It seems like punk bands have less and less staying power every year. The Business is certainly one band to challenge that status quo. Since their founding in 1979, they’ve been a fixture in the punk, skinhead, and oi! movement around the world. Sure, they’ve taken a few breaks, but they’re back together now and making new music. Hot on the heels of their latest release, Doing The Business (May 2010, Sailor’s Grave Records), I had a chance to catch up with the band during the their US tour to talk about American food, broken thumbs, and not bringing enough socks on tour. Check it out here.
Big thanks to Andy and Duane at Sailor’s Grave and of course the boys themselves for doing the interview and putting on a great show in DC.
Alright, Bundie – what’s one question I can’t ask you?
Bundie (drums): You can ask me anything you like. I might not answer it, but you can still ask me.
Fair enough. So y’all have been on tour in the States for a few weeks – what’s a crazy thing that’s happened to you guys?
Bundie: It’s pretty much all drinking related. Our esteemed bass player had a little accident in Austin.
Trots (bass guitar): ‘Ello!
Bundie: There ‘e is – Trots, tell ‘em how you broke your thumb.
Trots: Well, basically I’d been at Emo’s until 9 in the morning drinking Jager shots and too much vodka. Fell out the door, on the way back to the hotel – which we couldn’t find – did a complete spin, face-planted directly into the sidewalk. In the process, managed to snap my thumb back. I’ve since played the rest of the tour with a broken hand.
Bundie: To his credit, he’s been icing it every night, and getting up and playing. Taking his medicine of a bottle of vodka a night.
Doctor’s orders, I’m sure.
Bundie: Of course – Doctor Fitz [Micky Fitz, lead singer for The Business].
Haha, right on. So do you guys have any favorite cities or places to play in the States?
Trots: Austin, when you’re not fighting the pavement. Every place is cool – you play big cities and you get big crowds and that’s great. Then you go to a small town you’ve never been to and you have a really great time. You find some little bar that you never would’ve thought to put on a show.
What’s a small town that you’ve been surprised by on this tour?
Bundie: Pensacola. Didn’t know what to expect, it was a Monday night. But the place was great, the kids were great, we were really well looked after.
What’s one thing you guys always take on tour with you?
Bundie: Pants and socks.
Trots: Yeah, you need a lot of socks.
What do you guys do on tour when you’re not performing?
Bundie: I’m a bookie.
Oh yeah? What’s a hot bet right now?
Bundie: Ah, it’s a waste of money. Don’t gamble.
The Business didn’t hit the States until 1994 for a tour – what’s your favorite part about touring here?
Bundie: The food’s really good, and the crowds are always really good. In the States, we get to play to a mixed crowd.
Trots: Yeah, there’s a big cross-over in the crowds here. There’s always a bit, but in America you get punk kids, hardcore kids, skinhead kids, people who aren’t kids at all, metalheads. It’s nice to play to mixed audiences.
Do you guys have a favorite American beer?
Bundie: Nope. Next question.
How about a favorite American food?
So how did you guys know each other? How did y’all end up in The Business?
Bundie: A series of happy accidents, really. Trots has been in the band a lot longer than me.
Trots: I got pulled in by Colin from Conflict. I did a bit of work with Conflict going back, and Fitzy found me through Colin. And then Fitzy’s known Tosh for years and years. [Tosh was a founding member of Section 5, another UK Oi! Band]. Bundie got involved through Tosh.
Bundie: Yeah, I was a friend of Tosh’s. I’d helped Tosh out on a few shows. It just kind of came together.
Trots: Tosh had known Fitzy and said that if we ever needed help, he’d do it. So we put him on the spot and made him do it.
Do you guys have any other bands to tour with or hang out with?
Bundie: The Hollowpoints on this tour have been great.
Trots: Flatfoot 56. We those guys in Chicago and they’re doing well. We couldn’t be happier for them, good luck to them.
You guys just put out a new album, Doing The Business, and there are some studio tracks and some live tracks. So the studio tracks, are those all from one session?
Bundie: That’s sort of a mix of stuff that we’ve done over the past three years. Made this mix of an album. Til The End is a cover of a Bruisers song. Fitzy knows them, he set it up.
And the live tracks are a little older, right?
Bundie: Yeah, they’re old tapes from The Marquee in London. The only Oi! show ever to go on at The Marquee.
How did you guys find out about the tapes?
Bundie: A guy called Dominic, a friend of ours in London.
Trots: He’s the kind of guy who has things like that.
Bundie: He said “Oh, look what I’ve found” – we listened to ‘em and decided, excellent, that’ll be cool to release.
Trots: In terms of the band, it’s a great piece of history.
Oh, absolutely. Is there a reason you guys decided to release the live tracks with the newer tracks? It seems like the live songs could be an EP on their own.
Bundie: The idea was, we didn’t want to put out a few tracks, a handful of live stuff. We put it together and made basically an extended EP.
What’s up for The Business after this tour?
Bundie: We’ve got a bunch of things in the pipeline. Some UK dates.
Trots: We’ve got Asia in the pipeline, a west coast tour of America.
Thanks for your time, I’m looking forward to the show.
Bundie: No problem!