Interview Cassie Walker.
’60s British Rock Legends The Troggs finally return to Australia this November to celebrate Wild Thing’s 50th Anniversary by performing all their Greatest Hits – ‘Wild Thing’, ‘With a Girl Like You’, ‘I Can’t Control Myself’, ‘Love is All Around’ and more!
They’re widely known to have inspired the age of garage and punk rock including The Ramones, Iggy Pop and The Buzzcocks. The Troggs first entered the Australian charts in 1966 with ‘Wild Thing’ going all the way to #1 knocking Frank Sinatra off the top spot! Their follow-up single ‘With A Girl Like You’ was also a top 10 smash going to #8. Their Aussie chart success continued with their third single ‘I Can’t Control Myself’ (later covered by our own James Baker) reaching #13 and solidifying their place as one of the most successful British bands to come from the wave of ’60s bands.
Cassie Walker caught up with original member and guitarist Chris Britton.
Cassie Walker: Hi is that Chris?
Chris Britton: Hello, is that Cassie?
Cassie: Yes it is. How are you?
Chris: I’m very well, how’s thing with you?
Cassie: Good. How have the interviews been so far ? It’s a very un-rock’n’roll hour here.
Chris: Is it early in the morning?
Cassie: It’s 6.30am!
Chris: Oh dear that’s painful. It’s half past nine here so it’s almost rock’n’roll.
Cassie: Given that you still are a rock star Chris do you still do the rock’n’roll lifestyle?
Chris: I’ve always favoured late nights and evenings over early mornings, unfortunately early mornings do come into it sometimes, that’s when the plane usually leaves or you have to travel anywhere really.
Cassie: It’s never made sense to me those early morning flights.
Chris: They work too well for us but there you go.
Cassie: The Troggs are touring constantly and the tour is heading to Australia. It’s such a long way to come has there been a strong demand from your fans here?
Chris: It’s quite a long hike to Australia and we haven’t been there for quite sometime, but we were offered a concert in Brisbane and thought while we’re there we should try to fix up a tour and we’ve got gigs taking up the whole of November and we’ve also managed to add a week on in December and do some gigs in New Zealand which is magic!
Cassie: Absolutely and the tour you are doing is 13 dates, which is bigger than most Australian bands play in a tour, proving there is still that demand. Do you have much interaction with your fans now with the Internet?
Chris: No not really. I’m fairly new to the internet, with the age I am it’ll take a while for that sort of interaction to happen I think.
Cassie: The band is huge. Everyone knows the name, the songs, what has the band put in place to adapt to the modern age?
Chris: We haven’t really, we’ve just stumbled along really. We just do what we’ve always done. People like to see what they know and love.
Chris: Well all of the sixties was really wild times, we were in the right place at the right time by pure luck and I’m so glad we were, it was magic times and hectic times to live through, touring all over the place. I couldn’t have been born at a better time really.
Cassie: You mentioned pure luck, what luck did the band have?
Chris: We were in the right place at the right time to catch the right song, that the song was the kind the audience wanted to hear and it just all clicked, like winning the lottery or something. Pure chance. We could have done the same thing ten years earlier or ten years later and it wouldn’t have clicked, who knows, but everything went just right.
Cassie: On that, being at the right place in the right time, it was all about the live performance, how much time do you put into the live performance?
Chris: We don’t actually put a lot of time into it. We know what we are and we try to keep fit and moving around as much as possible, we don’t go out of our way to rehearse or anything. We don’t want to be to polished or produced.
Cassie: On that note, what do you think of modern music?
Chris: As far as I’m concerned with new music, there’s no such thing as bad music. The half hearted busker in the street who can’t really do it, at least he’s trying. There’s no music that I don’t like. With rock’n’roll it started off as a musical rebellion in many ways, I remember when we were first starting out the older generation who were more jazz orientated or Sinatra thought all of our modern music was rubbish and there are a few people around now who think young people’s modern music is rubbish, but young people have to rebel against the oldies, it’s almost tradition now. It’s getting more and more difficult for young people to find music they can rebel with.
Cassie: Back in the ’60s it was rebellious to listen to The Troggs, now those who were rebelling against their parents are parents themselves, are you finding the change in the crowd?
Chris: There’s a lot of nostalgia connected with early rock’n’roll. A lot of couples first met and got cosy with each other with our music as background, so when they come and see us live it takes them back to those early days.
Cassie: Have you had children turn up that have been conceived to your music?
Chris: I don’t know, they’ve never admitted to being but I wouldn’t be surprised if there are though. I’m sure they were more inspired by each other than our music.
Cassie: I’ve gotten into a lot of ’60s rock’n’roll because of my parents taste in music, have you found parents bringing their children along to the shows?
Chris: Indeed. We find that we get a very large cross section of ages at our concerts. When we started off we were just 20 and a lot of our audience in those days were 20 years older than us! We actually get people that are older than us turning up to our concerts and they’re great grandchildren. We do get a lot of younger people turning up to see what we’re all about, which is also interesting and I’m glad they do.
Cassie: Your music sounds current and cool today and with modern acts throughout the ’80s and ’90s giving your songs their own feel.
Chris: We don’t particularly get a buzz from playing hits, we get a buzz from seeing the audience enjoying it and reacting to it, so that’s our adrenalin fix.
Cassie: We do look forward to having you play here in Australia and thank you for visiting towns that miss out on such quality live music.
Chris: We really look forward to playing there, you take care.
THE TROGGS AUSTRALIA TOUR DATES
Thursday 3rd November HERVEY BAY Beach House Hotel
Friday 4th November BRISBANE Hamilton Hotel
Saturday 5th November SUNSHINE COAST Caloundra RSL
Monday 14th November CRONULLA Brass Monkey
Tuesday 15th November SYDNEY The Basement
Wednesday 16th November NEWCASTLE Lizotte’s
Thursday 17th November SPRINGWOOD Blue Mountains Theatre
Friday 18th November CENTRAL COAST Entrance Leagues Club
Saturday 19th November REVESBY Revesby Workers Club
Sunday 20th November ROZELLE The Bridge Hotel
Tuesday 22nd November ADELAIDE The Gov
Thursday 24th November SYDNEY Factory Theatre
Saturday 26th November MELBOURNE The Palms at Crown
Tickets are available NOW through Metropolis Touring HERE.