redbeat1

NC: Who are you?

RB: Roy Jones, I’m the singer, and Paul Jones, who just got out of prison yesterday, not actually out of prison, but got locked up for doing this spraying.

NC: We’ve noticed a bit about.

RB: Yeah, yeah we all went down in a car down to the West End, just around the corner from Greek Street, and this plain clothes police officer got him, and we only had one spray can left.

NC: And it was his?

RB: Yes, well he’s out now, but they wanted £250 bail, it’s ridiculous really and he just got a conditional discharge. I got done for the same thing. Anyway Kevin’s the guitarist, he’s a Northerner from up north. Doncaster or something. He doesn’t live down here, he lives in Streatham, and Chris, Chris is the bass player: Chris Thompson. He lives downstairs. This is a squat, got a tree in the back garden. Ask some good, well thought-out questions.

NC: Do you write the songs collectively?

RB: Yeah, yeah. Well I mean, yeah we do, that’s the sort of effect we’re trying to get. It’s like a sort of hypnotic effect, so we write them all down at the studio where we rehearse. We just sort of start jamming, you know, so what everyone plays, they write it themselves.

NC: How about the words?

RB: Well I write a few of the words but I don’t write them all and if the band don’t like what I write they veto it, so it is very much a collective thing because otherwise you know, a lot of bands are just sort of one person. You can’t really get a powerful sound like that. It’s dishonest really. It seems to work, we get a much more powerful sound anyway. The sort of feelings we’re trying to express you can’t really write any other way, it’s the only way you can do it.

NC: Anything behind the name?

RB: Well yes, it was a song, there’s a song on that EP. It’s about, it’s a prediction for the future. It sounds airy-fairy like that, but there’s going to be a war, so, I don’t know if the name really captures that particularly well but it’s like an ongoing thing. Red is the colour that’s always been associated with war and mars.

NC: Looking at the EP cover, that’s CND I take it?

RB: No.

NC: You’re against it?

RB: Oh we’re not really for it, we’re not really bothered. Let’s say six months ago I went down to an anti-nuclear rally they had. I don’t know if you remember the one?

NC: The one at Trafalgar Square?

RB: Yes, well it started off on the South Bank. I went down with those of us who were living in this other squat at the time and we were getting really worried about the nuclear thing. I don’t know if you’ve read that pamphlet by E P Thompson. I was really into it at the time, so I though fuck, this looks quite dangerous, but as far as I’m concerned the CND don’t do fuck all, they’re not going to achieve anything because they’re not organised enough, it’s too much like things were in the 60s, when they first started worrying about it. Well, I went down with a pot full of fucking gloss red paint. I got arrested in about five minutes. I was sort of panicking all over the place. Admittedly I had had a can of Special Brew for breakfast. I did it because I was just so pissed off with the way people were acting. There were all these sort of Communist groups, it was all organised by the Labour Party, which is just a big joke. The Labour Party is just trying to get votes out of nuclear war, which is fair enough I suppose.

NC: What is behind that EP cover?

RB: Well, that’s a nuclear cloud in the background. The soldiers, well that’s just… Well, what does it look like? It’s a prediction that there is going to be a war.

NC: Did you design it yourselves?

RB: Yes, well we came up with this idea, but this guy called Mark actually did it.

NC: How long have you been together?

RB: Well, we’ve been together with the present line-up for about three months or two months, something like that. We originally moved up to London from High Wycombe because we couldn’t get any gigs, or get anything together. When we arrived here we got a single out but the other two members of the band didn’t seem to be working out too well, so we had to wait around for quite a few months to get two other people who wanted to do the same thing.

NC: So the EP is the old band?

RB: Yes. Yeah it caused a few problems but the session we did for John Peel was the new band Red Beat.

NC: Red Beat today?

RD: We never did any gigs as Red Beat, the old band. We’ve only done three gigs. We did two with Killing Joke.

NC: Don’t you think that it is a bit strange making a record before gigging?

RB: Well, at the time it was a good idea. We had written this song called Red Beat, and we thought it was so good we just wanted to get it down. We still do Red Beat because it means a lot to us. It’s a good song.

NC: What were your three gigs?

RB: The last one we did, we’ve only played in London once, that was at the ICA.

NC: And you’re playing with Delta 5 soon?

RB: Yes, we’re playing at the Lyceum on Sunday. Should be good.

NC: What about you making an LP?

RB: We are not in a position to, at the moment.

NC: Is that due to lack of finances or lack of songs?

RB: We have got nine songs. Yes, it’s finances. Well, I mean we don’t want to end up with a lousy record deal and spend the rest of our lives paying money.

NC: Have you been approached at all?

RB: No, it’s not on at the moment. Any deal we could get now wouldn’t be worth signing.

NC: Why’s that?

RB: Well, because we would get ripped off.

NC: You’re sticking to Malicious Damage, aren’t you?

RB: At the moment, yes.

NC: Are you thinking in other directions?

RB: It is bloody hard to survive as a band. If you’ve got anything to say, if you’re making a stand against anything, if you’re not just jumping on the bandwagon like a lot of bands do. If you think the system is fucked, then things aren’t going to be easy, your options aren’t that great, and a small record label like Malicious Damage is the only way you’ve got of being able to get into a position to get a decent deal from a record company.

NC: Is this your first interview?

RB: Yes it is, you got there first. There is someone (from Melody Maker) interviewing us at the Lyceum. If we could get them to print what we tell them, it would be great, but they don’t do things like that.

NC: How did they get onto interviewing you?

RB: They did quite a good review of our last single. The only decent track on it is Red Beat.

NC: Influences?

RB: Sex Pistols and Last Poets.

NC: Do you class Killing Joke as an influence?

RB: I have listened to all their music. Killing Joke are an excellent band and there aren’t many decent bands around at the moment. I like The Fall as well.

NC: What does the XIII mean above the “Red Beat” on the sticker?

RB: Well, it’s a tarot card, the trump card and the card is called Death and it is a picture of a reaper and it just signifies death, the end of something and the beginning of something else. It’s just another way of saying there’s going to be a war. There is going to be a change. Things are building up. Sooner or later it’s going to happen.



Red Beat Discography

Malicious Damage Records 12″ E.P. (MD 4.40)
Track listing:
1. Machines in Motion
2. Red Beat
3. More or less cut
4. Cut dub
Artwork – Mike Coles.
Sound engineer – Mark Lusardi, Gooseberry Studios, Soho, London.
Mastered at the Virgin Townhouse Studios, London.
Distributed by Rough Trade Records.

Manic Machine 7″ Single (RB 002)
Track listing:
1. Survival
2. See
Artwork – Wadsworth, Keates, Westmore.
Sound engineer – Reno, Matrix Studios, London.
Mastered at the Virgin Townhouse Studios, London.
Distributed by Rough Trade Records.

Manic Machine 12″ Mega Mix Single (RB 003)
Track listing:
1. Dream
2. Dream dub
Artwork – Andy Wadsworth.
Sound engineer – Mark Lusardi, M.A.R.S., Britton St., London.
Mastered at the Virgin Townhouse Studios, Goldhawk Road, London.
Distributed by Rough Trade Records.

The Missing Album (MMPCDA001)
CD album compiling their three singles, the entire John Peel session
plus a previously unreleased track called Shadow Boxing.
Engineered by Mark Lusardi at Mark Angelo Recording Studios, London.

Red Beat also have a track on the CD Album
Wild Dub (EFA 33417-2),
(Dread Meets Punk Rocker Downtown) released on the Select Cuts Label, Hamburg, Germany. Featuring artists like – Killing Joke ,Generation X ,The Slits ,The Pop Group ,The Clash ,Stiff Little Fingers ,The Ruts ,P.I.L. ,Vivien Goldman , and Grace Jones.

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