Virtual Festivals: Welcome to the Donington and the UK. You know it's always hotter than California here in the East Midlands?
James: Oh fuck yeah man, we came over here in February and we were touring in some sort of ice cream van with no heating and showers, so we know how cold it gets here. We even went to the Alps man and woke up with steam rising from our duvets, it was hard.
Would that be the Welsh or Scottish Alps?... What are the UK crowds like then?
Gene: It’s so exciting. We came out in February on support for Avenged Sevenfold, and we thought nobody would know us, but people over here were running up to us with records and shit that I didn’t even know you could buy in the States and asking us to sign them. In the UK people look out for new bands and want to get into new music, which is great.
Your MySpace and forum are well populated, and you seem to keep in touch with fans a lot, how hard is that?
James: The hardest thing is remembering people’s names. We go to the same cities and hang out with the same people, but there are always new faces. Small shows are great because you’ll just be hanging out at the bar doing shots with people and then go on-stage, come off and carry on drinking with them, it the best part.
You’ve said 'yes' to an arm wrestle competition with one of your MySpace fans later on today: are you prepared?
Gene: Fuck yeah – do you wanna go?
Yeah go for it? [Reaches across the table for VF's arm]
Gene: You think you’re strong?
British beef baby, bring it on!
[Lots of grunting and banter – VF arm wrestles in true rock style with fag hanging out of mouth. It swings one way then another, and VF slams Gene from Bullets and Octane onto the table for a big one-nil to the UK!]
Gene: great now my arm's fucked for the show – Dick! Ha ha ha.
Sorry mate, if you're gonna play with the boys... Have you got any pre-show rituals to get yourself in the mood?
Gene: Just lots of smoking and drinking, man. I’ve got things not to do, like be alone or think too much. You need to be around all the guys or the fans and drink a lot.
Will you always drink with your fans, no matter how big you get?
Gene: It’s different man, y’know. We did this tour with Dave Navvaro recently and I was like, man lets go and hang out and get drunk with everyone, and he brought it home when he said, "It’s a bit difficult man", which made me think, "yeah fuck", you’re Dave Navarro, you’ll be there for hours getting swamped. But I do like the fact we can hang with our fans at the minute. We wanna keep it like that as long as possible.
Have you got a message for Axl?
Gene: Right, Axl. Number one, I understand that you’re still doing the show even though we’re leaving before it. I understand that the show must go on. And two - keep it going man, welcome to the jungle man, love it.
Are you big GN'R fans?
James: That’s what got me playing the guitar; they were and always will be the best band in the world, without a doubt. We never got to see them in their glory days as our parents weren’t, how do you say, not well off, so I’m totally bummed we’re missing out this weekend.
One last thing, will you be watching the World Cup?
Gene: Yeah sure, we love the Raiders man... ha ha, just fucking with you man.
James: We like it that much we don’t even call it soccer, its football to us.
No, it’s 'footy'
James: What? How do you say that? (Dick Van Dyke chimney sweeper accent comes out), FUTTY, yeah I like that man, FUTTY.
Click here to download tracks from Bullets and Octane's latest album 'In The Mouth Of The Young'.