Interview with Tom Phobic, Singer with The Phobics

Tom Phobic lives in Greenwich, Sarf east London, born in Shepherds Bush and raised in Kilburn and Hounslow before going south in the Mid 80's.

 

The Phobics formed in Deptford, South – East London in 1999 by a bunch of punk survivors and misfits with a love of raw rock n roll and sick of a smug and complacent music scene.
They've soaked in the blood of rock n roll, blow-torched the sacrament and written their songs in the ashes. Enough killer tunes, hooks, sarcasm, and riffs to wake up the jaded and shake up the gogglebox generation.

1. First Punk Rock band you ever saw Live? Where/when?

Proto punk actually - the Heavy Metal Kids in summer 1974 at the Winning Post in Twickenham. Old enough and lucky enough to have seen The Heartbreakers, Ramones, Saints, Damned, Clash, Dead Boys, Adverts, Patti Smith, Eddie and the Hot Rods, Johnny Moped, The Stranglers, The Damned, The Boys, The Jam, Blondie, Television, Richard Hell, Suicide, Generation X, The Models and many, many more all in 1977 mostly in London.

2. First Punk Rock Record you bought? What made you buy it?

 I wont go down the proto punk route again so I

guess  the Ramones first Lp in 1976, New Rose

by the Damned of course and I'm Stranded by The Saints, with apologies to Eddie and the Hot Rods and the Hammersmith Gorillas, Dr Feelgood and that ilk

3. Favourite Venue to play in? UK or abroad

The Marquee in Wardour Street, Gossips Soho, 100 Club, The Greyhound, Fulham Palace Road, Hammersmith Clarendon, Bumbles Acton  Birds Nest and Pelton Arms,  Hope and Anchor in the UK, In Germany Kulturrampe - Krefeld , CBGB's New York (1 song with the Star Spangles but cool to include it)

4. Influences?

Thunders, New York Dolls, MC5, Stooges, Radio Birdman, Blue Oyster Cult, Alice Cooper, Mott The Hoople, T Rex, Stones, Ramones, Heavy Metal Kids, Sensational Alex Harvey Band, Suicide, 60's girl groups and Brill building pop, the usual and obscure 60's garage and psych losers, Only Ones and of course the pioneering first generation punkers across the globe.

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5. Any new bands impressed you and worth a shout out?

 Daddy Long Legs, The Gakk, Svetlanas, Junko Fuse, Proud City Fathers, Slow Faction, Blue Carpet Band, Girls in Synthesis, Sensible Grey Cells and most of the bands we gig with.

6. What’s the future look like for you and The Phobics?

Depends on how long this Covid thing lasts! We probably had the most successful year of our 20 year existence last year, the new Album Burnt Rubber received fantastic reviews in all the right places and we were playing better gigs with better bands at better venues and actually getting press and attention - just about to hop on the Eurostar for a jaunt to Germany again with £600 of merch and a repressing of the new CD when the lockdown came.

Since then we've had one rehearsal, a fabulous photo session (thanks Denis) and a few pints together twice and that's been it! So I suppose get back on the ball as soon as we can when the promoters and venues can start booking and opening up if they haven't been forced to close because the Government don't really give a fuck about art, culture and music on our level so a lot of it will just go bust.

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7. What is the craziest, most memorable thing which happened on Tour?

Personally, having a stage monitor thrown at my head after offending a member of the audience. As for the Phobics, if we told you we'd have to kill you - what goes on tour stays on tour! Actually you'd be very disappointed, we are the epitome of good manners and behaviour, well - apart from Moyni!

8. What do you dislike?

Personally? well, cheese for a start! the Tories and their crippling policies, poverty and injustice, VAR, that horrible effect they have on vocals in what passes for current pop music, not being able to play gigs and see our dysfunctional punk n roll family and friends

9. Guilty pleasure?

The Beatles, 60's and 70's politically incorrect TV programmes and comedy.

 

10. Is Punk Rock Dead?

Nope, it mutates and survives, and after C-19 we need it more than ever!

11. Any advice for young musician out there?

Give it a go, which just happens to be the name of a newish tune we hope to bang out at our first post lockdown gig in December - check Facebook for details!

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Interviewed in London November 2020