The Exploited is one of the most influential punk rock bands in existence. Originally formed in 1979 in Scotland, The Exploited has gone on to change the face of punk rock and continues to do so three decades later. Fronted by lead singer Wattie Buchan, Wullie Buchan on drums, Irish Rob on bass and Matt McGuire on guitar, The Exploited continue to tour the world and blow minds with one of the best live shows out there.
The Exploited is well known for their in your face anti-political pro-anarchistic songs. Their shows have had the reputation of being violent and riot inducing. Along with bands like Discharge and GBH, The Exploited has influenced and been covered by metal band giants like Metallica and Slayer. They have burned their way across Europe, Japan, Russia and North and South America with no signs of stopping! Concha and Cucuy sat down with Wattie and the boys at Punk Rock Bowling to discuss life, health, punk rock, and tattoos.
Cucuy: How’s it going?
Wattie: It’s going good. It’s good to be alive.
Concha: We’re so glad to have you here!
Wattie: I’m glad to be here.
Concha: How long’s it been since you’ve been in the United States?
Wattie: We came last year- we played in Philadelphia. That was the last time we were here, but before that (five years ago), I was in Las Vegas- I got married.
Concha: You did???
Wattie: Yeah, but I’m gettin’ divorced so it doesn’t matter. (Everyone laughing)
Concha: Cuz I was gonna say you’re breaking my heart!
Wattie: I got married in A Little White Chapel.
Concha: Did you??
Wattie: Yeah. It was rubbish!!! ( laughing). Nah it was ok. (laughing) It was good, it was good.
Concha: Lucky girl!!
Cucuy: You came all the way to Vegas just to get married?
Wattie: Yeah five years ago, but now I’m gettin’ divorced.
Cucuy: Hey Wattie, so are you guys on tour? Are you guys doing other dates?
Wattie: No, this is a one-off. We were meant to play here last year but I was double booked with gigs in Europe so I had to cancel this one (PRB) – so, this is the first time we played Punk Rock Bowling.
Concha: This is your first time? Oh my God! He’s a PRB virgin! We’re popping his cherry!
Cucuy: What about you (Wullie), do you got anything to say about Punk Rock Bowling for the first time?
Wullie: No. ( laughing)
Cucuy: Did you get married and divorced here in Vegas?
Wullie: No I’m still married. I got married in Scotland
Wattie: In a castle!
Concha: Wow! We gotta go to Europe man. So let me ask you Wattie, what’s next for you guys? You playing Rebellion, yeah?
Wattie: Yeah, this year we’ll be there.
Cucuy: We’ll be there watching you.
Wattie: Rebellion is one of the few festivals where old punks can bring their families. I think punk rock bowling is the exact same. I think people travel real far and they bring their kids and that’s a good thing.
Concha: That’s so beautiful, man. I just saw some little boys right now, little babies with the punk rock jackets.
Wattie: It’s so cool because like 36 years ago I thought punk would last two years and it would be dead, but to go 36 years and see people in their 50’s with their kids coming to the shows is brilliant. Back then it was really violent.
Concha: Yeah! You couldn’t do that! When you left the shows, you were bleeding!
Cucuy: Do you remember the shows at Fenders ballroom man and the Olympic auditorium?
Concha: Oh Wattie, that’s the last time I saw you, at Fenders ballroom!
Wattie: Are u sure? Cuz I’d be looking for you! I’d be using google maps!
Cucuy: Yeah Fenders and the Olympic auditorium.
Wattie: Yeah back then it was about the American hardcore, that’s when the Cro-mags and them all started up, really violent, much different than today. Today is real calm. Back then it was all fighting and violence.
Cucuy: You know what’s funny – we looked at the statistics for our radio show and the average age group (and we have thousands of listeners) is 45 years old.
Wattie: Well that’s because once you’re a punk you’re always a punk. You may change your appearance and all that because you get older and all Jurassic but the music is in your heart. When I was young, before punk rock, I was listening to David Bowie and T. Rex and all that; that’s what I grew up with so it’s always there. Now when I listen to David Bowie and T. Rex, it reminds me of when I was young. It’s like punk, for all these people, that’s what they grew up with. It’ll always be part of your life.
Concha: And that’s why Wattie we’re so happy you’re coming back man, and you’re still doing this for us!
Wattie: Hey I’m just glad to be alive, eh? I had a quad heart bypass two years ago.
Concha: Yeah we heard you got sick. We were all praying for you.
Wattie: Sick?! I had two heart attacks.
Concha: Yeah you almost died!
Cucuy: Yeah we were worried about you dude.
Wattie: They cut my leg went right through my tattoo and put it back together.
Cucuy: Hey I can beat that! When I can show it, I show it! (Cucuy shows his leg prosthesis)
Cucuy: Just a year ago. I lost my big FEAR tattoo – I had a FEAR tattoo on my leg. I had an infection in my leg and it gave me gangrene.
Wattie: I got a friend in Europe, Gaspar, had the same thing happen. He’s a great guy- nothing but respect for him. You know, there’s always somebody worse off. The most important thing in life is your health. If you don’t have your health you don’t have f*ck all.
Concha: Exactly. You could be the richest man in the world but if you’re like a vegetable it means nothing.
Cucuy: Yeah. You could have a full bank account but if you feel like sh*t what good is it?
Wattie: Exactly. Your health is the most important thing. I’ve always believed in that.
Cucuy: Dude, we are so excited to have you here tonight!
Concha: We are so excited to have you here happy and healthy.
Concha: What’s next for Exploited, what are you guys doing?
Wattie: We’re going to Chile! We were there a month ago and were going to play a festival to 12,000 people, but two days before the festival, they took their license away and they canceled the festival. But they rescheduled it so we’re gonna go back over and play next month.
Concha: Have you played Chile before?
Wattie: Yes, we caused riots but that was a long time ago.
Concha: Wow! That’s amazing! Any new albums any books anything like this?
Wattie: The last album is the newest album but it’s got loads of new songs. Nothing new lately cuz family problems, depression, f*****n’ drugs people dyin, things like that, but we got loads of good songs.
Concha: Beautiful! We’re ready man, we’re ready!
Concha: So I wanna ask you really quickly about these tattoos of yours.
Wattie: My first tattoo I got when I was 13, but it’s covered up now. It’s under this one.
Wattie: That one was for my first wife, she committed suicide.
Wattie: This is where they cut me open to take the vein for my heart bypass.
Concha: Tattoos are a huge part of the punk rock culture. They always have been and are even more so now. Thank you so much for the interview, Wattie! We will see you in August!
Click here to purchase tickets to see The Exploited at Rebellion Fest!