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Interview With: Begrudgers.
By: Brinepacer
Date Posted: 02/02/01

Finally, I got to ask a few questions of Weeler, bassist with excellent Dublin punk band The Begrudgers, formally Penfold. One of irelands top ska/punk bands at the minute, definately worth checking out.

1. What inspired the name The Begrudgers? What happened to Penfold?
eh basicly the name penfold belonged to about ten other bands and we'd been meanin to change it since the start but never got ' round to it. then for the demo we had to come up with a new name quick and someone at thumped suggested "Begrudgers" so we said yeah thats good i'll have that... and I felt that the Penfold name kinda had us affiliated with people like mixtwitch,aidan walsh and other shites from our first few gigs so it had to go you cant have people thinkin your one of them now can ye haha.

2. When did you form? How did you reach this line up?
We formed back last february 2000 for a school talent show to play some rockin ass ska so myself ,ray ,derenzy and ronan were the original line up and we played like that for a while then we got Lyncher to join us on keyoards at the start of the summer.

3. What would cause the band to break up?
em mainly stuff like lack of interest shown by certain members or our different musical tastes could get us in trouble some day.. when people dont show up for jammin or a gig things like that really piss me off especially when you go out of your way to tell them when/where it is .

4. Describe your music for someone who's never heard... music?
What ?? who's never heard music?.. How the fuck do i do that ? that question is way too hard i demand an easier one.. ehh Phone a if you happen to have heard music before we have an Agressive Ska sound like madness meets Citizen Fish.

5. What inspired you to play the music you do?
i suppose it was the lack of young bands about dublin with the balls to play real punk music.. I saw bands play pop punk and said fuckit i could do beter than that i could write a better song than that...and i did...i think

6. What have you released so far?
So far we've released one c.d. called The BeGruDgers thats all its got four trax and is about 10 minutes long costs 3 and cost us a lot of money... You can get it from weeler

7. If you could sign to a big label (either Epitaph/fat or a major) would you?
I dont think fat or epitaph would sign us anyway they tend to sign mainly Skate and melodic hardcore but I'm sure if they asked us to sign and it meant we could get our music to a larger audience then we would ?

8. How does the songwriting process work in the band? Is it one person or a democracy? Do you fight much over how a song turns out?
Songwriting usually starts off with either myself or ray fuckin about with a few chords i usually write the bass to go along with it then another guitar then Drums and keyboards are the hardest bit,, We usually all agree with how the song should go anyway so theres no trouble.. Sometimes if we're really stuck i'll just start playin sometin on the bass and ray will play over it sometimes good things come of that..

9. What inspires your lyrics? Do you consider the lyrics to be as or more imprortant as the music?
I think our lyrics need a lot more work coz at the moment they seem to be inspired by the fact that songs need words which isnt too great there are some good lyrics like rays ones on the c.d. the lyrics are probably just as important as the music coz at the end of the day people wont walk down the road singin a guitar riff they'll be singin the words so if people are gonna listen you might as well have something clever to say

10. What was the best show you've played? If you could get on any tour,what would it be?
Eh best show ? I enjoyed Fuck witness we played pretty well there but the best was probably this party we played in Bayside there was a P.a. and hundreds of people all crammed into this house and while we were playin the pigs came but fuck them we werent stopping loadsa punx got arrested that night but i fuckin loved it.. If I could get on any tour it would have to be with Citizen Fish or Conflict I imagine bands like them get up to all kinds of antics and are clever too.

11. What do you fight over the most? What was the worst band fight?
Derenzy lies about why he doesnt show up for jamming then if we confront him he gets mad defensive so i guess thats what we fight over most. Eh the worst fight proably me and Ray had some bad arguments in Cork last summer during Fuck Witness.

12. How do you define selling out?
Selling Out i think is when you stop writin your music for yourself and start thinkin "what would they like to hear" . its hard to explain but im sure you get it like did Chumawamba really sell out if they never forgot their anarchist roots ? I don't think they did. But bands writing pop punk songs for kids probably have sold out.

13. What is the nicest and meanest thing said about your band?
eh Rich Lard said we're better than Puget Sound that was pretty nice considering they're a deadly band and i guess some people say some bad things but fuck 'em I dont care what they think.. people will usually apoligise if you treathen them we were once told we were operation ivy with no talent People mainly say mean things coz I provoke them yer man from sirkillalot sed I was something like a wannabe crusty who doesn't have a deeper thought than "cider now" he really is a lovely man

14. Do you think the emergence of punk in the mainstream ,a la Blink 182, has effected punk at a grassroots level?
Well I'll put it this way i've had kids who in the last few years started listening to Green Day,Blink 182 and all that tell me that the music i listen to is'nt Punk its Old school Punk which really pisses me off. These kids write to kerrang sayin' oh why are there no Punk gigs in ireland when every second week we have them. I think the new punk "fashion" will see a lot of fakes come and go through the scene but in the end people see right through them..

15. Do you see MP3 as a help or a hindrance? How important do you see the web as a tool for band promotion?
Mp3 probably a help at least when ray gets round to makin them. Coz lotsa people mightn't have heard you and aren't gonna part with their hard earned cash for a c.d. of an unknown band but at least with mp3's people can get one or two songs for free and if they like you then great if not then it doesn't matter. The web's a deadly tool for band promotion but some bands use it as their only means of promotion like these websites they all knock out with the same bio's news and photos does anyone really visit them? I'd have to say 'zines are a much better form of promotion coz people take them more seriously..

16. Do you think people don't listen to european punk bands simply because they're not American?
I think people listen to American bands coz they are the more popular bands like "I'm involved in the underground music scene but only like the most popular bands" A lot of the pop punk bands come from America and that's what the kids like these days so its cool to Be American. Its even worse to be European and sing with an American accent though..

17. What do you think of the Irish punk scene?
I think the irish punk scene is doin' grand but then again ive not been around too long so i haven't got much to compare it to. I saw a video of stricknein D.C. playin in Tower records a few years ago and the crowd there was much bigger than anything youd get now. A lot more spiky punx and all that. I see lots of people around with lots of good ideas and the number of zines is increasing but the number of spikey punx is decreasing which is a pity coz it's a part of punk the whole "look"

18. What does the future hold for The Begrudgers?
The future holds gigs , recordings , a tour of Ireland with "DogShitsandwich" , new members, fights, activism, and a whole lotta Drinking..