999

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999's 'Death In Soho' is one cracker of an album and the more I play it the more I find to enjoy. Its made even more enjoyable because its 999 and its full of classic tunes, riffs and just so frikken upbeat.

I hope it does for 999 what 'Norfolk Coast' did for the Stranglers because its up there.

Anyway nuff of my rambling, Nick Cash kindly agreed to some q's about the band and the new cd and here are his answers.

9 years since the last album…what have you and the boys been up to?

We've been touring a great deal taking in England, Scotland Germany, France, Japan, Belgium, Spain including the Basque Country, France, Italy, Denmark Norway Sweden Poland Czech Republic, USA, Argentina and Brazil.

We've also recently recorded a live DVD for Secret Records which has interviews with all the band and some of our followers. It's film quality and we hope it’s going to be released soon.


What still makes 999 tick and want to carry on?

999 has been around since 1976 and yet we've only had two line up changes Danny Palmer replaced Jon Watson 1986 and a couple of years later he was replaced by Arturo Bassick. So we have worked together for a long time as one of the original bands from the beginning of the Punk/New Wave thing. Promoters want to put us on and people want to see the band. We get people who have seen us at every stage in our career and have also got lots of new followers over the thirty years we have been together as a band. We are also always pleased that we go down so well live, the music really connects with our audiences so as long as we can do exciting live shows and people want to see us and listen to our music we will do it. That's what makes 999 tick.

The new album is a corker! How long did it take to record and how long to write the songs?

Thanks for the encouragement and a great review. We approached a number of companies to do Death In Soho but it was Overground Records who gave us our chance.

We have been writing the album since early 2006 but really started to get the songs finished by Christmas 2006. We then rehearsed extensively in Darlington, Acton London, and finally with a number of rehearsals in Soho London during April, May and June and then recorded the album in July at Perryvale Studios in South London, Pat Collier's (formerly of the Vibrators) place. We've known Pat for years and worked with him at his Greenhouse Studio in 1983/4. Pat was an amazing help as we had not recorded an album for nine years and the technological changes have understandably been huge. 999 has had the lot vinyl albums,singles, 12 inch singles, 78 rpm single, DAT, CD, VHS,DVD, well its downloads now! I wonder what's next?

What do you think of it and what’s your favourites on there?
How do you rate it against past albums?


Funny thing Pablo said to me at the studio towards the end of the recording sessions "Nick I think this is the best album we've done since Separates", then Guy said to me later "I think this album is even better than our earlier albums - if we had Death In Soho back then - wow". I say it's the first album we've made that everyone unanimously thought was good and which we still enjoy listening to. It's hard to pick favourite tracks we've just started to play some of the songs live and they are going down really well no doubt our audience will choose our favourites for us.

I would like this opportunity to thank all our friends and followers for nagging us to do a new album. The time was right. Death in Soho is out and the feedback we've had has been great. Now it's time for us to take the songs out on the road it's great to have new stuff to play to our audiences. The tour will kick off in the UK and we will take the new songs to every possible country in 2007- 2008 and beyond - so catch us in a city near you.


I’m curious as to your influences both back when you formed and now?

Back in the days before 999 were formed I played guitar in Kilburn and the High Roads. Many of my influences then still stand now and it was great to be in a pub rock band, what better training could you have for Punk? I was considered for the position of guitarist in Dr. Feelgood after Wilco left but 999 was already taking up much of my time and I've no regrets. The Kilburns signed to Pye records and that was good because I got a copy of The Golden Hour Of The Kinks who were a big influence as were Eddie Cochran, Jerry Lee Lewis, Fats Domino, Chuck Berry, Eddie Floyd, Wilson Picket, Mutabaruka, Gregory Isaacs, The Stooges, New York Dolls, Sam The Sham and The Pharaohs, Ennio Morricone and The Who the band gave Kilburn and the High Roads the support slot on the Quadrophenia tour and it was great to watch them in action on that tour.

When 999 started in 1976 it was great and obviously influential to play with all our contemporaries The Damned, The Stranglers, The Jam, Iggy Pop the list is endless. It has also recently become very special to me personally to have played with the Hearbreakers who were a cracking live band. We played a few shows in the UK and the US including one very memorable performance at the Peppermint Lounge, New York City with Johnny Thunders and Walter Lure. It was very sad to see the decline. By way of those memories I have included Pirate Love, one of my favourite Hearbreakers songs, in my solo set. Somebody from Japan told me it was "a really great thing that you do that song". It does bring a tear to my eye all those great musicians gone - but not forgotten.

What are your favourite things you’re listening to at the mo?

Amongst others some already listed above are The Stooges and The Briefs from California

What does being in 999 mean to you in 2007?

It means thirty years in the business and we're are really proud to have a Death in Soho out once again thank you to all our supporters who continue to come to our concerts listen to our music and won't let us stop.

The music lives on - we live on - for the present. Long live the music long live the people.

Nick Cash & 999


Live in Poland piccie courtesy of Nick Cash

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