How did you get into punk?
“Probably through Nirvana. And then I got into Helmet and then came Bad Brains and hardcore. That led to industrial as I got older: Throbbing Gristle, Skinny Puppy and Coil. And then I started putting on basement shows.”
How did you make the switch from promoting to playing?
“I initially thought that maybe I could be a drummer. My favourite thing is a really good drummer. It was more by default I ended up a singer, when I met the Thursday guys.”
Did it come naturally?
“Well, writing the lyrics felt natural, but I certainly wasn’t a natural singer. I didn’t have an inborn talent. For years people used to call me ‘Tone Geoff’. I was just lucky that it didn’t seem to stop the band. I always wanted to be a good singer and I worked hard on it over the years. Now I know that I’m a good singer, I can hit the notes and I have an expressive voice. That’s the thing I’ve worked the hardest on.”
When this wraps up do you go back to the record label game or are you done with all that?
“The end of that [Collect Records experience] was so traumatising that I don’t think I’d be able to start that rodeo up again. Right now I’m looking for what comes next and I’m trying not to be blindsided this time. I’m looking to see what I can get involved in, where I can make inroads.”
So you’re keeping your options open?
“Well, they’re somewhat open. I mean, they were more open 20 years ago. I’m overly specialised! Sometimes it’s like, ‘Whoa, this is quite a path I’ve walked,’ and I remember my parents saying, ‘Are you willing to be a starving artist?’ And when I was young I definitely was, but now it’s like, ‘Oh, that’s a decision that’s gonna last? Huh…’”
Does it feel strange to be saying goodbye to some of this?
”Oh yeah, but it was a lot harder after the original split, because that sort of happened without warning. One day at practice it was just over. And then I spent a lot of time on my own because I was having a hard time with drugs. I spent a lot of time using and thinking about where it all went wrong, and whether I’d ever do anything that mattered again, or if I even had anything left to say… at 32 or 33 or whatever it was. That was a terrifying place to be. Now I’ve gotten past that and a lot of the work that I’ve had to do to get sober has helped me see the forest for the trees. I’ll keep making art and even if it’s never recognised the way that Thursday was, it’s okay because it’s a crazy fluke that anybody gets recognised as an artist at all. And that doesn’t diminish the fact that I know I have something to say, I have my own voice, I know how to express myself and I’m going to continue to do so. Looking back over it now is a lot more rewarding, because I’m proud of it and I don’t have any regrets.”