Hey Rotten, thanks for doing this interview. Tell us a bit about yourself and Freakshow.
Rotten: No Problem, Well, I WAS originally a John Lydon tribute in two Sex Pistols tribute Bands, SUSSEX PISTOLS and then ESSEX PISTOLS, but after i decided to step out of Lydon's shadow, and realizing i had so many songs of my own, I put together FREAKSHOW with two pals, Rich and CJ......two fantastic players, and we have been playing our mix of 1977 Punk with UK82 mixed in since 2008.
Punk Globe: What made you stop wanting to do Sex Pistols tributes? Did you make a conscious decision to start writing originals, or was it a more spontaneous thing?
Rotten: I just noticed there was too many people trying to do Pistols tributes, it was time to move on........and the huge fight we had after the last gig in 2008 was a good end point!
Punk Globe: You said John Lydon and the other original Pistols were big fans. How did you react when they first came to one of your gigs?
Rotten: John played us on his Eyada.com show, and my first reaction was to leave that band. With everything I put up with behind the scenes, the time was right and I'd hit Pay dirt.
Punk Globe: Does Freakshow ever brake out into Sex Pistols covers during gigs or have you put those songs off to the side?
Rotten: They are off to one side, but we may do one sometime.
There's a great song on your new E.P., Selfish Bastards about another punk legend, aptly titled "Strummer." Can you tell us what your relationship was like with him?
Rotten: I was a friend of Joe's during the last years of his life after meeting him one year at Glastonbury, We kept in touch, and the song was written the day he died, as i had received something from him that day, turned on the TV, and there was the news......I was heartbroken. You were never just fans to him, you were friends....we got on real good, and i miss him.
Punk Globe: Are you involved with that non-profit, Strummerville? They've put out some really interesting playlists. What do you think of them?
Rotten: Anything that gets kids into doing music is great....its a great organization.
Punk Globe: Were you there for any of the recent London riots? My friend Michelle from Surrey is doing this huge dissertation on them. She explained it from a sociology perspective since that's what she's studying, but did you see any of it first hand? What's your take on all of that?
Rotten: Well, I am writing a song about them!...I saw the Birmingham end of it first hand, It was silly - The Police doing something to cause ructions.......and we reclaimed the streets!.....but so many got it wrong, it wasn't Anarchism, and now us Tax payers will foot the bill.
Punk Globe: You said that the song "Al Queada" on your new E.P. was about all governments everywhere, but is there anything special you can say about the UK government?
Rotten: Yes, the current one is awful! They all are,I think the tories (Conservatives) are the worst, Privileges for Privileged people.
Punk Globe: You lived in the U.S. for a while. In Seattle, right? What was that like for you?
Rotten: Yes, I LOVED it, LOVED it.........People were so nice, I cant wait to escape Britain again for the USA.....and the Punk scene is more healthier over there!
Punk Globe: Since you're a big fan of American T.V. shows, especially Family Guy, what was the main difference between seeing it in the U.S. and in the U.K.? Were there parts they wouldn't show back home?
Rotten: Yeah, In the UK, you have to buy the DVDs to see some of the swearing and sickest scenes.....I first saw FG in the US, and was blown away......Cartoons were not like that in the UK, ! it was like Cartoon Punk!
Punk Globe: What made you decide to move back home and restart Freakshow?
Rotten: a Relationship failed.........I was taken in by a liar.
Punk Globe: Is there a full length in the works anytime soon?
Rotten: Yeah, we have some new material we are working on, and it is provisionally titled "Bollocks To England" - after one of the new songs.
Punk Globe: Would you ever want to come back and tour the U.S.?
Rotten: Absolutely.......My aim is to LIVE there again, I loved it that much......maybe L.A or S.F this time.
What's been the funniest or craziest tour story so far? I bet there are a lot!
Rotten: Err......I once fell off a stage drunk, and had to carry on playing with huge Doc Marten boots stomping around my head on the floor.......I was so drunk I didn't even hear the band finish the gig, I carried on playing........One audience member whispered to me, "Oi Rotten, They've fucked off, left you a message....See you in Swindon tomorrow night!"........Swindon was 200 plus Miles away!!! I had to hitchhike in the end, smelling pretty bad, and carrying my guitar......all with a hangover from hell!!
Punk Globe: Once again, thanks Rotten. Hopefully I'll make it to England one day and we can wreak some havoc in London. Or maybe we'll hang out in the U.S. somewhere. Until then, would you care to leave us with any words of wisdom?
Rotten: DO UNTO OTHERS AS THEY DO UNTO YOU..........THEN LEAVE BEFORE THE POLICE ARRIVE!