This interview was made for the Torment Tribute on " OLD SCHOOL PSYCHOBILLY ", January 2011. A very special thanks to Sean Holder for answering the questions.


added January  2011



made by Wildhank


When and how did you first get in touch with Rockabilly, Psychobilly?

I first got in to Rockabilly in 1980/81 after hearing Rockabilly Guy by the Polecats and Rock This Town by the Stray Cats.

You were a band member with some rockin' outfits prior to your time with Torment. Tell us a little bit more about these bands and projects.
I met Daren Fox in 1983 and later met Simon Brand after responding to an ad for a singer in a Rockabilly band. So me and Simon started the Jumpin Jacks in 1984 and asked Daren to join us as bass player. So it was Simon on lead guitar/vocals, me on stand up snare/vocals and Daren on bass. Simon decided to leave the band without giving us any notice so we had to fold the band.
I then joined the Firebirds, who Simon had also played for. I played with them while their regular drummer was in the USA for 6 months. Later that year 84/85 I met Kevin (Haynes) and joined the Joint Jumpers, a Bristol-based 5 piece Rockabilly band. Kev was on rhythm guitar and I was on bass.

When and how was Torment formed?

Kev then asked me if we should start our own band. So in the summer of 85 I went to see Simon to see if he would be interested in joining our new band. I took Simon to see the Blubbery Hellbellies at the Theckla in Bristol so he could meet Kevin. And that is how Torment started.

Is it true that the band used your garage as a practise room in the early days?

We did practice in my garage for a few weeks. And Kev used my drum kit until he got himself one. Then we started to practice in a studio in Redland Bristol every Saturday morning for 4 hours.

The first gigs were held in December 1985. Any memories left?

The first gig we did was in December 85 in Brighton with the Long Tall Texans. Then we did a gig in Bristol on x-mas eve with the Swamp Toads and maybe the Coffin Nails, not to sure about them. I have got memories of the gigs. The main one was kissing Kevin's girlfriend. There was a lot of sexual tension between us. I don't think Kev knows about that. And the other thing was my bass amp being stolen after that gig.

When and why did your involvement with Torment come to an end?

My involvement came to an end about two weeks after the first demo was made. It came right out of the blue. I just got a phone call from Simon one night to say I was out of the band. ????? And Tony Biggs was my replacement, ex-Firebirds bass player.

Have you been keeping track with the story of the band, what's your favourite Torment album and why?

I have never followed the band's progress and do not own or ever will own any album by the band. I think part of the reason I was kicked out was I would of not let the band go down the route it took musically. And secondly I think Simon didn't like the fact I was center of attention. Everyone seemed to want to talk to me. If you notice in the promo photos I'm always in the middle and we all know that bass players are gods.

You're co-credited on Psyclops Carnival album for song-writing on 'Death Trail'. Please tell us the story of the song. Did you ever get any royalty cheques?

As for the music, I did write Death Trail, but its nothing like the sh*t version on the album. I also came up with the bass line that formed the music for The Source as well, which I am not credited for on the album. I did get some royalty cheques now and then.

How was it like to deal with Simon as a person and as an artist respectively?
I the early days I got on very well with Simon and Kevin. Me and Simon would spend a lot of time together. We both had motorcycles and we used to go out drinking together. Just the two of us or as a foursome with our girlfriends. And it was the same with Kev. But Simon started stirring up things between me and Kevin. Simon was a very talented and troubled person. He had a very dark side to his personality which stands out in the words in his songs.

When and how did you find out that Simon Brand committed suicide?

Wendy ( ED's note: Simon Brand's wife) was a death sentence for Simon. It was just a matter of time. I found out about his death when I was back home on summer leave from Germany. I was thinking of going to see his mother who owned a flower shop in Kingswood. I wanted to get Simon's address so I could get some gig photos from him as I had none. About two days later my father was reading the Bristol Evening Post when he saw the story of how Simon had hung himself in a tree in page school.

What music do you listen to these days and do you still visit gigs?

The last Psychobilly gig I went to was Caravans for their 25th anniversary gig in Bristol. And I've been to a few Rockabilly gigs. One from Germany, Lennerockers, very good band. I still listen to the music, loads of 50s Rockabilly, some Psychobilly.... Nekromantix, The Quakes, Tiger Army, Frantic Flintstones, Mad Sin, Meteors, Demented Are Go.



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