(Interview by Gareth Postans aka Girth, introduction by Mano)
Some bands need no further introduction and the lords of the sword, the almighty The Templars are most definitely one of them! Thanks to my buddy Gareth for interviewing the man, the myth, the legend - Phil Templar - himself, enjoy!
How are you and the band coping with Covid? Managed to get any new recordings on the go? How you been coping? I see you’ve DJ'd a bit?
Phil - The band isn't a touring band so we already don't play a lot of gigs which also makes our gigs somewhat special I suppose... our last show was in February 2020 and at the moment we are excited to play gigs again. Just before the world was shut down and put on hold, we managed to record 6 brand new tracks that we will release sooner or later. Also not having any gigs forced us to fine tune & manage our merchandise and our other reissue projects that we had shelved before the pandemic because we had "no time". When shuttered in and nowhere to go for a few months it made us take care of our "templar to-do list". I've managed to DJ a few times during this pandemic which has helped my mental status and others as well dying to hear music and somewhat socialize outdoors.
Your last album came out in 2017. ‘Deus Vult’. Have you noticed a lot of bands recently coming out with a similar sound/imagery to you? Are you going to sue them?
Phil - Imitation is flattery I suppose. Some bands do it good, some don't. Our lawyers are currently buying all their music to build a case against ALL OF THEM. I'm glad there
are bands playing period. We all take life for granted, so when this pandemic hit it gave a lot of people free time to form bands, write music and do the things they've always wanted to do without any distractions.
One interesting project I heard a rumour about was ‘Prussian Black’. How come this never came to fruition? Will it ever be released?
Phil - My CASIO keyboard & drum machine were repossessed by the bank... ask to Roddy
What was the last gig you played? Was it Nick Kent’s 80th? Have you got anything lined up for 2022 or earlier? Will BBC be on?
Phil - 80th what? 80th hamburger?! As far as gigs go, we will not book anything until we know for sure that gigs are happening and won't get cancelled. No sense in making
plans, making flyers and buying plane tickets for something that may get cancelled or pushed back. When I see a few gigs & festivals happen without any snags then we
will make a concentrated effort to play gigs again. I hope Beach Beer Chaos comes back with a vengeance, one of the best weekend fests on the planet.
Do you feel that Covid, lockdown and isolation has driven the wedge between ‘political’ bands and acts even further? I mean. Reading stuff online it seems people are getting more and more nuts.
Phil - Cabin fever I suppose. I guess when you shutter yourself in and just fill your brain with conspiracy theories, fetish porn & political cults/nonsense instead of listening to music, watching porn (with or without your significant other) and talking with friends/family on a regular basis, then dumb shit happens. Most humans are shit anyway so if they go bat shit crazy and off themselves, then better for humanity.
Have you ever been asked to play The Great Skinhead Reunion? What are your thoughts on potentially playing for the most important skinhead in the world?
Phil - I've DJ'd twice... that's good enough. I wouldn't even consider our band to play it because we all live in the States and they probably couldn't afford to have us as they
usually have alot of bands playing. DJing was fun, Brighton is nice to visit and I always run into some friends at the festival or friends come down for the day and we do a pub crawl away from the Reunion. For the record, the most important skinheads in the world are Telly Savalas & Yul Brynner... end of discussion
Who are the most overrated Oi! band of all time? Who are the most underrated?
Phil - Most overrated?! Usually the most overrated Oi bands don't even have skinheads/punks in them anymore... they may have started out like that but usually evolve into some moist sounding skaterock sounding band. Look at a band and compare their appearance from their first release and look at their most recent release and make the decision for yourself.
Underrated?! As far as new bands go... follow Royal Hounds, UltraSect, Reconquesta, 45 Adapters, Beton Arme, Fuerza Bruta, The High Stride, Cuero, Violent Way and a few others. As far as older bands growing up that were underrated, hmmmmm... The Samples, Venom (Wales), Major Accident, Renegade, Straw Dogs, Case, Criminal Class.
Some of the most recent bands are diversifying their lyrics away from boots, bovver and football. Will we ever get an Oi! song about taking the bins out and leaving the toilet seat up?
Phil - "Boot The Bins" & "Bog Roll Bovver" are 2 new tracks on our new release called "Brick Walls & Broken Bottles"
Where will you be when this Covid shit calms down and hopefully fucks off?
Phil - Somewhere warm with a cold drink in my hand, listening to music... that could be the beach or a nursing home (if this shit doesn't leave us alone)
Internet warriors - any particularly funny stories involving these lately?
Phil - Nah, internet warriors are just obsessed weirdos dreaming about black cock NON-STOP... thanks, but no thanks
Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk or Nick Kent - who’s the biggest cunt?
Phil - Biggest or fattest?! Depends... 2 are millionaires and one ate a million hamburgers
What for you are the perfect top ten tracks for beer and good times?
** Phil's Magic 11 **
Straw Dogs - Dead On Arrival
Major Accident - Man On The Wall
4 Skins - Remembrance Day
The Ruts - West One (Shine On Me)
The Betrayed - Knocking Down A Nation
Angelic Upstarts - 2 Million Voices
Case - Criminal Ways
Vicious Rumours - This Is Your Life
Cock Sparrer - We Love You
The Business - Outlaw
The Professionals - The Magnificent
Can venues, labels and bands recover from their lack of gigs do you think? What do you think the future holds?
Phil - Venues? Depending how resourceful they were during the pandemic.
Labels? Most likely yes unless releasing shitty bands that no one gives a fuck about.
Bands? If they are touring musicians and have no other source of income, welp you better have your merch game pretty tight or be resourceful and record new music and/or record. Alot of bands have been live streaming performances.
Is acoustic Oi! a thing or is it all very wrong?
Phil - What is this thing you call "Oi"? People have the right to do whatever they want to do. And I also have the right NOT to listen to that or whatever else shit music I don't care for. I have my tastes in music and people have theirs. I'm not the scene police. Same with top button fanatics or skinheads with beards. Live your life and look stupid if you like... I don't care
Any last words of wisdom?
Phil - Carpe diem. Live your life to the fullest. Avoid time wasting dead-ends like arguing on the internet with strangers, hardcore drug use,
hating on other people & bands, attention seeking moist behavior, stupid political ideologies/conspiracy theories.