Interview for the Faye and Livy show fanzine
1. Tell us about the wonder that is the Zatopeks! Like how you came to be
the Zatopeks, and of course what your function is in this sassy band of yours.
Sebby: I'm the guitar player. Will sings and plays guitar, The Giant plays bass, and Pete's on drums. Me, Will and Pete met about 3 years ago, when we were playing in another band, called 3 1/2 Inch Floppy (which we still play in). After a year, our bass-player got a job and couldn't practice as often, so the 3 of us started going to down to the rehearsal studios and jamming through Ramones and Green Day covers. It was a lot of fun, so we decided to make it into a real band, with me on guitar, Pete on the drums, and Will on bass and vocals. We wrote our entire set in half an hour just using Ramones song titles for inspiration. We played one gig with that line-up, before realising that Will couldn't play bass very well. So then we called up his brother Sammie, later to be christened The Giant, for 4-string duties. Will then began writing some better songs, with more serious lyrics, and it all kinda took off from there.
2. Who are your main influences?
Sebby: There are a lot, but I guess the 2 most obvious are the Ramones and Buddy Holly. Both of them were so important to us. We started out playing straight up Ramones-style pop-punk, but we've started to incorporate more of a rock'n'roll influence now, which is where Buddy Holly comes in. And I'm sure Will can give you a whole lot more...
Will: It definitely started as Ramones, Ramones and Ramones. The first four songs we recorded, which will be on the Whoa Oh Records CD, were a jump in a Screeching Weasel direction... they were the first serious songs, so had better lyrics. But "Cobwebs on my Chucks", our 1950's style love song, was so fun to record that we started falling more into the area of 60's girl-pop like Shangri-La's, Ronettes, Shirelles. I guess as far as band influences go, it's music like that, mixed with the straight-up Ramones/Screeching Weasel stuff we started on. I also love jazz and Tom Waits, but there's no fucking way the Zatopeks are gonna try to play jazz! Well, not yet.
3. If you weren't a Z-boy, what would be doing, right now?
Will: Maybe living in reality, and not pretending it's 1957. Nah, that's not going to happen. I'm moving to Poland next year but I'll still be a Z-Boy... we'll still play and record until there's something better to do, and I don't know if there ever will be. I'd like to say "I'll still be a Zatopek when I'm old and grey in a wheelchair" but Dennis Wilson said that about being a Beach Boy in a book I have, and he drowned about 5 days later.
4. What made you want to play this years Faye & Livy Show?
Sebby: I'm really excited to be playing with the Backwood Creatures again, and to check out the Sonic Dolls cause I've never seen them before. Also, it's always fun to be playing in Holland.
Will: Yeah, we get in for free to see the Sonic Dolls and Backwood Creatures! Holland is always a party, too.
5. Can we expect something spectacular from you boys at this years show?
Sebby: I think that depends on how many super-caps Pete takes this time! He's generally the one for making a spectacle out of himself.
Will: Maybe an onstage fist-fight between me and Pete if he's as annoying as he was last time we were in Holland! But his girlfriend will be there so hopefully he'll calm down a bit. Supercaps will definitely be involved, though.
6. Is there anything you would like to say about the wonderous Faye and
Sebby: Thanks for letting us play...and sorry for being late with the interview.
7. In all honesty, do any of you have any hidden talents that the other members don't know about?
Sebby: Well, if I told you then they wouldn't be hidden any more, would they?
Will: I'm a marvellous impressionist painter. My perception of primary colours is unsurpassed. No I'm not. Actually, I think people like the Zatopeks are drawn together by their universal lack of talent to begin with. Hanging out with people like Sebby, Pete and The Giant makes me feel good about myself.
8. Do you have any upcoming releases we should look forward to?
Sebby: Yeah, definitely. First we've got a split CD coming out on Whoa Oh Records. That's with The Apers, The 20belows and Twentyearsold and it's got 4 songs each. Second, we've got a split 7" with The 20belows coming out on my new label, All-Nite Records. That should be out early next year, and has 3 songs from each band. Third, we're doing a split 7" with The Spazzys. We're still sorting out which label that will be out on, but we're really excited about that. We're also going to be on a few compilations, including the second Stardumb Records compilation.
9. Where do you hope to be in 20 years from now, bandwise? What would you like to have accomplished?
Sebby: That's a long time! Even the fact that we've lasted this long surprises me. We've already accomplished much more than I thought we would in the short time we've been playing. I just want to play lots more shows and release more records. And if people who buy our records now still listen to them in 20 years from now, I think that would be pretty cool.
Will: Sebby's right... it's strange that we're on a Stardumb Records compilation, we'll be on a CD with The Apers, and 7" records with The 20Belows and The Spazzys. These are three of my favourite bands, and my favourite record label. I'm not sure what else there is to achieve! I guess just making cool records, doing a bit of touring, and having fun.
10. Are you going to accomplish it?
Sebby: Somehow I doubt people will wanna listen to the Zatopeks 20 years from now!
Will: I will. I'm quite a big fan.
11. If you could tour Europe with any band, who would it be, and why?
Will: There's a lot of bands we'd love to tour Europe with. At the moment I guess I'd have to say The Spazzys. They live in the same weird 1950's world that we inhabit, and we had a lot of fun hanging out with them in Rotterdam. I think touring with them would be swell! Plus we'd get to see Spazzys shows every night!
Sebby: Yeah, a European tour with the Spazzys sounds like fun to me!
12. You all love Holland so much,
are you ever going to leave your beautiful country and move to Holland? I think
a lot of people would like to see the Zatopeks as a local band in Holland.
Sebby: People would like to see the Zatopeks as a local band in Holland?! We do love Holland. There seem to be a lot of great bands there right now, but I think everyone might get sick of us if we moved there.
Will: Like I said, I'm leaving England full-time in the summer anyway. I fucking hate that country! I'd love to live in Holland... I think the language is really great, and I'd like to learn it at some point. It would be very funny if the Zatopeks moved there as a band. I think we'd get on fine, in spite of what Sebby said. Bands have to live somewhere, right?
13. I think that's it for now.
Thanks muchly. Is there anything else you really want to get off your hairy
chests? Now is the time...
Will: Thanks for putting us on the bill!
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