Instead of focusing one just one person, I decided to interview two together for once. I don’t think you can interview Pat without Tomas and vice versa anyway. So when Never Again threw in the towel back in November I thought it was a good time to look back with them and also talk about their other projects (Carry The Weight Records, Wayfarer etc.). And between all the nonsense they actually managed to say something serious too. Love the outcome of this. Good guys. Done between December 2010 / February 2011.
So what are you two up to at the moment?
PAT: Currently back at university, working on my dissertation. Busy times.
TOMAS: I’m back at work now, cracking on in the snowy conditions.
Anything in particular you guys wanna talk about?
TOMAS: 90′s vegan metal?
Haha, okay. 90’s vegan metal? I only like Arkangel from that kinda stuff I think. Just insanely brutal. And sketchy. What do you wanna say about that?
TOMAS: Arkangel are insanely good, however Green Rage are more sketchy and therefore even better. If a band sings about violent eco uprising over awful recorded guitar tremolos I’m rocking out. HARD.
PAT: Said and Done signing to Sony Records?
“If a band sings about violent eco uprising over awful recorded guitar tremolos I’m rocking out.”
That’s not fair Pat, you made us sign that document that we can’t release anything anywhere aside from CTW in the next 20 years. Do you know how hard it is to keep telling them that we would love to sign with them but we simply can’t? It sucks Pat. It sucks. Thanks.
PAT: All I can say is Priorities, Pim. Priorities. CTW will be a global political power soon, so you want to be on our side.
Haha alright. Time to put on your serious face guys. You recently played your last show with Never Again. It’s been a couple of months now… How does it feel looking back?
PAT: It’s still a pretty strange feeling for me, knowing its over. Looking back it can be quite frustrating knowing what we had going, and various plans which were in motion which are once in a lifetime really. But that’s how it goes. We had a a good run considering it was only for a year and a few months, got to meet SO many new friends. We got a good send off at CTW Fest, was great to see such a good turnout and people going crazy. At the end of the day the positives outweigh the negatives, and I’m grateful we got the chance to do the things we did.
TOMAS: I think Pat summed it all up nicely and I agree, it was a good “innings” and I don’t think we could of asked for a more positive first year, “Short but Sweet” as someone said to me the other day.
So what went wrong exactly?
PAT: I don’t really want to get into the intricate details as I could go on forever and whats done is done. But basically there was a big personality/maturity difference between a member of the band and the rest of us. At times that member showed a serious lack of respect and honesty to not only us but people who had put a lot of time and effort into helping the band out. I guess it just built up over the last few months and events occurred on tour which highlighted all that negativity times ten and we had had enough. It’s funny that even now people think they know what happened better than we do, and love getting involved when they have absolutely no grounds to. My advice to those gullible ‘bros’ is to wake the fuck up.
TOMAS: I think the whole thing here in the UK has been pretty hard for us to understand. What happened happened and its a really big shame it went down like it did, but these things happen when honesty lacks. But the real shock is the after effects even more so than the actual break up for me. A lot of people thought they knew what happened even before we were actually back from tour and a lot of division occurred. It was almost like a kind of tribal instinct, kids clinging together. Funny looking back on it, but very annoying at the time.
Yeah it’s a shame, when it goes wrong like that. So before it all came down, what were the plans you guys had, what was going to be the way forward?
TOMAS: Well, we were talking to some real good labels about doing a new album for 2011 and touring it A LOT, US included. Infact the Euro tours we were gonna do aren’t even announced yet, so can’t even talk about them…
PAT: Like Tomas said, we had an LP planned for 2011 on some pretty cool labels, and some exciting tours. I hate thinking about that though haha.
Damn. Anything you would have wanted to do differently looking back? Aside from the obvious that is.
TOMAS: Toured more and done another tape maybe.
PAT: Done more records, toured more. I always wanted to do a more sketchy type of production on a record as well, really bring out the raw energy of the songs. That would have been cool to hear.
“It’s funny that even now people think they know what happened better than we do, and love getting involved when they have absolutely no grounds to.”
Yeah that’s cool. Did you know that Nirvana wanted to do that with In Utero? Release a vinyl-only edition with a rawer mix before the actual CD hit the stores? The recordlabel voted against it though. Shit there I go with the Nirvana trivia again.
PAT: I can’t stand Nirvana (sorry Pim).
No problem Pat. Nobody’s perfect. I feel for you. So what’s the song that you’re the most proud of that you wrote with Never Again. And more importantly, why?
TOMAS: Personally I really liked the last songs we wrote, the extras on the “Year One” LP. By then we had become pretty tight writing together, so it’s so much faster and actually musically thought out (well as much as Never Again was anyway haha).
PAT: Different songs for different reasons. Iron Youth will always be a favourite. Because it talked about Straight Edge when it was dead in the UK, but also the reactions we got when we played it, especially for the last time. Other favourites of mine are Poor Excuse, Intro/Race Riots and No Sympathy – purely because of the bass break so I could pretend I was Porcell.
Yeah I get what you’re saying Tomas. As for your Mr Hassan… Iron Youth during your final show was insane indeed. The place exploded. That whole show was great. But more importantly, who else do you like to pretend to be now and then? Or is it something exclusive to Porcell?
PAT: Any hardcore warrior from the 80’s is fine with me haha. Those 13 seconds in that song make me want to get a fade and bleach the top. But I won’t…
Haha. Let’s close off the Never Again chapter on a positive note. What’s the best memory you guys have of Never Again?
TOMAS: Touring, without a doubt. Generic but true. Met great people, had great times doing stupid stuff in different countries. How’s that for posi? And getting people arguing and talking about Palestine more.
PAT: Gotta agree, touring. Was nothing I looked forward to more. Especially the spring tour in 2010 with Stay Hungry from Sweden. Hands down the best/funniest people we ever met and I had the best time. Shows in London and Canterbury were always great too. Will always remember that Royal Rumble show at the Underworld. Was expecting a dull reaction for us but people were stage diving and going crazy, it ruled.
CARRY THE WEIGHT
You also run Carry The Weight Records together. How many releases did you do within a year? You guys got things going pretty fast…
PAT: Yeah, Carry The Weight is doing great right now. Had the opportunity to release a load of awesome bands. Our first release was in our hands in November 2009, so in the first year we released thirteen records. I can honestly say I am stoked on every single one. We like to be productive and me and Tom are pretty much on the same page so CTW works really well.
TOMAS: It’s been so far so good. We just started putting out bands we liked and its steadily grown from being a South Coast (UK) thing into working with bands from all over the world. It just picked up pace release after release, and 2011 is gonna be even more productive so fingers crossed.
Any releases on your wishlist?
PAT: Would love to release something like No Tolerance, Rival Mob or Free Spirit. But I am really excited about what we have coming up (announcements soon), I think you will be too!
TOMAS: This year we are planning to release two of my favourite bands so I can’t complain at all.
“Working with some American bands which is pretty cool, but really excited about the UK bands – where its at.”
Any hints on those upcoming releases? You probably already announced it when this interview gets published.
PAT: Working with some American bands which is pretty cool, but really excited about the UK bands – where its at.
TOMAS: Personally I’m really looking forward to the Wardogs debut 7″, shameless plug but believe the hype is all I’m saying.
Wardogs is great. Looking forward to that too. And how about tips for people wanting to do a label themselves?
TOMAS: Make vinyl and tapes, nothing else haha. And be as organised as you can. I mean that’s all we’ve done really is just crack on and plan. No real secret.
PAT: Start it for the right reasons. Organisation is the key.
So with Never Again out of the picture, I guess it’s all about Wayfarer now?
PAT: Yeah when NxA was active that was pretty full on, so Wayfarer was kind of a side project which didn’t get our full attention. But now it’s over we have way more time for Wayfarer and we are playing out more next year, doing some tours and have a couple of new releases planned. Me and Tom have some other bands we are working on too.
TOMAS: As Pat said, with NxA being so busy Wayfarer was more of a recording project, but 2011 will see us getting a lot more active release and live wise.
Comparing it to Never Again, what do you want to do differently with Wayfarer?
PAT: The vibe in Wayfarer is a lot more chilled out but at the same time the writing process is more complex. Wayfarer has more of a metallic approach so we have more room for experimenting, as opposed to Never Again which was just straight forward fast hardcore. I still want to be as productive with this band as before, and its something quite drastically different to what we have been doing for the last year so it keeps it interesting.
TOMAS: Wayfarer is a lot more lyrically based rather where NxA was pretty straight forward lyrically. Max has a lot to write about and I think that effects a lot of what we do, as each song has more of a purpose. So we spend a lot more time working out the feel for it rather than just banging the songs out fast and hard. We will push to do a lot more with Wayfarer now but its socially and musically so different to Never Again its hard to compare the way we do things.
Speaking about that, what are the future plans so far for Wayfarer?
PAT: Like I said we are playing out a lot more in 2011, and recording a new 7” in a couple of weeks entitled ‘Letumus Cathari’. The record is 2 songs of around 6 minutes each based on the Catholic crusade against the dualist philosophy of the Cathars in 13th century France. Hope to have that out around February. We also have a short Scandinavian tour planned for June with Eye For All from Finland. I am really looking forward to that. Eventually working on a full length.
Any other bands you guys are doing? Like Pat who played in 85 % of the bands that played Carry The Weight fest?
TOMAS: Well, I play bass in a band called Hang The Bastard. It’s pretty metal ImI, and there’s a few other mini recording projects I jump in on, but we are starting some new ones too actually with NxA now being done.
“I am a nice guy from time to time?”
I didn’t knew you played in Hang The Bastard Tomas. Loved that band when we played with them in the UK some years ago, Lianna was still playing bass back then. So how about you Pat, got your millionth band ready to go?
PAT: Haha. I’m doing Wayfarer and have just started another band with ex members of Cold Snap called Final Rage. Excited about that. Me and Tomas are doing a recording project with Jeremy from Coke Bust which we are working on at the moment. That’s called In Ruins. For fans of Infest, Crossed Out and Mind Eraser. Look out for it. Also our xVx band Sectarian Violence will happen at some point when we have some time!
Keeping yourself busy huh? haha nice. Something else, how did you guys meet?
PAT: I had loosely known Tom for a couple of years through the hardcore scene, putting on shows etc etc. But when I moved to Reading for university we hung out more as he lives in a nearby town. Then on we started bands and the label.
TOMAS: We just basically started jamming at my studio and a few bands came out of it all really.
Did you play together, or apart in any other bands before Never Again?
TOMAS: NxA and Wayfarer we did around the same time actually, I used to play in a xVx band from London called Hello Bastards. Great crust band, still going actually. And years ago a more metallic band called “liu kang”. Those of you who remember zone 6, I’m looking at you haha.
PAT: I didn’t do any bands worth mentioning really. Filled in for a few bands on guitar here and there but I would say my first real serious band was NxA. Took me a few years to find people to do a band as it was something I always wanted to do. Now I have too many bands haha! Exciting.
Zone 6? Tell me all about it Tomas!
TOMAS: I can’t. If your not in the know now, you never were haha. Nah I’m kidding, it was a London label like early 2000′s.
He’s hiding something about Zone 6 right Pat?
PAT: I don’t think there is much more to say about Zone 6 other than it was a London label haha. Not really my sorta jams.
Okay, the name rings a bell, but that’s about it. So let’s see. If you could change anything in hardcore, what would it be?
PAT: More bands like Scholastic Deth, less bands like xAFBx.
TOMAS : Less bitching and laziness and more involvement?
Hahaha, I feel you. So what’s the thing nobody knows about you guys?
TOMAS: Erm I am a nice guy from time to time?
That’s not a secret Tomas, come on.
TOMAS: You’re cute.
Haha great, thanks for co-operating so well Tomas, you’re a gent. And how about you Pat?
PAT: I secretly think Warhammer rules. Fuck you.
It’s not like you have time for that besides playing in 1000 bands do you?
PAT: There is always time for the important stuff, Pim.
Who inspires you as a person?
PAT: Bertrand Russell/My dad/Larry David
“I secretly think Warhammer rules. Fuck you.”
Why those Pat?
PAT: Bertrand Russell, along with Nietzsche, was one of the first philosophers I really got into and just had to read up on. For a man in his era he had outstanding forward thinking ideas and I admire anyone who will press against the grain in such an intelligent way.
My dad because he gave up pretty much everything for me and my brothers. Top guy.
Larry David for being a dick and not caring haha.
Haha nice. And how about you Tomas?
TOMAS: Ha I’ll also say Larry David, but I’m not one for famous people really. I’m gonna sound like a dick now but people who look outside their everyday environment and change it for the better for themselves and the people around them. Oh and Sean Bean in “Sharpe” haha.
Time for a classic. When’s the last time you cried?
TOMAS: Funnily enough I can’t think of when I last cried. It’s good to cry from time to time though I read recently, even if it’s not about anything. I guess just not in front of hench men or your friends?
PAT: Every time I turn on the TV and see that Sarah Palin is still alive.
Hahaha. Thanks guys. Great. Let’s try something different then, how about Tomas asks Pat a question and vice versa?
PAT: There comes a point in a mans life when he has to answer this fundamental question, and I put it to you Tomas; Star Wars or Lord of the Rings? Also, shall we jam tommorow?
TOMAS: Now Pat, that’s maybe the hardest question any fully fledged male could be asked, however I’m gonna lean towards Lord of the Rings as “fantasy” is better than the future (40k) haha and Sean Bean is in LOTR, and lets face it apart from Harrison Ford, what’s the point in the rest of the cast? And yes, we really should.
I’d like to ask Pat two questions:
1: In the fifth millenium is there going to be only war?
2: What’s democracy?
PAT: 1. Yes…BLOOD FOR THE BLOOD GOD!
2. Democracy: MOB RULES ALL.
While we’re interacting, how about you tell me the one thing everyone needs to know about Tomas, Pat?
PAT: If you don’t understand his humour then prepare to be offended haha.
And how about Pat, enlighten us Tomas.
TOMAS: He plays the modest guitar player card a lot, but secretly he practices 3 hours a day in front of the mirror instead of studying. Picture kind of like Buffalo Bill does in Silence of the Lambs, but of course Bill doesn’t have a guitar.
“Will this come with a poster of me?”
Hahaha. Anything else to add boys, I think I’m about done?
PAT : SWNK is the best zine in Europe. Thanks Pim.
TOMAS: Will this come with a poster of me? Like a downloadable PDF or something? And yeah when you touring the UK again my man?
We’ll see Tomas. We’ll see…
Photo credits Pictures provided by Pat.