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The ADICTS – A Quick Conversation with Monkey Before Europe


The ADICTS – A Quick Conversation with Monkey Before Europe

O my little brothers. After 30 years and counting, The Adicts are still glazing devotchkas and malchicks with their rainbows and ultra violence. Hailing from Ipswich, Suffolk, England, this UK 80’s punk band was not always called “The Adicts.” Beginning life in late 1975 as “Afterbirth & The Pinz” and later going through different names such as “Fun Adicts” and “ADX,” the Adicts finally stuck. The bands “Droog” outfits and Singer Monkey’s glamorous costumes are an inspiration of Anthony Burgess’ novel and Stanley Kubrick’s film A Clockwork Orange.

Known around the world by fellow punk scenes for their happy up-tempo tracks and non-political lyrics, also sets them very much apart from the rest of the punk genre. “We wrote songs about unemployment, disillusionment, and all that happy stuff, but that was really a conformity with the non-conformists,” as Monkey explains in their search of finding their sound. Because of their lack of traditional punk sound and style, they have not always been accepted by the fellow punk scene. However, they will always consider themselves a punk band as insisted by Monkey. “Even then, we always regarded ourselves as a punk band. I had big arguments with Geordie, our manager at the time, when he put “New Wave” on the posters.” After countless horror shows and over four eras of beer spillin’, the Adicts still consists of its original rockers in rags. From Mel Ellis’s melodic bass, Pete Dee Davison’s extreme guitar, Michael “Kid Dee” Davison’s beating drums to Keith “Monkey” Warren’s brilliant throat, these malchicks still bring together the urge to shake rattle and bang your head! The help of new members John “Scruff” Ellis (Mel’s brother) on guitar and Dan Gratziani, who kills it on violin, adds an extra jolt of joy when touring. After the pressures of various record labels throughout their career, they never walked alone. “And we were so out of our heads back then it’s all such a blur,” Pee Dee says. “I remember some dictator from Sire records wanted us to sack Monkey ‘cos he couldn’t sing… but of course we instead gave them shit for being a bunch of c*nts. We kept the Monkey at the cost of fame and fortune!”

From their first album “Songs of Praise” in 1981 to their latest album “Life Goes On” in 2010, their sound still brings that same reminiscent happiness that it always has. “Chinese Takeaway”, “Bad Boy”, “Joker in The Pack” and the politically based “Johnny Was a Soldier” all grab you from the get-go and take you on a sonic ride that can’t be forgotten. Proving their ability to transcend generations, their very first single in 1981 “Viva La Revolution” made it on Tony Hawk’s Underground (2003) and on an E! promotion for the television show, Pop Fiction (2008).

Their ninth studio album, “Life Goes On” released in the US in late 2010 carries their original cheerful melodies and sing-a-long lyrics. Opening up with “Spank Me Baby” definitely sets the mood. The album then plunges through a variety of sounds ranging from “The Whole Worlds Gone Mad” that gets you ready for a good old fashion pogo dance and a very well mastered instrumental track, “Gangster.” This twelve song + bonus track album is written to be played live and there is no other band that takes more pride in their live performances than the Adicts. Eight years after their last glamorous performance down south for the “Like Clockwork World Tour” in 2003 in San Antonio, TX, The Adicts finally came back to show us how to party during their latest “Organized Confusion Tour” in March of 2011. With no shows in Austin, TX, they sure sent out an earthquake from San Antonio to Austin. With powerful songs of praise and party favorites such as streamers, confetti, playing cards, joker hats, bubbles, beach balls, and glitter, The Adicts made sure that the White Rabbit would be hosting a memorable shindig.

O my little brothers, your humble narrator would like to viddy well but no one can say it better than Monkey. “We just did what punk bands did until we developed our own style and voice. It was, and is, all about the band as a concept, not just the music, but the look, the attitude, the essence of the Adicts, that is not found anywhere else.”

Monkey Interview

Briefly describe your song writing process?
“Wow It’s changed alot over the years, We used to bring in Ideas in the early days now we go in blank. Last 4 CDs had no rehearsal Me Pete and Kid write together.”

How often are song Ideas trashed?
“Alot more earlier, Now not so much now. We might use some of the old stuff that was lost , blend it with current Ideas.”

Whats the biggest challenge as a band?
“Staying HEALTHY ! After 30 years its really All hard, we love it though.”

Biggest challenges on the road?
“Travel , getting to the venue Its all hard.“

What moment did you realize that The Adicts were a major force in the music world?
“Not Yet! Still looking!”

Many bands starting out now seek record label representation and feel that is a pinnacle of success , whats your advice to them?
“The Deal Is Hard to find now a days . LIVE shows are a must. Build up your fan base get the merchandise together and get on the road. Keep the faith.”

Any advice for for people who what to form their own bands?
“Just do it. Don’t worry If your sound Isn’t together Talent will come with time. It takes BALLS.”

Who are some of your favorite acts today?
“Don’t have many, but I do like acts like Arcade Fire, The Killers. Been listening to some Glam and Pop.”

Do you feel that band that have been together for awhile like The Adicts 30 years + can be considered a thing of the past?
“Some do seem to be. As long as you continue to have a love for performing and being out there with you fans with enthusiasm and stay creative its good.”

Have you come across on the road or heard any band that remind you of The Adicts?
“Not really much out there. Its hard to compare. There is alot of energy at our shows. Its a party!”

Any words for the Adicts fans in Austin, Texas?
“Wow! It’s HOT AS HELL there! It’s a great Music City. We love the Austin, Texas fans. Thanks for the continued support.”

Story By: Lazaro Chavez

Photo By: DJ Farley/CFO Productions (High Voltage TV)

Interview By: DJ Farley/CFO Productions (High Voltage TV)

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