|'Popaganda' was an Ipswich-based tape / magazine combination, published around 1990-92 by someone called Niall.
It leant towards the 'popcore' movement, focussing on bands such as Snuff, Drive, Lovejunk, Elmerhassel and the Revs, with particular interest
in the local East Anglian scene. The tapes were always of high quality, and of course featured the Ludicrous Lollipops on two occasions.
The following questionnaire interviews appeared in the magazine.
|'Popaganda' issue 3 (Summer 1991)|
|Aaaaaa.... orthodoxy.... aaaaaagh.... conformity.... aaaaaagh.... conservative Britain.... aaaaaagh.... boredom (!).... aaaaaaaaaaaaagh.|
|I stagger through the drab and grey landscape that is todays' society, desperate to quench my lust for excitement in the face of mounting pressure to get in line. I hope for extremity, I seek buzz, and crave this absolute bastard of a noise.|
|I NEED Ludicrous Lollipops: too fast, too simple, too out of tune, too fuzzy, and with a name like that, TOO over the top. The really ludicrous point is, if you omit all the 'too's', you end up with a great attitude and, if given enough exposure, it could be that the Lolli's will hit the nail right on it's elusive head.|
|Yeah, it's time to get out of line. Attack dull with gleam, get a life, skin the banal swirly-slow sound with a joke-shop knife and put the amphetamine back into your outlook. Stand up or eat your grass 'cause this band are faster and much dafter than the average poppy-thrashers.|
|HOW DID LUDICROUS LOLLIPOPS COME INTO BEING?
Ludicrous Lollipops were formed from the ashes of a dodgy goth group 'Twilight at Noon' at the beginning of 1988 in Coventry. Unfortunately for the founder member of Twilight of Noon, the remainder of the group could no longer cope with his sad belief that he was Eldritch incarnate, and we showed our appreciation for bringing us together by sacking him. Goth music was enjoying great success at this time: Field of the Nephilim were headlining festivals and The Sisters of Mercy's 'Floodlands' was filling many a dance floor at 'alternative' discos. Much as the then unnamed Ludicrous Lollipops wanted to be part of the 'Black Religion', we found it impossible without bursting into fits of giggles and dayglo.
|Taking things seriously has never been our strong point and surrounded by such bands as the Cult, Balaam and the Angel, Rose of Avalanche etc, we took it upon ourselves to select a name which suitably mirrored our attitude. Heavily influenced by Walt Disney, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and other films of that ilk, and over fondness of pigging out on sweeties, the way forward for the future of music became clear. Ludicrous Lollipops were born, the bastard lovechild of Willy Wonka and Mary Poppins.|
|In 1989 Alan was kidnapped from the Muppet Show to become the new drummer and 1990 Chris took over bass to complete the current line up with Lol and Simon both on guitar and vocals.|
|HOW HAVE THE PRESS TAKEN TO YOU?
We have been quite successful in attracting reviewers from the music press to our London gigs. THanks here are due to Mick Mercer who was the first to show any interest and I think he told lots of people. Also Andy Peart (RIP Sounds), and Steve Lamacq and Simon Williams seem to be quite into us.
|It's a question of luck I think, as to whether you get the interest from the press, and once someone shows an interest word quickly spreads. Another factor is the inevitable London gig. It's rare for a major reviewer to go places other than London or it's surrounds, so reviews of up-and-coming unsigned bands hinge on getting London gigs at the right places. Sad but true. Ta to the Pop Club in our case which has a very good relationship with the music press.|
|HOW WOULD YOU DEFINE YOUR MUSIC?
We christened it High Energy Poppy Thrash for want of an expression to capture it!! It has been likened to the Fraggle scene but we don't really like generic terms. It has always been an intention of the band to embrace as many styles as possible in the songs. Obviously we are limited by the instruments we play, but I think so far we have been lucky in mixing such styles as Ska, waltz music and football chants, without losing the energy of three chord thrash.
|There is no one style which portrays Ludicrous Lollipops the best, but a very important element is the energy. We don't do songs that we don't like, nothing gets left in that we're not 100% happy about, so we enjoy what we're playing. There will always be varied influences in our music because the tastes of the band members are very different to each other. For example, bands we've seen recently include: Chris has just got back from seeing Gary Clail, Lol went to a Ska evening, and Al and me went to see Carter and Neds. Chris listens to loads of reggae and Lol listens to loads of Kenny Rogers!! How much more varied can you get?|
|'Popaganda' issue 4 (1991)|
|Who's the band readers remarked on most after the last issue? Who are the chaps putting in the essential graft behind the scenes? Who holds the 'Labeless Bands' Merchandise Shifting' Cup, and WHO will be the label that sees the (spangled) light?|
|They're grandly unique, and have a sound difficult to describe as it captivates a multitude of youthy areas at one point. They are LUDICROUS LOLLIPOPS (cue preceding Dentist cortège and crackling Tannoy fanfare) hinting ripples of early Dickies whilst suggesting at today's more accomplished High-pop brigands, but never for too long.|
|Their 'Mush' 7" has now left the 1,000 milestone behind, live activity is constant (with enthusiasm!) and their mailing list in as long as Robert Wadlow's arm. A good vinyl deal seems on the cards and imminent chart syringing will ensue that a G.F.I. tone. Simon (what... you mean Simon Siren - vox/guitar) and Chris (bass) check the sweetie jar whilst Lol (guitar/vox) and Drummie Alan find implements in their furry pencilcases round at Popsicle Towers, 4 Albany Road, Coventry, CV5 6JQ.|
|Niall: WHO WRITES THE MUSIC AND LYRICS, AND WHAT DO YOU GO ON ABOUT?
Alan: Everyone contributes on the music side but Chris is sadly too stupid to write any lyrics. Most recent song, Lol and Simon did a combined effort in writing lyrics about sad fuckers trying to pull and no getting anywhere - they both did extensive research for it! Someone has an idea which gets ripped to shit by everyone else until we realise we've got nothing else to play so we turn it into a pop classic.
|Niall: DO YOU HAVE A MANAGER, IF SO WHAT HAS HE DONE FOR YOU?
Alan: Yes - Mr De'Angelo and unlike most managers he is human and even more unusual he is unpaid (like all our crew and the band itself). He does a lot for little or no reward.
Lol: He's given us lots of gigs at the Pop Club and been that grumpy uncle figure we never had.
|Niall: WHAT'S THE BEST WAY AN OUTSIDER HAS DESCRIBED YOU, AND THE WORST?
Alan: The Buzzcocks said that if it was the 70's then they'd be supporting us instead. Atilla the Stockbroker said we're "better than the Neds". The promoter from the Venue said "third rate Vapours".
Lol: Best - "fabulous bastards in a no-pants zone" - Mick Mercer. Worst - "early PWEI" - anonymous punter.
|Niall: WHO'S THE NASTIEST BAND YOU'VE PLAYED WITH AND WHY?
Lol: Mega City Four; the only band we've ever played with who didn't say a word to us. They came over really arrogant and have apparently slagged us off since.
Alan: The Sister Lovers 'cos they were primadonna rock stars and they smashed up the dressing room afterwards.
|Niall: APART FROM THE ONES YOU'VE PLAYED WITH, WHO ELSE DO YOU HATE?
Lol: Slowdive, for the most piss-poor live show in the history of over-rated shite. To charge to watch that is immoral.
Alan: I think the only people who really raise my blood-pressure are those who claim to be something they are not - I mean, I can even stomach all the rock star lifestyles of some of those heavy rock bands 'cos at the end of the day they're deliberately parodying themselves on all the rock bands before them. Also (blasphemy, blasphemy) I'm not a big Carter fan - I suppose it's got a bit to do with being a drummer, but when you watch them live it's only really Jimbob's vocals that stand out as being live - they seem to be getting a fuck of a lot of credit for what is really just KARAOKE - of course on record they're excellent.
|Niall: DO YOU AGREE WITH 'PAYING TO PLAY'?
Lol: No, it's a crap system, but it's good to see all those London bands with too much money getting ripped off.
|Niall: ARE GIGS OUTSIDE LONDON BETTER THAN THOSE IN?
Lol: On the whole, but our London gigs are getting better. You get the feeling that Londoners go to gigs to criticise, whereas people elsewhere go to enjoy themselves. This is a gross generalisation of course, but then I'm gross and general.
|Niall: HOW IMPORTANT IS ARTWORK AND PRESENTATION?
Alan: Really important - Simon and in particular Flo (Lollies' Cultural Attaché - Ed) have done an ace job in terms of T-shirts, mail-outs etc, and some people say our merchandise is better than our music, but what would they know?
|Niall: IS THE GUITAR-BAND WAVE THE ANSWER TO SHOEGAZING?
Alan: I don't see the point in playing one off against the other. I mean, there's a lot to be said for shoegazing - one, it means you don't have to suffer their ugly faces, and two, there's every reason to take an interest in keeping the British shoe industry alive - well done lads!
Lol: The only answer to shoegazing is a violent beating.
|Niall: WHAT DO YOU HAVE THAT OTHER BANDS DON'T?
Alan: A gas powered soldering iron.
|Niall: ARE YOU BECOMING MORE CREATIVE / EXPERIMENTAL?
Alan: We're always tempted to do different things such as 'Godiva' which is a ska song with Simon's hooty-tooty mouth organ thingy and in the studio we often use keyboard sounds and acoustic guitar etc.
|Niall: DO YOU COME FROM MUSICAL FAMILIES / BACKGROUNDS?
Alan: Definitely not - my mum still bears the emotional scars from being kicked out of music class at the age of 12 for singing so out of tune - inheriting such musical crapness has been a great help to the band.
Lol: If you line my family up and hit them with hammers they play 'Too Drunk To Fuck'.
|Niall: ARE YOU HAPPY WITH REVIEWS YOU'VE HAD?
Alan: Yes, the boy Lamacq, Mick Mercer and Andy Peart have all been very good to us.
|Niall: WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO WEAR?
Lol: Lovely blue Converse Mono's.
Alan: Lollies hooded-top, Bubbly T-shirt, leather thong XL.
|Niall: WAS HENDRIX GOD?
Alan: No, he wasn't a drummer.