I first heard about this band it felt unlikely that I would ever lay my
hands on a copy of their one and only record, "Nine
Inches Of God". When that unlikely event still occurred, I was
absolutely positive that they would forever be shrouded in mystery. Well,
some remorseless fuckin' bitch-slap I got from mother Information Age. After
being tipped off about the official
DEEP SWITCH home page and snapping up the sparse info inside I knew
I had to do an interview with the band for The Corroseum. Original guitarist
and webmaster of the DS-page, Reverend Nice, was kind enough to answer my
questions faster than I could say "nun"!|
Were DEEP SWITCH a NWOBHM-band in your opinion? With the album coming out as "late" as in '86 and the unconventional sound it's kinda different from the classic bands of the genre. Did you feel as a part of that scene?
We wanted to make good metal but I don't think any of us really felt like we belonged to the scene. We couldn't really take it seriously and we didn't want to wear the 'uniform' - studs, leather, spandex all that kind of thing. I think that's how the humor ended up in the songs. No one else was putting humor in metal that I know of - but I think we still pulled it off.
Your theatrical image, with face paint, top-hats etc.. Where did that come from? Not exactly your average Metal-image of the era.
We looked different every time. Sometimes we wore the paint and sometimes we just thought it was silly. Gander, the bass player and I were never very good at getting the eye liner on so we sometimes looked like raccoons. We wanted to use the Muppets theme for our entrance music ('it's time to put on make up, it's time to light the light) because we thought dressing up was stupid but fun. I think we should have settled for jeans and T-shirts
Did these theatrical antics follow you up on stage? Tell us what a DS-gig was like back in the days!
My favorite story is when we went to Suffolk to play a gig and no one showed up. We'd had airplay and it was a Friday night so we thought we'd draw a few people but we did about 4 tunes to a totally empty hall. The two dudes came in and sat down. At the end of the gig we got their autographs.
The band name is rather curious. From where did it originate? Any esoteric, occult meaning? Backwards it says something along the lines of "Schtevie's pee'd.". Who the hell is Steve? Why is he drunk and pissing himself?
I had a Music Man amp back then and it had a bass boost switch called the Deep Switch. Believe it or not there's another band called The Deep Switch.
We've laughed ourselves silly at the little "extension" of your guitar in the lineup pic at the back of the album. Where exactly do you get custom made guitars like that?
I wanted clean access to the 24th fret so I cut some wood away, the rest just seemed to follow. I carved it with a rat tail file and used pink nail polish and lacquer for that special shine.
Any band who's been hyped by the greatest fanzine ever (Organ) must be great! Got any contact with Sean & co. today?
The Organ is an awesome zine and they gave us a great review which I still have framed at home but I don't have any contact with them. We really appreciated the great things they said about us though.
The album title, cover art and some other lyrics portray a rather critical view on Christianity. Did this stem from a fascination with the occult or a general disdain for religion?
Nuns are funny, don't you think? They call them penguins in England - a love doll nun with a phallic candle is even better. The cover has a Jesus falling from the cross and the cross is marked like a ruler - in Nine Inch increments. The dude in a wheelchair was a Poor Bastard hanging his head and you can see King Harrold and pigs trotters somewhere in there too. None of us were religious at all so we were just having fun with it. If it pissed someone off - all the better!
Please review my review of "Nine Inches Of God"!
Awesome review dude! I think you've got a cool turn of phrase and I liked what you said. My dad did the art work and we didn't really know what we wanted until the last minute.
Mandatory trivia-Q for the collector scum: How many copies were pressed of "9 inches.."? Any colored vinyls or different versions in circulation?
Two thousand were pressed and the printer did a really shitty job. Each album was unique because red ink had splashed onto the white border. We didn't care, we liked the idea that each one would be slightly different. The photos of us on the back were much better in color but at the last minute we got the tab and we couldn't afford full color.
How far gone are the plans to re-release it?
Not sure if that will happen. I might do it sometime in the next year. In the meantime metal fans can download the songs free at http://deepswith.net/.
Do you have any other recordings lying around? Demos, rehearsals, live? Any unreleased trax? If so, wouldn't it be neat to release this as well? We need more DEEP SWITCH! .and upload that "Silver Bullet"- thing already!
How did you hear about Silver Bullet!? We weren't very good then so I've been trying to keep it low key - maybe I will upload it after all.
Your short bio on your site hints that the breakup was rather bitter. Care to elaborate? How did Yoko Ono come into the picture?
Not at all I was just having fun. We'd worked hard and nothing came of it, I don't really remember how the decision was made but we all felt the same way.
I'm quoting Malc Macmillan's NWOBHM-encyclopaedia: "No doubt the one time members of DEEP SWITCH later took their place in 'respectable' society; just think, one of these reprobates could now be your bank manager, solicitor or accountant." What are you up to nowadays? What about that rock-opera thing?
I'm an Oracle Database Administrator working in cube ('run to the office, run to the grave') and not very happy about that but I'm recording at night and I should have a new monster in a few months. It's a metal musical comedy and it's shaping up well.
I'd say the only one who'd get away with a 'metal musical comedy' would indeed be an ex-DEEP SWITCH member. Could you tell us more? What's it about? Is the music in any way similar to DS? How and in what format will it be released?
It's movie set in 1895, London: Kung Fu dudes have to go to Hell to rescue a friend. Strange powers are at work, demons, magic and a lot of evil. These are dangerous times and nothing is what it seems - killer wire 'fu and lots of blood. How about publishing the script as a serial once it's finished? Twenty pages a week might improve hits for both of us. The music is probably less complicated than the songs on the Nine Inches album but each one is a gem, I'm really pleased with the way it's shaping up. There'll be a movie script and a CD in the promo package, but that's for the movie industry, just a CD for anyone else.
Do you have any contact with the other band members today? Know of their activities?
No idea at all what the others are up to and we're not in touch at all but if we all met at the bar it would be like yesterday.
It seems quite a trend (a good one for a change!) for even the smallest cult-acts to reform for a few gigs to satisfy those fans too young or too not-yet-born way back when. Any chance in hell we might get to see DEEP SWITCH on stage again, if only for a gig or 2?
Sounds like fun but we're in different countries and we haven't seen each other for nearly 20 years. If there's a reunion it's going to be in a pub!
Share with us some final words of wisdom, dear Reverend!
Success in the music biz is attained through business - not through gigging, so don't make that your sole effort. You need attorneys, agents and managers, you need a plan and you need web. We didn't have the web back then but I think it can be a formidable force in getting a band known.
|Take me to the top!|