The Crash Mats are hands-down one of the most entertaining live acts I have ever seen. They’re a damn good band that blend elements of punk, ska and hardcore, but their real talent lies in 24-carat comedy.
They’ve recently put out their second album 69 Peruvian Panpipe Classics on Manchester DIY label Horn & Hoof. It’s a rollicking ride through 21 classic tunes, including: Don’t Tell Mum That The Babysitter’s Dead, I Don’t Want To Go To Grandma’s House Tonight and My Girlfriend Only Has 24 Hours To Live. It’s a genuine feel-good album, reflecting the gargantuan level of fun you are guaranteed at their live shows.
Interrogating three such distinguished gentlemen as these is a rare opportunity, so I jumped at the chance to interview Oldham’s finest shortly after their set at Wotsit Called Fest.
It turns out that Danny Barrett a.k.a. Evil Bazz (vocals + bass), Dan Royales a.k.a. Seniòr Royales (guitar) and Chris ‘da beat’ Webb (drums) are even more hilarious in person than they are on stage. Huddled in a corner of the dingy backroom of The Palace in Hastings, surrounded by punks loading in instruments and beer floating in buckets of half-melted ice, we had a deeply poignant and meaningful discussion.
You’ve just come off stage at Wotsit Called Fest. You’re rock stars. How do you feel?
- Royales: Well, I always said to my Mum – “Just you watch.” After seeing Queen I said, “Mum, I’m gonna be a rock star.” It don’t surprise me at all.
- Bazz: We’ve reached the dizzy heights of Freddy Mercury here, playing Wotsit Called Festival. Next we’re getting a plane to LA and playing twice in one day.
- Shout Louder: You mean you don’t have a helicopter?
- Royales: Not yet. The Crash Copter is out of action at the moment, it’s coming next week.
You’ve recently released a new album: 69 Peruvian Panpipe Classics. What inspired your song writing?
- Bazz: Cannabis, professional wrestling and my Grandma.
- Royales: We watched a documentary about 14th century French art and that’s where we got our inspiration.
- Bazz: It is pretty deep, if you scratch beneath the surface. Below the thin veneer of intelligence.
Have you considered learning the pan pipes?
- Chris: We were going to do it for the album, but we’re just too modest. If Bazz started playing the pan pipes at a gig he’d just steal the show. He’s prevented himself from playing the pan pipes for the good of The Crash Mats, I think.