Monday, April 16, 2012

The Exploited

WATTIE BUCHAN, frontman for Scots punks THE EXPLOITED, talks toRACHEL BARNES about evolving while still holding strong to his roots.

With far more line-up changes than albums, The Exploited have seen their fair share of difficulties over the years. For some, it may come as mystifying as to how the band is still together, with incidents and line-up changes littering their career, but their longevity is more understandable when you listen to their music or see them live. The Exploited simply epitomise punk rock.

Since the band’s humble beginnings in Scotland in 1980, their lead vocalist and founder Wattie Buchan has used the band to vent his growing frustrations. “Back in the ‘80s there was lots of poverty over here, and punk music gave people a voice to get the anger out. So I started a band,” Buchan says with a laugh.

Success didn’t come easy for the band however, a lack of publicity forcing them to survive by gigging constantly. However, what seemed to be a hindrance ended up helping The Exploited gain a massive following of local hardcore fans. “We’ll still get the same people who followed us from the beginning coming to the shows. The only difference is that sometimes they bring their kids,” Buchan says.

This new generation of fans has also inspired new music from the band. Staying true to their punk rock roots, The Exploited’s newer songs are arguably some of their best yet. “The new stuff goes totally massive, that’s why we get so many 14 or 13 year-olds coming to our shows. The last album did really well.”

Even though the band may be a little calmer now (they haven’t been banned from any countries lately), they are still just as passionate about their political and social beliefs as ever. “I’m Scottish, but we’re controlled by the English government. That’s why we’re here, explains Buchan, “and that’s what we’ve felt since the beginning and that’s part of why I keep The Exploited going. It’s just anger.”

The Exploited are bringing this anger to Australia for only the second time in over 30 years and Buchan is excited to get his tourist on. “If we get past the customs again, a second time, we’re looking forward to it,” he laughs. Despite their last tour through our country being anything but spectacular, playing in small clubs with few fans, they are just happy to play.

Buchan says fans who make it to their gigs can expect to see a “real punk band” that has become one of the best. Although it seems they won’t be up to their usual antics until later on in the tour as they are hoping not to get into too much trouble before the trip is done. “We’d like to finish the tour first, and then you can deport us,” he chuckles.

Despite a lawsuit hanging over their last four albums, triggered when Buchan found out his producer and friend of 20 years had tried to release a bootleg album without telling the band, The Exploited are planning another album and already have seven or eight songs waiting to go. With any luck Australian fans will get to hear the new songs soon.

THE EXPLOITED play The Hi-Fi on Thursday Apr 26 supported by Chainsaw Hookers and The Scam.

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