I received an email from a lady called Vicky who I couldn't help thinking I knew...... It wasn't until she mentioned a band called THE RAMONAS until it all clicked into place (she plays in the band). She told me of a new band called COCKWOMBLE that she was in and that they had just launched a new EP called 'Henchmen', we took a listen and fell in love with it straight away and decided it would be a great time to have a chat and learn a little more about this upbeat trio of talent from Brighton, here's how we got on.
'Cockwomble' is your name, this is a term that has been used to describe plenty of people including David Cameron, Donald Trump and Kanye West, it truly is a splendid term which needs to be embedded more in every day society, what is it about the word that you like so much
Ali: Cockwomble is such an outstanding insult. I particularly associate it with David Cameron who I saw described as a 'Ham-Faced Cockwomble' on Twitter. I think it's quintessential brilliant lowbrow British humour: irreverent and silly, but with a serious undertone. As I understand it, it means to be 'a foolish and obnoxious person''. If that doesn't sum up the state of world right now nothing will.
I read that Ali & Vicky invited Leah to join the band after seeing a picture of her bum on the internet, what was it about her bum that you liked so much?
Ali: It definitely leapt off the screen at me. I'd already been thinking about asking Leah to play drums for us, but I knew then for definite she wouldn't be shy about being in a band like Cockwomble. It was like a Python skit- *that's who I want to play drums for us!*
Please elaborate on the meaning for each of the three tracks that make up the EP.... (I wanted to ask if Sex Lies and Videotapes is based on a personal experience or just a view on the topic of 'revenge porn'?)
Ali: Henchmen was originally meant to be funny, but whilst writing the lyrics the Conservatives were being particularly unpleasant over a few issues, such as Brexit and the Windrush scandal, and the notion of complicity from ordinary people (Henchmen) in the actions of a villain or evil organisation didn't seem so funny. It got a bit shoutier after that. A lot of people support dodgy regimes, and without their support the regime wouldn't function. That's basically what it's about. A funny notion when it's Blofeld or Doctor Evil. Not so funny when it's your own government basically destroying your country.
Radio 1 was Leah's idea really. The absurdity of us ever being on radio 1 was a running joke. Some people have interpreted it as a swipe at the current state of mainstream radio and the idea that you have to look/sound a certain way. But that isn't really how it was meant. It was more of a acknowledgement that we probably wouldn't ever be on Radio 1 and that's actually fine. It's all supposed to be fairly tongue in cheek.
Vicky: Sex Lies and Videotape was originally written as a potential Ramonas track. It was originally from a female empowerment perspective of turning revenge porn on its head. It's not personal experience no haha. I liked the idea of a group of women saying no- if you want to play games with power and sex it can be on our terms. It probably sounds a bit odd now with Ali singing it.
Where was the EP recorded and who produced it?
Vicky: It was recorded and produced in Brighton Road Recording Studios by Ali. He's also done stuff in the punk world for The Ramonas, Charlie Harper from U.K. Subs, Attila The Stockbroker, Viki Vortex and The Cumshots recently too.
Have you played any festivals this year? if so, which ones stood out for you?
Vicky: We're so new we've barely done any gigs yet! We'd love to play Rebellion Festival next year, we also have some gigs abroad in the works.
You mention that you are for fans of the fab 5 piece punk band IDLES, are you fans of them, if so, what is it about their music that you enjoy?
Ali: I feel like I've been waiting for a band like IDLES my whole adult life. I love the combination both musically and lyrically of absolute chaos yet complete clarity. Also hearing a message that I genuinely agree with running through the songs has been a relief to be honest. I feel like a lot of British bands have been lacking in social commentary of any type for a few years, with a couple of notable exceptions. It doesn't feel like that now there's a lot of people with a lot to say. I really liked The Menstrual Cramps who we saw recently to mention one.
Which band (or bands) made you want to pick up instruments and start playing music yourselves?
Ali: The Beatles originally when I was young. Then 90s bands like Oasis, Supergrass, Pulp, Manic Street Preachers. Then I got really into 70s punk, particularly The Pistols and The Clash. Then Joy Division and The Pixies. There are so many really.
Vicky: In the beginning it was all the old rock n roll stuff that made me want to play bass, then I discovered the Ramones!
You're from Brighton, describe the music scene there right now....
Ali: Brighton's always got a lot of music going on. I grew up in Brighton and it's always been a bit cliquey with it's different scenes. Don't get me wrong- it's a great place to live and make music. But I think what's going on in Bristol and Manchester right now is probably a bit more interesting overall. I think the sheer volumes of musicians here means it's difficult to talk about an overall 'scene' as such. It's more like lots of little scenes happening at once.
Please describe a typical live 'Cockwomble' show (assuming there is such a thing?)
Ali: So far they consist of us trying hard to remember the songs. And trying to find missing parts of the drum kit.
Would you rather live with a gorilla that does the housework or a Snake that has a great knack for writing killer songs?
Ali: Gorilla definitely. Like fuck I'm living with a snake.
Vicky: Haha Gorilla for sure…who likes housework?!
The new EP has just dropped, when can we expect more material from you?
Ali: Soon! We've just finished our 2nd EP which we're hoping to release in October.
Vicky: We’re also making a couple of music videos next month so keep an eye out for those.
Christmas is only 4 months away, what's on your lists this year?
Ali: An election. A stray golf ball straight to the head for Trump. Some fucking basic non insanity from the British overall. What's up with everyone lately? And some socks.
Vicky: A new Cockwomble t-shirt!
Please name 3 bands or acts that our readers should be listening to right now.
Ali: Besides IDLES? Cabbage. The Menstrual Cramps.
Vicky: IDLES, Slaves and Wonk Unit.
Lastly, where can people keep up to date with your happenings?
We'd like to thank the band for chatting to us and we wish them every success with the new EP and future gigs (hopefully they'll be hitting Exeter or Plymouth soon!)