My disdain for much of what passes itself off as “punk rock” these days is well known by most readers who’ve perused more than one issue of Razorcake. If I were emperor of the universe, I would make being in a suck-ass band a crime punishable by either a) slow torturous death or b) being forced to try holding an intelligent conversation with the guy currently claiming 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue as his place of residence. And yet, every week, like clockwork, I make a trip to Razorcake‘s Corporate offices (located next to Donald Trump’s dry cleaner) and pick up a stack of CDs by bands I’ve never heard of, bands that’ll probably end up making me so miserably frustrated that their discs end up embedded in the wall directly across the room from my stereo.
If the whole process is so agonizing, then why, you ask, do I repeatedly do it to myself? Simple. I’m an addict. I freely admit that I have a serious problem. I’ve got an itch that only a good, loud, raw, angry, balls-out rockin’ band can adequately scratch and, every once in a while, a band comes along, mainlines that pure rock’n’roll goodness directly into my spine and makes it all worth it. Denmark’s Colombian Neckties is one such band. They’re loud, obnoxious and, hands down, one of the best bands currently out there. Their Scene of the Crime 10-inch (High School Reject/Refuse Records, [email protected]) is a glorious sonic assault on the psyche, a wild rock’n’trash banshee filtered through the soul of a band that embodies all that labels like Rip Off hold sacred. Their new full-length, Abrance! (Sounds of Subterrania, [email protected]) is, amazingly, even better.
Jimmy: Who’s in the band, what instrument do they play, what is their favorite crime-related movie and why?
Slamboy: I play the drums, I’m known as Slamboy and uh, ooh… I have great hair… and I’m still single! I don’t have any fave crime-related movies. I only like Italian movies about love!
Simon: I play bass and I love films like Gun Crazy (1949 version), The Big Combo, Asphalt Jungle, Pick Up on South Street, The Big Sleep and other cool black and white stuff. Oh, yeah and Night of the Hunter is fantastic!
Jimmy: Give the readers some idea of the climate the band was born in and how that influenced the music. Where is the band based? Has Starbucks opened a coffee shop nearby yet?
Slamboy: Starbucks suck!
Simon: What’s Starbucks? We’re based in Aalborg in the Northern part of Denmark, really cold, windy town. There is a fjord going through the town! But we have the best gig venue in Europe, according to Green Day and we have the best bands in Denmark and the cheapest beer, so all in all it’s a pretty good place to be. Compared to other Danish cities, anyway.
Jimmy: How’s the new record doing?
Slamboy: The record is doin’ great… it gives its regards!
Simon: I dunno about the sales figures but we get really fine reviews all over the world so that’s cool.
Jimmy: Seeing as there are millions of punk rock bands in the world today, some good, but mostly bad, what is it that sets the Colombian Neckties apart from all the others? What do you think it is that makes you so darn special?
Slamboy: My hair.
Simon: Yes, his hair is pretty special for a punk rock drummer – Peter Andre would love a hair-do like that. Other than that, I dunno what’s so special about us. We try to rock as hard as possible, but it’s hard to be really original when you steal most of your material from bands like the Saints, the Fun Things, early New Bomb Turks and the Dirtys. But hey, you don’t listen to punk rock for the sake of originality. And I think we rock pretty nicely actually.
Jimmy: Who came up with the band’s name and what is the significance of it? Why did you choose to call yourselves Colombian Neckties?
Simon: It doesn’t mean anything. It just sounds good, I think. We wanted to play mean punk rock and for that we needed a mean band name and I think Colombian Neckties qualify for that.
(The Columbian Necktie is when a victim’s throat is slit open and the tongue of the victim is pulled through the opening. -Jimmy)
Jimmy: What was it about punk rock, or rock’n’roll in particular, that attracted each of you? What made you want to be in a band? Was it the fame? The vast amounts of money to be made? The women? A love for being stuck together in a van for long distances?
Slamboy: R’n’R runs in the blood, some say… I wanted to be in the band just to get my hair exposed more. Fame… hmm, I’m famous enough as it is. That goes for the women as well. Oh yeah, I love bein’ stuck in a van with buncha fartin’ assholes!
Simon: Well, he is a farting asshole blaming everybody else. I’ve been listening to punk rock all my life and when I was kinda headhunted to play bass in a boring rock band many years ago, I went for it. The band sucked, but luckily Henrik was the guitar player and we soon broke out and formed a punk band of our own. Now we’re in Colombian Neckties. The fame and the women seem to be going fairly slow and the money seems to outta our pockets all the time. But we have fun and hang out and drink a lot of beers. That’s the really nice thing about being stuck in a van for a long time: there’s plenty of time for drinking beers!
Jimmy: What was the first punk band that made an impression on you and how do you think that influence manifests itself in your music? How does it affect the way you view the world?
Slamboy: Flaming Sideburns, The Onyas… Onyas made me a much cooler person!
Simon: So imagine him before Onyas! My first record ever was Iron Maiden’s Killers, which I bought in 1983 and it changed my life forever. I have been listening to rock’n’roll and heavy metal and punk and stuff like that ever since. I’m still a big Iron Maiden fan, but that doesn’t really come across in our music. I mean, Steve Harris is a fantastic bass player and just listen to our stuff! The first punk band I think was either the Ramones, the Cramps, the Saints or the Misfits. I’m not sure which one I heard first. I was in the mid-’80s and I loved it. Still do!
Jimmy: Name one record in your collection that you’re embarrassed to admit that you like and explain why you like it.
Slamboy: The Hot Pockets. I like it only ’cause of the fat but bright star Robert van der somethin’, simply for that single reason that he’s a chubby chaser!
Simon: I love the early Ted Nugent records because they rock… at least I think so. Nobody else here shares that impression, though.
Jimmy: What was the greatest show the band has played so far and what made it so good?
Simon: I think headlining the Motormania festival in Berlin was pretty big. Lotsa people, lotsa beer, lotsa really saucy girls and we played really well… except of course for Slamboy, who fucked up as usual.
Jimmy: What was the worst show the band has played so far and what made it so terrible?
Slamboy: Actually… I can’t remember playin’ a show at all..
Simon: Playing Frankfurt for two people was pretty fuckin’ lame and we spent more money going to where we were supposed to sleep than we earned from the gig! What a bummer!
Jimmy: What’s the response to your music been like so far? Has an over-enthusiastic fan carved your name into his stomach yet? Have you seen any Colombian Neckties tattoos?
Slamboy: No one has yet praised my hair.
Simon: Wonder why?! No tattoos, but then again we don’t seem to attract the tattooed audience that much. Not like Backyard Babies and the Hellacopters. But we’ve had girls throwing beers at us, but we’re still waiting for bras and panties to fly onstage. We’re going to Switzerland in March 2002 and I’ve been told that might happen there so we’re really looking forward to that! Well at least I am!
Jimmy: Explain what you feel are some of the greatest and worst aspects of “modern” punk rock. What are any things you’d change if you could?
Slamboy: The Scandinavian R’n’R wave, it’s terrible. The best is that there’s still some pretty darn cool and sleazy and original bands left out there, like the Onyas for instance!
Simon: I think the scene, especially in Scandinavia, is very over-exposed. But that’s not the bands’ fault. That’s all the fuckin’ lame so-called rock journalists that never even knew what rock was until they heard the third Hellacopters album. Most of those assholes don’t know what the fuck they’re talking about and still they write and talk like they’ve been listening to punk rock and rock’n’roll all their lives when, in fact, they’re massive Garbage and Nick Cave and REM and Smashing Pumpkins fans. Fuck them. There are more bands now than 10 years ago, but that just means there is more crap out there. I still think there are as many good bands as there used to be, only now you have to be more careful and check out more records to find the good ones ’cause there’s so much bad stuff too. If I could change something I would have made Teengenerate more influential instead of Electric Frankenstein and Hellacopters.
Jimmy: Assuming that there is a god, if you were given the opportunity to ask him/her anything, what would it be?
Slamboy: Stop pissin’ down so much… you’re ruinin’ my hair!!
Simon: If there is a God I would give a fuck about his/her opinion about anything.
Jimmy: How often do fights break out between band members? What are the fights usually about and who usually wins?
Slamboy: I never fight. My hair would get all messed up.
Simon: It’s true. We never fight ’cause it’ll mess up Slamboy’s stupid hair.
Jimmy: Name one famous non-punk person you would consider “punk” and explain why you believe they deserve this distinction.
Slamboy: The late war criminal “Arkan.” He was a punk, not for bein’ the asshole that he was, but for bein’ married to Ceca, the hottest chick on earth!
Simon: I think David Lynch is punk as fuck, ’cause he doesn’t give a fuck about the audience or the general rules about movie making. He does it his way and it’s brilliant!
Jimmy: What’s the farthest place away from home you have played and how was the experience? What did you learn from it?
Slamboy: Still don’t remember playin’ a show anywhere…
Simon: We haven’t been that far away, actually. Maybe Dresden in Germany and that was pretty cool. When me and Henrik played in Shake Appeal before CN, we played Paris and we learned that French women actually are as hot as everybody says. Wow!
Jimmy: Do you have any plans to tour the United States in the near future? What bands would you like to play with?
Slamboy: No plans so far, but any day New Bomb Turks wanna support us over there, then sure…
Simon: The US seems rather unlikely, but if we get the chance, we’ll definitely go there and play with the Wongs, the Reds or maybe that new band the Dirtys guys have going now. And, of course, the New Bomb Turks. And we’re gonna drink shitloads of Pete’s Wicked Ale!
Jimmy: What does the future hold for the Colombian Neckties?
Slamboy: I’m glad you asked. I’ve asked myself that a million times.
Simon: Don’t know, really. More tours and more beers and, hopefully, we’ll get to play some festivals this summer. We never tried that before. And a new album this summer too.
Jimmy: Anything you’d like to let the world know that hasn’t already been covered here?
Slamboy: Please announce that Slamboy is still single!!
Simon: Henrik, our guitarist, plays a SG copy and uses a Daddy-O pedal and that’s what makes it sound so cool! We all like big tits and nice, round firms asses and we’re beer drinkers. No dope or anything just beer, whiskey and Jägermaister! Cheers mate!