"some music was meant to stay underground..."

Interview

Lawnmower Deth Frontman Qualcast Mutilator On Christmas And New Music

British thrash metal never got the recognition that American and German scenes did. What Britain lacked in attention though, they made up for in tongue in cheek humour, bizarre names and lyrics and frankly, the tradition of taking the piss out of everything. Nowhere was this more obvious than one quartet from Nottinghamshire, whose name alone should set the tone; Lawnmower Deth. Beginning with a split alongside Metal Duck, the British metal underground got to hear some of the funniest music of the eighties, developed even moreso on their debut full length, "Oooh Crikey... It's Lawnmower Deth!"

Nine years ago, Lawnmower Deth returned to support Bullet For My Valentine and have since continued to perform sporadically, including no less than six performances at the Download Festival, the latest of which was released as their first DVD, "Unleashed In The East... Midlands." I've long wanted to see these fabulous metal bozo clowns and the Saturday before last, I got my wish granted when I came along to the Lawnmower Deth christmas show, where they were joined by fellow British thrash favourites Xentrix and Solitary. I also had the opportunity to sit down with vocalist Qualcast Mutilator (or Pete, to use his less metal moniker) to discuss the show, British thrash, working with pop princess Kim Wilde and the possibility of new material. You can watch the interview in full below.

Diamond Oz: Well straight into it then, this is the Lawnmower Deth Christmas show. What a way to bring in the season with yourself and Xentrix...

Qualcast Mutilator (Pete): It's a good bill tonight. Shame we lost Re-Animator. When we got round to booking it this year, we just really fancied doing a proper old school lineup. Stan and I are still in touch and stuff so he was straight into it with Xentrix then obviously we got Re-Animator and the Solitary lads are good lads so it's a great bill. Unfortunately we lost Re-Animator en route.

Oz: I was hoping when Re-Animator pulled out that Acid Reign were going to step in.

Pete: Well they play here next week so I think they might be a bit busy.

Oz: Obviously you made news last year when you released new material for the first time in a long while, with Ms. Kim Wilde. Any chance of her appearing tonight?

Pete: No. She's in Europe so she can't. I'm not sure it's the right venue for Kim to be honest. It's great because obviously she did Donington a couple of years ago with us and we did Manchester with her last year which was her show. That was really different for us doing that one. It was Kim, Carol Decker, Toyah, Clive from Doctor and The Medics and then us. It was lovely, we really really enjoyed it but no Kim tonight. Can't do it every time.

Oz: Well yeah, who do you think you are? Mel Smith?

Pete: Exactly. Well at least I'm still breathing.

Oz: When you were writing the song, did that give you the inspiration to work on any more new material?

Pete: There's a new one in the set actually! There's a brand new one in the set tonight and it's a proper rager as well, I'm not sure where that came from! But Steve and I have been playing around and there's a few bits actually. I don't mean we're going to do an album because I hate shit like that but there are quite a few knocking around. Steve and I have recorded this one along with Chris, our new drummer and it sounds pretty good in demo so we thought we'd put it in the set tonight.

Oz: Yeah. Why not?

Pete: Maybe the people will hate it and throw things at us. It's not a dawning of a new age thing, it's proper old school, verging on New York hardcore. I was brought up on all that kind of stuff anyway so I've always thought of us as a punk metal band. But yeah, we;re going to drop it in the set tonight and see if people will even notice that we've played a new song.

Oz: Speaking of Christmas, you've not long released the ultimate stocking filler...

Pete: The DVD!? Who'd have thought that eh? Nine hundred years on and we got round to releasing a live DVD. I'm delighted with it as well. It looks great! It's amazing because we got moved up stages this time, we got stuck out on the big boy stages and I've been going to Download for years, I know what it's like. You can go to see somebody on one of those stages and they're playing to twenty people and we were on at half eleven in the morning and I thought, "Well great, that's going to be us." I was a bit nervous it was going to be an empty field but thirty thousand people turned up! I'm not sure how you count thirty thousand but that's what we were told were there.

So we pulled about the same crowd as Babymetal. It was insane. So if you buy the DVD you'll see what thirty thousand people from the stage perspective is like. The nice thing was, because we were on stage 2, we were being filmed for Sky TV anyway. Bizarrely, a really old mate of mine called Jim Parsons was the production manager for the film crew and so I knew a couple of weeks before it was due to happen that we were going to be filmed for Sky, so then it wasn't really a big conversation to say, "What's the chances of buying the footage?" So yeah, available in all good and bad record stores!

Oz: You've played at Download quite a bit since your return...

Pete: Six. Six Downloads now. And I'm competitive so I'm still not in the lead. Fucking Skindred! They're on eight. Bullet For My Valentine are on seven and we're on six, so we're kind of in the Champions League but we need to catch Skindred up. We're sitting around the Chelsea/Spurs spot at the moment.

Oz: Well as long as you finish above Chelsea. With so many appearances at Download, is there any chance of you getting over to say Wacken or any of the other big European festivals?

Pete: You know what? I'd like to. Festivals are our bag. It's not that we don't like doing shows like tonight, we do, but we're quite lazy and we're not a real thing anymore. It's not like we record an album and go on tour. We just like popping up at festivals, watching a load of bands and seeing a load of mates. My kids have a nice day out and stuff like that so we really like doing festivals. There have been a few communications with Europe, so if they come off then I hope so. I'd like to go to Wacken, I'd like to do one of the big Dutch/Belgian ones like Pinkpop or Graspop because we did well in Holland. We just got announced this week for Camp Bestival, so that's a really weird one. We've played some odd lineups but that one takes the piss; Jess Glynne, East 17, Mr. Tumble... It's just weird as fuck! Then us and Napalm Death! It's a family festival so I'm fairly sure we will get a very long list of things we can't do.

Oz: Well I saw an interview with you at Download, where you were talking about hoping to play in Ireland. Were you able to get over there in the end?

Pete: Not good news on Ireland. We have really tried hard to get out to Ireland and I don't know what it is, probably because we're not a proper band that make enough money. You need enough to pay the ferry, fuel and the promoters won't even pay that. We've tried our damnedest to get out to Ireland and the promoters aren't picking it up, or paying more than two packets of crisps. So we just can't do it. We do this for fun but we can't chuck money away. But we'll try again.

Oz: Well Tom from Sodom was telling me last week that sometimes they masquerade as tourists...

Pete: It's bizarre isn't it? I'm not comparing us to Sodom. They're a bigger band than we are but if they're having to play that kind of game then what chance have we got?

Oz: Obviously though you're rehearsing at Andy Sneap's place, sharing the same practice space as Judas Priest. Could you ever have seen that happening?

Pete: No. I could never have seen Andy Sneap in Judas Priest either but I think it's amazing. I love Andy. We've been friends with Andy since he was that big. We were at his eighteenth birthday party. His birthday cake was a Noise Records contract on a cake. We were all there, Sabbat, Acid Reign, all that. But I've known him since he was sixteen.

Oz: I saw him with Priest at Bloodstock.

Pete: Amazing. Massive respect to the guy. He's living the boyhood dream.

Oz: Well I'm looking forward to living my boyhood dream and finally seeing you live tonight.

Pete: You've never seen us before? You're going to see the dirty side of the lawn. No stage show tonight because we can't fit the stage show in here. I mean how they're going to fit six hundred people in that room, I've no idea. It's terrifying actually. But yeah it's going to be a proper old school, chaos gig tonight, but no stage show. Save that for festies.

Oz: Yeah, let the music do the talking.

Pete: We may as well go home now then!

Diamond Oz's avatar

Ollie Hynes has been a writer for Metal Underground.com for four years and has been a metal fan for ten years, going so far as to travel abroad for metal shows.

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1 Comment on "Lawnmower Deth On Christmas And New Music"

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1. Jackrum writes:

No idea you were at the gig Oz. Was a blinder as always

# Dec 29, 2018 @ 11:02 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address

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