Sign up for our weekly newsletter
The Comedy of Errors

Interview: Das Ragworms

1 December 06 interview: Andy Clydesdale
photos: Dave Bevan

2"Das Ragworms is the bastard spawn of the small town mentality combined with a healthy dose of love, death and homemade wine"

Das Ragworms are a crazy band whose name translates from German as… erm The Ragworms! With strong links to the bunch of scribblers The Lurking Hole, what else would you expect? Anyway they’ve been making a few appearances around Notts of late, not least their slot at Decembers LeftLion Unplugged. So we caught up with them for a spot of chinwagging…

So for the uniformed, who the hell are Das Ragworms and what do they do?
Witkowski: Das Ragworms is the bastard spawn of the small town mentality combined with a healthy dose of love, death and homemade wine. We play dance songs for the damned, doomed and downtrodden heroes of rural pastures. Rejoice!
Vasey: We are Vasey and Witkowski, together we’re Das Ragworms and were here to remind folk that it’s okay to take a sweetie as long as they take a sit in our car.

Which one of you is most likely to be the ‘Poster Boy?’
Witkowski: Vasey, for his strong and aerodynamic nasal features and moustache. He’s already a poster boy back home.
Vasey: Our drummers are usually very handsome chaps but now all we have left of them is a pile of bodies in our cellar. So it’s me!

What makes you do what you do?
Vasey: Dogs tell us to do it and its fun.
Witkowski: We’ve done it ever since the old man made my first guitar when I was nineteen. Vaseys old boy happened to make him a bass around the same time. Then ol’ ma taught us all these shanties, and it wasn’t long before we were writing our own.

The first record I remember buying, no shit, was Timmy Mallet. Do you remember what yours was?
Witkowski: Don’t Swear! I think mine was The Bonnie Ship the Diamond by Lloyd or some such thing. Still listen to that beauty today.
Vasey: The first time I was personally inspired to buy a record was when I heard the clatter of my horses hoof hit solid stone. So I went out and seen a record with a picture of a man riding on the front and sold I was.

I’ve heard Vasey may just be a figment of my mate’s imagination as he keeps mysteriously appearing in his house after parties. Will you be bringing the party to The Malt Cross come 12 December?
Vasey: Yes. You’ll see me there. I’m as real as Jack the Ripper
Witkowski: And there’s sure to be singing and dancing a-plenty.

What’s been the biggest highlight of 2006 for you?
Vasey: August the fifth! Manrod! Ol' moot hall inn.
Witkowski: Playing Beastmangoats Manrodeo barn dance extravaganza at the Old Moot Hall on Denzil’s day. That was a hoot and a half alright. Handsome crowd and a handsome venue.

The lowlight?
Witkowski: Probably about an hour later having to go to Accident and Emergency after Vasey started on two skinheads who called him Mercury. We’d have had em normally but some-one spiked our mead and we fell down. Vasey: Brumingham was a disaster. I don’t think we even finished the set.
Witkowski: Whose fault was that?
Vasey: Yours!
Witkowski: Piss Off.
Vasey: Don’t swear!

What does the future hold for Das Ragworms?
Vasey: More gigs, more stupidity and far more drummer deaths
Witkowski: Only God knows what the future holds. Who you calling stupid?

If you weren’t answering these questions now what would you be doing?
Witkowski: There’s always something to be done around the farm.
Vasey: Whisky and wine always brings home the good times.

Das Ragworms played LeftLion Unplugged at the Malt Cross on Tuesday 12 December 2006

We have a favour to ask…

LeftLion is Nottingham’s meeting point for information about what’s going on in our city, from the established organisations to the grassroots. We want to keep what we do free to all to access, but increasingly we are relying on revenue from our readers to continue. Can you spare a few quid each month to support us?

Support LeftLion now