Matt Dangerfield - guitar & vocal - August 2005


ModPopPunk Archives: The Boys were one of the first UK punk rock band in 70s and the band don't need to be introduce but could you talk a little about those punk days when the BOYS formed? What was you doing before the BOYS?
Matt Dangerfield : I was in a band called London SS with Mick Jones and Tony James (later to form Clash and Generation X respectively). It was quite a small scene at first, apart from us there was The Sex Pistols and The Damned and maybe a few dozen punk fans. I remember seeing The Sex Pistols play to an audience of around 20 people (which included myself, Casino, Mick Jones, Tony james, Malcolm McClaren, Vivian Westwood, Jordan, Souxie and Gene October)

MPP A: Casino Steel were in Hollywood Brats, did you like yourself glam rock?
MD: I didn't think much of Glam rock generally but I did like David Bowie and Roxy Music, who I saw supporting Bowie at the famous Rainbow gig that launched him to megastardom with the Spiders form Mars.

MPP A: What relation did you have with other punk rock bands?
There was rivalry of course, but we all got along OK whenever we met. As we were all touring a lot at the time the bands we got to know the best were the ones we toured with or shared gigs with – John Cale, The Jam, Bernie Torme Band, Ramones and Johnny Thunders used to jump up and play with us occasionally.

MPP A: I mean the Boys songs were a perfect mix of punk rock and power pop, but what audience did you get at gigs?
It was definitely a punk audience. When we first toured in England it was more mixed, but then there were so few punks outside of London anyway. From then on as the punk thing exploded, the audiences became a lot more punkier.

MPP A: Do you was never tired of the Beatles of punk description? Did you consider yourself punk rockers?
Not really, it's a pretty good comparison. We did consider ourselves punk but we set out to be more melodic than the other bands we knew right from the start.

MPP A: Why did you never been on major but Nems or Safari Records?
We were actually the first UK punk band to get an album deal (The Damned had a singles deal with Stiff and the Pistols hadn't signed yet). Nems offered to sign us at a time when we were running out of places to play. Every gig we played told us we would never play there again. NEMS at the time was not a big record company (I think they only had Marianne Faithful at the time when she was a junkie and not doing much) but they were a big booking agency so at least we though we would be able to get gigs.

After we signed the whole punk thing took off and we were often approached by majors wanting to sign us.

MPP A: What is your favourite BOYS album and why?
I have a soft spot for the first album but Alternative Chartbusters is my favourite because we were given complete artistic control when making it.

MPP A: What was the biggest place you ever played? The best place?
Biggest place was probably a bullring in Barcelona, the best place was the Paradiso in Amsterdam.

MPP A: What do you think of CD reissues? Do you get royalties or nothing like lot of 'punk/new wave' bands?
CD reissues are fine by me. I get royalties. It's not a lot but then we don't sell a lot.

MPP A: Do you still in touch with Duncan ‘Kid' Reid ?
I had lunch with him a few weeks back.

MPP A: You're still giging (Germany, UK) but any chance to see a new Boys album in futur? Can i hope to see again the band on stage in Brittany (or France) ?
Not sure if there will be another Boys album. If you fix it, we would love to play Brittany.

MPP A: Why did you recorded under the name : the YOBS?
NEMS didn't pay their bills so lots of recording studios, rehearsal rooms, photographers etc were owed money. We wanted to use a certain rehearsal room but NEMS owed them money so we booked it under the name The Yobs. Later, when we were on strike against NEMS we decided to bootleg ourselves to get some money and released the first Yobs single.

MPP A: What bands do you like in 2005? Do you still listening punk rock?
MB: I like lots of current bands: Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, The Jets, Green Day to name a few and I have quite a lot of punk stuff on my itunes

MPP A: Thank you for this interview, any final comments?
MD: Mon plaisir. I always loved touring France – good food and wine etc…

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