Interview: Sleaford Mods

Condemn me, please, you wanker, to life inside a working glass like a spider, suffocated to death for a fucking fiver

Sleaford Mods are back – and it won’t surprise you to learn that they haven’t mellowed one bit. The above lyric is a snippet from English Tapas, the Nottingham duo’s fourth studio album following Austerity Dogs (2013), Divide and Exit (2014) and Key Markets (2015). Brutally honest frontman Jason Williamson spoke to Exposed and gave us a glimpse of what we can expect.

English Tapas is an interesting name for the album. It makes me think about people picking out and savouring the elements of English culture they feel best represents the country. How does the country look to you in 2017?
Horrible. It’s time for a change. Expression needs to change. We are entering a new era now which I’m hoping will shift the stationary consensus for the better.

With all that’s gone off in the last 12 months, has making music become easier for you?
No, simply because political atrocities don’t write tunes.

What’s our biggest threat in your opinion: Trump, Brexit or Theresa May?
They are pretty much the same, in an ideological sense anyway. Give or take a few beliefs, Trump and May are both practicing reckless abandon; neither has the masses in mind for a happy ending. In short, we are, as always, tennis balls in the King’s court.

There’s a scathing line on the album track ‘Snout’: ‘Scared kids is what you are, rubbing up to the crown and the flag and the notion of who we are.’ There are a lot of calls for togetherness being aired lately, accepting the current situation and moving on. Should we?
We’ve got no choice really, have we?

Are there enough artists bringing attention to real working class issues in music?
To be honest with you, the working class issue has become a weight around my aging legs. I’m no expert on it; we just talked about our shite lives through music. Is there a group effort with bands to discuss oppression? Is there fuck! You’ve got a couple of acts out there who have got some balls, but the rest are basically sloganists and corporate images.

Were you surprised to see Nottingham vote leave in the EU Referendum?
It was neck and neck, I think, give or take a few, wasn’t it? But was I surprised at the result? No.

How important is it for you to have an independent label like Rough Trade onboard?
Obviously, it helps us with the distribution and promotion. They are ideal for us: they don’t interfere. We do our thing, they do theirs.

If you could send anyone a copy the new album to listen to, who would it be and why?
Random members of the public. They are our audience. Celebs ain’t great at passing interesting comment…

Jason on three tracks from English Tapas

It’s about the scandal which saw thousands of employees out of pensions and a huge loss of jobs. Philip Green knows what he did.

The chorus talks about Owen Smith’s campaign for labour Leader. What a load of bollocks that was. The verses are classic Sleaford Mods observation.

Drayton Manored
I’ve become increasingly inspired by men my age still doing coke and loads of booze. It’s like we don’t know who we are anymore. It still seems acceptable to shovel it down you, and if you think about it, it’s fucking insane. This song talks about those issues and the terrifying experience of coming down – time and time again.

English Tapas is out now. Read our review here

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