No Gods, No Masters: An Interview with Stig Miller from Amebix

As part of one of the most influential bands, Stig Miller from crust/punk band Amebix speaks to Black Sunday about his first gig, squat life and Marmite.

What was the first record you ever bought?

I think it was “Telegram Sam” by T Rex. I think it had “Jeepster” on the B.side, I was very young 10 or 11 I think.

What was the first gig you went to? Did it make an impact on you at all?

The first gig I ever went to was when I was 13 years old. Me and a friend hitch hiked to see Hawkwind in 1974 that was my first real live gig watching Lemmy playing bass. I think it was the original Pink Faeries supporting.I thought “when I grow up that’s what I want to do “. Make a big noise …heheh

Going back quite a few years, it is known that you lived a squatters life. Do you have any tales to tell of your time in squats?

Well I have a lot of very scary stories but there were a lot of fun times too, interspersed with hunger and insecurity, cold. There’s nothing quite like the feeling of being stuck in a freezing damp squat at Xmas when all your friends have gone home to their families to eat and be warm and you are on your own…maybe you have some drugs or something to keep you warm, maybe not …just you and the dank smell and creaking of some old abandoned building …it’s not at all glamorous. In the end the only thing that makes it tolerable is the friendships and the bond of poverty.

The crust/punk scene is still very much influenced by bands such as Amebix, how does it make you feel all these years later to think what you did has made such an impact on the lives of other musicians?

I mean for me it’s a strange thing,its nice to have the respect of bands and people but also strange as people expect me to have made money out of it all.and be living like a fucking rock star but nothing could be further from the truth but i am still interested in making original music ..I still believe it’s a worthwhile thing to do.

I notice you reference bikes quite a bit in the lyrics and imagery of the band. Tell me, were you involved in the biker scene? How did that come about?

Well I had a few bikes also I had a VW trike at one time (that was a fucking beast of a thing ) but I was never interested in being a “biker” or wearing a patch or anything. I am really not a “joiner” I don’t want to fit in or “belong ” to any group …most of my life i have been involved on the edges of various sub cultures but I never would wear the uniform of any of them.

There is quite a saturation of bands coming on the scene these days, are there any new bands that you really like?

Yes surprisingly enough I like quite a lot of stuff that’s out now, I do get to hear a lot of music these days …if somebody recommends a band to me I will usually check them out …I really like Cult of Luna and a lot of those heavy ambient artists ..tell you who I saw recently that were fucking amazing live “Amenra”… I had heard them on record and thought they were ok ..but it really came across live ..but maybe I was the only person that got it ..who knows ha ha .

What are you up to these days? Are you able to share any future plans with the readers?

Well at the moment I am working on my solo acoustic based project’s still early days but I plan on doing a release of some kind in the future, maybe an E.P or something. I’m quite excited by the possibilities of being able to record my own stuff, there are really no limits.

So let us throw a random question in the mix Stig. Marmite: Love or Hate?

Hmmmmm that’s a tough one ..I’m not indifferent to Marmite, I do in fact quite like it but alas I do not love it although I got some B12 vitamin extract that I was kind of forming a bit of a relationship with purely platonic at this point anyway……so “Marmite ” I kind of like it but if it came down to it I could live without it ……erm I think …