interview with Hagar the Womb

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Have any of you played in other bands? Chris plays in Dogshite and is also a world-known acid-techno DJ, Chris Liberator. Steph also plays for Anthrax UK. 
How is it that you started playing music? WE all met at the Wapping Autonomy Centre in 1980 and the band started there.
What are your names? / Who plays what? / How old are you?
Karen and Ruth - vocals
Mitch - bass
Steph - rhythm guitar
Paul - lead guitar
Chris - drums
We are all approx 50 years old now and we have the same people in the band as in the 1980s which is very rare for a band who have reformed. 
Have you had other previous members? Yes, we have had several in the 1980s, and when we reformed in 2011, we have had Roger, Gary Dirt, Sonny and Steve who have helped with drums and guitar if Chris and Steph cannot do some gigs. 
Did you make music even when you were young? For me personally, I did not sing before Hagar. Chris, Paul and Mitch were in bands (Cold War and Flack) before they joined Hagar. 
Where are you from? We were all from in or around London originally, but now we have spread to other parts of England and Wales, so it is hard to get together to rehearse and see each other apart from when we play. 
What year did the band form? 1981.
What's your style of genre? Anarcho-punk.
What inspires you? People who do things themselves - start things up and create things, and do not follow fashion, oh - and who question authority, and not just accept it because it comes from someone in a uniform or in a political position..
How often and where do you reherse? This year we have not rehearsed properly at all as it is hard to get us together as we live in so many different places. We do a quick rehearsal before gigs especially if we are playing with some one who replaces a regular band member for that day.
How have you developed since you started with the music? I like to think we have developed from the time most of us could not sing/play when we started - but that is also a judgement for those who have seen or heard us over the years to make.
Do you have other interests of work outside the band?  Most of us have day jobs to earn some money, and we all have other interests and demands outside the band - its the band that brings us all together.
Are you looking for a booking agency, and what are your thoughts around that? No, we are not. We get offered gigs by people who put them on, and if we can do them, we will. Because we live so far from each other and have other demands, like work and children, we usually say no more than we say yes.
Are you looking for a label, and what are your thoughts around that? We released our own cd last year on our own label - One Bright Spark - and we would prefer to do the same in the future. We are all about doing it ourselves if we can, or working with other labels who share the same ethos.
What made you decide to make this music? For me, it was about being heard as a girl when we were in a very male-dominated punk scene.
What are your songs about? They are whatever anyone wants to write about - we have no rules but a lot of them are political rather than personal.
Who does the composing and writes the lyrics? As above re lyrics, the composing has been done by Mitch, Paul and Chris - they come up with all our goo tunes.
Do you start with the music or the lyrics? Both - sometimes lyrics fit the tune, sometimes the other way round.
Do you compose in a certain inviroment? Whenever and wherever - you can compose anywhere. Its only the super-rich who compose in a studio setting.
Have you done any covers live? No, although our song Dressed to Kill is based on Boney M's Gotta Go Home, its our own words so not really a cover.
What language do you sing in? English
What are the least and most people to attend one of your gigs? There was one a year ago on a Sunday where a handful of people showed - there was a big free gig down the road which took people away from ours, and being a Sunday didn't help. The most is a few thousand at Rebellion Festival which has that kind of capacity.
What ages are most of your concert attendants? The same as us, 50 years or more as most came to see us the first time around in the 80s.
Do you always play the same songs live, or do you vary? 75% stay in the set, the rest come in and out depending on whats new and what we want to drop.
Do you have a regular place you play live often? We play London a lot still, but try to get around the country a bit more.
What was your first gig like? Chaotic, we had a week or two from making up the band to playing the gig. We got people very drunk with the Hagar Cocktail (anything alcoholic went in it) to make them accept what they were about to see, and of course we got very drunk too.
What was your latest gig? A memorial gig for a punk friend of ours who died too soon. It was in central London and a lovely atmosphere as his family and many of his friends were there.
Have you had to cancel a gig? Rarely, and not in recent memory. We will only agree if everyone says they can make it.
Where have you played live this year? This year we will have played London, Bristol, Birmingham, Banbury and Brighton.
Where do you plan to gig the comming year? We are playing Rebellion Festival in Blackpool next year, and Manchester 0161 (anti-fascist festival). Aso possibilities in Genoa, Italy and Nottingham - and whatever else gets offered. 
When did you start to sell merchandise, and what do you have for sale? We have our own bandcamp page now - Hagar the Womb
Where can people buy your merchandise? From the bandcamp page and via the 'shop now' link on our facebook page.
What do you think about people downloading music instead of buying records now a days? Am happy that they are accessing music in one form or another, which form is not important - what is important is that music still has a central place in so many peoples lives
How do you think the music industry have changed because of this? For large bands, they may not get the returns they did before downloads etc, which are easy to find for free on the internet. For small bands like us, it makes no real difference moneywise - but it means that our music is more 'out there' and accessible in the world.
How do you think and know that this interview will help you in the music business? Not at all, except maybe people will look for us on YouTube and see what we are about.
Do you have any role models or idols? Role model for me was Vi Subversa, the singer of the Poison Girls - she was inspirational in so many ways. 
Why do you think that they exist? To inspire, not to copy.
Is it easier to find inspiration from older bands, or bands that are more active today? I like the energy, and youthfulness of the younger punk bands these days, - and the sound too. It feels fresh and very relevant, which is as it should be. Many of these bands get labeled punk but because they don't dress or sound a certain way it is hard to really put them in one box or another, and I think thats a good thing too.
What have been your biggest obstacles? Getting together in one place.
What advice would you give other bands or artists? If you want something doing, do it yourself.
How do you get psyched for a gig? Rum.
Do you have any new material? A few songs in recent years, which we do live and some are on our CD 'Hagiography.'
What are your web sites? We only have Hagar the Womb on bandcamp and facebook.
How can people reach you? Messaging us on bandcamp or facebook or email: wordofthewomb@gmail.com
What are your plans for the future? To write, create, play when and where we can. Produce more material on our own label.
Do you have something to add? Thanks for your interest!! 
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