Interview with Simon, guitarist/vocalist with Left For Dead

I originally came from Hastings in East Sussex and have now been Hackney based for past 9 years. I started playing in bands at the age of 15 and released a 7” single playing guitar in my first band Devastation when I was sweet sixteen.

Devastation was the typical, generic badly played UK82 but we thought we were the bollocks at the time. I then got out of playing music for a few years until my early twenties when I started jamming with friends from Hastings, this time playing bass.

We eventually formed a punk covers band called Truncheon Meat Squad and spent the next couple of years playing regular local pub gigs with the odd support here and there. During this time I also spent a short period of around 18 months playing bass for Splodgenessabounds which was a chaotic experience to say the very least!

After a particularly shambolic tour which ended up with just a couple of dates being played I called it a day as it really wasn’t for me.

My oldest friend and fellow Hastings dweller at the time Les Doherty (Varukers/Backstreet Abortions) had been talking about jamming as he wanted to get into playing the bass so I bought a cheap guitar and we started jamming and writing riffs in my flat in St Leonards.

Shortly after we got our friend Gam in to join us and he started writing lyrics to go with the riffs. It soon became clear after a while we would like to take it further at which point Shane our original drummer contacted us and we officially became a band playing our first gig at the Pembury Tavern in Hackney supporting Hellkrusher and The Restarts. I Cant be sure of the timeline but think this was around 1996.

First Punk band you ever saw Live? Where/when?

I first saw Stiff little fingers in Brighton at Top Rank, October 18th 1982 supported by Roddy Radiation and the Tearjerkers. I was 14 and can still remember the intensity and excitement to this day.

 

First Punk Record you bought? What made you buy it?

UK Subs She’s Not There 7” closely followed by SLF At The Edge single. I remember buying the Subs record in Woolworths in Tonbridge, Kent, I had gone in to buy SLFs At The Edge as the song was in the charts at the time and it was the first record that really made an impact on me, unfortunately the store didn’t have the SLF record so I grabbed the Subs instead. Both life long favourite records.

Favourite Venue to play shows? UK or abroad

My favourite venue is Lobuschstrasse in Hamburg , Germany. It’s by far the best DIY venue with the finest crew of people, many of whom went on to life long friends. RIP Aggel we miss you X

Influences?

Initially the band were influenced by all the usual suspects, SLF, UK Subs, Discharge, Motorhead to name a few but with time and a lot of years in the scene our influences have become much broader.

Any new bands impressed you and worth a shout out?

Of all the new bands in the London scene at the moment, Jawless always stands out to me. They’re a super tight and energetic band. They get my vote.

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What’s the future look like for you and Left for Dead?

Good question! First and foremost we want to get out of this lockdown and complete the new album we’d already started. To say 2020 was a momentous year for LFD was an understatement.

We ended 2019 by laying down the first five tracks for the new album and we were booked to go back in the studio in spring 2020 to complete another five tracks and ultimately the new album. COVID then came along and everything got put on hold and sadly our drummer Ed had to move back to his home town of Sao Paulo due to Brexit related issues.

We plan on completing the album with Ed recording his drum parts in Brazil and then mixing with guitar and bass here. Going forward we plan to start gigging again of the back of a new album but with a replacement drummer as Eds move back to Brazil has now become permanent.

Any shit hot drummers out there that fancy getting involved with a couple of belligerent old bastards, now is your chance! We were looking forward to a packed summer with a good line up of gigs, sadly the pandemic put a stop to this also. We were looking forward to playing Boomtown, Punks for Pam in Scotland and had started the planning for another tour in Brazil.

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What is the craziest, most memorable thing you have seen at a show? Favourite show?

I have no memories in particular that I’d describe as crazy but a few scenarios spring to mind. Quite a few years back our friend Connor flew us over to Wexford in Ireland to play the GGI festival which was being held in a large pub which I can’t remember the name of, we had waited all day to play then got a few songs into the set only for the lights to come up and the place to suddenly fill with the local Garda.

Turns out the head of the local Garda had some kind of beef with the landlord and that was the end of the night. A year or so before that Connor had also paid our flights to Dublin only for us to play just five songs of a set due to support bands over running.

So all in, after all the effort on Connors Part we only got to play a handful of songs. We did however return to Ireland a few years later with our great friends Rasta Knast from Hannover, Germany and played a 5 date tour which Connor organised for us so we did finally get to play some full sets in Ireland. Great memories and great times. The show I’d say was my favourite was in Campinas, Brazil as part of our 2018 tour with Flicts. The whole tour was amazing but this gig stands out, it was mental! What a great gig. We love Brazil and the punks there have a special place in our heart.

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Greatest Punk album ever released?

That is a pretty subjective question and pretty impossible to pin down to one album. For me SLFs Nobody’s Heroes is my all time favourite record as it just struck a chord with my teenage attitude to life at the time. I can still listen to this album regularly and be transported right back to my youth.

Other very important albums for me are Stations of the Crass and Plasmatics - New Hope For The Wretched also Discharge - Hear Nothing See Nothing Say Nothing and UK Subs - Another kind of blues

Favourite Punk band to share the stage with?

My favourite bands to share the stage with are Rasta Knast from Hannover, Germany and from Sao Paulo, Brazil are both Flicts and Agrotoxico all great musicians and friends for life.

Guilty pleasure?

 

No comment !!!!!

Where does the name Left for Dead come from?

Left for Dead is a song title from UK Subs first album - Another kind of Blues. All LFD band members were big Subs fans when we started out.

Any advice for aspiring young Punk band out there?

 

Set your sights low and enjoy the journey!!

Interviewed in February 2021

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