So I’m back from Portugal, feeling slightly frazzled and dog-eared. I’ll post up some pics of Eddie’s Bar soonish, but for now, here’s a transcript of an interview with the mighty Residual Effect who are playing the Big Gig 6(66) this Friday and if you’ve even the slighest interest in punk rock or metal then come down. It’s only 4 brick in and we’d love to see you there.
For the last five years Residual Effect have reigned as one of Ireland’s high kings of metal and on Oct 2 they headline the Big Gig 6(66). This issue we met up with the band’s singer Micky Higgins to hear what it’s like being on the frontlines of the metal scene, why cops in Birckenhead don’t like Judas Priest and how tubs of butter can spontaneously combust in the so-called Crystal County.
Ok, let’s start at the start-tell us the secret origin of Residual Effect.
“Well, myself, Willie [Caulfield, guitars] and Anto [McKee, bass] formed Residual Effect from the ashes of Spindrift (remember them?) back in 2004. We’d taken a year off and were itching to get gigging again. We knew Antony Weston [drums 2004-2007] was free and Andy McCallister [guitar] was too, so we arranged a practice and it started there. For the first year or so we were driving to Dublin and back twice a week for practice. It was tough going.”
How’s the new(ish) drummer settling in?
“Gerry [Gallagher] came on board last April after Antony decided he wanted to do other things. He’d been a fan of the band already and knew the songs so he slotted right in. It’s worked well so far!”
We’ve heard rumours of a new EP. How’s it coming along?
“Yeah, we haven’t recorded in nearly three years! We’re working on a debut album, it’ll be a full length with 10 tracks. We’ve played some of the tracks live so people will be familiar with them, but the rest we’re keeping under wraps. We’re at the stage where we’re looking at studios and producers to work with-it’s an exciting time.”
What’s been your favourite gig of the year so far?
“My personal favorite in the past 12 months was playing with Raging Speedhorn in the Bunker last October. It was their last ever tour and had a lot of sentimental value for me. We’ve been friends since they started out and we’ve played with them many times over the years. It was a good way to go out.”
And what’s been the most memorable (for the wrong reasons) over the last five years?
“Can I have more than one answer to this?! Going on stage in Blackburn to no-one but the barman two years ago was pretty grim. Getting our van clamped in Dublin when we supported Soulfly in 2006 and using our first proper gig pay to unclamp it was another memorable one and having the local constabulary raid a gig in Birkenhead (same tour as Blackburn) whilst we were two songs into a set and threaten to arrest Willie for playing the riff to ‘Breaking the Law’ was something we won’t forget. Yeah, we’ve had a few moments…….”
What about these rumours about tubs of butter spontaneously combusting during you appearance at the Lowend Festival in Waterford….?
“Haha, damn the internet for rumours! You’d best ask another Belfast band about that, who don’t ‘sit down!’ We spent the whole weekend in the local church praying for everyone’s souls. Honestly……”
What was the one moment growing up where you decided you wanted to be in a band?
“I’d always wanted to be in a band, from I was a wee lad rocking out to ‘Appetite for Destruction.’ Then I was kind of thrown into it, I started out playing the drums when I was 15 because my friend’s band needed a drummer. I had my kit for a week and we played our first gig in the Rosetta in December 1994. I quickly decided I was pretty crap at it, so then I decided to try singing, I’m still deciding if I’m crap or not.”
Do the Residual boys get along with the rest of the Irish metal scene? Do you feel like you fit in?
“We might, ahem, possibly have a bit of a reputation for enjoying ourselves too much… but seriously though, I think we get on great with most people. They might not all like or enjoy the music we make and play, but if the dedication and feeling behind it is similar then we have something to talk about. The Irish metal scene has its many genres and sub-genres, but it’s a great community. We’ve never cared about fitting in though, it’s never been about that. If you’re in a band and that’s all you worry about-you’re in the wrong game.”
Personally this writer feels it’s about time the Big List put on a metal and punk gig. How do you feel about playing a show which roots aren’t strictly in the metal scene?
“It’s a good thing. These things should happen more often in Belfast because there’s A LOT of talent hiding out there and this sort of gig is the perfect exposure. There’s gigs like these almost every night in other parts of the UK and they work. We’re really looking forward to it and we’re really grateful for the chance to play. Oh, and I promise we’ll behave…..”
Residual Effect, the Lobotomies and Gacys Threads play the Big Gig 6(66) on Oct 2 in the Spring and Airbrake. Admission is £4. For more information visit www.myspace.com/residualeffect.