As the band prepare for the Guildford Festival and V2001 we caught up to discuss the big issues - drugs, religion and politics. For anyone familiar with the band the likes of "Cocaine Killed My Community" and "Mansion On The Hill" will be old favourites and for everyone else they are the band behind the Sopranos soundtrack. Read on if you dare:
Q: You've just had the "Mansion On The Hill" single out last month. Tell us a bit about it?
A: I think its just generally about the area of Merthyr Tydfil in Wales where Rob comes from and a few things that have gone on there and so on...its pretty self explanatory really. "All property is theft" and the analogies that go with that.
Q: How are you coping with this whole touring lark?
A: Tours are just holidays really, its the best part of being in a band apart from recording. You just put your feet up during the day, take in a movie or read a paperback. I must say i get really pissed off when people start whining about the rigours of the road and all that pish - its amusement!!! Bevy's are laid on and food is laid on and you get to play the music which is really good for an hour an a half each night.
Q: It must be hard to live a chemical free existence?
I know a lot of people think that because some of the songs are about drug casualties. Again that's just a thing about writing about what you know, its doesn't necessarily tied in with your own personal drug consumption. Were pretty boring as far as that's concerned. You get people coming backstage at the shows saying "Your dead boring. A fag and off to bed early. I thought you'd be up sniffing sulphate all night!!!!!".
Maybe some of the songs are taking the piss out of drug users - but that's just what it is - taking the piss!!!!! A song like "Cocaine Killed My Community" is taking the piss of someone who has this blind faith while these terrible things are happening around them - but they don't mind because Jesus is looking after them!!! They see all this stuff going on around them - families are destroying themselves - and they're prompting people to go and find the lord Jesus and all there worries will be over.
Alot of people take things literally but I don't expect anything else. Its a disappointment to people when they find out were not all drug hoovers.
Q: But drugs and religion are still the main themes throughout Alabama 3?
A: Yeah. Well he does write about drugs alot cos where he lives its pretty rife with drugs like everywhere else is. If you wanna be a good writer you've got to write what you know about. The whole media focuses on the drug issues and doesn't look at the causes of it all though - its all distraction and mis-direction. That is what politics is about and there's no way any of these things will happen like legalization of cannabis.
Q: Most people don't notice the political nature of the band. For instance your involved in The Miscarriages of Justice organization.
A: Its to up the profile of it but Paddy (Birmingham 6) starting talking to a lot of really interesting people and getting them on board. Everyone no somebody who's been in trouble for nothing and we feel people should know about it as. Its not really a big political act in anyway and like everything else its just a mere observation of what's going on around us.
Q: I figure you don't take much notice of the 3 main political parties then?
A: I've never really paid any attention to the rantings of people in parliamentary politics. The idea of endorsing the Dukes of the bossed every four years makes you part of the democratic process - and its a fucking farce you know.
I've never been interesting in parlimentarism at all and people are becoming less and less interested. I mean look at the turn out in the election in the states - 90 million people - that's 160 million people who didn't turn up. There was bi-election in leeds and 19% of people came out.
People don't believe them anymore. They tell lies all the time, they get caught out all the time. And plus the media barons have more power than then and are allowed to walk all over them.
Q: So you try to get your message out to the mainstream public then. You're not part of that whole underground indie work ethic are you?
A: I don't see any differentials there anyway - once your in the market place your in the market place. I don't see the difference between Sony and One Little Indian. They're basically there to make a profit in this dog-fuck-dog world.
We did deliberately fuck one up once. We went on this TV show - this hip young religious programme and there were a lot of lies about scheduling. We turned up and they had this 7 minute feature on that rat William Hague so basically we ended up doing a show miming "Fuck The Queen!!!!" - we just didn't want to be associated with all that so we fucked it up deliberately.
If you're there playing your music to people you want everybody to hear it so and I don't see the difference between what's considered so called mainstream and so called alternative - we've all got to swim in the same water!!!
"Mansion On The Hill" is out now
The album "La Peste" is also available