Interview with Robin of The Restarts

I was born and raised in a tiny village in the Netherlands before moving to London when I was 19 years old and although I’ve visited plenty of other places around the world since then - either on holiday, on tour or as an activist - I never felt like moving as I feel at home in London and have done for the last 20 years. I currently play guitar and shout in the Restarts, guitar and a bit of shouting in Butcher Baby and I play some guitar and vocals in a project called the Wuhan Bats which started during lockdown. I also jam with mates now and then.

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

I’m not sure, by my standard of what I’d consider Punk Rock it would

be the UK Subs at Tivoli in Utrecht around 1998?

But before discovering Punk Rock I’d seen the some of the Epitaph bands

at rock festivals I used to go to when I was 15/16 with mates, like Rancid, Pennywise, Bad Religion etc, back in 94/95, saw Rage Against The Machine twice and I saw the Toy Dolls at Lowlands fest in the Netherlands in 1996 I think it was.

 

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

The Exploited - Troops of Tomorrow.

I’d heard this album and Beat the Bastards from a mate of mine, the only other Punk Rocker at the school I attended hehe

 

3. Favourite Venue to play in? UK or abroad?

There’s a few: Crowbar (Groningen), Villa Friekens (Amsterdam),

Lobusch/No Pasaran (Hamburg), the old Rumah Api (Kuala Lumpur),

Poison Club (London), Orkz bar (Groningen), there’s probably more I can’t think of, it’s been a while since we played a gig hehe, but I like the smaller venues in city’s where we have a lot of good mates basically.

4. Influences?

Poison Idea, speed, beer, life, stuff that hasn’t been shouted about enough,

stuff that frustrates me, stuff that make people think.

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

Nexø from Copenhagen, Fucking Angry from Cologne and of course Eskorputas!

 

 

6. What’s the future look like for you and your bands?

No idea, hopefully play a fucking gig at some point hahaha! Our priority is rescheduling the US Uprising tour but

no idea when that will happen. I got a court case coming up in May for a direct action with Palestine Action so I hope that won’t negatively affect the band and our tour plans…

 

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

I think the entire Indonesia/Malaysia tour with MDC and the Elected Officials must have been the craziest tour in it’s entirety, in a positive way. Definitely my favourite tour so far.

National Demonstration for Palestine 201

8. Horror Movies or Science Fiction

or others?

Science fiction I think, I don’t mind

horror but it needs to be good  acting and a great original storyline.

 

9. What do you dislike the most?

Inequality, bullies, machos, drama,

gossip, lies, ukuleles.

 

10. Guilty pleasure?

Not sure as that should be something you feel ashamed about liking right? And I don’t actually feel ashamed to like to listen to Dire Straits sometimes, and I love the Creedence Clearwater Revival, I dunno, is that a guilty pleasure?

11. Is Punk Rock Dead?

Definitely not! I think Punk Rock has expanded massively over the decades and there are so many genres and sub genres and everyone thinks how they live their life is the definition of Punk Rock. I’ve come to realise what I thought was Punk Rock, probably isn’t really Punk Rock. 

I’m not talking about the music, but the other stuff I like doing, like voluntary work, activism etc. I’m usually the only Punk Rocker.

I’m not bothered about the “label” like some people seem to be.I don’t think I’ve changed much over the last 24 years and I’d consider myself a punkrocker but simultaneously I couldn’t care less what others wanna call me. Just be yourself, follow your instinct and learn from life I guess.

   Fuck I need a beer.

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Interviewed in London December 2020