By Danger Coolidge
Unbelievably Bad Editor
There’s plenty going on with Stanley Knife at the minute. The Sydney punks, led by frontmouth Drew Gates, have been at it off and on for many years but few better than this one.
They’ve just got Danny Sano in on rhythm and the line-up was firing at the show UB attended last Saturday (see footage below). They’ve got a debut album in the can, recorded by the same bloke who did their demo in 1994, and they have a big benefit show for the Musicians Resource Centre coming up at Red Rattler on the 12th.
They’re also making plans to pull the pin. Drummer Tobey Doctor is moving to Melbourne, Drew has a sore knee and better things to do, plus climate change and racism.
UB knocks dickie knees with Drew…
What’s Stanley Knife been doing since the last release, the Have A Go CD?
Hard-core relapses, witness protection dramas, psych wards, attempted murder, hermaphrodites, detox – y’know, just the usual shit. Had supports with Hard Skin, Toe to Toe, Stars and Stripes, GBH. Neilos quit the band this year and we got Danny Sano on rhythm. He played in Deathcage until a few years ago and Red Stain back in the nineties. Red Stain were fuckin’ awesome – they all went to school together back in Japan and they had songs about things like what a cunt their math teacher was.
Have you been feeling angry enough to write new Stanley Knife material? Do you have to be angry to write Stanley Knife material?
One of the good things about getting older is that my life isn’t blighted by incandescent rage anymore. Phew! It really sucked being an angry young man. These days I only get angry when some motherfucking piece of goddamn shit does something fucktarded like walk slowly in front of me when I am on my way to the lubricant emporium. We have been writing new stuff but it is more rockin’ than the old streetpunk/Oi! stuff we used to do. As a matter of fact, we have dialled it down quite a bit and the new songs are all about the cis-gendered patriarchy, micro-aggressions and safe-spaces – it’s incredibly diverse.
Do you get enough sleep?
I sleep about four hours a night but because I sleep in a hammock it is a deep, deep, deep sleep. I don’t think I could ever sleep in goddamned ‘bed’ again and as a matter of fact just the thought of it makes me want to fucking puke. People who sleep in beds are scum.
Tell us about the Stanley Knife album you have coming out?
We recorded it at Zen with Geoff Lee – we recorded our first demo with him back in ’94 and the guy is a deadset Sydney legend. He turns up in his sandals and socks and looks like the most innocuous bloke but over the last 25 years he has recorded the most brutal punk/hardcore in Sydney. Tobey [Doctor, drums] and his mate mixed it and included 10 minutes of rhythmic squelching on the end just to get people in the mood. No streetpunk labels were interested – probably because we aren’t all ‘trad-skin’ and don’t sing about fascinating shit like working-clarse lager beer. We will probably put it out ourselves on vinyl, fuck up the distro and it will quickly fade into oblivion. Take that, society!
There is a benefit gig at Red Rattler – what’s this in aid of?
Ha! It’s a benefit show for the Musicians Resource Centre, which means we are going to pay the bands. Dogging by Low Life is one of the best albums I have heard in decades. Glenno and Jay from Chinese Burn Unit are Sydney punk smearlords and our mates in Obat Batuk rule the streets. Here is the blurb from the event page: “Every night, musicians across Australia go to bed hungry, sober and straight. It is a sad indictment on our country that in 2016 most musicians can’t even afford a couple of cones and a six-pack of an evening. Just the other day I met a young guitarist who asked if he could ‘borrow’ a line. Needless to say, I gave him an eightball. Come to our benefit show for the Musicians Resource Centre and help us help Sydney musos stay wasted. You know it’s for a good cause!”
You have been talking (to me privately) about how you feel you only have a limited number of shows left in you. Can you explain this irrational feeling?
Personally, I blame climate change and racism. Also, I have fucked up both my knees going off on stage – had a full ACL tear and reconstruction on one and have to wear a brace on the other when we play due to MCL tear. Not really fuckin’ worth it – gnome sane? That said, I couldn’t be fucked with live music anymore, gonna concentrate on the written word/AKA Queen of the Arts. I am currently working on book number five – this sucker is gonna be my “breakthrough” novel.
Any plans for recording again before you pull up stumps?
Hopefully we will be doing something with Jack Kelly from Slapshot/Stars and Stripes. We have three new ones as well.
Stanley Knife is still getting great reactions (Total Attack, etc.). How do you view things in “the scene”, and has the climate got anything to do with the decision to end the band?
I am probably not the best person to ask how ‘the scene’ is going as I am so goddamn negative and pretty much fucking hate everything. That said, Total Attack was awesome and Rick [Girvan] represents everything that is great about punk rock. We’re playing our last gig later in the year ’cus Tobey is moving interstate and if you’ve ever seen the cunt drum, well, there’s no way we can replace him. Anyways, rock ’n’ roll is a young man’s game – fuck the kids!
Listen to Stanley Knife:
Stanley Knife play Red Rattler on August 12 w/ Low Life, Chinese Burns Unit and Obat Batuk.