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Sleaford Mods

Last September, during a lively UK tour, we spoke to Jason Williamson from Sleaford Mods.  Appearing in Issue 5, our interview saw the seemingly abrasive front-man showing some love for future touring partners The Specials, while also sharing some apprehension about the duo’s biggest show to date at London’s Electric Ballroom later this month.

After assuring him we wouldn’t be asking about the name or making any comparisons to The Fall or the Streets, we went on to talk about lyrics, Crass fans and befriending Anton Newcombe. All before getting to the bottom of a very important question regarding a popular Internet streaming service.

Do you have any favourite lyrics of your own?

Not really no, they’re all kinda like equal to me. I think if you really want to convey your hatred for a subject then, for me, to actually just totally demean them in a song. That can either done by a word, ‘tit’ or whatever you know? Just to completely dismiss them.

You’ve surely coined the phrase ‘tit rifle’?

Well apparently it’s an old saying. Cause I was like really pleased that I’d come up with that. Me and Andrew were just laughing about it. But our manager Steve reckons it’s quite an old local saying in Nottingham. And now I’ve heard that off a couple of other people as well. So uh yeah I was a bit bummed out about that to be honest. I’ll endeavour to make another one up though.

Well, you can be happy that you’ve introduced the term ‘Up. Fucked’ into my life though (Seriously scroll to the bottom of that link, it’s a great read: Honourable mentions)

Oh..oh yeah, yeah. It’s just thinking of different ways to express the fucking hatred of having to get up early in the morning. Aww It’s just so hard as well it’s just like ‘for fucks sake.’

I have to mention, you retweeted a review by a friend of mine, and he made the bold claim that ‘Jobseeker’ is the best punk song in the past 25 years

(Chuckles) oh right? Yeah I read that yeah

I’m finding it hard to disagree with him

Really!? Fucking hell.

I wanted to know if there was a song that you’re most proud of?

I’m not sure y’know? Probably stuff like ‘The Corgi.’ I really like ‘The Corgi.’ I don’t even like playing it that much. It’s just so shit and it reminds me of like ‘Lydonesque’ Pistols. That kinda like really crap reference to English stuff. And that’s what really influences me as well, stuff like that. And the more I started writing about it for a laugh, the more I’ve realised it’s quite a powerful tool y’know? If you look at sorta like the skeleton of the Pistols, that’s all it is basically. It’s just basically just real kinda folk linguistics coming from John Lydon y’know what I mean? Everything’s all sorta bricks ‘n’ mortar and there’s nothing sorta essentially, intelligently anarchic about it. It’s just street tales y’know what I mean? Tales of what he saw around him. So I thought, y’know the more I kinda got into that. The more I realised that, ‘Oh..I’ll stay on this.’

Do you feel like punk rock gets over intellectualised,which sucks the fun out of it in a way?

It picks up a lot of wankers dunnit? Any kinda genre does I guess. You get these people, I mean especially Crass fans, they’re absolute cunts y’know? It’s like just ‘aww fuck off!’ Steve Ignorant is one of the most normal fucking, foul-mouthed twats you’ll ever meet. He’s just a decent bloke. He’s doesn’t profess to be anything. He’s got a few beliefs and that’s it. Then you get these people that like it. That kinda professor themselves about it and (sighs) it’s really irritating but you get that with anyone don’t ya? Any kinda genre. But y’know punk found us, we didn’t find it. There were some bits that I was drawn to but I never really had any pretentious to be, veering towards that style of music. What interests me is what works y’know?

In previous interviews you’ve not really been asked about literary influences at all. I definitely consider your lyrics poetry. Are you interested in poetry?

Nah nothing. I was talking to someone about this in Cardiff the other night. I don’t know any really. I’ve certainly not read any. It all really happens sorta by accident, so to speak. Not read anything. Seriously not read anything really. I couldn’t name any old poets that I’m into. No.

Watching you live, the song ‘Showboat’ is performed with a particular intensity. I was just wondering if could tell us a bit more about the meaning of that song.

That was kinda based on, well Kasabian really. That kinda thing, where y’know? It’s just an obvious stereotype and they’re kinda wheeling the myth and rolling with it and ignoring that fact that it’s absolute bollocks and it’s been rinsed. They’re just going with it y’know what I mean? And also being told to go with it as well. So it’s about that. And also there’s a couple of local singers round here, when they got signed to big labels. It seems to be a trend around here, signing to a few big city labels, bragging about it then flying over to Los Angeles. Coming back, bragging about it then flying over to Los Angeles, releasing something on Itunes and it’s all a pile of shit. Y’know what I mean? And it keeps going like that and no massive waves are being made by these people, it’s just fucking bragging. It’s kind about that as well, d’ya know what I mean?

I watched The Who when I was 14 years old (2004) and a little known band called Kasabian were supporting them. I only recognised one song at the time, cause it was on Fifa, ‘Lost Souls Forever’ and before it they announced ‘we’re talking about our fucking generation.’

Who said that?

Kasabian.

HAHAHA.. What absolute cunts…absolute cunts.

You won’t be pulling any of that stuff when you’re supporting The Specials?

No there’s not gonna be any of that bollocks. ’

Before you go, can I ask you, why do you hate Netflix so much?

(Laughs) I don’t. But it’s dry innit? When we first got it, it was like ‘wow, look at all these films.’ Then you realise. There’s fucking nothing there. It’s SHIT. Absoluuuutely shit.

Jason continues ranting about Netflix for well over a minute. Wondering if  they spend all of their money on a few decent TV series like the  ‘one in the Middle East’ and ‘House of Cards.’

I’ve noticed on Twitter you seem to be quite pally with Anton Newcombe from The Brian Jonestown Massacre. Could you tell me how that came about?

He just got in touch on twitter saying that he liked some of the stuff we were doing. So um, yeah then we got talking etcetera, and I started exploring some of his stuff. Found out I quite liked it, I hadn’t bothered before. So then we got talking again. He wanted to release a record. So that’s what we planned to do.

‘Fizzy’ was released through Anton Newcome’s label ‘A Recordings Ltd’ and can be picked up here.

You can read the second half of this interview in Issue Five of So Young here.