Q&A: Dick Lucas of the Subhumans
Updated: Dec 1, 2020
Frontman Dick Lucas (Subhumans, Citizen Fish, Culture Shock) was kind enough to answer a few questions for us, so here they are!
Thanks again, Dick! Go check out Subhumans for tour info and official updates.
Subhumans started doing their thing in 1980, correct? Any idea of how many countries you’ve played since then?
The short answer is 26 - Nope wait, it's 28! Dull answer here's a full answer, England Scotland, Ireland Wales France Spain Italy Belgium holland Poland Germany Denmark Switzerland Sweden Croatia Norway Yugoslavia Czech Republic Slovakia Estonia Finland Hungary Australia New Zealand USA Canada Mexico Austria Indonesia 29!
Your music — with its anti-war and anti-government sentiments, has really held up over the years. When recording, did you know that would be the case?
Not at all, songs and lyrics and recording them are all very much happening in the now, never been one to look to the future outcomes of what gets done in the inspired moment.
Was your distrust in government, as well as their motives, well established early in life? Was there ever a time you had faith in government?
A distrust in people's motives, hierarchies, male dominance, and authority was all set in by the time I left school, and that transferred easily to the ways of governments once I started reading more, both newspapers and fanzines and other bands lyrics.
Faith in what now?! Closest I got to that was a hope that Blair's Labour Party would make things better, but that was essentially just being happy to see the back of thatcher's Tories.
This zine is about music and food, so I guess I should ask some food-related questions. Are there any American food products that just absolutely baffle you?
Waffles and pancakes -and their obsessive eaters! It's just bland fattening stodge.
Growing up in the UK, were there any quintessential foods that you absolutely hated?
Liver and tripe, gross! Ok, not at all quintessential- oh, I had an aversion to nuts until I was about 25 and discovered peanut butter (yeah yeah, I'm a late developer)
You’re a vegetarian, right? If so, for how long, and what made you choose that lifestyle?
Indeed I am since I was in the early 20s when I thought seriously about the animals that meat came from and the mass slaughter and their living conditions.
(If the above question is true) Any go-to, or favorite, vegetarian recipes you’d be willing to share? Add steamed kale to a sauce of miso garlic peanut butter black pepper olives; whatever you like, stick some of that in, pour over your fave pasta shapes (johnpaulghetti, Lamborghini, marioandretti, etc.) and gorge away.
Do you enjoy cooking?
I'd rather know what I'm eating than blindly kill myself slowly on processed chemical-ridden plasticated shite, so, yes, although not to the point of studying recipes.
How did you get into balancing objects? Your art of balancing things is pretty fascinating.
I always liked balancing a few rocks but thought little of it, and then about 17 months ago, we were staying with friends on tour, and one did the two forks and a matchstick balancing on the edge of a glass thing, amazing and inspired me to do that, and then whatever else could express the minimalist essence of gravity, i.e., balance, rocks bottles chairs spoons eggs whatever came to hand. Most of it doesn't balance, but some will if you work at it! And it's relaxing and creative and - free!
There seems to be a rise in nationalism across the globe, much like before the Great War. Is a Third World War possible? Or are we actually living in one right now, with all of the numerous proxy wars happening around the world?
There hasn't been a war-free world for decades, possibly centuries? What we're in Now is a war on truth, honesty, kindness, and morality(as well as bombing each other in Syria, Yemen, etc., etc.): most people don't think about politics, assuming it doesn't affect them, and will only be attracted to it via 'plain speaking' that talks to them of negative ways to solve their problems, e.g., shifting the blame away from warmongers and profiteers and towards minorities, any social group that is outside the mass indoctrinated picture of Normal People, e.g., immigrants refugees the poor, which via the tabloid right-wing media creates an atmosphere of resentment distrust and alienation from and towards the very people whose actual problems (poverty unemployment stagnant wages nowhere to live) are the very things that unite each other! Divide and rule....by taking the social anger and making enemies of potential co-revolutionaries, by normalizing the darker sides of human nature...as long as despots can keep us fighting each other instead of the structures that blind us with lies and convenience, there will always be the threat of fascism- 'nationalism' is just another word for blinkered xenophobia.
That was a bit of a bummer, that last question. Any favorite comedies?
And lastly, is there anything you’re currently working on?
Shorter answers?! Ok comedies, let's go, Monty python, peepshow, the Goons, Spaced, anything Stephen fry is in, Tim Vine, Alexei Sayle, Ross Noble....martin Rowson cartoons! I needed some string and went into the local hardware shop, at like 9 am, and the chap pointed out the vast range of string rope laces, etc., I said, 'wow, so much string!' And he said, "we close at 5"...
Life's a comedy sometimes.