Interview: The Levellers

Jeremy Cunningham looks forward to some Czech garlic soup Staff

Written by Staff Published on 08.06.2011 15:22:01 (updated on 08.06.2011) Reading time: 3 minutes

Questions by Craig Monts from and from

When was your last time in the Czech Republic?
I think it was Winter 2009, so it´s been a while.

How was the experience?

Very enjoyable. We met our friends Divokej Bill in a service station – a good time was had by all!

Can you tell us what keeps bringing you back to Czech Republic, as this isn’t your first time here and hopefully won’t be your last. The beer? The weather? The crowds? The girls?
All of the above! We´ve been playing in the Czech Republic for a long time and we like it very much

You´ll be performing at the Rock for People festival (Hradec Králové) this summer. What other Czech festivals have you previously played?

A few – I can´t spell them but they were great 🙂

In your summer tour plan, there are some Czech stops along with two festivals. Let´s start with Rock for People. It´s your third time here. Do you have some special memories from your previous visits (2003, 2007)?

At the first Rock for People show, the audience was coming in really slowly, so we paid the 1 EUR entrance fee for everyone to get them in quicker! When we first came to Prague we were given a guided tour by the local promoter of revolutionary sites, which was really interesting for us as leftie revolutionaries!

You´ve performed at many big festivals, including Glastonbury. What was your biggest experience?
Glastonbury was always good for us but our biggest festival appearance was actually at an anti-Nazi rally in London with 250,000 people in front of us.  

Another live set you are going to play is at Ouvalskej Bigbít, a festival under the patronage of Divokej Bill. Have you spoken about this event with them?
We´re very much looking forward to it and seeing them again and playing their festival. They´ve played at our festival Beautiful Days.

Tell us more about Rolling Anarchy?
Rolling Anarchy is the name we gave to the Levellers´ symbol because of the shape – there is no manifesto or anything.

You´re often overlooked by the mainstream press. After 20 years how does it make you feel?
We never expected to be looked at by the press anyway, so its fine.

Could you tell me more about On the Fiddle Recordings? When was it established? What does it aim to do?

On the Fiddle started when the band started. We released our first two self-financed singles through On the Fiddle. After that, we released records by local bands. Eventually we decided to leave our record company and have released our own records through On the Fiddle since then which was always our objective. We always wanted to release our own records

Are there any forthcoming releases due?
A Levelling the Land Live DVD should be out in July, and we are recording a new album for release next year.

It´s been 20 years since ‘Levelling the Land´. How would you say the band has changed a)musically b)the message to the audience?
We´ve had many varying musical adventures over the years, from electro to orchestral, from acoustic to punk rock and now we´re playing in the style of our early material. The message has always been think for yourself and remains the same.

Do you guys still enjoy playing those songs? Are they still fresh sounding to you?

Playing them in front of a different audience every night keeps them fresh for us.

The popular phrase in articles about the band is that the Levellers “always did things differently”. Do you agree?

We do things differently because we like to have control over everything we do. We´re grateful to our fans because without them we wouldn´t be here.

Do you still arrange the Metway Sessions?
Levellers don´t themselves but the studio does and it´s still going strong

And the last question – what are you looking forward to in the Czech Republic the most?
The garlic soup. Last time I was here I had pneumonia and the garlic soup kept me alive!

Thank you and see you in July!

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