Few people can say they have had such an influence with separate sounding but equally influential bands. When you look back at your work with Napalm Death and then Cathedral, how do you consider your contribution to the 'extreme' music scene?
That’s quite a hard question to answer honestly. Obviously Napalm broke down many barriers of what was considered acceptable in musical terms. Of course when I first joined the band, I had no idea of what kind of impact we would have on the scene. At that time the music we were playing was just, dare I say ‘normal’ music to us. We just wanted to push it as far as we could.
I can’t really say to what extent our influence was, of course we inspired a million or more copycat bands, but is that a good thing or not? I’m not really sure. A lot of people just picked up on the style – growling vocals and ultra fast beats.
Unfortunately, a hell of a lot of people missed out on the whole ideology and thinking behind the band.
I think music in other areas was getting harder at that time as well i.e. techno, Japanese noise, industrial etc I think we were a strong part of that whole extreme evolution in music, but as to how big a part we actually played, I don’t really know.
Cathedral is different, of course. Obviously our really early stuff could be considered extreme, but the term extreme confuses me these days. When something becomes a norm, it ceases to be extreme in my eyes. I’ve just always liked music for whatever reason. Sure, I pretty much despise the mainstream, well, not even that, I just find it tediously boring & soulless.
But having said all that, I don’t decide whether I like something by asking myself is it extreme or not?

How did you hook up with Napalm Death originally, and what bands had you been playing in prior to that?
I was just pretty much friends with the band; I was a punk promoter in Coventry who put them on a few times & also did a fanzine which they were in. We used to go to the same gigs, were into the same music & and I used to go to nearly all of their shows which, looking back, were fucking awesome days!
I had not played in any bands prior to joining Napalm. I got asked to join Icons of Filth on bass, so I went & bought a bass, and then they bloody broke up!
When Nick Bullen left ND, Mick just called me up & asked if I wanted to join. Of course I said yes, despite having zero experience of actually being in a band! The rest, they say, is history.
Can you remember the very first time you picked up the mic and sang with Napalm Death, with the harsh vocals? Can you remember any thoughts of why you sang like that or was it just a completely natural expression for you? Where you even conscious of the style you were developing?
Well, my obvious influences were Cal from Discharge & Pete from Antisect etc. Then I was completely blown away by Dean from ENT & Sakevi from Gism at the time, so I kind of copied their style & tried to make it deeper, more extreme & manic. I can’t remember exactly the first time I picked up the microphone, but I think we had one rehearsal before my debut gig with Antisect & Heresy at The Hand & Heart Coventry, which I also promoted. That was before Bill Steer joined & we had Frank Healey from Sacrilege standing in on guitar. To be totally honest, a lot of the time it was a guessing game, as I hadn’t properly rehearsed & had zero experience!
In fact, when we did the b-side of 'Scum', for most of the songs, Mick had to cue me when to come in as I was totally unprepared.
Cal from Discharge

Did the political/social lyrics also come naturally to you? Did you feel they were integral to what Napalm Death was all about, and did you see any comparisons with the Thrash scene, which was also discussing 'social' topics and themes?
Hmm, that was always kind of a sticking point. I came from an anarchist punk background, as did the previous members. The stuff I wrote about was seriously how I felt about my surroundings etc.
Sakevi from Gism This was a vital part of what the band was about. Without trying to insult the band or myself but to the average person ND’s music must have sounded pretty moronic. So it was always very important to have an intelligent message behind it all. It was never about compromise, in that respect, or any other to be honest.
Of course, the band continues to have intelligent lyrics to this day; Barney does a great job & stands up for what he believes. His beliefs are slightly different to mine though; he’s more socialist, whereas I was always more anarcho.
With regards to the thrash scene, I don’t think we had much affinity with it at all by the time we started putting records out. It sounds funny to say it, but by the time thrash had become really popular, we just thought it was too soft & lightweight, ha ha. We were way more into the extreme underground & tape-trading scene.

Napalm Death always seemed to have a respect that many other bands did not - do you attribute that to the 'down to earth' nature of the members of the band, or simply that your message and the way it was delivered was 100% genuine and natural? Back in the early days of the band, I'm assuming there was no grand plan which made it easier to just be yourselves?
We were just a bunch of punks & metallers who were bored with the usual daily life, and loved the underground scene. It really was great in those days, because however small it may of been, it really felt like it was something new, exciting & relevant.
We were always about being down to earth & no more important than the audience. This totally confused people at times, especially when people used to ask for autographs & we would refuse. They thought we were being rock stars, when in actual fact we were being the complete opposite. We thought that by signing autographs we would be acting like rock stars!! We tried to explain that we didn’t consider ourselves to be more important than the people asking us to sign.
I also remember one time being extremely frustrated that the band had agreed to play a show in London with The Stupids without my consent. I was angry, because we never normally played for more than £2.50, and this admission for this show was like £5.00 or something. Anyway, I finally agreed to do it, but spent the whole night before the show, typing up an explanation letter for our reasons for doing the show and our apologies for the entry fee.
Then I got them printed up & spent the whole night pretty much giving them out to the audience!
It’s fair to say that we were very naïve and I pretty much organised everything by myself, without management etc, which often meant we were getting seriously underpaid for shows that were actually selling out! But that was all part of it, and we’re all a lot more experienced these days.
As I said earlier, it was never about compromise.

As you progressed at first with Napalm and later with Cathedral, how hard was it to keep your feet on the ground, as you became more and more a part of the music business? Going from nothing to seeing your face in magazines and on TV must have felt amazing, yet at the same time did you wrestle with your conscience in terms of retaining your punk cred in the face of increasing popularity?
It was very strange, almost surreal at that time. It was also very annoying and I can quite honestly say that I really didn’t like that side of it. I was still very much attached to all my punk ethics and when I was confronted by punks spitting on me and throwing bottles of piss at us because we had the audacity to release 'Scum' & 'From Enslavement...' on one CD (it was actually cheaper than buying the vinyl separately) which to them meant that we had ‘sold out’, it used to really get me down. Now, of course I realise they were just very sad people.
I actually used to get really embarrassed when were on TV etc. In fact, I remember the first time we were on telly, I think it was Snub TV, my mother was in the kitchen and I was too embarrassed to tell her that we were on and she came in half way through it and said, “Is that you?” I nearly died! Silly, but that’s how I was.
I really got to see a lot of people for who they really were as well and it was often disappointing. I just remember the people who I’d seen around Coventry for years who wouldn’t give me the time of day. All of a sudden you’re on TV or in the NME and everybody wants to be your friend. It was a good learning experience though, it taught me a lot about people & myself.

It might have been annoying to say the least to have people accuse Napalm Death of 'selling out' even when the band was still producing blatantly extreme and challenging music - how did you balance that in your own mind (did you even care?) and what bearing did it have on your decision to quit Napalm?
As I’ve just pretty much said, I really loved being in the band & touring etc, but I was kind of tortured by the commercial success. My principles got the better of me, and I just thought there were too many standards too keep. That’s what happens when you are outspoken lyrically, you can almost become imprisoned by your beliefs, which can prevent you from fully developing as a person. You become too afraid to contradict yourself, but let’s face it, life is full of contradictions & nobody is perfect, I certainly don’t aspire to be.
When Mick & Shane started talking about getting management I didn’t like the idea, I thought the guy was a wide boy, and by involving ourselves with him we would just end like all the other bands.
There are other reasons why I quit, I got stitched up on our trip to Japan, which I went through shit to organise, and then there was the usual personal battle of ego’s problem within the band. Also, the other guys wanted the band to go in more of a straight-ahead death metal style. I just wasn’t having fun anymore.
When I started Cathedral there was no rules lyrically, I refused to allow myself to be tied up in straightjacket politics.

What was the first doom band you heard apart from Black Sabbath? - The scene was quite derided in the early days until St Vitus made it somehow cool. We have to remember that even The Obsessed looked like a glam band back then...
Yeah right! Well, I guess it was actually Trouble. I used to like heavy stuff like Black Flag & Gore, Swans etc. I was a big fan of Sacrilege from Birmingham and they were big Sabbath fans. They told me about this totally amazing heavy band from the States called Trouble. So my mate Jimmy, who went on to be ND bassist/lyricist for the b-side of 'Scum' did me a tape of the first album. He said I might find it a bit weird ‘cos of the Christian lyrics and at first it did weird me out a bit.
Then, after a while it became my favourite album. I thought the lyrics to 'Bastards Will Pay' etc were very positive and it certainly made a change from Slayer & Venom who I was into at the time. Don’t worry though; it didn’t quite convert me to the ways of the Lord!
I remember hearing Vitus years before I actually got into them. I thought they were some weird bunch of old bikers playing strange, old sounding rock which I couldn’t quite get to grips with. In fact, I remember the day I bought 'The Skull' by Trouble, 'Walking Dead' by Vitus had come in the same day.
I asked the guy in the store to play it and I remember thinking “Nah, this is toooo slow!” So I bought 'The Skull' & 'Rrooaaar' by Voivod instead, ha ha!

Can you remember the reaction of your fellow grind/punk friends to your interest in doom?
Most of them were into Sabbath, Trouble, Melvins, and Candlemass anyway. It was no surprise that that I had an interest in it, as I had been into it for quite some time anyway. I guess it surprised a few people when I actually formed a band in that vein. But to be totally honest, it was almost just like a project band when we first started – I certainly didn’t envisage still being in Cathedral after all these years.
We seriously thought would just do a demo, mainly for ourselves, because nobody would like it and that would be it!

Did you have Cathedral in your mind even before leaving Napalm Death? At what stage did you feel that your time in Napalm had come to an end? Was it a case of 'it stopped being fun' or did you perhaps feel that the band had run its course at that stage?
Actually, whilst I was still Napalm, I had talked with Mike Amott & Shane about forming a band in the vein of Sabbath & Pentagram. Unfortunately nothing ever came of it in the end. I certainly had no big plans to be in another serious band, as I had become totally disillusioned by all the bullshit I had witnessed within the industry. I think I explained the latter half of your question earlier on.

Can you remember your thoughts on the actual day you officially quit Napalm Death. How sure of your own musical future where you and at any point did you consider doing something outside of music?
I had thought about it for quite some time before I actually decided. I made my mind up in Japan, wanted to leave on a high, as that was one place I had always wanted to visit. Certain things were being done behind my back & without my consent, which pissed me off no end. I didn’t tell the other guys until after we got back to the UK.
I remember the last show in Tokyo, I was having a little laugh to myself quoting Johnny Rotten from the infamous last show at Winterland - “The exit signs are clearly marked!” & “Ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated?” Unfortunately no one got it!
I got so drunk on the plane going home; I was awakened by a Japanese Air Hostess who was shaking me whilst I was asleep with my head in the toilet, my hair and face covered in puke!! We had to change flights in Alaska and I remember walking around the airport staring at these huge stuffed bears in glass cases scaring the shit out of me! I didn’t know where I was, or indeed ‘who’ I was. The next half of the journey back to the UK was quite possibly the most painful 12 hours of my life so far!
As far as thinking about a musical future went, I was more relieved than anything to be out of the spotlight. My main plan was to work hard on my record label, Rise Above.

Once in Cathedral, did you try to emulate the tortured vocal style of the likes of Bobby Liebling and Ozzy, or again was it simply a natural way of expressing the feeling you had for the music and lyrics you were creating?
Bobby Liebling
It’s just the style I came up with. I obviously had to try a different style to that of Napalm, because the music was coming from a different area. I had no idea how to ‘sing’ sing, so I guess at first I kind of tried growling in a more melodic way, then the style just developed itself.
Of course Ozzy & Bobby are a huge inspiration for me, but they’re from a different era and I guess I was probably too shy to try & emulate their genius. So, essentially I just do what I do.
I realise my voice can be, shall we say unconventional at times, but that’s actually the way I like it to be. I’ve never had any kind of training or anything, it’s just what comes out and I like to try and keep it individual.
I guess mixing my punk kind of vocal style with Gaz’s classic heavy metal riffs is the unusual combination, which makes the Cathedral sound.

Cathedral have arguably done more to further the doom cause than most yet have remained the most chameleon like of acts - from dirge to disco doom some might say......how difficult do you find it to stay to true to your roots and influences without repressing the desire to expand. All bands of note toy with this problem probably.......
I’m not a purist in any way and am a fan of all sorts of music styles. Some bands prefer to play it safe and go through the motions. That, I consider to be utterly boring. Gaz & I have often thrived on being spontaneous – sometimes it has worked better than others.
The whole thing for us has been not to be afraid of doing what you’re instincts tell you. I find people in Metal can be sometimes be quite restricting in what they allow themselves to like – that’s not at all a criticism, it’s just not how we are. We can’t pretend to be something we’re not.
I mean we’ve hardly tried to be different for commercial reasons. When we were on Columbia/Sony in the States, we delivered them a 25-minute off the wall prog odyssey, which ends with a toilet flushing. I don’t think they saw the funny side!
When we’ve done stuff for EP’s like 'The Devil’s Summit' etc, we were just curious to hear how we would sound playing in that style; it’s as simple as that really. We honestly do not set out to disillusion our listeners; we simply wanted to make it more interesting for them.
Having said all of that, we obviously have boundaries. I mean it’s not like we’re going to do a 'Cold Lake' or something.

In any way do you regret the quirkier aspects of Cathedral's recorded output? Explain where your head was at when recording, for example, the 'Statik Majik' EP. Or even on something like 'Hopkins', it might have seemed to some that your were in danger of becoming a kind of novelty act. Did you see that as strength or a weakness as the band went on, or did you in fact enjoy confounding people's expectations of what Cathedral should be?
I think that’s pretty much explained in my last answer. I don’t regret any of it at all, it was what we felt like doing at the time and we had the balls to do it, so more than not I’m actually proud of some of our ‘quirkier’ moments.
On 'Statik Majik' we were almost reacting to the big budget commercial production of 'The Ethereal Mirror' album, which we had just recorded prior to it. We felt we were in danger of losing touch with our underground sensibilities, so in a way wanted to do the most non-commercial recording we possibly could. It wasn’t necessarily that calculated, but on reflection I guess it was us having our little bit of rebellion against the big corporate machine.

Sonja Kristina from Curved Air What about prog influences on Cathedral - with epic songs, fantastical lyrics, the painting of pictures via words, the imagination let free reign - do you see any comparisons between the Prog scene and the doom scene? Both have been viewed as equally unfashionable I think...
It’s a strange one for me with prog, because I’m really not a fan of Genesis, Yes, ELP etc. In fact, I grew up pretty much despising that boring old fart music that all the intellectual science freak kids at school used to get off on.
I do, however, totally dig a lot of the more obscure jazzy prog bands from the underground of that time. I especially have a soft spot for tripped out female singers of the 70’s such as Sonja Kristina from Curved Air, Linda Hoyle from Affinity & Jo Meek from Catapilla etc. There’s a strong sense of freedom in that kind of music, really free from restriction, so in that respect we are very much inspired by the music of that era.

Do you see the fantasy lyrics as applicable metaphors for everyday life situations or are you in fact advocating escapism? In any respects could you see Cathedral as a political band lyrically, albeit in clouded terms? In what sense would you say the message you delivered when in Napalm Death differs in Cathedral?
I don’t really know it’s not like I read 'Dungeons & Dragons' or any of that kind of stuff, which is a popular misconception. It’s just everything that I see and consume mixed up and thrown back.
I like to make the lyrics interesting without being obvious in Cathedral. Like I said, this isn’t a political soapbox.
However, there still are certain things that bother me about society, which I feel I have to touch upon in one way or another. I can’t just sing about something I really don’t give a shit about. Deep down, I still do have a lot of the same principles I grew up with; I just don’t want to shout about them in this band.
When I look back on the lyrics I wrote in Napalm, I am very happy about what I personally achieved. They were very outspoken, but I never tried to look down on people. I would a lot of the time say look, I’m fucked up as well, I want to make my life better as much as everyone else.
The more psychedelic aspects are something you can’t really define; they are things that you allow to come out from yourself instead of forcing them out.
I used to smoke a lot of pot (shit, hope I don’t sound like a fucking hippy now!) and loved the experience of music taking me on a journey, hearing things in the music which you just don’t hear when you’ve got a straight head. So, I guess I still have that in the back of my mind sometimes when writing. I like to sometimes think about how I would feel listening to this music if I was high, in the creative process.

Dave Patchett's artwork always contained a fair amount of realism too hidden within the complex images - how did you originally hook up with Dave and how easy has it been for you down the years to translate your ideas to him? Obviously when two very imaginative people collide, the results could be literally anything......
Dave is a totally awesome guy! Our politics clash often, as he is pretty much a lefty and I have a general dislike for organised politics in any sense. But in many ways we are similar and share the same views on most things.
You could say his art has been a big influence on the way Cathedral has evolved. I guess his art could be described as surrealist with a social relevance.
I first discovered Dave when walking around town, bored in Coventry. His artwork was on exhibition in this glass gallery, which I would normally just stroll past, without bothering to look. Anyway I looked at his stuff and became intrigued, so I left a note in the guest book praising his stuff.
A couple of days later, I got a note through my flat door, to discover that he lived virtually next door to me. Following that, I went round to his apartment where we discussed the theme & and concept for 'Forest Of Equilibrium'.
A couple of days later he came back to me with a sketch which I approved, then he just got on with creating a masterpiece!
I find it very easy to convey my ideas to Dave, we have a very good understanding of each other, and we both know where we are coming from. It’s weird, but as unusual as his artwork is, I always know how a project we discuss is actually going to look before he has even commenced work on it.

You of course furthered the cause of doom with your label Rise Above, although the label did fall into the whole stoner trend for a while.....how much pressure to you find yourself under to be the flag bearer for doom as a whole and why did the label sign so many stoner acts given your outspoken attacks against that form?
It is well documented that I have a strong passion for Doom music, but I don’t wish to be seen as some kind of flag bearer for the underdog. As I said, I'm not a purist. I was very fortunate to be in the position of being able to put out Doom records, when very few people even cared. Hopefully I’ve done my bit for the music.
The stoner thing is comical really. We just sign bands that we like; I don’t invent the terms, that’s for other people. We have just always aimed to put out good rock records, call them what you will.

The mistaken belief that stoner = doom, - the 'doom dilution' as I refer to it, is a curious attempt I think for labels and media to try and bring some credibility to the doom scene by turning it into something its not - when did stoner become an acceptable substitute for doom, and did Cathedral ever consider the idea of swapping their apocalyptic outlook for something more 'palm tree' orientated?
Does it really matter that much? We just play what we play, call it what you want. Is stoner a substitute for Doom? I don’t know and don’t really care if truth were told, as long as the music is good.

Do you think that doom will always remain an underground movement - even the likes of Electric Wizard, Warhorse, Debris Inc don't seem able to break out and in some ways seem happy to remain within the doom clique?
I think that as long as the bands are making the music that they believe in is all that matters really. Put it this way, you don’t form a Doom band with a view to being on Top Of the Pops one day. I think the music is in many ways too genuine for mass appeal.

Hellhound - what the hell happened? A great label pumping out great doom, maybe it too felt the pinch of the limited interest in the genre?
Yeah, it was a cool label and Michael was a cool guy also. I guess they picked on all the Maryland/DC Doom stuff through releasing Vitus etc. Releasing this kind of music is not easy, because it doesn’t sell vast amounts – yeah, I guess they felt the pinch alright.

What are your views on the development of the more tonal bands like Boris, Sun 0))), Burning Witch etc? You also produced a similar work with Teeth of Lions Rule the Divine, maybe this kind of sound can give doom an 'art-rock' credibility that enables it to be taken seriously?
I totally love that kind of stuff. It’s a very interesting time in that respect, as all kinds of musicians from various backgrounds are starting to come together, for instance Merzbow & Julian Cope collaborating with SUNN 0))). Also Russell Haswell, who has been a good friend of mine for years, has worked with us & Aphex Twin etc, etc.
Also, there was a very cool billing in London a couple of years ago when Electric Wizard & Jimi Tenor played a show together. That kind of thing is exciting to me, it’s all about breaking boundaries & misconceptions.
Sun 0)))
It also shows that there is a link between all kinds of underground music, and that people are in it for the right reasons.
I don’t really care about the credibility side of it, but I can see where you’re coming from. It’s getting more exposure in Wire mag etc.

Give your views on the reasons for success or otherwise of these classic doom acts:

1. Candlemass:
Classic band and one of the true innovators & originators of what we know as Doom metal. For me, the first two albums are absolute Doom classics.

2. Iron Man:
Fucking great band. Al has a killer guitar tone and some wicked riffs. I much preferred them on the 'Black Night' album though. Obviously the singer after Rob was a very talented guy, but I just thought his voice was too 80’s for my personal taste.
We were fortunate enough to play a couple of shows with them & Pentagram back in '93.

3. Count Raven:
Another cool band. I think I liked them best when Chris was singing for them. They were around when it was totally not trendy to be playing Sab style Doom.

4. Revelation:

I used to love Revelation; I like all their stuff. However, I especially like the older stuff with John singing. Although he was not a technically perfect singer he had such honesty in his voice. Great riffs as well.

Can you explain on why doom attracts so many charismatic and determined types - Scott Weinrich, Dave Chandler, Victor Griffin, Eric Wagner, Messiah, Paul Chain, yourself have all had to endure setbacks of one kind or another and yet all the above mentioned have managed to endure and flourish?
Is it just the drugs or does doom have a simple never-say-die spirit about it that other genres lack?
No, I can’t explain that. They’re just all-cool people with great musical tastes! Drugs are a personal thing, down to the individual. For instance, as far as I’m aware Wino doesn’t do any drugs (maybe weed?) or drink these days but he’s playing and singing better than ever. The same goes for Paul Chain and Victor I think, but don’t quote me on that. Though I’m more than sure that everyone has had their fair share of excess over the years.
I just see a lot of similarities between the Doom attitude & the punk attitude. “This is what we do, if you don’t like it, then fuck you!” It’s almost like a lifestyle that you can’t just sum up in a few words.

Can you explain the Japanese obsession with Cathedral? Perhaps it stems from your own interest in Japan, or maybe the early reverence with which Napalm Death were greeted by the Japanese fans? I always found it strange that for a society so obsessed with advancement and the latest technological development, they would embrace a band who always appeared to me at least as advocators of restraint, prophesising against the carefree nature of today's society.
It’s hard to say. I think they might have been attracted to some of the eccentricity of the band, and they like characters in Japan.
All I can say is that I am totally honoured that we mean something out there, as it is one of the most fascinating countries I have had the pleasure of visiting on numerous occasions.

Added to that the band's sound, whilst adventurous, was routed in days of old, based on classic rock and NWOBHM structures - again with the Japanese so intent on progress, why do they find such special interest in bands like Cathedral who pay such respect to the past?
I think they generally like a lot of classic rock and metal over there. The Japanese are very big on music in general, not just old stuff. But I think the basic fact is that they actually ‘know’ what they like as opposed to being told what to like.

You had a lot of line up changes down the years too - briefly recall the high point and low points of all the changes, and why did it take so long to find a stable set up?
It was kind of heartbreaking to lose initially Griff & then Adam from the band. Griff and I had formed the band in the first place but when it started getting too demanding, with Columbia etc he no longer seemed to enjoy it. Pretty much the same kind of thing happened with Adam, though he also was going off heavy music.
One of the tours we did in the States with Merciful Fate & Flotsam & Jetsam fucked us up, as it was a really long tour and we just didn’t enjoy it at all.
So for a couple of years we kept Scott Carlson for a while and loaned musicians from other bands whilst we had commitments. Going on stage with Victor & Joe from Pentagram & Scott from Repulsion, opening up for Sabbath for a month or so was definitely on of the high points!
Then we had Barry from Trouble playing with us for a while. It was all good fun having guys from your fave bands playing with you but we realised that it was never going to be permanent.
This was all going on whilst we were still with Columbia, who didn’t seem to mind the expense of us having half the band living overseas.
When we got dropped from Columbia it was a different story. We had to lose Scott and a drummer we had been jamming with from Chicago. From late 94-summer 95 was probably the bands bleakest period, as it was only I & Gaz and a load of debt & business politics.
We were down, but we weren’t going to give in. It was about this time that we had to seriously think about finding a stable UK line and that’s when we discovered Leo & Brian.

A word about the Riff master General Gaz Jennings - so influential, so underrated and so integral to Cathedral sound and success alongside yourself. Do you feel he's ever got the recognition he deserves?
I agree, I think he’s terribly underrated as a player. I would go as far as saying that he is in fact my favourite player of recent times. He has all the qualities of my other favourites rolled into one, with a style all of his own.
I hear other guitarists playing this nu metal style and they’ve got nothing to offer as far as I’m concerned. No roots or feel to their playing.
Gaz I think is a great example of a pure music fan, and at the end of the day being so durable is all down to a genuine devotion and reverence for the music I guess? Would you agree that your early love for music in whatever form has kept you involved in bands for so long?
Well, yeah. Music has always been everything to me since I was a little kid, I got into it all whether it was the Bay City Rollers (sorry), Elvis or then the Sex Pistols it was what gave me a purpose in life really – something to believe and relate to. I’ve basically been educated through music; school didn’t tell me much that I wanted to hear.

Your place in history is assured but if you had to chose one period, either in Napalm Death or with Cathedral, which would you consider most fondly?
Well, I guess Napalm was a lot more groundbreaking in many ways and I have some amazing memories from that time. At the end of the day though, I enjoy myself a lot more being in Cathedral, I don’t have all these standards and values to live up to any more and there’s no way near as much pressure.
I’m just free to be myself. Also, being in this band has enabled me to meet & play with some of my all time heroes and meet many people from all over the world. It’s definitely been a blast so far.

As something of argument-starter, please name your favourite Napalm Death tune, and your favourite Cathedral song. I'm sure fans of both bands would be interested to know the reasons behind your selections :-)
Oh did you have to ask a question like that? I don’t have the Napalm or Cathedral records with me where I’m living right now, but I would say 'Unchallenged Hate' or 'Display To Me' from the '...Enslavement...' album are two of my favourite Napalm songs, mainly for the lyrical content.
Cathedral is a tough one, I’m not sure if I have a favourite track. Probably 'A Funeral Request', or 'Cosmic Funeral'. 'Cosmic Funeral', because it has all of the light & shade elements that the band is renowned for, pretty much in one song.

Interview by Dan Tobin
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