Could you please give a brief history of Dogsflesh?
The band were originally formed by Rob in Middlesbrough in 1981, recorded a three track demo called Never Give In, in 1982 and played a number of gigs at Middlesbrough’s infamous Rock Garden Venue, most memorably when we supported GBH. We played further gigs with bands like UK Subs, The Exploited, Discharge, Anti Nowhere League and Angelic Upstarts and in 1985; we recorded ‘The Bloody Road To Death EP’ at Offbeat Studio’s in Leeds.
We split up soon after that release and took 20 years out, before getting back together in 2005, since then it has been all go, we have recorded two studio albums, played throughout Europe and USA and been signed to a US label and the ball is still rolling, nine years later.
How would you describe your sound?
That is simple, UK82 Punk Rock!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Where does the name come from?
That is a more difficult question and one we always get asked and the truth of the matter is, I generally don’t know, our original drummer, had Dogsflesh painted on his leather jacket and I remember asking who are they and he replied, ‘dunno but a good name innit, so it just stuck’
What made you reform in 2005 and how has the response been?
The response has been really good if I’m honest and we didn’t realise so many people remembered the band from when we started out all those years before, which was good for us because it made it easier to get gigs, however we did initially have to do a lot of unpaid gigs to get the name about again, as the audience had changed massively since the 80’s, but it was worth it in the long run.
The reason we got back together was that three of us went to see Broken Bones at the Cockpit in Leeds and some of the bands that played that day were awful, and we said that ‘we were better than that in our day’ and just as a throw away comment I said ‘lets do it and the rest is history’.
I seem to remember reading you did a tour with The Exploited, how did that come about and do you have any decent antidotes from the time?
Yeah that was in about 83//84 time I think?
We had played at The Bierkellar in Leeds with them and got on with them straight away, I think they were blown away by the studded jackets and the big hair, more than the music though haha and we were asked to play the remaining dates of the tour with them, which was fun and were still friends with them to this day.
Regarding antidotes, those years are a big blur and it is only when people say ‘do you remember, this, that or whatever that it jogs my memory, I can’t even remember some of the places that we played, but needless to say we had an awful lot of fun.
You’ve played all over Europe, how do the scenes compare and where is punk strongest would you say?
Yeah we love playing in Europe the scene over there is still really vibrant and you generally pull in good crowds who just want to get pissed, jump around and have a good time, compared to England where unless you are a big name band people just don’t bother turning up, let alone jump around, so we would far rather play Europe than the UK.
In my opinion Punk is far stronger in Europe than the UK especially in places like Czech Republic, Germany and Italy.
How healthy strong do you think the scene is both on a European and national level?
On a European level, it is still quite strong, the crowds you play to in Europe are generally a lot younger than in England which is excellent for the future of Punk Music but in the UK I think it is a very apathetic scene people just can’t be bothered with bands as much as in Europe, we have played alongside some bigger named bands and they have pulled in 20-50 people, so what chance do smaller named bands have.
What would you say is the weirdest gig you’ve played is?
Another easy question to answer, we were touring the West Coast of America in 2009 and we were booked to play a venue in Phoenix, when we got to the venue, we looked around and it was a small industrial estate with loads of lock ups, after driving around for what seemed like an eternity we saw this punk and said we were looking for a venue called The Chambers and he said ‘that’s it in front on you’.
When we banged on the door, the roller shutter opened up and it was basically a garage lock up that had been made into a music venue, very bizarre and very strange location, we also played 2 shows in Salt Lake City and the matinee show that we played was in the cellar of a bookstore lol.
Why do you think early 80’s UK punk has got so little recognition compared to that of late 70’s punk?
Because the shock factor had all been done before in the 70’s, swearing, spitting, strange clothes, coloured hair etc there was nothing really new in the 80’s, other than faster more aggressive music and a change in clothing and more extreme hairstyles, so there wasn’t anything new for the media to report on really that hadn’t already been written before.
How do you think Vision of Hell and Revival of Species compare to each other?
They are two very different albums, Vision Of Hell was a good album for the time, but Revival in terms of song writing, music and production was far superior, which is how it should be, you should always be pushing yourself to make better music than your previous album.
Talking of albums, I hear you’ve got a new one in the pipeline, can you tell us a little about that?
Yeah were currently writing the new album that will hopefully be released in autumn this year and it is sounding excellent, we really want to concentrate on putting out a complete package with the new album and that will include the studio we use, producer and artwork etc
As I said before you need to push yourself harder to make a better album than your previous releases and with this, I think that we have certainly done that up to now with the 7 tracks that have been written. Music and lyrically wise they are totally different from the previous two albums and I think that people will be more than surprised at what they hear when the album is released.
What gigs do you have lined up?
With writing the new album we are not going to be doing as many gigs as in 2013, but up to now we have confirmed dates in London and Gateshead in March, Stockton & Newcastle in April, Edinburgh in May and we are finalising some dates with Total Chaos for August, but awaiting confirmation on those dates.
Any final comments?
Just a massive thank you to everyone that has supported us since we got back together again, promoters, venues, record labels, support bands, and most importantly the punks that pay their hard earned cash to see us, its really appreciated.