Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Dogs Of War - Inteview

It started out as a quiet night out but I ended up seeing, enjoying and getting the number of a local punk band.  So the next week I’m back at my local with the three skinhead punks in Dr Martins; Paul Kelly (PK), James O’Donoghue and Paul ‘Stanna’ Winstanley also known as Dogs of War. Who used to be Dogshit Sandwich, Fighting In Someone’s House, 9 Volt Terrier, 100 Plastic Cups and Tattooed Mother Fuckers.  

They may look like Bull Terriers but really their puppies whose barks are bigger than their bites.

So here it is: this is what happened when I interviewed Dogs of War.
You can also listen to the interview as a podcast.

Myself: When did Dogs first form?
Paul: About ten years ago. It used to be called summit different but there was a big bost up and we got new members. That’s when Stanna and James come in.
Myself: How come you kept Dog in the name, that seems to be a recurring thing?
Paul: We were gonna have a new band but the guitarist Andy, who couldn’t make tonight said lets called it Dogs of War. We’re known as the dogs.
Stanna: Is there any reason?
James: ‘Cus we’re all dogs
Paul: Yeah we’re all animals
Myself: Are you guys local?
James: Wolverhampton
Stanna: Hill Top, West Bromwich
Paul: Gayford
Myself: Why did you form the band?
Paul: Well my band, Dogshit Sandwich broke up and I just wanted to carry on
Myself: And you guys?
James: I joined the band about three years ago and I’ve been in pub bands before.
Myself: But why did you want to get into music in the first place? Why a band?
James: Going back to (19)’94 now when I first listened to Basket Case and Green Day, that’s what made me want to play music.
Stanna: Sad
James: But yeah that’s what made me want to get into music.
Stanna: I was in a punk band years ago, ‘91/’89 called Social Vomit but I hadn’t played for 15 years and then a met PK and he asked me if I wanted to try out on the drums, I just went for it. I’m best drummer in the world.
Paul: Well first I got into metal and then I heard the (Sex) Pistols and I never turned back. I always wanted to sing in a punk band.
Myself: Has it always been Punk for you guys then?
*enthusiastic yeses all round*
Myself: So what part of Punk is it you like? Is it just the musical and fashion side you like or do you like the political side also?
They all agree they are anti-politics in Punk, and very against ‘PC Punks’.
Paul: Do what you like.
Myself: So you like the freedom of Punk?
All agree
Myself: Moving on, how successful do you think Dogs are?

Stanna and PK unanimously say yes, around the West Midlands, but then both correct themselves to the Country. So a yes I think. The band have this talent of all saying pretty much the same thing all at the same time, particularly PK and Stanna.

Myself: Go on, how many gig do you think you’ve done as Dogs of War?
Paul: Ooh bloody hell! I reckon, over ten years, probably about 70 or 80
James: Nah more than that innit, gotta be more like a hundred
Myself: Give me, individually your best experience playing live as Dogs of War.
Stanna: Mine was falling off the drums at The Wolf up Birmingham, cus I fell off, got back on again and fell off again. Cus of alcohol
James: Mine was when we were playing up Darby and the leads came out of my guitar on stage and it was the first song of the night, middle of a solo. And fucked it up as well.
Myself: Why was that your best experience and not your worse?
James: Because I was pissed.  I’ve had more but I liked that experience for some reason.

Paul: Where do I start with mine? *big laugh* Well there was one I played a gig in Coventry and there were rumours that I ran outside and stopped traffic . I don’t remember it myself.
Another one, we were playing at the Kings Swinford Cross, the carvery pub, they wanted local bands, so I said yeah, they didn’t know what sort of band it was. Then they had to close all the doors cus you could hear it all over the village, someone came in with a baseball hat. The gig got cut about the seventh tune by the land lord because he said the coppers had called as the cop shop was next door.
But I never really remember it, I’m too out of it but there’s plenty of people to tell the stories.
Myself: Go on, I dread to ask this one, worst ones then, if that’s your best!

There’s a long pause as the band think, but they all agree that they can’t really think of any apart from technical issues. For over ten years playing for half the members that’s not too shabby.

Stanna: When my liver fell out me eye.
Myself: So you always saying you’re always ‘out of it’, is that just alcohol or drugs as well?
James: Nah I don’t touch them
Stanna: I do.
Paul: Now and again
Stanna: No hard drugs.
Myself: Is it only when you play gigs or?
Stanna: Yeah basically. The energy
Paul: Just when I feel like it. Oh I’ve had it a few times when we’ve done gigs, it’s been great!

I enquired if they wanted this part cut, as it was my curiosity but I was greeted with shrugs and the phrase ‘freedom of speech innit’.

Paul: I remember I used to take a whizz and down it with a pint of Stella. There was this guy ina wheelchair who came to the front. I got pushed back by my mate, I went running forward and apparently I got knocked out and I was still singing!
Myself: Is that where your stage energy comes from? Being pissed and high.
(PK likes to run around the room, climb on bars and run out the door when on a wireless mic.)
Paul: Well I’ve done plenty sober too.
Myself: You have the same energy sober?
Paul: I’m the same pissed and sober
Stanna: He’s an energetic person. 
Paul: But it’s always better when you’ve had a few
Myself: You’re currently recording your second album. How’s that going?

Paul: Going alright yeah, got 16 tunes.

The rest of the band agree that recording is successful.
Myself: Where are you recording it?
Paul: Sanctuary Studios Dudley

I then go on to discover all the band members are experienced with the recording process, Stanna is on Dogs debut album ‘Gash After Gash’ and it is James second recording . All members agreed its going very well.

The release date for’ Bost It Up Gash’ is the 31st August.

To my surprise I then find out they all write the lyrics together, they called the Dogs a family as they do everything together and never separately. The family of dogs or the family of mutts as Stanna puts it. We then got onto bands we all like and it’s basically all the classics and local punk bands. This turns back onto politics, as I mention The Dead Kennedys.

Stanna revels they are too political for him. They all agree punk and politics shouldn’t mix. Which is an interesting debate, but one for another time.
Stanna: I think Punk is about saying what you wanna say not being told what to say.

Paul: It’s got too politically correct, like saying you shouldn’t eat meat.
Stanna: And we’re feed up of PC Punks called us a racist band when we’ve never been racist and I never intend to be.
Myself: So do you have any political views? Like are you for or against gays and immigration?
Stanna: People can do what they want.

The band whole heartily agree. That’s Punk.
Moving on the lyrics, I had to ask, with titles such as ‘Slag in Worcester’ and ‘Fuck a Dyke’ but being clearly open minded people. It’s all satire, jokes, stories, real people and daftness. I had to ask.

Myself: What’s ‘The Grannys are coming’ about?
Paul: So it was to do with my old band, GBH. Our mate who was in the band was selling old pornos  in the place we used to practise but there’s this one that got nicked and the singer of GBH brought it back and I watched it and it had a load of 70 year old grannies in. it never played probably after that.
Granny pornos, falling out of windows and not a single swear word. Oh those aggressive punks.

As the interview came to a close I asked for some final words

Stanna: I hope everyone has a nice life and drink more and come and see The Dogs.

Because these skinhead punks are so nasty.