Cabbage interview: Nihilistic Glamour Shots

Daniel Lovatt posed the questions to Manchester's finest punk outfit, breaching numerous topics including the band's debut record, Brexit and Marxist philosopher Antonio Gramsci, naturally.

Skiddle Staff

Last updated: 16th Aug 2018.
Originally published: 14th Aug 2018

Image: Cabbage (credit)

Still riding the great wave to stardom, The trajectory of Manchester five piece Cabbage has shown no signs of collapse since the release of their debut album ‘ Nihilistic Glamour Shots’ a few months back. 

The record saw the band follow up on their enormous Young, Dumb and Full Of... E.P, a lengthy amalgamation of their past recorded work and yet further barbed attacks upon today's consumerist society and the powers that be. Apart from their recorded output, the band have, if any thing, gained more notoriety for their rip roaring live shows that have been outrageous and hilariously enjoyable in equal measure.

The lads have gained an unmistakable reputation of being outspoken, profound and often brutally raw when commentating on our society and the music industry, and we had the pleasure of picking their brains on Brexit, neopunk, performing abroad and the role of artists in popular culture.

It’s been 5 months since the release of your emphatic debut album ‘nihilistic glamour shots’, don’t you think that ‘nihilism’ contradicts the bands insistence for political change?

'Nihilistic Glamour'  is our description of the desperate, vacuous, self referential world in which we live in, both politically and socially. 

Do you think it’s easier to be dismissed or respected with such politically charged music ?

Well that depends wholly on whether the politically charged music is genuine and heartfelt. We have always repeated the mantra of only writing about what you truly know about, therefore it is genuine. All forms of art must be genuine and sincere, otherwise they become contrived and utterly meaningless. 

Would you rather sell out Wembley or see your beloved Mossley win a trophy there?

In terms of trophy winning, I'd do unspeakable things if it meant my beloved Sunderland winning a trophy (the League One title would do nicely).  I'd like to wish Mossley FC the very best though.  In answer to your question, yes I'd rather sell out Wembley.

As proud poster boys for talent from greater Manchester, do you think that upcoming bands from the north have the same opportunities as those from London?

Having spent hardly any time in London myself, it's hard to say. However, it's clear that journalists love to create 'scenes' within their writing, in order to make things sound more interesting, as well as being able to 'pigeon hole' various groups. The 'South London scene', for example.

I think the current lineage of groups in Manchester consists to form what could be described as a 'scene', furthermore, it's probably more diverse that the South London thing.  There are some really interesting groups; such as PINS, MOLD, Luxury Apartments, The Starlight Magic Hour, ILL, Witch Fever, Fruit Tones, Slow Knife, Ventrelles, just to name a few. 

I like Shame and Goat Girl very much, and there's certainly a case to be made regarding South London (Phobophobes, for example are fantastic, and I'm sure Fat Whites next LP will be very interesting) but I genuinely believe that Manchester is creating more of a diverse, melting pot of musicians, which should really be described as a 'scene' in the press, if they did their research properly, but it barley gets a mention in comparison. 

You've played a few European  festivals in the last two years, are you a received as well abroad in comparison to home crowds?

On the whole, yes we've been received really well abroad, and we're desperate to travel further. I've always dreamed of playing in Japan. We recently played La Maroquinerie, in Paris, and it topped some of the shows we've had in the UK. People in France, Germany, Copenhagen, Holland, for example, seem to be very clued up socially and politically, and it was a pleasure to meet so many interesting, outspoken, passionate individuals.

In true cabbage style you recently hosted an anti brexit dj set at night and day on August 11th, if Brexit was a song, what would it be and why ?

'No One Knows' by Queens of the Stone Age. (Eog's choice)

Marxist philosopher Antonio Gramsci said  that it’s the duty of artists to use their position in culture to speak about pressing global issues. Do you feel a sense of duty to keep Cabbage alive ? 

Not all artists have to be politcal, as I said earlier, it depends on what is true to you as a person. It's certainly a duty of some artists, and because of that, I do subscribe to that opinion. 

Besides from your raw talent, how important were James Skelly and Rich Turner in the final production of the album?

Hearing them both screaming 'Reptiles State Funeral' at the top of their voices, as well as Rich's piano work at the end of the song, proved just how involved and committed they were. They fully realised and supported our overall vision for the album.

Describe your journey from the EP ‘young,dumb and full of...’ to ‘nihilistic glamour shots’ in three words 

'Young, Dumb and Full of' is an LP, that's made up of three EPs, Uber Capitalist Death Trade, Necro Flat in the Palace and Terrorist Synthesiser.  Prior to Nihilistic Glamour Shots, we released 'The EP Of Cruelty' our first on BMG. More than three words, but I just wanted to set things straight. We've released thirty six songs in total and have plenty more in the post, lid. 

Finally, In April your album soared to 21st position in the official album chart, do you believe that Cabbage are a catalyst for bringing neo-punk into the mainstream?

Ha! A nice thought, let me just bask in it for a while. Sadly, this country is currently harbouring dangerously, detrimental levels of notrights, who will not only prevent decent music from becoming more mainstream, but who also vote Conservative.