Powerplay Magazine Article

"We f**king hate each other!"
[Ricky Warwick Interview from Powerplay Magazine]

First things first - why did you split up?
We fucking hate each other! No...We had eight years of album then tour then album then tours which is great. Fuck - it was brilliant! But we never had a break in those eight years. We just recorded "Just Add Life", which we felt was our finest album. Then we delivered it to the record company L'Chrysalis, which had been taken over by EMI so everybody we had been working with lost their jobs. You deliver an album and sweat blood over it, and somebody turns around and says "Well, I'm not sure who's going to be working on it - we're in a bit of a mess. You'll have to bear with us." It's not what you wanna hear. We just seem to have had a lot of hassles all the way through our career on the business side of things, and that pissed me off the most. I was really fed up with it and wanted to get away and do something different - and that was the reason for calling it a day, so we did. We felt that the ideas had run out and that we had hit a brick wall. At that moment in time, it seemed that the best thing to do was to walk away.

So what have you guys been doing in the meantime?
We've been living - having a life outside of The Almighty, for the first time in eight years. Something that's as big and important as The Almighty takes up your whole life. So anyway, we all went off and did our own things. I was in a band called [sic] that did an album which came out in Japan and an EP which came out in the UK. I toured that for 18 months, which was a lot of fun. Nick used to be in Whatever, and Stumpy went into tour management and stuff like that.

So why the sudden reformation?
Basically because we missed it - simple as that. Myself, Floyd and Stumpy have been in bands together since we were 15 years old, and that's a long fuckin' time. It's very hard to stop doing something that you love and something that's such a part of your life. After a year or two away from it, I certainly started to miss it, and I know Stumpy did too. You put on the records and CD's and you go to see bands and think "Fucking hell - what we're doing is still relevant." And you get the buzz again and start to get hungry for it again. You still get people coming up to you and going "Oh man, The Almighty..." and it fires you up. I just started getting ideas again, and the only way I would hear those songs being played again was by The Almighty, and nobody else. At the end of the day, he's Floyd London from The Almighty and I'm Ricky Warwick from The Almighty - that's what people know us as, and it's something I became very proud of. Sometimes you have to leave someting to realise that what you had was cool in the first place.

So it's nothing to do with the eighties rock revival that's happening at the moment, especially in the US?
Well, we've never been big in the States, but we had a cult following. We've only done one full tour there, so to turn around and say "Hey, let's get back together because there's an eighties rock revival going on in the States," would be completely insane. The idea to put the band back together was over two years ago. And we don't read music magazines really, unless we're in them or reading a review or something.

Do you think that you can achieve the same level of success that you had before the split, considering that the rock and metal scene has changed such a lot?
Who knows? It depends on how you define success. Success before was the fact that we had four top-40 albums and quite a few top-40 singles, but here we are at the Astoria tonight and we're going to play in front of 15 or 16 hundred people. That's exactly what we were doing four or five years ago. I mean, success to me now is making a good record, being able to go out on tour - and having people come to see you, and enjoying what you do. I don't give a fuck about charts and stuff like that now - I'm more into what we're doing as a band.

So how did you come by your new guitar player?
A friend of ours called Chris McCormack, who used to be in 3 Colours Red, recommended him to us. So Nick came down, and he was by far the best player. We had a drink with him, and he wasn't a bad old fella, as well you know, and that was it. You've got to gauge if someone's got the vibe, and we knew that Nick was going to fit in. Obviously I had seen and heard some of the stuff he had done and knew that unless I was very much mistaken, it was going to work straight away, and it did.

Were the past guitarists even considered?

Yeah, when we decided to get back together, we asked Pete, but he'd moved back to Canada and obviously didn't want to relocate back to England again. So he said that he had other stuff going on in his life and he wasn't interested.

How would you describe the sound of The Almighty 2000?
The same way I would have described it in 1991 - loud, aggressive, in your face, melodic hardcore punk metal rock 'n' roll - whatever the fuck you wanna call it.

Any songs of particular significance to you on the new album?

All of them. We don't finish a song unless it's got a particular significance or we're 100% proud of it. We don't have a 'fuck it - that'll do' attitude. A song has got to reach a certain Almighty standard before it gets on the record, and we try to be honest about the things that we feel strongly about and the things that are relative to us. The 13 songs on there are equally as important as each other.

I noticed on the album credits that Floyd's name seems to be seperate from the rest and there are no pictures of him. Are there reasons for this?
At this point, Ricky pointed to Floyd, who was sitting next to him on the couch, allowing him to answer personally. At the time I couldn't commit 100% to joining the band and it wouldn't be beneficial to either side for me to be part-time, so when my other commitments were ended I was able to commit to The Almighty, so I became a member of the band.
Ricky again:Everyone is 100% now. There's no other way you could do it. When you get a band back together after four years, everybody has gone off and is doing different things. You can't just get the band back together and say "Hey, let's start rehearsing on Monday." Everybody's got different lives and different priorities in their lives. For a band like The Almighty, if you don't commit to it and give it 100%, there's no point in doing it. We all realise that, and the door's always open. It's a question of picking up the phone and saying "Look, I now want to come back into this and give it 100%."

I understand you've been playing shows with Iron Maiden. How did they go?
Brilliant! We did two shows in France with them. It was great - they always look after us really well. We had a great time - thrown in at the deep end, playing in front of that many people after four years away. It was amazing. That was our first gig in four years.

So what do you think are the highlights of your career so far?

There are loads of them: Donnington, playing with Metallica, top 5 albums, going to Japan, going to South America and Australia, selling out Barrowlands in Glasgow, and playing here again tonight. I could write you a list!

Have you got a favourite Almighty song or album?
No, not really. It changes. You don't listen to something for a while, then you flick it on and think that it's great. As with any album, it becomes your favourite album of the week, and then it changes.

What music are you listening to now?
I'm listening to Queens of the Stone Age, a band called Nebula L' I just bought a CD by them, and stuff like MC5, and The Stooges.

So what did you listen to when you first started?
Stiff Little Fingers, Pistols, Clash, Motorhead, hardcore bands like The Exploited, GBH and stuff like that.

What do you do when you're not on tour, writing or in the studio?

There is no time. If we're not on tour, we're writing. The time you get off, you tend to get ideas and start writing. It's a hobby that's a job. You see your mates, go to the movies, and play football.

I understand that you've relocated to Ireland. Is that just you or the whole band?
No, just me.

Has that affected your songwriting?
Everything you do affects your songwriting. So of course it has. I couldn't sit down and tell you exactly how, but obviously my circumstances have changed L' from living in London for eight years to then living in Dublin for five years. Meeting different people, going to different places and having different experiences, it all has an affect.

Doesn't that make it difficult to rehearse?
We just have to turn it up very loud! No - the UK and Ireland are such small islands anyway - you can get a flight for £50. I mean, Nick lives up in Newcastle, and Stump's in Oxford. We all meet in Oxford and stay in a cheap B&B. We rehearse for about a week at a time and it works fine.

So is this a one-off gig to test the water?

Kind of, yeah. The last British show we played was in London, so it kinda a good place to pick up the pieces and start again. Hopefully we'll do twelve shows in Europe in November. We'll probably have an American gig at the end of the year as well.

Any singles planned from the album this time around?

Nah! It's a conscious decision that instead of spending 10 or 15 grand on formatting and putting out singles, we'd rather put the money in the touring budget and use it to tour. We know we're not going to be played on daytime Radio 1 or whatever, so there's no point thinking about it. We'll just put the money into going out on the road.

This interview originally appeared in the Sept/Oct/Nov 2000 issue of Powerplay Magazine.

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