Sunday, March 22, 2015

Pheaturing Charlie James From Kubris

Hello, and welcome to the Phile, kids. It's spring! Spring is an excellent reminder that I was supposed to get into shape before spring. Being spring it's also Spring Break for a lot of kids. At my age, Spring Break means taking my full thirty minutes for lunch.  Let's start this entry with a story about France. The French government may soon pass legislation that would establish a minimum weight, based on body-mass index, for models employed by fashion houses and agents in ad campaigns and runway shows. Under this controversial proposed law, models would need to have a BMI of at least 18, so a 5'7" woman would have to weigh at least 121 pounds, which by fashion standards would make her a huge lard ass. France is considering a bill banning models who are too thin from runways and fashion spreads. Kate Moss is considering eating a Saltine.  More than 3,000 sinkholes have opened up along the banks of the Dead Sea over the course of the past decade, according to environmentalists. "It's nature's revenge," the Israeli director of EcoPeace Middle East asserted to ABC News. "These sinkholes are a direct result of the inappropriate mismanagement of water resources in the region." He did not specify exactly how many local residents were dragged kicking and screaming into these holes by the hellish beasts who no doubt emerge from them nightly to satisfy their insatiable hunger for soft human flesh. I always thought it was very weird that there are holes in our sinks and we call them drains, but then there’s this whole other kind of hole we call a sinkhole.  Nameberry recently released a list of fifteen names that are disappearing from American culture, due to parents' increasing unwillingness to burden their children with bummerish names. Among the names listed by the online database website were Alpha, Nanette and Zelma for girls, and Elmo, Remus and Waldo for boys. Sometimes extinction is for the greater good.  You know, when I first started compiling this list of news stories, I thought that it would be a good idea to inform you of the strange and disconcerting diatribe/sex tape that fugitive-from-justice Randy Quaid and his wife Evi recently self-released. Upon further reflection and a great deal of soul searching, though, I've decided that if you've managed to go this long without learning of the film's troubling existence, I cannot in good faith be the one to break it to you. Please, enjoy your lives as best you can.
Former Vice President Dick Cheney declared Barack Obama to be "the worst president in [his] lifetime, without question," during an interview with Playboy. This is actually a pretty big statement, even if we assume that he is speaking of just his current lifetime, which manifested itself during FDR's presidency. It's even bigger if he is referring to his true lifetime, considering how fourteen eons ago he worked in Kaajh'Kaalbh's second administration in R'lyeh. And that Outer God was awful at budgetary management.  Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu won his re-election bid last week thanks in no small part to support from conservative U.S. supporters like Chuck Norris and Jon Voight, who lent their celebrity credentials to his campaign. The fear of Arab citizens in voting booths didn't hurt, either. It would be really cute if Netanyahu's email address was or if he didn't bail on the only plausible route toward peace.  Professional narcissist Donald Trump announced today that he is forming a presidential exploratory committee to discover how much press he can get for himself by pretending that he might enter the 2016 Republican primaries. "I am the only one who can make America truly great again!" he asserted in an official statement, because of course he did.  According to rumors swirling around the Internet, Katie Holmes and Jamie Foxx are currently dating. Us Weekly recently published a photo of the two celebrities holding hands while sharing what they thought was a private moment. When you consider the fact that the last person to whom she was romantically linked believed that their love was sanctioned the dictator of the Galactic Confederacy, this relationship seems a lot less weird. Life is too damn short to be listening to Jamie Foxx sing R&B about Katie Holmes.  Well, as I said it's spring and they already released a spring themed inspirational poster.

I think I'm gonna be sick.  Last week I showed you a picture or two or Obama and Kim Jong-Un hanging out. Well, they seem to be the best of friends.

Yeah, they play basketball. But wait a minute... is that really them?  I was watching videos on YouTube of the band Squeeze last night... hopefully John Bentley from Squeeze will be back on the Phile in a few weeks. Anyway, I discovered something cool that could be a Mindphuck.

I don't know if you can spot it or not. Look at the wall. By the way, My Father's Place was a club on Long Island and I think my dad was at this Squeeze show.  Today's guest like me is from England, and I don't know if you know this but there's places in England that only the British can name. For example...

I know someone that can be from there. Haha. Ahem. Moving on... And now from the home office in Port Jefferson, New York, here is this week's...

Top Phive People Who Went To See Cinderella
5. Event planners looking for ideas for the next time they have to plan a ball.
4. They buyer for Payless and charge of leather, latex, and glass footwear.
3. Taffeta enthusiasts.
2. Oscar winner Kate Blanchett... trying to figure out how the hell she wound up in it.
And the number one people who went to see Cinderalla...
1. Creepy guys looking to expand their worlds beyond My Little Pony.

This might be a hard one. If you spot the Mindphuck email me.

The 36th book to be pheatured in the Phile's Book Club is...

Phile Alum and author Jim Korkis will be a guest on the Phile in a few weeks.

Today's guest is the lead singer and guitarist for the Oxfordshire band Kubris whose EP "The Lines of Disconnect" is available on iTunes. Please welcome to the Phile... Charlie James.

Me: Hello, welcome to the Peverett Phile. This is pretty exciting for me as you're the first band I interviewed from my old neck of the woods in Oxfordshire. How are you?

Charlie: Hello, Peverett Phile, thanks for inviting us onto your space, really nice to meet you and your readers here! Right now? Yes, we’re all good, excited to be on here too.

Me: I could only think of two other bands from Oxfordshire that I can think of... Ride and Radiohead. Are you fans of either of them?

Charlie: I don't know if Ride is still together. Radiohead have some songs that grow with you and still kick it when you hear them at serious volume that’s for sure, always liked how much space they allow themselves musically. Ride had split pretty soon (7 years I think) after their first release, it’s a shame when good bands split.

Me: Where exactly are you guys from?

Charlie: We’ve got two of us from a place called Wallingford, two from Marlborough, one from Didcot and one who just recently moved to Winchester.

Me: My grandmother lived in Wootton, Abingdon. What's the name of that pub there? The White Horse or something? Have you played there?

Charlie: Ah yes, you’ve got The Bystander and The White Horse, I think there’s a place called The Midget there too . We’ve not played in either place though we’ve an invite in the summer to make some noise over that way. 

Me: Wiltshire... there's a zoo there or something if I remember, right?

Charlie: You’ve got Longleat Safari in that area, nice old house there, very Sherlock Holmes.

Me: Yeah, I went to a "Doctor Who" even there once in the 80s. I lived in Fulbrook, just outside of Burford. Have you guys been there?

Charlie: Driven through it before, it’s weird how many nice little old places there are in one area of the U.K., you must miss it a little...  

Me: Checking out your tour dates and stuff, you guys are making me home sick. I am now living in Florida, have you guys ever been to the States?

Charlie: That surely must be the trigger for a holiday? And maybe take in a gig or two... We’ve two in the band that have been to the U.S. on holiday at different times, it would be an awesome place to visit.

Me: What kinda places do you play at?

Charlie: At the moment we’re at that weird phase where big places like you, but they want you to play the little places just to see if what they saw first time was a fluke. I think we’ll be near that point of needing the right help for the next levels in a few months though. We’re lucky cos of the way the music was written, we play these acoustically in more intimate clubs and bring out the mesa rig when the venue is huge and with a rock audience, for example, next Friday we headline a night of grindcore metal bands as an acoustic act, but cos we’ll voice it heavy with masses of crunch, it’ll slot in there perfectly.

Me: You guys play all over England but ever played outside England?

Charlie: Right now, Germany is getting lots of visits throughout the year and played in Holland, Italy and Spain. We did a silly thing in December where we performed in Oxford and the following night, scheduled to play in the city of Glasgow, not much sleep but we’ve got to work hard and play hard. Really warm audiences to play for in all of these countries and they always make us feel at home.

Me: How is the music scene in England right now? A lot different from when I lived there in the late 80's I am sure.

Charlie: I think in the 80s it was a fortunate thing to have musical movements, like punk and new romantic, etc. that large groups have been a part of and can express themselves in and was also part of the political makeup of the time and had a social purpose. Though the music scene of 2015, coming after all these era’s, does really need a renaissance, a rebirth to something a bit more real, less autotuned, polished up and musically afraid, hopefully we can remind them of this that it’s still okay to put positive anger and bite into your music and not be afraid of what anyone thinks. It’s important to express yourself through the arts and a risk here or there might be the next musical movement.

Me: Okay, let's talk about your band Kubris. Where does the name come from?

Charlie: Five years ago we had a sit down meet and had a brain storm session after a week of coming up with names, must be the same for most bands and one of the names we came up with was Hubris, in the meaning of being out of touch with reality. We wanted a harder sounding name so I put a K to the front of it, not knowing if there was a word Kubris. “The music will give it its meaning” was the idea.

Me: Do you all pitch in to write the music?

Charlie: I came up with the songs we’re currently playing live about seven years ago before we had all our band members in place, there were 57 songs written in a 2 month period where I just went for it with the pen in all sorts of styles and hoped we would all dig them (thankfully the band all liked em, which helps...). This had to be whittled down to 14 for a live set and 10 for recording, that’s where everybody came in to select the tunes we wanted to have on our first outing’s live and to have out there in cyberspace on the first phase of recording. We did what everybody has to do and grow the songs at volume and see how they hit the air and the feeling we get back from them. The songs worked well in the loud room. A good energy to share.

Me: I listened to your EP "The Lines of Discontent" which I downloaded and really like it. Is that your only release? 

Charlie: Thanks, that’s nice to hear, yes that’s the first EP, it’s going to be joined soon with some of the heavier songs on "Ten7Ten." The first EP is more of a musical journey with a totally live feel to it, we wanted to hear this as close to how it sounds face to face and keep some of the brightness and bass crunch in there you’d get at a gig, we mastered it at such a loud volume (bleeding ears n’all), just to make sure you have a good experience when you crank it up on your stereo, in your car or through a PA. It should sound fat wherever.

Me: Two songs I heard from you guys I have to mention... the first is "Boot Camp Britain." Explain to the Phile readers what is the meaning behind that song. It's not on the EP, will it be on a future release?

Charlie: Hmm... How long you guy’s got? Like all of the songs we’ve got, there’s a story that I hope your readers will find. "Boot Camp Britain" (you want the honest answer? Okay, I warned you) came about after a retirement meeting with an ex boss for a company I used to work for, back when our band wasn’t a full time career. Basically, the dude had a really hard take on what it means to be “an employee for life” and pointed out every few days that he hated the fact he had to struggle so hard just to get to where he is, and hated every second of it, it makes you kind of hope you don’t get to that age and regret the things you did, or should have done. It got me thinking “where do people learn their views about these things”, and the only place I could think was he must have been spoon fed this crap from his parents, who were fed it from theirs and so on and so on. The song’s based around a conversation between the boy and his mother where he asks about fulfilling your daily grind and why we must do this every day, she tells him life is about nothing more than getting up to go to your job, in the dark for some, and coming out, again in the dark, having lost hours of your own life, almost a day, with nothing more than a little money from our most merciful bosses each month as we climb the steps on our hands and knees to their thrones with our little begging bowl looking for spare change from them. He first asks his mother why we do this, she sings a rhyme back to him that she learned from her parents (which is the chorus of the song), unsatisfied with the answer, he asks the father the same question, who doesn’t know, but instead answers with the same rhyme as the mother, so eventually, they both sing the rhyme they learned from their parents... Each flawlessly confused but just following in dumb blindness the same answer (which happens to be the chorus) they were also given. It popped out 10 mins after I got home that day and will be available on the second EP "Ten7Ten." I put a sub sound in with the crunch guitar sound just before the industrial hammer sample on each verse lead in, it’s massive live.

Me: You guys are too young to remember when Thatcher was Prime Minister, right? That was a boot camp in some people's eyes as well.

Charlie: Well, yes, in some ways too young, but we are fortunate to have the outside view on the effect she had on the country as youngsters. When you shut down industry, outsource everything, and then, to top it all off, reduce the price of alcohol... what do you thinks gonna happen... nice move though you’ve got to agree. What’s worse of all though, she was kind of a fox, don’t you agree?

Me: Ummm... no, I don't. Haha. The other song I have to mention is "Rob's Song." That's about someone you knew, right? That's a sad song.

Charlie: Yep, that was and is a friend. It is a sad subject that I don’t think too many people talk about it though for me, personally, I wanted to write something in his honour in a nice way, at first the song started in honour of those people on this Earth who didn’t stand a chance from day one, then, in my mind, I was face to face aged 15 with my old childhood friend Rob in a place designed to help young adults, including me, who were a little bit dysfunctional and not at the same speed as the rest of the planet, to learn something that might help in the outside world. When we met it was day one for him and we hugged and he looked at me pretty strangely, I asked are you okay, what’s wrong, he just kept looking until he looked down at his new work boots he was holding, he had the laces in his other hand, then looked up with a tear and sweet look in his eye, I took them off of him and told him it’s okay, and laced them for him... in the songs chorus it says “you stood with the laces in your hand, that sweet look in your eye, how was the world supposed to know, you had never, been shown." He’d never been shown how to lace a pair of boots. Unless you knew the above, you’d never know what the song was about. Rob, like some of us, didn’t adjust after our training, he made some mistakes, got caught and put on remand where he got bullied. Because of the way we grew up he was nervous, even as a child of eight he was nervous, but people don’t often look too far into things too far and simply “don’t see” or even look at causes for things, why a person is the way they are, they just see the results. He was so scared, he killed himself. The thing is though, Rob’s are absolutely everywhere, I’m sure we all know one and for some, maybe even two, with time and maybe even a little understanding and love, who knows. (RIP sweetheart).    

Me: Onto happier things... I like your logo, guys. Who designed it? It's very stylish.

Charlie: Thanks. That there, was put together by Sanj’s (our guitarist) brother-n-law, Ákos Appel. He asked “what do you want” and I said “we’ll use anything you create, so long as it’s made in love for what you do, that’s important for us." All of our jaws were open when that design and logo came back, six people, all with their mouths open is a funny sight. You can see the love in it, he did a beautiful thing there.

Me: What's next from you guys? I would love to hear new music from you and I think a Kubris t-shirt would be cool. Oxfordshire represent.

Charlie: Well yes, these are the next stages, we have a few months of solid gigging before the summer festival season gigs start and in between we’ll be dropping in new material, some heavy some light but all crunchy for sure. The merchandising plan is on its way with alot in there so when the t-shirts are available, you’ll be hearing from us. We’ll also be looking at bringing in management or hunting a labels backing in a few months time too as part of the plan for our 2015 but mainly, having fun and meeting lots of new friends through our music.

Me: Thanks so much for being on the Phile, Charlie. Can you come back again sometime? Next time I'm in England, I hope I can see you guys in concert.

Charlie: That’s kind of you to have us on here, it’s amazing how much support is coming to us in different ways from people from every angle, radio, websites, zines, its amazing! Again, thanks for having us on here, you help us reach more people and for that, thank you, man! Definitely let us know if you’re in the U.K., same as with all your readers and we’ll get you along to a gig or two, we’ll put a little more bite in than normal... We’d be glad if you have us back, we hope your readers demand it...

Me: Go ahead and plug your website and I wish you guys continued success. Take care.

Charlie: Take good care too! And best wishes. Come listen to some acoustic abuse and gig dates at:  Send abuse and join:  You can buy mp3’s or hard copies of Kubris debut EP “The Lines Of Discontent” here: Performances and videos:

That about does it for this entry of the Phile. Thanks to Charlie James for a great interview. The Phile will be back tomorrow with musician Lonesome Wyatt from Those Poor Bastards. So, spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye.

Not if it pleases me. No, you can't stop me, not if it pleases me. - Graham Parker

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