The Damned’s Rat Scabies: ‘We were self-destructive – every time we made it, we did something daft’

From the Guardian

The punk legend and Damned drummer also known as Chris Millar on his love of eBay, his hunt for the holy grail and that time he fell through a trap door

‘I wouldn’t have given the Damned 40 minutes, let alone 40 years’ … Rat Scabies. Photograph: Fin Costello/Redferns

Hello Rat! Should I call you Rat or Chris?

Whichever one you feel comfortable with, but Rat’s probably best for the sake of cheap publicity.

Do you enjoy talking about the Damned, or is it all doing your head in now?

I’m very proud of the the Damned’s legacy, and I’m pleased it’s still there and that there’s still an interest in it. At the start, I wouldn’t have given it 40 minutes, let alone 40 years.

We’re chatting today because the Damned documentary, Don’t You Wish That We Were Dead, is coming out on DVD. What do you have to say about that?

It captures the history of the band, but on a very personal level – so it’s not the usual talking heads. It’s about how the band managed to have such a pattern of self-destruction and how every time the band made it, we would do something incredibly daft.

Forty years ago you were trying to tour the UK but were victims of a backlash against punk. What would a band have to do in 2017 to get their shows banned?

I don’t think people are shocked any more. When something dreadful happens I’m not surprised. Throwing up in an airport or swearing on TV isn’t going to get you on the front page any more. We’re anaesthetised to the word cunt! It’s everywhere! The first time they use the F-word on Eastenders, will anyone be surprised?

Who’s most likely to say fuck on EastEnders?

Danny Dyer’s still on it, isn’t he? It’s almost certainly going to be him.

A lot of people take up gardening when they get older, but you’ve spent your time looking for the holy grail. Are you still on the hunt?

I’ve been doing quite a lot of that recently. The whole thing with the Holy Grail is that it’s the quest, the journey, the discoveries you make while you’re looking. That’s the holy grail. And there’s quite a few about. There’s four that I know of.

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