Officer Kicks (22/10/09) - Interview Transcript
The London based rock band Officer Kicks were in Manchester on 22nd October at the Manchester Academy 2, supporting Hollywood star Juliette Lewis on her UK tour. Shauna Botrel and Natalie Kerr of the Fuse F.M music team went to meet up with Jamie Scallion and Jamie Fisher, front man and lead guitarist from the band before the gig.
Shauna: So to start us off, how and when did you meet?
Jamie S: We met at school, we were about 16.
Shauna: And how old are you now?
Jamie S: It was ten years ago… you work it out, I can’t say the age ‘cause it’s four years away from being 30! It scares me!
Shauna: We feel old ‘cause we’re 19!
Natalie: And I’m a week away from 20!
Jamie S: Well I feel really old now then! You’ve made me feel awful! Yeah, so we met at school and have been playing music together ever since.
Natalie: Where did the name “Officer Kicks” come from?
Jamie S: Officer Kicks came from an old sea shanty song that old English seamen used to chant. It was, like a song, and it would go… (sings) “Officer Kicks, Officer Kicks,” and I don’t actually know how the song went… but we just liked the idea of it being a sea chant. So yeah, that’s pretty much where the name came from.
Shauna: What music did you grow up listening to?
Jamie S: I grew up listening to a lot of old stuff, so old 70s music, stuff like The Doors, Led Zeppelin, Rolling Stones.. I was influenced quite heavily by that sort of stuff.
Natalie: If you weren’t in the band, what do you think you would be doing?
Jamie S: If I was not in the band I would be absolutely lost. I would be bereft. I would have nothing to do.
(Jamie Fisher, the guitarist of Officer Kicks arrives, roll-up in mouth, bottle of Stella Artois in one hand, a lighter in the other.)
Jamie S: Jamie, can I ask you the question? What would you be doing if you weren’t in the band?
Jamie F: Farmer. Or… a dolphin trainer! Or an astronaut.
Natalie: Quite a range there… so what is the best gig you’ve ever played, and why?
Jamie S: The best gig we’ve ever played, hmm… well we’ve just come back from
Jamie F: [Danny O’Donoghue] really is as good looking as you think!
Shauna: I actually saw you supporting them.
Jamie S: Did you?
Shauna: Yeah, London Shepherds Bush Empire, the last night of the five night stand.
Jamie S: Oh, wow, great, great, great! So one of those shows would be my favourite. Probably the show you were at!
Shauna: Obviously! If you could perform with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be?
Jamie S: For me it would be Elvis Presley.
Jamie F: Jim Morrison of The Doors.
Natalie: Who is your favourite act that you have toured with?
Jamie F: You know what, it is The Script! They’re the most generous, genuine, nice, down to earth people you will ever meet.
Shauna: Well, this leads me to my next question… After you had supported The Script, Mark Sheehan (guitarist of The Script) said that you were his favourite ever support act, and, I quote, “They are the real deal, plus they are the only other act that can drink with us and keep up!” So, how much can you actually drink without being on the floor?
Jamie F: (Hiding the bottle of Stella behind his back) we don’t drink! And whose floor?
Natalie: Any floor!
Jamie F: That’s a really difficult question, I reckon I could probably get a few [Stellas]... maybe… probably a lot of these!
Natalie: Is that your usual drink?
Jamie F: No, no, no… I’ll drink anything that’s put in front of me to be fair.
Shauna: What is your favourite alcoholic beverage?
Jamie F: Brandy.. no, no, not brandy, rum and ginger.
Jamie S: I like Jack Daniels.
Jamie F: Too much!
Jamie S: We get into a lot of problems. We were in Austria a couple of weeks back doing some gigs, and Jamie [F] had to forcibly remove a bottle of Jack Daniels from my hand, I don’t even remember!
Jamie F: I think at AA meetings they call it an intervention! It was an intervention, I intervened! A magical moment between two grown men.
Natalie: Have you had any embarrassing experiences due to alcohol?
Jamie F: Jamie [S] got carried off by another band’s drummer when we were in Portugal, that was all due to the Jack Daniels as well wasn’t it, Jamie!
Jamie S: Yeah, but, but, but… I was drinking…
Jamie F: And I got my c@!* out as well that night in front of the hotel!
Jamie S: Oh yeah, that’s two embarrassing things that night. I drank Jack Daniels out of another band member’s shoe, and the guy had to carry me back to my hotel. Then I drove a motorcycle into the sea, ‘cause I was so drunk. So overall that’s very embarrassing.
Shauna: Can I ask, why another band member’s shoe? Could you not have just swigged it from the bottle?
Jamie F: It felt right at the time, didn’t it Jamie.
Jamie S: I don’t know, I was absolutely paralytic.
Jamie F: I think it felt right at the time. When your mind is going through that kind of emotion…
Natalie: Have you any advice for up and coming bands?
Jamie F: Rehearsals… lots of rehearsals, and lots of faith!
(Jamie S leaves at this point, to prepare to go on stage. We go outside with Jamie F to finish the interview whilst he has a cigarette)
Natalie: Is there anything weird a fan has ever said to you, or given to you?
Jamie F: We love our fans! We have actually got really good fans!
Natalie: Yeah, we saw your MySpace, Facebook etc.
Jamie F: Well, one guy has got some tattoos… he has an “Officer Kicks” tattoo down there (points to his forearm) and is getting the lyrics from one of our tracks done down there (points to the side of his torso).
Shauna: That is dedication!
Jamie F: It’s heart-warming, man! Yeah, yeah, it’s lovely, but it’s kind of like… shit!
Natalie: In the video for “Pictures of Me,” there is a Rubik’s cube, but can any of you actually complete one?
Jamie F: No. I think our drummer has come the closest, he is the most clever! To be honest, I haven’t even tried. I know I’d be useless, ‘cause it’s a square thing with sides and colours, I’d be lost! It’s very easy when it’s a fret board!
Natalie: Your new single, “The Kraken” was out this week, so why do you think our Fuse F.M audience should download it?
Jamie F: ‘Cause it’s a really good little tune, it’s an honest rock and roll song, and it’ a good representation of Officer Kicks, radios have picked up on it, and hopefully people will buy it!
Natalie: Finally, have you got any plans for your own headline tours?
Jamie F: Yeah, that’s going to be happening in March next year when we release the record. Just getting the dates together now, but I don’t know where or when ‘cause I’m just the guitarist, what do I know!
Natalie: I’m sure you’re very important!
Jamie F: Well in my own head I’m extremely important!
Shauna: They couldn’t function without you!
Jamie F: Well yeah, they’d be pretty crap without me to be fair.
Jamie had to rush, as the rest of the band was waiting for him on stage. We managed to watch their energetic performance and were thoroughly impressed. Officer Kicks are definitely tipped for the top, and we would recommend giving their music a listen!