|Here is a quick interview that I have been sitting on for the last 3 months or so, but this was conducted via myspace. Deek is the lead vocalist for the Scottish Anarcho punk rock band OI POLLOI.
Formed in the early eighties, OI POLLOI have put
out numerous albums independently with that DIY attitude. Unfortunately
because of the "war of errors" policy in the US, the band will not
play here due to the policies of being fingerprinted like criminals
before they enter the states. So either I am going to have to see
them in the UK, EU or Canada. They just released their 6 full length
album called Ar Ceol Ar Canan Ar-a-mach
MS 07/31/06, via myspace.com
MSIG: It has been almost 25 years since Oi Polloi's inception.
Did you ever see it lasting this long?
Deek: Not at the beginning - it was just a bit of a joke! It's all got a bit out of hand though.
MSIG: Where and how did this all begin?
MSIG: How many tours have you done and how many countries have you played at?
Deek: To be honest I can't remember - sorry! We've toured the UK numerous times. We've toured the USA three times although we never made it to the West Coast. We did a few gigs in Canada back in 1990. We play in Europe all the time and have played everywhere in Western Europe loads of times and have played quite a few of the Eastern European countries too. It's great - travel certainly does broaden the mind.
MSIG: What is your favorite place to play?
Deek: Personally I like Germany and Austria and the German speaking part of Switzerland because we like to talk to the audience a lot at our gigs and I can speak good German so it makes the gigs a lot better and more fun. Finland is great too cos I speak Finnish as well. People really appreciate it if you make the effort to learn their language. We always try to learn at least a little everywhere we go but those are the only languages I'm fluent in. English speakers have a tendency to be very arrogant and expect everyone to speak English so we try to be a little more respectful.
MSIG: What was your worst?
Deek: Probably Talinn in Estonia. The place was full of fucking
Nazi bonehead idiots and we had to fight our way out and hospitalize
some of them to get away - we were really lucky cos none of us are
particularly hard or good at fighting - it was a nightmare but we
were really lucky. The two ethnic Russian bar owners in the place
helped us out by battering some of the scum with lumps of wood but
most of the audience just sat back and watched as if watching the
band fighting for their lives was part of the entertainment!! Unbelievable.
MSIG: Members have come and gone but what would you consider the "core" members of the band?
Deek: We've had the same line-up for about 5 years now and it is Olssen on guitar, me on vox, Cam on drums and Calum on bass.
MSIG: OP started as an Oi/skinhead band, but as you have evolved into an anarcho/vegan/hippy/peace punk band over the years. Explain this evolution.
Deek: None of us were skinheads when we started and we've never been all skinheads either. We were kids in our early teens when we started so we were a bit naive and ignorant about some stuff but as you get older you develop and wise up and become a bit more knowledgeable and aware so inevitably our views became a bit more sensible. Not sure about the use of the term "hippy" though - is that because we want such crazy stuff like clean air and water and a world that has still got some trees left for our kids and isn't a totally fuckin radioactive and polluted desert?
MSIG: Are you all vegetarians or vegans?
Deek: Olssen and I are vegans and Cam and Calum are veggies ( I think!) - it's actually not a subject we spend too much time talking about amongst ourselves. We always eat vegan on tour but we don't define ourselves by our diet. All this macho vegan hardcore is pretty puerile. We don't want any part of some macho bullshit or these few idiots who go on about "vegan dictatorship" and executing carnivores - that's one of the stupidest things I've ever heard.
MSIG: If you could pick the ultimate line-up for a show, what bands would you like to play with and where would you have it?
Deek: It would be in the ruins of the Pentagon.
MSIG: What do you think of the USA?
Deek: When we toured we met a lot of really great people and had some amazing times with real friendly folk. When I was a kid I also went on tour with my school bagpipe band in the US and we stayed with families in every town we played and the people were really great to us then as well - we even did a gig at the White House too believe it or not - back in 77 or 78 that was I think! Scary eh? Anyway like I said, a lot of really nice people and some amazingly beautiful nature.
MSIG: What do you think of the Exploited?
Deek: Wullie is a nice guy - as are a lot of the other guys who have been in the band over the years - but we don't know Wattie as we move in different circles despite living in the same city. Some of the music is great but none of us are particular fans - we're more into the more anarcho side of punk.
MSIG: In some of your recordings you refer to "carrot tops". Please explain this to folks not familiar with your heritage.
Deek: That's a slang term for people with red hair which is about ten per cent of the population here in Scotland. When we recorded our last studio LP three of us in the band were red-heads so we wanted to do a song about it. Red hair is fucking cool - if you've got it flaunt it!
MSIG: Do you smoke "white mans tobacco"?
Deek: I don't smoke any tobacco - I'm not an idiot. Fucking selfish habit too - I've got a bit more respect for the health of those around me.
MSIG: What do you think of the USA's war on drugs?
MSIG: What do you think of the hemp plant as a potential energy source.
MSIG: Do you smoke pot?
Deek: I'm not that interested to be honest - got more interesting things to do with my time!
MSIG: Deek, Thanks for the interview?