Return of the ‘Caskets
Teenage Casket Company were one of the first bands Pure Rawk got its proverbial teeth in to. Their brilliant power pop fused with punk n’ roll gave them a delightful edge on a varied alternative circuit – well, one which was 80’s excess or indie.
After nearly two years since JD, Spike, Wylde and Laney shared the same stage – TCC are back again. Pure Rawk caught up with Jamie Delerict to talk about what all of the guys have been up to and what’s going to happen next.
N: The return of TCC is extremely welcome from us, what’s been the reaction from fans. Has it nearly been two years since the four of you shared the stage?
JD: It has indeed been almost two years, yeah. We played a few gigs with the Erotics in November 2007 and after that we all just kind of wandered off into our individual sunsets. We were just coming off the back of the tour we did with Sign and things just weren’t good between us in TCC. I had a Dangerfields/ Dwarves tour that clashed with the Sign one and tensions were running high in the TCC camp. There were other personal issues going on for myself and others at the time too and to be brutally honest, TCC was just not fun anymore. The reaction to our return has been positive though, especially from our hometown fans. We’re gonna party like it’s 2005 all over again!
N: What have all of you been up to? I know particularly you and Laney have been treading the boards!
JD: Since then I’ve been fairly busy with the Dangerfields, recording my own stuff and also working for other touring bands. I adore touring, so it’s a perfect fit for me to tour manage, drive, roadie or sell merch for other acts when not performing myself. The Misfits and Acey Slade are two of my most recent employers. Laney has certainly been the busiest out of the four of us recently though. Tours with the Bulletboys, the Black Mollys, Drugdealer Cheerleader and probably a few more! He’s recently joined Let Loose too. I’m not even joking. He was also in Richard Bacchus and the Luckiest Girls with me last year. He’s the best bassist in the UK, so the boy’s in demand! Mike has recently been playing with a band from Derby called Overvibe and Wylde is in Sins Of America based out of Boston.
N: You all, minus Rob Wylde did a show as TCC recently – tell us about that. It was a TCC/DIP hybrid wasn’t it?
JD: A DIP hybrid? Well, I guess it was yeah! In mid 2008 we were asked to headline a show in July in Nottingham and we were under the assumption that Wylde would have returned from the States long before that to begin rehearsals. For whatever reasons, he wasn’t going to be able to make it anymore, but we decided that we’d go ahead with the show anyway. We had a few people in mind to replace him, but Daz from Dip seemed like the perfect fit. The practices we had beforehand were amazing as he brought along a different style and cool harmonised backing vocals. We ended up making it a really special one-of-a-kind night. We chucked in a couple of different covers and I even had my arm twisted to bust out an old Panic song of mine. Strangely, it ended up being quite a lot of peoples favourite gig of 2008 and certainly one of mine. I’m not really sure what got into me, but in between songs, I was coming out with lots of improvised banter and stories, which seemed to have the crowd in stitches. It was just one of those magical evenings that you occasionally have as a musician where the planets are all aligned, you’re playing to a sea of smiling faces and everything is right in the world. I kept it to myself that night, but in my heart, I felt that if this was truly the end for TCC, it was as perfect an exit as I could have imagined. You know, going out on a hometown high and not limping along towards to the finish line like so many other bands do.
N: What have been the biggest challenges for you guys?
JD: I think the biggest problem for us was hitting the proverbial glass ceiling and not being able to break through. We took the band as far as we possibly could have without any management, label, money or mainstream press. As I’ve said before, no band worked harder than we did between early 2004 and late 2006. But we just couldn’t seem to take it to the next level and we all ended up jaded, broke and burned out by early 2007. Personally though and it’s well documented elsewhere, but that period is also the time that I entered rehab and finally got myself clean and sober. During that time, my life changed drastically and TCC was no longer my number one priority. I’m not going to tell you that it is now either, but I think that’s the difference between TCC now and who we were then. This time around, we’re doing it for all the right reasons. We’re doing it for fun instead of chasing the dream. If chart success, arena tours and financial rewards come, then great! But it’s not what’s driving us this time around. I think that we all beat ourselves up individually with the fact that we didn’t “succeed” and didn’t accomplish a lot of the goals that we set. The fact of the matter is, that without ANY help whatsoever from anybody else, we released two fantastic CDs, toured the USA twice, played Italy, toured Ireland and did numerous other successful UK tours. In hindsight, we should be proud of what we’ve done and not ashamed or disappointed.
N: Tell us about the gigs you’re doing?
JD: Well we’re just going to test-the-water and do a handful of gigs with some of our favourite UK promoters. That means a gig in Wales for the Prince, a big London rock show with Pure Rawk and finally, a return to the Nottingham festival that we headlined back in 2005, Trashstock!
N: Any sign of new recordings?
JD: It’s been talked about. I would imagine that at the very least we’d do a few demos at some point this year. I think that we owe it to ourselves to do at least one more CD.
N: Any sign of a tour?
JD: Actually, yes… It’s early days, but we have something pretty cool in the pipeline for later this year. I’ll be honest with you though, unless we can hop on board a really great package tour or bag a worthwhile support slot, the days of us touring the UK for weeks at a time are over. This time around, we’ll be choosing our dates very carefully and we’ll not be running ourselves ragged trying to please anybody but us!
N: It’s coming up to summer, finally! This means festival season. What would be your ultimate festival line up?
JD: I don’t much care for festivals. Give me an up close and personal punk gig in a sweaty rock club any day! Is it just me, or has the prestige of playing Download, Reading & Leeds etc been destroyed by the fact that there’s multiple stages and hundreds of bands playing now? Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to play them, but as a spectator? No thankyou. If it’s my own personal yet realistic festival line up, then I’d go for: AC/DC, Misfits, D Generation, The Germs, Swingin’ Utters, Danko Jones, The Loved Ones and Dead To Me.
N: Bands we need to watch out for?
JD: In the last year or so, I haven’t seen any new bands that have blown me away I’m afraid. Mind you, I don’t get out as much as I used to. I’ve just recently returned home from the Acey Slade/Patchwork Grace tour and call me biased, but both bands were on FIRE every single night. The solo stuff Acey’s doing is head and shoulders above anything he’s ever done before and although PWG are finding themselves in a similar position to TCC circa 2006, I have a hunch that they might be able to smash through that damn glass ceiling I spoke of earlier!
N: What’s the plan from here on out?
JD: There’s no long-term plan. Just to have fun playing the comeback shows this Summer and if it feels good, and we’re all getting along well, hopefully the tour that I spoke of earlier will work out too. We’re making no promises and we have no expectations. We’ll just rock out, have fun and we’ll see what the universe has in store for us!
Check out TCC gig dates on www.myspace.com/teenagecasketcompany – images: source various