Yorkshire Times
Voice of the North
Graham Clark
Features Writer
4:02 PM 20th March 2020

Interview With Mike Peters From The Alarm

The Alarm are one of a handful of bands that came through in the mid 80's and are still around today but are even bigger now then they were back then.

Led by Mike Peters the Welsh band were about to perform some shows this spring but as we all now, the world right now is a different place.

Always a good interviewee with plenty to talk about I chatted to Mike about how things are right now and also the Spirit of 1976 which is as strong and relevant as it was 44 years ago.

The Coronavirus threat seems to be be getting worse every day and your shows are being postponed.
These are unprecedented times for all of us, and while we try our best to make decisions that are in the interest of fans, musicians and humankind, the most recent news from the British Prime Minister and the President of the United States (regarding the decision to restrict and ban travel within and from the UK as well as limiting social gathering), immediately impacts on all the shows that we have planned through March and April including our four UK dates in Manchester, Glasgow, Birmingham and London and the three events during USA Gathering Week in Boston, Los Angeles and New York. These shows will all now be rescheduled.

Please rest assured that all of the concerts will take place at some point in the near future, and all current tickets, passes and experiences purchased will be honoured as soon as we have new dates to share.

At present, the plan is to try and reschedule the USA shows for June 2020 to coincide with the new date for Record Store Day of June 20th. We are also working with our UK Music Agency to reschedule the British dates for November 2020.

I want to take this opportunity to thank all our fans for their understanding and cooperation at this unprecedented time. We will announce the new re-scheduled dates as soon as possible.

How does it compare to what you have been through health wise?
I always felt that I was in control plus I had a great doctor, I never felt that leukaemia was going to get the better of me, at first when I was diagnosed it was really scary but the results came back and they were not as bad as I thought they were going to be. I tried to stay positive and will myself to live but with Coronavirus you are not in control, it does not discriminate as it effects everyone, no one is safe.

Did you see a lot of the punk bands around 1976/1977?
I went to loads - I saw The Clash at the Apollo in Manchester, Iggy Pop at the Apollo too with Bowie on keyboards. Others I saw were The Buzzcocks, Warsaw who went on to become Joy Division, The Sex Pistols in Chester in 1976- these were all life changing gigs, they taught you how to think for yourself.

You had to use your instincts to find the record shops in Manchester and Liverpool, it was a massive adventure, you have to remember there was no internet or Google Maps in those days. Even getting tight fit jeans you had to hunt out the clothes shops that stocked them, you had to work it out for yourself - it all helped me in later life. I try and pass it on to my kids, they like to go on SnapChat but I tell them it's like living a virtual life, not a real one.

Why do you think The Alarm are more popular now then ever?
It's weird, we are lucky that the music has resonated, we get acts like The Killers and The Smashing Pumpkins playing our songs or they might be on Netflix and kids then discover us through that, they tend to find our newest album first then go back to the earlier albums. We are respectful of the past but are not nostalgic.

You have played in Leeds and Manchester many times, any good memories?
We played at the Hacienda in Manchester as a warm up for the band supporting Queen at Wembley, both gigs were very memorable. We did a gig with The Stranglers at the o2 Academy in Leeds 18 months or so ago and that was good, we are actually playing again with The Stranglers in Cardiff on their tour later thus year, they wanted us to do the whole tour but we can only do the Cardiff show.

What are you listening to at the moment?
I like the Dropkick Murphys, the new Green Day album is good too. Fontaines D.C. Remind me very much of The Fall, the band are from Dublin you should listen to their track Boys In The Better Band.

Do you ever see any of the original members of The Alarm?
Dave is going to do the tour with us, Twist came on stage in America, Eddie has his own band Small Town Glory, we did all reform in 2004 for VH1 for a programme called Bands Reunited, it was good for a one off but to put that line up together again today probably wouldn't work.

Does the Spirit of '76 still live on?
Of course, it keeps me alive. I like to take risks musically and have to make brutal decisions, I don't want to take the safe option, that is why I think we are still relevant with newer songs such as Neutral, Beautiful and so on- they actually make older songs such as 68 Guns a better song.

Sometimes you have to make things fresh not just for me but for the fans too. I want to make sure that when they come through the door they do not know what to expect and to take them on a wild ride. When you go to the theatre to see a play you do not know what to expect and that is what I want our fans to feel.