is that exhausting for you be on tour all the time? Do you enjoy playing today as much as you did before, on the begining?
ANIMAL: Yes we tour more and more now….its a lot easier traveling these days due to cheap flights….I tend to see more these days ,more interesting people!!..less alcohol I suppose.
2) I presume that on every show you do a synthesis of your whole opus, that you cover all your albums. Do you tend to make similar setlists or do it depend of your mood at that certain point, so are you on some shows on end playing the songs you did not have plan to play?
ANIMAL: We plan our setlist for the Counties we go to….depending on how well a certain album has been received…….we will change our set though through the night depending on the audience.
3) You are about to hit the stage with some Croatian and Slovenian bands here in Zagreb and in Maribor, and some of them are The Drinkers and Eksodus. So, if I’m right, you’re friends with them?
ANIMAL: Yes we are….the best thing about the band for me is the other bands we meet up with….some we have been associated with for 30 years…..we have many band friends around the world, good guys who know how hard it is to keep a band on the road.
4) Punk rock musicians always had problems for publicly making statements about the society. In your opinion, why can’t people handle the truth and admit that they were not right regarding something?
ANIMAL: The way of the world my friend….the truth hurts so it is best to ignore it…..Punk enables you to get up on your soapbox and shout!!!….no-one listens though.
5) Anti-Nowhere League has several interecting anecdotes. For instance, I’ve read that you were arrested at a certain carnival, and that you had problems while recording your live album «Live In Yugoslavia» in the former Yugoslavia. Is it true that «Road To Rampton» is some kind of your life story? You went to prisson?
ANIMAL: Yes I have had a few run-ins with the law….nothing to be proud of ….just sort of happened over the years….remember I have lived a long time and I have had some chapters of my life where I hung out with some serious gangs but the music scene has always kept me on a straight (as possible) path…..I found singing about bad times kept me out of prison so this lifestyle works for me….and yes the ‘Road to Rampton’ is my story….each song has a a meaning for me….Rampton is the institution where you go when the authorities say you are violently mentally unstable…..the end of the road for the bad guys….the place where a judge said I would end up….I didn’t of course so it has an imaginary ending….so far!!!
6) Can you tell us some more anecdotes about band?
ANIMAL: As i said the band keeps me sane….writing a performing songs brings a side out of me that I like…..I dont like my darkside and reality that much so I keep writing….I have so many ideas I hope I live long enough to achieve them.
7) Is it true that you’re performance with Metallica in London in 1992 was one of the main reason for the ANWL reunion?
ANIMAL: Yes…..they played their part…..it wasn’t the money what enticed me back…..shit knows they have so much of it………it was the fact that I felt my wings had been clipped without the band on the road…they gave me the kick I needed to get started again…..also they loved ‘So What’ as well!!!!…..made me feel sort of proud that I had written a song that a big band like them play it all the time.
8) Your latest album „The Road To Rampton“ was done 2 years ago, do you have plan to hit the studio and record a new album?
ANIMAL: We are planning one …..I have started on it……..with Lars Fredrickson from Rancid producing it…..just got to get my act together and work out the time scedule….hopefully early next year will see it.
9) What is your favorite Anti-Nowhere League album, and your favorite album ever (outside of the band)?
ANIMAL: Our band…..obviously ‘Road to Rampton’ …as for other bands….so many but one that always springs to mind is X-Ray Spex…»Germfree Adolescents»….great band at the right time.
10) Do you think that, regarding music, you did your best or that you could have done more or, perhaps, less?
ANIMAL: Always striving to tap into my mind….the best is yet to come I always say.
11) If you could, what would you change in your life or band career so far?
ANIMAL: Hard one that….this is all I know…my life…the band …hard to say what I wish would happen….I think it is the ups and downs that make this business good…..you cant tap into hard times if you dont know them can you?….happiness…..despair…both sides of the spectrum. thats where reality comes in…thats where you truly know yourself.
12 Do you have some point up to which you plan to do music, or will you just go with the flow and do concerts as long as you enjoy doing so?
ANIMAL: I am ….for as long as I am…..then nothing.
13 You are often guests in Croatia, how come, do you like to come, or? I heard that some of you spent holidays on Croatian coast.
ANIMAL: We are always welcome in Croatia…over the years we have made many friends there….and yes we do get asked by them to come over for a holiday…..chill out drink a few beers with you guys….dont get better than that. Our drummer Nato just come back from holiday on ireland Brac and he was very impressed by beauty of nature there.
14) You have new guitarist.
ANIMAL: Johny is our new man on guitar…..over the years we come and go but Johny is new blood….a great guy with a lot of attitude…..just what we need.
15) Next year is ANWL 30th anniversary. Do you prepeare something special for that occasion?
ANIMAL: Havent thought of anything specific but I will work on it….meant to be in Australia but I have an album to finish first!!! Big world tour mybe…..
16) I heard that your passion are motorcicles. Can you tell me about please.
ANIMAL: Always loved bikes…..always had one…my latest is a Harley 1450 Dynaglide chopper….all black called….Animal…..not very original I know but it keeps an old man happy!!
17) What you are doing when you are not playing in band?
ANIMAL: Writing….working on a building site….yes I do work….I am also a builder by trade so it keeps me fit and pays me a wage…..if you want something you got to work for it…..nobody gives you fuck-all in this life.
18) What audience can expect on your shows in Maribor and Zagreb. Do you ever play in Maribor before?
ANIMAL: Hopefully good as usual….I think we never play Maribor before
19) How do you explain that punk rock is still going on and even better in last few years?
ANIMAL: Hard times….it always brings the best out of music….Punk thrives in bad times …a union under one flag….forget the shit lets party!!
20) What do you think why metal bands are influenced by punk rock, lots of metal band made covers for punk rock songs, like Metallica, Sepultura, Megadeath, Guns N’Roses, even Motley Crue? There is whole album of ANWL covers made by metal bands, how come?
ANIMAL: We have always been very close to metal….thats been our angle….the metal bands understand and respect this …..we come from the backstreets and ride motorcycles…they usually come from ‘nicer’ places…….they would not cover our songs if they did not know the score…after all its all rock’n'roll…yes?
21) What is your plans for future?
ANIMAL: Finish this house I am building….finish my book I am writing….finish the album I am writing….re-build my bike this winter…..organise our next world tour……….so not a lot really!!!!!
22) What is punk rock szene at the moment in Britain?
ANIMAL: In the Cities its good….always is.
23) Where are ANWL most popular?
ANIMAL: At the moment……Brazil……reminds me I have to organise a tour there.
24) I wish you everything the best, lots of success and that you play as long as possible.
ANIMAL:.Thanks my friend….I will play until I drop!!!………see you in Maribor and Zagreb.