Meet the Boss: A Wild and Free chat with Godfathers mainman Peter Coyne
The ruling class, powers that be took good music off the public airwaves years ago and replaced it with insipid lifestyle programming, fake news, and bullshit unreality shows. They tried and tried to kill authentic rocknroll, but the latest Godfathers side, "Wild & Free", bursts boldly outta your shitty headphones fulla wide awake, bristling and lacerating Stooges riffs, tempestuous Thunders leads, irrefutable energy, and a pulverizing, powerhouse vocal: "Gonna start a war against ignorance and hate!"
This is essentially everything you can ask for, from a never say die, present day rocknroll band you can trust. Even after all these years, vocalist Peter Coyne and company are still conquering the forces of negativity and oppression and banality of evil with anthemic truth, and fully alive soul power. Play it now!
The bootboys and pint hoisters of the world already know what you get with the Godfathers. Memorable melodies, scream along choruses, visceral, passionate emotions, sneeringly defiant lyrics, and a heavy beat you can dance to. I dunno the names of the other guys in the Cure right now, but I'm pretty certain I know what they're all about. Same holds true with the Godfathers, who have always been about critical thinking, fierce independence, breaking the chains, the underground railroad, fully committing, and holding fast to your own guiding principles, even and especially when it means trudging against the ravages of time and hard winds and useless trends and popular currents of manufactured consensus.
Throughout the many storied incarnations and always evolving reinventions of Godfathers lore, many of the top guns in the business have flown under the proud Godfathers banner. "I'm Not your Slave" is golden pop you're gonna love. The "Hey Hey Hey Whoos" were made for you and me-it's gonna stay in your head for days. Peter's got a freshly rejuvenated lineup of reliably stone cold hit-men, but it's honestly like he has never missed a beat. The new Godfathers sound a whole lot like the original Godfathers, and that's almost maybe more than we should even hope for, in these perilously volatile and turbulent and unpredictable times, when there's so little to believe in.
A Godfathers tune is like a postcard from an old friend you love. The indefatigable Peter Coyne remains the dapper don founding member who steers the ship and stomps the fear. Reputedly a hard charging admiral, but I imagine that comes with the job description. Everything in this chaotic world of crisis and division keeps changing, except for me and Peter Coyne.
Not that many bands can still deliver landmark albums this deep into their long enduring careers like the mighty Godfathers did with their absolutely epic, "Big Bad Beautiful Noise", or their white hot, brand new double A side, "Wild & Free" b/w "I'm Not Your Slave". Mister Coyne has always been an unswerving risk-taker, a creature of instinct, a resolute rocknroller stubborn to the core, and utterly devoted to his cause. He is a lightning caller, a bold frontiersman, an unyielding rabble-rouser with a message. A man on a mission. Most musicians in the states sadly bought in to the "American Idol" culture of show me the money, mediocrity and unit-shifting, ever since Green Day and Nirvana planted the idea that you're supposed to get mansions and energy drink endorsements for your service. Nobody even tries to rock this hard, anymore.
The sadly bamboozled and hoodwinked general public are caught up in the conglomerate manufactured distractions of Net-Flix, I-Phones, political shit-shows, and just me consumerism, always awaiting more Amazon boxes to be delivered to their gentrified doorsteps by underpaid serfs in masks and gloves. Cows to the slaughter. We've all known since that stolen Bush selection that the voting machines are hackable, that evil billionaires control both parties, that the lawmakers are just brand rep, bribe takers and speech readers who do not care about our well-being, and that the tyrants have green-lit the steroid-crazed enforcer class to trample what is left of the Constitution. Nowhere to run. Nothing to hold onto . It's all in the past now. Horrible. We need real music now, probably more than we ever did before. I am obviously one of those sentimental saps from broken homes who always wishes original lineups could live happily ever after, but my own personal experiences out here in the fields have repeatedly proven that chemistry and compatibility are crucial if you wanna kickass, all ships have to sail in the same direction.
It's one thing when you're all likeminded, black t-shirted kids in the garage and even then, I had a much older replacement drummer lead a mutiny against me and my fish-net and safety-pins and yellow eye shadow, but as we age, those last few vigorous souls still interested in performing music all have varying and sometimes conflicting motivations and obligations, destinations and remote locations, so a reshuffling of the roll call sort of becomes inevitable. Bands are fragile eco-systems. You can have all the best hands on deck, but if one guy is content to make stoned, noodly tapes in his bedroom, or someone else mostly wants to acquire stuff and fuss over their old comic book or toy robot collections, one guy mostly wants to learn to golf, please the in-laws, go bowling and be popular in his hometown zipcode, maybe one guy's just after the big checks and is contentedly willing to perform shite disco or play in tribute bands every night if there's hotel rooms or plane tickets involved, and one guy is determined to spark the revolution and lead the youth revolt, that might not be the right crew to sail off into the horizon with. It's like the Blues Brothers "puttin' the band back together". An against all odds joke, absurdly impossible, preposterous, even endeavoring(!!) to assemble an over 40 fightin' force. There's gotta be a common vision, a strength among us, shared values, a pirate unity. Keep to the code, me hearties. Fill up your boots, swab the decks, swabby. Hoist the Jolly Roger. Aye-aye, Captain! Persevering Peter Coyne has done it, again!
His new music makes me feel like the Sex Pistols did, when I was a hated and unruly kid. When my own private future's past, already gone and been, personally, I'm real thankful for the Godfathers, Vive Le Rock magazine, and the I-94 Bar for faithfully keeping the flames of our rocknroll subculture properly tended and fanned. "Wild & Free" is an anthem for our times! You need to hear it.
People seem so baffled by the media-matrix, it's bad, they are zombified by cable and Amazon Prime and prescription drugs and talk radio. Corporate agitators keep them all in a reptile brain, obedient state of panic and fear. Real music makes us feel and think, and remember our true hearts. The Godfathers music is uplifting, powerful, righteous, and right the fuck on.
In the USA USA, the cities are all on fire and it seems like most of the population is irretrievably attached and infatuated with cunningly recruited and pre-assigned pre-fab figurehead spokesmodels they've been trained to "identify" with. If only the people could find a way to breakup with their imaginary puppet show political crushes, maybe we'd find a way to someday forge a real democracy that benefits the majority, but the spectator society is too in love with Trump's gold toilet, Obama's silver tongue, Pelosi's drunk aunt vodka kissy-kisses, Mike Pence and his bible photo-ops, CFR Susan Rice and HRC's red baiting, Libya bombing pink hats, or hair snaiffin' Joe Biden's covid masked, crime-bill "D" in parentheses.
The music here sucks and the politics are fixed fictions, totally phony narratives, like pro wrestling in the '80s. We need real rocknroll, now more than ever before, everything else seems so hopeless. No justice or liberty or even valid representation exists here. No millionaire lawmakers represent our true values. The violence voyeurs are only concerned with protecting the rights and privileges of their own tiny affinity groups. There is no cavalry on the horizon even when I squint. No saviors. So cats like me, we hunker down in our secluded basement rooms with stacks of old wax and retreat into the blazingly triumphant discography of the unstoppable Godfathers, always beckoning to us across the ocean and the decades, saying let's get higher, even if it's just you and me against the world. There is no future in the white hooded partisan pinups celebrity wag the dog programming, rigged elections, nightsticks and CS canisters, panopticon surveillance contact tracings, or murderous uniformed needle gangs. If Joe Strummer was alive today, and asked the kids if they really wanted to be cops, all too many would say fuck yes. Depraved sadist storm troopers dressed like Iron Man are glorified and glamorized by the corporate monopoly- media. Even the faux liberals are all just looking to make a bust. A damned nation of snitches, finks, bootlickers, and goose-steppers, we are so royally fucked. In these horrifying hours, the rich have reopened the economy, forcing minimum wage earners back into the work force for elite shareholder profits, so those who want to venture out and risk death by cops, or mysterious death plague can do so, but me I'm gonna stay right here in this miserably hot garage and listen to the Godfathers some more.
Life has passed us by, but once upon a crime, when the scrappy outcast punks were united, back in our more carefree and innocent days when we were the new boys manning the barricades in our ridiculous Bauhaus apparel, the Godfathers were our street fightin', rebel rock activator, initial inspirations. Dandified, pub rock action figures, who composed all our catalytic cassette compilation soundtracks for spontaneous cross country road trips and all night get downs, singing in each others faces, laughing uncontrollably, loitering on the corner stoop with our brown bagged malt liquor and Bow Wow Wow mohawks.
They were one of the main bands who moved us to form our own groups and establish our own after-hours speakeasies and publish our own fanzines and broadcast our own little songs and signals of solidarity out to the runaways, downtrodden, shit-workers and all our fellow guttersnipes. I'll love that band 'til my heart stops beating. "Walking Talking Johnny Cash Blues", "Because I Said So", "Those Days Are Over", "She Gives Me Love", "If I Only Had Time", "I Want Everything". They belted out hit after hit, custom made for scuzzy lowlife dreamers and dishwashers like us. Peter Coyne was the Strangest Boy-a never surrender alley tough in a silk suit, the Capo Di Tutti I Capi of subversive, post punk crossover.
Some of their boisterous rebel songs were even embraced by the squares and the straights at the campus jock bars if "Birth, School, Work, Death" came on the jukebox. Of course, all those baseball capped and khaki clad, piss stained athletic wear, cultural tourists soon abandoned their combat boots and went the way of all St. Elmos's Fire conformist assimilators and fratboys, but to a certain generation of signed on for life rocknroll outlaws, anti-fascist dropouts, street punks, and anti-social glamarchists, the Godfathers were the kings of the underground. Nowadays, the frontline resistors who took all the punches and the beatdowns and paved the way for all the alternative-mainstream Lollapaloozer trustafaraians and corporate-punk make a buck profiteers, have mostly all died off, or Gone To Texas. All our remaining freedoms and civil liberties are eroding, the state violence is outta pocket, the cops are the klan, there's nowhere to run from the racist police state and disinfotainment television, unaccountable private armies and immigrant gulags, we're all droppin' like flies over here, grim times indeed, so in these harrowing hours it is immensely gratifying, empowering, and consoling to hear the absolutely vital, and surprisingly still totally engaged and courageously alive Godfathers, still generously offering up these potent sounds of uplifting affirmation and gloriously joyful Hallelujah noises, for the people, and to behold Mister Coyne abiding steadfast at the helm. Shows it can be done.
Q Thank you for taking the time to do this interview. As you might already know, my friends and I are like your fan club. Anthony Castillo wants me to tell you that you have a devoted and grateful admirer in Long Beach, California, and if you ever require a stand-in guitarist, Neen Youkhana from Canada is a solid player, sings, looks great in a suit and probably knows your whole back catalog.
We have all been listening to you since the '80s. I did not have cable, but my goth pal, Scruff would frequently drive me like an hour to see 120 Minutes, the MTV show that played our favorite music, at our friend, Jenna's house in Ft. Wayne, Indiana. I would videotape the show for my other friends without cable. We wore your cassette out travelling in his rusty Oldsmobile. I'd been expelled from a series of schools for the usual transgressions-dresscode violations, attracting girls from the other side of the tracks, being a typical new wave era punk rock kid, but in a small rural town where that shit would not be accepted for another twenty five years, probably still isn't fully accepted, I think they still prefer Journey and Pearl Jam and Taylor Swift in that town to anything with style or any challenging content whatsoever. Your band instantly sent sparks through my whole nervous system. You were one of the reasons I started my first fuck you garage bands.
In 1995, corporate mergers and restricted play-lists killed rocknroll in this country. Or at least pushed us all back underground. The media-monopolies bought up the little venues, distributors, radio stations. Gentrification rent gougers pushed people from the cities. They replaced rebellious music with vapid consumerist lifestyle programming on MTV, bulldozed our subculture's landmarks, jacked up ticket prices to those big summer festivals, tried to erase our history, pretty much banned and outlawed our time honored traditions, and way of life, while thrusting all this trust funded, gimmicky bullshit muzak on us . Record stores closed, only wealthy, nothing to say, rich kid models from showbiz dynasties could even have bands
The music, news, history, science, elections, food, and medicine are all fake. So we still put big sea shells to our ears and listen hard for something with a bit of soul that still rings true. You never put the black flag down. We appreciate you.
First off, how do you do it? The inexhaustible arsenal of provocative, supercharged, singalong anthems? Always equal parts enraged dissident amidst the piles of broken glass and smoky debris, and romantic crooner striving to create an escapist eden with his old lady beneath the marmalade skies. You've continued to discover, recruit, and train so many formidable fighting units over the years-it's as if Australia and the UK are hoarding a surplus of die-hardest rocknroll firepower. How do you find these crack players and whip 'em into such battle-ready street-fighters? Who are the new boys?
Peter Coyne: Thank you! The current incarnation of The Godfathers is pretty tremendous...I knew guitarist Richie Simpson and drummer Billy Duncanson from the Scottish band Heavy Drapes, who supported The Godfathers on three dates in Scotland in 2018.
Heavy Drapes were just about to release their debut album when their singer Garry Borland died...so I set up two benefit concerts for his wife and daughter in Edinburgh and Glasgow. I played two sets each night, one with Heavy Drapes (playing half of their album "Crashing Like Stars" and a few classic covers like "Beat On The Brat", "Anarchy In The UK" and "I Wanna Be Your Dog") and of course a full live set with The Godfathers. So we played together on those two gigs and really enjoyed the experience & bonded...big time.
Someone else described Richie and Billy as the Scottish Asheton brothers - they are like a true double act. Jon Priestley, our bass player, was previously in The Damned - he is a really good songwriter and plays guitar, keyboards and of course wicked bass. He is also an excellent producer/engineer and produced our new double A side single "I’m Not Your Slave" and "Wild And Free" and did such a fantastic job!
Wayne Vermaak, our other guitarist, actually auditioned for the band in 2014 and for some inexplicable reason wasn’t asked to join - but I am so glad that he tried a second time and we recruited him this time round as he really is a brilliant player. So I knew Billy and Richie previously, and Jon and Wayne were contacted via Facebook....Richie Simpson plus Billy Duncanson plus Jon Priestley plus Wayne Vermaak plus Peter Coyne = some ultra serious rock & roll dynamite!!
Q Which albums from your prolific ouevre particularly deserved more attention, or were most overlooked, when hard pop and edgy old school punk were blotted out by all that artificial assembly line garbage and senseless fad mousepad techno of the past 20 years?
Peter Coyne: "Unreal World" has some of my favourite songs on it - the title track, "This Is War", "Believe In Yourself", "King Of Misery", "Drag Me Down Again" and "Something Good About You". People rave on about The Godfathers’ first three albums ("Hit By Hit", "Birth School Work Death" and "More Songs About Love And Hate") which is nice but "Unreal World" is easily equal to those records. And also "The Orange Album" as it’s known is pretty fucking good too and so is our last studio album "A Big Bad Beautiful Noise".
If I am honest, the only two albums I don’t rate that The Godfathers released are "Afterlife" and "Jukebox Fury" - there are a few good songs on each of those but not enough to make for a consistent, classic album. You can’t win them all!!
Q What do you listen to for proper nourishment? If you had to narrow down one song that stayed with you the longest by another songwriter that you find consoling, uplifting, or empowering in bleak or turbulent times, what would that song be?
Peter Coyne: Always problematic to answer such a difficult question! But I am going to go with The Beatles’ "Strawberry Fields Forever"...it’s such a strange record and it absolutely fascinated me as a little boy of 7 or 8, but even at that young age I knew that something very different was going on here. I would play it over & over, hearing something new or different in it every time...
The Fab4 were BIG in our house & they were quite obviously not the cuddly mop tops anymore! "Strawberry Fields" exists in its own musical universe and to this day whenever I hear it it still takes me back to the very first time I heard it spinning away as a 45 on the family record player. It makes me feel happy & sad simultaneously - I still get a tremendous rush whenever I hear that swooping mellotron intro...”Cranberry sauce...”!!
Q What are some of your own proudest compositions, or deep-tracks that you aren't weary of playing every night? Which ones can you always feel and wholeheartedly step into?
Peter Coyne: "Walking Talking Johnny Cash Blues" is always great to sing live...it’s where I get to channel my inner rockabilly. "Wild And Free" (one half of our new double A side single) is great too because it’s so rocking & fresh. "Birth School Work Death" is never a chore for me though, I love it! I never get jaded because although I might have sung it thousands of times before the person who has actually paid good money to see the band in concert that night wants to hear numbers like that or "I Want Everything" or "Cause I Said So" or whatever.
We have been kicking off our concerts with "This Is War" for the past year or so & that is a tremendously effective opening number - it stuns the audience into submission and let’s them know right from the start that The Godfathers are not here to take any prisoners!! So we begin with an explosion like "This Is War" and build & build from there...
Q Please discuss the new single and current Godfathers operations in the shadows of the creepy death plague....
Peter Coyne: The new single is a double A side..."I’m Not Your Slave" on one side and "Wild And Free" on the other. Both tracks were composed in September last year but rather conveniently they manage to chime with current events.
We played them live this year on four UK dates in February and also the three European dates we played in early March. One of those concerts was a TV special we filmed in Bonn, Germany for the legendary TV show Rockpalast, and that gig was such a brilliant experience to be involved with. The film was edited & then broadcast later on German, Austrian and Swiss national TV. Then after those three gigs, Europe went into lockdowns due to the Coronavirus pandemic, so we returned to the UK had one day off and then went straight into the studio to record the two numbers for our new record.
Our bass player Jon has his own studio just outside Birmingham and he produced andengineered both tracks & did such a fantastic job! These two new songs are just the start for us as a band - but in my "humble" opinion it’s a great, exciting start...it’s been a total pleasure to perform, record & hang out with Jon, Billy, Wayne and Richie.
We had LOTS of fabulous festivals, tours and gigs all round the world lined up to celebrate the 35th anniversary since the band’s formation...but then Coronavirus came along and kicked the world’s arse & everything stopped for everyone - we will play all those postponed gigs next year. So instead of touring we are releasing that new double A side on June 17...35 years exactly since the original line-up of The Godfathers played their first gig together at The Embassy Club in London. We will continue writing more material this year and then at some point in 2021, release a killer album. It’s ready when it’s totally amazing and not before...
Q Can you recommend some lesser known artists, authors, films, books, or songwriters worthy of our attention while in lockdown?
Peter Coyne: I constantly read books about my favourite music artists. At the moment I am reading Stuart Cosgrove’s excellent ‘60’s soul trilogy..."Detroit 67:The Year That Changed Soul", "Memphis 68: The Tragedy Of Southern Soul" and "Harlem 69: The Future Soul"...rich in social history & insights into some excellent characters.
I finished Monty Python member Eric Idle’s sortabiography (as he describes it) "Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life" - absolutely fascinating and, as you might expect, hilarious. Laurence Rees’ "The Dark Charisma Of Adolf Hitler" is a superb study of a madman. I would definitely recommend "Revolution In The Head" by Ian Macdonald - another look at The Beatles that makes you stop & think about the biggest band to ever hit the planet.
Emmet Grogan’s autobiography "Ringolevio, A Life Played For Keeps" is stunning...he was a very mysterious figure of the counterculture in the ‘60’s & a founder of the Diggers & so much more besides and he packed more into his 35 years than some people could do within 10 lifetimes ... seek and enjoy!!
I’ve just watched the film "Arctic" with the great Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen - that was real good. "Dolemite Is My Name" with Eddie Murphy in the title role is awesome and funny as fuck! Both of those movies are true stories & as we all know truth is stranger than fiction.
One of my favourite singles last year was "Spiral Eyes" by the British band Turning Black Like Lizards. They describe themselves as dark psyche garage alternative ...they asked me to record some spoken word vocals on a track called "Perspex"...I like them so I obliged. Another band I like is Temples and their debut album "Sun Structures" from 2014 which was fantastic, 'though their second album was crap...
The Godfathers 2020.
Q What have been some peak moments from the Godfathers storied history, so far, some all time rocknroll highs?
Peter Coyne: Well, I think we have definitely delivered some classic singles & albums along the way, I have got to be pleased about that...right up until now with the release of the new double A side "I’m Not Your Slave" and "Wild And Free"...I’m real proud of those two tracks and everyone in the band now who helped create them.
It’s great to have a long and fairly distinguished history but I want The Godfathers to have a future, too, and to release fresh, contemporary music that is just as cool & kick ass as our older stuff.
I got to meet and/or perform with some of my idols - David Bowie, Iggy Pop, The Ramones and Buzzcocks...I was a great fan of those people as a kid and it was a total blast to actually meet them in the flesh. We have played some fantastic concerts too around the world - I don’t wish to brag but the list is far too long to go into! Johnny Thunders heard our first record "Lonely Man" and said, “I fucking love The Yardbirds ending to that song!” Stiv Bators turned up out of the blue to see us in Paris and he was such a sweetheart and a great champion of our music, going out of his way to play "Hit By Hit" to anyone who would listen...all these memories to me are better than money in the bank.
There have been so many really golden moments but even now there are great things happening & that’s how it should be...in March 2020 we played Rockpalast and that’s a legendary, long running TV show that has had anybody who is anybody playing on it - Bowie, Bob Marley...check out the list of artists who have performed on that show, it is incredible. The Godfathers played for Rockpalast in 1990 and this year they invited us to play it again...a rare honour to be asked to do it twice. It’s a filmed concert and they edit it for a TV special that gets shown on German, Austrian and Swiss national TV. We might be releasing that as a live DVD later this year...
Q You have always seemed so courageous and ironman immovabl,- no matter how rotten the music business becomes, or loathsome the people who seize the podiums and platforms are, you keep your own dignity, sense of sovereignty, standing proudly in the ring of fire, testifying about the wildly blazing power of authentic rocknroll music. Where do you find your stubborn faith and were you born with that indomitable self belief? Were you like this as a kid? Do you have any regrets, or second thoughts, anxieties, or things you're afraid of?
Peter Coyne: As a young boy I was very, very shy but as I grew older I realised that you have to seize opportunities as they come along or you will lose them forever. I wrote the lyrics to a lovely song for The Godfathers’ "Unreal World" album called "Believe In Yourself" and I do have faith in what I do...everybody should.
But you have to try & work hard at what you do as life naturally throws so many obstacles in your path. I have a tendency to be extremely lazy which I counter by being extremely productive. Am I a contradiction? Yes I’m not!! I do believe in rock and roll - it has been a beautiful constant in my life from my very earliest memories.
Music has been my life & I have to say it’s been pretty kind to me. IF you offered me ten million dollars & I could take the money but never listen to music again I would tell you to FUCK OFF!! I do worry all the time about all kinds of things but if I can I try to find a solution...something always comes along & it works out for the best.
Q In the states, they've consolidated all the media into just five tightly ran corporations who control the popular narrative, frame the news. and advance the oligarchy's corporate- fascist interests and agendas. They've also passed all these horrifyingly draconian, dystopian laws, allowing the government access to our communications, bodies if we want to travel, and underwear drawers. Undemocratic laws incrementally limiting our mobility, prohibiting us from protesting against pipelines or police brutality. They rig our elections, only let corporatist puppet candidates to really even participate in debates or fixed primaries. They can detain whistleblowers and dissident journalists indefinitely without trial. One writer from Rolling Stone who was investigating crimes of our government died in a fiery ball of flames when his car abruptly drove itself into a tree. What is happening in the UK? Do you feel it is more or less free than this country? How do you stay informed? What is your own analysis of the big bloody horror show?
Peter Coyne: Well, I can tell you that what you describe in the USA is exactly what’s happening here in the UK! Strange that - almost as if it were planned...It’s like the James Bond criminal organisation SPECTRE is now running the world. Democracy is pretty much an illusion - they have control of the TV, media & internet so dissenting voices are becoming fewer & fewer...these are some of the things I worry about that you asked earlier. I stay informed by reading between the lines of the people I hate for their true agenda & listening to the people I love & respect for some kind of solution. I think it’s fantastic seeing people protesting all round the world & not accepting the miserable status quo...I find that very inspiring. Never give up, never give in - never surrender!!
Q Like I was saying, working class people can't have bands here, aside from maybe, busking, or playing with canned drum sounds on their computers, because no one's really paid a living wage, and if you struggle to make rent, you can't really pay for an overpriced rehearsal space, or fifty bucks an hour for studio time, or insurance on a band van. If you were a kid with the calling and the curse, how would you channel your rocknroll raw power creative energy, in these toxic times? Nowadays, they tore down all the affordable housing and replaced it with these prohibitively expensive sky high condominiums. Nobody has a basement to jam in, anymore. How would you suggest our less advantaged gutter punk bretheren go about forming their own against the odds rebel gangs? The shady billionaires are telling us the death cooties might never go away, we could be forced to take a series of experimental, annual, forever updated shots if we want a pass to travel out of our immediate zipcode, that gatherings of ten or more might permanently be forbidden.
Peter Coyne: I have been saying for years that working class people are being denied access to perform in the arts - bands like Slade or Sex Pistols would not be allowed to exist today & that’s worrying & a real shame. I don’t want to give advice to a younger generation - they are not going to listen to me & quite right too! They will find their own solution to the problems ‘life’ throws at them & they certainly don’t want or need some old git yakking on about how they should do it.
Q I've always envisioned a deluxe Godfathers box set with live concert CDs from every era of the bands and, ya know, the book of liner notes and rare pictures, rare and unreleased tracks, a poster, a sticker, a book of lyrics embossed in gold. Has such a heavy project ever been discussed? . Is such a thing even possible in these darkening days?
Peter Coyne: There was a box set actually planned for release this year to coincide with our 35th anniversary, with the three studio albums we recorded for Epic Records plus extremely rare live recordings & unreleased demos and alternate recordings...I can’t discuss why it’s not happening this year but it’s very possible it might surface in 2021...I am an avid collector and curator of all things related to The Godfathers and have some incredibly rare material that would be ideal for such a box set. Keep your fingers and toes crossed & let’s see...watch this space!!
Q How would you describe your own idyllic shangrilla dream of perfect happiness-your rocknroll heaven?
Peter Coyne: It’s happening right now & I am living it! I am working with a fantastic line-up of the band and we are releasing a brilliant new single & all solidly working towards recording and releasing a killer album for next year. There is such a great spirit within the group now & we truly enjoy every second & each other’s company...we have a great laugh together too. The guys in the band are all great characters & it’s a pleasure to be involved with them.
Q How have you and the people around you changed since the inception of the Godfathers back in the '80s?
Peter Coyne: Everything has changed & that’s natural - people move on by themselves because they want to do other things or are asked to move on...that’s life, as Francis Albert Sinatra sang!! I have always been extremely focussed about what I’d like to achieve with The Godfathers - to play the best concerts we possibly can & to always try & work towards releasing some brilliant, new records. My ambitions have never faltered in that respect.
Q How is the wife?
Peter Coyne: Karen is fine and thanks for asking but I don’t wish to talk about my family or private life here if you don’t mind. All I am going to say is she is an absolutely lovely person and I would not be here without her. I wrote two songs for her on that last studio album "A Big Bad Beautiful Noise" - "She’s Mine" and "You And Me Against The World" - have a listen to those two numbers & that will explain all...
Q What I personally found most exciting about your last record was how you've remained determined to forge new trails and do new things without ever sacrificing the integrity of your sound, or abandoning the torch of your core beliefs, there is a strong continuity of purpose, a silver thread throughout your discography, but you keep finding ways to comeback bigger, badder, more beautiful, noisier than ever. Where do you glean all the youthful inspiration? describe your songwriting process...
Peter Coyne: Thanks! I genuinely try to do things that excite & interest me & hope that will excite & interest other people too. Rock & roll is such a fantastically broad spectrum to work within & has so many great influences on it & styles & traditions within it that the song-writing possibilities are practically endless.
I honestly get a lot of ideas for songs by walking on the beach in Prestwick five minutes from where I live - let the sub-conscious flow & sometimes great things happen. There is a great, new Godfathers’ song called "Dead In Los Angeles" we have been playing live this year - it is a seven-minute epic, a stunning piece that we could not release right now because of the Coronavirus pandemic...it was composed last year and has got nothing whatsoever to do with that disgusting, shitty virus but we did not want to release it while people are actually dying in LA, that wouldn’t have been right.
"Dead In Los Angeles" is actually about the final night of a rock and roll star in LA & it will definitely be on our next album...remember you heard about that song here first, it’s fucking great!!
Q What historical figure do you personally relate to the most?
Peter Coyne: My all time favourite non-musical hero is the late, great Irish-American actor Patrick McGoohan. This man was so cool he turned down the role of James Bond - twice!! He was the star of the brilliant TV series "Danger Man" (known as "Secret Agent Man" in the States), and also the creator and star of "The Prisoner" TV series in the ‘60s. For those who don’t know "The Prisoner" with its surreal and, at times, psychedelic take on spy drama and science fiction was a landmark in television history, with McGoohan as the rebellious Number 6 who in each episode attempts to escape from The Village he finds himself imprisoned in.
His every move is constantly monitored by surveillance cameras & he can trust no one but himself as all kinds of methods are employed to try & break his defiant spirit - they always fail & Number 6 refuses to be broken...“I am not a number - I am a free man!!” In France "The Prisoner" is regarded as high art & rightly so. Like Orwell with "1984" McGoohan was a true visionary and a class act. “I will not make any deals with you. I’ve resigned. I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed or numbered! My life is my own!” Fucking brilliant - my kind of guy!!
Q What else should the rocknroll people know about THE GODFATHERS?
Peter Coyne: Our new double A side is available in a limited edition, clear red vinyl seven-inch single and a limited edition 4 track CD - if you love real rock & roll then you should definitely buy it & It’s available now exclusively from here.