Johnny Vincent interview June 2013

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What do you love most about your life?

Life is like a book it has good chapters and bad, it would be a boring place if at times it was too easy , playing a gig is like life in forty minutes, anything can happen and you don’t know till then end whether it was any good. Sadly unlike a gig in real life you only get one chance so you must make the most of it, and more importantly do what you really want and what interests you, there is nothing worse than hearing people say I wish I had done this and that instead of spending all my time working in this office for the man doing something they didn’t enjoy. There are so many things I enjoy about life family, music, good friends but my favourite sound is laughter by a long way.

What have been your highlights of 2013 so far?

Actually this year has been pretty shit so far I was flooded out my house and lost a very close friend all at the same time and suffered for the first time with depression which was a very interesting illness, didn’t know I had it just did things I didn’t normally do like look at trees for twenty minutes it was strange as it’s an illness with no pain, and you just want to sleep a lot. Depression is not like being fed up you lose all feelings and everything seems very distant it’s like being in a world that is happening around you and your not a part of it ,no happiness, no sadness nothing, it makes you realise you’re not in any fit state to do anything and that’s the scary part. I woke up one morning feeling pissed off and that was the moment I knew I was getting better and as bad as it seems that was a highlight. Since then everything has gone back to how it was work, music, seeing people but it was an interesting few weeks one I don’t want to go back to but glad I had, as it’s a real eye opener.

What do you feel most grateful for in your life?

The people I know who support you when things are bad we all go through it at times and it’s easy to ignore you and those that stand by you and keep you going deserve nothing but respect, im very lucky as my close friends have always been there for me encouraging me and giving me strength and at times I hope I can return the favour.

How do you feel about the current government and why?

Absolutely hate them, selfish, greedy, ignorant, arrogant I could go on forever and they are always ready to blame someone else for their own failings. There are a few conservatives I know who are reasonable but god knows why they support them, must be genetic. There aren’t many politicians who I care for most are in it for themselves, that’s why when they say have a career in politics its exactly that, a career its got very little to do with what’s best for the people of the country its what’s best for them. There is so much ignorance in politics it’s unbelievable and most haven’t a clue what they are talking about, how many from the EDL actually know Sharia law, some of it is spot on and other bits are absolutely appalling but it’s easy to shout out about the worst parts to get their message across and its bloody scary because it just makes us grow hatred then we all end up losing.

What do you enjoy learning about most?

I love history and can spend hours and hours doing it and researching things looking, stuff up finding things that are lost, it’s the stories I suppose and finding things out that I couldn’t possibly have done or witnessed .the thing is I’ve never been abroad and don’t have a passport so I tend to look for stuff in derby and then go and see what’s left of it. Some of it is amazing things we pass everyday and take no notice of but when you find out what it is it opens a whole new world to you. I love the culture of the city and spend time looking for lost posters of bands and stuff who played here, the artwork and the like fascinates me, my favourite moment when doing the alternative derby book was when I got to see the original joy division poster from the Ajanta cinema derby gig as it was the only one left a real thrill that was. Peter hook emailed me about it and wanted to buy it but the owner still has it, it should be in the museum to be honest but the people who run museums like ours probably wouldn’t understand the significance of it and it would get lost hidden in some letters from a mayor to his driver or something.

How do you think the education system could be improved?

Depending on the child a school can be the worst place a child could be at, and that’s it, they aren’t all set out to be academic and the problem with school is the fact that they fail miserably to find out what each child is talented at and direct them in the right areas that’s why we end up with many losing their way in life and become frustrated ,for instance you get 13 yr olds nicking cars and smashing them up so they obviously like the thrill so why aren’t they sent to learn how to become demolition derby drivers and race them it’s because it’s not on the fuckin curriculum they would prefer to teach them shit that’s no use to them.

If you were 80 years old sending a letter back in time to your present self what would you say?

You should have stood up to the government more at certain times in your life when it was really needed instead of pissing about with unimportant stuff. I still regret not standing up to Thatcher more in the 80s but at the time I thought derby beating Rotherham on a Friday night at the baseball ground was more important.

What do you think is the best way to go about creating social change?

It starts with educating better from an early age and making people realise what’s more important, human life and our surroundings instead of the pursuit of things we don’t actually need, the world has progressed so fast over the last 100 years that we can’t actually keep up with it ourselves, and we have forgotten about the normal things around us, what we need to keep going as a planet and as a human race we have become entrenched in the pursuit of crap. I mean who needs six cars when one will do, this is my problem with the rich people they would prefer to have 5 bathrooms in their house than spend money on the national health service you can only piss in one pot yet we have blind kids in the world who could see if the money was made available to treat them.

Who is your favourite author, actor, musician, artist, poet, etc, and why?

I don’t really have a favourite actor or film but I appreciate quality and hard work that’s gone in to it, the first twenty minutes of saving private Ryan is an astonishing piece of work and the research that went in to JFK is amazing actually get more of a thrill seeing local bands poets and artists do well and get a name for themselves than spend my time being force fed what the powers that be think we should like. Some of the talent in derby is incredible yet will never leave the city and I much prefer to support them in any way I can it’s more fun for a start and you get to know them as people and share in their success and failure.ive been very fortunate to make music in the city with extremely talented people as I don’t have the knowledge to do it on my own and will be forever grateful to them for helping me achieve things in my life that I am proud of myself if it wasn’t for them I would still be an angry stacker in a supermarket a frustrated rebel without a cause.

The Future

Who can tell, I would like to write another book and I’ve got two albums to get finished and plan a gig next year in remembrance of nick from exit the network and hopefully make that a success there is always something that interests me the thing is as you get older your values change as im nearly 50 you realise time is getting against you so you have to get on with it before its too late and I don’t want to get old and think I’ve wasted my life by not trying at things I wanted to do, there is nothing worse than that.

Take it easy

Johnny Vincent
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