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Sunday, 10 March 2013

Stonehouse Violets

From a wee chat this is what comes of it.
Similarly if you have a drink with Mike of Stonehouse Violets then there is no way of knowing how the night will end up.
You have been warned.

ItsaXXXXthing - So who is the best band in the world Mike. Go on share it with us as you have told me often enough?

Mike - Well it's us isn't it? We are the best band in the world!
When I say that I mean in my opinion of course, but fuck it. Unless you truly believe that you are the best then what is the point?
If you are going to do anything in life you have to give it one hundred percent and believe in yourself.
I don't need anyone telling me that we are good.
I already know that.

So you are better than everyone from The Beatles to Oasis to the guys that can fill stadiums just now?

Well let's just say we are in the same niche as them. People just don't know it yet.
We are the Sex Pistols, The Rolling Stones, Primal Scream, The Clash and every other band who defined the rules for themselves.
There's a rule book that people keep talking about.
I've got it in the toilet, but not as reading material.
It saves on buying toilet roll and I reckon I'm half way through using it.
That's all the rock and roll rule book deserves.
Me wiping my arse on it.

So is this a front. Sort of a swaggering Oasis thing?

Not at all.
Oasis had the right idea though.
It's like this. If you want something then it's rare for anyone to just give you it.
That's a life lesson right there.
If you want something you have to take it.
The more you want it the harder you will work to get it and the more you will hang onto what you have got.
Fuck anyone who gets in the way of what we want.
It's dog eat dog.
We will work with anyone who wants to help us and as long as the deal is fair for all parties then it's not a hassle, but without wrapping it all up in bullshit we know what we want and we want to keep our eye on it, and if anyone wants to get in our way then their name goes down in our wee black book.

Like a hit list. Ha?

Nah. We just list them under the title 'Fuckers' and we wont tolerate them.
When things pick up for, us as they will, there will be the 'fuckers' hovering around for a slice of the pie and if their name is in our book they aren't getting a slice.
The good guys are on our team and they are the ones who are welcome to jump aboard for the ride.

Fair enough then. So who is on the list?

You will see them outside the gigs looking for a guest list pass and asking people if they know who they are.
No one will be giving a toss.

What would you say to the people who would say that I have heard this all before from shit like Towers of London?
That it's just the arrogance of a front man?

Ha. Remember them? They are an example of a band who can talk the talk but couldn't back it up.
Once people see us live they know that they have nothing to do with us.
I don't feel embarrassed about blowing our own trumpet.
For me this is just facts getting expressed as I see them.
If some people disagree then that's fine.
They're wrong, but they are allowed to be wrong. Ha
I suppose of people want to take what is really a confidence in myself and the bands abilities and think it's arrogance then I can see where they are coming from, but it's our job to make music and play shows that make them see that the claims I'm making are true.
It's not really a case of empty boasting.

What about the mainstream music press. Has there been any interest?

Not so far, but we aren't trying to kick their doors in.
I've not read the NME since fuck knows when.
I couldn't tell you anything about it.
Who else is there?
Q, Mojo?
Do they feature new bands?
Every time I see them in the newsagents it's Led Zep on the cover, or Bob Dylan.

So you aren't interested in them featuring you?

No, that's not what I am saying. Exposure is exposure after all, but the whole music business is crumbling.
For every label that is in dire straits there's a million bands putting out their own stuff, and for every mainstream magazine there's a million blogs like this one.
It's all changing.
I guess what I mean is that I don't care.
If it's the NME that want to agree that we are the dogs bollocks or joe blogger from then fair enough.

Do you think the confidence you have could put people off?

Well I hope not. To go back to the start of the interview when I say we are the best band about I mean that with all my heart.
The thing is that I think that every member of every band should think the same way.
If you say it out loud then you have to deliver on it. It urges you on.
We can play with bands who have members who we would call mates, but it's like professional boxers going into a bout when we step on stage.
We want to knock them out in the first round and they should have the same attitude about their performance and go for it.
Once the gig is over then we are mates again.
Like the boxers we can shake hands and hit a club for a drink together.
Remember that baseball film with Kevin Costner in it. It's like that. Believe in it and make it happen.
I don't have room for entertaining self doubt in my head.
This band I am in is the best and we will do everything that we can to maintain control of our own destiny.
When someone asks us why we are doing one thing or another then we just tell them straight.
Take gig bookings.
Now someone could look at us playing a 200 capacity club as the headliner and think why aren't they supporting a major band in a 1000 capacity venue.
The reason is that we could get a crate of beer for the support slot and play in front of the eighty people who have turned up early enough to catch us, or we can blow the roof off of the club in front of people who are there to see us, and with a good deal with a promoter we can then go home with some cash that can then be used to record, pay for professional photographs, get a van and a hundred more things that will help us get out to more people.
We want to play for people, entertain them on our terms.
It's an attitude that others should go with.

But similar to how you wouldn't knock back an interview with the NME you would still consider a major support slot?

Well yes. If we liked the band. We would probably look on it as the chance to see a band we liked for fuck all rather than winning over fans though.
Although we would still give the gig one hundred percent. We don't do substandard.

So what's next for the band?

L-R Stewart Sonic Templar and Mike Stonehouse Violet 
Your gig is on the cards. It's the Sonic Templars and us in Pivo. As you know it's going to be another sell out. The only tickets left are the ones in Tickets Scotland and they might be in single figures by now.

What do you think about The Sonic Templars?

They're brothers in arms. They know the score and they will bring it on. I love them.
All bets are off for the performance though. They will storm it and so will we.
Battle of the Titans mate.
See I'm not that arrogant. If I wasn't playing at the gig I would be down the front for The Sonic Templars.
I want to take over the world, but so do they.
I wouldn't right any of us off as it may well happen.

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