Named after a Turbonegro stage prop, Brighton’s Ass Rockits are an all-girl rock’n’roll machine. Jo, Mish & Pilomena are 3 teenage riot-monkeys hell-bent on compromise & kickass punkrock’n’roll.
The Ass Rockits made their stage debut at Brighton Punk Rocks at the Concord2 & have since toured the UK with Japanese girl punks, Spooky, & played support to the likes of The Briefs, The Priscillas, Merry Widows & Disco Volante.
The Ass Rockits debut LP is something else. Recorded during September 2005 at Studio 2184 in Brighton, & featuring Damned legend Brian James in the producer’s chair, “On A Mission” is the rawest thing you’ll hear in 2006 this side of singing sushi.
Marquee Smith tracked the Ass Rockits down at their top secret South Coast HQ to quiz them thus:
trakMARX - How did Mish, Jo & Pilomena become Ass Rockits?
Ass Rockits: “The band as we know it didn’t come together until early this year, but Jo has had this going on for 3 years!! It all started out of boredom and frustration and not knowing what to do with our time. Jo and a mate from school decided to do a music video for a school project, "Obsessed" was written especially for this. They enjoyed it so much, they carried on practicing, thus the "Ass Rockits" were born.
But to cut a long and lengthy story short, after 2 singers, 1 bassist and 1 drummer passing through, this is the band today. Pilomena offered to stand in as temp drummer, but she is so good we couldn't let go! Two years should say enough...and Pilomena went up to a drunk Mish at a gig and asked her to join.”
trakMARX - We know Turbonegro use one on stage - but we don't get out that much - what exactly is an Ass Rockit?
Ass Rockits: “You don’t know what an Ass Rockit is?! (blush, erm no – Sex Toys Ed.) He he... well, it’s a firework rocket you stick up your arsehole basically! We saw it on a Turbonegro video once and thought "ass rockit...fuck it, that’s our name!" . . .and a memorable one at that. But you won't see us doing that on stage, although will be dancing around like we have ones there!!”
trakMARX - How many gigs have Ass Rockits got under their belts?
Ass Rockits: “Probably around the 20 mark, or more. We had trouble at the very beginning with members , etc, which held us back. But we're ready for any gig that is thrown our way now, so soon we should be upping that number!”
trakMARX - You've supported Spookey, The Briefs, The Priscillas & Merry Widows - amongst others. Highs & lows?
Ass Rockits: “All highs with those bands! Spookey were a great laugh to have on the tour - they love the old punk bands and a lot of similar stuff to us - which made it easy on the tour-bus stereo. Plus a lot of hilarity over not speaking the same language. The only Japanese we know is naughty Japanese, we got into trouble with the tour promoter for giving them a foul mouth, ha ha. Playing with The Briefs was a pleasure, nice and polite, and watching them has inspired us to dart about a bit more on stage. The only lows we could describe at a gig is if the crowd wasn't having a good time - or having to go back home after the tour with Spookey!”
trakMARX - Which has been your favourite venue thus far?
Ass Rockits: “We think its got to be the Freebutt in Brighton - or the Windmill in Brixton, London. Nice and intimate, but neither compromises on the sound or the atmosphere, so we felt right at home.”
trakMARX - What's the prefect soundtrack for the Ass Rockits tour bus/van?
Ass Rockits: “If we had to make a CD or tape right now, this would be the listing:
1. The Clash – “Complete Control”
2. The Damned – “Neat Neat Neat”
3. Stiff Little Fingers – “Alternative Ulster”
4. Ramones – “Rockaway Beach”
5 Sex Pistols – “Holidays In The Sun”
6 Turbonegro – “The Age Of Pamparius”
7. The Yo Yo's – “1000 Miles Away From Me”
8. AC/DC – “The Girl’s Got A Rhythm”
Plus some New York Dolls, Backyard Babies, Siouxsie Sioux, Rezillos...etc!”
trakMARX - You just recorded your debut LP - "On A Mission" - with Brian James of The Damned. How did you get involved with him & what's he like to work with as a producer?
Ass Rockits: “Pilomena's other band, recorded a single at the studio he works at. She mentioned our band and Brian James sounded interested. So we booked some time in the studio. Brian made us feel really at ease, which obviously helps. Especially as we all have "muso-phobia"! He had some great ideas and came out with the sound we wanted. We'd definitely work with him again!”
trakMARX - Is it true Mish only has two strings on her bass?
Ass Rockits: “She does have three, but she only uses two, at the most! Mish refuses to replace the missing string, she bought it from a pawn shop like that, and she's used to it. Our songs don't require too many strings anyway!”
trakMARX - We understand Brian will be launching Neat Neat Neat records via Easy Action in 2006 - is that something you hope to be involved in?
Ass Rockits: “Yes we are hoping to be involved in "Neat Neat Neat" records. There is no other record label in the world, apart from this one, that we would feel honoured to be on. So watch this space!”
trakMARX - And finally, where's the best place for the kids to keep up with Ass Rockits action?
Ass Rockits: “We currently have a myspace page, which is kept up to date with news, photos, some songs to sample and most importantly, gig info! The address is at the bottom of this page.
If you email us, we will reply asafp, and answer anything. We have some advance copies of our CD still available, which there are only thirty of! So message us for a personalised signed CD!”
Marquee Smith – tMx 22 – 11/05