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Article: Wilt Interview.
Writer: Brinepacer
Date Posted: 28/02/00

My first person to person interview. After their show in Horan's Tralee, i got to interview Darragh Butler, drummer with Wilt. Goddam, this took a long time to type out... I think i should also point out that this stage that it was three in the morning and we had both been drinking for a long time, and were both drunk as the proverbial woodland animal...

How'd you pick out the name Wilt?
It came from.. well, a few different variations - it came from a Wiltshire pig, cos (Cormac) Battle's brother is a meat guy in Kilkenny, well, he's now an ambulance driver, but he used to cart around carcasses of Wiltshire pigs and they used to call them Wilts. We were looking for a monosyllabic name and we said "Ah fuck it, that'll do".

Where'd you meet Mick?
I'll tell you what, I met Mick when I was about nine. Myself, Battle and Mick grew up in the same estate and we used to race BMXs in the Isle of man for years and years. I was in a band with Mick, ever before Kerbdog or Rollercoaster or any of that shit, I was in a band with Mick for years.

What was the name of that?
Am there was... Ah I can't say, its fuckin embarrasin!

Ah go on.....
Ok, there was a few, one name was Submission.

Like a Sex Pistols vibe?
Well, it was a bit of a New Order vibe! So I was in a band with him for years, I joined fuckin Battles band, and that sucked big time, that was called Rollercoaster, and then we got Kerbdog together and that fucked up so then.... We were at home a while ago and we were at, y'know Billy Dalton that used to be in kerbdog? We were at his mothers funeral and we met Mick and we said "Hey Mick do you wanna fuckin play in the band or what?".

What happened with Billy, I heard he was getting panic attacks and stuff before gigs....
He just wasn't into it. Y'know like if your going to school with a bunch of blokes and you start up a band when your about 15 in a fuckin shed....

Yeah but Kerbdog got pretty big before he left, you were doing albums, touring Europe, playing support for Therapy... Wasn't he into that?
I love Billy, he's a lovely bloke, but he'll be the first to tell you that he'd just come on stage and his mind would just leave his head, and he'd just fuckin bash out the first thing that came to him.

Like really bad stage fright?
Yeah, and he was just not really into it, y'know....

It was just before 'On The Turn' I heard that you kinda said to him, 'well, it's not really working out'...
Not at all, he would've been the guy to have said it to us. It was after we were in LA and we were recording and the studio was about two grand a day, and it wasn't working out....

Who was the guy you had playing extra guitars on 'On The Turn'? Was he doing the odd song or was he filling in?
It was a guy from a band called 'The Tribe Of Gypsies', a fuckin amazing guitarist... This time we've got a guy called Joe Barressi on our next album who's gonna play alot of guitars..

Thats being recorded after this tour isn't it?
Yeah we're going out to LA to this guy called Joe Barressi, he mixed one of the Kerbdog albums, he's the most fuckin genious guitar player, ever, and he's gonna produce it and play some guitar on it, and he's gonna mix it and just, kinda hang around...

What was it like working with him and GGarth on 'On The Turn'?
It was fuckin amazin, this guy Joe learned everything he's learned with GGarth, cos the two of them trained from the same guy, so...

GGarth worked on a Rage Against The Machine album too....
Yeah, he done one of the Kerbdog albums, and Joe mixed it... but GGarths fuckin amazin like, he's done Jesus Lizard, Rage Against The Machine, fuckin everyone y'know. Its weird, it's a completly different world over there y'know.

How so?
Just like that you think of a rock band and you think of Radiohead, you think of four or five different bands that, whoevers happening like Suede, or blah b fuckin blah blah, and you go to the states and you come up against these serious fuckin rock bands so its completely different...

How do you mean you come up against them?
You just go over there and the standard of playing and the intensity is so much more amazing.

But Kerbdog gigs were always well good...
They were but... We had good ideas but we couldn't fuckin play! I mean, we're getting there now, we're getting really tight now, but at the time we were putting out these records and they were sposed to stand up against, like, the new Chili Peppers records, and it was never gonna do that...

And was there pressure there from Polygram?
No, no... Well... To a respect, I mean the ethos then was like, "Make an album and if you don't break it you're fired"! Now its like, make an album and make another one and build it up...

Did that make a difference with you in deciding who to sign with this time? Were you against going with a major?
Yeah, fuckin totaly. We made a demo, it was 'No Worries', 'Open Arms' and 'All Over Now' I think, just a three track demo, and we sent it off, and like... The first demos we sent off with Kerbdog we got fuckin 15 calls from major labels, and they were all into it, and we fuckin totally went for it, cos you would do when you're 17 or whatever, you think, 'Fuck it, we're gonna go to college and I'll do that for a year and I'll get the dole and I'll do this shit', and we done this again. I remember Battle called out to me in Dublin, and we just sent out all the Wilt stuff and we got the same amount of fuckin calls from major labels, like everyone, like fuckin BMG and... Whatever major you can think of fuckin rang us, like 15 of 'em rang and we thought, 'Do we really wanna do this', and we thought maybe not.

I head that you had problems though with Mushroom going for the album after the first 'No Worries' single?
Not at all. Before that was released, they were into the album, about three months before it was released, so thats bolocks wherever you heard that, no offence to yourself, but someone told you a lie. We signed a deal with them for fifty quid for a single, and they said 'You can do the single, and you can shop it to a label', and we thought fair enough, you pay for the recording, give us fifty quid and we've got something substansial, and something that sounds tight and we can shop it to a label, and as soon as we done it they thought 'fuckin hell, do two albums', and we thought fine, cos we weren't into fuckin doing this shit with another major label.

Well, if you've been burned once...
Teah, totally, and we've all got our own lives, I've got a fuckin life in dublin, I've got my own shit, I mean I love this, I love playing music, but I'm doing well, for some reason or other I've got a shitload of money, and it just came about, and Battles got alot of fuckin stuff going on, he's got a DJ job, he's got a load of stuff, and Micks' got a shit load of money...

Battle's just finished college isn't he?
Well, he deferred a year. But we're just happy to fuckin do albums on the cheap. Like the first Wilt album cost three grand an it recouped that in the first week, and thats the way to do it.

Did it sell alot?
Totally, yeah.

Where'd you get the name Bastinado for it?
Its from some Spanish thing for torture! Caning of the feet!

So I've seen you on alot of TV and stuff lately, do you think its gained alot of exposure for the band?
In Ireland yeah, but we got thrown off (Irish kids TV show) The Den the other day! Last Tuesday we got thrown off the Den! We went in and Socky the puppet was there, 'I'll do an impression of a wilt', and he was doing all this shit (arches back, lowers head, extends arms, bent at the elbows), before we went on, and he was there, 'Here comes wilt, they're gonna play ten nights in the point' and then he goes 'They're not'! Cos like he deals with Westlife and Boyzone. So we went on and thought it was a bit fuckin sour, it was a bit stupid slaggin a rock band, cos theres so few Irish bands that are actually playing music. There are a few and they're good.

Yeah, the whole boy band thing has kinda taken over the last few years..
Yeah, but he was comparing us with the volume of sales these guys (Westlife and Boyzone) do, and it just doesn't wash. So we went on and this guy was kinda half taking the piss and half serious. So we went on the show and we were talking to the presenter, who's a nice guy, and out of the blue, Battle turned his guitar around and wore it off the puppet.

Into some guys hand!
Yeah, this guy with his hand up Socky's arse! So Socky has two big fuckin eyes that are wooden, and this guitar had a wooden back, so the connection was just fuckin magnificent, it was really really loud, and he just flattened this fuckin puppet who was taking the piss out of us, and we just got fucked off straight away and that was it.

And did the producers go mad over it?
Yeah, totally cos all these fuckin loser D4 mums were ringin in about their kids. Y'know these Dublin 4 mums who bring their kids to school in a fuckin jeep, and they've got the kid in the seventh seat in the back corner - they were all fuckin ringing in sayin, 'Ah, such and such is crying cos socky got attacked', and we were there going, 'Ah fuckin tell someone who gives a shit'!

So do you reckon the new U2 album, cos it's all song based, it'll change the charts back around again?
Well, I dunno, that fuckin album, y'know...

But in fairness the singles they've had off it have been very band oriented, as compared to what they've done recently...
When I heard that song 'Beautiful Day' I thought, 'Fuckin hell, this is absolutely amazin, and it kinda reminded me of 'I will follow', which would've been one of the first U2 songs I heard, and I thought it was fuckin class. But ever since then, I just think the album is just fuckin meandering, y'know.

Well, its all fillers...
Yeah, I thought that song 'Beautiful Day' was like... and I rang up Battle and I says, 'You have to hear this fuckin U2 song, its fuckin class, like with the Edge kinda high twiddley bits he does on the guitar', and he was there, 'Ah, I don't really get it, its probably OK', and I was there, 'This is fuckin brilliant like', and ever since that song, it (the album) didn't really do much for me. But we done a gig at Christmas and I was walking home, fuckin pissed, walkin up through the snow along dublin, and this chick came up to me, and she said, 'Jesus, did you hear that U2 album, it changed my life, I was suicidal, it was all this thing about, "you've got to get yourself together"', and she said, ' and I did, and I made something better of my life'. So in that respect you've got to say, 'God bless', y'know. Cos this chick was Dutch, and she was over here, she know no one, and she was suicidal, and she was just about to kill herself, and this album made a difference to her. I mean, musically, it didn't make a huge difference to me, but...

Yeah, but I was thinking that all the albums that have been selling the last couple of years has been your Ricky Martins and your Britney Spears, and U2 have come back and started playing music that real people in bands can play themselves, people sixteen or seventeen...
I think its time for U2 to retire though, it really is. I think that's their best stab at being a band, and like you say yourself, it is an album of fillers, and I think they're one of the fuckin most amazing bands on the whole planet, and if Bono died that'd be ideal, like if he were to kill himself. I mean, I think he's a fuckin god, but they need some sort of a spectacular ending, to be like... Cos they're fuckin... The Beatles suck like, and the Stones suck...

Ah c'mon, The Beatles were class!
Ah, they were fuckin bollocks!

You really wouldn't be into The Beatles?
The Beatles were the biggest load of fuckin shite... I mean, can you imagine if the fuckin Beach Boys had've got the proper place, and The Beatles had never existed, can you imagine how fuckin happy you'd be now.

Well, it would be very different in fairness, but...
Can you imagine how little you'd have to listen to Cast or Oasis, all those horrible shit bands. The Beatles sucked, they were the worst band that ever fuckin graced the fuckin planet, and thats true.

But thats the thing, the Beatles were a huge English thing, but the Beach Boys were just as big at the time in America, and The Beatles never hit as bad in America.
The English like blowing their own trumpets no matter what happens.

Yeah, like the whole Oasis thing.
Yeah, they got out the trumpets. Any fucker that comes out with a union jack on their guitar, or a union jack, they get out the fuckin trumpets and they go for it hell for fuckin leather, and the majority of the time it's bollocks. And I'll tell you what, if the Beach Boys had half the opportunities the Beatles had, the world'd be a lot fuckin happier.

Yeah, but you have to admit that Oasis in the last five years, be it as it may that they were completely up their own arse, they opened alot of doors for bands just playing music..
Well, it was good to see a guitar band back y'know. Every now and again, the states just comes over and just runs everything out, and like, Nirvana came over, and Rage Against The Machine came over, and I think Eminem is comin along now, and just turning kids against boy bands, I think thats just fuckin class.

Yeah, like I seen the Offspring a couple of times and they smash up boy band dolls on stage, and proper order.
Yeah, it's deadly, cos kids have got more of a brain.

Well, it gets patronising, cos like you had duran duran in the eighties, and now...
Well the first charts I ever heard, that I can remember were bands like The Police and The Specials, and they were bads like, and you get this bollocks like.. Like what would you look back on now as a kid? Like in a few years?

Well you always remember the pop music you listened to, but the bands that you grow up and you listen back, like for me the best of the eighties that I'd remember would be like The Specials, The Police, Madness, Sex Pistols. If you were looking back on bands you listened to when you were young, what would you listen to?
When I was younger? Those very three for a start..

Being The Specials, The Police and Madness, is it?
Yeah, big time.

What do you think of the whole thing of old bands reforming, like say Madness came back, The Sex Pistols came back...
Ah its sad. Its shit. They should just fuckin stop and just like do something different.

But don't you think... (Mick calls for Darragh)
I better go, throw in another quick question and I'll give you a really quick answer....

Um, ah... How much balls have you got?
Just the one! How bout yourself?

Three! Want to say anything last?
Anything last? Its been fuckin class being in tralee, I used to live in Castle Island til I was about six...

Oh, whats the name of the new album?
We haven't decided. We've got about seven songs and they're called one to seven, but they're gonna be good. Its good to sit down and write like an actual album this time. Just like I was saying to you about this fuckin Mushroom thing, we just done a bunch of demos and released it.

Is the new album gonna be any different, would you see it as a natural progression?
Ah yeah, it's totally heavier.

In what kinda direction?
Just heavier in a darker sense, and a more agressive sense.

Cool, i'll let you go away. Thanks.
No worries.