It’s a wet evening in Glasgow and a sizeable queue has already formed for Phil Campbell & the Bastard Sons’ latest visit to Glasgow. Appearing in the upstairs room of the Garage earlier this year, just after the release of their debut album, The Age of Absurdity, and supporting Ugly Kid Joe, this time they’re back to play to a packed G2. And a better show they couldn’t have played. Although before they took Glasgow by storm, I sat down with one of the Bastard Sons, Tyla, to talk about how busy their schedule has been, what it’s like being in a band who you’re related to and what the future may hold.
Very good, actually! Glasgow tonight is our fourth show. We did Hard Rock Hell as our first show which was a brilliant crowd. Every show’s been pretty much sold out; Blackpool, Stoke yesterday. I think tonight’s pretty much sold out as well, there might be like ten tickets left on the door. It’s always good fun coming back to Scotland, the crowd are always up for a good time, even on a Sunday!
It’s been a pretty busy year all-in, though, hasn’t it?
It has, yeah. Had a few months off here and there. We did a festival run then after festivals, we were in Greece and Bulgaria for two weeks, few weeks off, France for a week, five days off, Chris Jericho Cruise, a week off and now we’re on a tour. Maybe get a rest for Christmas…
Although, it’s been pretty full-on the last couple of years. What’s been the highlight, so far?
It’s got to be the four dates with Guns N’ Roses last Summer. It’s going to be tough to beat that, I think. We’re lucky enough to be asked by Slash to support him as well. I think Glasgow is the only date left with tickets available – the rest are sold out so that should be fun. A good excuse to come back to Glasgow!
What’s the dynamic like being in a band which is comprised of your dad and brothers?
We’re all in bands anyway and being in a band is like being part of a family, anyway so there’s a similar dynamic. We all have our jobs and roles and all try to look after each other. We all go back to the bus later and watch a bit of Curb Your Enthusiasm in our slippers. We’re not the most rock and roll band in the world to be honest. It’s all good fun at the end of the day.
Obviously, the band are playing their own material with some Motörhead songs, do you find it surreal to be playing Lemmy’s parts?
Yeah, sometimes. Playing “Ace of Spades” every day is quite interesting. I try to get a similar distortion to Lemmy but it’s pretty impossible, especially when he had four 8x10s on stage and I have one! But it is cool, I can’t imitate Lemmy – there’s only one Lemmy. I have good fun playing some of his basslines and riffs and stuff. I try to be respectful but try to make it my own as well. Nothing will ever beat “Ace of Spades”.
Do you think he’d agree this is “the age of absurdity”?
Definitely! Todd [Campbell, guitar] plucked it out of a Frank Zappa book, the term “the age of absurdity” when we were in the middle of recording the album and Neil [Starr, vocals] thought “Oh, that makes sense for my lyrics”. I think nowadays it’s a perfect line and makes sense for a great album title.
With the album released at the start of this year, have you looked at new material?
We’ve got a few riffs lying about…but Phil’s mainly concentrating on finishing his solo album which I say is about 80% done now. After this tour, I think January onwards, he’s going to try his very best to finish it. It’s all written, majority of it is recorded so it’s just waiting on some special guests. I think it’s going to be out next year – the long-awaited solo album which has been mentioned in interviews. Actually, in our home studio, we found an old Vintage Guitar magazine from 10-15 years ago and my dad mentions his solo album in that [laughs]. Next year’s definitely going to be the year that happens.
Do you think it’ll be a progression or continuing where the debut album left off?
We just write whatever sounds good, to be fair. It’s good rock and roll music – it’s hard to describe. If a song’s good, we’ll play it and record it and if it fits an album. It might have a theme, it might not have a theme. Who knows what the future holds? I think, two year’s time maybe, Phil will do his solo album and probably tour with it, we’ll probably have something.
What was it like to record in Rockfield?
It was pretty cool, especially since we’ve seen the Queen film. We were like “Is that…? That’s definitely Rockfield!” We knew about it but seeing it onscreen was a bit surreal and there was the famous stories. It’s only an hour’s drive away from us. We were there for two or three days recording the drums and it was an amazing experience. I’d love to go back there, someday. The piano, I think, some Oasis songs were done on – such an historic place and so close to home. It was great to make use of that location.
You mentioned the Slash dates and are already announced for some festivals. Is next year going to be just as busy?
Festival-wise, we’ll try and be as busy as possible. We’ll probably do another UK tour again – maybe in the summer, I’m not sure. At the moment, we just have the Slash dates booked, a few UK festivals booked which we can’t announce until after the tour. It might be busier, it might be the same or might not be as busy. Phil will release his solo album and we’ll still tour but pluck some songs from his album and include them in the set. We’ll see what next year holds but at the moment, it’s looking quite good.