interview by Damage
Way before issue 0 we set in stone that we don't really get involved with goths and punks, just because we're more familiar on electronic territories. Then we ran into Freekstar and we changed our minds. They're that good. Support this band. Their comeback may just depend on your vote.
THE DOSE: "The night electro bubblegum punk pop got its arse kicked by the Dead Beat Radicals", writes Trillians, Newcastle in 2003. Please give us a little rundown on your history, introduce the members, how you met and how (and why) did you transform from DBR to Freekstar..
ROXY: The band was based on speaking our minds, glamour, love, affection, freedom and inner torment. The songwriters are me and Tim (guitar/music programmer). We met at a party and started going out, a bit like Kurt and Courtney without the gunfire. Then we met Skunk, the bassplayer, who was tall and cool and initially he had a bass guitar but couldn't really play all that well, but we loved his personality and how he looked so Tim taught him the songs we had spent a few months writing... that consisted of me and Tim arguing most of the time about music, drinking and dreaming. Then we got a London manager Craig Huxley who had got a couple of bands small deals in the past...he said we should have a new start, seeing as our DBR bass player who was glammy and on coke all the time left to join the Roolettes (They have disbanded.)
We did some London shows in front of A&R, played with Keane, Manic Street Preachers, Echobelly and a few others but we never got the deal we needed in DBR apart from the indie label Bluefire - but it wasn't enough to sustain life.... so to speak.
THE DOSE: There's this 2004 UK movie Freak Out that features two of your tracks, "Crazy Town" and "Weirdo".. how did this soundtrack opportunity come about (and did this by any chance affect you changing your name)?
ROXY: We were always on the web looking for oppotunities, they came to us. We got L100 for use of the tracks, although if we hadn't signed our rights away on the movie we may have got more pennies as the film is now on sale in HMV… Freekstar came from my aspiration to be an indie star and hey, I have a very quirky personality, ha ha!!
THE DOSE: Apparently lots of tracks that you played as DBR appear on your debut album Bulletproof. How different were the DBR versions from those recorded on the album?
ROXY: We basically did remixes.
THE DOSE: How did the Freekstar sound develop?
ROXY: From a love of pop that isn't shallow.. .came from the punk and grunge scene,then wanted to be more modern with technology, hence the electro edge, like commercial sounds but without the politics of it. I suppose the band grew itself out of all individual influnences...even a bit of hiphop in there and some mad sampling. We wanted to be famous so we could take the piss out of it, but then be allowed to stay in the system so we could tour.
THE DOSE: What is your favourite song off the LP and why?
ROXY: Bulletproof, as it is so life-affirming... it says "fuck you, you can't hurt me".. it's positive and a bit catchy, so the darker sentiment of the fact that people often try and screw you over is masked with the tune.
THE DOSE: Tell us about the lyrics - how do they come about, what lyrical process do you go through?
ROXY: They all come off the top of my head, I daydream a lot. I want to live in a place that doesn't exist. Music helps you create a world that is although imaginary, feels better sometimes, helps in depressing times. I write the lyrics on the back of beer mats, my hand, dictaphone, answering machine by ringing myself up if I have to.
THE DOSE: Could you explain us what Freekstar went through? There was a lot of hype about you having a management, London show opportunities, you were looking for a drummer and after that it's bam! all silent - or at least this is what you can see on the web in 2007..
ROXY: We crashed when we ran out of money to do London showcases. People around us talked too much crap about what was possible and I couldn't cope with the misery of carrying on with the feeling that the band that I loved might not get anywhere… I couldn't help to maintain it or to look after it. Some band members were being judged by labels.. they wanted to get rid of them.. so I just quit for a bit. Tim who I live with came with me for a rest.
THE DOSE: What are your plans for 2007? New website, more active presence, new songs, a tour perhaps? A huuuge comeback?
ROXY: We would love to come back! We have three songs half-finished and with encouragement... like, with guys like you we might consider returning for another go… but the last one did break my heart.
THE DOSE: As far as I know, you're based in Newcastle.. could you elaborate on the local scene for the readers? What to look for, where to hang out, what to avoid?
ROXY: The venue for the smaller signed bands like Arctic Monkeys is the Carling Academy, that's cool. Unsigned bands play the Head of Steam bar, Telegraph and Archer Venue. Go to clubs.. Trillions, Legends and the Arena Rock Nights plus a club called Krash in the town centre full of dudes, fake lezzy chicks and wannabes.. great!
THE DOSE: What are you listening to nowadays?
ROXY: Good Charlotte, The Killers, Gwen Stefani, Marilyn Manson, some emo stuff, Snow Patrol, darkwave, Hymn – some local stuff – and lots of goth bands my cousin Angel goes on about. Past likes are Nirvana, Hole, Green Day, B'52s, The Cardigans, Breeder, Motörhead, Opus III, The KLF, Shamen..
THE DOSE: Roxy, you've also done vocal narration for the ToySight game by Strange Flavour.. how did that come about and what were your experiences regarding that?
ROXY: Toysight was written by two mates so that wasnt a problem, but I have done other voiceovers on things (Museum interactives, QAD game) – I do an okayish sexy English voice, ha ha!!
THE DOSE: As this is a London/UK special, I gotta ask - what venues and places would you recommend to readers of the mag?
ROXY: London..Camden Palace, Underworld, Slimelight, Camden in general, actually is cool for clothes, bands, gigging scene, goth rock nights, DJ's.. stay clear of Central London (as in Oxford Street), you get treated like a tourist..
THE DOSE: Thanks for the interview - what final message do you have for the pop punk kids and THE DOSE readers?
ROXY: Music is everything....don't lose it from your soul. Be punk-all-over cos that's a beautiful thing for however long it lasts.