This is The Deal; Take it or Leave it?

Gotta kick your arse, you gotta like to lose…

These words that appear on 'Shankfight' from the 'Dead Gone' debut album by the two rasping rockers Ben Perrier (BP) on guitar and vox and Ben Thomas (BT) on drums, who combine to make Winnebago Deal, rattled around my worried and troubled mind. I headed up the stairs of the Manchester Academy to verbally wrestle or interview them, if you will, ahead of their support slot for Eighties Matchbox B Line Disaster. To my delight and relief it was literally no contest, it was not a battle, as the pair revealed a sincere, genuine and rebellious nature. The singer endeared himself with a tale showing that he lives up to the nature of their songs and takes no crap;

“I nearly got beaten up by a security guard at our Nottingham gig. He was on a power trip and didn’t give a shit that I had just played and wanted to chill; I was only stood lay against a wall and he advised me to move.”

Mr. Perrier looked at tad bemused and confused as to why people do this. He regaled me with a tale of the time when his partner in crime made a stand for the common man and, for taste and decency by bursting the bubble of pomposity that surrounds the packaged punks Good Charlotte;

“It was at Reading in 2003. We were playing the smaller stage and they were playing the main one.”

With the excitement of a school kid on hearing there is a fight in the playground, I barely audibly spluttered out the words;

“Did he win, did he win????”

Then a veil of modesty came over the scene via BP’s reply;

“We teased them a little, and then the bouncers split it up and kicked him out before anything really happened. We don't hate many bands; cos even bands whose stuff we don't like, when we meet them we find out that they are sound people who have a love of what they do, but not them.”

He looked reflective for a moment before playing one of the riffs to the apt 'Save My Brain', B side to frenetic single 'Cobra' while he was preparing his guitar strings for the battering they were inevitably to receive later on. This reminded yours truly that it was time to talk about their songs, as the road to their debut album has seen a ripping and raw mini album; 'Plata O Plomo' that showcased The Deal songs from as early as 1998. Also, there has been the tantalizing tempo builder that is the five track 'George Dickel EP'. BT looked full of pride, not needing a second chance to discuss the topic he loves;

“Plata O Plomo features a lot of raw songs. We have done a lot of touring and don’t really like to write on the road. We produce a lot of raw demos because if it sounds good on a crap demo copy; it’ll sound great when it is recorded. ”

Great logic! BT was in full flow now;

“We like to write songs about five minutes before we record them. This is what we did with my ‘Save My Brain”.

“Do you go back to your roots to Oxford to write music and how do you resolve any creative differences that occur?”

A gleeful nod came from BP, as he allowed his buddy to elaborate;

“We still practice in the same place we practiced in when we were sixteen. We don't really argue much at all because we have the same goals and the same taste in music. We had more conflict when there were four of us though it was always Ben and I; the others were students who responded to our ads in music stores.”

There was a sense of pride filling the room that gave me the idea to raise the topic of their live set with them being prolific gig players. BP enthusiastically added;

“We tend to play the newer stuff and go for a violent set. There is a lot of insanity like Black Flag; a 100% not holding back. When you do support slots you tend to do a greatest hits set. We play the slower ones in our headline tours. We play for a long time as well on those”.

As the noises of an anxious crowd made it into the dressing room I sensed that it was time to wrap things up. Before I did I wanted to know what one thing they would change about the music industry? BT was happy to field this one:

“More money for good bands and less money for Good Charlotte!”

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