By paul

This interview was done over email so I couldn’t reply to some of the answers given. The answers are a collective statement from the band, just so you know. Enjoy…

PAUL: “Describe the essence of the band in five words.”
WHITMORE: “Partying, smoking, rocking and rolling.”

PAUL: “Submitted by Tony – “What made you choose the name ‘Whitmore‘?”
WHITMORE: “Basically anyone who’s started a band will know choosing a name is really difficult, and it’s the tunes that make the name not the other way around, so we went for the first name we could think of as a stop gap, but it stuck. We were watching a football match Hull vs. Chelsea and Theodore Whitmore popped up with a scorcher so we thought hmm that’ll do.”

PAUL: “Submitted by Island Fire – “How would you say your fan base has altered since Being “shot to fame” via p-rock TV?”
WHITMORE: “Obviously being on P-Rock didn’t hurt our fan base at all and after the ‘Alison’ video was aired our fan base expanded. It would be unfair to say P-Rock is solely responsible for people coming to our shows. We worked really hard since our inception in 2001, and in 2002 we played just over 200 gigs. I think P-Rock is good for all the bands it plays but unless you’ve got your house in order and already have an established fan base then you’re trying to build on foundations that don’t really exist.”

PAUL: “Why did you decide to have three different video versions of ‘Alison’ and Which do You prefer?”
WHITMORE: “Basically, we never intended to have three videos for one tune. While we were recording Smoke The Roach we put some live footage together and synched it to ‘Alison’. We approached Moon Ska about having it as a feature on the album, they said yes and that was as far as we thought that would go. It was later released as ‘Alison Live’ after P-rock received hundreds of requests to show that version and it was definitely our favourite of the three videos. The other two videos (the first version of the video and the x-rated) were being shot on a shoestring budget. At the time a lot of the channels were looking for late night videos because there weren’t many around, and we thought if we could squeeze two videos out of a budget for one then that had to be a bonus. Plus we got to handle 3 sweet pairs of boobs, which was an added boner, I mean bonus.”

PAUL: “Submitted by adtechjet – “In the “Alison” video, why did the singer and the bassist get to mess around with the two topless Daily Sport “stunnas” while the drummer got to sit in a field…playing drums…with a dog?”
WHITMORE: “Basically, Jay is pretty camera shy and always feels most at ease behind his kit doing what he does best. Fuck knows why there was a dog involved.”

PAUL: “Submitted by drivethrupunker – “Who is Allison?””
WHITMORE: “Alison is one of Robb’s ex girlfriends.”

PAUL: “You also have the theme music to P-Rock TV, how did this come about?”
WHITMORE: “P-Rock tv approached Moon Ska about using a snippet from “On The Ceiling” they said yes. We were then asked by Moon if we wanted it to be used, of course we said yes.”

PAUL: “Submitted by Barneyboom – “What is it about the Salisbury area that means it produces popular pop-tinged punk/ska bands? Is it a close scene and do you all know each other or is it quite seperate?”
WHITMORE: “There’s a practice facility in Salisbury called “Grovesnor House.” It allows any band to practice there with a range of facilities for £3 for 3 hours. Its run by two people who really have the Salisbury music scene at their hearts and they have done no end of good helping bands both get gigs in Salisbury and further a field. They give young bands a chance to play in front of live crowds. As for the scene, it is quite close and unlike a lot of local scenes there isn’t really a feeling of animosity more a feeling of wanting everyone to do well. We wanna take this chance to give a shout out to a band from the Salisbury scene called Roundhouse who are really young with bags of potential. Look out for them.”

PAUL: “Can you give your take on the split with Uncle Brian. There have been a lot of rumours about it and there is still animosity between the two bands. Why did the break happen, was it expected and do you regret the way things have turned out between you?”
WHITMORE: “Basically, the band wasn’t very good and we didn’t enjoy it. We disagreed with the way the band was run, well we basically disagreed with everything that Uncle Brian stood for. As for the way things turned out, we couldn’t be happier. You make friends and lose friends all the time, its part of life. We all truly believe in what we’re doing now and we’re surrounded by a wicked bunch of mates who help and support us.”

PAUL: “What do you think of Dan leaving Uncle Brian and forming his new band, The Worst Chance?”
WHITMORE: “It doesn’t matter what we think it’s all about if Dan’s happy with his choice. He jumped a sinking ship which was a good move, everyone’s gonna have to wait and judge his new band on their material.”

PAUL: “Submitted by richt – “Why did you call your album “smoke the roach” and have a big cannabis leaf on the front? Are you encouraging your fans to take drugs?”
WHITMORE: “We called the album smoke the roach because it was the first thing we thought of and also one of our mates called Paul The Stern actually used to put pins through spliffs and fully smoke them down to the roach. It was summer time we were all smoking up loads of ganja, it’s what we do and who we are. You’ve got to be true to yourselves and about who you are. Of course we would never encourage anyone to do anything. People think for themselves and we’ve spoken to a lot of people who are against weed but are into our band and come to the shows and sing along. It’s music at the end of the day, not mind control, we’ve all experienced peer pressure and would never want to push our ideals on someone else. Political bands thrust their views in your face and no one ever criticises that, but you put a picture on a piece of paper and there’s an outcry. We sing about what we do, what else can you sing about? There’s enough drugs, sex and violence in the media these days that people see it all the time and one ska punk band with an album called Smoke The Roach isn’t going to lead the youth of Great Britain astray.”

PAUL: “Submitted by Captain Bucky – “Why was ‘smoke the roach’ repackaged?”
WHITMORE: “We just thought it would be cool to have a slipcase, it’s a childhood dream to have a really professional well-packaged CD. We bugged Moon about it for ages and they eventually buckled under the pressure.”

PAUL: “Submitted by Cry – “Don’t you think combining light-hearted pop/ska/punk with a ‘tribute’ or reference to 9/11 is slightly tactless AND tacky as if it might seem that you are trying to cash in on a tragic event?”
WHITMORE: “That would be pretty callous, we would never “cash in” on other people’s suffering and the accusation is pretty insulting and besides how is a sample gonna make you money? Basically we have relatives in the US and they’ve told us about the feeling of despair around the country. Our album was released on the anniversary of the tragedy as well so we thought it would be a poignant way of letting them know were thinking of them. Also, just as some people in the States cried for Diana, it was an attempt to let people in America know that the UK was thinking of them. Cash in on it? Get the fuck out of here. We think Big Cheese missed the point when they reviewed ‘smoke the roach’.

PAUL: “Submitted by Murta – “Like bands that pay their way on to tours who are cheating themselves, And cheating the floors that they’ve never slept on, And the people they’ve never met, an album cover that they haven’t seen yet.” From ‘Don’t Count Your Horses’ on the new Lightyear album, do you see this as dig at yourselves and if not, what are your views on bands looking for an ‘easy way in’?”
WHITMORE: “Why would we see this as a dig at ourselves? We’ve put in hard work even those who hate us the most can’t lie about that. The facts speak for themselves. If it is a dig at us we couldn’t give a toss what they think of us. The moral high ground can be a lonely place. You don’t get along in this world by worrying about whatever Tom, Dick and Harry thinks of you.”

PAUL: “There is the big rumour that you paid a large sum of money to support Avril Lavigne on her first UK tour. Some say it was £4,000, others say it was a promotional fee. Can you please set the record straight as to what happened?”
WHITMORE: “No we never paid a penny and neither did Moon Ska. Basically she came to the UK with no support lined up. We had done a few gigs for the company who was putting the show on so they gave us a call the day before the show asking if we wanted to play the LA2. We had never heard of her, as it was before “Complicated” was released but we thought why not, better than sitting at home on a Friday night. Once we had said yes, her manager bought a copy of our album so she could hear what we were like. We thought the front cover might have been a sticking point but she wasn’t fussed nor was her management. WE GOT PAID £100!!!!! The second time round we played she had requested us, so we were hardly gonna turn it down. AGAIN WE WERE PAID £100!!!!!”

PAUL “What is Miss Lavigne actually like? There are rumours that she’s a bit of a diva and also that she’s a bit of a slapper – did any of you witness any of this?”
WHITMORE: “She was really sound. It was quite surprising actually as she is so massive, but she was really down to earth and treated us really well. After the second show we got pissed up with her in her hotel, then she took us to a party in Kelly Osborne’s hotel room so we cant fault her at all. As for anything that may have happened that night we don’t feel its moral to divulge. We had a great night and we wouldn’t want to ruin our friendship by spilling the beans on her. We wouldn’t want it done to us so we won’t do it to others, not matter who it might be. There’s a popular code of ethics amongst musicians “what happens on the road stays on the road” and that’s how its got to be…”

PAUL: “On a similar note, there’s also rumours about members of the band and Dido. Anything to divulge here?”
WHITMORE: “We just met her and had a few drinks and stuff, she was pretty sound (very fit in real life too) and that’s about it really for this interview anyway.”

PAUL: “Submitted by cherrybomb – “Where abouts have you most enjoyed playing, and what was it about that place that made it so special?”
WHITMORE: “It’s hard to pick out individual gigs, but its always a bit special to play in foreign countries and one gig in particular sticks out. We toured Europe over Christmas last year and we played a gig on Christmas day in Wermelskirchen in Germany. It was one of the best shows we’ve ever played. It was totally packed, a tiny sweatbox of a venue and it just rocked. We played for an hour and a half. Robb was sick on stage due to exhaustion, Glenn fell off stage onto his back cos the stage was soaked with sweat, booze and water and basically it was chaos. Every time we finished the set the DJ wouldn’t play and the crowd kept physically pushing us back on stage. It was absolutely brilliant and a fucking mad Christmas day.”

PAUL: “Submitted by silverbadger – “Have any members of Whitmore ever been to whitmore, staffordshire? 3 miles down the road from the boundaries of Keele University campus?”
WHITMORE: “We’ve driven down Whitmore road, near Newcastle Under Lyme on our way to a gig, but we’ve never been to actual Whitmore I’m afraid.”

PAUL: “Submitted by Si – “Do you feel the animosity towards your band from the scene is justified, if not, why?”
WHITMORE: “What scene are you referring to, the real scene that is the kids who come to our gigs and buy our records or the elitist punk scene? If it’s the latter then whether we feel it’s justified or not isn’t really the issue. It’s down to individual members of “the Scene” to decide. What we will say however is that we’re not fussed about “this scene”. It’s been trying to push us out and we’re more than happy with that, we don’t want to be labelled or part of a particular “scene” especially one as myopic and introverted as the UK elitist pseudo-punk scene. We just want to play music and do our own thing, we make music for ourselves and our fans not for “this scene.” If people count us as part of “this scene” or they don’t it makes no difference to us, and its definitely not going to change us or influence us in anyway, we do what we do, either like it or piss off.”

PAUL: “Submitted by snake eyes – “Who are your top 5 (non – Moon Ska) UK bands at the moment and why?”
WHITMORE:King Prawn – our best mates and an awesome band.
Gash – excellent band and the new material sounds absolutely amazing.
Fletcher – they’re so powerful live and the new CD rocks it.
The Kennedy Soundtrack – We like the rappers style and the hip hop tunes are cool
4FT Fingers – had to say that cos they’re mates (only kidding boys!!!), quality live band. Plus Crebbins’ a big softie!”

PAUL: “Submitted by Sami: “Who, as a band, would you most like to have an MTV Celebrity Death Match with?”
WHITMORE:Zen Baseballbat, they’re only little lads and look like pussies, especially the brass section.”

PAUL: “Submitted by Byron: “What is/are your honest opinion(s) of Punktastic?”
WHITMORE: “It’s a good resource for punk fans. It does good work promoting and hosting smaller bands, putting on shows and generally doing work for the scene, in their area. However, we feel they push their views onto their readers rather than subjecting them to new material then letting their readership make their own minds. Paul has openly admitted he is biased towards certain bands and that’s no way to go about things. It’s becoming more and more of a tabloid style rumour mill every day and we know for a fact a lot of their stories are bullshit, as we’ve been in them before and its been blatantly either lies or wrong. I think they’re learning though and Paul is definitely maturing and realising he does influence his audience and I think he’s addressing this. Also, we personally think that Ross offers Punktastic very little in the way of constructiveness and the site wouldn’t suffer if he fucked off. Overall, a good effort with potential, slightly bias but not bad 7/10.”

PAUL: “Here’s your chance to tell your side of the story from the original fallout with Punktastic last year?”
WHITMORE: “We don’t really want to drag up old shit, but we were just pissed off with all the lies and unchecked facts being written about us. It’s all over and done with and there’s nothing more to say.”

PAUL: “What else do you have planned for this year?”
WHITMORE: “We have a UK tour starting at the end of September and a European tour in November and December, we’re also doing selected supports with bigger bands, you’ll learn more as and when they’re confirmed. We’re constantly demoing and writing for the new album although we will have a new EP out to coincide with the UK tour. We’re undertaking a huge project actually at the moment. We’re starting our own label called “Sensi Records”. It’s a project that we approached Moon Ska about, and they encouraged us to set it up to keep us actively involved in music even when Whitmore is quiet. More details of this will unfold in the coming weeks, although we can say we do have some releases planned for the Sensi label already.”

PAUL: “I hear you have been demoing new material, have any confirmed song titles sorted at all?”
WHITMORE: “We played some new material on the last UK tour. New songs that got an airing were: “The Re-occurring dream (about flicking the bean)”, “Skunk No.1”, “Too Long Too Late” and “Holding Out”. They were all well received and we feel the new record, which will be released early next year on Moon Ska, will without doubt beat the shit out of Smoke The Roach.”

PAUL: “Submitted by inspection 12 – “Where do you realistically see Whitmore being in 5 years time?”
WHITMORE: “In this business you cant predict where you’ll be tomorrow let alone in five years time. We just keep taking each day at a time and keep being ourselves; it’s all you can do.”

PAUL: “Anything you’d like to add, people to thank or anything, please put it here.”
WHITMORE: ” Too many names to mention, but you know who you are.”

Try these three interviews

Interview: Greywind [Reading 2016]

Interview: Arcane Roots [Reading 2016]

Interview: Trash Boat [Reading 2016]