Interview with Malcolm "Scruff" Lewty June/2011
HELLBASTARD is a Crust Punk/Crossover/Thrash Metal band from Newcastle, England, UK.
Together with AMEBIX and ANTISECT, they are the pioneers of the crust punk genre. Since then, as most of their peers, they evolved to a more metal sound.
They are working on a new album, the they promise to be the angriest and most intimate ever, also soon will be a new video directed by ANDREW LEFTON, he has just completed the AMEBIX new video "KNIGHTS OF THE BLACK SUN" for their upcoming teaser 12" to be released shortly on PROFANE EXISTENCE and ALTERNATIVE TENTACLES exclusively.
HELLBASTARD fly out to SWEDEN next month to play the prestigious "PUNK ILLEGAL FEST" held yearly near GOTHENBURG, this promises to be a real feral and wild affair, lasting over three days HELLBASTARD headline the event on SAT JUNE 25th.
HELLBASTARD ARE -
JOSH "BUDA" HARRIS - Drums/Percussion.
PAUL "I NEED SOME CHIPS, MAAAN" O'SHEA - Bass.
TOM "MOTORMOUTH" MCCOMBE - Guitars/Talking...always,....never shuts up, talks and talks,...for ever,....always,...for ever.
MALCOLM "SCRUFF",...I'M 43 & WILL NEVER GROW UP" LEWTY - Vocals/Guitars.
DEAN "SPEAK UP A BIT, MATE..." WHITBY. - Merch/Travel Itinararies/Acommodation Finder/Band Photography/Transport Executive/Cake and Tea bringer at rehearsals - (the list is a long one)...etc etc.
Q1.For the case there is anyone that dont know HELLBASTARD, tell us what is HELLBASTARD?
MALCOLM "SCRUFF"- Hello Kezio,....
I guess to some, HELLBASTARD is a message. This is where the bands' priorities lie, deep rooted in the hardcore anarcho/d.i.y/punk/metal /thrash "scene". There would be NO POINT doing this band if the lyrics were about satan or big motorbikes or fast cars or scantily clad virginal women and the fires of hell. It just would'nt work for us.
HELLBASTARD are five individuals (I am counting DEAN THE MERCH MACHINE) as well, because without our merch/organiser guy we would be royally fucked. Dean is a close friend of mine that I work with in the Post Office, we are both mailmen,...for our sins, and Dean organises a lot of stuff for us, to the point that he really should be known as "Dean the MANAGER", he is awesome, the only thing Dean does not do is get onstage with us and play when we do,... Anyway,...we are FIVE individuals that get along quite well and wish to deliver the best and most passionate live performance we can. We are becoming more diverse as time goes on with different "influences" coming into the band. We began in late 1984/85' and reformed in 2008 after splitting in 1992. We have been in WARS and came out the other end. We have had more line up changes than any football team, ever. But we are here, still passionate and still angry about things that annoy us. This is, primarily what drives the band. We have HAD the option to "sell out" (whatever that means) but never took it. So our street "credibilities" are real strong. I am quite proud of this.
Q2.You've recently toured UK with PanzerBastard and Suicide Watch, for the first time since you reformed the band.How was it?
M.S. - Well, we completed a huge european tour in 2009, and did some tours in the USA in 2009 and 2010. Yes, it was the first "UK TOUR" since way back in 1990. There were a surprisingly large amount of people at SOME shows, and then there was a sparse crowd at others. The tour was a success though, in the fact that we onl;y missed ONE show because of a situation beyond our capabilities. We all got on really well (the 3 touring bands) and made many new friends along the way.......it was a great tour and we were very lucky to have even done it. Our first TWO drivers dropped out before the tour and Mr "Shotgun Brady" (our rhsal room owner) jumped in at the last minute to drive the whole tour with his own vehicle. We owe him a lot. Our BROTHERS from other MOTHERS (Boston's PANZERBASTARD) were a joy to be with. We had met in the USA in 2009 and 2010, we stayed with them and played shows with them and I have even been graced with the task of appearing on their next cd as a guest vocalist on one track called "Workhorse", what a fucking HONOUR that is. We love PANZERBASTARD, they fucking rule and KICK MUCH ARSE. There are not many bands like PANZERBASTARD out there,......... It was an honour to tour with them. Especially them.
Q3.Hellbastard is one of the pioneers of the crust punk, but since then has evolved into a more metal thrashy kind of sound, as many other punk bands from the same time and all received criticism from abandoning their punk roots. What do you think of that?
M.S. - Nothing has been "abandoned". We are a band, not mercenaries ! We do what we do, you do what YOU do,. You cannot please ALL of the people ALL of the time. I try damn hard to please myself only when it comes to the music of HELLBASTARD, I write songs for ME, nobody else. And as for "thrash metal",.... PHOOEY ! We are HELLBASTARD. Period. It is too EASY for magazines and individuals to slag bands off when they change their sound or do something DIFFERENT. Instead bands should be FUCKING WELL PRAISED for daring to even BE different !!! Look at the so called "crust" scene ? 99 per cent of the bands ALL SOUND THE FUCKING SAME, and what is even MORE sad is that they all LOOK THE FUCKING SAME
AS WELL,..... fuck me, it is like a LOAD of sheep in a field. FUCK THIS SHIT.
Q4.Some critics seems to find it hard to classify HELLBASTARD into a genre. Have you anytime worried about making your music get into an specific genre to pass a more clear image of yourselves?
M.S. - On the contrary. we don't WANT to be classified and cross-refernced and stored away in a neat little box. FUCK THAT SHIT. I AM GLAD "critics" FIND IT HARD TO CLASSIFY US ! This makes me smile a whole lot more than I normally would. THERE ARE NO RULES. FUCK RULES, FUCK CLASSIFICATIONS AND FUCK ANYBODY THAT WANTS TO CLASSIFY "MUSIC" OF ANY SORT. Who the FUCK wrote the rule book anyway ? You mention a "clear image" ? WHO GIVES A FUCK. WE CERTAINLY DO NOT. No man, FUCK anybody that tries to label anything. FUCK THEM IN THE FACE WITH A PITCHFORK. Cunts. Labelling something as DIVERSE as "music" is a crime. To me there is shit music and good music,.... whichever you like, you like,........That is how it should be. I enjoy listening to some of the most "commercial" music in the world (EG-Madonna, Duffy...) does that make me a "POP/DISCO guy" ? Nah, I don't think so. People who want to LABEL something , I think, are scared. It has to FIT into their scope/vision,.... that is what HITLER did to all who didn't fit into his grand scheme. PEOPLE WHO label things are SAD emotionless feeble useless utter cunts. DESTROY THE LOT OF THEM. Fucking PRICKS.
Q5.How was the scene in uk back in the 80's? Has the internet made it better now or just banalised it?
M.S. - I was too busy trying not to starve, I saw millions of bands come through my brothers' clubs,.... every band played his shows that he organised. From all over the world. It was exciting and new and very dangerous. There was no security at his early shows, bands like SUBHUMANS, AMEBIX, SKEPTIX, MAU MAUS, RIOT SQUAD, BROKEN BONES, CONFLICT, SVART FRAMTID, BANNLYST, NO MEANS NO, D.O.A, ANTISECT, OI POLLOI, ONSLAUGHT, CHAOS UK, DISORDER, LUNATIC FRINGE, THE CLASH (EVEN) ! SONS OF BADBREATH, EAT SHIT, SEATS OF PISS, NAPALM DEATH, EXTREME NOISE TERROR, HERESY, CONCRETE SOX, etc etc most shows went reall REALLY well, but the odd time Skinheads would turn up and try and ruin things. They were always beaten down though, hahahaha.
The internet has made things a million times quicker, if anything. You google a band name and POP! Up it comes and you can hear the music straight away. In our day we had to make a tape and send it in the post.... along with a long letter as well, the personal touch. That's what the internet has fucked up on, it has taken the personal touch right out of things, which is really really sad. It is also swamped with music,.there are too many bands and not enough outlets for the bands to perform and gain credibility. The 1980's were a tragic time in the UK, many job losses and redundancies and many small firms closing down because of the capitalist giants taking over (much of what has been going on in the world anyway,...) No, the 1980's were not as good as people think they were. For music, then hell yes,....if you like that kind of thing. But politically the situation went downhill rapidly with "Thatcherism",..... the tories destroyed so much, for so many..... those bastards.
Q6.What should we expect from the band in the near future?
M.S. - Things that are as DIFFERENT as we can make them, without being too arty! Oh, we are playing this years "PUNK ILLEGAL" fest in Munkdehal, Sweden this month we are really looking forward to this event as it is an honour to be asked to play such a legendary outdoor venue(it happened June 25th). Our next album is tentatively titled "ROCKSTAR BURNING...." and we are still writing it as we speak. There will be a 12" Picture Disc Vinyl appearing on PROFANE EXISTENCE RECORDS (USA) with a band called "DRESDEN" from Wisconsin on one side and HELLBASTARD on the other,......... this will surface in 2011 / 2012.
Q7.Thank you once more, feel free to add anything you want now.
M.S. - Thankyou for thinking of us for your magazine. WE are most honoured to be featured in said publication. Fight the good fight and look out for your friends, they are the most important thing we all have, well, .that and time and the air we breathe. THE REVOLUTION WILL NOT BE TELEVISED - FUCK THE NEW WORLD ORDER.
Scruff/Hellbastard June 2011.
1986: Ripper Crust demo cassette
1987: Hate Militia full-length cassette
1988: Heading for Internal Darkness LP
1988: Thrashing a Dead House 12" split with Extreme Noise Terror
1989: They Brought Death 7" EP
1990: Natural Order CD/LP
1990: Heading for Internal Darkness CD reissue
1993: Ripper Crust LP reissue
1998: Heading for More Darkness CD reissue
1998: In Grind We Crust CD compilation
2009: "Ripper Crust" LP reissue
2009: The Need to Kill CD/LP
2009: "Eco-war" EP/CD
2010: "Heading For Internal Darkness" LP reissue / CD Version later 2010/ early 2011
2010: "Hellbastard/Dissent" Split 7" EP