The Groovies last played the UK in mid-2013. Yeah, it was a really fun show at the Scala. I was living in London at the time so I got to have a pint in my local beforehand.
This year marks the band’s fiftieth anniversary. Are there still plans to celebrate that fact with a new album?
Everyone’s still in good shape, and we love doing what we do, so yeah… The recordings are pretty much done, and there will be a single in time for Record Store Day.
The Flamin’ Groovies were in more of a garage-rock headspace when you joined in 1971. How much of the new power-pop style is attributable to you?
Cyril [Jordan, co-founding guitarist] had wanted to go in that direction for a while, but I suppose I brought some of that with me. However, the zeitgeist of the era really took us over.
The band had relocated to England at that time. How did it feel to become part of the original punk scene?
All I got out of punk was that those guys hadn’t learned how to play their instruments very well, which I found disgraceful. Punk lacked substance. Which I suppose was its whole point, unless we were talking about the American groups such as the New York Dolls and the Dead Boys. But I’ve been proven wrong because it’s still a bona fide musical style.
You’ve spoken negatively about gigging with The Damned.
I can’t find much good to say about those guys. We put them on a great tour with us, and all we got was a load of BS in the press, with them calling us has-beens. I’ve never spoken to them since and I hope it stays that way.
Can you set the scene for these upcoming shows?
Roy [Loney], the original singer, is still a great performer, and he will be coming on stage with us at a couple of the British gigs. Even after all these years we hit the stage hard, from the first number to the last.
The tour ends in Cardiff on April 26.