Interview: Fat Bob & Johnny Takeaway - Hard Skin

Coming outta 'Sarf London' is the Skinhead trio, HARD SKIN.  They're fucking hard - apparently!  They're also usually in the pub looking for 'birds' and their Skinhead mates.  After an 8-year break, the band are back with a new album, Same Meat, Different Gravy on Oi!Sold Name Records.  They're an offensive bunch of cunts and those of a delicate disposition had better stop reading right away.  Take it away Fat Bob (bass) and Johnny Takeaway (vocals and guitar)...

..So – HARD SKIN. Introduce yourselves and give us the basic history of the band – the who, where, what and why stuff. Who were the band’s original influences – any bands beyond the obvious COCK SPARRER, BLITZ, COCKNEY REJECTS and SHAM 69? Any of you been in bands prior to HARD SKIN?
..Fat Bob)
History is Fucking dull. We formed cause of our love of beer and birds and thought we'd get more of both if we were in a successful band. It proved to be the troof. Know what I mean? We deal in the old school Oi! Scene from England from SHAM onwards - none of this new shit coming out of America or anywhere else while I'm at it. We only like the classic bands - if you're obscure then you more than likely shit and that's why you are obscure. SPARRER, SHAM and the REJECTS are enough for any man. HARD SKIN is our first and only band.
..Johnny Takeaway) I'm Johnny and that's it - never been in no band, just followed other bands and you know ‘em all. I like VICE SQUAD, that Beki has plenty of kit on board.

..What does this band hope to achieve that your previous bands failed to do? What would you like HARD SKIN to do that sets the band apart from any others and how would you like to be remembered?
..Fat Bob)
Wot the fuck are you still going on about other bands for? We ain't been in any!! HARD SKIN are better than everyone else and that's what sets us apart. Our first album sold 100,000 copies - tell me who else can ship this amount of units. No fucker in England. I think I'd like HARD SKIN to be remembered as hard skinheads.
..Johnny Takeaway) Fuckin hell don't you listen? What bands? I like VICE SQUAD, that Beki's got a right rack on it. Remember us for being true and making music fun again. Too many miserable cunts out there. We are the best, you know it. I would like to have a hit single then we could get those loaded sorts in the video.

..You’ve released a new album Same Meat Different Gravy on Oi! Sold Name Records. How did you hook up with Kafren and Lil @ Household Name? It’s quite a departure in terms of sound for the label – did you have to threaten them with physical violence in order for them to release the album?
..Fat Bob)
We hooked up with Oi! Sold name so we could hook up with Kafren - if you know wot I mean? I ain't aware of anything else they released but some geezer in the pub the other night said they released ska music with horns - sounds like Turd to me.
..Johnny Takeaway) I had nothing to do with it mate - we never got any money off ‘em I know that. We probably owe them a visit with the boys, as it happens...

..There’s been an eight-year gap between this album and your debut, Hard Nuts and Hard Cunts. What went on in the interim? You end up in prison for drunk and disorderly? Or are any of you young enough to go to Borstal? If the myth is to be believed, Nosher left the band and ended up in Prison and got stabbed to death – yeah? You sure he didn’t just grow his hair out and end up in a love-and-peace commune at Stonehenge?
..Fat Bob)
We were busy doing sex with Birds to bother writing songs. I mean there's too many bands obsessed with making music. Stick to the basics - fucking and drinking and you'll be alright in this industry. Nosher the original drummer got banged up and fucked up by the pigs in the nick. It was sick what them cunts did to him. We'll fight those bastards forever. Stonehenge is shit and none of HARD SKIN have ever been within 200 miles of it.
..Johnny Takeaway) I never did anything. Fruit and veg, that was it. Nosher topped himself you stupid cunt

..How did you hook up with new drummer Nipper? Give us three facts about him that no one bar the band knows.
..Fat Bob)
Nipper was discovered sniffing glue in the gents toilets in Kings Cross. We saved him from a life of getting bummed for a living. The unknown facts are: a) He has 16 children by 12 different women in Dundee; b) He's never eaten a vegeatable in his life; c) He once got chatted up by a fit woman copper.
..Johnny Takeaway) He was a mate hanging about with this bunch of scotch cunts called UNION JOCK - we went out for a beer after Nosher had died and he helped us out playing a wedding reception that had a fat stripper with massive norks that were well long. Bob had a go on 'em but I never thought much of it. Fat arse, as I remember...

..Give us three facts about Fat Bob and Johnny Takeaway that no one bar the band knows.
..Fat Bob)
Johnny Takeaway: a) He's only 22 although he claims to be 40 and seen SHAM 69 at the Roundhouse; b) No discount on his fruit and veg stall for other members of HARD SKIN; c) He has a massive cock
Fat Bob: a) He used to weigh 47 stone; b) Has released a solo Rap record under the name Black Forest Ghetto; c) Was born with a crew cut
..Johnny Takeaway) Fat Bob is fit. Fat Bob smokes 60 a day. Fat Bob can make a cracking garlic pizza. Johnny Takeaway's favourite colour is mauve. Johnny Takeaway once turned over an xr3 four times and walked away. Johnny Takeaway is blind.

..There was a live album released on Damaged Goods was there not? How did that fit into the band’s plans at the time? You got any review copies knocking about that you can send me? How would you describe a typical HARD SKIN show?
..Fat Bob)
If you are worth your wait in gold - you always do a shitty sounding live album. We only released it to show off that we are just as good live as in the studio. We don't have any free ones - you fucking skinflint. A typical HARD SKIN gig is in a venue of over 1,000 people mostly full of screaming sorts.
..Johnny Takeaway) Look, if you want a record you can fucking buy one. It got released cos it's live and loud, a bit like the gigs, you TWAT.

..In what way has the latest album been a progression for the band when compared with the debut?
..Fat Bob)
It's a regression and that's why it's just as good.
..Johnny Takeaway) It hasn't, it's the same meat with different gravy, you KNOB.

..I’d just like to get your thoughts on a few tracks, most notably the tune Still Fighting Thatcher. Given that HARD SKIN collectively are not a bunch of anarchists, and given that this song is obviously anti-Tory, I assume that must make you either a bunch of New-Labourites or some kinda neo-Liberals. Where do you lay your proverbial hair-clippers politically? I suppose you could have gone over to Michael Howard’s Tory Party now huh? They COULD be seen to embrace a similar attitude to some of HARD SKIN’s lyrics!! What about the BNP – what do you think of the politics spouted by these pieces of subhuman slime?
..Fat Bob)
I'm a bit confused cause some cunt told me that Thatcher wasn't in power anymore so that means that song is pretty irrelevant. The song is about not wanting to work. It's like the follow up to CHELSEA's "The Right To Work" but it's the right not to work. We don't really swing for any political party unless there's a new one for lazy cunts. We of course are against the BNP - fucking thick twats - they need a beating with a lead pipe.
..Johnny Takeaway) What the fuck are you talking about, dickhole? Listen right - we oppose any cunts who stop the kids from having a laugh and having a say. EVERYBODY is entitled to live it. The cunts at the top are obviously cunts and we oppose them all. The BNP are the biggest bunch of pricks out there. Arseholes. Fuck them. Dividing people is not an answer. Never was. Turds. Bollocks.

..A couple of the songs, Make My Tea and She’s A Right Sort, plus several other lyrical segments ("See a fucking lady in the fucking nude, Tell her by her tits, tell her by her pubes" – Skinhead) suggest outrageous sexism bordering on misogyny. How do you answer such accusations? Do you see any positives in sexism – or only negatives?
..Fat Bob)
Sexism - that's the first time I've heard that levelled against us. The songs you mentioned are love songs for all the fit women we've serviced in our times. Sexism is sick and we are against it but if there's a nice pair of tits on offer then it'd be rude not to get involved.
..Johnny Takeaway) We are the first band ever to sing songs about girls. They are also the best songs about girls. We love them all. Isn't that obvious too, you BERKSHIRE HUNT. I think those lyrics are genius - funny as fuck.

..There’s another criticism often labelled at HARD SKIN I would like you to either dispel or reinforce: HARD SKIN epitomises the hyper-macho nationalistic excesses of modern-day Oi! What do you say about that?
..Fat Bob)
What are you going on about?? You've been dipping into too many sheep and it's made your head and arse go funny. Macho and nationnalistic - more like sexy and proud of Gipsy Hill.
..Johnny Takeaway) Well, we do. Sounds good to me if you're a TOSSER. We're proud to be cunts, proud to be from the world rather than Hackney.

..I’m guessing you fellas are Millwall fans too? WHY Millwall? They’ll never win anything!! Why not go for a REAL London football team, like Chelsea or Arsenal - West Ham even, that’s who the REJECTS supported? Besides, when Millwall played at my old home town of Ipswich, most of the Millwall fans were seen drinking Gin and Tonic in the trendy bars and arriving at the ground with daffodils sticking outta the back of their jeans, just like Morrissey used to do! What gives there?
..Fat Bob)
Millwall are our local team. It's 10 minutes on the train from our manor and they are a team with tradition, pride and a great football team. Chelsea are money mad cunts and their fans are upper class twats who've only supported them for 3 years, Arsenal are the French national team in disguise - no thanks and West Ham need a fucking hammer to their head. As for your lies about the Millwall supporters - that ain't the troof because Ipswich Town Centre was empty that day cause of fear of the Lions.
..Johnny Takeaway) What gives is you are an ill informed PONCE. You don't pick yer team yer team picks you. The Lions will win something, someday - mark my words. Ipswich are shit and only won the FA cup in 78 cos the ref was going out with Paul "the sailor" Mariner.

..Your lyrics often revel in the fact that you guys are hard as nails and could take anyone yeah? You also eulogise your own capabilities as lovers. How much sex do you get? Do you not think you’d get more if you crew out those ridiculously short hair cuts in favour of a RAMONES cut? It’s a well-known fact that long-haired Punks (like me) get much more action than those of the short-haired variety. Trust me – I know!!
..Fat Bob)
Birds love a bad boy and Skinheads are bad boys. How many people do you see in prison with long hair - none. Skinheads also have bigger cocks - it's been proven by history and other things that are telling the truth. Last week I did a fuck at least 6 and a half times. The half was when I well pissed and could only get to the semis.
..Johnny Takeaway) Long haired punk? Long haired CUNT more like! Right down to the knees. Get yer hair cut and get a fucking job labouring or driving a lorry. You'd fuckin pull then - your own cock behind the skips. We pull when we need to empty the saddle bags. No point denying it. Hard as fuck.

..In reading your Euro tour diary on the Household Name website it states: "… you fought off the advances of all the birds" (Kentish Town); "The only other thing of interest was a hot crusty dolly but fat bob was too ill to lay on the charm." (Dijon); "Some sort tried to get fresh with both fat bob and JT but we decided to laugh it off because her 6 foot 7 brick shithouse boyfriend is standing too close for comfort." (Belgium). If anything, Fat Bob, you seem a little shy and hesitant when it comes to the ladies! And as for the guy in Belgium – maybe you just used him as an excuse so you did NOT have to go with the lady – yeah? I’m kinda getting a suspicion you guys are still virgins – that correct?
..Fat Bob)
Fat Bob likes to build a myth around him as it creates the legend that he is. Fat Bob is a ladies man and nothing more needs to be said. He is not a man’s man but was voted number 2563 in gay icon on the Oi! Scene in London last year. Fat Bob is virgin on bedding all the women of London Town.
..Johnny Takeaway) No.

..In the same tour diary I noted these comments: "Outside the venue in just my t-shirt in minus 3 conditions he comes up grabs my arse and tries to stick his tongue in my ear," (Amsterdam); "It woz so cold I could have fucked a man to get warm." (Dijon); "Some cute skinhead guy came onto JT but he was too pissed to realise that asking to see him in a thong at his house, might suggest coming home for some rough and tumble." (Geneva); "I thought I was defo gonna get bummed, mugged and chucked in the river." (Prague). You sure you aren’t homosexual? These comments certainly display all the homophobia of a homosexual in denial. DO you have latent homosexual tendencies? Does the idea of an all over body massage done by a masculine guy in a thong followed by an all male sauna sound appealing to you?
..Fat Bob)
I think you are getting confused with some of your own fantasies, although I did do YMCA at the local karaoke last week.
..Johnny Takeaway) Bob might be gay. Who cares? That last bit is definitely not my bag of toffees - what an imagination you have.

..That same tour diary mentions a documentary of the tour was made – that another myth-making piece of propaganda? If not, when will it see the light of day – any chance of a free copy here?
..Fat Bob)
The docoimentary will be released on DVD in December 2005 by Warner Brothers as part of the 10th anniversary re-issue of the classic debut album "Hard Nuts And Hard Cunts" which will be released as a double CD with bonus CD. The extra CD will contain covers of the original album by the 4-SKINS, BUSINESS, LAST RESORT, BLITZ and more. As for a free one - contact the press office at Warners - tell them Fat Bob sent them - I'm friendly with the secetary - Know what I mean?? The secetary is a Bird in case you start banging on about it being a man again.
..Johnny Takeaway) No free copies for cunts. It's being made, but Martin Scorsese smokes too much and last week spilled wine all over my mum. Don't know where he's got to.

..So – what’s sooooooo great about Sarf London then? If you had to define South London in one sentence, what would it be? What’s the worst thing about South London also?
..Fat Bob)
Saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarf London is great because it Fucking fuck off!! Where is New Zealand? Ain't that close to Huddersfield? South London is the fucking business. The worst thing about South London is they allow cunts from somewhere I've never heard of - like New Zealand to send me shitty interviews.
..Johnny Takeaway) Knickers, knackers, knockers. The best and worst thing about Sarf london. What has New Zealand got to do with anything? You ever been to Norwood Park?

..What defines London in terms of film/TV for you, and why? Eastenders? Alfie? Mona Lisa? Jim Davidson? Alf Garnett?
..Fat Bob)
Only Fools and Horses... Peckham shown in all it's glory.
..Johnny Takeaway) Coronation Street and Minder.

..Being proud Londoners, you must be hugely patriotic too yeah? I guess you are very much pro-Royal Family also – you been round Buckingham Palace yet? What did you make of Prince Harry’s recent Nazi fancy dress costume?
..Fat Bob)
The Royal family are scum although Lady Diane was a right Sort and I felt Like I knew her. As for Prince Harry - wot a Fucking Plonker
..Johnny Takeaway) Harry looked like a prize prick.

..I recall a London record label called Rugger Bugger Records – you know what happened to it? I heard that one of the label’s top selling bands – THE ‘TONE – signed to Geffen Records for something like a three-album, ٠ million deal and froze all the distribution rights Rugger Bugger had. Then, with the ٠ million in pocket, they promptly fucked-off to the south of France and are now living in luxury there. The bloke from Rugger Bugger is apparently now working as a cleaner at McDonald’s in Leicester Square. Have I got that correct?
..Fat Bob)
This question is from the mind of someone who hasn't got one. Rugger bugger-sounds like more of your gay fantasies. Try and enjoy yourself captain batty.
..Johnny Takeaway) It’s probably true.

..Do you not think that Oi! is becoming a rather antiquated and stale mode of Punk Rock expression? The whole Skinhead movement, besides the SHARP Skins, has such close ties with neo-Nazis and the National Front that it can often alienate many who may appreciate what the better bands are doing and saying. What are your views on that statement?
..Fat Bob)
Oi! has been stale for years but us, LYNARD SKINHEAD, THE DOWN AND OUTS and OI DIVISION are here to save the movement. It's about tunes, it's about black and white uniting, it's about beer and having a say and a laugh and it's about dressing well and it's about being political and it's about standing your ground and telling people the truth. The NF and BNP and the rest of those wankers can go and fuck themselves.
..Johnny Takeaway) Who are the better bands – HARD SKIN, that's who - we have no ties at all with those neo-nazi nobends and if people can't work that out for themselves then they are thick as dogshit. I know that a lot of skins say they're not political either. Sometimes that means lazily avoiding the issue that the far right is something that needs to be confronted and prevented from ever rising again. Fucking obvious.

..So, are we gonna have to wait another eight years for album number three? More to the point, are you gonna progress? Can we expect a fully-fledged Rock album as COCKNEY REJECTS did, or a keyboard-laced slab of New Wave synth-pop as BLITZ did? Maybe you WILL take my advice and grow your hair and do a NEW YORK DOLLS slab of energised Glam Punk Rock ‘n’ roll. Next time Johnny Takeaway (the same initials as Johnny Thunders I note!) sticks two fingers up from the back of a record sleeve, will he have black nail varnish and red lipstick on?
..Fat Bob)
The next album will be out pretty sharpish because our new bosses Warner Brothers will not want to wait 8 Years. It will not be heavy metal shit - I can guarantee you that. It will be straight up drinking hard anthems for Skinheads everywhere. It will be another masterpiece.
..Johnny Takeaway) Fuck off!

..I believe you have a tour of Japan lined up also yeah? How do you think you will fair over there? You reckon Sake and Sushi will be adequate replacements for beer and pies? And what about the Japanese ladies? You think they’ll be impressed by those short hair cuts and beer guts?
..Fat Bob)
We've been to Japan before and they love it. We are ready to embrace other people's cultures but will be taking enough Pot noodles with us in case we can't get any decent food. Japanese skin birds love the real deal and Grazza from UNION JOCK ended up married to one.
..Johnny Takeaway) We been there before and had a storming time. The girls love us. They have 7 eleven over there, so we can get burgers if we need to. They have beer as well, you PILLOCK.

..You got anything to add? Any fine messages, abuse or trivia? Any addresses, email links, websites etc etc?
..Fat Bob)
Don't write to us or email us-we won't reply.
..Johnny Takeaway) No. Fucking leave me alone. Why didn't you send these questions to Nipper?

As you can see, the band really do not wanna be contacted. 

You can check out the
Oi!Sold Name website though, or the TKO website as the label has released Same Meat, Different Gravy in the USA.