FUDGE TUNNEL, the three piece swirling vortex of an outfit based in Nottingham, England, (well Alex now lives in Phoenix) definitely one band that doesn't fuck around musically, as well as the rest of their career, which they will explain in greater detail in this interview. Fudge Tunnel now have three works available, "Creeps Diet" (Earache Columbia). An E.P. titled "Teeth" (Earache) and their fantastic debut, "Hate Songs In E Minor" Respectively, the band consist of Alex "Beavis" Newport (vox/guitar), Dave "Butthead" Riley (bass/vox), and Adrian "?" Parkin (drums).
So, if you like your music tuneful, yet chaotic, look for 'em! And while you're looking, keep your eye out for NAILBOMB, a collaborative project with Max Cavalera from Sepultura, out now on the Roadrunner label, it should be something. As far as Fudge Tunnel goes, they're the shit, and that ain't no poop! I would like to give thanks to Julia at Chicago's Lounge Ax, without whom this interview probably wouldn't have happened. So to Julia, "Mucho Gratitude and hell yeah, THANKS!
Kirby (ROC): What's the first thing you think of when you hear the word "censorship"?
DAVE: Tipper Gore.
ROC: What about PMRC.
ALEX: She's the figurehead (Tipper).
ROC: Have you ever had any problems with censorship?
DAVE: Not really.
ALEX: Not as such.
DAVE: We had some minor shit about album cover artwork. It was seized by customs. As it turned out they didn't do anything with it.
ROC: Which album was this?
DAVE: "Hate Songs." It was just a stick figure drawing of a man getting his head chopped off. The police raided the Earache office in England and took all the artist's work, and even took an Alice Cooper poster (laughs). All our stuff is pretty ambiguous actually, we tend to let people make up their own minds about our stuff, that's why we haven't had any problems. I mean Jello Biafra can write with a real sense of humor and irony. Straight edge bands were more into image than music, that was what we wanted to stay away from. It's like that stuff got a minuet. There's a lot worse things than people having sex all the time!! (laughter)
ROC: Any problem with Parliament?
DAVE: It is not so much Parliament as Local Councils. Hype will come before the band. The Revolting Cocks were said to throw cattle across the stage. It gets blown out of proportion by the English press.
ROC: What about right-wing Christians, or televangelists?
DAVE: Not yet, but the first evangelist is about to open in Britain. They're funny, something to laugh at, until they start affecting people.
ROC: What's some of your impressions of the states, this being your first tour here?
DAVE: In America, every thing has to be bigger. When someone gets violent, they're real violent. It's the same with liberalism and conservatism, when people are conservative, they're real fucking conservative.
ALEX: Everyone wants power and money. America is the biggest money making machine in the world. Hence, everyone wants power.
ROC: I talked with Aaron Aedy (from PARADISE LOST) about the way things are here, he really just scratched his head.
ALEX: It's culture shock really. It's so different than how it's perceived through film and TV, but we haven't seen anybody shot yet. I saw a guy in D.C. who wasn't moving, but I think he was drunk, not dead. (laughs)
ROC: I think you are about to break.
ALEX: We'll see, the way we do things makes it difficult. We're not interested in breaking big. We're interested in keeping control of our lives.
DAVE: The music scene now is totally geared to what we've been doing for the past five years. A lot of doing interviews is setting the record straight. People think that we've sold out because we signed to Columbia, fuck that! We're signed to Earache and they're licensed to Columbia.
ALEX: If we make money, we make money. It's better to get up in the morning and be able to look at yourself in the mirror.
ROC: How have other tours gone?
DAVE: This last tour was like the last straw. I mean, Adrian still has a job, you can understand it they don't want somebody who's not gonna be there.
ALEX: They called us up and said, "You want to tour with Prong?" We said "YEAH." Then they said we'd have to jump on the plane tomorrow. We try to keep control, we said no.
ROC: Have you ever been censored on the BBC?
ROC: Do bands that are banned by the BBC always go to #1?
DAVE: Pretty much, it's funny.
ALEX: All too often you get people like George Michael releasing stuff that's a pile of crap, so that it will get to the top of the charts. But then again N.W.A. had a lot of trouble in England.
ROC: How was the "Cop Killer" controversy perceived in England?
ALEX: The record came out, the BBC wouldn't play it of course. A lot of the reason it wasn't a big deal was because the music press isn't geared to rap and metal. It's geared more to Suede and Happy Mondays. The relationship between the people and the cops is different in England. In England, it was a big controversy when they wanted to give the cops bigger sticks! We have a song called "Tipper Gore."
ROC: Wow! I didn't know that!
ALEX: You didn't ask! (laughs) The point is that it's not an American issue. She's a symbol. The point is to warn people, no it's not going on over here (England) but people have got to be warned. If they don't wake up, it's not going to be just an American phenomenon. England will be next, just as bad as America.
ROC: What do you think bands could do to make fans more aware of what is going on?
ALEX: Let them know about organizations like your own.
DAVE: People have been doing with lyrics, trying to get people more basically aware. We thought that was very dry, just saying, "This is fucked up, this is fucked up." Do something about it. As long as you're aware and think about things, you start by changing yourself. That was one of the positive things about hardcore. I think the deal with censorship, it's very difficult to fight the people censoring. You can't just walk up to Tipper Gore and end it.
ALEX: With a gun! (laughs)
DAVE: The danger comes when people aren't educated about what they're doing, so you get censorship. It's the same with every issue. With racism, and sexism, people don't know enough. Why do you think we've got AIDS? Because people don't discuss sex. I knew a few older skinheads that used to be in the National Front. They used to go around beating up blacks. But they grew, and now those same people are the most vehement anti-Nazi's around.
ROC: Where do you think education should be more focused at?
ALEX: Well, the whole school system is fucked up.
DAVE: There's more important stuff people can be taught about than the metamorphosis of a frog! (laughs) Like how to survive in the outside world.
ALEX: It's really bull-shit that there's censorship when we should be talking about jobs and healthcare and such.
DAVE: One of the best things about Britain is that we have a nationwide National Health Service.
ROC: What connection do you see between politics and music.
DAVE: There's always been politically aware music. Punk was kind of like rage against everything. The Tory Party has been in power since I was as kid. When punk started in England, bands come along that were more focused. Other bands came along that were more political, like The Clash.
ROC: What impressions do you have of American fans?