In the late 1980s UK rockers Terrorvision roared onto the music scene, charting many singles along the way and continued to do so until 2001. Now the band are back and doing what they do best, making damn good tunes. With new album Super Delux receiving rave reviews there seemed no better time for TBFM’s Phil Allely to catch up with the guys for a chat.
Hi guys the band reformed in 2005 (initially for a few key dates). What made you decide that you wanted to return to performing as Terrorvision again? Had you all gone your separate ways musically?
Yeah we kinda had gone our own ways in lots of ways but Terrorvision is what we did for a massive part of our lives and so it is second nature to know when it is right to be terrorvisioning around. It was good to take that time out as it opens up new stuff so that in turn inspires what ever it is we are up to.
Is it tougher now to go on a tour. I’m assuming there are a lot more family commitments for many of you these days?
It might sound selfish but when setting off on tour it is good to know everything is sorting out at home so you can get on with being on tour. The phoning home at 4am never goes down to well but that is our 4.30pm after being out for a day or so. The excitement of being out and playing and having a lark softens the tough bits up.
Your new album Super Delux has been going down well with fans old and new. Was it hard to knuckle down and create the new material, or did everything slip back into place for you?
Super Delux came about from rehearsing for the greatest hits tour. We got ourselves several weeks of rehearsals to get the songs ready and were sorted after the first one so we spent a load of time throwing in ideas and then whittlin’ them down to the best few.We liked ’em enough to want to record them and then the recording asked us to let everyone have a listen too. Like turning up to a party and leaving with cake…?…. It just happens.
When performing live, do you gauge the crowd & sprinkle your set evenly with classics and newer material?
I just come in after 4 and then end with everyone else on the cymbal thrashing at the end. We play the songs that sound the best together I suppose but we do have a shit load of songs so we can pick and chose. Something old something new. Not a lot borrowed and we don’t play the blues.
You’ve played some of the UK’s biggest festivals both in the early days and now as more seasoned performers. Has the experience changed any over the years, do you still get that buzz when you step on a festival stage?
Seasoned performers… Thyme will tell etc. Live for the day. Playing live is one of, if not the biggest adrenalin rushes ever. I love my adventuring but when you throw yourself totally into playing live it spits you out the other side shattered but with the want to dive back in.. I guess I am saying yes the buzz is still deafening 🙂
Whilst preparing for this interview I asked a few non rock fans about Terrorvision and they all replied with ‘Tequila’. Of course it was a huge hit for you in 1999. Does it feel good to know that your music has reached so far beyond your typical fan base?
Cool we were that ‘doo wop’ band for ages, then that’ whales and dolphins’ and have been that ‘tequila’ for a while now. The more folk hear the tunes the better really. In fairness it wasn’t a typical Terrorvision song and so I would love to know what they think of the original?? Music is a universal language it should break boundaries not build divides. If you saw my record collection you would shudder and cringe but I love it. Peace
It has been a while now since you released Super Delux. Have you been working on a follow up album?
Been living but haven’t written owt down…. We never made albums so we could lean on bars and tell folk we were in bands. It was more like the songs tapped us on the shoulder and asked us to play them. They are out there somewhere looking for us 🙂 I know.
During your first run as a band you racked up not only an impressive number of hits, but netted some (well-deserved) awards. Do hits and awards mean as much to you these days?
Awards were a funny one for me. If they were voted for by the fans that was ace but a lot of the time the fans are given the option of a selected few or not at all. It was an honour in some ways but a bit cringey in others. Hence probably why everyone used to get so blasted.What I am trying to say is as a song writer you are always trying to write the best song you can and if you get an award for that you often feel that there is a number of better songs out there that folk ain’t heard yet.
In the 80s/90s the emphasis was on making singles and getting on such shows as Top of the Pops and having a video on MTV. These days bands need to tour more and work hard on their social media profile instead. How have Terrorvision embraced these changes?
If you noticed we were always pulling up to the studios in the tour bus so touring was what we were about. In fact ask anyone who saw the last set of dates… MTV and all that TV stuff was ace fun though… from what I can remember. Hopefully if things go back to being about live then our venues that have been sold off and shut down should open up again and live music will rule. Support you local venues as you’ll miss them when they’ve gone.
Speaking of bands working hard, are there any up and comers you think have the potential to make it very big, I know for example that fellow countrymen of mine Trucker Diablo have supported you in the past. Have you a list of bands we should watch out for here at TBFM?
Keep an eye out for (live and on record…yes record) The Breakdowns, The Romans, Ben Peel, The Matadors and the Kaiser Chiefs 🙂
Can you recall one or two highlights for Terrorvision to date. The kind of thing that really made you feel we’ve made it?
Highlights and the feeling you have made it are two different things I think. Being chased through the streets of Italy by screaming fans after playing in a record shop is one and maybe the private moments when all the recording finally is mixed and you can hear your hard work for the first time and if it is a good feeling then it is also the best 🙂
Finally what is the plan for 2013 and beyond for Terrorvision?
Ha, If Terrorvision had plans I would have no clue what they look like. My little lad asked me why they call rock’n’roll, rock’n’roll. I told him it was cos’ it rocked and it rolled just like life and he asked why it wasn’t just called ‘unstable’. So there you go if it has plans then it won’t rock and roll quite so much as the unstable vehicle which is Terrorvision. The theory is good but it doesn’t stop stuff from happening..
Thanks for your time and best of luck, keep on rocking out guys.
Cheers and all the best for 2013 and beyond,