The Buzzcocks have inspired every band that came after them. They essentially created the sound that would be ripped off by everyone. With the Sex Pistols and the Clash as their peers, they are one of the most repected bands of the Punk genre.
I will be seeing them perform in Los Angeles on September 14th at the Inland Invasion 2 concert with the Sex Pistols and a selection of the greatest punk bands of the last twenty-five years. (Click Here for more info)

Pete Shelley, the bands frontman, took a few moments out from recording to speak with me over the telephone. Here it is:

The Pete Shelley Interview

Tom: The Buzzcocks are one of the most influential punk bands of all time, practically inventing the genre of pop-punk. How does it feel to know that so many bands were influenced by what you have done?
Pete: It feels great to be rip
ped off. (Laughs)

What bands were your influences?
A lot of bands of the 60's really, such as the Kinks and stuff like that. All sorts of stuff like that along with lots of German stuff.

What do you think of the so-called "three chord revival' and all the modern punk bands that attempt to sound like your old material?
Well, it's good to see if anyone can do it better, but in some ways it's still weird. There are some good attempts.

How do you think the Buzzcocks compare to the bands that are around now and to the bands from the past?
Um, I don't know…it's a surprise to us all that it's lasted this long; that it's still interesting. We're just in studio recording a new album, you know, so it's great that things
have turned out that way.

What do you listen to when not doing your own thing?
I don't know…whatever is around really. Over the last few months I've started to go into my CD collection and actually listen to stuff I haven't listened to for years and years. It's strange to see how me tastes have changed and how some things I used to think were great turned to rubbish.

You opened for the Sex Pistols on the infamous "Anarchy" tour…

And now 25 years later, you will be one of the bands playing at what John Lydon says will be the last Sex Pistols show ever. What are your feelings on that?
Um, I think that will be a good one to have on the CV…

The show is sponsored by local radio station KROQ and Levi's. Do you think that it is a bit contradictory to the punk ideal to be playing at a huge festival sponsored by a corporate entity?

Well, uh, personally I think that if it was tried to be done in a small club somewhere there wouldn't be enough room for everyone. I think that this keeps everybody happy.

What about the fact that there's an ad on TV for some car (Volkswagen, I think) that uses the original recording of "What Do I Get?" as its soundtrack.
Well yes, I'd rather hear that than a song that had no meaning at all.

You are in your forties now and still look great, but how do you feel about singing songs of such obvious teenage angst?
Well, unfortunately, they're not. It isn't just…um, what's the word? Confined…to the ages between 13 and 19, for 6 to 7 years. Unfortunately, it's a life long obsession.

Are a lot of younger people coming out to shows or is it mostly the "Old School" punkers?
Um, it's usually a good mix. I mean there's always new people. Teenages raid their older brother's and sister's (And dare I say it: father's) record collections. So a few thousand are coming about.

You are in the studio recording a new album, any tentative release date as of yet?
Well, we're trying to rush it so we can get it this year. Probably November, but it depends on how late we can push it to the wire.

Any title for it yet?
No, No. That's something we're gonna keep racking our brains on.

I will assume that there will be a follow-up tour?

Ah, yes - yes. I mean, that's the bit we look forward to really.

That will include U.S. dates hopefully?

Yes it would.

So, no sign of a Buzzcocks final tour for some time then…

Uh, no. I mean, this one may be our final tour, but we'll wait until we've finished it. (Laughs)

I hope that the response is big enough that you don't have to worry about that.

I have one final bonus question that I always ask. The homeless: a good source of food or fuel?
(Laughs) Tough one, that. (Laughs) Uh…You've completely floored me on that. (Laughs) Food for thought…

Good answer. We are going to be out there at the show in Los Angeles to see you with the Pistols. I am hoping that we can come back and get a picture with you at that time…
Yeah, yeah.

I appreciate your time; I know that studio time is money, so I'll let you get back to work. Thank you for the interview. Have a great day.

You too. Peace. Bye.