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Ginger on Camden Rocks, new bands and avoiding 'corporate cock'

The busiest man in rock is about to get even busier.

Ginger will be playing the TeamRock-sponsored Camden Rocks festival on May 31. We caught up with one of the UK's greatest ever songwriters to talk new bands, breaking new ground and taking no shit from anyone, ever.

Q. So far in 2014 you've released your Albion album, toured the UK with The Wildhearts and Hey! Hello! on the same bill and now you're playing Camden Rocks as a solo artist: with so much going on, how do you keep your head from exploding? 

"I'm pretty sure my head would explode if I didn't have loads of things to do. I like to keep the devil away by filling my time like filling a bucket full of sand, but even when you think it's full there's always room for water. No matter how busy I make myself I still find time that I could fill up with something else."

Q. You launched the Ginger Associated Secret Society (G.A.S.S.) earlier this year: care to explain the concept for those who might be unaware of it?

"It's an online fellowship, or a forward thinking take on the traditional fan club, if you like. I want to offer people 12 months of music, information, interaction and much, much more. It is quite unlike anything that people are used to so it has been met with the usual initial suspicion, but now the fans have had chance to chip in ideas people can see that this is very much community based, designed to serve my supporters. Once it gets going then the addictive nature of it will set in and people will start to rely on it. It's going to be a great years worth of fun and games. I think that musicians have got to start thinking about moving forward, about survival and about putting their own personality into things. It's an interesting time, and history will certainly favour the interesting."

Q. You were one of the first UK artists too demonstrate the power of Pledge campaigns for musicians: do you think young bands still need record companies?

"Judging by the way some bands and artists have handled their Pledge campaigns I think some people definitely need record companies, if only to play the traditional role of bogeyman. Some musicians haven't the foggiest how to treat their fans well, so to give them any hope of sustaining a career I strongly recommend that the less socially savvy, and more money orientated get in bed with the corporates, and stop clogging up something as potentially liberating as pledgemusic.com"

Q. What's been the most memorable gig you've ever played in Camden?

"Most of the amazing gigs I've played in Camden I have very little recollection of! The last Birthday Bash, December 17th 2013, was pretty stunning. A sold out Koko club, playing Damned songs with Rat Scabies on drums, Sam Yaffa on bass,Jim Jones on vocals...I'm not sure that could even be beat. I've had way too much fun in Camden over the years, it's my party home in London."

Q. What other acts are you hoping to check out at Camden Rocks?

"Eureka Machines are killer. Other than that, fuck there's dozens! Turbowolf, Sonic Boom Six, The Virgin Marys, Love Zombies, The Howling, Baby Godzilla, God Damn, Exit_International, Orange Goblin, The Subways...man, I'm going to be busy!"

Q. You've always been a great champion of emerging talent: what's the best advice you could impart to a young artist/band?

"Do what you do and avoid what you don't do. 

It's always hard for a young band to avoid trends and current styles, but it's essential if you want to this for your life. Look at me, 20 years into a career that was initially smaller than many, many bands that can't sell a ticket, and all because I stuck to my guns, and now people expect that of me.

If, however, you don't want to do it for life, and just want to make money, then get the latest haircut and cram all the cocks into your mouth that you can. You might be dead soon, and let's face it, who's going to miss you? Get them corporate cocks in you now. Yuma yuma."

Q. Describe your current mind-set in just five words. 

Buzzing on brand new ideas.

Q. Any last words for the people attending Camden Rocks?

"Bring your voices along to my set and let's fucking have it. All of you. Rammed in the Jazz Cafe. Haha, that'll be fucking hilarious. Come on, let's do it."

Tickets for Camden Rocks, priced at £25 for over 200 bands, are out now. Purchase tickets and check out the rest of the line-up, which includes The Subways, ****The Blackout, Orange Goblin, Hacktivisit, Baby Godzilla, Sonic Boom Six and more, at the official website.

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