“We found that Punk was a great way to express ouselves”: Chron Gen

Chron Gen is a iconic 80’s british band, they’re famous for his songs “Outlaw” and the cover “Jet boy jet girl”. I sent an interview to them and his drummer JJ answered me. ¡Enjoy the interview!

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-You had a short and successful career in the 80’s. What’s the meaning for you?

“When Punk first exploded into the scene in 1976, Glynn and I were only 14 years old. From the moment we heard the Sex Pistols, Damned, Stranglers, Clash etc, we were both hooked. These bands inspired us to form our own band and start writing our own material. We were very lucky to be in the right place and the right time to get ourselves booked onto the ‘infamous’ Apocalypse Now gig in London in 1981.

As far as we’re concerned we’re a Punk Rock band with the emphasis on ‘rock.’ Personnally I’d like to think that we’re more in keeping with the original punk bands and that our sound be likened to those bands. It was often said in the music press of the early 80’s that we were untypical of many of the bands we shared stages with, our sound was always different – more melodic and powerful. We are still seen as different to the mainstream punk acts – we like that.”

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-How borned the idea for do the cover song “Jet Boy Jet Girl”?

“We first heard The Damned version I think and really liked the song, It’s so catchy. We played it a few times at our rehaearsal and a few of our friends thought it suited our sound, so we added it to the set and have been playing it ever since.”

-How changed your perspective about punk around the years?

“I think the word and the genre ‘Punk’ has such a broader meaning now. It’s so diverse and is now recognised (and accepted) worldwide. I think it started to become acceptable to society decades ago, I mean, ¿who’d have thought that a punk band (The Clash) would perform at stadiums in America ¡supporting The Who!? The likes of The Ramones, Blondie, The Police, The Cure and more recently, The Chilli Peppers, Green Day and Blink 182, made punk so much more accepted and commercial. Of course, punk still has it’s hard-core roots and followers, you only have to visit the hugely successful Rebellion Festival in the UK or any one of the Punk Rock Bowling Festivals in the U.S for confirmation of that. However, with social media, the easy with which it is to record music today, on computers and even mobile phones via apps etc, and given the vast number of events and issues going on in the world currently, it’s easy to see why there are so many bands worldwide still calling themselves a punk band and writing songs about things that affect them.”

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-Are you considered UK82 icons?

“I don’t think we can answer that question really, ¡I think it’s for others to decide!”

-In The 80’s the British punks lived very fast?

“As teenagers in the late 70’s, we found that Punk was a great way to express ouselves and say how we felt, It stays with you. I think that the UK82 scene was the start of a narrower view of Punk and a shift to a more hardcore style that is still popular today.”

-The Chron Gen’s lyrics describes the reality of your life?

“Our songs have a wide range of inspirations; world events, personal emotions and some ‘off the wall’ observations. Glynn obviously has had his own personal thoughts behind some of the songs. We also like to think that listeners find our songs relevant to their own personal experiences.

“The songs on our new album ‘This is the Age’ have been written in the same vein. Although some are a bit more specific: ‘Jump’ Is about making the most of what we have and not being brought down by negativity around us. Imagination relates to the events following 9/11 and ‘Ready to Overreact’ Is based around the UK riots of 2011.”

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-Have a story behind the song “Outlaw”?

“Glynn wrote after going to an Iron Maiden concert back in about 1980. There were thousands of ‘Rockers / Bikers’ at the gig and as a Punk, he stood out like a ‘sore thumb!’ He found it quite an intimidating experience even though no one actually physically harmed him. His reaction to this was quite simple…. ‘What does it matter how you look. If you like a band / artist that isn’t in your own particular genre, why shouldn’t you be able to go and watch them.’ As the song says ‘…. You can’t go in if you don’t look right, doesn’t the music make it alright, it seems fashion keeps the youth confined. We have missed the whole idea, I thought we listened with our ears, but we keep them closed with fear….'”

-In 2013 some band members back for the Rebellion Festival. How was that experience?

“We decided to hang the guitars up in 1984, but had all remained friends, although we lost Floyd, who died in 1999, and then Pete Dimmock in 2011. We were invited to play a few reunion gigs, typically every three or four years apart, which we did for a bit of fun, mainly at the Rebellion Festival in Blackpool. We played there for the first time back in 1996 when it was called the Holidays in the Sun Festival. We love Blackpool. The Rebellion weekend is fantastic; thousands of punk rock lovers from all over the world, getting together to watch almost 300 bands / artists play during that weekend. It’s a great opportunity to meet up with old friends an ‘¡Party on down!’ We’re really looking forward to playing at this years’ festival too.”

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-Would you like visit Mexico?

“We would love to come and play in Mexico. We’ve Heard so much about the scene in your country from friends of ours in L.A. when we toured the U.S. last Summer. Unfortunately, we don’t have any contacts of agents or promoters in Mexico… Maybe you guys could provide us with some? We can be contacted on our Chron Gen Facebook page.”

-What’s for the Chron Gen’s future?

2017 was a great year for us. We’ve never been asked to play so many gigs. As well as dates in the UK, we also played in France, Greece and the USA.

We released our first new álbum for 35 years, ‘This is the Age’ at the end of 2016, so we incorporate a few songs from that album into our live set along with many of our old songs from back in the early 80’s. In January 2018 we played in Finland. In April we play at the Punk and Disorderly Festival in Berlin, Germany. We have several dates in the UK this year too and possibly a tour to Japan at the end of the year.

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Having the opportunity to keep gigging is a real privilege which we are very grateful for, so a big thank you to everyone that has supported us here in the UK and those around the world. Our live performance is driving and energetic – we give it our best at every show – it is the very least that the people who come to see us deserve. We enjoy playing together and I like to think that comes across. Basically, ¡we’re three mates enjoying being together and just enjoying the ride for as long as people want to ride along with us!

Gracias por su interés en Chron Gen. Esperamos verle muy pronto en México. Adiós por ahora.” (Translation: “Thanks for your interesting in Chron Gen. I hope see you soon in Mexico. Goodbye now”).

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