The Punk Projekt hosted by John Tard with Random Killing - Filmed backstage at Hard Luck in Toronto April 2022. Watch the video
The following interview was originally conducted by Chris Hartley for a Random Killing fan site he ran back in the '90s called the Unofficial Random Killing web site.
The interview was conducted with Mudd (Jim Moore), bass player of the band since it's inception.
Chris: Give Me A Brief History Of The Band (basically just year formed and how the name came up).
Mudd: Random Killing formed in 1984 more as a joke than a real band. We were just going to jam a few times but we ended up writing a few cool songs and thought we might as well play a few shows. The original name of the band was "Roy's Comrades", at the time most our songs were political so the name worked on a local level, Roy McMurtry was the attorney general of Ontario at the time and we liked to give him a hard time because he was a asshole. The song "Roy Sees Red" was all about him. After a year or so we thought the name was too local no-one would get it so we took "Random Killing" because we had anti-war songs, anti-hunting and drunk driving, etc.
Chris: I noticed while listening to "Re-issued" that former vocalist V. Dumpster sounds a bit like Drool. Was this a self-conscious move or not?
Mudd: No, not really, we were looking for someone with attitude and who could more or less keep it in key. A good front person was the main thing.
Chris: As the band matures there's been a little move away from the humour elements (which are still there). Is there any reason for this or is it just the way you felt when writing new material?
Mudd: Drool writes most the lyrics and he tends to write about personal life experiences so it's how he's feeling while the songs are being written. I tend to write from a more humour oriented viewpoint but mainly the lyrics are Drew's thing. I think it is important to break-up the more heavy songs with something a bit more on the lighter side lyrically.
Chris: When you guys got Raw Energy to distribute you a lot of people called it a sell-out when in reality you still pay for your recording fees. Do you think this has affected you in any way?
Mudd: Well the main thing was that Raw Energy had a deal with A&M to distribute their music in Canada and having a major label involvement was seen by some as a sell-out. At the time there was no good distribution in Canada, only Cargo and they didn't help us at all so we thought at least our stuff would get in the stores across Canada. We never got one penny from A&M or Raw Energy when we toured Canada. A few of their reps bought us a beer, that's it. Random was not allowed to advertise in "Maximum Rock 'N' Roll", because of this even though we were paying our own bills I thought that was stupid, oh well. In the end I think the business and politics of music sucks, it's all bullshit! The music industry, indie or major, has nothing to do with music it all has to do with advertising and promotion. If your label has no money for promo or your on a major that doesn't care then you're fucked, it has nothing to do with how good your music is!
Chris: Any humourous/insightful/etc. stories to share with other people who may be in an independent band?
Mudd: Being in a band can be lots of fun if you can stay away from the above politics. The energy of playing live is what keeps me going. If you can keep what you're doing fun then you will be okay.
Chris: Over the years you've managed to tackle a lot of social issues such as the young offenders act on "Kill Your Parents" and victimization on "Powerplay" but the mix of humour always seems to be there making for an effective way of getting your point across. Are your songs usually written from what is going on around you or is it a bigger picture than that?
Mudd: I think if you're going to take on social and political issues you also have to have a lighter side to break-up the intensity. If people can have fun at your shows and listening to your records then I think they are more likely to be able to take in your more serious messages but that just my opinon.
Chris: With your original vocalist Rodney Wastelands you sounded more like traditional punk but with the addition of Drool you have a much more aggressive sound now which is evident on the new tracks you have samples of on your webpage. I've heard from someone in Five Knuckle Chuckle (Raw Energy label mates) that he's quite a showman. Describe what you'd say your basic set would consist of.
Mudd: Usually our set is about 1.5 hours, 25-30 songs. We try to mix a lot of old stuff with the new because people generally like to hear songs they know. Drew tends to be all over the stage and the band tries to be as entertaining to watch as possible, lots of movement and action. I've always thought a live show is a lot more than music, it's an event and should be entertaining, crazy andfun. If it's not why not just stay home and put the CD on? Bands that just stand around are fucking dull.
Chris: What is your personal opinon of the stature of punk music and its bands in the 90's? Do you think it's getting better or worse? Has the acceptance of it gone up or down?
Mudd: I don't think most people know what punk music is anymore. The other day I was reading a review of the Headstones new CD and it said "Toronto punk band, The Headstones" what? They're not punk they're just a rock band. It seems all bands are punk these days. Also we sent out a whole lot of demo tapes of the new CD "Stranded" to the USA and Europe and I got a rejection letter saying we are too heavy and too fast, and this from a so-called "punk" label. So I thought "that's strange, I guess they just don't like us". Then a few weeks later we got another one that said the same thing; too heavy, too fast, from another punk label so I thought "what the fuck is going on?" When I first got into punk music it was the fastest, heaviest, craziest music around so what the Hell has happened? Punk has become a watered down version of its former self. All those so called "skate punk bands" sound all the same. Don't get me wrong I really like some of them, but is it really punk? I don't think so. The other thing is all those kids who say they are into punk only seem to spend their money on the latest Epitaph or Lookout release because that's hip. I'm not saying they should rush out and get our latest release because we don't fit that mold anyway, but what about all those other bands on Raw Energy that do fit into that mold of skate punk? So of it is really good, take a chance on something new you might like it. Anyway, I think I've said enough on that.
Chris: Any personal favourite songs/albums? And if so, why?
Mudd: No, not really. I get sick of music really fast so I always have to go buy new stuff. I listen to all sorts of stuff from punk to ska, hardcore to reggae. Right now I'm really digging "Rockabilly". The one thing I'm not really into is a lot of that skate punk stuff. Some of it's okay, but it all kind of sounds the same. If I have to listen to the radio I usually listen to college radio including blues, jazz and even classical is a Hell of a lot better than so-called alternative fucking pop music.
Chris: What do you count as influences to the band?
Mudd: Everyone shares the song writing and has really different backgrounds in music, but to sum it up it would be early 80's hardcore mixed with punk and, yes, metal.