Interview of Neil Harris from Oi band Sham 69
By Sofia Riot Grrl
Since when are you part of Sham? Did you creat the band?
Myself and Jimmy Pursey formed the band in nov 1975,started giging on march 20 1976.
What famous songs did you write for sham?
Although i did not get any credit for them : "Borstal breakout", "Hey little rich boy" and i wrote part of the vers on "Angels with dirty faces" .A publishing deal was done behind my back with my life long friend J P and D P!
Are you mad at some members for that?
I was very bitter for a long time after that ! The songs were about us, the boys from Hersham, the crazy stuff we got up to and then after a lot of years I realized that Iwas begining to get recognition for my involvement with sham ,the world wide web has made this possible.
What bands influenced you in your music and writing?
Dr Feelgood, Wilko Johnson was there guitarist and was amazing. I wrote Borstal after seeing them play! I liked Bowie, I also like Django Rihanhart, Les paul, Led zep ,the Stones ,the Doors... just a genral mix of great music. I was influenced by Buddy Holly !
Do you like to listen to any recent bands?
Kings of leon, the Killers, I like talent like Adelle. I was very sad when Amy passed away last year, she shared a like if swing music ,i have (i was brought up on it ,my father also played the guitar )
What makes you wanting to still play after all these years?
The buzz is still fantastic. I love all the kids into us and our songs, it is an honuor and a privilage to be on the road still after all these years and people are still intrested.
Do you consider your band anti racist?
Yes, I hate bigots, fashists and racists. My father faught the nazi in the 2nd world wa. I feel very strongly about human rights and freedom, I understand the cost of freedom and it is important that the new generations are not allowed to forget the past.
Are you and the band politicized ?
I can only speak for my self ! i am not very active in politics, although i would love to write some things which wound up all politicians ,because it does not matter what there party colour they are all liars and only out for them selfs.
How would you react when right wing boneheads show up in your concerts?
This has happend only a few times and they are tolld to leave the show, we will not tolerate this kind of behavior.
How does it feel that If the kids are united is now a punk and skinhead anthem?
It is a fantastis feeling, although i did not write it ! Both myself and Alby were on the original recording ,hand claps and backing vocals haha. Having been responsable for the creation of the band it is a fantastic feeling singing it live with a stage invation, and every one having a brill time !
What do you think of the Punk and skinhead movement?
Its great, unless you're into X factor haha. The movement is strong and is growing ! i hope up and comming band stick together and carry on the centament of the movement.
The name is taken from herSHAM and the year 1969. Walton and hersham football club won the Atheanean cup that year !
Any projects for a new album?
Yes we are going in to record last few tracks for the album, we have been giging several new tracks and they go down well. We hope to be done by the end of april !
Any final words?
dont let the others fuck you over !
Thank you for this interview Neil