Monday, 1 March 2010

Towers Of London Interview

The sleazy punk rock n rollers show us that they’re not
all sex and drugs….

(D= Donny, TR= The Rev. )

At a lot of your gigs, you’ve lowered the age to allow access to all of your fans. Do you think age discrimination is a problem?

TR: Definitely, yeah at the venues. We have fans as young as twelve on our Myspace, it’s not fair that these kids, from fourteen upwards as well, can’t get to see live music until they’re eighteen. At a lot of our gigs we’ve sacrificed going onstage a lot earlier to let those kids see live music. I definitely think there’s a problem, there should be more venues that do earlier shows to let younger kids in.

Especially in London, they often don’t advertise gigs as having an age restriction, so you can buy a ticket and still get turned away.

D: The amount of gigs we’ve had where kids turn up who weren’t aware of it…
TR: We did one at Tunbridge Wells and we had to escort the kids that had bought tickets into the gig, because you were allowed into the gig as long as you were escorted by an adult, so we were having to
escort the kids that had come to our show into the gig.
D: They should just I.D at the bar. In America you can go into bars but you have a stamp on your hand if you are old enough to get served.

At festivals you can get different coloured wristbands depending on your age.

TR: Yeah, just I.D them at the door, get a stamp on your hand

There is the argument though that someone older could buy you a drink.

TR: Well yeah, and also there’s obviously law problems that you’re not allowed anyone under a certain age, a venue that sells alcohol, but if it’s music, shut the bar down! Or have a separate bar where you have to be eighteen to enter. I think a lot of people could make it work a lot easier than they are at the moment.
D: They’re losing out as well. There’s a lot of young bands out there, 16,17...

Classic example, your support tonight, The Monroes.

D: Marilyn Monroe?


D: Awww. (Looks somewhat put out)

So, you’ve been banned from Download Festival…

TR: We haven’t actually been banned. We got kicked out of the VIP area last time we played there but we haven’t been banned. We banned ourselves!

Would it really matter if you had anyway, the line is getting worse each year.

TR: Doesn’t matter a toss to us guys! Download was Monsters of Rock Festival before it was Download, it was in a time when you could go and you’d be able to see ten of the greatest bands in the world at the time, Aerosmith, AC/DC…

And now we’ve got My Chemical Romance.

TR: And Iron Maiden for the third year in a row…
D: It’s just BORING!
TR: It’s just a boring metal head festival. I think the people who go to Download don’t uphold the spirit of what a festival is. They’re just quite Neanderthal really. Basically, we’re not banned from Download; we just chose not to go there.

Do you think foreign festivals are better?

TR: The weather’s better!
D: It’s warmer. But I don’t think they’re better.
TR: We’ve done some good festivals abroad.
D: Japan was a good one
TR: Yeah Japan was a great one!

Rock is huge in Japan though isn’t it?

TR: Even just music in general. Well, everything’s huge in Japan.

What’s your favourite festival?

D: Reading and Leeds. That’s got to be the best festival for me.
TR: Reading and Leeds. Yeah that’s got to be the best festival. They cater for all kinds of music taste. I mean last year you had Lady Sovereign headlining one of the main NME tents ,I just think it’s not necessarily the line up for Reading, you can always guarantee that there’s going to be a few bands that you like.
D: It’s just great man, it’s so good.
TR: It’s all about the spirit, and like I said you’re bound to catch all of the bands you wanted to see.
D: The attitude at Reading, party time, I love it!
TR: And the rest of the time you just get fucked up!
D: Yeah, it’s a great festival to get fucked up at. It’s always going off somewhere.

We were at Leeds last year. Overslept, opened the tent, heard you playing, and ran down to the arena just in time to see you all walking off the stage. It was just like… “Ohhhh…shit.”…

D: Awww!
TR: You got to be up early to catch us boys out!

We’re not good at early…

D: Neither are we…!

Have you considered starting your own festival?

TR: Maybe when we’ve got a bit more time! It’s a lot of fucking work setting up a festival. I’d rather go to your festival that you started up, and play.

It would be like Wayne’s World Two revisited. Except no Aerosmith.

D: So are you setting up a festival?

We can do, if you promise us you’ll play.

TR: Well you’ve got a headlining band sat here.

We’ll get in touch. Free beer!

D: Fifty grand we go out for (laughs)

Obviously you’re going to do it out of the kindness of your own heart…

D: You’ve got us on tape as well!

Binding contract.

Who was better to play with, Guns and Roses or the New York Dolls?

TR: Phwoargh! Guns and Roses!
D: Then again, argh…that’s a hard one…
TR: Yeah, but it’s Axl Rose and he’s fucking awesome.
D: I don’t know to be honest; both were great in different ways.
TR: We had some great shows with the New York Dolls.
D: Playing in the arena with Guns and Roses was amazing.

I’ve heard that you quite highly value your personal hygiene on the road. That doesn’t really go hand in hand with your sleazy rock image.

D: On tour in the early days, I never used to shower for fucking weeks.
TR: We used to have to pin Donny down and hose him.
D: I was a disgrace! But, I have learnt that when you’re hung over and all that shit you need to have a shower to wake you out of it. So it is worth doing! It was literally like, a shower BURNT.
TR: You do get water fear when you’re on tour. It’s just like you go in venues and they’re so shit and dirty, and you look at the shower and it’s a cold dripping tap in the corner of a cold room.
D: You don’t want to shower in it.
TR: So you maybe just run your hair under the sink so just your fucking hair’s looking good, forget the rest of you! You’re going to be sweaty and covered in spit and booze in an hour.
D: You just get covered in shit so much.

I’ve just been staying in France in my mum’s boyfriend’s van for a week with a bucket for a toilet.

TR: Sounds like our tour bus!
D: What, you went on the cheap then did you?
TR: What is he, like a hippy or an eco warrior or something?

Well you say that, but a lot of people don’t realise how much energy they use just living normally. Turning on a light takes as much energy as having it on for an hour.

D: Really?! So think how much those annoying kids who flick them on and off waste!

So are you into any of that eco stuff?

D: Well I’m not AGAINST it…
TR: We wear the clothes until they fall off our bodies.

And you DID save a lot of water in the past…

D: Yeah, by not showering! So yeah, we’re eco warriors as well.

Thumbs up to that.

D: Don’t shower kids. That’s the message. Save the world. Be a dirty, smelly eco warrior.

Interview- Ali Hewson & Polly O'Shea; Words- Ali Hewson

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