Interview with Retaliator

1 – Well, I guess most skins around the world have heard of Retaliator. However, please introduce us to the band naming eventual influences (refer to your discography too).

Well the current line-up is; Ian – Vocals, John – Guitar, Mark – Drums and Pete – Bass. We have many musical influences, mainly Oi! And RAC bands from the 80’s. And a few metal bands. Our discography:

  Feel the Power : 7” EP (Data Records 1998)

  Order of Chaos : CD Album (Pure Impact 1999)

  Against the Grain : CD Album (Pure Impact 2001)

  Patriotic Alcoholics : 7” EP (Camden Town/Guilty 2002)

  Kick Down that Fuckin’ Wall : Split album with Bakers Dozen (Blind Beggar 2002)

  The Sweeney : 7” (Camden Town 2003)

We have also recorded tracks for various compilations.

2 – Some members also play in other bands, is it helpful or creates occasional disturbances? I mean, finding time for rehearsals, gigs, even when composing new songs someone thinking “this would be better for the other band”, whatever…

Yes, Mark also plays drums for Condemned 84 and Pete has played bass for them live on a few occasions. The old guitarist for C84 (Baysey) was also in Retaliator for a couple of years but quit both bands last year. C84 are from the town Ipswich which is very close to us, and they don’t gig very often so it causes no real problems. Pete writes most of the songs for Retaliator and Kev writes for C84. I think the both bands sound very different.

3 – Give us a political definition (if any) of your band. What topics do you sing about?

We are a fiercely patriotic band. Although not an extremist political band, we play under the banner Oi ‘aint Red!

4 – Being British, were the skinhead cult was born, what do you think of its expansion worldwide? Do you play abroad very often?

We think it’s great that the Skinhead scene has spread to other countries. Yes we play outside England more than inside England! It’s very difficult for us to get gigs because we are not “Politically Correct”.

5 – Tons of bands sing in English. I guess this makes you more “resistant” listening to bands in other languages. Is that true or do you try to check what’s done in Germany, Spain, France, the Eastern Europe, etc? Please name us some bands you like.

We like many bands, even bands which sing in their own language. A few of our favorites include The Gits (Poland), Armco (Italy), Landser (Germany)… the list is huge.

6 – Which football club do you support? What do you think about fights between rival factions of supporters?

We all support different teams! So there in much rivalry within Retaliator itself hahaha…. Especially between Ipswich Town FC and Crystal Palace FC! It seems violence between rival factions is having a revival here in England. It’s all good fun!

7 – Do you miss the old Oi! Days of the 80’s? Do you think British Oi! Is on the rise again or on a downfall? Tell us about it.

Yeah I do miss those days. Personally I think it’s on the fall in Britain, there are very few new bands. The average age on a Skinhead here is about 35-40 years old!! Compared to 20-25 in other Countries. Sometimes only about 70-80 people turn up to gigs here, but when we play abroad it’s more like 300!

8 – What do you think about the “spirit of 69” bands? Are you in this lot? Don’t you agree most skins (unleast outside U.K.) don’t have a real clue about it nor even care (having read the George Marshal books doesn’t count.)? In my opinion reality is nowadays very different than in late 60’s and early 70’s, do you share this point of view? Please comment this matter.

We have been Skinheads for many years: Pete since 1979, Mark since 1981, Ian since 1988…. We have seen many things over the years and the truth is that The Spirit of ’69 never existed, even if it did it was probably dead by 1972. There is just spirit….. either you have it or you don’t! I get angry reading American and Spanish websites by so called “Trad Skins”…. These people really don’t have a fucking clue, they are just frustrated Mods. The whole SHARP ideal is based on bullshit and thankfully it’s dead in Britain. Yes, we do share your point of view. People shouldn’t live in the past, look to the future ONWARD!

9 – Internet is a funny thing. It can put a wild mean tattooed skinhead hooligan behind a computer for hours (ok not everyone but it’s a “new technology” after all…). Don’t you think it’s good for the bands and it contributes in a positive way to the scene?

Yeah it’s great! I remember the days before the internet, sending off for records and zines by post. Everything is so easy now, especially organizing gigs and of course interviews like this!

10 - Going back to your band activities, what can we expect for the near future?

Well we have a split 7” with another band (possibly Loyalty from England or a German band…) to be released on Blind Beggar Records very soon. Also we are currently writing a new album for Pure Impact, we will record the first 5 songs for it next month. Hopefully it will be released in Spring 2004. We hope to be playing many more gigs in 2004.

11 – Now some quick answers to relax.

Your immediate thoughts about:

a) – Crusties and hippie-punks

Dirty unwashed filthy scumbags.

b) – Getting drunk

Patriotic Alcholics!

c) – “Aggro”

Aggro, Touble & Strife! Part of the Skinhead way of life.

d) – Your country flag

The Union Jack and St George’s Cross are close to our hearts.

e) – Reds

Wankers! We hate them more than anyone else.

f) – War on Iraq

Different band members have different thoughts about this.

g) – Oi! Music

Still love it.

h) – Work

Everyone in Retaliator works full time.

i) – Drugs

We hate drugs and junkies, the Crusties can keep them.

j) – Skinheads

We’re still Skinheads! And always will be.

k) – Beer

Our favorites include Kronenbourg 1664, Bombardier & Stella Artois.

12 – Anything to ad?

Thanks to Nadsat for the interview. Cheers to all the Portuguese Skins!


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