THE FILTHY TONGUES COME CLEAN
“THE FILTHY TONGUES’ have been completing what appears to be a difficult album,” said lead singer and founder Martin Metcalfe.
“It’s been frustrating, usually it’s the second album that’s tough. Aside from issues with vinyl manufacturing we’ve been so focussed on getting it right I think we might have developed a new phobia – ‘releasers block.’
“I think it’s tied to the fact that this is the last album in what we decided would be a trilogy. Songs with themes in common and all moving towards the end with a shared narrative. We want it to satisfy the fans that have bought the first two. It’s been tough but we’re there now. The great thing is that we’ve tried so other many songs that the outtakes from this album are sure to make a great fourth LP. Those songs just didn’t quite fit the storyline so fingers crossed the Filthy Tongues fourth record should be hot on the heels of the third.”
And if that isn’t enough, there’s also further good news concerning Metcalfe’s work with The Skids.
“We’ve been writing with Richard [Jobson] and there should definitely be another Skids album with our contributions. I don’t want to keep repeating this mantra, but we were Skids fans when we started in Bathgate, so it was totally natural to us.
“The Mackenzies ran on the ‘big chorus’ and so did the Skids. The Skids were musically complex in places too, so along with catchy guitar melodies then that’s another similarity. They don’t play a huge amount of songs from that last studio album onstage but they occasionally play ‘Kings Of The New World Order’ which myself and Kelly co-composed so that’s a huge compliment.”
‘Goodbye Mr Mackenzie,’ ‘The Filthy Tongues,’ ‘The Skids.’ Three tremendous ‘guitar bands’ with enigmatic frontmen, steadfastly producing music – relevant music – to an eager, knowledgeable, audience. But where are the new breed of musicians bold enough to take up the campaigning mantle and run with it? Has life become too easy for everyone? Will we see another ‘musical protest movement’ ever again?
Are The Filthy Tongues, or even today’s version of Goodbye Mr Mackenzie, the answer? Can they, or anyone, fill that dark, angry void left by the likes of The Clash and those other, musical agitators?
“I don’t think they do have it easy. I think people have been brainwashed into apathy yes, but underneath the surface there is disturbance and anxiety and a feeling of hopelessness,” explained Metcalfe.
“It’s not easy feeling powerless. At the beginning of the modern era say around 1900 there was so much to live for. Humanity faced huge doubts but even though Nietzsche had pronounced God ‘dead,’ Darwin said we were just apes and Freud told us we didn’t even have control over our own thinking minds, there was still a massive rejection of those doubts.
“Art thought it could be the new religion, communism and fascism told us that we could control our destiny and a massive struggle started. A fight between left and right, between God and humans, between Capitalism and our conscience.
“Slavery had been defeated, women were winning the vote. While all these battles were happening, people were occupied, and they all felt hope. They all ‘knew’ that their utopia was coming. That battle played out right up until the Berlin Wall fell.
“Now we find that all these western ideas of utopia have faltered. Capitalism is morphing into Neo-feudalism. You can’t have capitalism without capital, It’s funny money, it’s fake. The Pound, the Dollar and the Euro are barely holding together. They are just an idea. They are not backed by anything real. Just like CEOs can now buy-back their own stocks to pump up their companies’ market value to, in turn, increase their own bonuses – illegal 20 years ago but lobbyists get the laws changed to suit their shareholders.
“Countries are full of bluster about the value of their currencies and it’s all bollocks. All of this means we’re living in a false reality. TV and press continue to lie to us – or more creepy, they mis-inform – but I think the veneer is cracking. People have a rising fear of what’s round the corner. Jesus, Adam Smith & Marx have all run out of juice. Who will save us? The Hippy movement was a positive idea, but it failed, and Punk was a reaction to that but now people who were part of Red Wedge and Rock Against Racism have probably voted Tory.
“And fill the void? You’re asking really if we can fill the shoes of Strummer, The Sex Pistols, John Lennon, Bob Dylan even the likes of Jane Fonda? But those days I think are gone. In the end even John Lennon, Bob Dylan, Jane Fonda couldn’t even fill their own shoes. The forces they questioned were too strong. So, they started to look weak and left the ring.
“It’s just like satire, It’s impossible now. How can you satirise Trump or Johnson? What single musician or film-star can galvanise enough people to make a difference? If you watch Adam Curtis’ documentaries, you’ll see the whole house of cards is falling in on us. It’s looking like all we can do is have fun until the lights go out.
“I’m actually not as negative as I’m making out but it’s hard to see a way through all this. So, if as you say people want to hear what we do then, come on down. Maybe I’m wrong and we can work something out. Maybe we can fix this, maybe not.
“If not then, let’s go down like the band on the Titanic.”