It’s hard to put into words what it’s like to experience Baby Godzilla live. An utter assault on the senses, it’s just chaos from start to finish. Playing to a huge crowd on The Cave stage at 2000 Trees, it genuinely looked like a news report showing the aftermath of a riot. Some lad was standing on top of a big fuck off waste bin, spitting beer in the air, whilst a horde of people battered fuck out of each other as the band drowned it all out with blistering metal at breakneck speed. It was fucking brilliant.
As soon as they take to the stage, the two guitarists are immediately in the crowd or climbing the scaffolding, riffing like crazy or screaming. It’s almost the equivalent of a live hide and seek game, but in front of a crowd of people hungry for blood and a metal soundtrack. Halfway through the set, guitarist Jonny is off the stage and out the tent, guitar at his side, pushing the aforementioned big fuck off waste bin back into the tent and in amongst the crowd. An order of “Everyone in the bin!” was soon shouted from one of his brief moments on stage, and a load of people scrambled and made a break for the bin, obliging the bearded guitarist and climbing inside. A hilarious sight and great fun.
Having seen all this, you’d be forgiven for thinking the chaps from Baby Godzilla would be snarling brutes who wouldn’t sit still for an interview – hey, who knows…they still might be! But when I bumped into guitarist Jonny (who gave me severe beard envy…) walking around the Trees campsite, tucking into a massive pizza (whatta guy!), he was the sweetest geezer. Me and my pal had decided that we were going to start drinking just before Baby Godzilla, so with a little bit of beer swirling around me noggin’, I got together guitarist Jonny and bassist Paul for a chat (after letting Jonny finish the majority of his pizza…)
Earlier that afternoon, The Cave tent had featured The St Pierre Snake Invasion and God Damn (who were both great) and would later be occupied by American heavyweights Trash Talk and The Bronx, but it was particularly heaving when Baby Godzilla took to the stage mid afternoon. This was something that had the lads somewhat surprised, as guitarist Jonny told me “…Considering we were on at three o’clock in the afternoon, people actually seemed to care about being there” Having lately become accustomed to playing later festival sets where “people have been pissed and it gets a bit nuts,” bass player Paul continued “…It Still managed to get nuts and I don’t think anyone was pissed, so – very bizarre indeed”
Minutes into the interview, when I was just getting into Jonny’s psyche about waste bins “I’ve got a bit of a thing for bins at the moment..” we were greeted by a passing fan. “He’s got a Baby Godzilla shirt!” said Jonny, and over the guy came. Revealing the true nature of his visit to 2000 Trees, the fan enthused “They’re fucking amazing…That’s why I’m here, basically – you boys” After thanking him for the kind words, Paul – tongue in cheek – relented “He’s a ringer…” Soon after, another guy popped up, pumped to catch the two lads from Baby Godzilla “You guys were insane, that’s like the most mental thing i’ve ever seen in my life… You fucking got a bin out and fucking started ordering people to get in it, fucking hell that was insane…”
Paul joked that we had “…found the two people at the festival that like it.” But that’s what I like about 2000 Trees. Throughout the weekend you often bump into bands, whether its seeing someone on one of the stages, at the bar or eating a massive pizza. With Baby Godzilla as well, they’re just down to earth dudes – Jonny even telling one of the guys that had stopped by mid-interview that he’d see him at Trash Talk. As a band, they’re getting around. The name is getting out there, and the Baby Godzilla flag is flying high. Talking on the recognition they’ve been receiving, guitarist Jonny “People seem to enjoy it, yeah. People seem to get it a bit more now than they used to. I think it’s just ‘cus there’s more people there. Obviously if you’ve got an atmosphere in a room or a space – if we can create an atmosphere in the space, then obviously everyone’s going to enjoy it a bit more. For years we played gigs to four people standing at the back of a room, it’s like ‘if you’re going to stand at the back of a room, then I suppose we’re going to have to go to the back of the room’“ As if it wasn’t obvious, for them it’s all about putting on a great show and treating those in attendance to a good time, as bass player Paul adds “Without sounding like knobs, you play for four people or you play for four hundred people, you do exactly the same bloody thing”
I first saw Baby Godzilla at the very first ArcTanGent festival last year, and they were just as insane then – Climbing up scaffolding and walking around the crowd, riffing like mad, forever thinking of new things to climb and ways to entertain. Seeing them at 2000 Trees proved that their shows are just getting more and more mental, and with the crowd getting bigger and bigger, I put across the question: How far else can you go? After stating the obvious answer (death), Jonny thought more on the matter “It’s constantly just being pushed harder and harder as we’ve gone on. Every show is different, because you can’t plan it – it just doesn’t work. I know people in bands that choreograph stuff and it works for them that’s fine, but it doesn’t work for us. Especially when everything breaks all the time, you just need to deal with things, it kindof all stems from that. The spontaneity of it just comes from the fact that you don’t know if anything’s actually gonna work by the end of the gig, so you just see how things roll. I don’t know how far it will go…Hopefully death.”
Sure enough, by the end of their manic set, a guitar was snapped. Was it through being played at sheer brute force by the other guitarist Matt or broken through transport? The jury’s still out on that one…Leaving the bombsite that was The Cave stage after Baby Godzilla had steamrolled right through it, everyone who had been in attendance was sporting a huge shit eating grin. It was certainly one of my highlights of the festival. So their star is shining brighter than ever – how are they feeling about it? Bassist Paul “It’s dead funny. It leaves me with a really cheesy grin when someone says something nice and they’re like ‘I bet you’re getting bored of this’ It’s like no – It’s stupid. It’s not what we expect at all.” Jonny was in agreement, adding “I don’t think any of us have got it in us to really take any of this for granted. We’re a bunch of idiots who get to run around on stage and have fun, and people are letting us do it, so we’re just making the most of the fact that we can”
Paul “You just Ride the Lightning”
You can listen to the full interview below, and you will probably be able to find Baby Godzilla playing in a town near you very soon – DO NOT MISS OUT!