When you think punk and metal, there are a multitude of marquee names that can be thrown around. However, English Dogs is an often overlooked band that was a part of the fledgling UK metal and punk scene. We had a chance to sit down with Gizz Butt, lead guitarist for The English Dogs.
Introduce yourself and your role in the band.
My name is Gizz Butt and I am the lead guitarist and co-writer for the English Dogs.
You're embarking on your first US tour in over 25 years. Run me through your mindset about coming back to a country so long after your last tour.
Yeah Iím nervous, excited. Itís very freaky because Iíve toured the USA many times in different bands and on most occasions it has not made me anxious in the least. This is different though. Iím different. I had this great memory today of a review in Maximum Rock and Roll where the guy was raving about seeing the English Dogs at the 100 Club in London and he said ďSeeing them play made me realize how good punk musicians could be if they pushed themselves.Ē That statement changed my life forever. It made music so important to me. Itís been my life.
With the band's recent reformation, what's the plan going forward?
One thing at a time. There is no ďmaster plan.Ē We want to play this amazing tour and savor the moment. Itís a gift. I need to really savor every moment because whoís to say itíll ever happen again? Whoís to say weíll even make it to the end? You shouldnít really expect that youíll go on and make album after album constantly touring. Everything has a life span. Let me just say that I have 2 cassettes with songs that were written just prior to Where Legend Began came out and these songs were meant to be the album after W.L.B. so if the tour is good and itís not impossible to organize an extra thing in our lives then maybe we could make something happen, like a new album. Letís concentrate on the tour for now though.
You recruited the Christie twins to play in the band. What have they brought to the band in their short time?
Oh we couldnít have done it without them. Pinch has been rehearsing with them which Iíll explain more of later. Their enthusiasm has been limitless. They have learned everything note for note, stay in contact with me on a daily basis, theyíre Pinchís best mates, they are the glue in the band, plus they are helping with the logistics and getting me what I need for the tour. I love them twins! They keep us on our toes!
The musical landscape has evolved so much since you've started as a band. How have you stayed relevant in this fickle environment?
We never got the chance to ďmilkĒ our situation because at the time we didnít have a manager that was going to massively exploit what we were doing. Everything we did was on our own backs and it eventually broke us. So we left a legacy and that has kept an interest in what we did. Plus things have come around again. Itís OK to use guitar solos once more. The chemistry of bringing punk and metal together is interesting again. We managed to keep our thing together inside short, hooky songs when we released Forward Into Battle. We hadnít reached that state of self indulgence by then. Not that thereís anything wrong with that from time to time.
Most bands we cover were born into current technology. How have you guys tried to adapt to the current technological revolution and how has it affected you as a band?
Well hereís a thing. Iíve always used Apple and for the last 5 years Iíve been working with Pro Tools which has been really useful recently for recording a band I have back in the UK called The More I See. Itís helped keep the costs down but the quality is still really high because we have to operate on a low budget. You get this gear and pick up some skills and then you find it can really come in handy. With the English Dogs half of the band lives in the USA and the other half in the UK. We have got our shit together by initially making guide tracks to a click track and emailing it back and forth using Dropbox. Then Pinch rehearsed with the twins when he came off tour and recorded the sessions which were once again emailed over to me and Adie. We would then rehearse to the tracks and build them up on Pro Tools. Itís kind of like playing with The Prodigy again! I have to play to a backing track! But at least it gets our shit together so when we rehearse all together next Monday we will all be completely primed. So there you go. This band exists thanks to the internet, Apple, and Pro tools and perhaps most important of allÖFacebook!
What's the set list looking like for your tour? A mix of old and new?
The whole set will be the entire Forward Into Battle, the To The End Of The Earth 12Ē and tracks from the Metalmorphisis 12Ē.
What new bands have you been listening to?
Iím afraid I have to say that my head is really badly embedded right up my 80ís ass! I must say truthfully what I listen to and it is Machinehead, Exodus, Masterdon, a German band called Blackmail, Foo Fighters, Boy Sets Fire, Billy Talent, and I will never stop listening to The Beatles. Itís just me. I can only be honest to myself. The other guys will be into way more credible things than me. I still love Naked Reagen, Black Flag, and Bad Brains. I canít help it!
Anything else to say?
Get in touch with us on Facebook. Itís so easy to stay friends. Once youíve done that stay in touch any way you like. Websites, Facebook, You Tube, text or even old fashioned just write. You know pen and paper. Stay in touch. Thanks for this interview and see you on the tour! Come out to the shows.