Interview with Sebby for Craptalk web-zine, June 2002
- choose a fancy way to introduce
My name's Seb, I'm 21 and I'm a Ramones fan. I'm also the guitarist from the
Zatopeks. We've been playing pop-punk over here in England for just over a
year. The rest of the band is Will DeNiro on vocals and second guitar, The
Giant on bass and Pete Sematary on drums.
- how's the pop-punk scene in england?
There are a few really good pop-punk bands over here, like Punch Puppet, the
Griswalds and Panic, but there doesn't seem to be that much of a scene. Even
when bigger bands like the Groovie Ghoulies or the Smugglers come over, they
don't really get a big crowd...like when we went to see the Smugglers, the
only people there were us and the other bands! Everyone over here seems to
be much more into ska-punk or hardcore than pop-punk which is a shame, cause
it means that so many great bands don't bother playing here.
- how do you like your band, what
does a band need to satisfy you?
Our band is just fun. We all listen to the same music, dress the same way,
and enjoy hanging out together, playing music and meeting cool pop-punkers
from all over the world. It's important for bands not to take themselves too
seriously, and not get pissed off by bad reviews and things like that. I
mean we played in a battle of the bands a few months ago, and got marked
1/20 for originality. We thought it was just funny though, and the mark
sheet is up on our website.
- can you describe the style of the
4 rejects who wanna be the Ramones, wearing leather jackets and Chucks, and
playing pop-punk songs about girls and other stuff we know nothing about.
- how did the band get started?
Well me, Pete and Will started the band just over a year ago by going down
to the practice studios, drinking beer and playing Ramones covers. We were
already playing in another band called 3 1/2 Inch Floppy (and still are) but
we were having so much fun playing really poppy stuff, we decided to make it
a proper band. Then a few months later, because we realised that the only
way Will could play bass was by using his thumb on the top string, we asked
Sammie to join us, and let Will loose on second guitar.
- what does the zatopeks mean, and
how did you get that name?
The name came from Emil Zatopek, who was a Czechoslovakian athlete in the
middle of the 20th Century. In 1968, he was stripped of his status as a
national hero for publicly opposing the Russian invasion of Czechoslovakia,
and spent many of the following years in hard labour. He died in 2001 and
Will, after reading his obituary, thought he sounded so cool that we decided
to name the band after him. Since then it has also come to be a Czech slang
word for 'retarded Ramones-obsessed social outcast'.
- why did you join/form the band?
We formed the band mainly cause all 4 of us love the Ramones and 50's
rock'n'roll like Buddy Holly, Richie Valens and Elvis Presley, so we just
wanted to play that kind of music. Plus, there doesn't seem to be any other
bands here in the UK doing that sort of thing.
- what's your favorite zatopeks song,
My favourite song is probably a new one called The Summer I Fell In Love
With Jimmy's Girl, which is a lot of fun to play. It's a very 50's sounding
song about a girl (for a change) and features the rival gang to the
Zatopeks, Jimmy and the Vipers. Yes, we're that sad that we've got a
fictional rival gang!
- describe the best show you ever did
We've not really played that many gigs so far yet, so there's not a lot to
choose from. I guess it would have to be the one we did this week. We got to
play some of our new songs for the first time, and we seemed to go down
pretty well. We should be starting to play more regularly by the summer
though, so that answer will probably change.
- describe the worst show you ever
The worst show would be one that never happened. We were supposed to play a
couple of months back in Birmingham, but the venue decided not to let anyone
in if they didn't have any ID to prove they were over 18. It ended up with 5
people inside, and about 30 outside in the carpark which was just stupid, so
all the bands refused to play.
- so are you
planning future releases, tours, anything? If yes, can you give
me more info?
We recorded 4 songs which are going to be released on Whoa Oh Records as a
split CD with the Apers, Twentyearsold, and another band tbc. Check out
www.whoaohrecords.com for details. Hopefully we'll record some more songs at
some point over the summer too...maybe for an EP, but there's no definate
plans for other releases yet. As for touring, we want to play some shows in
Holland and Germany this summer, but we haven't really organised much yet
and we seem to be leaving it a bit late. We'll try and make it over at some
- what do you do when you are not
with the band?
I play guitar in our other band, 3 1/2 Inch Floppy, and I try and go to see
as many other bands as I can. I've finished university so I have to work
now, which sucks, but the rest of the band are still students and have way
more free time than me...which I'm not jealous of at all...
- what does our fanzine need?
Um, can't think of anything it needs. It seems to be a veritable haven of
- any comments?
Thanks for the interview...it was my first time! Good luck for the site, and
hopefully we'll see you guys in Holland soon. Oh, and check out the mp3s on
our website and sign the guestbook there.
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