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AIRSTRYKE interview

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Following on from the interview with these guys at Bloodstock by Sheila Hamilton, HERE
I thought I’d take a (perhaps very brave) deeper dive into what makes these guys tick. What do you get when you mix high levels of testosterone, spandex, music and alcohol? No, not a frat party (although you could be forgiven for thinking it) Derby’s answer to KISS! Van Halen and Def Leppard… AIRSTRYKE.

Planetmosh: So who are you?

Jamie Fowkes – Vocals
Andy Kopczyk – Guitar & Backing Vocals
Morgan Pettigrew – Drums & Backing Vocals
Rob Tallant – Guitar
Dean Markham – Bass

PM: Since your success at Bloodstock, whats been the biggest, or most interesting door thats opened for you?

M:Hmmm it’s hard to name just one door… it seems like a whole corridor has opened for us! I’d say the interest from radio stations and general media has been a great help.
A: Narnia cupboard door that was big and interesting. Loads of cool stuff. We have had so many new doors open, including UK and USA radio interviews. gig dates with Powerquest amongst others and a whole heap of cool new fans.
R: For me it’s the fact that since we got back from the festival we have had bigger and better offers for gigs and its getting easier to get our music out there.
J: Having an actual album in your hands seems to be the best next step, bloodstock was an amazing experience, but one of many big performances we hope, our several prong promotions, in this years big shows, and “No Half Measures” being released should open dozens of doors, it’s a very exciting time
D: The live radio interview was quite interesting. We didn’t swear once!
A: Fucking brilliant!

PM: Suffice to say then, you are all opportunists. What interesting things have you done in the last year to promote Airstryke? What will people remember you for aside from music?

M:The best one was probably at Bloodstock Festival. We had stamps made stating our band name, stage name and set time… we were going round the festival completely covering people with these! Jamie actually stamped Alice Cooper’s guitarist…. I also threw our demo cd at Dan Hawkins during a Darkness gig. Don’t think he’ll forget that!
J: Considering its only been a 20 month ride so far, I’d have to say we’ve done pretty much everything. We’ve achieved so much in a short time, just hope the crazy train keeps rolling
A: Trying to do adverts is always going to be a whirlwind of stupidity. But we’re all about fun, so why not go a bit crazy?
R:We have started doing promo videos just to give all our a fans a view of the world of Airstryke. They all seem to get a good response as they aren’t your normal promo videos.

PM: I’ve seen some Rob, and they are hilarious! (They’re on YouTube if anyone wants to look them up!) Looking forward to seeing some more “home movies” from you! But if you ever have a movie made about the rise of Airstryke, which actors would play all of you?

A: I think Jack Black would be good as Jamie.
D: I don’t know about me, but I think Andy should be played by Russel Brand, Morgan by Justin Hawkins, and nobody could play Rob, cos Rob’s Rob.
R: Hmm that’s a hard one. I’ve been told I resemble Tom Cruise very often, haha so him for me.. Jim Carrey for Jamie, Tom Green for Morgan, the Incredible Hulk for Andy (sorry man) and Ben Affleck for Dean
A: The Incredible Hulk? I might be big, but I’m not green. Russel Brand is cool though, I can live with that…
J: A lot of people always comment I have a lot of likeness to Mike Myers, so if he’s lucky, and bleaches the hell out of his hair, he could do a good take on me.
M: Paul Stanley would play Andy… He’s not officially an actor but he has more presence than some. Rob would probably be played by…. The guy who plays Finch in American Pie. A Dark Horse…. with many secrets beneath the surface, Dean, definitely Silent Bob. I would be played by Garth from Wayne’s World, or Animal from the muppets.

PM: A puppet? Interesting choice! hahaha. Quite a range of flamboyant characters there. On (and off) stage, there’s a fair bit of spandex involved. Who influences the wardobe? What are you wearing right now?

D: Andy mainly, and awesome 80’s bands, because no matter how gay you think a glam band is, they’re still getting more pussy than you!
J: If you can put something on and Andy doesn’t scream “NO!!!”, you feel fairly safe, I swear there a women who’s less fashion conscious than our guitaist SOMEWHERE, it often makes you wonder…
A: Wonder what Jamie?
J: Nothing mate… nothing…
M: Anything from the 80s really…. You wonder where the Delorean from Back To The Future is now? It’s in Rob’s garage.
A: I’m wearing spray on black jeans, hightops, a Van Halen tee and cut off denim jacket. I love Kiss and David Lee Roth. Oh and all things shiny too.
R: Andy is the brains behind what to have as stage clothes but we all like to add our own personal twist. Getting into the spandex usually comes soon after arriving at the venue. It just gives us an excuse to have a dressing room.

PM: You’ve probably had some the size of phone boxes then. If you were a superhero, what would your superpower be?

A: Can I be a Ninja Turtle instead? They’re cool. I liked Michaelangelo.
J: The ability to sustain an erection when paraletic, now there’s a superpower for you!
R: To have some sort of guitar that shoots lightning when I solo maybe haha. Something along those lines anyway would be cool.
M: I would want the power to stop time so we could party more. But then, maybe, we’d be frozen in time too. Which would suck.
D: Orgazmo….

PM: … ok, so much for saving the world from crime then! What are your thoughts on illegal downloads?

D: Depends whos asking!
A: If you’re gonna nick it, show your mates!
J: Unfortunately in todays age, its just too easy to do so I don’t think it will ever be stopped completely, I guess the best thing to say to people who do wanna burn our album to a scribbled on disc, I just hope you’re spreading our seed to all your friends, so they at least pay the admission at a show near you and we can benefit from touring instead!
R: I can honestly say I’ve never downloaded a song illegally. Wouldn’t seem right. It’s much better having the actual CD and obviously I don’t like the sound of helping pull apart the music industry.
M: If you’re gonna steal our album at least show it to your mates! Other than that… I guess if you steal an album, you’re mainly stealing from the fatcat record companies… who already have enough money. But we don’t promote thievery… the only thing we’ll steal is your hearts (yeah that’s cheesy but so’s our music)

PM: You’ve already stolen mine! What do you find most endearing and most irritating about each other?

J: Andy!
M: Andy!
D: Andy!
R: Andy!
A: WTF???
R: I would say the endearing points are the fact we are on the same sort of wavelength now we have had around 2 years to get used to each other which makes it easier to move along with things but im going to have to say the irritating thing is definitely ego size haha
A: Ego’s often match the size of other things you know…
D: It’s Eastenders for the rock world.
J: Awww, I love them all…. ish.

PM: Revealing, I must say. Whats the most important thing you’ve learned about yourselves as individuals and as a band in the last year?

A: What they just said… fuckers. Hahaha! Seriously though, when things get tough, we don’t quit. We’ve proved that over and over.
M: Having laughed at death in the face in the form of cancer, we’ve realised that absolutely nothing can come between us and our ambitions. Except maybe a lion… but even then i’m sure we could win him over with some whiskey. He’s just a pussy after all.
A: And we’re used to dealing with those…
R: We are 5 very different people with the same aim which is to basically play our music and see where it takes us.
J: I don’t think I’ve really learned anything, seriously. I don’t even know the words to half the songs!!
D: Clearly, as just proven by Jamie… as individuals we’re useless, as a band we’re awesome.

PM: You’ve had some massive achievements and from scary situations too, but what has been (if any) your biggest disappointment to date?

R: I can’t say we have had any major let downs. We once went all the way to London to play a show and the promoter messed us around so we couldn’t play in the end. It was a wasted trip but we just laughed it off and turned it into a night out.
J: Definitely not enough groupies! Ladies take note!
D: Morgan’s illness last year. But it didn’t stop him, or us for that matter. As Andy said… we don’t quit.
J: Like perennial weeds!
M: Jamie, do you even know what “perennial” means?
J: No, but I hear it on those weed killer adverts all the time. We’re just like them… except prettier looking… and not weeds.
M: Fair enough… but that night when we finished the crate of beer and all the shops were shut was one of the most disappointing for me. Man those were hard times… but we pulled through.
A: Airstryke has been nothing but a learning curve and a great adventure.

PM: Adventures can be found anywhere at any time. Where would you love to play that you haven’t yet?

R: There are many places all over the world really but the ultimate dream is to play main stage Download or Bloodstock just because those 2 festivals hold a lot of memories for me and every time I see a band up there I always picture myself in their shoes.
D: Any sort of stadium event with thousands of people. Either supporting a major headline act or headlining ourselves, we’re not fussy!
A: We just love to play, but USA, Europe, Asia… Friends bathrooms… Oh wait… we did that one.
M: Any stadium or arena. Playing our music in pubs and clubs is fun, but to get the full shebang out of it, it needs to be heard in an arena where you’ve got the reverb and the crowds!
J: Wembley, the Albert Hall? Lol, I guess home shows always play close to our hearts so maybe getting on a show at the Assembly Rooms in Derby at some point might feel a little special?

PM: Some good goals to work towards there. It’s important to be realistic and keep yourselves grounded through your journey. Whats the best piece of advice you were ever given? Personal or music related.

M: “Don’t quit your day jobs”. As harsh as it sounds, it kinda makes sense… Without our day jobs we’d be thousands of pounds in debt… to ourselves. Work that one out.
A: This aint a pretty business so roll with the punches…
D: Life is difficult. If you are aware that life is difficult and you accept that life is difficult, then life is no longer difficult.
R: Well my guitar teacher said to me here is a C chord and then he showed me D and G and I’ve just stuck with that since!
J: Don’t eat yellow snow!!

PM: Very deep, inspiring and makes perfect sense to me too! Who designed the cover for “No Half Measures” and where did the inspiration for that and the title come from?

D: Inspiration comes from everywhere. For this specifically, it’s basically boobs and booze.
R: Well being as the songs on the album are mostly about drinking and partying, we know that to party you need to go full on, not half assed, but to really party hard you need to not be getting half measures. Of drinks I mean….. whats the point?
M: We actually had 3 different people work on the cover. A guy called Dan Bylo designed our logo, Lucy Parlett designed the artwork, and Nathan Harris touched it up (not sexually) and helped put it all together. Thanks to that POWER TRIO!
A: Lucy is also a fucking awesome tattooist!
J: I’m thirsty, who wants a drink?

PM: One final question for you then guys and mines a rum and coke please… are there any comments about the album you’d like us to share?

A: Buy it, Steal it, Show the world cos album number two will be even more awesome.
R: If you like to party, have a good time and love to rock out all night long then this is the album for you.
J: It’s awesome!!
M: Buy it cos it’s awesome! We had the most fun recording it, and we’ve already started writing the second album. Good things up ahead.
D: Buy it. It’ll rock your socks off.
A: We play because we enjoy it and to put the fun back into music for you guys. So to keep us playing, you need to keep listening and partying with us. Take us home with you!
J: Lets hit the pub!!!!!!
PM: Thanks for your time guys, and good luck with the launch party.

 

 

 

 

Airstryke’s new album “No Half Measures” is available from Friday 28th September 2012. The launch party is being held at The Hairy Dog, Victoria Street, Derby. Entry £4, doors 8pm. Support by Broken City Saints, and joined by special guests, Decadance Dolls, with a headlining performance by Notley Crue – Motley Crue Tribute.

For additional information, and contact details, please visit www.facebook.com/airstrykeuk
Interview by Jill Conell

General Manager and 'THE' competition guy at planetmosh.com. Manager of The Goddanm Electric www.thegde.co.uk, Tour manager for Serpentine, and ex-general Dogsbody at Hammerfest.co.uk. Media partner to numerous bands. Also takes photos, writes reviews and likes classic rock, with a touch of thrash to get the blood flowing.