INTERVIEW: UK’s The Hip Priests Want to Fuck, Drink & Fuck You Up
The Turbojugend way of life is pretty much non-existent in South Florida. The Miami chapter for example currently holds 7 members (yes, Turbojugends have chapters). My guess is that it’s way too cool a movement for such a flaky city like Miami. Don’t get me wrong, some people down here tear up some Turbonegro BUT that’s only one in a million, the other 999,999 residents are listening to Enrique Iglesias or whatever maraca bongo filled bullshit is on the radio.
On a recent trip, I hung out at Elmyr, a bar/restaurant in the Little Five Points district in Atlanta that also hosts the ATL chapter of Turbojugends. The vibe there was awesome; cheap beers, great music and better times. I learned that the movement is really just a brother/sisterhood of friends that watch their backs and have a shitload of fun. It also helps your cause when the women of your movement are ridiculously hot.
I first heard the Hip Priests on their 2012 split 7″ with the Dwarves. They also recently came up in an interview I did with co-founder of Self Destructo Records, Matt Hutchison. Matt mentioned that he was releasing H.P.’s new record titled Black Denim Blitz in the U.S. I asked Matt for an interview with the band. He was able to hook us up with Hip Priests guitarist Austin Rocket. Austin is by far is one of the most memorable guitarists in that scene, bringing a ruthless assault of guitar leads combined with unrelentingly chord progressions.
Tuff Gnarl: You dudes just released your third record, Black Denim Blitz, how many STDs have you contracted since your last record?
Austin Rocket: Yeah the infectious aural virus that is Black Denim Blitz was released this week and is spreading like wildfire round the globe as we speak. We’re wise enough to know that shit like STDs just prevents us spreading our disease even further. You don’t want to be out of action when there’s devoted boys and girls coming to the shows begging to be drenched in our sonic goo!
You have three record labels releasing Black Denim Blitz worldwide; No Balls Records in Germany, Ghost Highway Records in Spain and Self Destructo here in the States. I have to ask, is it because your music is simply too fucking powerful for just one label or is it because the world can only handle your awesomeness in bits?
There’s actually 6 labels in total (Little T&A, Strange Magic and AM Records are also involved) releasing it because they were all clambering for a piece of our action! From the slew of killer 7 inches we released last year, all the labels knew just how scorching this new album was going to be and begged us to let them assist in releasing the beast. The Euro edition came out this week and the first pressing has virtually sold out already! The world is waking up to the might of the Black Denim Blitz, the legions of Spasm Gang devotees are growing by the day and sooner or later we will be crowned the saviors of fucked up garage filth rock as we so rightly deserve. Either that or one of us will die and then it’s all over.
Your first music video off Black Denim Blitz is for the track “Vodkacoma Casanova” and it sets the tone for the rest of the record. Dirty, full of bitchin’ guitar leads and stinks of rough power sex. So why vodka? Why not Whiskycoma?
Any stimulant will do, we’re not fussy. Vodka or whisky, coke or speed, pink or brown, there is no choice to make other than excess and having a fuckin’ good time!
When all the groupies are away, the booze has been drank and the drugs have been taken what do the Hip Priests do on their off time?
Time off? There is no such thing, there’s just days with or without shows. This ain’t some half-arsed act that’s put on for the sake of being in a rock and roll band. We do what we do and we do it hard! On stage we give it our fuckin all – heart, soul, blood, sweat and cum goes into every fuckin’ show and we play them all like it’s our last. Otherwise what’s the fuckin point?
Out of all the places to perform which is your favorite?
The place doesn’t make any difference at all, it’s always down to the people there to witness it. When the crowd is going mental, there’s beer flying all over the place, the girls are dancing up the front, I don’t care what town we’re in. Whether it’s an underground sweatbox on the Reeperbahn, a strip club in LA or a trashy house party makes no odds, we’ve destroyed them all and loved every second of it.
Choose wisely- Who’d win in a fight to the death? Turbonegro or Motörhead?
[Laughs] Now that’s a hell of a question! I adore both bands but I’ll be honest, I think they’re both past their best these days. Don’t get me wrong, they still put on great shows and I buy their records but the original Motörhead line up and the Apocalypse Dudes line up of Turbonegro were truly untouchable bands that oozed perfection. Iggy would still kick all their arses! What is there to do in Nottingham?
Not that much other than getting fucked in the local bar, which is why we play outta town so much. Like most UK cities, the rock n roll scene is pretty fuckin dead but we do our best to keep it alive. There’s a cool, scuzzy little venue called The Chameleon where we’ve played some killer shows with other great UK bands like The Sick Livers, Los Pepes and Epic Problem.
You guys have released splits with more bands than any other band in recorded history (Electric Frankenstein, Dwarves, X-Rays, Dead Cuts, Jonny Manak & The Depressives). Which has been your favorite band to work with?
[Laughs] You mean there was another side to those 7”s other than ours? They’ve all been fuckin’ cool to do and we’ve got even more lined up, one of which is at the pressing plant right now! The Dwarves was my favorite to do but that’s down to the fact that the reviews said we kicked their arse with our mighty “Motherfucker Superior” tune rather than any involvement with the band. We’re all vinyl freaks so the more the better and we’ll go head to head with anyone that’s willing to step up.
What’s the best and worst thing about being a Turbojugend?
The best? Fuck, there’s loads! We’ve met and got fucked up with so many cool people over the years from all around the world who have gone out of their way to support their fellow jugend. We’ve been TJ Babylon Boys since 2003, long before The Hip Priests were a band so when we formed, a lot of the jugend knew us from the start and have supported us over the years. We’re the only band (other than Turbonegro obviously) to be invited to play WTJT in Hamburg 3 times and every time has been a blast as well as total carnage. We toured the US last year and 95% of the shows were organized by jugend in different cities and we’ve played many jugend shows in the UK and Europe. The highlight for me has got to be playing in Big Al’s house in LA on a Saturday afternoon, he pushed the furniture out the way, got in a PA and we played right in the middle of his living room to a crowd of jugend going crazy!
The worst thing? The fact that some of the coolest people you meet live on the other side of the world and you rarely get to hang out with them.
What are your four favorite releases of all time?
Iggy & The Stooges’ Raw Power, Turbonegro’s Apocolypse Dudes, The Hellacopters’ Payin The Dues and The Ramones’ It’s Alive.
Slider photo by Svenja Block
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