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Interview: Weeble

20 October 06

"I think Weeble has it's style, it will change and evolve but it will always stay Weeble"

Weeble are one of Nottingham’s most popular ska bands and have been around since 1996. The line-up and the music has changed along the way, but now they’ve got the fine art of ska-punk totally sorted.
They are Ribsy (guitar/ vocals), Kron (Bass), Big Dave (Euphonium), Matt (Trumpet), Benjuth (Saxaphone), Tock (Drums and too poorly to do the interview), Jody (guitar/ vocals) and Stef (Trombone). Where else are you going to find all that and a band in with a euphonium player? We went to find out more…

Despite catchy ska songs, mad performances and Stef's dancing, is there a more serious side to Weeble? Are you in this for more than just fun?
Matt: Being is Weeble is serious fun.
Ribsy: I hate Matt! We have to work really hard.
Big Dave: It's like having a second job. That's why I'm not at work right now.
Jody: Even though the songs might sound really happy and bouncy, for some of the lyrics aren't. We make party choons but lyrically, it's very different. We've written about some very serious stuff.
Benjuth: We have to be organised because we are such a large band. We have to remember to let everyone know what's going on and where we need to be.

A number of you are involved in bands outside of Weeble (Fat Lady Singh, Jimmy The Squirrel) and also solo stuff. Where do your loyalties lie?
Matt: I like singing and playing guitar in Fat Lady Singh but I also enjoy playing the trumpet in Weeble. Fat Lady Singh has changed because we've got a new member, Ribsy. Our name changed from Bud because we don't smoke weed anymore!
Ribsy: I play bass in Fat Lady Singh, I replaced a chav that used to be in the band. I also do some singing, however it's completely different to being in Weeble, because with Weeble you have eight screaming voices all trying to be heard. Weeble helps itself because we have been together for such a long time, so we are constantly getting better.
Jody: I'm also in Jimmy The Squirrel with Stef, but it's like a second band. Weeble is our band! I couldn't not front the band because I'm glad to be singing the songs.

Do you feel like you learned anything from supporting bands like Streetlight Manifesto and Sonic Boom Six?
Jody: As soon as we heard Streetlight Manifesto sound check, we upped our game straight away. Mentally, we saw them and knew we had to be as good as we'd ever been if not better. You can’t just sit back and go through the motions. We played what felt like a set where we just really rocked it! It was an incredibly proud moment, especially to get offered those gigs out of the blue.

You've released a couple of CD's. How do they compare?
Ribsy: The addition of the brass section has really changed how we sound.
Stef: The CD's resemble how we are live and our up to date line up.
Jody: It's shows how our time and use of facilities has changed as well.

Ribsy, Kron and Tock were the original members of the band. How did you sound when you started?
Kron: We sounded ropey!
Ribsy: Pop-punk. We were influenced a lot by Green Day and A at the time. With Glen's (the previous trumpet player) influence, we became more ska, which we think rocks!
Ribsy: Just before Jody joined the band, he said that we reminded him a bit of Terrorvision.
Matt: Yea, you did on the Bathing With Lemons CD (1996).
Jody: Then came Code To Corrode and Plastic Masses, where Weeble got heavier and faster.

Ribsy and Jody are the guitarists/ vocalists. Do you work together when writing music and lyrics or do sometimes you feel like pulling each other's hair out?
Ribsy: Yes to both sides of what you said. We write stuff in many different ways because there are so many of us in the band. There is no clear thought really as we all have input.
Jody: The basis of the music is me and Ryan, but everyone does help. Stef has started doing more writing too. People bring in solid ideas and I’ve never done a song that hasn't been changed by the band. The band input is so important, because we want the songs to sound like they've been created by the whole band.
Stef: They've been Weeble-ised. I like that!

You've just played at a Battle Of The Bands in Ilkeston, but you've previously won the Junction 7 Battle Of The Bands in 2004. Other than the free supply of Jagermeister stuff (booze, condoms...), how did winning benefit the band?
Ribsy: We met a lot of other bands. It also gave us confidence and lots of hangovers.
Benjuth: And there was my projectile vomit! Winning helped gain rapport with the fans, and also the venue, in terms of getting more gigs.
Stef: We got money to get tee-shirts made and it gave us a belief in our abilities. I think winning gives your band acclaim.
Jody: It really helped us to get our shit together. We had had some time away from the band, so it gave us something to work for. That was our return to Nottingham. It was one of the first things we achieved when we started taking it seriously again. There were some awesome bands in that contest.

Can you explain about Fly On The Wall?
Benjuth: We put on gigs for other local bands. It's about meeting other bands and organising gigs for new bands. It's promoting local music.
Pedro (Weeble’s manager): It's about building a musical community. Our website is www.flyonthewall.com. There are five of us involved in it, myself, Nat (my wife), Jody, Benjuth and the singer from Jimmy The Squirrel, Liam.

Do you ever feel like you would want to cover other genres of music with the band? Or is that why you do solo stuff and are in other bands?
Jody: I think Weeble has it's style, it’ll change and evolve but it will always stay Weeble. But, yeah i mean if we did any of our solo stuff in Weeble it’d be pretty mad! There’s guys doing acoustic stuff, electronica stuff, political stuff... We'd sound like a right odd bag of bits n bobs.

Which local bands do you recommend?
Matt: Grain, Stupid Stupid and Steve.
Stef: Breakneck, Mr. Wolf.
Ribsy: Winning By Default.
Big Dave: Metallica, Def Leppard!!
Jody: We want to mention 7 Seconds Of Love, even though they're not local.

How did you arrange a gig with the bloke behind rathergood.com and the Crusha cats?
Benjuth: We met 7 Seconds Of Love at Coventry Jail House Alldayer. We've got gigs with them coming up on April 1st and 6th May. They’re just lovely blokes.
Jody: We all just got along, we think they're heavy and they like us too. We're going to be doing a gig with them in London too.

You're very hardworking and are constantly gigging. Do you ever find it difficult to make time for other things?
Matt: Yeah, it is hard.
Kron: Weeble is life!
Ribsy: Everything outside the band almost comes second because we have been together for so long. We've been in the band longer than we've been with our girlfriends.
Big Dave: That's not true for me. I've only been in Weeble for a year! Tonight after our gig, I've got to go straight to work. I'll get told off!

I love the computer game Crag's Skidmarks! Who's behind the Weeble website?
Matt: What, you like Crag's actual skidmarks?!
Ribsy: I did the website. It's continuous, it's never finished. The format took about a week and a half to make, but it's what I studied at university. The content, however, is on-going. Both games that we have online (Crag's Skidmarks and Super Bainbo Brothers) are obviously adapted from other games.
Benjuth: I made the myspace page.

Do you ever feel like you would want to cover other genres of music with the band? Or is that why you do solo stuff and are in other bands?
Jody: I think Weeble has its style, it’ll change and evolve but it will always stay Weeble. But, yeah I mean if we did any of our solo stuff in Weeble it’d be pretty mad! There’s guys doing acoustic stuff, electronica stuff, political stuff... We'd sound like a right odd bag of bits n bobs

Do Weeble wobble but don’t fall down...?
Jody: We rock and we do occasionally fall over. I almost fell over last night, I tripped over a monitor, but I didn’t fall. So I guess the answer could be yes.



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