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A Conversation With
Dick Lucas

by
Samuel Barker
July 5, 2001

Dick And Jasper

Samuel Barker: What is your name and what do you do?

Dick Lucas: Dick! and I sing and write words for Citizen Fish

Samuel: What led to the band signing with Honest Don's Records?

Dick: we were on lookout for the last 3 records, but the last one's sales were a quarter of the one before, and the atmos between us and them seemed to be losing the oxygen of coordination, so it was time to move; we'd known Fat Mike for ages, off and on, so we asked him, and what with Fat- or in our case, Honest Dons- being a well-distributed label run by punks and unattached to major labels, and the fact Mike likes us, it was all deemed a Good Idea!

Samuel: Is the European release on Honest Don's, some other label, or are you releasing it on Bluurg?

Dick: its on Honest Dons....they get more or less global distribution, so the need to co-release with a european label didn't arise.

Samuel: Are there any release outside of Citizen Fish and The Subhumans who have releases on Bluurg?

Dick: there were, but aside of Culture Shock, they're all out of print now. [Instigators, Sears, Faction, AHeads, Nick Toczek, Smart Pils and Rhythmites]. when i get time and more computer-literate, i hope to re-release some or all on CDs.

Samuel: Has it been difficult at all to swing having 2 bands between most of the members?

Dick: only in terms of the time available to practice in and do gigs/tours in. the subs gigs revolve around bruce's free time, which is not a lot cos he's well busy with teaching [drums and guitar] and running a music shop, so most of what us other three do is fishy stuff

Samuel: What are some of the touring plans for Citizen Fish in the coming months?

Dick: we're over to the usa for a 4 week tour in july/august going the long way round from chicago to seattle, then after some uk gigs in september we go off to mainland europe for three weeks, then more uk gigs, then....it goes like this most of the year, really. [gig dates are posted on our website, citizenfish.com].

Samuel: Are you all going to tour as the Subhumans anytime soon?

Dick: we were going to go to east canada for a few gigs in september, but as i speak the organiser has got family problems and says he probably hasn't the time or finance to do it then, so that's....off. which sucks, nowt worse than cancelling a tour!

Samuel: Does Jasper have any other projects he works on when you are doing Subhumans gigs?

Dick: at any one time jasper is always looking to compile another cit fish video, filmed on tour on his camcorder [he just did 'gaffer tape' an excellent example of same- its out on bluurg, check the website if you want to get one, or even see a bit of it!]]...he's also in a 3piece band called Cooper S, reggae-bluesy-rocky music, and he's about to put out [on a DIY scale] a 'solo album' of his home recordings....always busy!

Samuel: What is Bruce up to when Citizen Fish is on the road?

Dick: see above...running a music shop in Warminster, teaching music at the local school, being a dad/husband....thinking up new tunes.

Samuel: What have been some of the greatest changes in the kids who attend Citizen Fish/Subhumans gigs over the years?

Dick: theres much less factional fighting, a lot more knowledge of societal problems and alternative lifestyles, and a LOT more baggy jeans, skateboards.....most generalisations are useless, of course, and all the above can be contradicted, depends where and when the gig is! the biggest 'change' is us getting progressively older and the crowds staying in the 16 to 23 area! which is inevitable...

Samuel: Where are some of your favorite places to tour?

Dick: california, france, parts of germany...ireland, despite the fact we haven't been there for ages.

Samuel: Do you feel that people are more in tune with what's happening in their community politically than when you first started, or are people still pretty much the same?

Dick: if people want to get involved, its a lot easier to link up with others and a lot easier to discover the info, than it used to be. The general expansion from tiny groups to larger webs of active organisations/people [via print, consistent zines, books, leaflets and now the internet] is a monument to persistence in the belief that communication is the key to change. Whether people are ' in tune' or not is now no longer down to a lack of information, rather a personal choice to want to know or not.

Samuel: Are there any political groups any of you are currently active in?

Dick: no! playing the political game in order to change politics 'from the inside' is not a theory i agree with. politics to me is the essential way we interact with other people, and politicians are the epitome of how people crave power and control over others. the very essence of political thought, whichever 'wing' it is, is to dominate, to succeed at the expense of others. You don't change your enemy by copying it. You undermine their power [most of which is mental] by living as much as possible outside of it, and by putting the human being you just met above and beyond ideology or party preference, and reacting with them as individuals capable of their own perspectives. Why is it a common belief that politicians can run our lives/environment better than we can? Is it laziness?

Samuel: What are some of the differences between people in the British culture and those in the US culture that you guys notice while touring? Are there major differences or are the kids basically looking for the same thing?

Dick: There are 'people' and there are 'kids', i guess the one evolves from the other; the 'kids' do want the same thing, fun and not being told what to do! and then a better place to live in, and then....its wake-up time. Things get better when the ideas of teenage carry over to adultage, and stay the same [remain shit] when they don't. a few years ago i would've said the main cultural difference was the lack of co-ordinated anger in the USA, but then there was Seattle, and now its globalised anger against globalisation and the excesses of capitalism. ['globalisation' is not the problem (punk rock is globalised!), its the expansion of corporate cultural imperialism]. the corporate culture is essentially American, and therein lies a difference. americans are instilled at a young age to strive for success and greatness in terms of expansion and gain, and many americans are proud of all things BIG as a result; consumerism is endemic. Europeans generally prefer the status quo of tradition, and expansion is tempered with a recognition that things shouldn't be changed too radically. The intrusive quality of American expansion into Europe is the result of a sublime cultural grating [yeah, ok, amongst other things ]....so the brits think the yanks are loud and obnoxious, and the yanks think the brits are stuck up their own assholes! its all cliche by now, though, as uniformity of culture leads to unanimity of angry reaction to its shallowness.

Samuel: Is there anything you would like to add?

Dick: 'eleven plus two' is an anagram of 'twelve plus one'-!

Samuel Barker is Senior Editor. Contact him at suma@rockzone.com.

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