Revenge of the Psychotronic Man came into hearing distance at breakneck speed 14 years ago, with their humorous view of the world set to the dynamic abuse of strings and skins they created a musical experience more than a band. Andy, Big Hands and Matt Woods tell us why its time to call it a day, as they tour one last year and release a final album with a history of tracks to fill Alan’s big plate.
Q1. After 14 years together what has made you decide to split the band up?
A.1 Andy: For me, I was finding that I was exhausted all the time. I was trying to manage a full-time job, TNS Records, Manchester Punk Festival plus the band. At times things were just becoming a chore and I didn’t want something I love to feel like that. I also felt like it was affecting relationships outside of the band due to being so constantly busy and at times, my mental health. I was a bit unsure where we could go musically without ruining what I like about our music too. I was wary of becoming too repetitive, so I wasn’t really feeling what I was trying to write either. But I really couldn’t ever do this band half-heartedly and just fade away. I really feel that it’s best to put a date on it and go out hard (as we always have done) and really enjoy what is left. We put out a long statement, which people can read at www.revengeofthepsychotronicman.com
Big Hands: Myself and Matt basically wanted to be in a full-time Oasis tribute band and I don’t think it was the direction Andy really wanted to go down. I think it was probably coming for a while, it’s definitely getting harder as I get closer to 40. Part of me doesn’t want it to end and would happily just do 10 – 20 gigs a year but that’s not Revenge… We’ve always prided ourselves on doing everything as hard and fast as possible and it deserves a decent ending.
Matt Woods: Yeah, it’s sort of a natural conclusion now I think, everything has to end at some point and we’ve been full throttle for years at this. It’ll be weird not doing it though, will definitely miss it.
Q2. Are the group members moving on into any interesting musical directions, or are they concentrating on other things?
A2. Andy: I am taking some time out. I might do something further down the line, but I’m not going to over think it yet. It’s all I’ve ever done, so no idea how I’ll find it. Maybe I’ll like not doing it anymore ha ha. I will be carrying on with TNS and MPF, so I’ll still be involved with music.
BH: I don’t think its sunk in yet. I can’t imagine not doing anything, I get bored when we go a couple of weeks without a gig and Kaz will soon get fed up of me if I’m at home every weekend. I have been doing this for the last 20 odd years and all my life choices have been based around it; where I live, work, etc. So I’m pretty sure I’ll do something else, but for now, I just want to enjoy what’s left tbh.
MW: I’ll be doing something or other, got a few ideas in the pipeline.
Q3.Where did you come up with the name for the band and what was the meaning behind it?
A3. Andy: We ended up playing the first ever TNS gig before we were really ready because two bands dropped out. We didn’t have a name at that point. On the day we found a DVD of the film of the same name in a pound shop. Our former guitarist, Dave said, “imagine if we called it that”. We decided it would be funny for one night. 14 years later…
Q4. What were your musical influences that shaped the R of the P M sound?
A4. Andy: Fast and angry stuff really; Zeke, Kid Dynamite, The Steal, etc.
BH: I don’t really listen to a lot of similar bands to our sound, but there’s the obvious, like Zeke, Kid Dynamite, etc, but I think that’s why Revenge… works so well. We all listen to such a varied mix of music. If you could hear what we listen to in the Van on the way to gigs you wouldn’t think we were in a punk band.
MW: Zeke, Motorhead, Status Quo and Black Sabbath. These are the only bands anyone should ever listen to.
Q5. After releasing 3 albums and a number of EPs, what would you say has been the biggest change in running a band on a budget since you started out? Pros & Cons.
A5. Andy: Well when we first toured we hired vans, which we slept in the back of and printed out directions as no-one had a Sat Nav or the internet on their phone. Having a van has helped so much, although having a van on a DIY band budget inevitably costs you a fortune as it always breaks. Quality recording is easier and booking gigs and tours are far easier these days. The DIY scene, in general, is bigger and better. People look after touring bands far better than was the norm ten years ago, which is always nice. Sleeping in a van when it’s snowing outside was pretty grim, so I’m glad it’s the norm to put touring bands up after gigs these days ha ha.
BH: We’ve been lucky to have built our name up over 15 years, so we get paid enough to cover petrol, etc, but I have no idea how we would have managed starting a band now. It can cost over £100 for just petrol to get to some gigs and when you add van insurance, practice room hire, new drum skins, sticks, etc, it’s a fucking expensive hobby haha. People don’t seem to realise how much it costs to do this as a D.I.Y band and then some people moan about a gig ticket being over a fiver.
MW: I think the general principle remains the same. TBH for any band, the tunes are almost secondary, you’ll get further with hard work and dedication than you will with talent. Same as the rest of life. You get into punk music to make cash; you’re in the wrong game.
Q6. It is easier for bands to do everything DIY with the technology available today, which has saturated society with music from brilliant to awful. Do you think it’s good to be able to get your music out there whatever it sounds like or prefer the older system of perseverance would sometimes get you a break and be heard by the public with more quality out there?
A6. Andy: It’s really hard to say tbh. There are pros and cons to both. I like it that everyone can access music so easily and it means that enjoyment of music is less affected by money, but on the flip side, it would be virtually impossible financially to be a full-time band these days. If people don’t throw a few quid at bands for merch, etc, then it’s very hard for them to carry on. We’ve never tried to be a full-time band, so it hasn’t massively affected us though. There do seem to be way more bands about, and I know a lot of new bands struggle for gigs (although the gigs they get on tend to be better than they were when we started out), but personally, I love hearing new bands and think it’s something everyone should have a go at. It’s fun, so I hope new bands persevere.
BH: I remember trying to record demos with a 4 track tape recorder, which although I am glad I will never have to do that ever again due to technology advances, I do think it’s something that everyone should have to do before they earn the right to become an actual band. Kinda like an initiation.
Q7. In the 14 years, you have played as a touring band, have you any memorable moments you can share that will always be remembered?
A7. Andy: Again, this is almost impossible to answer. I think our ten-year birthday party will always stick in my mind. I think being introduced by Mr Blobby at MPF was up there with the funniest. And doing a Maida Vale session was obviously an experience I never even dreamt I’d have. I’m still hoping to build loads more fun memories over the next few months.
BH: Unfortunately I have the worst memory in the world, but every time I see people have actually come along and paid to see us play and be idiots in the pit, it makes it worth it. And some of the things we’ve seen people do whilst watching us has just been mind-blowing. Oh yeah and Maida Vale, it was surreal, it felt like we shouldn’t have been there and were about to get kicked out when someone realised we weren’t famous ha ha.
MW: Hamburg trailer park biscuits, offered without comment. Also the squat gig we played in East London will go down as easily the most minging thing that I have ever witnessed.
Q8. What advice if any would you give to those bedroom musicians thinking of getting a band together?
A8. Andy: Just do it. Write music you’d want to listen to yourself and make sure it is always fun and you can’t go wrong.
BH: Don’t do it, it’ll ruin your life. That said you will have a lot of fun.
MW: Lawyer up, hit the gym, delete Facebook.
Q9. How would you like R of the P M to be remembered by those who bought your music and seen you live?
A9. Andy: Haha I don’t know. I think people will remember us for being ridiculous. We are pretty ridiculous.
BH: Its got to be the name really hasn’t it. REVENGE OF THE PSYCHOTRONIC MAN? It’s just stupid.
MW: I hope someone does remember us. It’s been a massive part of my life- I’m really proud of the music we’ve made, and happy to have known these guys while doing it. We’ve had some really good fun and made some great memories.
Q10. How did the Alan Partridge theme for the albums emerge? Has Stevie Coogan heard of this?
A10. Andy: We are all just really into Alan and there is a Partridge that fits with any situation I think. I hope he knows. I doubt that he does though. Aha!
BH: It wasn’t really a conscious thing I don’t think. We just love Partridge and ended up using a lot of it for songs and albums and I think it just got to a point where we had to carry on really.
MW: Before I even joined Revenge I was writing songs with Partridge names. It’s… I think it’s classed as a slight disability.
Andy: Oh, it was a very conscious thing. I’ve spent hours flawlessly integrating those references ha ha.
Q11. What would be the one song from any you wish belonged to R of the P M?
A11. Andy: Joan Osborne – One Of Us
BH: Joan Osborne – One of us
MW: I will go with One of Us by Joan Osborne.
Play: Joan Osborne – One Of Us
Q12. What is the band up to in their final year, where can they be seen and any releases to mark the occasion?
A12. Andy: We have absolutely loads of gigs, leading up to our final one at Rebellion, Manchester, on 8 December. That will be an all-dayer featuring 14 of the bands we have played with the most over the years. We won’t announce who is playing until just before the gig, but it’s basically the best TNS gig ever. It will be a bit like ‘This Is Your Life’, except we know who is playing. Final gig tickets are also available there. They are already selling pretty quickly, which is very nice.
The full list of gigs are on the website at www.revengeofthepsychotronicman.com
We also have a final album “That Was Just A Noise”. It features tracks from our albums, rarities and some new stuff making 26 tracks. That’s available on vinyl, CD and tape from www.tnsrecords.co.uk