DONNY TOURETTE - THE TOWERS OF LONDON
interview by Bones
I think it's fair to say that the TOWERS OF LONDON divided opinion
when they were first around. A string of excellent early singles preceded
their debut album "Blood, Sweat and Tears" with their career
appearing to be on upward curve. Brilliant live, to old punks like me
they represented the chaotic bands of my youth - loud, proud and not
too concerned what other people thought of them . However, to some members
of the achingly cool music press they were a reminder of a bygone era
that they would rather not acknowledge.
A TV series on Bravo and Donny Tourettes appearance on Big Brother
should have heralded commercial success, but the bands self destructive
streak was never far away. The departure of lead guitarist Rev and drummer
Snell in 2007, when added to the lack lustre second album "Fizzy
Pop", saw the band run out of steam and go on indefinite hiatus
by late 2009.
Well, out of nowhere, they are back playing live and with a new single
to boot. So, this seemed an opportune moments to catch up with lead
singer, and main hell raiser, DONNY TOURETTE to see what has caused
this Lazarus like reawakening.....
Lucy: Your band have been quite quiet for the last few months. Are you looking
forward to playing gigs again?
Katie Jane Garside: I think I give very obtuse ans
First up, hows life in the Towers camp at the moment?
It's great. Weve been dormant for such a long time that I feel
like a volcano must feel when it finally erupts. Relieved I guess...
The band have been lying low for some while, so whats caused
this sudden burst of activity?
Its been coming for a while. Weve been really busy writing and
rehearsing for the last 18 months...and just felt like it was the right
time to put something out.
Whats the present line up? Have there been any changes since
we last saw you?
Yeah we have a new drummer (Rocco) and new guitarist (Stevie Sunset)...
Youve got a new single out Shake It which has
been generally well received (even by the NME!). How (and why)
did you come to write a song about masturbation?
Ha ha, I know...to be honest, I was shocked we got such a good reception!
Were an easy band to slag off. But I guess people just judged
us on the music and the new video and left all the other stuff out of
it. Which is great. Surprising but great! It's almost like they listened
to one of mum's old sayings if you havent got anything nice
to say...don't say it at all...ha ha...where as first time round
it was more a case of think of the nastiest thing you can say
about that band without actually listening to the music, and say that!
Im sure the haters are still out their though...Im not kidding
myself...love 'em all is what I say.
You looked like you all enjoyed yourselves in the video. I
guess it was fun to make.
Who doesnt enjoy jerking off?? Im actually surprised it
didnt get premiered on red tube first, never mind NME ;)
Is this track a taster for a new album and, if so, when is it likely
to be released?
Yeah it is a taster for the new album...there will be another single
early next year and an album to follow...although we dont have
a date as we havent finished writing it yet!! Weve got some
brilliant songs ready to go that were all loving...just need a
few more and well be away...
Are the song writing duties still the domain of you, Dirk and Tommy
or do the new guys have some input as well?
Yeah its still Dirk, Tommy and myself that write the tunes. Rocco and
Stevie are great at what they do though and their contribution musically
is never underestimated.
You were always a touring band and I see that you are doing a short
tour of Italy in December. Can we expect any upcoming UK dates in the
Yeah, we gigged ALOT. Which is no easy task when every fucker in the
band insists on getting completely smashed after every show! Imagine
if Bill Murray had to wake up with the hangover from hell in Ground
hog day...youd feel pretty sorry for him wouldnt you. Well,
that's basically Towers on tour. We never learn. That truth is actually
a bit depressing to be honest.
Its been nearly a decade since the band originally burst onto
the scene with a fistful of fantastic singles. Are you happy that
your debut album Blood, Sweat & Towers? It seemed to
captured the anarchic nature of the band at that time.
Well it's nice to hear you say so. Thank you. Yes, I loved that album
at the time and still do. I think it stood out from other releases as
we really were going against the trend of the time. Ultimately that's
probably why we werent more successful, but at the same time I
guess its why the few people who got it loved it so much.
What about the follow up Fizzy Pop then?
Fizzy pop was put together hastily. Some songs on that album I still
like but to be honest it's not what Towers are about. For me it lacked
the spirit of Blood Sweat and Towers and maybe you could say that reflects
where we were as people at the time. Kind of broken.
Given the exposure you got in the Big Brother house, do you now
regret walking out so soon?
I change my mind on this all the time. Most of the time I regret ever
going in at all...and sometimes I wish Id stayed put as I would
never have let that bullshit racist stuff go down.
The Towers supported some big names at the time - GunsnRoses,
Motley Crue and Iggy Pop to name just a few- are there any particular
gigs that stand out in your memory?
I think when we played on the main stage at Reading and Leeds festival,
that was a big moment. Supporting those big bands was great...but we
made it to Reading and Leeds on our own merit and that's something Im
really proud of.
What eventually caused the band to go on hiatus?
I completely lost my hunger. I felt like I'd been punched a million
times round the face and wanted a more simple life that wasnt
quite so fucked up. But be careful what you wish for, because that's
exactly what I got and it bored me to tears!! I kind of felt like the
living dead without being in the band, so I had no choice but do it
again. I cant speak for Tommy and Dirk though...they would have
their own answers to that question.
Over the years the band have had more than a few ups and downs.
Do you have any regrets?
Its easy to say I never regret a thing and all that stuff...but
yes...I do regret how much we fell out with Snell and Rev. The finger
can be pointed at whoever you like but at the end of the day we were
best friends on one hell of a ride together and somewhere along the
way, that went really wrong. Id like to think Ive learnt
from it though, as with all the other downs weve had (of which
there have been far too many to talk about in this interview)!! Id
like this next rollercoaster were on to be full of mostly ups...but
let's face it...nobody can defy Newton's law of gravity...or can they??
So what can the fans expect from the Towers of London in the future?
Well its hard to say. All I know is this...we are back because we want
to be back not because we need to be back. We are pouring our hearts
and souls into our music and well do the same every time we play
a gig. The rest were just gonna have to make up as we go along...
Past R*E*P*E*A*T Interviews with Towers of London from
and 2005 here