Now in its sixth edition, the London based fanzine Independent Underground Sound was first established in 1997, and is edited by Anthony Strutt, who is also a staff writer with the Pennyblackmusic magazine.

Anthony has been a fanzine writer off and on for over twenty years, and started out in the early eighties by writing for a tribute fanzine to the Wings guitarist, Denny Laine. He has since then contributed to various other fanzines, but finally decided to go solo with Independent Underground Sound, which he writes entirely himself.

New editions of Independent Underground Sound come out approximately twice a year. Anthony's motivation for doing his fanzine is both to profile new bands, particulary though not exclusively in the London area, and also to have "the opportunity to meet some of the people that I grew up with".

The sixth and current edition of Independent Underground Sound, which came out in June and has fifty pages, reflects this philosophy. As well as the interview with Ant (the solo project of Anthony Harding, the drummer with Hefner) which we are running below, there are twenty pages of concert and CD reviews, and other interviews with Mark Eitzel, Trembling Blue Stars, Kristin Hersh, Land of Nod, Patrick Duff, Monica Queen, Lupine Howl and Don Mandarin. Anthony has also reprised for this edition an old previously unpublished interview that he did in 1989 with the now defunct Connecticut group the Miracle Legion. Copies of Independent Underground Sound can be bought from Pennyblackmusic for £1.50.

Ant Interview

Ant is the solo progect of Anthony Harding, who is the drummer of Too Pure's current biggest band on their label, Hefner who are sort of The Smiths of today and are a pile of fun live especially. Ant, the solo project, shows a different talent, and I think Ant is a better songwriter than Darren Hayman, Hefner's songwriter. Ant is working on an album for summer release and the next Hefner album will be out in September. I spoke to Ant at a Track and Field gig in January.

I believe Hefner started off as you and Darren and Darren's from Scotland. You don't sound Scottish ?

Ant : No, I'm from South London. We met at art college and we were both writing songs and playing guitars, so we both became friends and started playing together, a bit like Lennon and McCartney, very cheesey sort of songs.

So you both played guitars, so how did you end up as a drummer ?

Ant : Being a drummer, basically, when I was about ten or eleven. I used to drum in bands, and I stopped and learnt how to play the guitar, so Darren knew I could play the drums and, when he started Hefner, he wanted someone who he knew well asa friend as supposed to someone who was really good, so he chose me because I was his friend.

Tonight you were playing a classical guitar and playing chords, which is something you don't do on a classical guitar ?

Ant : The honest answer is you don't break strings, and my sister had a classical and I found it had a nicer tone to it and it sounded more original.

Did the Ant solo project start before Hefner ?

Ant : The songs started way before Hefner, when I met Darren, twelve years ago, but it's only since being in Hefner that I had a chance to release them.

Now Hefner have their own label, would you put it out on that label ?

Ant : Don't know, it's like I try and separate them as much as I can because people find it hard to deal with when someone from a band is trying to do something different and they they think "Oh, his band is popular so he is trying to cash on it" and sometimes you get people who like Hefner who don't like what I do.

To be honest, I wouldn't associate the Ant thing with Hefner, because your songs are different to Darren's. Yours are sensitive and with Hefner's songs, I find most of them are about smoking, shagging and drinking ?

Ant : (Laughs) That's right.

So to a degree, Hefner is the band that fronts songs about Darren's sex life really ?

Ant : (Laughs) Yeah

Is there an album ?

Ant : I'm working on an album at home at the moment. I'm hoping by the end of the summer I should have a proper album of ten or twelve new songs.

Hefner, all my friends agree with this statement, Hefner are a great live band but you have yet to pull if off on record ?

Ant : It's difficult because we record live. The thing is, we put on too many extras on top to make it smoother, maybe we should leave it as it is.

Are you all happy with Too Pure ?

Ant : It can be difficult. They are a small label. We can't compete with bands that get in the charts. I guess so.

You did remixes on the 7" singles. Why ?

Ant : Too Pure wanted us to do multi format singles so we decided, if we wanted to release, a 7" as well as 2 CDs then we wanted it to be completely different.

How did Fortune and Glory find you ?

Ant : Basically Hendricks used to play in a band with a member of Hefner a long time ago and set up his own label. He saw a few shows and was interested, so far I have always released records with people who are friends because they will push it.

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