Interview with Lawnmower Deth – Uprising 2017
Interview by Beth Jones
with pointless comments, introduction and summing up from Rick Tilley
For those of you that read interviews in the hope of gaining meaningful insight into the thought processes of a band have, obviously, never had the absolute pleasure of meeting and talking to the guys from Lawnmower Deth. I’ve done some mad interviews in the past but nothing quite prepared me for how much fun this next 30 minutes was. For those of you who don’t know, although there cannot be many out there that haven’t heard the name Lawnmower Deth, they might be considered the illegitimate, bastard step-fathers of Evil Scarecrow. I still remember going to buy their first release, the incredible ‘Mower Liberation Front / Quack ‘Em All split album with Metal Duck, back in 1989. Back then, listening to such hallowed tracks as ‘Thermo-Nuclear War Is Good For Your Complexion’, ‘Seventh Church Of The Apocalyptic Lawnmower’, ‘I Got The Clap And My Knob Fell Off’ and ‘Fuck Off’ (I also have to mention the classic Metal Duck track ‘March Of The Metal Duck To The Duck Ponds Of Hell’) was a breath of fresh air. Metal can be very serious and it needs a light hearted and humorous side. Not only did Lawnmower Deth provide humour but they also provided it at the more extreme end of the Metal music spectrum! Over the years they have provided me with countless hours of fun and laughter so to finally meet them, in person, at Uprising really was the highlight of my day! I also thought it was perfect timing to let Beth off the leash and let her do her first interview. My thinking was if she could get through this then she would be able to deal with anyone
NB. Laughing and chuckling was continuous throughout the entire interview – it is amazing we got anything done we were falling about that much!!!!
Beth: Right well apparently I am taking the lead on this one. So this is my proper first interview! You are breaking my duck! Popping my cherry!!
Lawnmower Deth: We’re breaking your duck! (Laughing and chuckling from all around) This is going to be great!
Rick: It is lovely to meet you guys, a pleasure to meet you.
Beth: Question 1
Lawnmower Deth: Question 1 – Let’s have it!
Beth: What do you find is the best way to make an egg sandwich? (Pause for laughter and general chundering)!
Lawnmower Deth: Well its easy innit? – It’s all in the instructions there.
Beth: Yeah but is that the best way that you find?
Lawnmower Deth: Yeah it is yeah!
Rick: Its 2017 now – you do have haute cuisine as well don’t you?
Lawnmower Deth: No, No, No, the easiest way is do a gig and somebody brings you egg sandwiches! And that’s it!
Beth: What sort though?
Lawnmower Deth – Steve: Well it’s egg mayo innit?
Beth: Is it?
Lawnmower Deth – Pete: Nah, Nah, Nah! None of that shit in it!
Lawnmower Deth – Chris: Nah! Two slices of bread right. Butter…Lots of butter. Big fat egg, Its got to be a big fat egg. Yeah, yeah, yeah and what is it?
Beth & Rick: Egg sandwich!!
Beth: Double Yolk – what about a double yolk– does that make it better?
Rick: Boiled or fried? (Laughing and chundering)
Lawnmower Deth: Nowhere in the song does it say, boiled egg sandwich! No, no it doesn’t! It’s got to be fried. To be fair it doesn’t say fried egg sandwich either though!
Rick: No it doesn’t that’s why we asked you!
Lawnmower Deth: Double yolk now! Hmmmm.
Beth: What about bacon?
Lawnmower Deth: Well yeah bacon’s good see but that’s a bacon and egg sandwich!
Beth: Ah is it, or is it an egg and bacon sandwich!?
Lawnmower Deth – Steve: Ah you’re into semantics now. Ah an egg sandwich is just pure classic innit? Some people might say that the pan that you fry the egg in shouldn’t be too hot, but I personally like the crispiness of like, you know, the skin on an egg.
Lawnmower Deth – Pete: You’ve really over thought that!!! You’ve really overthought your answer!
Lawnmower Deth – Chris: It’s not Subway. Like that time you went to Subway and said ‘I’ll have one of them’…..
Lawnmower Deth – Pete: Fucking Subway!!!
Beth: Is egg sandwich on your rider then?
Lawnmower Deth: It fucking should be. Ey it should be actually.
Beth: Do you eat them in rehearsals?
Lawnmower Deth – Chris: No! They Smell! I’ve never eaten an egg sandwich! I would rather have a bacon butty.
Lawnmower Deth – Pete: To be honest I would rather have a sausage butty. (Nods and ‘yeah’s of agreement)
Rick: I’m with you on that.
Lawnmower Deth – Pete: With Brown Sauce!
Lawnmower Deth – Chris: And you don’t want the egg in there cos it makes a mess and goes down your shirt and that!
Lawnmower Deth – Steve: Brown Sauce is the food of Satan.
Beth: I’m with you there!!
Lawnmower Deth – Steve: Mustard and ketchup is where it is. Mustard and ketchup together!
Beth: I’m with you there too – it’s like an exciting Marie Rose sauce innit!!
Lawnmower Deth – Steve: ‘Bout time they… Actually I’m gonna do it – I’m gonna start making it and selling it. Yeah Mustup or Ketchard!!
(This caused lots of laughing and chundering again!)
Beth: Well that’s like the first three questions answered in one there so we’ll…
Lawnmower Deth: Great!!! Oh is that it?? Are we done then?!!
Beth: No, not quite!!! Right… Qualcast, Flymo…or the good old fashioned Rotary? (More laughing)
Lawnmower Deth – Chris: I actually bought a Flymo the other week from Asda…£57…it’s a rotary one, and you get a mini strimmer as well…absolute bargain! It takes half the time of what me other one did, but me other one were a Flymo too, but that one were rubbish!! (More laughter)
Lawnmower Deth – Steve: What about you Qualcast? (Referring to Pete’s stage name of old)
Lawnmower Deth – Pete: Errr. I’m a middle class wanker…I pay somebody to come round and cut my grass.
(At this admission there were huge groans of horror and amazement)
Everyone Together: Nooooooo!
Lawnmower Deth – Steve: Unbelievable!! That’s just incredible! I never thought I would hear you say that!!
Lawnmower Deth – Pete: I keep it cool…and I pay some fucker to come and cut the grass…£20!!
Lawnmower Deth – Steve: Why?? £20!! Do you not think of all the beer you could buy for £20?
Lawnmower Deth – Pete: You’ve seen the size of my back garden! (Much laughing and chundering again)
Lawnmower Deth: It’s good this…It’s like Parkinson.
Beth: Anyway, on a more serious note
Lawnmower Deth: A more serious note… F# Oohh F# (Lots of laughing)
Beth: On a more serious note…GENTLEMEN! Are we ever going to see new material or are you just happy with your three and a half albums.
Lawnmower Deth – Chris: How long was it since we did the last one?
Lawnmower Deth – Steve: The last one was 1993
Lawnmower Deth: Well, it has only been 23-24 years since the last one so give it time! We class ourselves as prolific!
Beth: Do you know how old I was in 1993? I was 13 then!
Lawnmower Deth – Pete: I was only 14! (Many laughs and groans)
Lawnmower Deth: To do two tracks in about twenty four years… is… is… not bad… It isn’t… We may or may not have something in the pipeline for you. But we can’t talk about that!!
(NB whilst I was taking this question seriously, Mr Tilley had gone off on a tangent talking to Chris and Steve and potentially missed the biggest revelation of the whole interview!!!)
Beth: So something might happen?! RICHARD! RICHARD! Something might happen!! Say it again!!
Lawnmower Deth – Pete: No… No you missed it now!
Rick: Oohhh Damn!
Beth: I heard him say it so it’s true! (More laughing and jeering!)
Ok. What was it like to have Kim Wilde on stage with you?
RICK HERE: In case you don’t know, last year at Download Festival, 80’s Pop Goddess, Kim Wilde got up on stage with Lawnmower Deth to perform ‘Kids In America’ and a couple of their own songs! ‘Kids’ was the song that originally made Kim really famous and Lawnmower Deth famously ruined it brilliantly when they covered it and released it as their only ever single in 1991 To say that it was more than a little surreal is an understatement!
Lawnmower Deth: Brilliant, Unbelievable! She was so good. Were you there?
Rick: No, no we weren’t there! Unfortunately we don’t get to Download, but we have watched the YouTube video. You have done Download five times now haven’t you?
Lawnmower Deth: Yeah, Yeah! It’s incredible. It’s. I mean, you can’t say it is a boyhood dream cos you’re never gonna have thought that would happen, you know, who would’ve thought that would happen? But, you know, it did!
Rick: How did it happen? How?
Lawnmower Deth – Pete: We just asked her! It was kind of as simple as that. I will tell you how it happened.
When we had done that stuff for the Sophie Lancaster Foundation, again nothing to do with us but our lovely fan-base, they decided they were all going to go and by the ‘Kids’ single again and we were like, well if you want to get it in the charts or whatever then you go and do that, but we’re not going to do it as a release. So they all went and downloaded it, so we went fine – everything generated from the downloads, we will give to the Sophie Foundation. And somebody had sort of messaged her (Kim) about that and said ‘If it gets to number one, will you play Download?’ and she’d said yes. So off the back of that, I messaged her and said, look, people are pulling your leg, but actually, do you fancy doing it anyway? And she did!! So…It was just as simple as that!
Lawnmower Deth – Steve: We had one rehearsal with her which was really surreal anyway! We were all sitting waiting and this Range Rover turns up.
Lawnmower Deth – Chris: Yeah, where we normally rehearse is a bit of a shit hole so we thought we can’t take her there, so cos we knew Andy Sneap, we went to Andy Sneap’s studio.
Lawnmower Deth: Yeah, we thought we had better treat her right, so she turned up and we were like ooooooh! And she says ‘Can you play it acoustically first please?’ So we were like. NO! Sorry we can only play it one way love! (Loads of laughing)
So we did that and then when we did Download she turned up and she was brilliant! She was talking to all the wives and girlfriends and stuff like that…just generally hanging out! But still, that feeling when I turned to the left and saw her walking on stage and just realised… fucking hell, THAT’S KIM WILDE!
You Know, she’s everything you want her to be! You have to remember she was the biggest selling female artist of the 1980’s…that’s big deal stuff. She is a proper pop princess. And…, she has got a proper potty mouth on her!
Beth: Watching the videos, you looked like you just belonged together on the stage?
Lawnmower Deth: Genuinely we get on really well! She’s just lovely. She was dead honest about it, she just wanted to do it for fun and she came and did it for fun and had a great time!
Rick: And she did some of your songs!
Lawnmower Deth: Yeah, it was all her idea to do some of ours…We just thought we’d get her to do ‘Kids’, but she said ‘Can we do some of yours too?’ We said yeah, what do you want to do and she said Errr ‘Watch Out Grandma’. We were like Oooh bloody hell we hate playing that one we always have to do that one. So we says to her you must have songs that you hate that you do at every gig? She said ‘ Yeah…’Kids In America’!! (Lots of laughing here)
Yeah it was an awesome experience, you know. Download loved it. I mean the response was unbelievable. I think she was a bit worried about it…we all were! She was like ‘Am I going to go down ok?’ And we said ‘Of course you are’! You could tell that half the crowd didn’t really register at first who it was they were like ‘Is it? Is it?’ and then when they realised it was… the roars got louder and louder. The fact she got up and did a ten second Grindcore song! And it was like right ok she’s in for the whole ten yards here!! Bless her; she was more worried about ‘Egg Sandwich’ than any of the others! (Lots of laughing)
Beth: So you mentioned Sophie Lancaster in that? You’ve worked closely with the Sophie Lancaster Foundation quite a bit! Are there any plans for anything coming up with them?
Lawnmower Deth: Yeah, Christmas Show! We got asked last year to do the Manchester show, but unfortunately we couldn’t do it, and I said at the time, come back to us when you know about this year’s show. And in the meantime, I think Chris (Bass Player), Chris bumped into Sylvia (Sophie’s Mum) and she had said you really should get on the show if you can for us. When the phone call came to say ‘do you want to do the Manchester show’ it was perfect! We said yeah we’ll do it. We need a Christmas show; we always do a Christmas show! It’s perfect, just perfect. So that’s the next one!
Beth: So when is that?
Lawnmower Deth: 26thMarch I think!! (Lots of mumbles and shouts of MARCH!!
It should be the Easter show. Eastmass!! (Laughing)
It’s the 26th November. Yeah it’s not too tight to Christmas so people are worried about Christmas, but it is close enough to Christmas to call it the Christmas Show! It’s going to be great. Evil Scarecrow are headlining the Saturday, We’re going to be headlining the Sunday!
Just so you all get the details correctly, it’s the S.O.P.H.I.E Festival 2017 at the Rebellion, Manchester on 25th and 26th November. It’s a fabulous line-up and of course the Sophie Lancaster Foundation is such an important part of us all! The poster is at the bottom of this interview!
Lawnmower Deth – Steve: Can I just add in here…Evil Scarecrow …!!
Lawnmower Deth: We hate them!!(Tongue in cheek) Yeah, they are the younger version of us. They can play a lot better than us though… they are better musicians!! They play their instruments properly, we just wing it!
Beth: Yeah my daughter is 15 and she absolutely adores Evil Scarecrow!
Lawnmower Deth: Why wouldn’t she?
Beth: I suppose if she had have been 15 when you guys were coming up she would have been the same with you!
Lawnmower Deth: Yeah, Yeah, although it was different then! Girls like Evil Scarecrow. We never had that! It was just a room full of sweaty teenage lads wasn’t it!! They’ve got these two guys who do all their special effects for them. We’ve managed to nick them and they’ve done all the like – you know the thing that we have, the Deth shed – the gunge tank thing– they’ve done all that too! And they’ve done it for like 5 pence!! (Lots of laughing and cheers!)
Beth: On that note, do you think metal music is too serious now?
Lawnmower Deth: It’s always been too serious! Well it’s a funny one cos there was a serious edge to some of the lyrics and things but you used to go to like, Monsters of Rock and it was always a friendly atmosphere. Now people pretend it is, but if you look at Facebook everyone’s always bloody arguing!! It is so tiresome. Just people throwing their toys out of the pram! Like, ‘Urgh I don’t like that band, why are they on’. Just go and get pissed!!(Laughing and muttering). Absolutely right that. Bang on!
Rick: I was watching one of your interviews at Download 2014 I think it was, when Rick Parfitt walked past.
Lawnmower Deth: Aaahh yeah, Rick Parfitt! Well it was the interview that fell apart that one wasn’t it? Yeah, yeah (Lots of laughing)
Rick: But you all said 1984 was your first Donnington and that was my first one too! I remember that day so well!
Lawnmower Deth: Yeah incredible it was! And you know, Quo were my first band. You know, ‘On The Level’ was the first album that I bought so, you know, I’ve always been a Quo fan…that was absolutely the band that got me through to where we are now. You know. I still love Quo now, early Quo is just amazing. So when Parfitt and Rossi walk past within ten yards!! You know we are dead fortunate cos all these shows, but Download in particular cos it’s more mainstream! I remember a couple of years ago at Download I turned round and Dave Grohl was stood next to us, so you know, it’s amazing! And the one that made me get giddy was Parfitt walking past, in Double Denim!! Triple Denim!! It was utter fan boy stuff! It was just Aaaahhhhh! It was Quo!! It was my band you know!! It was the same day when Dee Snider came past as well. We were just like wow! Yeah the reason any of us, I suspect, is in a band, is you want to be in a band in the first place because you are into music in the first place, you are a fan…of whatever! We all were…all different bands! We were all proper, proper fan boys, there’s no reason why that should change and when one of your boyhood heroes walks past it’s like… It’s like playing here though isn’t it? I’ve seen so many here, you know Motörhead, Judas Priest, Hawkwind and I mean it’s a fantastic venue isn’t it?
Beth: Well that was actually my next question! What does playing this venue mean to you?
Lawnmower Deth: Yeah, its great innit…its lovely inside, well it’s a nice building on the outside too but I haven’t been here for years, I must admit, cos I used to come when I was a teenager! Motörhead on the ‘Another Perfect Day’ tour was the last time I was here!
Rick: That was my first Motörhead tour…I saw them at Hammersmith!
Lawnmower Deth: Like anything it’s probably smaller than when you were that age, everywhere gets smaller! If someone had said to me one day you’ll be playing here, I would have said ‘fuck off, probably the local pub if I’m lucky’. This is one of those definitive ticks isn’t it? If you look at the classic venues of this size, then it’s Manchester Apollo, Hammy Odeon and here, so it’s a classic tick box gig. We’ve always said this since we started doing this again… it’s got to be interesting if we’re gonna do it, but it has got to be fun otherwise we’re not bothered about doing it. So to get these…we’re just really lucky to come and play these kind of places. This is bucket list. This is absolutely one of them! Wembley’s still on there. (laughter). And Hammy Odeon. We were so close, we nearly had it, and we were added to the bill…Motörhead, Saxon and us many years ago!
Rick: My favourite band are Saxon
Lawnmower Deth: Saxon don’t like us! We’ll tell you a great story. We were on that bill. We were added to it, but Pete pissed Biff off many years ago, and he told Lemmy and Lemmy chucked us off! He’s still never forgiven us. He holds a grudge!
Lawnmower Deth – Chris: At Download though, I saw Biff in the crowd and he was with Toby Jepson. I went up to him and said ‘Do you mind if I have a photo, I saw you at Rock City last year, you were absolutely amazing’…and it was a great photo then these two come up like ‘Oi, Oi…we’re from Lawnmower Deth’!
Lawnmower Deth – Steve: No it wasn’t quite like that! I just went up to apologise. He shook my hand and everything and I said ‘I just want to apologise for what happened a long time ago…it’s Steve from Lawnmower Deth’ and he went ‘Who?’ and I said ‘Lawnmower Deth’ and he goes ‘Can you move away’! (Much cheeky laughter and comments of ‘Oooooh Handbags’ from all!)
Lawnmower Deth – Pete: Well I was going to tell a nice story but you lot have gone for the dirty deed one! I will tell you a nice story! I went to see Saxon a few months ago on the last tour and they were unbelievably good as well, unbelievably good. I met up with Toby, cos I have known Toby forever, he’s a really old mate and of course he was singing for Eddie (‘Fast’ Eddie Clarke, original Motörhead guitarist) and he said ‘Eddie wants to meet you and say hello’, now I’ve never met Eddie, but fucking hell its Eddie isn’t it! He’s a legend. It’s no surprise that the one band that unifies Lawnmower Deth is probably Motörhead, by the time you take all the personal choice out, everyone would gravitate towards them, so meeting Eddie was big news, I was dead excited to go meet Eddie and all he wanted to do was ask ‘What was it like playing with Kim Wilde?! (Huge amounts of laughter)
You know, no chance of asking him about ‘What was it like to write Ace of Spades?’ or something because he was like ‘What was it like to play with Kim?!!’ It was great! Really top fella! He was lovely, a really nice guy, it was really good to meet him! So there you go that’s a nice story. Not like you lot trashing the dirt!!
Lawnmower Deth – Steve: We supported Saxon many years ago, and Pete being Pete decided to put posters up everywhere, round the Mansfield area, that said ‘Lawnmower Deth supporting some sad old gits!’ (This got the single, biggest laugh of the interview!) At the time they were probably a lot younger than we are now so we’re mega sad old gits!!
Lawnmower Deth – Pete: The funniest thing was, on the night, we had this stuffed duck – this stuffed Mallard that we found in a shop, and we tied some torches to its wings, and we had it on the lighting rig and we were going to lower it down on strings!! “THE MALLARD HAS LANDED”, but they cut the sound off!!! They cut the sound off on us before we could drop it!! Ahhhhh ‘The Mallard has landed’! (By this point we were literally holding our stomachs with the pain from laughing so much)
Rick: I’ll never be able to look at the Saxon Eagle the same way again (More laughter)
Beth: So next question…it’s topical!
Lawnmower Deth: Tropical? Tropical question like how hot is it or something? (laughing)
Beth: TOPICAL..! If you could have any politician on stage singing with you, who would it be?
Lawnmower Deth: (After a slight pause) Ooooh ok, blimey – any… I bet Theresa May could do a right mad death grunt!! That’s a really loaded question that is, cos that is simply ‘Who are you backing at the moment!’
Beth: No, No, literally anyone…it could be someone from the Monster Raving Loony Party if you want!
Lawnmower Deth: Boris!!! Boris would be legendary. He would fall off of the stage and everything!! (Laughing)
At this point there was an interjection from Mark ‘Tosh’ Davies, DJ and Co-host of Lincoln’s excellent show ‘The Rock Train on Siren 107.3 FM’, who was in the background listening to the interview and talking to Lawnmower Deth’s Manager Emma Bardill. If you know ‘Tosh’ then you’ll know that his sense of humour and quick wit is legendary
‘You wouldn’t have to dress him up cos he looks like a twat already! (This caused much laughter)
Lawnmower Deth: I mean Boris can’t even control his own hair, and we haven’t got hair!! (Laughing)
Lawnmower Deth – Pete: God, No, No…you know you’ve stumped me on this one!
Beth: I’VE STUMPED LAWNMOWER DETH!!! YES!!! And on my first interview too! (Laughing)
Lawnmower Deth – Steve: Well I think Boris.
Lawnmower Deth – Pete: Well my heart says Corbyn because anything good is going to come out of him but I don’t know!
At this point, someone did what sounds like a pretty good impression of Boris Johnson singing Grindcore! (Much laughter ensues)
Beth: I think you should make it your mission to pick one from each party and get them to do it!
Lawnmower Deth: Absolutely…Absolutely! Let’s just go with Boris, cos we’ve not got a better answer than Boris!!
Rick: And now the Monty Python one!
Beth: Ah yeah the Monty Python one, which I have been asking everyone today…If you were a Monty Python film, what would the title be?
Lawnmower Deth: We are the knights who say Ni. God…the amount of hours we’ve spent quoting that to one another!
Beth: Monty Python mini film…’The Knights Who Say Ni’…It doesn’t have to be one that is already a Monty Python film…just make up a new title for a Monty Python film about your band story.
Lawnmower Deth: These are tough these are!! Can’t you just ask us what our favourite colour is?! (Lots of laughing)
Errr….Monty Python And The Life Of Barry!
You couldn’t really get a much more surreal and funny answer on which to end the interview! We actually carried on talking to the guys and Emma for a further fifteen minutes, as well as getting photos, but we cannot print any of that! Lawnmower Deth’s set later in the day was, as expected, brilliant. They never fail to put on a good show and the screams of ‘more’ when they finally finished were as loud as the howls of laughter. In my live review I said that you cannot have an event like this without Lawnmower Deth on the bill and I stand by that but what made Uprising really special for me was meeting and talking to them. This was one of my bucket list moments! It’s getting on for thirty years since I bought that first split album. I’m going to make damn sure it’s not another thirty before I meet them again…although if I do wait until 2047 they may have released a new song!!!
Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Richard Tilley, Beth Jones and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to do adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities