THE REAL McKENZIES

August 2001 by purerock.de's Josip & Steffen.

You have been on tour in Europe for a while. What were your expressions? Did you like the audience? What was your favourite gig?
PAUL: I died for the European audiences, especially the punk rock vixens!
And the beer was good too, so were the girls!
What do you think about the problem with the Boneheads, the false Skinheads, who unfortunately are often on Punk-Concerts? How to solve this problem?
PAUL: Education seems to work pretty well, having knowledge about what really went on in the past (history) gives strength to dispel ignorance.
Most of these kids have merely been misinformed and have fallen into organizations who ultimately want to exploit them.  These kids are actually the ones who need to most help!  They are really signaling for the attention when they are acting distastefully. But remember! We are honorable men, and once the gauntlet is dropped, we must act!
What were your influences to play music and what bands do you listen to nowadays?
PAUL: I was inspired to play music by my family who are all "gifted" in one way or another.  There is simply not enough space or time to write about my (our) numerous influences. But here's a fun game to play: when you hear our earlier recordings, you can pinpoint the "influences" of that particular album! Especially our first album (Social Bomb Records, Germany) we are eternally indebted to Robert Burns, Andy Stewart, Alex Harvey, Angus Young.
With which band do you want to go on tour or record a split cd and why? And do you like to tour with similar bands or would you like to tour with bands with other music styles (e.g. ska)?
We have no illusions about touring and playing- we will play with whomever, wherever, whenever (some people call that pro) within reason. We do have our favorites but we like just about everyone we've played with. Mutti's booking does an absolute fantastic job booking Europe. But if the truth be known...I would rather record the whole cd & play all goddamned night! Oh, and drink.
What's your favourite drink and cansomebody beat you in drinking in the"punk-rock-business"? What's your favourite beer brand?
PAUL: To us, there's nothing about being competitive (although I love drinking games) but more often than not, we just start laughin' & jokin' and drinkin' and before you know it, everybody else is asleep, the sun is up and we have to leave for our next show!  We don't mean to stay up and drink ALL the beer, but we believe that good times should not be wasted. There will be plenty of time to sleep when we are dead. Like most people, we like most beers & wines.
How important is the commercial success of your music for you? Would you make music if you also have to work?
PAUL: We will do whatever it takes to keep this band going!  Even dishwashing. We have worked every day of our lives.  I would elaborate on our many jobs but I fear it will bore you. "Commercial Success", Humm...Does that mean we can finally pay our rent while on the road??  If by chance we were blessed enough to actually make money, lots of money, I would absolutely insist on spending it on a gig in space, or on the moon.
Will your old albums be re-released by Honest Don's, because it's hard to find them?
Our earlier recordings are available on Plastic Bomb Records in both cd & vinyl in Germany.  I guess the reason they are hard to find is because they don't know where to look.  Our obscurity is soon to be over with Honest Dons at the helm. Hooray!!
Do you sometimes wear you own merchandise, especially the underwear?
PAUL: The members of the Real McKenzies wear what they want, when they want to wear it.  We dislike fashion fascists.  All we ask is that no underclothing be employed beneath the kilt when it's being worn (which is most of the time when touring).  We prefer to sell our merch as the $$ will give us gas to the next show!
You are very impressed and influenced by Scotland and its culture. Tell us what's so special about it.
PAUL: If you don't know by now, perhaps you never will!  I have to admit that we do try to please everyone, it's unfortunate that we can't!  Scotland is one of the most captivating , magical places on earth.  You all owe it to yourselves to visit Bonnie Scotland someday.  And when you do, email me and let me know how ye liked it.  But if I had to choose what I love about Scotland in one word, I would have to say...EVERYTHING.
What does your family think about your music? Do they like it and encourage you in this case?
PAUL: Most of my family are dead, or missing!  Those that do remain are happy that I am doing what I love to do. 
I suppose they cringe a wee bit when I brandish the ol' family treasure and my butt. But, hey- like Iggy Pop onceX-Mozilla-Status: 0009 you like it or not".
You are often compared to the Dropkick Murphys. Do you like it, when people mention them?
PAUL: I cannot believe how much interest the press has with the similarities and NON existent "rivalries" between R. McK's & DM's!  These guys got where they are from a lot of hard work, we wish them all the best endeavors.  I think we have a better looking piper though!
I have not yet to meet the DM's but I do like the fact that they covered a great Canadian song from the "Kingston Trio".
The more punk rock (celtic or otherwise) the better! I'm having far too much fun to be bitter or catty towards other bands. I'm just too much fun, let's have a beer instead.

If you like this interview, so tell us and we'll put more english ones online! info@purerock.de
purerock.de 2001