[UPDATE: Just added the audio file which you can download here]
You probably haven’t heard of Deadline, which is a shame. They were a decent band who I interviewed when they were doing a support slot at the Bradford St George’s Hall. They were unusual for being a band with three guitarists before Iron Maiden made it cool. Or mainstream. Your choice.
To the best of my knowledge they only had the one self-financed album and didn’t get any further, though if anyone can correct me then please do!
My original introduction reads as follows:
The interview was done on the 22nd April 1997 at Bradford St George’s Hall. All questions are in bold, and Dean’s answers in normal type. Another member of the band, I think it was Tim, popped in the occasional answer. His responses will be marked just to stop him sitting there reading this going “I said that – not Dean!” The photos due to appear on this page in the near future will be courtesy of Claire Beasty. Without her dad’s camera I’m sure they wouldn’t have come out anywhere near as good.
For those who don’t know, Deadline are a rather good up-and-coming rock band from Liverpool. They recently supported Thunder on their extensive UK tour and have, apparently, landed themselves a deal to produce at least one full album. They’re also, if Dean is anything to go by, rather mental…
Well, I suppose the best way to start is… tell us about the band.
Dean: Well, there are four people in the band. Drums, guitar, bass and vocals – only one guitar. We’ve been going about four or five years. It’s been a hard struggle all this way [laughs]. To really know about the band, you have to see us. We’re just an energetic rock band. That’s all we’ve ever tried to be. Just write the songs we write and play them the way we want to play them. We don’t actually try to do anything, things just sort of come up – you know what I mean? So we can’t say “we’re like this” or “we’re like that”. We’re just an energetic, young rock band. I think!
Who’ve just been signed?
Dean: Apparently there’s this thing going on – this record company sort of thing happening with us at the moment. But I only found out on the phone last night, second hand from Steve the guitarist, so I don’t really know what the score is and I haven’t spoken to the manager yet. I think he’s probably keeping it away from us in case it affects us or something. But if it’s true, hopefully we’ll be able to get an album out by August. We’ve got the material, we just need to get good recordings of it. We want to get a single out in the next three months, definitely. Hopefully within about a week of this tour finishing, get into the studio and record a single. A song calledOut Of My Way [great choice. They played it on the night – Mosh]. A pretty energetic, fast, in-your-face song and just under three minutes long. Fingers crossed!
All I’ve got is a copy of the Medicine CD which is…
Dean: Old! Very old! But it’s good. The Medicine song is one of our grass roots songs. All our other songs have sort of come from that. Unfortunately with it having been so old and us having played it that many times we just don’t like it any more. It’s a nightmare! I like hearing it, but playing it’s like “bummer!”, especially in the rehearsal room. So we haven’t been playing that on this tour. We’ve been playing our newer stuff.
Do you still do the cover of Walking On Sunshine?
Dean: What cover? Which one? No!
Tim: They’ve been put in the bin because we’re just coming up with new stuff constantly and we’re progressing.
Dean: That’s it – progression. With the Walking On Sunshine thing, when we first started and nobody knew us whatsoever, we played that song just so that we could get a buzz going. They don’t know us. We’ve just played a load of our songs, they haven’t got a clue about so we lash this one at them. It got a great vibe going. It worked at the time, but it would just be totally wrong for us to do it now because we’ve got songs of our own that we much prefer. It’s a silly song. It’s a fun song, though. Should still do it. Probably get a big crowd reaction!
You managed a video off Medicine.
Dean: We had Medicine and Power Junkie. Funnily enough, the Power Junkie director is sat opposite me at the moment! Sat on the floor ’cause he can’t get a seat! [Never did catch the guy’s name – sorry! Hope I’m on the first longform video, though *hint*! – Mosh] It was boss and cost next to nothing as well. Got on MTV and everything.
You can tell it cost next to nothing – it was in black and white!
Dean: Shhhh! That’s his fault [the director]. Wouldn’t put the money in the meter to get colour!
I saw that way back on ITV when the show used to be called Raw Power, I think. [Hands up all you other sad gits who’d set the video for it and inevitable miss the last 20 minutes because it was never on at the advertised time]
Dean: We got on that and we also got on MTV. It was great because we were the first unsigned band ever to be on Headbanger’s Ball. It was boss! Nice one! It was all down to him – Andy [Ah, so I did get a name!Mosh].
Andy: And I’m going to do another one. Aren’t I? [looks hopeful]
You keeping him on for when you get the album, then?
Dean: Oh, aye, yeah! He’s the man! He’s doing some rockumentary footage, backstage with Deadline. The wild men of… sitting on chairs! We need somewhere to stay when we go to the Roxy as well. He lives up here as well.
Tim: Who’s it for, this rockumentary?
Dean: I don’t know – I know nothing! [a barely plausible Manuel impression follows]. I do. I know nothin’. No one tells me anything because I don’t really want to know.
Tim: You just don’t listen!
Dean: I just go “hmmm… ahhhh…” and then they get pissed off because I’m not listening to them. All I’m arsed about is the music at the moment. I’m not arsed with all the business side, just the music side. Unless we get the music side sorted there’s not going to be no business side!
Tim: All we’re bothered about is the half hour or so we get on stage. Or 15 minutes…
Dean: The half hour we get on stage before the doors open, yeah. But we’re not bitter. Like the Murphy’s. Like the Boddingtons, we’re bitter. We are bitter men, actually.
Tim: The problem with rock venues is that you just can’t get a good pint of Guinness anywhere in any of them.
What you want to do is go across the road to The Exchange because you’ll get a fine pint of Guinness in there.
Dean: Well, when we’ve soundchecked we’ll go over there then!
Of course I’ve got to say that because I work there and my girlfriend’s one of the management…
Dean: This is just out of order, this! We should have just done this at the bar! Well… do you want to know about our future?
You seem to know it already – go on.
Dean: I don’t. I just wondered if you want to know about it!
Tim: Very bright.
You gotta wear shades?
Dean: That’s it – exactly.
Tim: Just like the lights adorning our dressing room mirror [not one of which works].
Dean: Yeah. Very bright. We’re all on a bit of a downer at the moment because of this tour situation. On the last part it was just us and Thunder and it was great. We were on at a boss time, the places were full and all that. Now Skin are on – it’s nothing against Skin. I’m not saying it’s them and I want to stab them or anything, because I don’t – they’re alright. Anyway, now they’re on, it’s taking it away from us. If we hadn’t of had the first bit, it wouldn’t have been so bad. It’s a bit of a comedown. Mind you, last night was better than the first night and tonight might be better again. You never know – that’s the whole fun of it. I’m just waiting till we headline it and I’ll turn up in my big flash Porsche. BRRRMMM!! Hey, I’m here! Everyone will’ve finished their pints by then and they’ll watch us.
Any plans for a tour of your own?
Dean: We’re doing Rock City on the 16th of May and from then on I’m not sure what’s happening. We’re going to have a word with Skin, actually. They’re doing a tour and if they’re into us playing with them… If not, just copy the tour that they’re doing and follow them round!
So inevitably we’ll see you at Rios every two months?
Dean: Shhhh! We’ve done there before. We played there ages ago when we first started. That’s where he [Andy] first saw us – in Rios. It’s like a big homecoming, this! A family atmosphere. I feel like I’m back home in the North West. Yeah, we met him at Rios back when we were third on the bill and you go on about half five or something. Most people are having their tea. Even the bar staff aren’t working. We did there a couple of times. It was great. What I remember about there is playing there while… what’s that band from Bradford who are dead big in Germany?
Dean: Yeah, them.
It’s Halifax actually, but you’re close.
Dean: We’re talking about rock bands, not pop!
Andy: Ooooooh! Dean: Anyway, Paradise Lost were playing here while we were playing there. That’s great, because all the rock fans were here and we were playing there to no one.
[Brief interruption by Duh Management (Mike Walker) during which Turett’s Syndrome is mentioned]
Dean: Pie and beans!
So how have Thunder been on the tour?
Dean: We’ve spoken to them and everything! Like of the “hello, sir!” We’ve got on sound. I think it’s because we’re unknowns and they’re not worried about us. They’re little kids – come under me wing. Everyone’s sound with us. I think it’s because we’re such nice people.
It’s quite a hectic tour isn’t it? A lot of dates.
Dean: Yeah. What’s mad about it is that it’s up the country, down the country, up… not just around. The first one was planned out boss and it was a proper circuit. But because Danny [of Thunder] cocked up and had a sore throat and that, it had to get all messed up.
Do you reckon that’s going to take a lot out of you, doing all the travel?
Dean: Nah, it’s great. Few games of cards and you’re there. Anything to be away from where we live. It’s great. At the moment, there’s six of us in the van: the driver, the roadie and the band. It’s just a dead cool vibe driving around going “look at that!” or whatever. It’s just boss. Dunno why people get pissed off with it. All you have to do is sit there and go to sleep if you don’t like it. You don’t do much of that in the night.
So it’s all one big party at the minute?
Tim: Life is…
Dean: That’s it. Kind of. I’ve got a headache today. It’s because I slept with my hair wet last night. Nothing to do with all the beer and that. Not the beer. Not that. Pie and beans.
Alright – I’ll bite. What’s this “pie and beans” stuff?
Dean: Yesterday we were in this café and we were all sat miles apart. I was just talking to someone. I’d asked him about something and he asked me a question as I was answering him. So I just said this sentence and stuck “pie and beans” on the end. And he just goes into hysterics because he thought I had Turett’s Syndrome shouting things out wildly. You had to be there, really.
Tim: You did! He’s a great teller of a story is our Dean!
Dean: Yeah, there’s this bloke and he walks into a pub and he says… he says, “Can I have a pint of beer please?” [silence] Erm, it’s all the drugs, you see. The whole sex, drugs and rock’n’roll thing. It pickles the brain.
Alright: trivia time. If you had to pick a bill for a gig, six artists, who would you choose and who would headline? Dead or alive.
Dean: Bloody hell. Errrr… Deep Purple.
Tim: Sly and the Family Stone.
Dean: Deep Purple. Led Zeppelin. George Clinton. That sort of vibe all goes together well, doesn’t it? I like ‘jammy’ type stuff. I like stuff that seems dead natural, then seems like it’s going off then comes back together. Hendrix and the like. Where they can just go winging it and you think they’ve lost the plot. Then on the next beat everything just goes bam! and they’re back together.
Tim: Of course, we’d be headlining.
Dean: I’m not really into bands. I’m more into songs.
Alright – you’ve got 4 tracks to pick for an EP…
Dean: Oh my God. You should have given us a week to think about it. I don’t think I can do that! Relax by Frankie Goes To Hollywood. Misty Mountain Hop by Led Zeppelin.
Tim: Move On Up by Curtis Mayfield. Breathe – the Prodigy [excuse me while I try not to vomit… Mosh]
Dean: 19 Years Old by some old blues geezer. We’re not music fans. We’re music makers, man! We don’t like most rock stuff because now we do it. I like what we do with it. I always think “I wouldn’t have done that”. So I don’t go to rock clubs and gigs any more which is a bummer. Taking away the silver lining. Just left with cloud.
Tim: Deep, man!
Dean: Pulitzer prize stuff. I don’t even know what that is. You can ask us any questions whatsoever. Anything. Not even anything about the band. Anything. I won’t avoid it. I’ll try and give you an answer. As us what colour underwear we’re wearing. They’re the type of interviews I want. Smash Hits ones.
Alright. Who’s going to win the Coca Cola Cup match tonight?
Dean: Chesterfield and Middlesborough, right? I hope Chesterfield win [they didn’t! Ha! Mosh]. You a Middlesborough fan?
No, Newcastle, but they’re as close as I can get at the moment.
Dean: That’s alright. You’re going to win the league next season. Kenny’s there – I’m telling you. Could get into second this season. Newcastle have the best chance. Them and Arsenal.
Well, I won’t mention certain other teams from this area who are about to get relegated [Claire prtends not to care]
Dean: Domestics and everything. I don’t know! Actually, back to the music. I’m right into The Doors at the moment. I was listening to the album in the bath the other day. Well, I was in the bath. The album wasn’t. It was over there on my bedside cabinet. Just through the door. Sorry – I’ve been listening to Eddie Izzard. I can’t help it now!
So… what colour underwear are you wearing?
Dean: I’ll have to check… Dirty. Cream with a brown ‘Y’ on them. And British Home Stores label. Who’s soundchecking now? Skin? Baby, baby, baby…
I was under the impression they don’t like that album. I didn’t think they’d be playing any of it.
Dean: It comes across like that actually. It’s like “We don’t really want to, but we know you really want it…”. They were saying that last night as well. They were saying to me “We think that song’s really shit”. They did, honestly. All three of them in unison.
It’s since they’ve stopped doing more commercial material they got dropped. Yet they’re selling out concerts faster than they ever have before.
Dean: That’s the music industry in this country for you. Rock is something that’s not supposed to exist. “People don’t like that. They can’t like it.” That is how it is at the moment. People saying you’re great, record companies saying you’re boss. “We think we could sell loads, but we don’t know how we’d market it”. Well, we play the songs and people see us playing them. Stunning! Grasp that one! They’re like *grunt* *strain* “I don’t understand!” But we’re not bitter! Tim: We’re the most bitter band in this country.
Dean: We’ve been on this tour for this last part – this unsigned band. Say you’ve got this magazine and it deals with rock music…
So it’s not Kerrang? Right.
Dean: Yeah, right! So you got this magazine and you get this young rock band who are unsigned and they’re playing in big, massive venues. And they’re playing support to a band who’s probably Britain’s biggest rock band. Ten years old, pulling people in. So is there a bit of news about this young band getting on the bill? No.
Tim: Someone new? Let’s ignore them!
Dean: Here’s news – Ricky Warwick might be thinking of jamming with someone in the studio next week. You never know. Let’s give them a few pages. But we’re not bitter – not at all! Hey, where is that Kerrang? I’m going for a crap…
[For the record, Deadline were excellent even though we missed the first song waiting to get through the doors (as predicted by Dean!). Keep your eyes peeled for this act in the near future. And don’t waste time in the bar when you could be watching them! Thanks to Mike and Pam Walker for helping get this interview organised, and to Deadline for being such good fun!]