[sic] Magazine

Interview – Ulterior

Fresh from our track of the week award for the explosive “Sex War Sex Cars Sex “ (see the feature in our forums), Ulterior are winding up to the release of their debut LP. And the track is certainly an appetite whetter, propelled along on a urgent bed of whip-crack percussion while Paul Anthony (who calls himself Honey ) squeezes out a convincing PiL -era John Lydon impression from behind clenched teeth.

Equally, its voracious drum machine launches the band’s dark-hearted dancefloor hooks into altogether dirtier, louder hunting grounds. This then contorts into a goth-flavoured, full frontal rocker built on a bass line dangerously saturated in adrenaline, brutal industrial synths and an infectious vocal outro that repeats the track’s title like a mantra to further ramp up the intensity.

Our Rob Gannon recently caught up with Honey to ask him about the forthcoming LP, serial killers and The Sisters of Mercy .

Rob: I picked up your Live URA CD-R from off the counter at Rough Trade approaching three years ago now. Have their been troubles beyond getting signed in getting the LP ready?

Honey: Fuck, where do I start? Y’know, this is something for the biography or whatever, there is actually a documentary that is unreleased documenting some of what has happened that may or may not come out around the album release. All I can say is use your imagination. If you can think it, it probably happened.

R: Do you have the name and an approximate release date for that forthcoming LP yet?

H: The album is to be called ‘Wild In Wildlife’. It is being released on the 7th or 14th of February 2011 depending on how much we love you.

R: As a band you’re famed for your early warehouse performances and incendiary liveshows, does your higher profile still allow for this sort of antic?

H: We don’t know how to be or do anything else. The early days were great fun, we’d just pole up, take stock of what was going on in the room and then go about fucking annihilating it. The crowds en masse would either run out of the room, try and get on the stage to do god knows what (not happening without a fight I’m afraid) or just stand there with their jaws on the floor. We changed some fucking people forever man. No word of a lie, at 90% of the shows we played over the first couple of years there would always be someone who came up to us who couldn’t fucking speak, literally ready to kill their parents and pick up a guitar. The only difference is we learned how to play, actually, scratch that, we learned how to write songs. These days you get exactly the same band but, well … better. All that energy and nihilism hasn’t shown any signs of letting up at all. We just learned how to bottle it n’ sell it.

R: Bagging support slots alongside March Violets and Sisters of Mercy is no mean feat however, how are the crowds at these gigs? Do they, by having you as support or not, attract a younger crowd, or purely those that were there first time around?

H: They were a piece of piss to get actually. I found out we were to tour Europe with the Sisters in the Vegetarian section in Asda. Didn’t lift a finger, a phone or a Linda-fucking-McCartney-Quorn-pig’s-arse. Not to sound conceited but they came to us, we didn’t ask anyone for anything. I’ve realised that if what you do is real then the right people see it. Andrew Eldritch is certainly a ‘right person’ (ha ha, just made myself laugh) as is Si Denbigh . It’s funny, after a few of the shows now and again you’d get a couple of guys who are obviously in some Sisters rip off effort asking questions, truly puzzled as to why they chose a Rock n’ Roll band to support them instead of someone that sounded like the Sisters. I’d always tell ‘em that they’d missed the point of their favourite band for the past 20 years and then to fuck off and wank over ‘The Gift’ some more. Generally though their crowds were incredible towards us, we got great receptions every night. I’m not fussed about age, we’ve played to teenagers forever, it was great to garner fans that have seen it all before but saw something raw and beautiful in what we do. We make music for everyone baby!

R: How well do you wear the “Goth” tag that seems to be flung at you so readily? In 2008, Killer Pimp released some of your material as an EP called Kemper’s Heads – there’s at least a degree of the macabre to that with its reference to the serial killer Ed Kemper.

H: What happened there was that Killer Pimp came to us and asked if they could release some of our early recordings and demos on a CD EP so to speak for the US. We saw no problem with this so it all went ahead. They asked us what we wanted to call it and I came up with ‘Kempers Heads. A small collection for an American audience’, which I thought was cute. They wanted a more snappy title so they cut it down to just ‘Kempers Heads’, which if you know your serial killers, doesn’t make sense, but hey. In terms of being called ‘Goth’ I couldn’t give a shit. Call me fucking “Leonard Rossiter’s Quagmire” if you want. Just keep talking about us, writing about us and buying our records because we won’t let you down.


R: Reputedly, for the moment, you’re bigger in Germany than your native UK. How did that come about, and how do you find the German scene these days?

H: Well as I’m sure you can guess by now, we don’t really care or know much of the current scenes so I couldn’t really comment on that but what I can tell you is that we love Germany. Every time we’ve been we’ve had the wildest times, found the wildest people, Germany is full of creatures and we love creatures… those fuckers can creeeep! Apart from London / Glasgow and maybe (big maybe) Manchester, the UK is a twee indie / bad rock cesspit that needs telling what to buy every 5 minutes. There are some great fucking bands in the UK. I think Gallows are ace but they’re on a different planet to us y’know, they’d probably hate us but that’s cool, it’s kind of the point. The only major acts we feel an affinity with are bands we grew up listening to. Anyway, we’re moving to Hamburg and that’s that!

R: Did losing all your material early in 2009 when the band’s computer was stolen affect Ulterior’s sound at all, or were your memories strong enough to recall what you wanted verbatim?

H: Ah, fuck it! So what? We lost 8 tracks that we were bored shitless of so we thought we either sit around whining or go make one of the best albums of the last 20 years. We did the latter.

R: How did it feel having your first single “Weapons” used on the Playstation 3 game Motorstorm: Pacific Rift? Did it compromise the band’s integrity and/or aesthetic?

H: Did it fuck. I’d put our music on a bad tampon advert if someone gave us a few grand. I’m serious. Name me an artist that doesn’t want to sell his or her shit and I’ll show you a pointless twat in his bedroom. We’re fucking hungry man! Hustling our art every second of every day. We care about this more than anyone could possibly know. We have never and will never compromise what we do. Integrity? Fuck off.

R: And finally, we love a good tip at [sic] magazine, according to you which bands should we be keeping an eye on in the near future?

H: Well, our good friends Romance have just been signed so they’re getting all they deserve at the minute ( Manics supports, Cult supports) and they’re recording an album which I’m sure will be great. We love S.C.U.M. as well (also recording an album) so that’ll be one to check out. Factory Floor also recording at the minute. We’ve seen them a few times live recently and they are a great band. So next year they’ll be the albums you’ll be listening to when you take an hour off listening to Ulterior’s ‘Wild In Wildlife’! See, always hustling.

~“Sex War Sex Cars Sex” is released on 1st November 2010 on Speed Records exclusively via the Rough Trade shops on 7” and also on download. The band play a single launch party on the 5th November 2010 at The Electrowerkz London. The video for the track (available at youtube.com) is below~

~[sic] would like to thank Honey for taking the time out to conduct this interview and wish the band well with the single launch and next year’s album.~