Sleaford Mods – I used to be in bands, fucking hated it

Sarcasm, the lowest form of wit? Never! Punk poet Jason Williamson and his compadre Andrew Fearn haven’t got the time to fuck about with diplomacy.

The contemporary punk-hop duo from Nottingham is as direct and hard kicking as anything out there, but in a far more interesting wrapping. Rough and tumble, abrasive and intelligent.

Sleaford’s not the largest mod scene around, is it? What’s your relation to the culture?

– We are everyday, blue collar workers. Little people wanting to be big. Mods was a reaction of working class insecurity, of being in rags for far to long. It was, in the Sixties a massive scream of frustration and no self identity. A reaction to what is around us is the only thing i would connect to your question. Mod has been hijacked by idiots, they are everywhere with their fucking Liam walks and lad accents… utter, utter cunts.

– We are not Mods in the classic sense. I think Mod is generally dead these days, if anything it remains in the terraces and terrace culture. Football fans are the direct descendants of the Mod culture. They, to me, reflect those old values of haircuts and dress sense. Mod in music is a fucking scam thriving in stereotypes and former glorys, fuck that… embarrasing. I like the ‘everyday’ sense you get with casual and mod culture but thats about it.

– I’m from Grantham by the way, and Andrew is from Lincoln. We both live in Nottingham now.

Sleaford Mods

Sleaford Mods. Andrew Fearn (left) and Jason Williamson.

The Sleaford name was picked simply because it sounds better than Grantham. Sleaford is a small town, about 20 miles from Grantham. Jason used to go there for their cinema. The fact that Margaret Thatcher was born in Grantham too, was left out of the interview.

You’re giving the finger to everyone and everything mentioned in your songs. What’s your main message?

– Whatever really. I find tossers really interesting, weak fuckers trying to give it the big one all the time. money wankers, fashion victims, two faced cunts… all really interesting to write about.

What’s the state of the nation today?

– Same as ever within the context of the industrial age, i suppose. Probably more ways to manipulate, more ways to make us feel guilty and shameful of ourselves. More ways to take our minds of the real daylight. New weapons are constantly being invented to keep the people restricted, i guess. The amount of right wingers posing as leftists is quite alarming and im not talking politics just basic understanding of fellow human beings. A lack of empathy. Thats massive at the moment, some real twats hanging about posing as people. Fuck off!

Your only statement on the bandcamp site is; “I’ve been in bands, fuckin’ hated it”. What’s the story?

– Bands are fucking useless, unless they become a classic band or a good covers band at your brothers wedding, the rest are pointless. I was in loads of pointless bands and projects, but you have to in order to learn i suppose… Either way i know some people who never learn and waste whole lives doing shit tunes. Pointless!

– Most bands are trying to be something as opposed to actually being something. Most are pale imitations of established acts so to me this is pointless, its almost as if a mass of mis-understanding is taking place all of the time. My view is, you shouldn’t really be doing it unless you have something to show and also have something to say.

So, you’ll never concider a full backline to go with your lyrics?

– Not really, it would have to be special, disciplined… Dexys Midnight Runners or something, hahah!

Sleaford Mods started as a solo project. How, when and why?

– I got fucked off doing stuff with other people, it just wasn’t working in any way at all, until in feburay 2006. I started doing this out of sheer frustration. It worked straight away and i haven’t looked back.

How did Andrew get into the picture?

– Met him at a gig. He was playing demos on a tape deck. I though they sounded wicked and I needed a new angle, so we got going with some stuff.

…and what changed with him on deck?

– Just another dimension, plus good original backing tracks.

I’ve been called racist, arrogant, sexist. People don’t get it generally, so obviously with that you get stupid remarks…

Do you get out and around a lot?

– Not these days, i just became a father, so i cant be twattin about like i used to. Andrew goes out a bit when he can be arsed. Going out has a shelf life though, you just look like a cunt at 41 sniffin it up every weekend, plus you’d probably have a stroke or something, sod that.

…congratulations, Jason!

Have you had a hard time finding a label? You’re not really the modest of poets.

– Kind of got something in the pipeline at the moment, but can’t say to much. Just an indie label, small but willing to release some stuff. Big labels are just into money earners and usually fucking useless as an employer, so i think we are at level where we’ll remain.

How do people react to your lyrics?

– All sorts of stupid shit. 
I’ve been called racist, arrogant, sexist… Accusations from other musicians, from old band mates that kinda shit. People don’t get it generally, so obviously with that you get stupid remarks.

Parts of your work sounds like something Steve Ignorant (Crass) would have come up with, if he knew his way around computers in the 70’s. Do you take that as a compliment or a kick in the balls?

– Compliment!

You took part in the Sillitoe Day in Nottingham earlier this year, what’s your relation to Alan Sillitoe?

– Yeah, we got asked to take part in the Sillitoe day as we were perceived as being very much a Nottingham thing, and also because our subject matter is based around the realitys of work and the grief it produces. I still haven’t seen Saturday Night and Sunday Morning, but in a lot of respects i know it very well. I’ve worked all my life, done everything, and the one thing they all have in common is desperation, screaming at a brick wall. Work twists you. I know Arthur Seaton only to well.

You think Sillitoe’s still holding water? Is he still relevant?

– Yes i do. His work mirrors the personal struggle, and that in itself is timeless, a struggle with the immediate environment and with the self.

We’ve got a few northern soul followers among our readers. You’ve said that “northern soul is like Motown on the dole”?

– Cant get on with a lot of Northern Soul, its throw away innit? Don’t get me wrong there is obviously some brilliant stuff there, but its not as solid as motown, simple as.

One track really stands out on Wank; The Wage Don’t Fit. Where did that come from?

– My last job was especially shit, really bleak. The people were utter bastards, two faced weak bastards. Amazing how you will 
let yourself be treated if you cant be arsed to find another job and thats how my last job was.

‘Wage dont fit’ came from that kind of environment, but also from the day to day hopelessness you experience, especially from a creative point of view. If you possess any kind of originality it’s almost laughed at, kicked down and given no chance to flourish.

We’ve been into the mod/ casual and Stillitoe. Any thoughts about the Shane Meadows universe?

– I’m not massively familiar with it to be honest. I’ve seen Dead Man’s Shoes and a few other bits, Once Upon a Time In The Midlands but never got really into his work. I’ts obviously really good, Dead Man’s Shoes being paramount, but yea don’t know a lot.

Who plays the bass on your record?

– The bass is played by my mate R. J. Chisholm, he’s a local rock bassist. I asked him to play some stuff, as i wanted a real bass sound throughout.

Are you planning on a larger scale distribution?

– Yes hopefully! Thats the aim of any band, isn’t it? See what happens.

Out of the blue, where did Nigel Lewis shine the most, with the The MeteorsTall Boys or the The Zorchmen.

– Meteors. Done. No contest.

You have released a video, Donkey, from your upcoming EP. When is that happening?

– The EP will most probably turn into an album, but we are unsure at the moment. We are planning on having a vinyl release with the new EP mixed with various tracks from Wank. That should be in the new year.

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