Dunken Francis, waxing lyrical on: his time fronting The Wildhearts, Mournblade and mental health in music
For anyone not aware, Dunken Francis (or Dunken F. Mullett as he was known in 1990) joined The ’Hearts as frontman fresh from his previous band Mournblade after Snake, The Wildhearts current frontman left. However after a year or so Dunken was replaced when Snake returned to the role.
Dunken now lives in New Zealand: he’s an Aikido instructor in the week and rock n roller in several bands come the weekend.
At 5am UK time, 16.00pm New Zealand we begun a wonderful half an hour video chat.
Dunken: Hello geezer.
Are we all go?
Dunken: You got me?
Yeah… Continue reading
Frank Turner: Talking about his love of The Wildhearts, and answering questions from the ‘Frank Turner Army’ Facebook group
I caught up with Frank Turner before his Oxford gig on the ‘Be More Kind’ tour. With Frank being a huge Wildhearts fan and friend of their singer Ginger Wildheart, I asked a few Wildhearts related questions as well as that of his own work.
What does it feel like to be back in Oxford?
FT: It feels great! I spend more time here than I publicise, as three members of the band are from Oxford; they were in the band Dive Dive. We’ve got a rehearsal room just outside Oxford so whenever we’re working on new material or rehearsing… Continue reading
Ryan Hamilton: Talking The Traitors, Ginger Wildheart, the ‘Fuck You Brain’ charity single, mental health and beards
23 March 2018
I had a chat with Ryan backstage at the Surya venue in Kings Cross (where The Traitors were also hanging out) before the last date of the Ryan Hamilton & The Traitors ‘Young, Dumb and Full of Rum’ UK tour. Supporting on the tour were The Main Grains featuring Wildhearts’ bassist Danny McCormack.
Me: You seem to be having a blast on this tour. How have the gigs been and what’s it been like hanging out with The Main Grains?
Ryan: The gigs have been super fun! We’ve been to two or three places we’ve… Continue reading
Danny McCormack: Where we talk The Wildhearts, The Main Grains, recording a World Cup song and mental health…
23 March 2018
After hotfooting it to the offie to purchase two cans of Guinness for Danny and cider for myself, we find a quietish corner in which to have a chat before The Main Grains support slot on the Ryan Hamilton & The Traitors tour at the Surya venue in London.
Firstly, I asked good friend and all round Wildhearts nut Kerry (Ten Pin) Bowler if he had a question for Danny.
Ten Pin: What’s it like for your brother Chris being in The Professionals with former Sex Pistol Paul Cook?
Danny: He’s over the moon! I’ve… Continue reading
2 JANUARY 2013
The one that nearly got away. After several failed attempts to interview Alex when I started writing Zealot, we got back in touch via Facebook Chat in September 2011. Our plan was to conduct the interview through Skype, but this was also laid to rest as our schedules wouldn’t allow it. It was decided that the only way the interview was going to happen was if I sent Alex the questions in an email. Not the way I normally like to do things but at least it seemed it was going to happen… or so I… Continue reading
17 NOVEMBER 2011
Canadian Devin Townsend’s band Strapping Young Lad were too thrashy for my tastes. But I knew and loved the single ‘Christeen’ lifted off his ’98 ‘Infinity’ LP. Ginger had also been credited as co-writing ‘Christeen’ and featured in the promo video.
However, I wrongly assumed that all Devin’s other work would be of the same ilk as Strapping Young Lad, so I never explored. Then all that changed…
In October 2011, my friend Kerry posted a link on Facebook to the Devin song ‘Planet Of The Apes’. Well, it blew me… Continue reading
13 NOVEMBER 2007
The God Damn Whores were supporting the Cardiacs at The O2 Academy (formerly The Zodiac) in Oxford. I got in touch with Jon Poole via MySpace a few days beforehand to try and organise an interview. I received this positive reply:
Yeah I’d be up for an interview. I’ll be milling around before and after the gig so come and make yourself known!
All the best,
Walking down Cowley Road I started to get a little nervous: as was the norm, before conducting an interview with someone I admired. Also, The Zodiac had… Continue reading
23 MARCH 2007
There was a substantial gap between interviewing Jef in 2006 and Mark Keds the year after. This was because, several times when I was supposed to get back to Mark I felt too down to do so, and many times when I had got in touch, Mark just wasn’t at the other end of the phone. Finally, though, we organised to meet in London outside Clapham Common Tube Station at 1.45pm on 23 March.
I had originally wanted Martin to share the experience with me, but he couldn’t get away from work and… Continue reading
16 JULY 2006
Using the number I obtained from Danny, I gave Jef a ring and had no trouble organising a convenient moment to talk. However, this interview almost didn’t get written up, as the recording on my Dictaphone was practically inaudible. But with hours and hours of patience, I managed to work out a proportion of what was said. It’s a shame I can’t enter the whole of the interview because Jef was so friendly and easygoing.
Jef: “Hello, mate.”
Me: “Hello, is that Jef?”
Jef: “It is, yeah. Hi Gary, how ya doing?”
Me: “Hello, alright mate. You… Continue reading
11 June 2006
I was getting more confident as I did these interviews. I was especially looking forward to this one as on the few occasions I’d met Danny, he had come across as a lovely guy. But I wasn’t sure if he would answer the phone nor, if he did, whether he would be well enough to talk. When he answered on my first attempt you can imagine I was more than pleased. Funnily enough though, I expected his first words to be a little more rock ’n’ roll than, “Could you ring back in a couple of hours… Continue reading
24 May 2006
I thought my easily-organised interview with Bam was a one-off, so when I got in contact with CJ through MySpace and he immediately got back with a big ‘yes’ and his mobile number, you can imagine I was more than pleasantly surprised.
I was a little nervous, but no way as much as I had been with Bam. I rang a little after our organised time of 4.00pm but got no reply, so rang back at 4.20pm.
Throughout the interview we hardly stopped laughing; I felt at ease because CJ was such a nice guy.
CJ:… Continue reading
15th May 2006
Contacting drummer Bam through his band Bubble’s web page, I explained what I was aiming to do with Zealot and he got straight back to me with his contact number. It took me two weeks to build up the courage, but eventually I called.
Before this interview took place, I had stupidly phoned Bam at 5.00am the very same day. Seems I got a little confused with the time difference – whoops. Under the circumstances, he was extremely polite and we decided that when I got home at 11.00pm from my late shift at work it would… Continue reading