“I became desperate to make people aware and raise money for AMMF”
We caught up with Luke of Call Me Malcolm and now one of the brains behind the supergroup 24 Hour Punks. Lucius explains the reason behind this project, how it came together plus its influences topically and musically.
Broken Arrow Magazine: Tell us how 24 Hour Punks came about? How did all these musicians from different bands become involved?
Luke: My Father-in-Law passed away in January after a very one sided, four month fight with Cholangiacarcinoma, which is an incredibly aggressive form of cancer. It’s not a disease you hear about unless you’ve been affected in some way, there are only 2000 cases a year, so I became desperate to make people aware and raise money for AMMF who remain the sole charity fighting back.
I originally came up with an idea to write and perform a show in 24 hours, but realised that promoting a gig with a headliner that had literally never been in a room together might be a tall order, hence the EP was born. I started by drafting a dream lineup of musicians I’d met over the years with Call Me Malcolm. At some point I’ve watched each of the 24 Hour Punks play in their respective bands and just been in awe.
Arvin’s (Popes of Chillitown) an unbelievable bassist. Aiden (Skaciety) is one of the most talented up and coming musicians I’ve ever met. Millie (Millie Manders and The Shutup) and TJ (The Bar Stool Preachers) are the most insanely dominant vocalists with this infectious energy and spirit. I played and recorded with Pierre in Battleska Galactica years ago, so knew he had the skills to record in the time limit (he was dubbed by the other 24 Hour Punk “The Human Metronome”!) But the key to making the project work was Oz Craggs (Hidden Track Studios) who is an incredible producer. 24 Hour Punks were made better by every single person’s presence.
Broken Arrow: Was anyone else asked to be a part of this project?
Luke: One or two musicians were keen to be involved, but due to touring or scheduling issues couldn’t make it. Thankfully they’re free for the show in September. I haven’t yet worked out how we’ll fit on the stage at New Cross Inn though..
Broken Arrow: Why did you choose that name?
Luke: Naming a band is critical enough at the best of times. This one had to convey the genre and also be a blurb for the project. 24 Hour Punks was the easiest way to explain ‘who’ and ‘what’.
Broken Arrow: You all have ska backgrounds but this is very rooted to straight up punk rock, is there a reason behind this?
Luke: There’s a couple. Logistically, the addition of brass from a writing and recording point of view would’ve been a nightmare. I didn’t think Oz would forgive me for bringing along a horn section to the studio! Secondly, and I think most importantly, ska is far more irreverent. People affected by cancer are angry. After my wife lost her father, I was furious. Punk was the most natural way to express that.
Broken Arrow: How has the initial response been for the EP?
Luke: The band has been blown away by the feedback and excitement for the EP. Let’s be honest, with such a tight deadline to write and record, the tracks could’ve been an absolute disaster! But the reviews and buzz around the release have just been unreal.
“I think it screams how positive and proactive the scene is in the UK”
Broken Arrow: You’ve released three tracks, I take it you have several more saved for the live performance?
Luke: Nope! The gig on September 9th will feature a brand new set of songs written and rehearsed in 24 hours. It’s gonna be another exhausting, but intensely rewarding day.
Broken Arrow: Is this a one-off thing?
Luke: If you’d asked me at 3am during the EP recording, I may have waivered. But I can say with more thanks and appreciation than I’ve ever felt, it’s been an honour to be a part of this and I hope to get another chance.
Broken Arrow: Who or what were the inspirations to the sound behind 24 Hour Punks?
Luke: We didn’t discuss inspirations when writing, we didn’t have time! But at some point in tracking the guitars for Riot someone renamed the band 24 Hour Bad Religion. I think for sure they’re in there. There’s probably a bit of NOFX, Bouncing Souls and maybe Pennywise? I’m certain everyone in the room had their own inspirations and favourite bands. What we ended up with is probably the most honest sound we could’ve produced, untainted by suggestions of “let’s sound like this band!”
Broken Arrow: What does a project like this say to you about the current DIY punk scene in the UK?
Luke: I’m eternally grateful and indebted to everyone involved. More than that, I think it screams how positive and proactive the scene is in the UK. The love, respect and passion from everyone in the project is indicative of the scene as a whole, up to and including the zines giving us coverage. It’s something I’m humbled to be a part of, and honoured to play in.
Check out the footage of 24 Hour Punks in the studio
Here is our review of ‘Why We Fight’