Interview with Soho Roses; July 2007

Grant W: Soho Roses used to say that they met at the Marquee arguing over which one of them would chat up an attractive blonde girl by tossing a coin in the toilets. The blonde turned out to be Paul Blittz. I know that's not the real story about how the band came to be so could you put the record straight Pat?

Andy: No Grant…. It's true.

Paul: I was the last to join. Andy propositioned me at King's Cross - the station that is. He thought that I looked like I should be the singer in a band - and I was quite taken by the idea.

Pat: I'm not sure, but it was destined to happen. We all liked the same bands, went to the same Clubs, knew the same people, and hated dreadful 80's metal. One Journo said the only reason why we formed was to get into clubs for free. Of course, we were searching for a creative outlet for our enormous collective talent! (Tee, hee, hee…)

Grant W: So why is it that after all this time, you've finally decided to put this release out on Full Breach Records?

Andy: To annoy people.

Pat: Full Breach Records boss Josh, offered us an advance we couldn't refuse. The dirty old man!

Paul: It wasn't actually our idea. FBK approached us and we were very happy to oblige - once we'd located the master tapes, which we'd managed to mislay somehow.

Grant W: Are you still surprised that after all this time there is still a cult following of Soho Roses and renewed interest in the CD?

Andy: Yes.

Paul: Nothing's ever surprised me more. The strange thing is that many of the bands that actually got deals back then seem to have been forgotten. Maybe the fact that our live performances and output were so rare kind of added to the mystique. The truth is, only a privileged few actually witnessed first hand how crap we really were.

Pat: Well, what does 'cult' mean? A very small following I suppose. So no, not surprised at all.

Grant W: The band was quite image orientated and there are the obvious comparisons that always get made with Paul looking like a prettier version of Mike Monroe - how did you categorise the band musically?

Paul: Musically, punk rock - in the classic 70's sense. The three minute pop song - played as if you're trying to squeeze it into one minute.

Pat: Image? What image? It was just homage to real trashy rock 'n' roll, with attitude. More than a hint of naivety there as well, but the best rock 'n' roll has got that.

Andy: looks nothing like Mike Munroe!! Musically the band was a punk band. We had that attitude and lived that life style. We just had more style.

Grant W: Who was the band influenced by?

Andy: Mostly early punk like the Pistols and the Ramones and the London scene bands at the time like Hanoi Rocks. Later on we were influenced by Indie rock bands and post punk hardcore like Husker Du.

Pat: Oh you know the usual suspects. One of the big differences though was our love of the spirit of 1976 punk. At the time I loved bands like My Bloody Valentine, Husker Du, and The Wedding Present. Oh, not to mention Marionette…oh shit, I did!

Paul: Far too numerous to mention. The common thread though was that it was mainly people who offered something visual as well as musical. I think it would be quite safe to say that the band liked their ale and used to enjoy a few before jars before gigs.

Grant W: Do you have any particular favourite road stories and antics that the band got up to?

Andy: Fuck off!

Paul: I remember after one gig in Letchworth when a bunch of bikers got pissed off because some girls were talking to Andy and decided to lay into him. It turned into something reminiscent of a barroom brawl in a western and ended up with Pat chasing those still standing outside and hitting one bloke on the head with his own crash helmet! That's Hertfordshire for you.

Pat: Yeah, if your remotely Glam, avoid getting chatted up by Biker girls cos there greasy boyfriends don't like it! We kept having fights wherever we went. Problem was we couldn't get away cos we had this shit band van. Possibly the coldest van in history!

Grant W: In terms of tours and travel, how extensively did Soho Roses gig and tour and who were the bands that you were gigging with at that time?

Pat: We played with shite bands at the time. What's strange is that the other bands say that as well! There were one or two exceptions like the Senseless Things, Dogs D'Amour, and a Birmingham band called Suicide Blonde. Generally we had to headline on crap nites.

Paul: We didn't do anything extensively. We never managed to secure an agent for long enough to do a proper tour. In fact, the closest we probably got to touring was playing three dates on the trot with Last Of The Teenage Idols, which was a laugh. Unfortunately touring is hard work and requires a lot of organisation and neither of those were in the Soho Roses repertoire.

Andy: We only played very exclusive shows. It took too long to get ready for a performance so we could only be bothered now and again, mostly when we needed a shag.

Grant W: I think it would be quite safe to say that the band liked their ale and used to enjoy a few before jars before gigs. Do you have any particular favourite road stories and antics that the band got up to?

Pat: A classic is when Andy decided to get drunk before our very first gig in front of Journos. Joolz and Andy was so pissed off the performance, they throw their guitars at each other from opposite sides of the stage. From behind the drum kit, it was marvellous viewing! And we got a great review from Kerrang!

Grant W: Why do you think you never landed a major label deal?

Paul: We were too disorganised and arrogant to land a minor label deal. The world wasn't ready for us - and probably still isn't.

Pat: Major labels had no imagination or balls. As a result the quality of our Album suffered. We recorded it two days: one to perform it, the next to mix it! Shocking state of affairs! Not that we're bitter (much).

Andy: Because major labels are short-sighted cunts.

Grant W: What brought about the demise of Soho Roses?

Andy: There was no demise. We quit because Max Factor wouldn't sponsor us and the whole scene turned into pathetic metal like Poison and G'n'R.

Pat: The Roses was defined by the scene at the time and when that died we made a hasty exit.

Paul: Maybe our individuality.

Grant W: Was there any material recorded after the Third and Final insult or is what's on the CD pretty much the complete Soho Roses catalogue?

Paul: Well, it's called 'The Complete Works' and that's a pretty accurate title. I've got some old rehearsal tapes featuring some amazing belches from Joolz, which we could release as a follow-up, but that's about it I'm afraid.

Pat: It's the whole sordid truth and nothing but the sordid truth.

Andy: Well mate, that's yer fuckin' lot!

Grant W: What happened with the band members after the demise of Soho Roses?

Pat: I parade up and down my local area in full on glam gear, whispering to myself about the old days…

Andy: Went into porn.

Paul: We all realise what fantastic thing hindsight is.

Grant W: Who was the best looking member?

Andy: Attila the roadie.

Paul: I don't recall us ever comparing members. I still don't actually know which of my bandmates were Cavaliers and which were Roundheads.

Pat: I've got the best looking member but Paul's got the biggest. Joolz always used to brag about how small his one was. And Andy's boasted that he had his foreskin whipped off! Take your choice mate!

Grant W: What's your favourite Soho Roses track and why?

Pat: 'First Kiss' cos of my twenty minute drum solo.

Andy: Just a Girl. Coz it's a classic!

Paul: Probably 'So Alone'. It was always gave everyone such an adrenaline rush live. People used to lose their minds and go totally apeshit when we played it - and that was just the band...

Grant W: Were there ever any videos of gigs made? I've heard rumours that Blittz has some and Buttz from the Babysitters has some?

Pat: I heard there might be a shaky Video somewhere. An original video nasty!

Paul: We do have a video of the last gig - at The Marquee. People keep getting excited whenever I mention it, despite the fact that I always point out that it was shot on a very basic camcorder and is virtually unlistenable. A mate of mine tried desperately to clean up the sound but had to concede defeat in the end. Despite that, it's fun to watch. As for Buttz, apparently he's got a video that he shot personally of us sound checking. He's probably just waiting to see how well the CD sells before he puts it on Ebay.

Andy: There is a video of the final performance. It was banned on the grounds that it contains abusive and debauched behaviour and scenes of an adult nature and Joolz' belch trick.

Grant W: There's going to be a lot of fans out there who need to know if any kind of Soho Roses reunion is ever going to happen - I know Joolz has been ill so is it likely to ever happen in some shape or form in the future?

Pat: A lot of fans? Really! Golly gosh! You are a tease. Careful, your tickling my ego. Once we've been inducted into some American Music Hall of Fame, and received our Grammy's, we'll consider going on a sold out two year world tour. How's that.

Andy: Never say never.

Paul: I'm not going to say 'never' - but don't hold your breath.

Grant W: On the subject of Joolz, I know he was pretty ill a while back, do you have any news for the fans on how he's doing these days.

Paul: Well, he's been seriously ill but, thankfully, he's a tough little fucker and refuses to be beaten by anything. If it had happened to one of us soft southerners we probably wouldn't have survived.

Pat: Joolz is an old trouper, and a top man. He still takes the piss out of me when I speak to him. He's doing fine.

Grant W: Would you say you learned any valuable experiences from being in a band?

Paul: Yeah, never try to run across a beer and saliva soaked stage in stilettos.

Andy: Yes, never trust a hippy, small ugly glam rock types or a stupid cunt agent with a cigar like a big dildo in his mouth, the music press are a jealous, bigoted bunch of talentless cunts that shouldn't be allowed to live let alone pass judgment on anything, Goth chicks look nice in the club but, in the morning things can look a little less appetising, never drink eight pints of strong bitter before you play the gig and expect the rest of the band to understand until the reviews come out, always play as fast as possible, expect to get lost back stage at the Astoria, drink the rider before your roadcrew and the other bands do, when a bike gang ride into the venue on their bikes leave, it's a shit business, it is possible to make a classic album in under 24 hours, always be careful of your high hats.

Pat: Try and avoid getting bitter and twisted.

Grant W: Do you still keep in touch with the other band members?

Pat: Yeah, we all live in a Glam commune together, share make-up, and bitch about other bands all day.

Paul: There were a few years when I saw very little of the others. Not by choice - we were just busy doing different things. That's changed for the better recently though, which I'm very pleased about.

No. They are cunts.

Grant W: What kind of music do you listen to nowadays and do you still listen to music from the good old era?

Paul: No particular kind, although, rather predictably, most of it is guitar-based rock. I'd like to see England produce some exciting rock 'n' roll bands though. Or one even. The Yanks and Scandies seem to be dominating that market these days. Of course I still listen to old stuff - The Dogs, Hanoi, The Lords etc. Funnily enough, back in 'the days', when all that LA nonsense was going on, I was mainly listening to Prince and Gene loves Jezebel.

Pat: I luv bands from every decade of Rock 'n' Roll, too many to mention but at the moment loving the Killers, The Klaxons, Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs, and Paul dragged me to see Turbonegro, which was nice. Chill out to Cherry Ghost.

Grant W: Finally, any advice or words of wisdom for our readers out there?

Andy: Yes…..Fuck off!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Paul: I'd probably just pass on a valuable piece of advice my Dad gave to me: 'Trust no fucker'.

Pat: Take music seriously, not yourself.

Interviewed by Grant W.

Visit the Soho Roses Website