AM : For rock-interviews.com for the second time. You were on tour with the Stranglers in the UK for 16 gigs.
AM : What is your best memory, maybe when you were at the Hammersmith Apollo venue in London ?
Yeah. All the gigs were really good. We had a lot of bigger audiences this time around.
The audience is got larger. We had a lot of much younger people, parents which we've
actually seen happening over the years. This time, there were so many young people, kind of seven, eight, nine years
old with parents, (miming protecting a child) they're all kind of being protective and stuff,
that was fantastic. Hammersmith was fantastic, it was really big and to be honest kind of went by in a, in a...,
it was so fast I can't even really remember too much about it. Manchester the last show
was fantastic, New Castle, Liverpool, Leeds all being good, yeah it was a really good tour.
AM : In Hammersmith Apollo the gig was recorded ?
Yes, there will be a DVD. We had 9 cameras I think, the big flying eye camera, extra lighting, big stage,
huge audience, so it was fantastic and that should be hopefully out by this Summer.
Why did you choose to welcome some women on stage during the song "Nice and Sleazy" ? Is it a flashback to Battersea Park in 1978 ? There were real strippers at that time and also half naked men on stage, but not this time ?
No, there was a couple of girls who decided that it might
be fun to get on the stage while we were doing "Nice and Sleazy" and (miming dancing)
but they didn't take their clothes off, and actually it's a good job that they didn't
take their clothes off as well, a bit scary...
AM : Because they are not real strippers !
No, they weren't. I am not even sure if they were really women...I shouldn't say that !
Of course during the tour you played the hits like "Always the Sun" and so on, but you also played "Down in the Sewer" ?
Yeah. First time, the band haven't played "Down in the Sewer" since I joined,
it was kind of my suggestion that we do it, there's been a lot of pressure from various fans,
why don't we ever play "Down in the Sewer" ? It was just one of those songs that we just,
I don't know, this time around, it seemed fitting to reintroduce it and it's going down very well,
it's gone down very well, we'll play that tonight as well, so you'll' see.
You were in France last night. Did you enjoy the gig in Paris and have fun ?
Yes, I did. It was fantastic. It was probably the hottest gig that we've done in a very long time,
very, very, very hot, lots of sweat, half a litre ...(miming sweating) and there was a lot of English
fans and they sang happy birthday to me and then they picked me up and put me on their shoulders,
sang and took photographs and it was very sweet, I enjoyed it, very much, yeah. It was very tiring
I went straight to sleep, I went straight to bed (miming falling asleep). It was good fun, yeah.
Today we are in Belgium in Leuven at Het Depot. The gig is sold out.
AM : There is a coach coming from Paris with some of your more faithful fans.
Yeah, they come from England, it's generally known as the "Wonky bus"
because everybody drinks and gets wonky. But they are very very sweet,
they are very dedicated, there's about 70 or 80 of them. They dedicate their
time to come and see the band, they take holidays, they leave their loved ones
behind, they just come on the bus, stay at hotels, drink, have fun and come to
see The Stranglers and it's fantastic, it's real dedication and we really do
appreciate it, so if you're watching anybody (doing the peace & love sign), thank you.
This summer, will you do some Festivals ?
Yes, there's quite few festivals to do. We'll do in the UK, we're going to do Glastonbury,
we are going to do T in The Park, Oxegen which is a big one in Dublin, Ireland.
Very Many various ones around Europe, Portugal, Greece, Bulgaria, we're going to Czech Republic
(thinking) I'm sure there are few more but I can't really remember what they are,
but this year we have got a few smaller ones in the UK, so lots of festivals this year.
They are doing a fantastic job. Owen is a fan, a super fan, very dedicated guy and Dominic
is the web designer and they've just grabbed...I mean the website before, it was good but
it needed a bit of a face lift, you know, it needed to be updated. So we've got the guys
on board and it's fantastic. I mean the guy who was running it before lived in Canada and
it was sometimes a little difficult for him to update it immediately you know which really
has to be done. Yeah Owen and Dominic are doing a really good job.
You've got a new CD called "Decades Apart".
Decades Apart, yeah.
AM : A compilation of 2 cds with all your hits and 2 new tracks which are...
Well, there is a song called "Retro Rockets" which is a reactionary track about listening
to the rubbish that we can hear on the radio of which there is a great deal...
and the other song is called "I don't see the world like you do", which is a personal
song that I wrote about somebody. They know who they are, but anyway...And the rest of it
is basically, I think when we released Retro Rockets earlier this year, and that was five
decades of releases for The Stranglers. So there are a lot of songs on here (showing the disc)
that people may not be so familiar with through the nineties, but yes there's pretty much
everything on here that you need to know about the band I would guess.
Baz now a lot of people have a blog. Do you have one ?
A blog ? Well, I have my own website
which I had before I joined The Stranglers actually.
I have had that for quite a while now...And I participate in blogs on the Rat's Lair sometimes.
I'll get home and write one from this tour, and Japan as well, just a few little words.
AM : What do you think of Myspace or Facebook for instance ?
You really want to know ?
AM : Yeah.
I hate Facebook. I hate it. I can understand the communication thing between people who haven't
perhaps seen each other for quite a while, you know, long lost friends and tracking people down,
keeping in touch with people who are on the other side of the world, but I don't understand why
people have to let you know about every single thing that they're going to do : "I'm having a night
in tonight, I've just been to the supermarket, I'm going to have a bath and go to bed...
Who gives a fuck ? I don't care, you know, I really don't care. If you want to get in touch with me,
ring me, you got my number or send me an e-mail, but don't write me on Facebook, it's pathetic.
Twitter is even worse. Myspace, I can kind of...that's been more of instrumental for bands and
music, and that I can dig, but Facebook (miming "Fuck"). Sorry...
AM : I agree with you. I'm on Facebook for the website but I don't like Facebook,
I'm on Myspace and I think Myspace is nice, I'm not on Twitter because a lot of guys...
I was on Twitter but a lot of guys contact me, but not just for the music, for other
things, I said to them, it's not my business.
No, no. Well, I actually do have a page on Facebook as well, but I was told that if I
wanted to find someone that was where you looked. I didn't realise that you could actually
look for someone without opening an account, so I opened an account and for weeks and weeks
afterwards I get people from all over the world wanting to be my friend, you know, hundreds
and hundreds and hundreds, and all saying is this the real Baz Warne ? Is this you ? And I
remember thinking...Oh shit, what I have done you know, so I closed it all off. So now...It's rubbish.
Jim Radley from the MIB (Men In Black) forum told me that a book called "Peaches", a fans alternative history of The Stranglers is in progress.
AM : It will be a book by the fans for the fans.
AM : What do you think of this initiative ?
It's first I've heard of it, but it sounds interesting. Bands of this vintage, 35 years,
40 years, there are always many stories to tell, and many fans from the years gone by,
so people have their own sort of little things of meeting us, meeting the guys in the
early days, seeing guys in pubs with 5 people, so yeah, but I haven't heard anything
about that, but it sounds interesting, so fair play.
What are your best wishes for the future ?
Best wishes for the future ? Just to, we seem to have hit a plateau now,
and the band has gone up, now we're getting much bigger crowds, we're getting
much bigger and better records sales, we're getting much bigger gigs, more gigs,
more tours, more festivals, and I think really that we can only... as a musician
in a band, all you really want to do is to be successful and make a living at it.
We've achieved a lot in the last ten years since I joined the band, when it comes
to April the 6th I believe. I've been in The Stranglers for ten years (looking at
the camera : "Oh my God !") which is a really long time, not as long as the others,
but it's a long time, so, we've settled on a really stable four piece line up now
and it seems to be working very well so that's, you know, we just want more of that really.
AM : That's it, Baz, thank you very much for your time.
You're more than welcome and once again thank you for the birthday present, it's very kind of you, thank you.