Roy Williams


 

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(added January 2006)

INTERVIEW WITH ROY WILLIAMS

( OWNER OF NERVOUS RECORDS )

made by Wildhank

 

Nervous Records was established more than 25 years ago . What was your vision? Why did you create a record company that is specialized in releasing all sorts of Neorockabilly music?

I was influenced by Rollin' Rock Records. I thought that I could do the same thing, but I didn't want a 'label-specific' sound. At this time I was a professional DJ in rock'n'roll clubs.

 

Nervous became quickly one of the prime addresses for Psychobilly/Neorockabilly releases from its very beginning. What is your secret of success?

I think I was lucky! I was not interested in re-creating a fifties sound. I wanted a more up to date interpretation of it.

 

I guess your vaults are filled with demo tapes and unreleased recordings. Do you have any plans for these things?

No. We NEVER do anything without a proper contract.

 

You have stopped distributing vinyl pressings. Are there any reasons for that? I know that there are still a lot of guys out there, who look for that kind of stuff.

We haven't done vinyl for over TEN YEARS now. We can see the ends of CDs in 10-15 years. Everything will be downloads. I've always said that I'm here to sell MUSIC, not RECORDS. Vinyl is for people who collect artifacts. Nothing wrong with that, but I'm more interested in the music.

 

Your own mp3-shop is up and running since last year. Does it arouse interest in the visitor of your online shop? Do the users of this
special offer look for particular songs or do they usually download all songs from a complete disc?

Mostly they download one or two songs. Some people download a whole album, but not many. It seems that people who download do not buy CDs. I do not see anyone downloading a track or two and then buying the CDs. It's a different market. 
We have a search engine in our download ship and people use it a lot. We would like to add more bands to this shop, but it's hard doing deals for downloads. Bands don't understand it.

 

Do you remember when you get in contact with Psychobilly music for the first time? Did you like it from the start?

From the days of The Polecats and 'Scotty Robbins & The Psychobillies'. I'd also hired my DJ equipment to The Marquee club in 1977 and saw punk exploding in front of my eyes and ears. Most of it was crap, but there were some good ideas, and it was MUCH better that the 'dinosaur' metal bands and disco. I actually went out and bought some of the Punk records that I liked. I liked the 'disrespect'! While I was on the 'side' of the Teds fighting the Punks, Punk had this 'do it yourself' ethic that I liked. There were no 'rules'.

 

You don´t have very much of  the new Psychobilly things in stock. What is your relationship with this kind of music?

Too much of it is 'all psycho and no billy'. It's like 'formula' Punk with a slappin' bass.

 

What was your biggest commercial success as a record company owner?

The Nekromantix CD.

 

And which album (s) do you really like best?

Buzz & The Flyers, The Blue Cats, the first Restless album. These I LOVE.

 

One of your top acts was Torment--one of my favourite bands all-time--,who contributed 4 LPs and a 12´´ single, all with Nervous. What are your memories of Torment. What do you know about Simon Brand´s untimely death?

Torment was essentially Simon Brand. He was a VERY creative person. I don't wanna talk about his death. It's too sad.

 

You have also dealt with some other popular Neorockabilly/Psychobilly acts like Restless, Polecats, Deltas, Rochee & The Sarnos or
Batmobile...--just to name a few--. Are there any lasting impressions with some of these guys?

The Sarnos were so much fun in the studio! Sometimes I was in pain laughing at them! I learnt quite a lot about 'breaking the rules' of the British way of mixing and engineering with the Batmobile album. The Restless first album as a JOY to make. I think that The Polecats would have been something MUCH more significant if the Stray Cats had 'happened' a year later.... The two Deltas tracks that were recorded for RCA sound superb! Lots of happy memories....

 

Thank you, Roy. Best wishes for you and your record company.

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