Interviewed by Brian Rademacher
Date: March 2nd, 2006
Hello The Rev and welcome to Rockeyez.com.
Hello and thanks for having me!
Were the Bottlenecks the first band you were in?
Yeah, I got the band together when I was 14. I’ve been playing for three weeks and only knew basic chords. It was just mates from school we started doing Ramones covers and then got into writing our own tunes. We were together for three years then had various name changes until I wanted to take music further and folded the band.
Is your real name Martin Fleming or Paul James?
Its Paul James, Martin was a friend from school whom I set the Bottlenecks up with. We haven’t spoke since I left to move to London jealous little bitch.
How did you come up with the name The Rev?
In my old band, certain members weren’t as committed, as say myself. We were due to play a gig at the local rock club one Saturday night, when our bassist pulled the classic “this band is nothing without me line so I fired him on the spot he left in a huff two hours before we were due to go on. Everyone freaked out I just told them to do what they normally do and leave the rest to me. I put my guitar down hired a thunderbird bass from the local music shop and played bass there were no solos in any songs that night. It sounded tighter I though after the gig getting stoned with a friend. We were laughing about how I’d basically got on stage and did my best Nikki Six impression. I got the nickname Reverend Six from my mate and it soon got shortened when I joined Towers to THE REV.
The Bottlenecks changed their name to Sablerain. Why the name change?
New members, different direction… it needed to change, we weren’t 14 anymore we were 18 and wanted to be taken more seriously. It confused the fuck out of our fan base who we’d built up over the years.
Sablerain released two EP’s., "Escape from the asylum"
and your new EP - "Who Needs an Introduction" did you play on both of them?
I wrote and co-wrote the songs and played on both, yes
What style of music did Sablerain play?
It was a confused sound we were never really a band it was just musicians playing together. I wanted to go more New York Dolls, Pistols just like the way we are in TOL. The other guitarist was more cock rock 80’s and the lead singer wanted to be Bruce Dickinson. The songs turned out new metal it was a bit shitty but everyone has to start somewhere. I always knew I was going to move on, it was just a stop gap.
How long were you in Sablerain?
Why did you leave?
Sablerain and the Bottlenecks were my bands. I did everything including managing and booking our gigs. I left because the guys I was playing with had as much drive and commitment as a Candy Bar.
You were also in a band called The God's Directors.
Did you release any material in that band?
We made a demo of five tunes that was very short lived it was more towards what I wanted to be, but still commitment in the guys I was with, was shit! I soon decided I’d rather not be in a band than be in a band with guys who couldn’t be arced and began searching the country for guys like myself to get the ultimate dream team together. Then out of nowhere I found Towers.
Was Towers of London going by a different name in the beginning?
I was the last member to join Towers of London in July 2004. They had been together for a year before I joined and had always struggled to find a lead guitarist who fit. Donny and Dirk the two brothers are the songwriters in the band and they had another band prior to that with Snell called the Turrets. They drafted Tommy in on bass after their previous bassist was booted again for commitment and changed the name to Towers of London the rest is history.
When did Towers of London actually form?
That’s a question the other boys could answer more accurately but I would guess around late 2002-3.
How did Towers of London go about getting signed to TVT Records?
Literally as soon as I joined Towers I had two weeks to practice with the guys and we were out on the road with Babyshambles this was in July 2004. We did a couple of tours with him. The guys had already gained themselves a reputation on the scene so when we started playing in London we gained a lot more interest. We played in the city live in Manchester and we were spotted by one of Rick Rubin’s A+R guys. He filmed the gig and sent it to Rubin in LA we were flown out Oct 2nd to do a showcase for him. My 21st birthday was on Oct 3rd the day of the showcase. We had our 1st single “On a Noose” all ready recorded and that track was sent around to a lot of people. A few American labels had heard about us and flew us straight out to NYC for a showcase. Most of the major labels we at the gig TVT were one of them. We went back to the UK and various meetings over the next three months and offers were made. TVT were always one on the labels who took us for who we were. Contacts were drawn and we singed Dec 2004 on Dirk's birthday.
You released a few CD’s and some 7 inch vinyl but you have yet to release a full length debut CD. When is the full-length debut set for release?
The full-length album should be out around May, 2006.
How many tracks and what is your favorite track?
We have recorded around 16 tracks. We are not sure what the listing will be yet but one of my favorite tracks is “I’m A RAT” you can hear it on myspace/towersolfondon.
Some of the CD’s that were released will never get played on the radio because of the lyrics. Is that disappointing to you?
It is but it was a conscious decision by us to release singles like “FUCK IT UP”. We could have easily released another tune but I still feel that it was the right move. We didn’t care about the radio not playing it, some stations did. We cared that it was an awesome song and the kids would love it and it just missed the top 40 unlike our others but fuck it we’re a punk rock band!
You are described in the press as a mixture of Motley Crue and The Sex Pistols. How do you feel about that?
That’s great man I love Motley and the Pistols being compared to your idols is an honor.
When you were growing up what was the first band you listened to?
I got some CD vouchers for Christmas one year when I was twelve. I’ve never been into a record store. I went in and picked three albums from the 1st section I came across I chose them coz I liked the covers. “Appetite for Destruction” Guns N Roses, “Slippery When Wet” Bon Jovi and The Eurythmics greatest hits! I went with GNR and Bon Jovi over The Eurythmics. As I got older and more into music I became obsessed with Aerosmith and AC/DC. Aerosmith were the 1st band I ever saw live. I was later introduced to the Pistols, The Clash and punk rock in general. The Pistols really fucked it up for my education as soon as I heard that album I knew that I was going to be in a band and wouldn’t stop at anything until I was!
Do you remember the first concert you attended?
Toxic Twin at Towers Ball Wembley stadium 1999. The line up was 3 Colors Red, The Black Crowes, Stereophonics, Lenny Kravitz and Aerosmith.
Tell us one of the wildest stories that happen to you in Towers of London?
I was kidnapped after a gig one night in Northampton and had to strangle my way out of the situation it was reported on the Internet the next day.
How was it playing live in New York City?
I love NYC and just to play there was a big deal it’s like a giant London on speed. The crowds were great and the atmosphere was mental.
What did you do when you were here and will you come back?
We didn’t really have time to do much sight seeing. We shot the video for our third UK single “How Rude She Was” in Brooklyn over two days and we also had two shows. I remember little sleep and lots of parties. I can’t wait to come back, we are supporting the Pogues in March and playing at the Bowery Ballroom too I’m totally psyched about that.
Tell me what it is like backstage with Towers of London?
Very Smokey great tunes on the stereo lots of booze and other guys girlfriends!
When you are going to get a new guitar what do you look for?
That it has Gibson on the headstock and that it’s a solid bodied LES PAUL.
Do you have a printed pick/plectrum with your name on it?
Not yet, that’s a good idea though maybe you could get some made up and sends me a few… Ha-ha-ha.
When the CD is released will there be a new video and tour?
We are shooting the video for our 4th single “Air Guitar” this month. We will definitely be doing a lot of promotion and touring for the album where and when is to be confirmed. Our website and Myspace is regularly updated with news and new dates.
Tell me about the women in The Rev's life?
I’m lucky if I can remember them in the morning.
Tell me your feelings about the other members in the band?
There my best mates. We are a gang, we live out of each other’s pockets day in and day out and I’d drop anything to help anyone of those guys. We are a very close mesh and if you mess with us all we are like a pack of dogs!
Is Towers of London really a bad ass band? Because I read a statement that Donny Tourette was recently convicted of criminal damage after a particularly riotous gig.
Chaos seems to follow us around. We have had some particularly hairy situations and one time Donny was fined for criminal damage to a venue but it was all blown out of proportion. We just stick up for ourselves and don’t take any shit. That doesn’t mean were a bunch of cunts and were going to bite your nose off if you say ‘hi’ to us.
What do you do on a day off?
Sleep, watch TV and probably meet the guys down the Pub.
The Rev. Rockeyez would like to thank you for taking the time for this interview and we wish you the best in the future and success with your debut release of Towers of London. Would you like to say anything in ending?
Some surprising questions - it makes me wonder if you’ve been on the phone to my mum you know more about me than I do. It’s a pleasure to be involved with such a great website on behalf of the rest of the guys sleep tight we’ll see you soon. “It’s a Punk Rock Riot.”