"I've had enough of politicians telling me what to do": Ruts DC are back

Punk band Ruts DC

The new album is called Music Must Destroy. But why must it? Isn’t music supposed to be entertainment?

You’re right. But I’ve had enough of governments telling us what to do. They don’t act on our behalf.

Does politicism in music really change anything?

It has more to do with building awareness, I think. At sixty years of age, I try not to write anything too questioning or negative without some kind of answer.

Lifelong fan Henry Rollins is one of the guests on the album, on the title track and single.

Henry really loves our band. When I asked him to sing on the album, he joked: “There’s only one problem with that – I can’t sing!” [Laughs] But he’s on the third verse of that song.

Guests on the album also include The Damned’s Captain Sensible, Jake Burns of Stiff Little Fingers and Kirk Brandon from Spear Of Destiny, among others.

All of those people are friends. Marco Pirroni [Adam And The Ants guitarist] is on there too.

The band’s biography stresses a hatred of nostalgia. For many years you personally had opposed the idea of reuniting, then you relented in 2007.

The Ruts was such a big part of our lives, but it all happened so fast. We got signed and only a year later Malcolm [Owen, singer] was dead. The Ruts DC moniker was a compromise – at least we haven’t re-formed The Ruts. I’m glad we’ve made a new album, because playing those old songs alone would have been boring.

This isn’t ‘just’ a punk album, there’s a maturity to tracks such as Second Hand Child and Soft City Lights.

We love where punk came from but we were always rock musicians. This time we have tapped into our record collections, nodding at the Pink Fairies and Hawkwind, Nirvana and Killing Joke, even The Who, but that punk energy still remains.

Ruts DC play London Camden Underworld on September 16.

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