As part of the hugely popular “Fresh Hell” series of interviews in HRH Mag, Viki Ridley met up with the guys who put together the sleazy supergroup The City Kids.  The guys are on the bill of HRH NWOCR in January 2022!

Q) Who are you?

The City Kids 🙂

Q) Roll Call?

JJ Watt (vocals, guitar), Berty Burton (bass, vocals), Dennis Post (guitars, vocals), David Sanders (drums, vocals)

Q) Hailing from?

All over the shop! Carlisle, Nottingham, Leeds, Copenhagen… mainly not originally from there either haha. Technically a UK band though.

Q) Journey so far?

JJ – Prefer them with Steve Perry 😉 After I fixed my hand issues about a year ago, I started recording for fun really, a couple of motorhead tracks, with Berty, and Stevie Pearce dropped some guitar and vocals on one. I sent Berty a couple of original tracks, and he was up for that. I bumped into Dennis when another band I was in was supporting Warrior Soul, and he ate my pies (fine Scottish steak n gravy ones I had been craving haha), so, essentially was going to do me a couple lead parts, and ended up doing them all, and vocals, and it was working really good. We know Dave, and, after a brief chat and a couple of demos sent, he was up for laying down the drums. So, by March time, we had a debut album, felt like a band (and a lot of fun), a bonus covers album, and off we went.

B – As Tigertailz were having some downtime – I was trying to find the best ways to keep creative and keep idle thumbs at bay, so I had a go at trying out some home recording just to try some things out. JJ then started to send me material to lay down bass on, until he sent me an albums worth of material to work on. I’d have these demos on my phone listening to them to see what I could come up with, then after putting down some overdriven basslines and a lot of p*ss and vinegar we ended up coming up with our debut album ‘Things That Never Were’. Not only that, we also recorded a sh*t ton of covers with loads of our friends that we made as a bonus pre-order album aptly named ‘Sh*t That We Like’.  Not too bad, huh? Such good value for money!

DP – This is by far the highest price anybody has ever paid for 2 Scottish pies, haha!

DS – JJ and I had spoken on numerous occasions about laying some tracks down together and it just never happened, but in late 2019 he dropped me over the demos for the album and told me who else was on board for it. Having shared a stage with each of the guys over the years, and with how easily the tracks hooked me I couldn’t say no – fast forward to early 2020 and we have an album out worldwide and a 2nd one demo’d and we are yet to have all 4 of us in the same room, crazy really.

Q) Influences/sound?

J – I have so many influences, and there’s probably a little bit of everything in there. Its punky, a bit country I guess in places, sleaze rock, and good old rock n roll. The sound is big, but not overly polished, raw, and emotional…. hopefully! Almost everyone mentions social distortion, who are one of my favourites, but I think that’s quite down to my voice really. Definitely more to us than just that, but it’s kinda cool.

DP – I´m very much in the same boat with JJ. What´s so great about this band is that what we do and how it ends up sounding comes from a natural place. We got around 25 songs written since the first album was released, so the creative floodgates never closed again after they got kicked open. Anybody who has ever been in a band, knows how incredibly valuable that is.

B – I’m pretty much a generic AC/DC and Motorhead kinda guy through and through, but through all the classic rock, sleaze and punk n roll tastes, I’ve definitely found my sound of my bass playing very similar to Duff McKagan, Gene Simmons and Lemmy, to name but a few hard rock bassists. But surprisingly more so out of all of them (especially as a bass player) is Malcolm Young – ever the one to hold the foundation of the song and playing the guitar so hard you’re as good as punching the fu**er!

DS – I’m with the rest of the guys on this, I listen to such a varied range of music that I just grab influences from anything and everything, I’m all about big hooks and something you can bang your head to, that’s what I love about our music, makes you want to crack a beer and have a great time.

Q) Biggest gig/proudest moment to date?

J – No gigs, as we very cleverly released a debut album in the middle of a pandemic! I think the proudest moment was seeing the response when we did the pre-order, then the release. It was pretty awesome and humbling. We have had so many kind words written about us.

B – Not only that, but to have the likes of Tracii Guns and Kory Clarke kindly lending their time and talent to also feature on the album too was something that younger Berty probably never would have comprehended! For them to dig the songs themselves was pretty fu**ing cool in its own right, but for them to really shape the tracks they performed on took the album to a new level and left us a debut we could really be proud of releasing.

DP – What JJ and Berty said! Humbled by the reception, thrilled doing the Maiden thing with Tracii, and of course completely mindblown I got to play on a record with Kory Clarke!

DS – I gotta agree, the fact we’ve put the album together without ever meeting to play together is amazing, the fact it was picked up and distributed by Cargo Records also and then just the fact that without anyone ever seeing us on a stage they just were hooked by the album and blew up the pre-order, the feedback we have had has been immense, hopefully they still like us when they see it live haha!

Q) What does the future hold for The City Kids?

J – Hopefully a gig haha and then many more! In seriousness, assuming things get back to where we need them, we have a few festivals already to play, from Dementia Aware Fest, to Rockmantic, HRH NWOCR, Call of the Wild Festival and Rocking the Bowl so far, as well as a cheeky headliner at Bannermans in Edinburgh (one of my absolute favourite places), and we have Kickin Valentina and Sweet Teaze joining us on the bill there. Will be one hell of a night! We also have around 22 songs demo’d for the next album, it won’t be all of them, but, while there was little else to do, I just kept writing. Less guests on the next one too, more about us, although there will be 1 or 2 special ones I’m sure.

B – We’re also working on a full UK tour when all has settled down, so we will indeed be hitting up our favourite venues up and down the country and maybe even bring some of our friends and favourite bands along for the ride! We will also be looking at getting more content and videos released for promoting our debut when we can get all 4 of us together in one room again including a fun idea I’ve come up with for a video with The Suicide Notes – so keep your eyes peeled for when that unfolds! Then come 2021 album 2 I’m sure will drop sooner than you’d think! The tracks that have been written for this one is definitely a step away from what you already know about The City Kids; rough around the edges, dirtier than before and just plain old FILTH!

DP – Whatever happens, I strongly suspect it will include a fair amount of alcohol and of course, Scottish pies! lol

DS – Another record and a load of gigs, all fuelled by alcohol and pies, sounds bloody good to me, what more do you need haha!