The Adicts came together in 1977 in Ipswich, England. They scored many Indie Chart hits in the Eighties, and are unbelievably still together, and still making great music with the same original line-up - Monkey on vocals; Mel Ellis on bass; Pete Dee on guitar; and 'Kid Dee' on drums. Schecter sat down with Pete Dee to discuss their longevity in the music scene and their new album.
You just signed to Nuclear Blast Records, which is mainly known for releasing metal albums. How did this come about?
PETE: The owner, Marcus, is a huge fan, and checked us out, which is how it came about. NB seems like a good label, and we hope it all goes well.
The new album seems to be a little darker musically than previous releases. What was the writing process like, and what influenced you at that time?
PETE: The new album, And It Was So, is a loud album with a much heavier sound, great tunes, a mix of all sorts of strangeness, and exciting things to hear. Influences are just life in general, from politics to cooking a meal. We write what we want to without any really defined influences. It’s the Adicts way. Kid writes a lot of the lyrics, I build it, and turn it into what it ends up being. No rules.
How is releasing an album now different from the past, during this uncertain climate that the record industry is in?
PETE: I suppose it’s mainly a digital difference.
It seems like for most of the bands career you guys have been more or less a DIY band. Has that helped or hurt you?
PETE: Being DIY for so long has made us stronger, but imagine if we had the clout to put on a show. It would be amazing, and such fun. So it’s done both - hurt us and helped us. We aren’t complaining.
In the last few years there has been a resurgence for The Adicts. You seem to never get off tour and every time you return, the shows are bigger than the last. How do you keep the shows fresh and exciting not only for the fans, but for yourselves?
PETE: It’s what we do. We’re always evolving, and we love what we do. We give 100% always. Our fans are brilliant, and they are loyal.
You’ve been at it for about 40 years, and still blow away any band of young punks that open for you. How do you do it?
PETE: No idea.
In the past, The Adicts had a rep of being more of a gang than a band, destroying anyone and anything in their way. Is touring still a blast after so many years, and can you give us a crazy story from the road?
PETE: We calmed down many years ago. Really, we are all genuine nice guys, we just don’t tolerate ignorance and disrespect. There are a zillion crazy stories, and I can’t think of one right now, ha ha ha.
The Adicts are pigeon-holed as an English pop punk band to many, but how do you define your sound?
PETE: I get fucked off with labels. I’m still annoyed today at the punk label given to us. People need to understand a few things. We were playing before punk was a label. To be called a punk is an insult. So labels annoy me. Pop punk, ha ha ha ha, fuck that, whatever!!! I’m a rocker. I’m a rebel still. I use my music to express things. Journalists need to go in open minded, and not use labels. At the end of the day, it’s rock and roll. So turn it up, and rock out.
When did you come to Schecter guitars, and did they approach you or vice versa?
PETE: Yes they approached me, and I declined them in a rude manner, which has all been forgiven. They are a great company, and I’m proud to be part of their family.
In your words, what sets Schecter apart from other guitar companies, what was your initial attraction?
PETE: Well when I saw and played Prince’s guitar I thought, ‘if it’s good enough for him, it’s good enough for me.’ They are great people who run the show, and I think their guitars are superb.
You have had two signature models. What went into creating your models, and how are they different?
PETE: I have one signature model, they just changed the color from white to black. Time to do another color, maybe back to white, ha ha ha.
Your stage show is like a three ring circus of rock-n-roll. What is more important to a band like The Adicts, the stage show, or the music?
PETE: The music comes first, always. From that we can then derive some kind of fluid motion in the set. It would be great to have three rings.
What is next for the Adicts?
PETE: We are going to be touring. The new album released in November, and we shall be recording soon again, we hope. Lots going on.