The politics had already been in them as individuals for a long time, though. Simon had got involved first by going to student anti-war demonstrations, and then going to DIY punk and hardcore gigs in Liverpool, where the music and the meanings were tightly interlinked. It was at one such show where he picked up a zine by anarcho collective CrimethInc, in which he found a lot of shared ground with what he already believed.
“It had a thing in it listing what anarchism is, and it said, ‘If you believe these things already, you are already an anarchist,’” he recalls. “That was an epiphany moment for me. I was young and I wanted to be involved in activism; I knew things were wrong, I wanted to make the world a better place. I’d already been involved in student protests and stuff, and I knew we all had this energy to want to make the world a better place. That CrimethInc zine just gave it a name.”
It was a similar thing for Fabian, albeit seeded in a more youthful rebellion.
“I skateboarded a lot when I was younger,” he grins. “That meant trespassing a lot, and getting chased a lot. That feeds into that idea that authority isn’t always necessarily right. Then I got into CrimethInc, and going to student demonstrations. I remember seeing an anarchist bloc, and thinking it was awesome. They weren’t trying to sell me a newspaper or convince me to join their weird group, they were just really nice, supportive, encouraging, and never wanted anything back. They were compassionate and thoughtful, and they were a bit more up for it than everyone else. I thought, ‘I’m sticking with them from now on.’”
For Matt – a man who asserts that, thanks to Black Sabbath, metal “started with being political” – his first exposure to activism came when he was a kid, as his parents were involved in union organising. “He didn’t have a chance,” laughs Simon.
“When I was younger I went to union rallies with my parents and would stand on the picket lines,” the drummer says, proudly. “My mum worked for the NHS for years and did UNISON stuff. We’d go to union meetings and things. That was kind of the start for me. And through playing squat gigs, that’s where I saw that the world could be different, and you were seeing these things in real life. You’d see it in places like Germany and Switzerland – these quite wealthy countries, but people are just kicking back against it, living their own lives entirely their own way, and also trying to make what’s around them better. I was like, ‘That’s class!’”