|Paul Cook Interview
Professionals are 'back & better' with live dates &
After a hectic summer
with Generation Sex, Paul returns with The Professionals. Phil Singleton discovers there's
plenty to reflect on and even more to look forward to.
things after your
busy summer, Paul?
Paul: Not bad mate, not too bad at all. Just gearing up for this tour,
getting things in order, the usual.
off, I wanted to ask about the two new guys in The Professionals, Marc
Haywood and Dean Croney who’ve replaced Toshi and live guitarists Chris
Catalyst and Rich Jones.
What happened, Toshi (bass) let us down. He was due to be on the tour
and something else came up, he got more money and a lot more work,
which is fair enough, although he did say he was going to do the tour.
So he decided to go down the other route. Chris Catalyst wasn’t
available because he was going on the road with The Sisters of Mercy,
and Rich Jones couldn’t do it either ‘cause he is busy with Michael
Monroe. So we were scouting around for new guys. We had Marc in place
first, he was going to play guitar with us. Funnily enough, Marc has
been playing on the Black Sabbath Ballet, can you believe?! He’s the
bass player now and we’ve got another friend of Tom’s, Dean, in on
guitar, and it’s alright, it’s sounding great. It’s just the
ever-changing Professionals which is fine by me. As long as me and Tom
are there it’ll be OK.
and Tom Spencer are the Professionals really.
Yeah, exactly. It’s the way it is these days y’know, guys play with
many different bands, it’s not just one set up. Everyone is doing a
tour here, a tour there, so you have to tie things in when you’re
touring and get people in who are around at the time, that’s the way it
is. It’ll be fine, it’s sounding good anyway, so that’s great.
they in it for the long haul?
Maybe, we’ll see how this tour goes. It might be the permanent line-up
now for a while. It’s early days obviously, with two new guys, but
we’ll see how it pans out.
You’ve got a
new single coming out which ties in with the re-release of
your two albums as a double vinyl set.
Yeah, we’ve done a couple of new tracks that we’re going to slot in
with the vinyl albums as bonus tracks on a CD, so if people buy the
album on the tour, they get a couple of new tracks with it. The main
track is one called ‘Dance While No One’s Watching’. It’s a metaphor,
it could be about doing anything while no one is watching. We got it
all written, recorded, mixed and mastered in about 10 days which is
been lucky enough to hear the track, it’s pure timeless Pros, blessed
with catchy, hard as nails riffs, a killer chorus, and an abundance of
power and muscle. Smart lyrics too. The Pros have announced their
return in some style].
you had much time for song-writing with Tom recently?
We’ve a few ideas that have been on the back burner for a while.
Because I was doing the Generation Sex stuff over the summer, we were
taking a break from it all really. We always have ideas floating
around, it’s just getting a plan together once this year is out of the
way when we will do another album or an EP, or just get some singles
out. There’s always stuff on the go though.
went into Abbey Road to record the two new tracks.
Yeah, we done the basic tracks there, because we knew a guy, a young
kid called Alex Stavrou. He was a trainee, and they give trainees a
Abbey Road to learn their trade. We got the two backing tracks done,
which was great and then we went up to Dave Draper’s studio, the usual
place in Worcester. It was a weird one, I’ve never been to Abbey Road
before, it’s okay, it’s a bit corporate. All the (Beatles) fans were
outside, taking pictures and so on, but it was nothing special as far
as I was concerned!
changed your management again recently…
AGMP was just helping us out really. Over a period of nine months, we
had just one gig and not much else so we thought this ain’t really
happening, so we’ve gone back with Liam Feekery who is helping us out
again. We feel more comfortable there anyway and we’re getting on with
doing a lot of stuff ourselves, you know the old saying, if you want a
job done properly do it yourself.
eight years since the Professionals reformed!
I know! It’s amazing we’re still going, innit?! Banging our heads
against the wall! It’s a labour of love still, we’ll see how it goes
after this tour, playing all these little places. This tour has been
booked for a while now and we’ve got a few dates with the Rezillos.
We’ll have a sit down after and see where we’re going to go from there.
must enjoy it and still get something out of it though?
Yeah, it’s hard work though I must admit, even doing the Gen Sex stuff
which was all needs catered for travel wise, hotels, all the
organisation, it was still hard work physically but I’m looking forward
to getting back playing live with The Professionals. We’ve a bunch of
great songs, we will be playing a couple of ones from ‘SNAFU’ that we
haven’t played live before. We’ve got a great bunch of songs to pick
from, we really have. I was sitting down with Tom recently, thinking
what do we leave out? It is a bit frustrating that we don’t get much
feedback gig wise, anyway we’re enjoying what we’re doing, we are
writing good stuff. What more can you do? Just get it out there and
hopefully something will give one day.
Sex: it sounded like it must’ve been difficult logistically getting it
all together. Was it worth it?
Yeah, it was good fun. I had fun anyway. We didn’t really hit the
ground running with that, because of one reason or another. Steve
(Jones) was not very well at rehearsals, we didn’t rehearse as much as
we should have. Billy (Idol) only turned up two days before the first
show, so it wasn’t an ideal prep. The first few gigs were a bit shaky
to say the least but once we got in the swing of it all halfway through
it, it was great - it was really good towards the end. Whether we’ll do
it again, who knows? I don’t know.
great to hear you and Steve delivering the Sex Pistols’ sound.
Exactly, it was good to play with Steve again. It was good to play
those Generation X songs, they’re so bloody fast though! It’s
unbelievable. It was tough mate, but I got there!
Crystal Palace show was good fun.
Yeah, we were getting into the swing by that gig. I’m glad we did Gen
Sex, it was good being out. We played a couple of funny festivals in
Europe (laughing), we were on the bill with Kiss which was a bit weird,
and Guns N’ Roses and all that stuff. Once we got our own crowd and
done our own shows, it was great.
Steve back permanently in England now?
No, he’s gone back now (to LA). He was here for a long time, the
longest he’s been here, which surprised a lot of people. He was
enjoying himself which is good. Maybe he’ll be back again, who knows?
Steve being back over here, there was obviously going to be speculation
about him being involved again with The Professionals…
People still keep driving us mad, asking us if Steve is still in The
Professionals, is he playing with you? It’s like, really? Oh God,
Professionals are back on tour starting this month. Get your fix of
tough, tune packed rock ‘n’ roll. Go and see ‘em. That’s an order!
Singleton / cookandjones.co.uk / www.sex-pistols.net 2023
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The Sex Pistols / Kick Down The Doors ©Phil Singleton /
cookandjones.co.uk / www.sex-pistols.net 2023