Lord Zion & Vikki Spit

Published: 04 April, 2010 - Featured in Skin Deep 127, November, 2005

What were you doing before forming the band and how did you originally meet?

Zion: Well, I was in another band!  Been in bands for a few years but had always had to compromise on my vision of what the ultimate rock band should be.  Drove me mad.  Met Vikki at the Cartoon Club in Croydon and a strong connection was immediately apparent.  She shared my views on what a cool band was and she played bass.  That was the night that SPiT LiKE THiS was born – I quit my other band the next day to venture off into the unknown with Vikki.  That was also the night the band name was created – Vikki and I were having a spitting competition and, after I beat her, she asked me how to “spit like this”. 

 

Following that was 9 months of hell!  No money, no job and very nearly homeless, we started selling Vikki’s used panties on eBay to fund our first CD.  At the same time, we started our SMELL YOUR MUM CLOTHiNG CO, the plan being that we could earn enough from that to a) live and b) fund SPiT LiKE THiS.  Coming up with offensive t-shirt designs has always been a hobby of mine so, with SMELL YOUR MUM Vikki and I could actually earn some ££’s from it.  Every penny we earn from it goes back into the band so please check it out and buy something at www.smellyourmum.com !

 

After we released a couple of self-financed CD’s to critical acclaim, we decided it was time to hunt for the rest of the band.  That came together surprisingly easy so we have STEViE LEE on lead and rhythm guitars; WANK SiNATRA on rhythm guitar and keyboards; ViLE GiLEZ on drums.  Since then, we’ve had two more CD’s released the last one “Sleaze Sells…But Who’s Buying?” making it to number 8 in the Rock Charts!   


Vikki: Ever since we met that night at the cartoon club we’ve been pretty much inseparable. We discovered we had a hell of a lot in common, and Zion’s vision of the perfect band matched mine. So, we set out on what turned out to be a pretty strange adventure together…

 

Selling panties on eBay was funny as fuck; one pair was sent out to New York in the week following 9/11. The guy who bought them had paid extra for a “special request”. He wanted the panties pissed in and then to be sealed in an airtight bag. Zion pissed on them and we sealed them up complete with a little bonus bottle of piss. I can’t imagine what customs thought when they opened the package up, but we did have an email a few weeks later from one VERY happy customer!

 

From there we went on to form smellyourmum.com. It’s gone from strength to strength and I’m very proud of what we’ve achieved with it. All t-shirts are not only designed but also printed by us. We’ve managed to create something, which has become very well known as a credible alternative clothing company.

 

It funded our first studio releases, which obviously lead us on to get a live band together. With Zion and mine’s very clear vision of what we wanted in a band, it really was astonishing how quickly we found the perfect group of reprobates. 

 

After our first rehearsal it became clear that we had something which could really work- and as our line up hasn’t changed once, it’s cool that these aren’t just people we’re in a band with; these are our friends. It’s like being in a gang or something.

 

How would you describe your musical style and who or what are your influences?

Zion: We’re a little bit Glam, a little bit Punk, a little bit Goth, and a little bit Metal!  We are the world’s first and foremost SHOCK ‘N’ ROLL band.  People kept asking us what genre we were and, seeing as we didn’t fit comfortably with the traditional ones that were about, we created our own.  People tend to hear what they want in our music but, if I had to describe it a little deeper, I would say this: imagine if Mötley Crüe fucked Metallica whilst Adam Ant fisted Duran Duran on stage in the Rocky Horror Show.  Any wiser? 


Vikki: We’ve never been easy to pin down; we’ve been called all sorts of things and have been compared to bands and artists that we’ve never heard of! We’re something new and different and interesting.

 

Tell us something about your tattoos, the inspiration behind the designs etc?

Zion: Well, my tatts are a bit random, as that seems to be the way I function the best.  Some are inspired, some just look cool and others are deliberate.  I guess the best thing to do is talk you through them.  Well, the first was a bit of flash I saw – a heart with spiky bits coming out of it and a flame.  That was a spur-of-the-moment thing.  I woke up one day and was almost in a trance.  This was the day I was going to get my First Tattoo.  That much I knew, I just didn’t know what or where!  It ended up being on my wrist as I wear my heart on my sleeve.  

 

After that, I was hooked!  Within a week I was back for yet more Flash – a bit of Cherry Creek skull tribal thing.  Looking back I don’t really understand why I picked Flash as I never said I would – but those were hazy days!  That tatt was on my left inner forearm.  Over the course of a couple of months I went tattoo crazy and got another bit of Cherry Creek (a pirate skull on my right wrist); some flames added to my left arm (freehand); a customised bit of flash on my left inner forearm of a bunny girl with the words “Pussywhipped” in a scroll (a song of mine); a pair of hearts (one black, one pink) with flames that I designed on my neck; the words “Fuck You” on one outer forearm and “Fuck Me” on the other and a smoking lady with my name and “Not Dead Yet” – another song of mine –  on my right shoulder.  Vikki has the same tatt (but saying her name) on her shoulder and also has the same heart and fire tatt on her tit.  Anyway, I did pause for a bit after this outburst of activity but not for long!

 

Sadly, my Nan passed away and I designed a tattoo in memory of her.  I got that on my left forearm and got bitten by the bug once more.  From now on though, I wanted to be more concise as I would soon be running out of space!  I got a birthday present of a girl that wiggles her butt on my right forearm and then, shortly after the band was formed, me, Vikki and our guitar player (STEViE LEE) got matching band tattoos.  Well, almost matching!  The basic design is a fancier version of our band logo – a skull with crossed guitars underneath.  We all had the skulls made to look like us though and the colour of the guitars matched our own guitars.  You can see a short movie of us getting these tatts on our site.

 

A little furry companion of mine then died quite unexpectedly so, in honour of everything she had given me, I devoted my left hand to her and had a portrait done.  Vikki had the same done on her wrist.  The next week I was back again to have to word “REAL” tattooed on the fingers of my right hand and “FAKE” on my left.  The music industry is the land of the Fake People so I use these tatts as an indicator to those around me of what I think of the person I am talking to.  And, every now and then, I have great pleasure in letting the fake posers know exactly what I think of them.  These, to-date, have been my most painful tattoos.

 

It was shortly after this I went completely tattoo crazy and devoted the next 9 months getting my sleeve done…  I mentioned to my tattooist a vague idea that I had for a sleeve and, next thing I know, he’s drawing all over me and I’m back in the chair again!  My sleeve ultimately acts as a diary for a two-year period.  Many of the things that happened appear on that sleeve from the forming of SPiT LiKE THiS to the passing of two of my grandparents.  It has a piratical theme as I think of myself in that way (free-spirited, rebellious and strong).  As well as the more factual pieces, if you look closely you can see pink skulls floating in a sea of blood shrouded in purple clouds.  There are also the following lyrics from a song of mine, which sum me and my life up to a tee:

 

“One day soon my time will come

Live by the sword and die by the gun

Death or Glory – there’s no other way

So I’ll keep on trying till my dying day”

 

Vikki: Some of my tatt’s have meaning; others are simply things I found attractive. I love all of them and they all say something to me about a period of time. Obviously, as I have a number of band related tattoos this is something, which means a lot to me. It’s quite convenient that we have a logo, which lends itself well to tattoos! My first tattoo was the tiger on my right arm. Ever since I could remember, I’d wanted a tiger tattoo. I think it was something to do with the William Blake poem “Tyger Tyger” and also that I’ve always just liked tigers.  I’ve got the smoking lady on my left arm, the same as Zion’s apart from mine says my name, below that I’ve got a SPiT LiKE THiS tattoo, the skull with the crossed warlock bass guitar and the smaller flaming skulls.  Everyone in the band has a band tattoo. It’s something, which I feel shows the dedication of each of us. I have the pink and black flaming hearts, which Zion has on his neck on my breast. The pink heart symbolizes me and the black one Zion... hence the black heart having devil horns and tail and the pink one having a halo!

 

My right arm has come a long way since the first tiger tatt, I now have a half sleeve with a dragon whose head and claws come down over my shoulder and whose body wraps round my arm to just below the inside of my elbow, he’s a lovely thing, I also have wind bars, clouds, a chrysanthemum, two geisha a demon and some flowers.  The two geisha came from a 12th century woodcut I liked. Most of the other stuff was decided on by discussing my ideas for what I’d like with the tattooist who did the majority of it, Sophie Zie-Carreras from Eternal Tattoos.

 

As Zion mentioned, I also have a special fluffy person on my right hand. She’s looking at me as I type this actually.

 

On my butt I have two tattoos, one of a woman (myself) with smoking guns and the other, a pink SKuLLoX (our band logo). The cover of one of our EP’s was actually this tattoo being done! What I do for this band.

 

On the left side of my stomach is something I really like, it’s a stylized pink tiger’s head, very bright colours and he looks a bit crazy with a beautiful background of swirling wind bars, and clouds in grey with very vivid flowers matching the colours of the tiger. I found my stomach a very painful place to be tattooed, but the result is so worth it. 

 

The last tattoo I come to is actually the last one(s) I had. I have little SKuLLoX outlines on both my ankles. Very cute. 

 

Who were the artists and what is it about their work that you particularly admire?

Zion: Well, the first lot of tattoos I got were by Tony at Tony’s Tattoos in Reigate.  At the time, he was the nearest tattooist to me and, after the first one I discovered he was really friendly so I kept on going back.  I then found out that he coloured in Adam Ant’s “Pure Sex” tattoo so I was dead happy about that!  I then got the butt-wiggling woman done by Ian Flower at New Skool (Ewell).  I actually knew nothing of his reputation and stumbled across his shop by happy accident – I plan on having more done by him soon!  Adrian who used to work at Eternal Tattoos in Dorking, Surrey, did my hand, fingers and majority of my sleeve.  He had a hard time with me as he had to somehow cohesively join together some of my random bits and do some cover ups of early flash but we got there in the end!  A lot of time, pain and money later, I have a sleeve I can be proud of.  My favourite bit is the last bit that was done – we were trying to think of a way to finish it off so I thought about making it look as though it had been sewn on so, that’s what we did!  If you look closely, you can see “gaps” with a bit of flesh underneath, a weevil poking out at the back and even the thread and needle that sewed it all together.  I love that soooooo much!!


Vikki: Tony did my first few tatts as well. Zion had been to him before, so when I got my first ones done Zion took me there. He did my tiger, my smoking lady, the two geisha, the hearts and the flowers on the vine on my right arm.  He’s a really nice guy who made you feel very comfortable and put me right at ease for my first time being tattooed. The crazy tiger on my stomach was done by Ian Flower; he drew something up for me when I told him I wanted a pink tiger on my stomach. He came up with an image, which I love and did the actual tattoo amazingly fast!  With the exception of the black cat on my hand, all my other tattoos were done by Sophie at Eternal. I first went there, as I wanted my butt tattooed and felt more comfortable with a woman doing it. Sophie showed me some pictures of her work and I was impressed. She’s done all my tattoos ever since. I really like the style of her work and I love that she’s happy to use lots of bright colours and will go with me when I decide my dragon should be pink and purple - not traditional dragon colours! 

 

It’s important to me that I like with the person permanently marking my body and that they are enthusiastic about the work they are doing on me as well as obviously being happy with the artwork I end up with!

 

How important are your tattoos in terms of your image as a band?

Zion: Well, I would have tattoos regardless of whether I was in this band or not.  I’ve been fascinated ever since I saw my first one on someone that used to work for my grandfather.  I asked him what it was (as it was just a blue splodge!) and he explained and that was it!  From that day on, I wanted to tell stories about my life on my body.  I keep a written diary and my tattoos are a pictorial accompaniment to that.  Having said that though, everyone in the band has a SPiT LiKE THiS tattoo and, even cooler than that, a lot of our fans also have SLT tatts!


Vikki: What he said! I’d have tattoos regardless of the band. Although, as I mentioned earlier, SPiT LiKE THiS has made for some very cool tattoos.  Having a CD cover of me being tattooed has probably linked us to tattoos, which is fine with me. 

 

Have you ever performed at any tattoo conventions?  If not, would you like to?

Zion: No we haven’t and, yes, we would love to!!


Vikki: That would be very cool! 

 

There has been a long affiliation between rock music and tattoos, why do you think this is?

Zion: Rock stars are like sailors or gypsies.  They are the same kind of people.  Wanderers.  Adventurers.  Traditionally, these types of people did like to collect mementos of the places they visited and the things they saw.  So I think it is more to do with the type of person that becomes a rock star more than actually being one.  Oh and they look cool!


Vikki: I guess rock has always been perceived as non-conformist and a bit dangerous and until recently, tattoos were viewed the same way. 

 

What are the best and worst aspects of being involved in the music industry?

Zion: The worst aspects are the fake people, the posers and the constant rejection.  Never in my life have I been surrounded by so many people who are not what they pretend to be.  Drives me mad.  So many of the bands we have the misfortune to encounter are just following a whim, dressing how they think they should be and acting how they think they should be.  They do not mean it and, in 5 years time, they’ll all have “proper” jobs.  I HATE DETEST AND LOATH these people with a passion that burns very VERY deep.  I resent the fact that they take away from the people that DO mean it and are trying to make their living from it.  They are scum.  It is also tough being rejected so much – the music industry is 90% rejection so you have to develop a thick skin.  The industry on the whole treats us like the naughty kid that lives down the road – you like hanging out with them but you ain’t about to invite them round for tea!  However, they are being forced to take note as we have achieved a high level of success without playing their game and without their help.  People like Simon Cowell make me sick.  They are bastardizing an art form purely for their own personal gain, diluting it to such an extent that it becomes a formula.  They do not care about the product, only the bottom line.  They are tearing the heart and soul out of the industry and many others follow suit.  Since when has it been acceptable to have a fucking singing cartoon frog ringtone at number one?  I mean, I hate Coldplay as much as the next logical thinking person but to be beaten by a frog?  It defies all logic.  There aren’t many out there that have the balls to say what they think, say what they feel and to stand up and be counted.  99% of the people in it are shit.

 

BUT, having said all that, there is nothing else I would rather be doing.  Nothing else I know how to do.  It is my passion and it is what I live for.  Without it I think I would just be in a wilderness of nothingness.  The absolute number one thing that puts fire in my belly and makes everything worthwhile though are the fans.  Seeing them sing a song or getting a letter from them or signing an autograph is the most incredible thing.  To think there are people out there that give a shit about who I am what I do and what makes me tick and blows my tiny mind!  


Vikki: The best things: doing something I love, performing music which excites me, working with a group of people I like being with, meeting new people- mad people, drunk people, interesting people, crazy people, people who want to buy us drinks! Being able to do pretty much what I want when I want, not having to conform to people’s expectations. I love it when I get an email from a girl telling me that I inspired her to pick up a bass, making people re-think their opinions of women in rock bands.

 

What annoys me, well the things, which Zion mentioned, and my pet hate, people’s attitudes towards women in rock bands. So many times we’ll finish a set and some guy will come up to me and say “that was cool, you can actually play bass”.  People assume that the only reason I’m in the band is to stand around and look good on stage and occasionally play an open E. god forbid a girl could actually play bass, let alone rock out onstage!

 

However you look at it, rock is very male dominated. I can either dress down on stage and play bass which will result in comments along the lines of “that girl bassist looked a bit shit” or I can dress sexily and outrageously and play the exact same way which will result in people assuming I’m just eye candy and then being surprised I can actually play. Either way, being a girl in a band you have to deal with people’s assumptions of you - mainly based on how you look. I just dress how I want and let people think what the hell they like. When it comes down to it, I’ve proven I can “keep up with the boys” and I know that the people out there making judgements about me would love to swap places with me.

 

What do you think about the fact that tattoos are becoming increasingly mainstream and can no longer really be considered as exclusive to those people who “live on the edge”?

Zion: I think it is quite funny.  It seems to me that an awful lot of people out there redefine the term stupidity.  ANYONE that gets a tattoo because their friends have one or because it is the latest fashion is pure and simply a moron.  It isn’t like getting a new pair of jeans – once they go out of style (and they will), what are these people going to do? Beyond that, I don’t really care.  I know why I have them and it isn’t to impress anyone or shock anyone.  If I get lumped in with the mainstream by the ignorant, so be it.


Vikki: It doesn’t bother me; I guess it means it’s easier for tattooists to make a bit more cash so in that respect it’s good. 

 

As Z said, the mainstream tattoos follow fashion; they have nothing to do with my tattoos or my choices so it’s not something that affects me. 

 

Are you planning to get more tatts, if so what and by whom?

Zion: Yes!!  I fully predict that, by the time my time ends, I will be pretty much suited.  I plan on waiting a bit though and will start collecting them on tours as little mementos of my journey through life.


Vikki: Oh yes! So much skin so little time! I haven’t got anything planned at present. I like to live with an idea for a few months before it becomes an actual tattoo so that I know I’m certain about it. 

I quite like the idea of tattooed stocking seams, but I need to decide exactly how I want them.  If I decide yes on those, they’ll probably be the next thing I get done, and most likely done by Sophie.  Like Z, I love the idea of getting work by great artists around the world as we tour, I guess I’ll have to see what inspires me to know what I’ll get.


In terms of your career, how successful do you consider yourselves to be?

Zion: Not successful enough!  But then again, we never will be.  We could be the number one band on the planet and it won’t be enough.  To survive in this game, you HAVE to have that kind of drive and ambition.  Without it, people like me will simply swallow you up.


Vikki: There are so many avenues to explore, so many things we have yet to achieve! I can’t ever imagine being satisfied, there will always be a new idea or new conquest for us. We’d just get restless otherwise.

 

What goals or ambitions would you hope to achieve in the future?

Zion: I want to make SPiT LiKE THiS a household name.  I want kids to love us and parents to loath us.  I want to continue to tread the fine line between being cool and being credible.  I wish to push the boundaries of decency and good taste.  I want a number one album I want a number one single.  I want to be loved, I want to be hated.  I want to inspire.  I want to be me.


Vikki: Well, pretty much what he said! I also want to have my own personal racetrack for racing random vehicles on. Don’t know why, but I love the idea of tractor racing or double decker bus racing!

 

Is there anything else you would like us to know?

Zion: That you can buy our latest CD, “Sleaze Sells…But Who’s Buying?” in all good record stores and online at Amazon, Play, HMV etc.  We’ll be doing an album real soon and some big tours.  I wholeheartedly would encourage your readers to check our site out at www.spitlikethis.com and to get involved!  We have the most incredible street team called the STREET SLuTz (www.streetslutz.com) who have helped propel us.  Join our mailing list, come to our gigs and go buy some really cool, nasty, offensive, funny t-shirts at www.smellyourmum.com - made BY rock ‘n’ roll people FOR rock ‘n’ roll people!!


Vikki: I’d love for people to check us out and to get in contact with us. We’re real people; we’ve pretty much opened up our lives to the world. What you see is what you get and anyone who likes that what we’re doing, let us know.  Anyone who doesn’t like it, Say it to 

our faces.

Credits

Photography & WORDS Ashley photographers assistant: michele martinoli

Related

Magazines: 
Skin Deep 127 1 November 2005 127
£3.95