at 12:14 PM ET, 07/10/2008
Six Questions With ... The Alarm
Rhyl calling!It rained in Washington yesterday. In the summertime. Perfect!
Because Mike Peters of the Alarm was calling, and as anybody who knows anything about '80s Welsh rock recalls, the Alarm had a hit 21 years ago - on both sides of the pond - with the anthemic, U2ish "Rain in the Summertime." (Weren't all Alarm songs anthemic and U2ish?)
The Alarm lives on, via VH1 Classic, modern-rock radio flashback segments and beer commercials (Heineken licensed the Alarm's "68 Guns" for an ad campaign). It also exists again in real time: The band, which broke up in 1991, has resurfaced, with its frontman Peters leading a new configuration of musicians into the studio and onstage as the Alarm.
A punky new Alarm album, "Guerilla Tactics," was just released via the band's Web site, and they'll perform tonight at the 9:30 club, as part of the "Rockin' the Colonies" tour, which also features the Fixx and Dave Wakeling's latest version of the English Beat.
Peters, 49, songwriter, singer, survivor, recovering hairspray addict. Go.
"Guerilla Tactics" is fully of spiky songs like "Three
Sevens Clash." And you put out that great, slashing single, "45
RPM," a few years back under a pseudonym, the Poppy Fields. Aren't
you supposed to mellow as you age?
It's no secret that you've been battling chronic lymphocytic leukemia.
You've written songs about it, there was a BBC documentary and you started
the cancer-fighting foundation, Love Hope Strength. How are you feeling?
Do you shake fewer hands then, for fear of picking something up?
What do you miss least about the 80s: The constant U2 comparisons or
As you've toured with both Bob Dylan and U2, I was going to ask you which artist you admire more until I saw that you have a son named Dylan but not one named Bono.
(Laughs.) That's very observant, yeah. But to be honest, I was thinking more of Dylan Thomas.
It's a Welsh thing! In a poll a few years ago, you rated 11th among
the top 100 Welsh Heroes, which is pretty great. But Tom Jones was eight
slots ahead of you. How did that sit with you?