"WANTED!!!" scream the flyers, "for Attempted Murder of Boring Rock and Roll , Slaughtering of Indie-Rock Dullness , Sonic Terrorism , Shameless Glamour and Excessive Ambition."At the Manchester Roadhouse , a venue usually reserved for local not-quite there chancers like the Clint Boon Experience , guitarist Ivan 666 is threatened with violence for , in true rock and roll style , spraypainting the immortal words 'Starcrossed Spitfires' across their dressing room wall. A contingent of obsessive fans and groupies proceed to vandalise the venues toilets , the dressing room and the bar. A Jesus and Mary Chain-era Bobby Gillespie would be proud.
Starcrossed Spitfires are only two months old , formed in September and comprised of Kitty Cocaine (lead vocals) , Ivan 666 (guitars) , Missy Blame (bass) and Jimmy Nintendo (drums). They are cliched , young , pretty and fucked. They have ambition , appetite , ardour and enterprise not seen since Richey-era Manics. Only King Adora are as recklessly loud-mouthed. Coldplay , they are NOT.
" I wanted to be a popstar , not a fucking sound engineer ," *speaks Ivan of his musical past at the Manchester School of Sound Recording. *"It was too expensive anyway ," he continues ," I nearly joined a certain Manchester band in July but I didn't go past the first meeting ." He laughs:" At the Night and Day Cafe ...... got too drunk ... got expelled from the place ... haven't heard from them since ," he concludes with a smug grin across his perfectionist rock star face.
It was fortunate for us that Ivan drank to excess and his future with that certain band , who remain nameless because he "can't remember their fucking name," disintegrated. Appropriately , it was the Marxism 2000 event that he met frontwoman Kitty Cocaine.
"She'd been evicted from her flat in Sheffield ........ that same day we were in a Soho pub drinking Vodka at noon and making plans ." The Spitfires have come a long way since their chance coming together only two months ago and Ivan is overwhelmingly enthusiastic about their debut gig which he still describes as a nightmare.
"Our Halloween Gig!!", he exclaims, " A FUCKING BLOODY MESS !!!! EVERYTHING that could go wrong went wrong but it was still a FUCKING EXCITING GIG !!!!" * Throughout the intro-tape , consisting of the glam-punk of David Bowie and Iggy Pop , the band pushed multi-coloured glitter filled balloons out onto the stage. Their backdrop made up out of cut-up newspaper headline sloganeering *"I forgive the bullet , "You're safe , do you love me ?" , "Fed up with being worked like a machine." "One of them," Ivan tell us," said 'BLOW ME' with the ME taken from the NME , hahahaha "
The end of their intro-tape is a bigger statement of intent than ANY of their soundbytes though. 'Why does it always rain on me?' plays before the band take to the stage. But the vocals are drowning in a mess of sound-effects and weird drones until all that is left is an ugly-heartbeat style drone. Ivan bounds on stage and proclaims to all those assembled:* "You are gonna fucking love us!!!"* A word of advice to all promoters out there , don't stop Starcrossed Spitfires putting on their show. They can do some serious damage. Just ask the Manchester Roadhouse.
Powerful , passionate , ambitious and simply downright brilliant , one can but wonder what it is that drives Starcrossed Spitfires to put themselves so out of step , to be so different , hungry and forceful. "I dunno really , we all absolutely LOVE David Bowie but then we sound fuck all like him , my guitar has a very Nirvana-esque sound to it , but that's coincidental that I use a similar set-up to Kurt Cobain ." No , I'm not talking about music. Starcrossed Spitfires seem beyond imitation. Music aside , what inspires you to do what you do ? "(sighs) Years of boredom , the desire to do something as timeless and special as OUR favourite bands did and ," Ivan smirks ," we want to be famous , of course !! "
"Young people might have so much to say and society couldn't give a fuck. That's why people become old , bitter and cynical and being in this band is our soapbox ," he proclaims conclusively. This is what I was trying to get at. I remember something of yours called 'Everyday Apocalypse' that was about capitalism and you seem to hint at it again in titles like 'From a Dying Land'. You're politically orientated then , are you ? "Well , we hate Tories and all that," he smiles, "but we don't wanna preach. As individuals it's important to not ignore certain issue but our songs aren't necessarily political."
"That said , Kitty wrote a very political song," he recalls. His eyes gaze upwards as he tries to remember and begins reciting lyrics: " ' cocaine prices fall with demands for pills / after 2 world wars that's what you died for / your worthless prize and wasted pain / a hymn for those who died in vain ."
You seem pretty sure of yourself. That Starcrossed Spitfires are so important. Justify yourself. **"Indie music just means being boring , conservative , luddite , unambitious and ugly.
We're not like those bands like Coldplay , Travis or , i dunno, Hefner ."**
"Our songs have weird structures. No solos. We are completely punk in attitude but we don't sound like the fucking Offspring or Blink 182," Ivan spits. "We offer a new take on the tired guitar band formula. We try to show that you don't have to follow the fucking rules," he continues,* "we ARE more exciting than any other band in Britain today and we look better too."*
Yes , the "shameless glamour". Not so shameless when you consider that the Manics beat you to it. "Didn't David Bowie beat THEM ? Glamour in rock wasn't invented by the Manics. We all love artists like Bowie , T-Rex and the New York Dolls but -"
Do you like the Manics ?
"No more than we like other artists. Maybe it's cos the Manics were a more recent thing that people are more likely to compare us with them ."
"I don't wanna talk about the Manics anyway," he snaps petulantly ,"we have nothing to do with it !! "
Hmmmm , quite. Well , what do you reckon to all those Manics wannabes then , like JJ72 and King Adora ?
"Hmmmmm..." he ponders,"Maybe they are called 'Manics wannabes' cos they don't mind being someone's second favourite band . But..." Ivan rants more, "We are having none of that !! We want to be people's number one ! Their favourite band , or at least hate us. Or fuck off !!!"
"But, as for JJ72 ..... well , I saw the video for 'Oxygen' and I was pretty dismayed. It looks like 'You stole the sun from my heart'. Young people shouldn't be or look that boring . I met King Adora ," he continues , "when they played at Madame Jo-Jo's and they're very nice guys but it's annoying that people are so superficial. King Adora sound more like the Pixies but they're compared to the Manics because of an image thing ."
But , you're constantly on about YOUR band's image. Aren't YOU being superficial ? Aren't YOU more image than song ?
**" GIVE US A FUCKING RECORD DEAL AND WE'LL FUCKING CHANGE
THE WORLD !!!!! "* , Ivan shouts! He takes a deep breathe , and continues: *"When we play live we'd rather fuck-up and look fantastic than play a tight note-perfect set and look as
boring as a band like JJ72. We want to be exciting and the visual element has alot to do with it ."**
Constantly bemoaning the state of music , you even say that the year 2000 might aswell be 1975 all over again. Doesn't that make you the new Sex Pistols ?
" Urgh ," squeals Ivan unintelligibly, " The Pistols weren't the 'New Beatles' were they ? No they WERE the new .... thing. THAT'S the point. WE are new as well ."
I thought that Nu-Metal was the contemporary equivalent of punk and ......
"Nu-Metal is dead !!!" he says proclaims, " teen-angst as a merchandising fad. We are just as loud , a thousand times better looking and," the disgust increasing in his voice, "we will NEVER sell those shitty black-tops to our fans. We'll respect them more than that."
What about the Lo-Fi Manchester re-emerging indie scene then ? Badly Drawn Boy ? Alfie ? What thinks you ?
"The Nu-Metal scene and the Acoustic thing have loads in common ," he grits his teeth, "like fans with really fucking shite taste."
"Actually," he laughs, "I have a friend in Manchester with a hamster called Alfie. They are both Mancunian , small , cute , inoffensive and boring . Ha , ha , ha. I wanna know if it's true that Ian Brown fucked about alot in Manchester during his youth," he grins, "cos if he's got a bastard child it's that fucking Lee Gorton from Alfie!!!"
" We couldn't be more different ," he starts to conclude ," we're gonna shake things off , turn everything upside down , give music a new lustre and kiss everyone before we get out. We do things our way. We didn't ask for permission to exist and we won't lick the fucking NME's arse. "
Ivan is unstoppable. Even after the interview is finished he is still talks enthusiastically about his band's new material. A new song is called 'Frozen and Fucked' which , apparently , has "synthesised voices , crazy samples and cool riffs."
Most people are too cynical to believe having seen one too many false dawns but Starcrossed Spitfires are the real deal. They look like a 70's glam rock band but sound like Daphne and Celeste fronting a mature Nirvana that spent it's childhood listening to the Jesus and Mary Chain , Sonic Youth and Joy Division. A punkier angstier Suede. But an aggressive angst , not a dark bedroom indie kid type scenario. A believably perfect rock and roll pastiche (i.e not Slipknot).
When Nostrodamus predicted the end of the world he didn't say it would be destroyed by four young , ambitious sexy-as-fuck kids
with guitars. Lock up your parents and come out and join the party.