By Andy

BEN – Introduce yourself for people who don’t know of you…
GREG – Hey. My name is Greg, and until recently I played the guitar with Clevedon skate-punks MR.ZIPPY

BEN – The main news is of course you parting company with Mr Zippy – what were the circumstances leading up to the split?
GREG – This of course is a stupidly involved question. The main reasons is that I’m just a few weeks away from my 28th birthday and feeling like it’s time to move on and do something else. I’ve been with the band for nearly 6 years, it’s taken a huge chunk out of my 20s. Of course the whole experience has been fantastic and we’ve done some great things, but for me I think I’ve reached the end of the road as it were, a point where I’ve done everything that I wanted to do in a band and anymore is just not me.

The scene seems to have reached a point where there is now very little to do about music, for example I can remember meeting Jon (other guitar in Mr.Zippy) for the first time and we would talk for hours and hours about MUSIC, about guitars and how people play and how it made us feel, and this sentiment just isn’t present in the punk scene for me anymore…maybe very rarely, but that’s it. It seems to be more about who is on what record label, what sponsors you carry, who books your tours, if you have a video or not, etc etc. There are of course exceptions to this rule but for the most part the ‘business’ part seems to have consumed the music part, people are not people, albums are not albums they are all just products and numbers…that’s all I see. So I’m not really that happy to be part of it. For the most part Mr.Zippy is a very ‘real’ band. As most promoters, web-zine owners, ‘zine owners etc who know us will be able to tell you, they don’t go through a label, a manager, a press guy or what ever with us…they talk to us (or me usually) and I think because of this we are left behind, but I don’t think we are ever willing to compromise just to be accepted. Or if the thoughts ever came up, it would never be the WHOLE band that agreed.

So, I’m very tired, I don’t feel part of it really anymore and just want to get on with my life, of course I will play music again, or even be involved somehow, but where or when. Maybe next week, maybe next year, we’ll see.

BEN – How long had you been debating whether to leave?
GREG – In my mind I threatened to leave every time things were not going my way! Ha ha! But no seriously, I think the first real seeds were planted late last year when we were recording the ‘Ambition Is Critical’ album, this was a really bad time for me, both physically and especially mentally. Of course as anyone will tell you, being in a band is a bit like having a relationship…except in the case of Mr.Z it was like having a relationship with 4 other people. So there is always ups and downs of course. Every time I got home and though ‘OK, that is it, I’m leaving’ something would always happen to make me stay because I was enjoying it all again. But over the summer it really has got to the point where I do have to move on, it took a lot of thought and serious question asking to make the decision, but here it is.

BEN – Now, with the benefit of hindsight, do you still think you made the right decision?
GREG – Well, I still have a tour left to do with the band in September (dates at so it’s hard to tell yet. But I’m pretty certain that although I know I will miss Mr.Zippy that I have made the right choice. If it does turn out that I’ve fucked it all up big time, then I guess that’s just the story of my life (ha ha!) but no seriously, you make some choices, some are right, some are wrong, it’s all part of life and each path leads to a new experience, and that’s what life is all about. Right?

BEN – Was the split amicable?
GREG – I don’t really know. I mean, there was no big fight or anything like that. But I can’t help feeling that I’ve let the guys down in some ways. But I’m sure they will carry on and be just fine, if not better without me. Mr.Zippy are fighters and survivors and I’m sure that this won’t set them back in the slightest. I hope to remain friends with the guys, but as the band was the only thing that really made us see each other in the first place it’s hard to say.

BEN – What is your favourite memory from being in Mr Zippy?
GREG – OK, I keep getting asked this one and I’ve been thinking about it for a while and I think that it is: In 2000 when we did our first ever tour of the UK with the Japanese band Displaced Person. Like I said it was out first ever tour, we didn’t know what to expect, what to do, we were just 5 guys experiencing it all together for the first time. Our last show was a really, really good one and on the way home in the van we listened to KISS and the whole van was singing along shamelessly to ‘Crazy Nights’ as we all hugged each other and cried because the tour was over…that was just magic. Our first experience together of being a real band, it was what we had all dreamed of and we had just lived it. OK I’m sounding really soppy now…but that’s as it stands.

BEN – Will you be staying close to music, or will you be taking a different route from now on?
GREG – Without sounding tacky, the guitar is the only truth I’ve known for a long time now, so I’ll always have one around. I think I will be away from the whole music scene for a while…but watch me come crawling back soon. Oddly enough I’m already being offered ‘solo’ gigs and I’ve not even thought of going ‘solo’ ha ha! But we’ll see what happens.

I’d like to thank Greg for being so candid and wish him, and the remaining members of Mr Zippy the best of luck.

Try these three interviews

Interview: Greywind [Reading 2016]

Interview: Arcane Roots [Reading 2016]

Interview: Trash Boat [Reading 2016]