Revenge of the Psychotronic Man recently released their latest album Shattered Dreams Parkway.
Weighing in at less than twenty minutes long the album bombards the listener with fast punk that touches on subject matter ranging from politics right through to quite simply getting drunk and having a laugh. Here the band chats to LTW about their recent release.
LTW: Revenge ofâ¦ have been around for quite a few years now and seem to be a pretty well liked band, what would you say your impact has been on the Manchester punk scene?
RPM: Over the years weâve worked pretty hard and gradually built up a small following. Itâs really nice that people are so supportive and buy our releases and come to the gigs. It means such a lot when someone tells you they really like your music. Itâs incredibly humbling. Manchester has a thriving scene with some amazing promoters and some absolutely brilliant bands. Being a part of that is and always has been an absolute pleasure.
LTW: Whatâs the drive behind the band?
RPM: All three of us do this because we enjoy it and would be lost without it. Itâs a glorified hobby. Weâve done much more than we ever expected over the last few years and anything more is a bonus really. We do like to set ourselves small targets of things weâd like to do. Playing in Japan is the one target we have at the moment, so if anyone can helpâ¦
LTW: Some of the subjects covered in the album are about politics, society etcâ¦ what inspires you to touch on these heavier subjects?
RPM: Lyrically weâve always tried to have a balance between more serious songs and more light hearted things. We donât take ourselves too seriously and want to maintain our sense of humour, but there are only so many drinking songs you can have in a set ha-ha. We often write about the things we are thinking about/discussing at the time. Weâve always written some politically/socially motivated songs, but at the time of writing this album we were reading a lot of politically fuelled books and magazine, some of which are documented in the quotes we used in the sleeve notes.
This has led to the lyrics being a bit more specific.â¨We havenât printed the lyric sheets on some previous releases, but we were happier with how the songs connected together this time and also with the overall message of the album, so weâve included the words this time.
LTW: Do you think it is important bands do talk about these issues in their songs?
RPM: Music is an amazing way to share ideas but we are obviously fully aware that a one minute song with indecipherable lyrics is not immediately going to start a revolution. Sometimes within the punk scene this makes bands worry that they are just preaching to the converted, but the amount of things weâve learnt from the music we listen too is amazing. If one person picks up one of the books we reference in our lyrics and it changes their worldview we have achieved something. However, this has got to be accompanied by actually doing things to back up what you say. You need actions as well as words.
On the album, weâve really tried to present positive ideas about changes people can make on an attainable level, rather than just complaining about the big picture. As a band weâve been involved with projects such as FC United and also lots of autonomous venues all over Europe where we have played gigs. These are the sorts of things that inspire us. Weâve tried to put forward these ideas of like-minded people working together collectively to make a positive change in some of our lyrics. There is a lot to moan about, but actually trying to do something where you can make a difference is so important. Weâve also tried to not give everything away to an extent so people are encouraged to find out more about the themes.
LTW: What would you say are Revenge ofâ¦biggest influences?
RPM: Musically we like really fast stuff (as Iâm sure you can tell). We love things like Zeke, The Steal and Kid Dynamite. That said, we sound different to all the bands weâve listed. One review said we sounded like âwhat the Ramones would have sounded like if they had listened to Kid Dynamite in their youthâ. We like that. We also got described as being âlike Motorhead on speedâ. That canât be bad really.
LTW: What are your main aspirations for the band?
RPM: Just to keep enjoying it and to see as many new places and see as many amazing bands as possible. It would be nice to get out to Japan as mentioned before, but to be honest, as long as we enjoy it, weâll carry on.
LTW: I see great bands splitting up all the time, what do you think are the most important things needed to keep the punk scene thriving?
RPM: Lots of bands who try to âmake itâ get disheartened by how shit the industry is. The amount they have to tour to make any sort of half decent living from it must also make it less enjoyable and more difficult to hold down any sort of ânormalâ life. For us, weâve never tried to âmake itâ and whilst weâd like to play as many gigs as possible, weâre totally happy with where we are at.
To keep the scene thriving, you need lots of people striving to make things happen â putting on gigs, making zines, podcasts, etc. Then you need people to support these things. Apathy is what makes bands and promoters stop. So many of our favourite bands have split over the years but the amount of times we saw many of them play to half empty rooms was depressing. At this sort of level every single CD/record sale and every single person through the door at a gig makes a difference.
LTW: Whatâs next for the band?
RPM: Weâre doing a split 7 inch next year with an amazing band. We donât wanna give too much away about that at the moment, but itâs going to be cool. We are also getting back to mainland Europe in 2013, which we absolutely love doing.
LTW: You also co-run TNS records, whatâs the ethos behind the label?
RPM: Andy co-runs TNS, but all of the band helps out on some level. TNS is all about supporting the underground bands and scene â bands such as Revenge. Itâs up to 26 releases now, which is cool.
Itâs all run on a not-for-profit basis and it involves DIY gigs, a fanzine, a podcast and a CD/vinyl/zine distro as well as the label. Itâs another glorified and incredibly time consuming hobby, which takes over lives.â¨ You can check it out at www.tnsrecords.co.uk.
Interview by Leanne Durr. You can read more from Leanne on LTW here.