Hagar The Womb maybe is one of the few 80’s British anarcho punk bands are still active, here’s a interview with them. ¡Enjoy it!
– Well, the 80’s was the best time of anarcho punk. How do you remember that decade?
“It was a time when a lot of bands were formed. We lived in London and saw lots of anarcho punk bands at a venue called the Autonomy Centre. We thought we could try that and so offered to play in two weeks time and then set out to write some songs and work out how to play them. There is a tape of that first gig and it is quite a shock to listen to it.”
– Why you think Hagar the womb is a cult band?
“I think because anarcho punk is quite a cult form of music. We deliberately did not want fame or money we just wanted to play to people, let them know what we thought about things and enjoy ourself at the same time.”
– The band influenced punk and goth bands, did you had an approach to a goth music?
“Looking back at what we wore, we were largely dressed in black and so did look like a goth loving punk band. I was also very fond of goth bands such as Bauhaus and the Virgin Prunes. But we always saw ourselves really as a punk band.”
– The protest won’t be always boring and grey, how did you put a femme touch?
“Us and many of the other punk bands with women members sang about the issues we were worried about including rape, beauty contests and having children. At the time this could seem quite different from the male bands who were singing about overthrowing the system. We all have a lot of fun together and wanted to show that punk rock did not always have to be serious and thrashy sounding – some of our members also love disco and pop songs and wanted to bring a sense of fun and colour to the anarcho punk scene.”
– The single Dressed to kill was successful, talk me about that song.
“That is our jolly party song all about getting ready for a great night out. Again we did want to have songs about happy things in our set, at a time when there were not many punk songs about getting dressed up. It is still very popular and it is always the song we play to close our set. We did use to have dancers on stage to do our special dance for the song and we still invite people to come up and dance on stage to this song.”
– Hagar the Womb broke up in late 80’s and then you came back in 2011, how was it?
“It was a big shock to play live again after 30 years and we were a bit scared at our first gig supporting The Mob. However it was made wonderful by a lovely crowd and a bit of rum. We have now been playing again for 9 years which is longer than we were together first time round. “
– Which changed in the British anarcho punk scene when you came back?
“I think it is a lot more varied now with more LGTQ+ bands, more bands with both younger and older women in them (including the Menstrual Cramps and I, Doris. It feels a lot more vibrant and a lot of great Do It Yourself activity – including the lovely label we are on Grow Your Own Records, set up by Gary of Anthrax UK and our Steph. They put out a great compilation last year for International Women’s Day called No Ones Little Girls.”
– How was your relationship with Crass?
“Crass was one of the bands that inspired us to start and they helped raise the money to have gigs in the Autonomy Centre. We were also very inspired by other bands including the Poison Girls and The Mob who we played a lot of gigs with at that time. It has been a pleasure to play with Steve Ignorant in the last few years.”
– Today need shout things to the world?
“Sadly I think there is still a lot of things in the world to shout about including climate change, consent (Metoo movement) and the unfairness of the distribution of the world’s resources. Many of our new songs have been inspired by our experiences of being punk women in our 50s and their visibility and vulnerabilities.”
– Would you like visit Mexico Someday (you music is popular here)?
“We would absolutely love to. Please invite us. xx”