Last Updated on March 5, 2023
Originally published in Beat Motel issue 8
The BIG have been proper polular around these parts for years. When thier last album came out the second disc unlocked a great secret to the world and hinted at a side project singer Ed had been working on called Innocent Civilian, being nosey sorts we wanted to know more…
In a nutshell how did Innocent Civilian come about? Was it as a result of the new found freedom after quitting your teaching job?
No it wasn’t that. To be honest about 5% of what i write is ska, so it was more about getting me arse into gear to make some albums out of all the slightly strange stuff I’d been writing for years
Has it turned out how you wished?
As ever you learn by your mistakes (esp. in engineering) but there is always gonna something wrong…overall I’m happy with them, esp. the reggae one.
How did you choose which Innocent Civilian tracks would go on the second disc of the new Big album?
I did the 1st innocent civilian album and after a while it became very clear that it was very ‘niche’, what I really mean by this is that not many people were gonna like it which turned out to be the case. Therefore s hardly anyone was gonna hear it I just nicked a couple of songs for the big, however we totally re recorded them so they are different versions so as to not rip anyone off.
How do the rest of the band feel about this project?
They seem like they are ok with it. I don’t gig Innocent Civilian stuff yet so theres no conflict.
Am I right in thinking a lot of the Big play on Innocent Civilian tracks?
Jim and Bella do along with other guests (mainly brass)
Did you decide to put out these three albums yourself rather than use a label for any specific reason?
Havent put them out as such but people buy them thru my website (www.innocentcivilian.co.uk – shameless plug!). To be honest i just assumed that no labels would give a shit really, although i think i might be able to do something with the reggae album if any cunts with any fuckin sway would give us a break.
Will you be playing live?
I definitely wont slog around this fuckin this country destroying my soul not getting anywhere like i did with the big (i’m not bitter!). I’ll probably do a couple of gigs on me own or with a few people in horrible boozers in essex. I wouldn’t mind doin the reggae album live featuring loads of people in london or something but funnily enough its so hard finding people willing to play for fuck all (which is the reality of playing in Britain), probably should just tour germany where things are infinitely better.
Labouring on building sites and painting and decorating! in terms of music? Fuck me mate, I’m sick of trying to be honest. I’m writing loads of stuff coz i can’t stop that, but I’ve got no idea what to do next. I have written a song for the beat which i’m gonna send them but i doubt that will come of much. (I haven’t always been this negative you know!)
The spice girls reformation was nearly the last straw for my ailing booze brain. with counciling i’m nearly over the fuckin cunts existance.
And Finally, has being a free musical spirit with no boss to pin you down given you more time to investigate mass transport systems both new and old?
No, Labouring, painting and decorating stops me from living. Although double headed class 20’s went by me house a couple of days ago which gave me some hope…