Black Star Riders’ Ricky Warwick and Terrorvision’s Tony Wright kicked off their 16-date run of shows in Exeter last week and wrap things up in Grimsby at the end of July.
RUSHONROCK editor Simon Rushworth caught up with Wright to find out the latest on a Terrorvision set with a twist.
rushonrock: The idea of you and Ricky Warwick teaming up for an acoustic double header is genius – how come it’s never happened before?
Tony Wright: Simply because this kind of show is not something I’ve been doing before. With the Terrorvision thing it’s trying to get everyone to shake the dice at the same time and that means a lot of hanging around. But I suddenly thought ‘right, I’m going to take the songs and do them my own way’. There’s no point in doing them the same way that Terrorvision would do them. I wanted to rework them and see what came of it. And now seemed like the right time to do that. I asked Millie (Milton Evans) the keyboardist if he wanted to come along for the ride so here we are!
rushonrock: How did the hook-up with Ricky come about?
TW: I said to my agent that I’d like him to book some of these acoustic shows and it was him who came up with the idea. After telling us the first gig would be fairly small scale we played our first show at Download! Me and Ricky have never toured together but I’ve known him for a while and we had some craic at the Kerrang! awards. I’ve never been out on the road with him but I can’t wait.
rushonrock: So are you apprehensive in any way?
TW: Well I’ve not really done such a stripped down acoustic tour before. Terrorvision aren’t a naturally acoustic band so there’s never been the opportunity. We’ve changed the songs around quite a but we’re confident we can pull it off! I think it’s going to work. We didn’t get booed off at Download so that’s a start.
rushonrock: How will it work then?
TW: Millie’s bringing his guitar as well so it’ll be a lot of fun – the two of us up there on stage. It will be interesting to do and interesting to see what the fans make of the reworked songs. As for the nuts and bolts of the show? I don’t want to give too much away! All I can say is that it will definitely be different to what people have come to expect from a full Terrorvision set. I don’t want it to be too much about Terrorvision but of course that will be the predominant flavour. Millie has a few songs of his own. Some of those songs will be in the set and it’ll be a big old mish mash of stuff. There’ll be something old, something new, something borrowed and…a bit of swearing!
rushonrock: Have you worked hard to get it right?
TW: Millie was away when I first started putting the acoustic ideas together. I reworked the songs from the inside out I took them completely apart, rebooted them and approached them from a different angle. I listened to the songs in a different way but one thing’s the same. We sing the songs like we mean it. Whether you’re screaming the lyrics or singing the lyrics doesn’t really matter as long as you mean it.
rushonrock: What’s been happening in the Terrorvision camp since last summer’s triumphant Download Festival slot?
TW: In fairness not a lot’s happened and that’s why I’m doing this acoustic tour now! People have different commitments and different attitudes and all that stuff that goes with it. Trying to get everyone on board at the same time can be quite difficult. Playing music is what I do but rather than go out and play Terrorvision shows without other people I decided to play it differently. While everyone is getting ready for the next chapter in the Terrorvision story I thought that was the best I could do. I don’t want to step on anyone else’s toes but I don’t want to sit with my feet up when I could be out there playing live. I’d quite like to make a little movie of this tour – I can imagine a road-trip type film with sections on the music that we’re playing. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do so maybe now is the time.
rushonrock: Are you surprised how well things have gone for Terrorvision since the band got back together in 2005?
TW: It was right to get back together and it’s right to keep going when it’s been such a success. We did have 10 years off but then again that’s because we’re just a bunch of lads from Bradford in a rock band and when people told us to write another album we just said ‘no’. Because we could. It’s just the natural reaction. We got back together because it was on our terms and we had the songs. Not having to write an album was the best thing that could happen to us. We wrote the Super Delux album while rehearshing for the Greatest Hits tour. Once we started rehearsing for that tour we just got into a songwriting rhythm and realised there were a lot of new songs there.
rushonrock: How did you fill your time during the decade-long hiatus?
TW: I put my songwriting efforts into Laika Dog but the rest of the guys in that band were so laid back they were virtually horizontal! It was quite a chilled out situation and I did enjoy it but I still had time to do other stuff. I have a print studio where I do woodcutting and that keeps me busy.
rushonrock: It’s 20 years this summer since you joined Def Leppard at Sheffield’s Don Valley Stadium – a set that showcased your songs to thousands. What do you remember about that?
TW: It was brilliant but paying in front of anyone always is. It was purely coincidental that we got that gig because I think Joe Elliott heard us on the Friday Rock Show and liked our single. He told a lot of folk how much he liked us. The Don Valley show was a bit of a drunken haze if I’m honest – or maybe it was the sun that got to me? It was very hot. All day. I do remember that.
rushonrock: At the time you were part of a very healthy British rock scene with new bands charting every other week – did you enjoy being part of the scene?
TW: I think we actually rolled against that scene and a lot of what was going on back then. We came along to do something a little bit different. I was proud of the fact that we were a band from Bradford and I didn’t have to sing with a fake LA accent. Without naming names I’d heard the Small Faces before and I’d heard Bad Company before. Maybe being a bit different to those bands was what helped us stand out from the crowd.