Who was the first punk rock band? Was it Link Wray & His Ray Men with the release of “Rumble” in 1958? Or was it the Stooges and their song “I Wanna Be Your Dog” in 1969? While it is definitely arguable, many agree that the punk scene that we know and love - or hate -commenced when The Damned released their song “New Rose” as a 7-inch single in 1976, helping ignite the first wave of punk rock including bands you might recognize such as The Clash, the Sex Pistols and across the pond, the Ramones who also released their first album that same year. And aesthetically, long before Alkaline Trio and much longer before My Chemical Romance, The Damned were donning DIY fashion and vampiric style while singing stories about Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and being grimly fiendish.
Since that time, The Damned have gone through numerous lineup changes including the significant departure of original drummer and founder Rat Scabies who left the legendary band in 1996. Over the following years, Scabies has remained busy, bringing his percussive talents to several bands and his producing talents to a number of albums. His latest project is The Sinclairs, in which he partnered with Flipron’s guitarist and lyricist Billy Shinbone to release their superb instrumental debut album, Sparkle, on May 8th.
Over a choppy Skype connection, Scabies spoke to Punknews writer Gen Handley about his new album, what the punk scene was like in the British 60s, as well as the origins of his unique name. Check it out below.