Interview with Graeme & Hugo from Medictation

First things first, let me see if I have this right: Warm Places was meant to be released back in January on Paper & Plastic but yadda yadda yadda shit happened (or, didn’t happen) and now it’s set to be released in September through a new UK label called Little Rocket Records and through Dead Broke Rekerds in the USA (and Canada??)………….Right?
Graeme - You got it, on the nail…

Can you fill in the ‘yadda yadda yadda’ part, what happened with Paper & Plastic?F
Hugo – I got a message from Graeme telling me, exactly what you have said, haha
Graeme – it was a serious case of “yadda yadda, yadda”, apparently the worst any one has seen within the last 100 years. The Global Science Experts are still working on it, searching and looking for answers? I was told; a new pressing plant had been used and fucked up. So with that knowledge, I decided to take control of the ship.

I know Graeme is part of Little Rocket Records along with my online buddy Mark (who is fucking wicked, shout out to Mark!), how did the label come to fruition?
Graeme - I had the idea of “Little Rocket Records”, for some time, the name came about after the passing of Big Rock, he was Leatherface’s tour manager in Europe. He was a really big guy and lost a lot of weight, so I used to call him Little Rocket, instead of Big Rock. He was a well-loved guy and sadly missed. So the label is in his memory!
Hugo – So I guess, due to the outbreak of the “yadda yadda, yadda”, (Laughs) Graeme decided to launch, the label for the release of the MEDICTATION album, right? (Laughs more)
Graeme – Right! (Doesn’t Laugh), thank fuck for the “yadda yadda, yadda”, eh?
Hugo – (Laughs), lets raise a glass to the “yadda yadda, yadda”! “Clink”
Graeme – So, yes Mark Bussey helped me out at first, mainly because of the problem, we were in, but came on board along with Daniel Baker, both great guy’s and together we are “The Rockette’s”! I also have to give a shout out for Mike Bruno, Dead Broke Rekerds, Mike came in and help sort the release stateside, which was an amazing thing for us, total respect. Also John Di Marco from Rubber Factory Records, Toronto who has done a limited cassette run for us, another great guy and friend!

It’s really cool to see the orgy of support between those two labels and The Punk Archive (I met Dan at Pouzza and he’s also fucking wicked!) for the release, I didn’t know him but it sounds like that sense of community is something that Dickie Hammond inspired, would you say that’s true? 
Hugo – Graeme brought Dan from The Punk Archive in for the official UK press for Pouzza and he has done a great job for the bands, and us opening the Festival up in the UK for us.
Graeme – Dickie’s sense of community was always around Punk Rock, drinking and I don’t mean that in a bad way. That’s where it does come from; it is a sense of community, and something I believe in. It’s about time the good people got together and started shouting. For me its about making the Punk Rock world smaller and the Punk Rock family bigger!
Hugo – You get that feeling right through Pouzza now, I mean having Graeme involved, Dan and so much more is coming together now, and it’s exciting.

How did you write & record an album and prepare for a tour with members living across an ocean from each other?
– I wouldn’t say it was easy or without its problem but there are some key factors, communication, the motivation to do it, make it work and technology! We all played our part in it; we didn’t demand or expect anything from each other.
Hugo – We just went with it and this is what happened, it was a great result. I mean for all of us, it goes through or head, what do they think, does this sound ok, will we be ok when we meet up, because you don’t have that constant band connection, in a room.
Graeme – That’s probably a good thing (Laughs)

Do any of you have any difficulty keeping your emotions in check when it comes to practicing and performing songs you wrote and recorded with a friend/bandmate who has passed away? What are your methods of coping when/if it becomes overwhelming?
Graeme – It’s strange you have just asked that, Greg Robson, from Bear Trade is playing guitar and we have reminisced a lot about old stories and Dickie, during rehearsals. At times when you least expect it you really do think you hear the door open and he’s just about to stumble in. His words, “Alreet Tiger, how’s it going, Son?”, echo in your head. It still freaks me out when I’m least expecting it and you hear him sing, Stalingrad. There have been times when I’ve been practicing, I’ve found myself drift off, I hope I don’t do that when I’m playing live? I just try to get my head down and play the songs the best I can for Dickie. His reading glasses are in my studio and his tour hat, which I will bring his tour hat on the tour!

Speaking of that, I’ve wanted to start touching on anxiety/depression/etc in my interviews since I think it’s so common and it’d be great to hear about how musicians cope with that sort of thing on the road. Does this apply to you? If so, how does it differ when you’re trying to deal on tour vs at home?
Hugo – I try to do some fun things, I mean, I have got some tickets for Graeme when he comes to see some games etc and I will try to fit in my Yoga. It’s my job now; I have to pay the bills, like everyone else.
Graeme – You have to try to enjoy it the best you can, the days of drinking constantly, have to stop, there are so many people who would love to be doing what we are doing and you have to realise this. For me coming to play music, see my mates, travelling, how good is that? You do miss your family and friends back home but it makes it worthwhile wen you go back. You appreciate them more! Don’t get me wrong, sitting in traffic, sometimes cold, hungry and not feeling well, it can be the loneliest place, believe me!

Without sounding too childish (or too Calvin and Hobbes) – do you believe in ghosts/spirits/the after life? If so, do you ever get a sense that Dickie is “with you” when you’re playing his songs?

Graeme – I cant say I believe in it, I do think that someone’s presence can be around you, their imprint of life, becomes a part of your existence. More than just a memory?
Hugo – I suppose we touch on that with the first track on the record.

I read that “Memories of Youth” was written about an old friend who was stabbed to death where Graeme grew up… has the meaning shifted for you guys with Dickie passing, does that resonate in a different way now when you think of/play that song?
Hugo – It is, for sure, it was from an email Graeme sent to me, when he actually just found out.
Graeme – Songs can take on a generic aspect for sure and I would say, memories of Youth has, definitely. I know longer just look at it as being central around my friend but Dickie also.

Will you/can you play “Stalingrad” live?
Graeme – I’m expecting Hugo to?
Hugo – Ok, I will give it a go.

Are you guys at all bummed that you’re not playing at the Bovine for the Toronto date on the tour? I read about some sweet memories there on the Leatherface/Yesterday’s Ring tour… was that when you guys first met or is that another story in itself!?
Hugo – Yes, that was the tour we first met, for nostalgia, it probably would have been good to go back there.
Graeme – The last time I was there, was with Leatherface / Yesterdays Ring, with Frankie, Dickie, Hugo and Fred. It maybe a good idea that we are not playing there, I love the place. I suppose I have to look at it as, it’s good to see another venue and hopefully I will play there again, one day?

Any key Canadian foods on the rider for the UK dudes?
Melanie Kaye, sent me a list and I can’t wait, so I expect these dudes to help me out also. I have to eat, its keeps me on the straight and narrow!
Hugo – But you don’t like salad do you?
Graeme – No, well if it’s hot, now and then?

Any fond memories of Dickie that you’d like to share?
Hugo – Yeah loads but I just start laughing, when I think of him, the main memories is he was just always funny, laughing and most of the time, we didn’t understand a word he said, but we still laughed! Graeme would have to interpret for us? (Laughs)
Graeme – (Laughing) he had a couple of jokes, I would ask him to tell me, in the middle of the tour, they were so funny. I must have heard them a thousand times and I would just crack up when he would tell me them. Even Frankie would laugh, but I cant tell you them the way he did. We all fucking miss him!

And for those who maybe didn’t follow his music before but are finding Medictation now, what can you say about the man to keep his legacy alive?
Hugo – Listen to Leatherface, buy their fucking records man!
Graeme – He did some amazing stuff with Frankie, the pair of them, absolute “Meat”, as Dickie would say, also check out HDQ, The Jones, Dr Bison!

What's the weirdest place you've ever jerked off while on tour?
Graeme – Gregs a bit weird like that, I will ask him and get back to you, I’m sure he will have a good answer? Karl definitely is and Fred, Hugo?
Hugo – Yeah Karl and Fred, I will let you know on that one for sure.