This interview with Angry Anderson & Pete Wells occurred October 26, 2000 at SPV Records in Hannover, Germany. The interviewers are Börd Wäsche and Claus Welsh. Thanks to Börd, Claus, and John Shearer for making this available. Read on...

Why did you call the live album "25 To Life"?

ANGRY - 'Cos we've been together 25 years.

There's a song on Pete's cd called "25 To Life"...its got nothing to do with it?

PETE - I was reminding the possibility of being back with Rose Tattoo.

ANGRY - It's like an omen...

PETE - It's like an Omen...Gregory Peck.

ANGRY - Yeah...foreboding.

PETE - He got killed...what the heck.

ANGRY - Sure did...came to a grisly end.

Why did you decide to reunite again? You did the Böhse Onkelz tour in '99.

ANGRY - They were introduced to our music when they were very young, and it influenced them they thought it would be good to meet us. So they were touring and asked if we'd come and do it with yeah.

I thought it was a "one off"...this tour...but you promised to go next year again, and you played in Wacken, which was a fantastic concert...absolutely great...and why?

PETE - Why...well...why not? We got asked...

ANGRY - We waited's the opportunity...the stars have moved...

PETE - We'll come back next year and play with Böhse Onkelz again. Give everybody the shits...

So you'll be back next year for sure?

ANGRY - That's for's already booked. Germany too, yeah?

ANGRY -'s growing. Started off only two weeks, now it's four weeks...and I think it might be six weeks...we're gonna do France...

PETE - Stop now....

ANGRY - Why? It makes it interesting? We'll do France, we might do Spain...we gonna do England... hopefully Ireland...I like Ireland.

PETE - I like Ireland too...I just don't like the bit between here and Ireland.

You start in Australia with Motley Crue?

ANGRY - Yeah...when we go back. A couple of weeks away.

PETE - They're starting with us in Australia.

ANGRY - They won't want to start with us!

You play as support or headliner shows with them?

ANGRY - No...we're the special guest!

PETE - I see us as a co-headlining special guest.

ANGRY - too.

PETE - We'll still make money out of it...they won't make any money.

And they won't want to play in Australia again because if you play before them...they won't go on stage...

ANGRY - They don't know that yet.

Who is in the band? Steve King and Rob Riley?

PETE - Yeah...the same as in Wacken.

Why isn't Geordie Leach with you?

ANGRY - He retired.

PETE - All he does now is write the's his only function in the band. He's like a brother...but he writes the setlist out and is very critical of the he's still in the band but he doesn't actually play anymore.

ANGRY - He's sort of retired...sort of.

PETE - He's married...and he's living life...and he's got a life to live...and he doesn't want to go on the road and drink and take drugs for weeks on end.

ANGRY - He only likes to have sex with his wife.

That's ok.

PETE - Well...that's a point of view

ANGRY - Sort of puts him out of contention to be in the band.

What songs are you going to play live? Do you play the same setlist as "25 To Life"?

PETE - I'd love to play the ones on "25 To Life".

Play any rarities?

ANGRY - Probably will...I like all those songs...we all like those songs...can't play everything...we'd be there for three hours. I don't know whether we can do that. That'd be interesting to find that out actually...

Maybe you can play the whole night?

PETE - Yeah...we can do a drum solo...a bass solo...

ANGRY - All the covers...everyone's got favorite covers.

Yeah..."Street Fighting Man"?

ANGRY - Yeah...whatever.

PETE - I wanted to play that fucking last time...everyone said "you can't play that"...

ANGRY - We'll play it next time.

PETE - Fine.

You played "Money" in the past too...yeah?

ANGRY - How did you know that? We used to do it great!

I've got a sound sample taken from the internet. You know the website

PETE - It's cool...Peter Gormley.

ANGRY - It's got "Money" on it? It's a bootleg.'s only ten seconds or so?

ANGRY -'s a pretty quick song.

PETE - Change the list...I'll ring Geordie.

ANGRY - He'd be asleep now.

Ok...will you ever, ever record a new studio album?

PETE - God only knows...

ANGRY - Yeah!

Maybe with some versions from Pete's album, because there are some very great songs on the "Hateball" album, and I could imagine that they would really kick ass with Angry's vocals too.

ANGRY - There's a suggestion...we'll think about it in the natural course of time. Something old...something borrowed...something blue...y'know, it'll be a bit like that.

PETE - If we do a studio album, Rob's got some songs and Angry's got some hysterical rants which we'll put to music. I've got some new shit as well...

ANGRY - There's never been any problem with getting material.

PETE - I think if we're gonna do it, we'll probably just go in the studio for a while, drink some beers and kick some songs around...that's what we do.

ANGRY - I'd really like to do an album say with like six tracks, but like really long.

PETE - He's gonna do another hippie period. It's the acid he took years ago...every seven years it comes back.

ANGRY - Acid flashbacks...but y'know, the band jams very well, when the band's having fun and we do it live or even just in rehearsal...jam and some terrific things happen. So it would be really good to go in for a week...anytime you feel like going in...turn the tape on and just play stuff...I'm sure really good things would happen. Have a format for a song, y'know verse, chorus, verse, chorus...have the bits, but just see what you can do with it. Because no one makes records like that's a real shame. Magic things can happen like that. And other players might come in, like other friends...

PETE - Let's not get too carried away...I don't like bringing in people.

ANGRY - I know you don't...but there are other people.

PETE - Like who?

ANGRY - Lucy...she plays piano.

PETE - Well that's one thing...

ANGRY - A harp player.

PETE - I don't like harp players...

ANGRY - A sax player...

PETE - We'd get dropped by the record label know that don't you. We'd get dropped by the record label, it would be a sad Monday...and I'd die.

The Wacken show was taped on video too...will it ever be released as a videotape?

ANGRY - God knows...

PETE - That footage, what they're gonna do actually is...some of us weren't too happy with the video company...we had words. So they're thinking about doing this...using the footage from Wacken, doing a DVD, which is the new sort of groovy format, and run it off with some other footage, some other interviews, some other sort of shit and make a bit of a package... instead of putting out a 4 song scratchy sort of video, and make this whole deal. But they're still arguing about money...and whaddya bet it's gonna cost about a million bucks...but that's what we're doing. So the footage is there, and at worst it's a video, but at best it's this whole sort of thing, and they've got ideas about what they're doing...they're pricing it at the moment...I think it's such an get somebody to do the thing, but that's the plan.

Is there another band that you'd like to tour with? Perhaps Motorhead or AC/DC?

PETE - I was gonna say AC/DC but Motorhead would be great. We're doing a show with AC/DC in Paris next week...not playing but on a TV a Rock TV show, sort of shooting the shit and doing that...and they're touring Australia in January/February. The ticket sales are great for them...they're doing really well. They've done two Entertainment Centers in Sydney in a couple of days...which is really good business. I'm really happy 'cos the local smartass journalists out there were shitcannin' the new record...and y'know...fuck you, we've come back and sold out, so I'm really happy. So...both those two bands are the ones I would have thought of...they're rock & roll bands...AC/DC, the greatest rock & roll band, they're really good at of the ones that are really great.

Have you heard the last album? "Stiff Upper Lip"?

PETE - Yeah...that's the one I was just talking about, because when it first came out, it took a couple of listens until I really liked it. I really think it's great...but what I really liked about it, was the success of it. In our country, all these smartass pricks shitcanned it, in the press...and everybody's bought it and they sold all these tickets...yeah! That's my favorite thing about it really...they play rock & roll, and it's that sort of music that goes we might not have a good year next year but it doesn't'll come back and younger people will pick up on AC/ with us there's a lot of younger people now liking that music we're with anybody, if you're true to it, and keep fuckin' doing it...and suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous'll all work out.

Tell me something about your status in Australia. I heard from a friend of mine that you played in Australia a few years ago in front of maybe 100, 200 people. Is that just a rumour, or true?

PETE - It goes up and down. It's like rock & roll...we'll do one tour where were playing to a couple of hundred people...then we'll do another gig at the Metro and we'll pack the joint out. But it's like rock & just keep playing, y'know? There's a shitty year, then a really good year, then a couple of good years, then a couple of shitty terms of people...

ANGRY - Even in the same night you play to a thousand people, and then you only go like, through 400 km, and most of the people that were at the show come from where you're gonna go's different, some nights you just play full houses every night, and then you just play one place and it's like...200 people.

PETE - And that's rock & doesn't matter, 200 people show up you still got to give it your best shot...and you do, that's the point about it.

Angry...I heard you worked as a plumber after Rose Tattoo departed in the 80's, is that right?

ANGRY - I worked for a plumber...I've been doing that lately. I work for a builder as well, just laboring.

I thought you were a really great star in Australia?

ANGRY - I did that too...when I was doing TV, and it's like, high profile, your only mixing with a certain kind of person, and no criticism of them, but you can't spend all your time with those kind of people, otherwise you tend to sort of start to talk like them and think like them, and basically act like them, I suppose. And when we used to do TV shoots, we'd work very hard over three or four weeks...just non-stop, no days then you might have six or eight weeks off. So for the first week you don't do anything...get up late, watch TV, go to the beach. And then after that you think...there's more to life than that. So you might go fishing, or you might... one of my friends is a plumber, another is a builder...and another bloke runs an auto shop, he fixes cars. So you ring them up, or they ring you up and they say we need help...a laborer...would you like to do it? 'Cos I've always told them I like to do that, I like to work with other men in a trade environment. It's something I've done over the years...I just go an do the work, if they're going to renovate a block of flats or build a house, whatever.

That's interesting.

ANGRY - Yeah...these days I've been doing it for money. They always pay me, but lately it's good's don't have to think about it, it's just really really simple. You get to hang around with...just other blokes. At the end of the day you go have a couple of lunchtime you talk about the's really simple, and different. It's just not like that other thing.

But you are married...and you have four kids?

ANGRY - Yeah...not married anymore, unfortunately. Well...fortunately I'm not married anymore.

Did you get divorced?

PETE - He's in the process off...

ANGRY - the process of.

PETE - And I for one am getting damn sick of it.

ANGRY - Ha ha ha...I won't mention it again!

Is this the reason for reuniting Rose Tattoo?

ANGRY - The two things aren't didn't effect the other...I would have been separated or divorced irregardless of what happened with the band. And I think we would have done the band thing whether I was happily married or not.

Are you still busy in TV activities?

ANGRY - No...that stopped a long time ago. I'm very much open to do that again, but it doesn't occupy the same...not that I'm ungrateful for the experience but I went and did that, and it came to an wasn't of my choosing but it came to an end...and I believe that certain things you've got to take notice of what happens in your own life. And if something comes to an end, it's meant to. And it means you're supposed to leave that and go and do something else. So I'm not sort of, sitting at home...I'm not worried about it. What was fantastic about having the opportunity to come work over here last year was just that...the fantastic opportunity. And it meant more, 'cos if last year didn't happen we wouldn't be sitting here and Wacken wouldn't have happened. is just presenting us with opportunities.

What was the most touching moment during this TV career? I know you talked to sexually abused kids, and prisoners in jail who were the abusers. You talked to kids who had cancer. What was the most touching moment for you?

ANGRY - There's not one...the one thing that I was constantly amazed about is that no single person knows enough about humanity. And part of the living experience is just that...that we're here not to judge...certainly not to be judged...we're not here to moralize...and be moralized about. Everybody has to live the best possible life for themselves that they can...and it's just the experience. The most valuable thing about living is to have the experience, and the reason I'll always go when those people...whether they write me a letter or ring me on the phone...and they say will you come and do this or will you come and do that...because it helps or it's better or it makes a difference...I'll go and do that because it's as much of an experience for me as it is for them. So the most touching this is the's the reason were here. It's like the question "Why do you do rock & roll?" It's not the's the humanity. It's because it's special and it really matters.

You released an album called "Scarred For Life", and there's a song on it that's often been misunderstood in know what I'm talking about, "Revenge"?

PETE - Yeah, what about it?

Many Germans think it's got racial...

ANGRY - It is.

PETE - It has.

Yeah...and that's your true opinion?

ANGRY - Well it depends on what you're saying the true opinion is. There's a racial tone in it, that's unmistakable. But what do you mean?

If a German band would have written this song, they would be called Nazis?

ANGRY - Oh...OK. Well, I still don't think it's Nazi.

Is it kind of ironical, or did you say what you really mean?

ANGRY - Oh yeah...

You got problems in Australia with...

ANGRY - No, I got personally. There's a problem...when somebody tries to force an idea on you, as an individual or're gonna have problems with that. You can't be forced into accepting someone else's idea of what the ideal society is. While that might be your idea of what the ideal society is...but you didn't ask me. I mightn't like that perception of the ideal society. I don't have a problem with Asian people, but there's aspects of the intrusion or the involvement that other people might have. I certainly don't have a problem with Asian people in Australia because there's a lot of them there. And besides...

PETE - The problem is assimilation, there's no fuckin' assimilation.

ANGRY - Yeah...

PETE - Either they assimilate or they fuckin' don't...

ANGRY - See, the thing is that the song is two things out of a hundred I could have picked. One is about people that come and bring their wars...their holy wars...through their religion. They could be any race...but I mention that religions are based in the east, because there the ones we're having problems with. I have no problem with Muslims, if they want to practice a sane, and peaceful and loving religion...fine. But don't come to my country and say that they can disrupt our society, or they can express themselves in a violent manner because it's what their God says is OK. That's fine...then fucking do it where you live...don't inflict your pain on my children. The other thing I talk about too is unionism. At the time, I was really really frustrated that unions - and I'm brought up working class, I was brought up to believe in unionism and I still believe in the idea, the ideology of unionism - and I hate the pollution and how it became politicized...and it no longer stands up for the working man. And that's what it says in the song. It's kind of like, OK, I'll just explain a little bit more about the eastern religion thing. I've got a real problem with Roman Catholicism too, all organized religion per say. The thing about it is they don't pay taxes, and there's no scrutiny into their dealings with business...and they're very unscrupulous people, very immoral people. And they take money from the poor, to feed the rich...which is just the fucking worst thing you could possibly do. They punish the poor to profit the privileged...that's not God, that's not's not's not's an abomination. The thing about it is that there are certain elements of Australian society - not just Eastern - that take from the fat of the land and they give nothing back. And that really frustrates and angers me...and I'm allowed to have that opinion, because it's my view. I don't like to see people come to Australia and say "This is fucking don't have to work here, you don't have to pay taxes, you don't have to fucking register on the census!". They don't even answer the census, and they live there take all the benefits there is to offer, and they give nothing back. And I'm an Australian citizen, I was born and bred's my home, my country, my love, I pay taxes, I work hard, I uphold the laws, y'know? I don't like paying taxes, but it's the law of the land! So, as much as I fucking hate it, because it's the law of the land I'll do that. 'Cos that's what my country want to live here, you want to be a good citizen, pay taxes. I hate paying taxes...but I'll pay it because it's my job, my duty. Anyway...don't get me started...

PETE - (laughs)The Nazi party is going to be all over the place...

Have you talked to other German journalists before about this song?

ANGRY - No...the funny thing about it is, and the reason I took the opportunity to get wound up on it. Apart from the fact that to me, as a song, it's a great blues's a great blues riff and the swing part is just fucking great...I think as a song it's one of the better songs and one of my favorites...I love it. Lyric content aside, but I think the song, as a piece of music, is a fucking great song. I said when we were rehearsing the set, "Can we play Revenge?" Well...maybe next time, because it's a great piece of music and it's a terrific blues format. Just a fucking great song and I think it's as relevant today as it ever was. I look forward to playing that song...again. See, another song a bloke wrote about yesterday. The guy said why don't you play "All The Lessons"? Is it because you're afraid to say "fight violence with violence"...and I said no I'm not afraid to say that because it's sometimes the context of what the situation is...sometimes reason doesn't work, sometimes you have to fight with the tools. And if someone is being violent...Ok. Someone comes into my home, and is going to violently hurt my children, I'm not going to turn around and say, "Listen, we should sit down and talk about this". I'd kill this person, you don't touch my die. No debate, no second guessing, that's it. You want to make that pay. You fight violence with violence. It's the same as if a country invades Australia...right now things aren't really good between Australia and Indonesia and there's always been much tension just say for instance they decide to come and occupy Western Australia. Well, can't do that. So what are we gonna do, are we gonna sit down and be diplomatic? No...if they come and land...BOOM! So anyway, I said to the journalist that I love that song "All The Lessons"...I love it. And I know that soon...we'll play this album when we come back because that's what people want to hear...but we'll play other songs too. And I hope we play "All The Lessons"...'cos it's a really good song.

I met you in Wacken at the press conference, and I asked you about "The Butcher & Fast Eddy". You told me it's a true story...tell me something about the song.

ANGRY -'s a true story. In the mid 60's it started in Melbourne where I grew up.. .a culture thing called Sharpies. Now quite a few years later they become Skinheads...but before Skinheads was Sharpies. Now Sharpies is a peculiarly Australian term, and it how it became adapted into this youth thing was that they had really short hair, all from really working class background, dressed like Mod - very smart dress - and at the time, 1964, long hair was starting to come so it was kind of like a backlash against it. The culture was very straight and very much a gang culture, and areas used to divide themselves. Where I grew up, Coburn, the next area was Brunswick, and another area Broad Meadows, and another area Essington. And all the gangs were called "Coburn Boys", "Essin Boys", "Brunswick Boys". What happened was that after a few years, the territories become bigger and stronger. More and more boys and girls joined the gangs, and they got big. Like hundreds and in some areas, if the area was big, they'd be maybe a thousand kids. Everyone would go to the dances on Saturday nights, and maybe 100 or 150 kids from another area would come to your dance. Now, if it was OK...nothing would happen...maybe a few people would have a fight. But if it was from an area where there was always a lot of tension, usually by the end of the night there was big the dance, or maybe outside. On the train stations...and chase them down the street and they'd get on the train and go home. What happened was where I grew up was north of the river...very working class industry towns. South of the river was middle class. And, a little bit further down, another big working class town...Frankston. So the city was in the middle, there was the southern suburbs - northern suburbs - and the Yarra river going through the city in the middle, dividing the city in half. Anyway, what happened was there was some trouble, and they bashed some kids really really badly, and then a little bit later the other side bashed some kids back. It went backwards and forwards for like a year...and always getting worse and worse. And then what they decided to do was half a dozen guys from the north were going to meet half a dozen guys from the south in this neutral park - like a football oval - at night, and settle once and for all. Everyone agreed whatever was the outcome, that was the end of it. Unfortunately, one team wasn't gonna play fair, and they started to lose, and then they pulled knives and guns...and the guy who was Butcher ...I don't know who fast Eddy was, that was a makeup name...but the guy Butcher, that was his real name - Abdul the Butcher. And, he got stabbed in the leg, and he took the knife away from him stabbed him in the throat and killed him.

So in the song, Butcher was the good one...yeah?

ANGRY - Well...not the good one but he was the guy from the northern suburbs. He was from a place called Faulkner. And years later he became a gangster, and got mixed up with some heavy people with drugs...killed some people, and he's in jail. I think he'll be in jail for a long time, he got a big sentence.

I met in Wacken a guy called John Shearer...did you ever hear his name? He has a Rose Tattoo fan club in Scotland.

ANGRY - Oh...I know who it is...yeah, yeah! Does a fanzine. Yeah, I know the guy...I don't know him but I know who you mean. Crazy guy....

He sent me some photos of him. (points) This guy.

ANGRY - You know him?

PETE - I never met him.

ANGRY - I never met him either, but he's a crazy guy.

He wanted me to ask some questions for him and his fanzine.

ANGRY - OK...sure.

Are you going to play in Scotland?

ANGRY - We hope so.

And he wants you to come to Glasgow.

ANGRY - Yeah...we'd love to. We'd love to play anywhere like that...that's our sort of town.

And he wants know what you think of the Scarred For Life fanzine?

ANGRY - It's of the things that I've always thought about this guy is that he is one of the great things about rock & roll...when someone like him does what he does for so long, you've got to think, well, somehow something really important happened...something really significant.

PETE - Look at all that shit on the wall...

ANGRY - Yeah, his whole

He said he's been waiting 21 years to meet you in person. He was a little bit frustrated because it didn't happen in Wacken. But I gave him my photo pass so he could take some pictures from the photo pit.

ANGRY - He was there??? If I'd known he'd been there...I've waited all these years to meet him!

Maybe you could sign a few things?

ANGRY - Sure...

Transcription Copyright © 2001 by Peter Gormley

© 1997-2007 by Peter Gormley

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