Bad Boy Running

Ep 529 | Being Exploited By A Running Brand - Punk Runner Jimmy Watkins

January 14, 2024 Episode 529
Ep 529 | Being Exploited By A Running Brand - Punk Runner Jimmy Watkins
Bad Boy Running
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Bad Boy Running
Ep 529 | Being Exploited By A Running Brand - Punk Runner Jimmy Watkins
Jan 14, 2024 Episode 529
Sometimes life throws us a curveball that sets us off on a path we never expected. Jimmy Watkins' story embodies that serendipitous twist, transforming from a rugby player to a runner, and finally a rock star. Our episode peels back the layers of Jimmy's eclectic journey, where the sweat of the track blends with the grit of the stage. Hang on to your headphones as we traverse Jimmy's evolution, his audacious blend of athleticism and music, and the unyielding passion that drives him to keep reinventing himself.

When the spotlight fades and the cheers quiet down, the echo of an artist's trials lingers. We tackle the raw truths behind Jimmy's rise to fame, the allure of the spotlight, and the personal costs that come with chasing dreams. You'll hear firsthand about the inner workings of a band—the camaraderie, the conflicts, and the challenging dynamics that can both inspire and stifle creativity. Jimmy doesn't hold back, sharing stories that range from the cathartic release of punk music to the sobering moments of introspection that come with life on the road.

Running isn't just a physical pursuit for Jimmy; it's a thread that weaves through his life, bringing clarity amidst chaos. The creation of Running Punks during the lockdown morphed into a community that connects people through the rhythm of their feet and the beats in their ears. We'll explore how rediscovering the pure joy of running became Jimmy's lifeline, and how his personal narrative continues to inspire and resonate with a diverse audience. Jimmy Watkins' tale is a reminder that the drive to create, to run, and to rock out can lead to the most unexpectedly fulfilling destinations.

Love the podcast and these videos? Buy us a beer! https://www.buymeacoffee.com/badboyrunning

Join the Bad Boy Running Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/badboyrunning

Visit the Bad Boy Running store for merchandise: https://store.badboyrunning.com

Join the Bad Boy Running Club here: https://club.badboyr...

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers
Sometimes life throws us a curveball that sets us off on a path we never expected. Jimmy Watkins' story embodies that serendipitous twist, transforming from a rugby player to a runner, and finally a rock star. Our episode peels back the layers of Jimmy's eclectic journey, where the sweat of the track blends with the grit of the stage. Hang on to your headphones as we traverse Jimmy's evolution, his audacious blend of athleticism and music, and the unyielding passion that drives him to keep reinventing himself.

When the spotlight fades and the cheers quiet down, the echo of an artist's trials lingers. We tackle the raw truths behind Jimmy's rise to fame, the allure of the spotlight, and the personal costs that come with chasing dreams. You'll hear firsthand about the inner workings of a band—the camaraderie, the conflicts, and the challenging dynamics that can both inspire and stifle creativity. Jimmy doesn't hold back, sharing stories that range from the cathartic release of punk music to the sobering moments of introspection that come with life on the road.

Running isn't just a physical pursuit for Jimmy; it's a thread that weaves through his life, bringing clarity amidst chaos. The creation of Running Punks during the lockdown morphed into a community that connects people through the rhythm of their feet and the beats in their ears. We'll explore how rediscovering the pure joy of running became Jimmy's lifeline, and how his personal narrative continues to inspire and resonate with a diverse audience. Jimmy Watkins' tale is a reminder that the drive to create, to run, and to rock out can lead to the most unexpectedly fulfilling destinations.

Love the podcast and these videos? Buy us a beer! https://www.buymeacoffee.com/badboyrunning

Join the Bad Boy Running Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/badboyrunning

Visit the Bad Boy Running store for merchandise: https://store.badboyrunning.com

Join the Bad Boy Running Club here: https://club.badboyr...

Speaker 1:

Welcome to Bad Boy Running. We've just finished with Jimmy. It's the second episode. We split them, but we didn't split them by just cutting a knife between a long interview. We actually did it two different parts because the first episode was so good, so if you haven't listened to the first show, you go and listen to that. That was all about how he changed from being a rugby player to running. Within two years, was in the world championships and was running in the finals and decided to quit the sport to become a rock and roll star. This episode is all about that journey, about how he could have lost his way from running, how he went on tour, turned to drink, joined his favourite band in the world that didn't turn out well, and how he's now rock star running. Punk running was nearly rock and roll running and the story at the end is amazing to do with feeling exploited by the industry and just the price that on running took out of him. To tell his story is it'll make your jaw drop wide open in disbelief On running. Get that man his kit back. But thanks to some guys, You're going to love this. Take it away, Nick.

Speaker 2:

They're bad, they're boys and occasionally they talk about running. Yes, it's the Bad Boy Running podcast with your hosts Jody Rainsford and David Heller.

Speaker 1:

So do bad as we've there's already been a part one with Jimmy, and the episode was so bloody brilliant. We got to an hour and we hadn't even really tucked into what I thought we're going to talk about. Since then, jody's returned from doing fuck all or Christmas, and so we've had to bring him up to speed on what's going on, and we couldn't really remember ourselves, because Jimmy's been a rock star for years. His brain has gone to mush. I never had a brain in the first place.

Speaker 3:

So we're going to talk about rock and roll, so it was a natural point at which to introduce me to the conversation.

Speaker 4:

Yeah, I can see your little mid-D keyboard behind you on the shelf.

Speaker 3:

Oh yeah, I didn't even put the bass guitar and all of that out. It just in honor of you, or anything.

Speaker 4:

Oh, you can see the bass guitar as well. There we are, yeah.

Speaker 3:

Where's my hobo? Where's?

Speaker 4:

my hobo.

Speaker 1:

But if you haven't listened to part one, do go and listen to it. It's going to be very different content, I think, to what we're talking about. This Part one was where Jimmy became a runner for Great Britain and then in his basically his first year at the World Championships. Then, for fuck, that I'm going to become a rock star instead. Quite a bold move. We spoke about that. We spoke about potential regret, if it was a good decision or not, and how you then process that and we brushed off, we brushed upon. I can't remember if it was after the episode finished and Jimmy and I were just chatting offline or during the episode where we talked about actually creating a run crew and how it then morphs into something you don't didn't necessarily expect it to, and then, like what happens when you're you're an old man and you've still got this young crew and I guess it's relative age as opposed to absolute age of runners versus the crew itself. So we want to get Jimmy back on to talk about all those things and talk about, I guess, the second half of his life, shall we say so. Welcome to fuck us, jimmy Watkins.

Speaker 4:

Thank you, thank you. I'm wearing different pants to part one.

Speaker 3:

Oh, that's that bad luck.

Speaker 4:

I felt the pants last time were too honest. I've got my lion pants on now. Oh, I'm joking. I'm joking, I'm just got my comfy pants.

Speaker 1:

So you, you, you actually a man who wears uncomfy, comfy pants at times, then is what you're saying yeah, I like the danger.

Speaker 4:

I really like the danger. I like the way it feels like you could spill out of your clothes at any moment.

Speaker 1:

Wow, sometimes the mouse does escape that house.

Speaker 4:

Ever was ever on tour.

Speaker 1:

Which was like was ever on tour. Would you have the position of the guitar where you put your foot on the onto this speaker? You know, fully exposing the inner leg. Is that why?

Speaker 4:

Yeah, I've got lots of like hold. I used to have lots of holes in my jeans and my pants from like the power lunge the power lunge which is. You know you could do like 10 minutes of power lunging and it would destroy your pants more than a half marathon.

Speaker 1:

I actually didn't get many guitarists in shorts. Do you ACDC Any others maybe busted?

Speaker 4:

Yeah, maybe busted, I think it was. It's just like a generally considered rule that you don't do it. You know, like when you become a magician, you just know not to tell people your tricks. I think when you become a guitarist you just know not to show people your legs Interesting. But I did play a lot of gigs in dresses. I had this thing where I loved. I loved wearing a dress on stage or like In isolation or with everyone else? You were sorry.

Speaker 3:

In isolation or with everyone else? Was it in a green thing In isolation?

Speaker 4:

Well in isolation with all the other women who wore dresses in the venue, but definitely the only man on a dress been a dress on stage, yeah.

Speaker 1:

And what was the? What was drawing you to that?

Speaker 4:

It first happened when we played a gig in Brisbane in a venue called the zoo and I think it was like January, so the Australian summer, and it was something like 42 degrees is really hot, and there was no air conditioning in the venue and I jokingly said I'm going to wear a dress to stay cool. And I wore a dress and I felt like I had a good show, I didn't make many mistakes for me and I just thought you know what? I'm going to wait, I'm going to keep on wearing a dress because I seem to play guitar well in a dress.

Speaker 3:

So that's where I started. For college we talked about like a Laura Ashley style number or 1970s kind of chic type thing.

Speaker 4:

It was quite a long floral dress, I remember that, and it had a little bow on the front.

Speaker 1:

Nice, I was visualizing the woman in the Robert Palmer video of addicted to love.

Speaker 3:

A little black number.

Speaker 4:

No, my, my impressive hamstrings had long gone by then. If it still had my impressive hamstrings, I would have wore something like that.

Speaker 1:

Because that, like wearing a dress on stage is quite punk. It's less unusual now, but I imagine it still would split the audience potentially.

Speaker 4:

Split my testicles as well? Yeah, it definitely. I think I split the band. I think I didn't split the band. I was the only person.

Speaker 3:

Half were attracted, half were disgusted.

Speaker 4:

I think the whole band were disgusted. I was the only person who kind of enjoyed it. Yeah, I don't know. It's one of those things where I thought it looked great and then whenever I saw photos afterwards I was like, oh, that is a bit. There's a bit too much on show. I don't yet know how to wear a dress properly, because I didn't grow up in a dress, so I didn't know how to maneuver around the stage in a flat.

Speaker 3:

That's always the issue. Did your band have a look that you were going against? Is that the issue?

Speaker 4:

Yeah, definitely. They had a look and an image that was going against. The look was black t-shirts and jeans and the image was hard men. So I wore a dress because I think I said in part one, I never really got the aggression side of running which is why I didn't sprint in, because it felt like a weird place to place aggression. And I felt the same with music. Again, this is a weird place to put a lot of aggression and understand it. Put it somewhere else, not in your live music. So that's I guess. I was naturally looking for a way to soften it and a dress was ideal for me.

Speaker 1:

Well, going back then to you, you were at the World Championships. You suddenly thought oh mate, I want to do some music. What then happens? Were you writing into adverts in the back of Enemy, or to a melody maker? How do you then go to actually forming a band or being in a band?

Speaker 4:

I did actually apply for some bands who were looking for a guitarist. So there was a shopping card called Spillers Records and it's still there. It's like the oldest record shop in the world and I used to go there and reply to ads for guitarists and I never got any and didn't even get called for an audition, to be honest. So I wasn't off to the best start. But then I started training with this guy called Harry Jones who's now an ultramarathon runner. He runs for Hawker, I think. He's called Harry, runs on Instagram and YouTube. He's done the UTMB a few times. He was a 1500 meter runner on the track and he came down to Cardiff from North Wales to join the training group. My coach asked me to take him out for a run and just the first run we just started to talk my music. Straight away I was like this is the first runner I've ever run with who's got a similar music taste to me. And then he told me he played drums. So we just started. We just agreed to start just playing music together, just the two of us. So that's what we did and we were doing that. And then we just started a band. So the first band I was in was me and another runner called Harry Jones.

Speaker 1:

Just two of you?

Speaker 4:

Yeah, just the two of us. We were like a two piece to start and then we did like a load of gigs as a two piece. It was really raw, it was really noisy, it was great fun.

Speaker 3:

What kind of gigs are we talking? Weddings, bar, mitzvahs, children's parties or what's?

Speaker 1:

it.

Speaker 3:

How does that start? Kind of start off Like is it friends or friends, and then you kind of build up or you're joining, you know open sessions, or how does that work?

Speaker 4:

I think for me you started going to pubs and drinking, drinking a lot of alcohol, and then like pubs where bands are playing, and then just making friends with the bands. So remember making friends with this band called Johnny Cage and the voodoo groove, who are like a burlesque band and they had burlesque dancers on stage. And I remember just drinking with a singer and we became really good mates and then I asked him if, like my band, could play a gig with them. And then it was in a pub called the Miter in Cardiff and we were playing like below a darkboard. It was that kind of gig and that was our first ever gig and I loved it. I absolutely loved it. I bought like a massive pair of white winkle pickers which were like the toe bit was so long. When I stepped on the pedals guitar pedals there was not enough force and none of my pedals were working. It was an absolute shambles, but everybody seemed to enjoy it. Like I think everybody was just kind of looked at us and thought, oh, fair play, these two guys are having a good time and that was our first gig. And then we just we just kept on picking up stuff like that, like just playing pubs and that was your own music, or, yeah, it was all our own music. yeah, all our own music it was really. It was very bluesy. At the time I was really into the white stripes, so it sounded a lot like the white stripes. You know, it was just the two of us and then the studio we were rehearsing at had it was owned by two guys and one of them was a bass player called Mark Foley, who gets gets name checked in the song by my favorite band. So every time he went there I was like Mark Foley's, you know like, and he's he's name checked in a song called Mancasm by a band called Future the Left, who I absolutely loved. And one day he just like he just came in when we were practicing and said you need a bassist, do you want me to play bass for you? And we were like what, mark Foley is going to play bass for us. So he did it and then we became a two piece and then things really picked up really quickly. Then we released a couple of EPs, did a couple of UK tours, we did a tour of Ukraine, which is absolutely mental.

Speaker 1:

And when you say you released EPs was what year was this? Was Spotify around? Was this physical EPs?

Speaker 4:

It's physical and vinyl. So this was the year I stopped running, so 2007, 2007, 2008. So in 2007, I stopped running and released an EP with my band called Full Frontal, and it was just like real hardcore punk. It was great, it was great yeah.

Speaker 1:

And when you say really how?

Speaker 3:

do you go from bluesy to punk Like what Is this where the aggression was starting?

Speaker 4:

to come in.

Speaker 3:

How do you make that transition in genre?

Speaker 4:

I think if you play blues badly, it becomes punk. I think that's why I think if you play blues really quickly and badly, as punk. So that's what happened in my head. They were blue songs, but you know, everybody was like, yes, it's really punk, yes, it's great. So I was like, okay, it's punk. That's. My whole life has been about falling into that punk bracket without intending it, like running in punk. I don't even like punk. I don't. I don't listen to punk, but everything I do is so shit that it becomes punk.

Speaker 1:

Well, but also running, running. Indie doesn't really sound great, does it?

Speaker 4:

Do you know what we nearly called running in punk rock and roll runners, because I was so determined to swerve the punk thing?

Speaker 1:

It would have been okay. But I think it's too linked up with rock and roll marathons in America, which kind of seems too commercial.

Speaker 3:

Old, it seems boomer, doesn't it? Yeah, really boomer. It seems proper boomer. Rock and roll, yeah, rock, oh, with rock and roll runners.

Speaker 4:

It just screams athright this and supports it.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, exactly that's it.

Speaker 4:

Yeah, it's like nothing says you way support shoes more than being a rock and roll runner. So I'm glad it's stuck to running in punk and as I get older I realise that punk is actually like a good ethos to have on everything really.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I mean that's the thing, it is an ethos, whereas a lot of genres aren't at all. Yeah, yeah, definitely, and almost, because it's so little music anyway. I mean you can't say the Sex Pistols really had that much musicality. It's probably been unchanged from having to be musical and it's more attitude, isn't it? Yeah, so you're releasing EPs, and what does that actually mean at the time? Are you selling them just at gigs? Are you getting into record shops, trying to distribute them there? Are they online and people buying them, or?

Speaker 4:

Yeah, so they're online, they're in record shops and then we're selling them at gigs selling them, you know, after we play gigs. So we did a lot of. We were like an ideal support band really. You know, like a bigger band would take us on tour and we'd go out first and we would just, like you know, spit beer everywhere, fall over, swear a lot, tell jokes. So we were like an ideal support band and we just got like the audience fired up. So that was our reputation really, as the band is called Strange News from another star, and that was our reputation just being this like party band that got everybody fired up. So and I was fine with that, I absolutely loved that.

Speaker 1:

And did. Are you then paid to go on tour by the bands and do they have your expenses? Are you staying all together or are you like how does? How is that negotiated?

Speaker 4:

So we got paid, but not much. It was kind of down to you to sell as many records or t-shirts after the gig as you could to make a bit of money. And there was a tour would involve us getting a really cheap van driving around taking interns to drive in a van. Some nights we'd sleep in the van, some nights we'd sleep like on on floors in people's houses and if we were lucky we'd get like a travel large and we'd all pile into one bed, three guys into one bed. So that was touring very, very, very opposite to being a professional athlete.

Speaker 1:

I know that stays with you. Were you. Feeling like this is. I just feel alive. This is absolutely what I want to be doing.

Speaker 4:

Yeah, definitely that's. That's the word life. Because you know, like I was, I was attracted to athletics because I thought it offered like ultimate freedom compared to the team sports it always done, and I'm thinking my person was always chasing that sense of freedom, so athletics really seemed to have that. Then I became an athlete and I realized there's not a lot of freedom here and I just thought to myself you know what? What is a similar lifestyle as this, the traveling, the showing off, the entertaining, but without the running? And it was being in a rock band. It seemed to be like almost exactly the same job, apart from how you entertain people. So, you know, you entertain people by running a good race or a bad race, and then in a band, you just entertain people by playing music. So, yeah, that's that's kind of what I've always loved doing just traveling around and showing off.

Speaker 1:

I guess, and I know in the last I've said you said that within a year you use, because of the lifestyle you were, you're partying so hard that it became almost impossible to go back to running at a high level because you basically just destroyed your body so quickly, like during that process. I think that's the best we had. You just completely closed the door to the idea of running being anything to yeah yeah, definitely.

Speaker 4:

Yeah, it was. I didn't even think about it, I think I I maybe kidded myself and went for a few little jogs. I remember once this is weird I found out I was skinned. I found out I was like actually broke no money in my bank account and the first thing I did was put on a pair of trainers and go running. It was really weird. I came back. I came back after trying to buy something and my car got declined. Then I checked my bank and I was like, oh my God, I've actually got no money in my bank account. So I put on my trainers and went running. And I remember thinking at the time this is really weird, like why have I suddenly done this? But apart from that, I did very little running at all. I was, yeah, I started drinking, I was smoking quite a lot.

Speaker 1:

What do you do when you're, when you are broke, like how, if you've haven't got a job with a solid paycheck, what happens then?

Speaker 4:

The bank of mum and dad. Definitely I had to ask my parents to lend me some money which I've never paid back.

Speaker 1:

And how does that talk go, given that it's not as if you're, you're not asking for a university degree or but like for a car so you can then get to your job? You're basically saying I'm broke, yeah, yeah, but also I'm I'm assuming you're you know that you're going to continue to use that money so you can just go in a rock band, rather than actually At that stage did you think it could progress to a career? Career or was it more? I just love this. If I get the cash, I can continue doing it.

Speaker 4:

Yeah, I think I definitely kidded myself that I could make some good money for music. And yeah, it was always like, oh no, this band, this music career, is going to take off. It's going to be big one day. My parents are amazing, you know. I remember just saying like, can I borrow some money? I'll pay you back. Yeah, but like just so, a lot of the time in bands was just spent being skint. I remember like so many times I went to the supermarket to buy something. I just had no money. You know, I'd gone to the till and because I'm the type of person who just wouldn't check his bank balance, I'm like I'm pretty sure it was like 30 pounder now. And then I do a shop and then I'd have to like leave the shop in there. I remember that happening before before going down to studio. But like two weeks recording, we did a shop to take food to the studio and I couldn't. I couldn't buy anything. It happened on tours. I remember an Australian tour where I had no money. So yeah, it was kind of the time I spent in bands wasn't good for my band balance.

Speaker 3:

What did your parents think about your transition from you know? Tension ascetic superstar to going to become a rock star. Like how does that conversation go?

Speaker 4:

It kind of it goes along the lines of, yeah, we'll support any decision you make, but then they kind of see the outcomes of that decision and then this is just a bit, you know, not pleasant, not, it's just a bit awkward. It's definitely a bit awkward, and then they would never outright say to like, you need to start running again. There's lots of things, like you know. Do you keep in touch with your friends from running? And I was like nah, fuck, I'm a loser, I hate running, and they're like oh, but you know, so-and-so is a nice guy. You should maybe nah, nah, I'm a rock star. Now I'm just going to go down a pub drinking, and yeah, so they definitely tried to, you know guide me towards like just getting back in touch with those people. They saw it more as as I would as a parent as well. It's like you need to go back to those people who are your friends when you're a runner. Like this new crew of people who hang out with are done. You don't understand it. Like, what are you playing at? What's the end goal here? So, yeah, I can see. Looking back now, I can see. You know, there's a lot of times where my parents when didn't just sit down and say you need to start running again. You just thought you shit, that was. It was kind of oh well, what about you know so-and-so? Wouldn't it be nice to go meet them and have a coffee with them? I just never did it. I never did it and it's quite painful to like realise that's what they were doing and you were just ignoring them Because you just hads in your head that you wanted to be in a band. It's quite painful.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, but were there some quite awkward Christmas lunches and stuff where I can imagine as a parent they'd be getting increasingly frustrated and it's harder and harder to hide that right when you can yeah.

Speaker 4:

Yeah, it was like you know, it'd be like I think I would do something really cool. I'd go to remember going to Australia over Christmas and then, like doing a tour in Australia, doing a couple of big festivals, coming back and then just nobody wanted to talk to you about it and you'd be like, oh, that's amazing.

Speaker 3:

That prepares you for ultra running. That doesn't it, yeah?

Speaker 4:

And being T-Toto it was like, yeah, just nobody. Nobody was really interested.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, don't want to hear about your adventure.

Speaker 4:

Thank you by yeah it really didn't care, really weren't interested. So it was strange. It was definitely strange. But that's just life, isn't it? You just you know you have to upset your parents at some point.

Speaker 3:

So what about your band members, then? So did they see it in the same way that you saw it? Were they like, oh, we're definitely going to make something of this? Or did they view this as, oh, this is a phase of my life and I'm going to do something else? Or were you all on the same page as to where you thought you were going?

Speaker 4:

Yeah. So in Strange News from another star, the first band we were all just, we don't care, we're just having a good time. Yeah, we were just like you know, it's just great, we're just living a dream, we're having an amazing time. And then I got Strange News from another star, supported my favourite band, future the Left, who I mentioned earlier. We could ask to do some gigs with them. I was like, oh my God, we support my favourite band. And then they asked me to join. So I ended up joining in my favourite band. Wow yeah, which was mad like, because the singer from that band used to be in a band called McCluskey, who I listened to all the way through uni. I was obsessed. And then Future the Left were one of my favourite bands. I listened to them a lot before races and stuff. So all of a sudden I was in that band, I was playing guitar in that band and that band was very business-like. So that's kind of like what was that?

Speaker 3:

like, that must be hard. Like you've got this thing about your band. It's such a massive part of your life, I think, and then you're part of it. Yeah, is that disappointing? Or does it live up to like the voice? Oh my.

Speaker 4:

God, it's the most disappointing thing ever. It's terrible. It was really exciting at first and I was like I'm funny enough, like my parents were really happy about that because they knew how much I liked that band and they were a band. You could Google and see they were doing really cool things like the Redding Festival, leads Festival and oh, this is like a proper band as opposed to that band. You're in full of absolutely maniacs touring Ukraine on trains. But like to my friends, they were like you know they could go to the office and say, oh, my son's playing Redding Festival next week or you know, stuff like that. So it was like a proper band. And we won like Welsh music price. We won the Welsh Almond of the Year, which is like quite a big deal in Wales. So you know it was. We were in the press, which I think kind of my parents are really proud of that, but for me it was. It was, it was awful, like that's. That's kind of where all all the bad things in my life started happening when I joined that band. It was, it was horrible.

Speaker 1:

It was horrible Like started happening by coincidence or because of.

Speaker 4:

Because of, just because of, like the dynamics in the band, kind of realising why you've been asked to join the band. You know, it's like I don't know, it's quite a strange thing making music with people, but the band are a lot older than me, like nearly 10 years older than me, and I became quite aware that I've been asked to join this band because I'm really young and excited by music and I'm giving the band a lot more than the band has given me. Did you know what I mean? I turned up to rehearsal and I've like, I've got these amazing ideas, I've checked all these guitar ideas and then the band became really controlling, like I said. You know, like the way in jeans and black t-shirts on stage. So I rebelled by wearing a dress and it just it became this really toxic environment. Right, it was really bad.

Speaker 1:

Was it them against you, or amongst themselves as well?

Speaker 4:

Yeah, it was amongst themselves. So you know, there's a lot of bitching in the band and I seem to be the person who seemed to hear it from everybody, like every band member bitching about one another, and I seem to be the person who had to listen to it all. It was, yeah, like it was just a tough band to be in. It was really limiting in terms of what you could play. Like there's some some songs I play guitar on where I'm like playing two notes, always through the song, and the singer who saw himself as a main song, where he was like, no, this is all you need to do in a song is play these two notes. So I was going on. Yeah, it was, it was, and that's when the drinking got a bit of control. That's when I sat again, really kind of when aggression did start coming into my life, you know, because I really hated these people I was in a band with. I didn't want to be around them and you know you're you're traveling around America with them for four weeks, yeah, so it was really tough.

Speaker 1:

So were you drinking out of boredom or out to China? Just get through it.

Speaker 4:

Everything like drinking was the only good thing about being in that band. It was the only way I could enjoy it. It was the only way I could enjoy being on stage, because I wasn't particularly enjoying the songs, I wasn't enjoying what I was playing, so it was definitely around that, that point. So I would have been like 30 then. So it would have been. It was definitely no turning back as an athlete. It was too late, you know. Up until then I'd still be in my twenties and so I could probably kid myself oh look, if it doesn't work out, I've got a few more years as a runner. But I was kind of I was pretty much 30 when I joined that band. So that was actually Stenya thoughts yeah yeah, yeah, and I felt a lot of me, felt like not that I should be treated with respect, but I felt like I was like being belittled a lot. You know, like when I joined the band I was told to have singing lessons. I was told the singer used to tell me that I had to talk slower on a microphone because the audience couldn't understand me because my accent. So it was constant. A lot of things like that. And I would like you cheeky prick. You know I ran in the final world of champs. I've done. I've done more in my 30 years and you've done in your 40. Like, do you know what I mean? You know he never worked. His mum was like paying bills and stuff for him. So I was like, why am I getting told what to do by this guy just because he's the singer of my favorite band? So, yeah, a lot of bitterness and anger really came through then and I guess I hated myself as well, because I was like this is, this is not what I wanted. This hasn't gone to plan. This is what.

Speaker 3:

A lucid freedom that you've wanted is just, I mean, you must, you must have felt it at various points and then kind of felt like it was slipping away, when you know, every, every time, I mean, do you see that as like making a success of something is almost you have, you've had to kind of give up your freedom in order to do that, like to be part of something else, and then, and then it kind of seems to kind of like see, saw a little bit in terms of you know, this is great, but I'm not making money from it. Now I'm making money from it, but this is not what I got into it for the first time for the original reasons.

Speaker 4:

Yeah, definitely. I feel like people get excited by me if they get to know me really quickly because they're like, oh, this guy's crazy. Like this guy is just mad. That's really exciting to be around. And then every in my experience, everybody who's wanted to work or collab with me then ends up trying to control you. They like, oh, this is crazy, but you're really. I love what you're doing, it's really fun and off the wall. But maybe, like you should just talk a little bit slower on a microphone or have a singing lesson. You know little things like that and it annoys me. They try to harness the whirlwinds. Yeah, yeah, exactly, and some, you know, sometimes there's there is a need for that. But I like to think that the best way to address that is like just with love, you know, just showing somebody genuinely love them and you care about them and be like you know, I'm saying this as a friend maybe you should just talk a little bit slower on stage. But when it's like, oh, actually nobody really got your joke because you talk too slow, you talk too fast, it's like I don't know there's that control thing and taking away your freedom is is not nice.

Speaker 1:

And was. Was there an element of? Was the band doing well enough that you were thinking, well, maybe if I could just ride this out for a bit longer, suddenly the next album's going to drop and I'll be more established in the band, I'll be able to reposition Like was that the draw or a success?

Speaker 4:

Yeah, definitely. It was like I felt a bit ridiculous about wanting to leave my favorite band after one album. I was like this is ridiculous, like nobody really remembers someone being in a band after because they did one album you know, so I remember who you would, who you were the equivalent of in, like I remember thinking of, even though they weren't the least favorite bands for the Rolling Stones they had, is it? Mick Taylor on guitar and I think he only played on exile on Main Street and maybe a little bit of Larry Bleed, so like an amazing guitarist who did one in a big album?

Speaker 1:

Oh, amazing guitarist. So you're just saying is that the comparison you drew? No, no, I'm not an amazing guitarist, but he was an amazing.

Speaker 4:

He was an amazing guitarist who's kind of forgotten from being in the Rolling Stones because he wasn't in the in the band for long enough. So I remember just thinking like that's a ridiculous comparison. But I was thinking like I need to stick around for another album. The first album I did with the band won the Welsh Music Prize was like okay, the next one can be good. And we were writing. We were writing some really cool songs which I liked. I was getting a bit more involved in writing. I started recording demos at home myself so I had I was getting a little bit more freedom back that way. So we did the album and like it was really good. I thought it sounded really good. I had great reviews much better reviews than the last one and then we'd started touring in and then that's when it was like the same old really. It was back to back to like just this controlling toxic band environment. And it all came to a head on an American tour where, like me and a singer kind of had like a really full on argument outside the venue. I was drunk. I definitely said stuff I shouldn't have said because I was drunk, but I felt like a lot had just led to that moment Like this is the implosion. And then I had an email. I went back to the hotel room and I had an email from him. He was in the hotel room next door sacking me from the band, and then it was kind of like I was in a room with the drummer and the tour manager and I was like, oh, I've just been sacked from the band.

Speaker 3:

I've just been sacked from the band you had an email that's so funny, so they CC'd.

Speaker 1:

So they CC'd.

Speaker 4:

And they had an email of him and it was like really weird things in there. It's like you go crazy on stage. I don't. I find it hard to believe how anybody can enjoy playing music that much that they get that excited on stage. You know, there's like these really weird digs and bringing up stuff that I did on stage Too much excitement about music, yeah pretty much pretty much and bringing up stuff that happened over a year ago. I was like, what's this going to do with me getting drunk and trying to knock you out last night? So I was in a hotel with the tour manager. I said, oh look, I've had this email. I've been sacked. He's okay, we'll find a way to get you back to the UK. And then it's just like we met each other in the lobby the next morning we were just going to the van and went to the next venue and played another gig. I was like what's going on? I've just had an email sacking me from the band and now I'm still on tour with you. And then we came back. I did a load more gigs with the band, still in a band, and we kind of like I apologised for being drunk and shouting, but I was still in the band. And then I remember being skint again and getting offered a job which it could really cool job working on a film set in Swansea for a TV show called Da Vinci's Demons. I was like, amazing, I'm going to do this. Like I need some money. This is a fun job. So I asked the band if they had any more gigs lined up they said no, I took the job. Maybe a week after starting they said we're going to go to Europe on tour and I was like, well, I can't do it, I'm working. So they got a replacement in and then after the tour I was back in the band. They did some more gigs, did a last gig, and it was really weird vibes, like really weird vibes. It was at a festival and I remember the bassist coming up to me after the gig and she was like just so you know, if you're no longer in this band, I can't be in this band anymore. I was like why is it weird? We've just played a gig, okay, no worries. And then a week later the singer asked to meet me and he's like yeah, I'm sacking you from the band. I've spoke to all the guys, I'm sacking you from the band. I was like whatever, okay, fine, like is it mental? Enough's enough? And then he phoned me up about two hours later and he's like I hadn't spoke to the other bandmates and they're all angry that I've sacked you. Can you join the band again? And I was like I need to have a think about this. So I said give me like a week or so. And then he kept asking me, like I dragged it on and he's like I need an answer, and I said I'll let you know. I'm still thinking about it. And then, when he was like I dragged on pages and said no, I'm not coming back, and then he asked me to write a little thing to go online and saying why I'd left the band, I was like why I'm left the band, I've been sacked. So yeah, it was all very messy.

Speaker 3:

And what's, the weirdest dysfunctional relationship ever.

Speaker 4:

I know, I know, and you think, like this guy is maybe been in a band with four of the men who were left have been sacked, so it's like it's not his first rodeo. Are they still going then? Yeah, they still go in, but I don't speak to them. In fact, if I see them, I actively stare at them and don't speak.

Speaker 1:

And that actually happened.

Speaker 4:

I have seen them and you know I've been nice to them and I've been nice to him and I sent him a little email saying it was nice to see you and he's like, yeah, likewise. And then I sent an email back saying let's meet up for a drink or a coffee, and I never you'd back. So you know you took the high ground. Yeah, I thought I'd just be the best but the bigger person and just be nice to him and um, and so what was happening for with your drinking if you're out of this?

Speaker 1:

was it? Was it a?

Speaker 4:

problem the whole way through, or it was getting worse and worse. Doing all this, yeah, um, real, real moments of like depression, aggression, anger. I was fighting a lot. Um, I was a maniac. I was a maniac because I just felt like I'd ruined my life. I felt like my life had just gone, gone to shit, and it was my fault. In fact, there was worse than that. I started blaming other people, so I started blaming my old bandmates for everything. And you know now, now that I'm sober and I've looked at everything, it's like you should have just left as soon as it got bad. You should have just left, which is what I do now if I'm in any situation which doesn't feel like I just take myself out of it now.

Speaker 3:

So it's hard, though. It's hard, isn't it, when you're in it, because you see, you're thinking, oh, it could get better, are they? You know, it's just around the corner, things could improve, and and it never does no, it never does and it is.

Speaker 4:

It's strange because, like, I go to therapy now and I talk to. I have like an hour of therapy and I talk to the therapist and then I always leave there feeling amazing, like oh, that's amazing, I'm so glad I did that. And then I get really sad because I just think why can't I just talk to my friends like that? Why can't I just say to my friends like, oh, look, this is, this is bothering me at the moment and and it really bums me out and I just wish that we could all have that kind of friendship. You know, like if we could have all just sat down as the band years ago and just gone look, I don't like the way you're controlling me, yeah, oh well. I don't like the way you're drinking. I don't like the way you wear a dress on stage then we would have all just been like okay, let's, let's try and fix it so we can be really happy. You make really cool music, but for some reason we just can't do it unless we're paying the other person to listen.

Speaker 3:

It's really it's really hard, isn't it because I suppose it's to do with the dynamic, isn't it when you're invited into something that already exists? yeah you're and you're really and you're really excited and it feels I must feel like you know, a real privilege, like, oh, my god, you know the dynamic is is so off in terms of of being able to have conversations like that, or yeah, yeah, you kind of live by whatever the culture is in the band at the time and if it's already dysfunctional, there's, there's not a huge amount that you can do about it, is there?

Speaker 4:

that's so true, and it was a very dysfunctional band. You know, it was kind of every time we were practicing, everyone was like making faces at each other like this is this sucks? Why are we in this room together? And I'm like someone needs to just see something. Why do we all just say that we're not enjoying practice? To me, um, yeah, aren't all bands like that.

Speaker 3:

Though it's, I thought that's like a whole thing, isn't it like? Are there any bands that are not like that? Don't they all have to be totally dysfunctional and painful and awful and everyone hates them and the only people that like it and the people watching it and everyone. It's a complete nightmare for everyone else involved maybe, maybe that's the curse of making music because you have to make the documentary the documentary that wins the oscar at the end of it about how the band is literally, you know, being held held together with shoestring and lies and and everything else.

Speaker 4:

That's it yeah, why do we do it ourselves? That's kind of true, but I'm I've got a new band now and I hope it's, I hope there's not like that. Um, oh my god, I have to speak to everybody. I have to say look, you have to be honest with each other, are we all okay?

Speaker 3:

um? Are you emailing each other? You know?

Speaker 4:

on a regular basis?

Speaker 3:

no, no we you slack.

Speaker 4:

Now it's getting sacked by email. There's such a low blow like when you're in the next in the room next door to them as well. That's a real spinal tap moment. I was like what are you doing from him?

Speaker 3:

he's next door what I thought, what I thought was interesting about that moment, is that you said, like the other band members with you in the room, and when they you know, you obviously sent that, that email saying that you've been sacked, though the first thing wasn't for them to go, oh, don't want to get you back in the band. The first thing was, oh, we'll make sure that you get home, yeah yeah, yeah.

Speaker 4:

I think at that point I just wanted to go home, though you know I was like, oh, I've had enough of this. Um. So I think they all just thought the best thing for you is to just go home.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, it's interesting, they interesting. You didn't turn your back on music, though, at that stage, because when? How did? Given at that stage, you, you were. You felt like you'd thrown your life away. You had deep resentment, a drinking problem. Yeah, how were you? Was there not the thought I needed to step completely away from this scene?

Speaker 4:

yeah, definitely that was, um. My initial thought was, oh, I just I'm gonna stop this now. Um, but I'm one of those people where you know like I ran. I ran really well as an athlete at the world championships when I got snubbed by the Welsh Commonwealth team. So I ran the qualifying time for the qual for the Commonwealth games and I won the trials, but I didn't go. I didn't get picked um and I found out during like a live announcement on BBC News that I wasn't in the squad, despite having my suit measured and my photo taken for the program. So I was like really annoyed, uh, about that, and I remember my dad's email, seems quite good now, isn't it? yeah, my whole life had just evolved, let down nicely. Uh, I, I couldn't believe it. I really I genuinely couldn't believe it.

Speaker 1:

I just didn't make sense um what was did they ever explain?

Speaker 4:

no, I never got an answer. I never got an answer, but the guy who picked the team is in jail now. So um you know, whatever um what's in jail? For um being inappropriate with young, young athletes.

Speaker 1:

So you weren't sexy enough. Pretty much pretty much.

Speaker 4:

I think he never really liked me. There's a few of us who he never really liked because we used to kind of call him out on his bullshit quite a lot. Like he used to have this story and I heard him say it. There's so many people that, um, he was playing football in a field and he scored an overhead kick and then he got trials from I United. Like he was that kind of guy he'd say that and I'm like what? And then he, and then he tell you that story and he's like right, come on in 3000 meter reps on a track and I was like why should I listen to you? Like you're obviously crazy. Um, yeah, yeah. So you know he was. He was in charge of teams. So the fact that he didn't pick me, I never liked him. Um, you know, so I was annoyed. I was annoyed I didn't get picked, and I remember people around me just saying the best way to answer that is to get to the world champs indoors and run really well. So my focus was on that and it definitely motivated me and I really enjoyed doing all my race interviews out there where I said a lot about like stuff, like aesthetics and stuff, and it's all still online. You can see it. You know I was like they fool. This is, this is I'd rather be here than a Commonwealth game. So that really motivated me and I feel like I had that kind of stubbornness. When I got sacked from the band I was like you know, I said I'll do another band. I'm like this band will be better than you. So that's why I went straight into music. I started another band straight away and released an album quite soon and it just it totally flopped. Uh, because you know, like the music industry is not like aesthetics, you don't just have to be the fastest to get rewarded in music. There's lots of things you have to pay, like radio pluggers, you have to kiss a lot of DJs, arses. So it was a very different game. But I feel like I threw myself into it in the same way I did with my training before the world championships and then, when that kind of didn't go to plan, that's when, like again, the drinking went up a level and that's when I really fell out of love with music and I kind of fell out of love with everything. But at that point I think I was maybe 35, 36 and I was. I just really just felt like I'm done.

Speaker 1:

I'm absolutely done.

Speaker 4:

You've had like that's good five, six years of excessive drinking yeah, yeah, and I was taking quite a few drugs as well. Um, so, yeah, by 35 36, I put on a lot of weight. My my lovely curly hair had fallen out. Um, I didn't really know what clothes to wear, so I was wearing really bad jeans and t-shirts.

Speaker 1:

I just didn't feel like myself hmm, so how does one recover from that?

Speaker 4:

um, I think you have to go through kind of hell. I think you. For me it was in a weird way. It was almost the best thing I could do was to have. I never hit rock bottom, but I got really close to it, um, a really kind of questioned like what am I doing in my life, why, why am I even still alive? Those are things I used to ask myself quite regularly. Um, and it's just so odd, it's so odd, what happened I? I got a job working in a window factory and I was kind of kind of comforted by the fact that I no longer had to dream, I no longer had to set myself goals, I was just living, I was just existing and I was just going to work. Simplicity, yeah, and I kind of really liked that, that there was the first time in my life I'd had that where I was like clocking in and I was getting called a prick by my boss and getting shouted at by people and I was like this is really nice, you know, this is really nice. And then I think just something happened. Something happened where, um, I can tell you what. Do you want to tell you what happened? Yeah, of course, okay, right, so I I moved to a different part of Wales. One of my things was I need to get out of Cardiff, um, so I moved to the next year where I live now a different part because, because of the people, because of the associations, because of the history, yeah, because the people last with the band was based. That's where everybody in Wales kind of went to start bands. So I felt like I need to leave you, and that's where all my drinking buddies were as well. So I was like I need to live somewhere where I don't know anybody. Um. So my wife was like on the same page as me. She's like, yeah, let's, let's go somewhere where we don't know anybody.

Speaker 1:

So we moved to Slandhwy, which is where we live now and actually just out of interest, like at what point in your journey did you meet your wife? Did you become married and what was her? How did she interweave with the story?

Speaker 4:

I met her when I was in Future the Left. So I met her on a night out, um, so I met her drunk on a night out and, yeah, like we like we had quite a stormy relationship and then we got married. We got married in 2014, I think, um, and yeah, we separated now, unfortunately, but, like you know, um, I think a lot of that was down to like just me me no longer drinking and just this, like just sudden change that happened to me when I stopped drinking and and changed, changed, changed the way I lived a little bit and what was important to me. So, um, yeah, we moved to West Wales and I didn't know anybody here and the first thing I did was I joined the gym. I joined the gym and I made some friends at the gym really quickly and then I got involved with this indoor skiing thing. You know the ski org they had. They had a ski org team in the gym, so I joined it. I was like, yeah, I fancy joining the sports team. So I joined the ski org team and then, uh, maybe, like, after a year of us all trained together, we, we tried to break a world record I can't remember where it was now, it was a relay, I think it was maybe like a hundred kilometer relay. So we were all taking interns and we broke the world record and then we went for like a night out in a meal to celebrate and I was loving it. I remember coming home thinking, broken a world record. I've made loads of new friends. I live in this place where, you know, nobody talks to me about music. Nobody knows that I used to be an athlete. There was none of that, you know, um, and then we went out and like I got really drunk and tried to fight a few of them and then I got thrown and banned thrown out and banned from the hotel where the party was in and it was disgraceful, right, um, and I kept like a low profile. I was like I can't go back to the gym. How embarrassing. I can't believe I've done this again. I eventually go back to the gym and I go see a physio because I'm having problems with my legs just my legs hurting like from all the all the gym work, and he's massaging my legs and we're just chatting and I tell him I used to, I used to run for Britain, and he's like what are you serious? Yeah, yeah, and I'm. He googles it on the phone, he sees some photos and he's like he finds a photo of me on a start line at the world champs and he's like I bet you've got this big framed photo of this in the house. I was like no, I got no running stuff in my house at all. And he just said to me do yourself a favor, get a framed photo of yourself in the house, of you and GB kit. I was like that's quite a nice idea. I'll do that. Um, so my birthday was coming up. My wife said what do you want for your birthday? And I was like this sounds mad, but can I get a framed photo of me running for Britain? So she did it. I took a picture of her on my birthday, put it online. Then someone commented below. I think it was on Facebook. Someone put a link to a video of that race and I'd never watched that race in my life, never seen it. Um, and I was upstairs having a pee when I had the message. I was like I know I can't watch this when I'm peeing. So I went back downstairs and I said to my wife look, you didn't know me when I was a runner, but this is me running for grippling and we watched the race together and there's like a little bit on the start line where I wave. I look at the camera and I wave just before it starts and she's like that looks nothing like you, but the thing I recognize is your smile. And then we watched the race and I was too busy looking at the race, thinking I can't, this is nothing. How I remember this race like I've told people in pubs all over the world about that race and it was nothing like I remembered it, you know, and I watched it and I thought I'm really proud like that. I gave it a good go, I'm really proud of what I've done there. But then in bed I was thinking like what did you mean? I only recognize your smile. And then I just realized all of a sudden I realized that my problem wasn't that I was overweight, that I was drinking too much, that I was unhealthy. The problem was that I just wasn't happy. Like that was just my problem. And it was like such a powerful thing to wake up in the morning and realize I'm just not happy and what makes me happy is running because you know, the last time I probably really smiled like that was on a running track and just overnight I just decided I gotta start running again and that's that's what I did. I just started running like I started running to be happy, not to lose weight, not to win my local park run, just because I wanted to be happy and I knew running was the answer and um, or because I didn't know this, this part of the story, um, do you think if things had gone differently, you could have been happy from music? no, because I've just finished making a solo album and I had to go back to therapy making music. Making music is something I have to do, but it makes me miserable as hell. It makes it makes my life hell. Um, but running is something I don't have to do, but I just love doing it, so it's weird?

Speaker 1:

yeah, is it too reflective? Um too too much like counseling, making music or or too hard a process?

Speaker 4:

it's very reflective, it's very kind of. It's like the only time I get imposter syndrome, like, and I get really bad with music because I know I'm not the best guitarist, I know I can't sing for shit, but I just have these songs inside me that I have to get out and I'm just constantly aware that. You know like I worked with some really good people on this album. I had a guy called Phil Thorn Alione who played bass for the Cuea and he wrote Tone by Nat Lee and Brulia. He's on this album so it's like sending people like him your music. It's fucking tough, it's really tough. You know, I'd rather stand on the start line of a really competitive race in really shit trainers than send someone like Phil Thorn Alione a song and ask him to play on it. It's I'd get so much imposter syndrome I really start. That's when I really start doubting, like what am I doing? Why am I doing this? I just feel compelled to make it. I just feel I have to make it. So I don't think, yeah, music would never make me happy, but what's I?

Speaker 1:

because I that's. I guess I'm quite lucky in that I rarely do feel any imposter syndrome at all. If anything, I probably should feel it more. Um, but yeah, but um, why? Why do you have to be as good a guitarist to make music? Why can't you know? Why? Why do you feel that, unless you are accepted as the best singer, the best guitarist, the best writer, that you don't, you can't make stuff?

Speaker 4:

I don't know. I think it's just because that's not why I grew up. I think I just grew up running. So I'm always gonna feel comfortable running because it's like a skill to develop as a child. And I just think, with With music, you know, like you get people now who want to start running and they they fall at the first hurdle. They don't know what trainers to buy. It can be a massive thing to put people off. So I just feel like that with music, you know, I've got rubbish guitars, I've got rubbish amps, I know that and I just really feel like when I walk into a studio with people with all my my crappy instruments, I feel stupid. But I won't care what I'm wearing if I turn up to a race or the track I never get, because I guess I just felt like I've always done this but music was something that I kind of had to, like a world I had to force my way into in a way. So I'm always aware that I Don't know. I just feel like this is like a club I shouldn't really be in and I'm kind of lucky to be here and I don't want to make a tit to myself when I'm here.

Speaker 1:

And and when you run now you said it gives you happiness. Yeah, is it the same as when you ran when you were younger, or is it very different in in how it feels to do it and also what it represents to you?

Speaker 4:

It's even more like it makes me even happier now because it makes me feel younger. So when you're young and running, you don't know what it is to be old, wanting to be younger. But when you're older, running you just you feel that youthfulness and that makes you feel really happy. You know, and the times I'm running don't matter, I get the same buzz out of running like a four minute kilometer as I would Back in a day running like a four minute mile. It doesn't matter how fast I'm going. The fact. The main thing is that I'm moving and that movement just connects me to this. There's younger, happier version of myself. So I love running now much more than I did when I was younger.

Speaker 1:

And do you? Even though the times don't matter, do you try and train to be faster?

Speaker 4:

Um, only if there's a. If there's a race coming up, I'll put a bit of an effort in no more than five weeks. Can't deal with more than five weeks of serious training. That's like my limit. So yeah, if there's a race coming up, I'm like I'll just give it a go, this give it a go. So I did that a few times last year and I had fun doing it.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and actually five weeks is quite a nice amount, isn't it? Where it's? It's not overwhelming, but actually he can get quite a good return from it.

Speaker 4:

Yeah, I think if you're constantly ticking over, you know Like my thing is just just to keep on going. I just tick over a lot. A lot of my runs are super slow, super relaxed. You know I'll do 10k in like 70 minutes and stuff like that. So I'm always kind of at that limit where it's like I'm fitting, have to go running. I could, I could run 15 miles and I'd be okay. But then, yeah, five weeks out from something, I'll put a few speed sessions and then and see where I can do, but generally my body just doesn't like it. My body just starts falling apart after more than five weeks it really does.

Speaker 1:

And so when did running pumps emerge?

Speaker 4:

Running punks emerged. So that thing I talked about with the Photo on seeing the race on my birthday that was October the third df, 2018. I started running again on New Year's Day. I know I said there was like an overnight thing, but I really liked the fat, miserable Jimmy so I wanted to give him one more Christmas. So I drank a lot of whiskey through that winter. No winder on this. On January the first, I would make a start and I'm like I'm it's quite funny doing this podcast today because I'm very I still attach a lot of Importance to January the first. I don't know why and I was like, if I can do on January first, I'm gonna stick to it. So I've set myself a lot on New Year's resolutions again this year and I just started jogging so that was 2019. I was putting things online, you know, and I just felt like I was just talking about the running knowledge I had from back in the day. So I would, I would do a run and I would just do a little video, and I just talked about like a little session I did, you know. I'd say something like oh, you know, back in the day I would do 10 400. So I've just done 10 times a minute with with a walking recovery, and I just noticed that people were asking more and more information about the sessions. You know, which is mad, because I put something online Over the past few years about a new song coming out and nobody replied. 99 pounds and you iTunes and no one replied. But I'd say I've just been down North docking to Leslie and run six, four hundreds off a two minute recovery and this main box was full. What do you mean? What do you mean by reps? Like what's the rep, what's the recovery? So I just felt like I had all these people who wanted to know about running and Rodry is it was a friend from school as one of them. He got in touch with me and we were kind of in a band in school together and he he was like oh look, I've just started running, can you give me some sessions? I want to run a half marathon. So I just wrote him like a really basic training plan and then we were just chatting. He's like there's loads of people out there in the music community who would love to get into running, but I don't know where to start. We should start like a little online running thing for musicians, and that's what running punks was. So running punks started in November 2019, so I've been running for 11 months and then running punks went online and it was, you know just like who? Just me and him. At the start it was gonna be me and him like the big, big hairy bikers. We were gonna just enter races with running punks t-shirts on and just do this little Instagram page where I would talk about my sessions and stuff like that, and it just it grew, particularly over lockdown.

Speaker 1:

We just grew and and how did it grow and why did it grow it?

Speaker 4:

grew. It grew Because of the running reviews. You know I'd I Lockdown happened. I was struggling with running during lockdown because it's quite it's easy to forget, but runners were seen as real villains. You know, it was hard. This runner just Rethed on me. Yeah we were out, we were outlaws, you know, I mean we had to run. We had to run in no man's land.

Speaker 1:

We're not allowed on the pavement, yeah.

Speaker 4:

Yeah, and I was like this is mad, because I'd realized by then the running had really Helped me turn my life around. I was like, oh my god, I can't again. There's like a freedom thing. I was like I'm having my running taken away from me again and I remember just thinking I need to do something where I just gonna go out running. It's gonna take my mind off everything. And then I started by Doing this thing online where I said I'm gonna run to an album I've never heard before and I'm gonna see how far I can run while listening to it. So I did like London calling by the clash, and I ran some of like 10 miles during the thing and I put the vid, I put like a the Strava up and I say that I just ran 10 miles this into London calling what, what album should I run to tomorrow? And someone said you should run to the Spice Girls album, the first spice girls album. And then I Was walking back from the supermarket and I just thought I'm gonna film myself doing it. I'm gonna run and just film myself listen to spice girls. And I just did that, put it online. It went like mad. People loved it and I just kept doing that, kept doing that. And then Lauren Laverne from six music, like shade one, on Twitter I did a dead Kennedy's one. She shared it. Then she asked me to go on six music and do like a little talk while running the music on six music and then it just it just blew up. That's when it blew up. As soon as those videos went online. It's like people just saw running in a way They'd never seen it before, I think. Hmm, and it came at a time where gyms were closed.

Speaker 1:

So people, it was ideal timing, really, and is that because, would you say, the ones that do well? Is it because of the album you've chosen? Or is it because of your response to the music you've listened to?

Speaker 4:

I think it's it's. You know, it's quite funny because I I Kind of trying, I tried to think, oh, they're all about the same level. I take the same time writing them, like I write them in advance and stuff, and it's just a case of going out and running Remembering what I've written. But when a band shares it, that's when it goes mad. You know, like when a big band like like Tom Jones, I did one for Tom Jones and then he, he messaged me and he's like can I put this on my Instagram page, you know? And he's got like a couple of million followers or ever. And then, hmm, all of a sudden on his Instagram pages, me running around the reservoir shouting about his album. That's when it is really well. I did a darkness one this year and then just I saw Justin Shared it yeah. Yeah, so he did a video of him reacting to me, reacting to his album. So those are when it goes mad, you know, like when when the bands themselves shared it. That's when it just gets so many people into running.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, so do you have. Does that actually happen? Then people will think I love music. I'm gonna go and try this album out on a run.

Speaker 4:

Yeah, oh, my god, like I have so many messages from people saying I've always wanted a run but I've never met another runner with something in common with me, you know, and it's like, it's almost like a Venn diagram. You have like weird math, rock, metal, and Then Joe Wicks, and then they just crossed and then in the middle is running punks, and then people like it's just, it's just a way for people to reach out to you. A lot of people are put off, you know, particularly people who were kind of Maybe like I don't want to generalise, but people into metal or goth, they wouldn't go to the gym generally, you know, and then they'll just see this guy Running around having the time was life, listening to their favorite metal album, and it's, that's just the invitation. They need to send you a message, you know, and they just send you a message and then all you got to do is Tell them that you believe in them and they can do it and they'll go out and give her a go and I think, like we know, most people have go out and give running a go or fall in love with it.

Speaker 1:

So what? What does, what does running punks look like now? Then? Because this is something we we spoke about after the interview and and We've Jadie and I have we've had various guests but also discussed how running crews evolve, or how personas Take on a life that it maybe wasn't at the beginning. And so what is what? What is running punks now? Because now that we haven't got locked down and it's just a nice brand name as well, even if you don't understand the ethos and and what. What is the, the community behind it like?

Speaker 4:

like it's become a little bit like LinkedIn. I guess it's also with a dating app.

Speaker 3:

I joke.

Speaker 4:

I'm a Dave Gorgans. You won't believe the number. Like there's a running punk who's who helps people set a business it and she's always helping other running Punks set up businesses. So it's good for her portfolio. She actually helped, like the guy who was meant to be our accountant. I'm a business partner set up a running inspired coffee together without without discussing it with me, so that's like as LinkedIn as it gets. So his is very much like that, you know, like there's, there's a weird hierarchy in there where people will Guess see that they really important punks because they post the most and it's just.

Speaker 1:

It's not for me Any more really and is this is a surrender Facebook group, then, or is this around a hashtag, or?

Speaker 4:

is Facebook, instagram and Twitter. Twitter is alright. I find Twitter quite. I can. I can handle it on Twitter. But Instagram, the community gets a bit much for me really, is. There's only so much tree hugging I can watch. There's only so many selfies by trig points I can handle, because those are none of the reasons I started running. But that that's not me, can. That's not me damning the community, because the community Keeps me accountable. Which is really important for me is that it really does, helps me stay sober, helps me stay positive, but that doesn't mean I have to be part of the community anymore. You know, it's like I feel really Proud of it and it gives me purpose, but I'm not necessarily part of it. It's fine, but, like I, I I'd never heard of a running community. Rodry was the one who'd heard of a running community. All I wanted to do was help people fall in love with running and show running in a way I felt was different. So I mean, if, if that's how I feel about running, that I want it to be unique and I want to show in a different way, then I'm never really gonna fit into a community of runners.

Speaker 1:

It's never gonna be. Have you not thought about group listens, where Everyone goes out behind a huge megaphone? A huge speaker and you all. There's like 20 of you behind the one sound system, listening to the outside of the moon or whatever it may be.

Speaker 4:

I'd rather people just came to my gigs and listen to my own music. I've never. I think we have kind of tried that, we have tried that but like, my thing is I don't want to be like a Public nuisance, you know I don't want. There's a few running clubs I've. There's one I've run with at Love Trails and I was like, oh this, I'm not enjoying running with these people. This is a bit full-on for me and I never want running pumps to be like that, because I know it is kind of like the shy people, the people who want you to go Running, so it's never gonna really appeal to people. In neon colors, kind of fist-pumping to the fame soundtrack around the city center, yeah, I mean, I think I love it. Like Someone asked me the day do I wish I'd kept on running? But I I feel alright to borrow because if I'd stayed as an athlete, my goal would have always been to inspire others to run. So I feel like I'm doing the same thing now. We just inspire the others to run. So the best way for me to do that is to just do in my own idiosyncratic way, which is running alone with the GoPro.

Speaker 1:

And and and something else that you'd mentioned, where we talked about Colin McCourt and how I Guess you're both similar in a way that you've you've been out of the spotlight, you've re-emerged in a different guys and suddenly are, you know, interesting people to hear about, to share the stories, and Do you do say, do say stop if, if you don't think, colin, we can't come from seeing this saying this, but you'd mentioned that you know Colin almost felt as if He'd returned but then actually he'd almost just been used up for his story and then, yeah, put back aside. And actually there is this almost Infrastructure out there, of which we may be guilty as being part of, that is just looking to, to you, to exploit other people's stories and then, and then actually, but not actually care about or not actually engage with People, not actually help in some way. I mean, I hope I've represented that right, but would you ever feel that yourself?

Speaker 4:

Yeah, definitely, definitely. I think Maybe like the, the biggest moment for that was when on asked me to make an ad for on running and I did this ad for them up in the Highlands and it's a really nice short film. They came out of it like an eight or nine minute short film where I was really honest, like the regret I had from making the decision to stop running. You know, and I talked a lot about my drinking myself destructive thing. There's even like a before and after photo of me in the advert and you know when I talk about like my mental health issues and how running just was really important to me to be happy again and I was really honest and personal about that and then at the end of the thing, had to give everything a bit of Kidback, including my socks. I like whoa, yeah, it's hot, you know, and it's like, okay, I'm not, I'm not doing this for the free kit, but what I did kind of what do they say?

Speaker 1:

because what they can do with that kit.

Speaker 4:

So it was like I. They gave me Four pairs of trainers, loads of kit like they. We were staying in the Hilton in Ballata and they rented out a room just for the kit. So I went in there and you know, I need kit to run, everybody needs kit to run. So I was like, oh, this is gonna be so cool if I get to keep some of this, because this is gonna, yeah, make running a lot easier, having a yeah yeah you know. I mean, like that's the reason. Yeah, it is to make running easier. So it's like when he throws it, oh, I can see myself running in the winter and he throws this is this is gonna be amazing. And then on the last day of filming, after being like so honest about everything, they were like, are we gonna need the kit back? I was like, yeah, no worries. So I gave him the kit back and I kept like the trainers that I'd run in and the shorts and trousers and T shirt They'd run in for like five days. And then I got. I got back to my room and then my the phone in my room rung and they were like, oh, can you bring your trainers back? I was like, yeah, no worries, I took a train is back. And Then it's like we need this, we need trousers. So by now all I had was the socks I'd run in. And then I had a call you, can we get those socks back? And then it was really weird, kind of like We'd made this advert. Everybody left. I was there for one more day because, like, going back to Wales, and I just I just felt this thing where, oh, it's gone, like do I mean everything I just done, all this honesty on camera for this lady yourself bear, yeah, they laid you bear, yeah, they literally stripped you yeah.

Speaker 3:

Who gives a shit about kit like.

Speaker 4:

I know what I was like yeah, you know, and then they, they left, then the advert came Out, I got, obviously I got paid for it.

Speaker 1:

I mean, you get downstairs and the bill was waiting up here.

Speaker 3:

Can you get out the room now please? We've noticed you've had some peanuts. Can you vomit those up back into this?

Speaker 4:

That was like a real thing for me, where I Couldn't, I kind of come believe it. You know, I was like cheek, hmm.

Speaker 3:

That's your cheek. I'm an empathy there as well, isn't there?

Speaker 1:

like, but also there's, there's an element of you want. If I'm on, I want Jimmy to be wearing on, because exactly there's nothing that what looks worse, worse than if his the advert comes out and Jimmy's air running around in an adidas or whatever it might be.

Speaker 3:

Or naked because on.

Speaker 4:

Absolutely everything back in address. It was mad because there's there's a film being made about my life at the moment and when, when the producer was making it, they still making it. Now he was like, do you know anybody who would be interested in sponsoring this? I was like, well, I just made an ad with on, so send them the trailer, I'm sure they've been bored. And they were like, no, you know, it's not. No, not really even already interested in making that, and it's what you know that that really makes makes you feel like shit. Yeah, it really is not a good feeling. So, yeah, little things like that happen and then you realize I am, I'm just here for my story. Nobody, actually kids, you know, nobody cares. And remember, with this film that's being made now, a few people kind of Watched the trailer and they were expecting them to back the film a little bit and they were like Feels like a done thing, you know, it feels like he's, he's done his journey, sort himself out, so we can't see where the film is gonna go now. And it's odd, you know, I remember speaking to the producer, meeting producer and touch a lot about it and it's kind of like house things. Well, yeah, me, me, my wife a split and I was like, oh, that's gonna be great on the film. That's yeah, no. But he says in a joke away, and we both talked about like, oh, thank you, brilliant, you know, if I get a new girlfriend, we'll get her in the film like pure drama. But I know he's joking and I am joking as well, but that is kind of still also true. It doesn't mean it's not true, because it generally does. You know, if maybe on we're back in the talks and and they'd be like, oh, so you know he's going through his separation. Um, oh yeah, interesting. Yeah, we'll talk about that. Yes, so maybe he could wear like is is on shoes when he goes to pick up his kids, when he gets to see him like twice a week.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, could go to them get cancer with that would. Would that help? I mean, who knows who?

Speaker 4:

knows, I have thought that, like Imagine I just get some random medical done and there's something wrong with me then. And we'd have all these sponsors oh, jimmy's only got five months after they've over in. Let's make this film. Let's make this film.

Speaker 3:

They did. They did that. We did that 10 years ago when I was on men's running people making up all kinds of Diagnoses that they go and things they go. Oh yeah, they've made up like they got cancer and that they were running marathons, but oh that that's happened loads. Oh yeah, yeah, see that's wild. That's all done. But what they should, what they should have done, is they should have On, should have you. What you probably didn't realise is that they had some secret cameras in the room when they were stripping you of all of the stuff and following you. See, it was always like an experiment to see how you coat With, yeah, they take off your back. It was just like and now we're going to, now we're gonna take your shoes from him, go on, go on. You need to give your shoes back.

Speaker 4:

They're filming me now, just you know. Sadly, I'm now behind the scenes.

Speaker 3:

It's, but it's the. It's the behind the scenes youtube version yes, but in a way that it's it's.

Speaker 1:

It's not what they've done, it's the way they've done it right, because actually, if you do want to be inspiring people, then having an advert with a brand like on is it's fantastic for that and actually that's what they're trying to do. It's more that they should pay the price of Of for your story yeah other than yeah. So actually it's it's just, I guess, common courtesy how to treat people rather than there's a good, there's a like, there is a good willow element to that.

Speaker 3:

It's it because you're gonna come away from that and you've come away from that whole experience Not going. Oh, I was really pleased that I was able to tell my story and I was vulnerable and it really felt like I was heard. Your three is they took my fucking socks off.

Speaker 1:

They took my socks.

Speaker 3:

I mean that's what you come away from I.

Speaker 4:

Don't mind, I don't mind them taking the truth in the honesty for me. But the socks, yeah, but like.

Speaker 3:

So what are they gonna do with the socks?

Speaker 4:

Boon them, maybe some ritual or something, maybe, maybe maybe, maybe it's part of some kind of auction.

Speaker 3:

Maybe the they the film was so good, they were like you know, we've decided to auction off the socks. These are the socks used in the film, or they're holding on to them. It's some kind of uh, yeah, it's funny value.

Speaker 4:

Yeah, it's funny, it's just you know. Yeah, I think calling is a way that that's. That's the world we're in and this you know it's the way it goes. It's the same in being in a band. You know, like when you stop, stop being relevant as an artist, when you've got nothing to say or no one's excited about your story, then you use the record label will probably drop you and things like that. So it's just the way of the world. But it doesn't mean, it hurts less.

Speaker 1:

Hmm, you know, and one thing that I did you ever make, did you ever speak to the people from the gym again? Did you ever make up with them? Yes, we're all good.

Speaker 4:

We're all good. Yeah, we're all good. Actually, a guy, um, who was there in the night out was a big inspiration to go in sober, because I went back to the gym Like maybe like a month or so later and he walked up to me and he, he shook my hand and in his hand there's a bit of paper with his mobile number on it and he said I'm, I've been sober like 30 years and I've been where you've been, so give me a call if you ever want to check in your call. And then he walked up and I walked off and I looked at the numbers and he had Lines to the seven, you know, and I was like that that screams Brexit. So I'm not falling in him. I never found him.

Speaker 2:

No, I never found him, but it was a thought that counted.

Speaker 4:

I know I never found him, um, but it's funny because I did like an Instagram live During lockdown and I talked about that story and there was like another person on it From from Clethey and this guy had done the same to him and it helped him go sober. So he's how many people he's done that to. And I said the guy did you ever phone him? He's like no, never phoned him. So none of us. I know two people who had the phone number of this guy and we never, I guess it.

Speaker 1:

It has the impact there, isn't it?

Speaker 4:

It's definitely the willingness. Yeah, maybe I'll phone him and he'll give me my on-kit back. He's like I've got you, I've got your on-kit.

Speaker 1:

It might not be a real number. Well, um and and so, with with running punks now almost being no longer where you see yourself running wise like are you, do you think you'll reinvent yourself again? Um, are you happy, just continue with the albums, or do you think you're you're in another 10 years? Have a different relationship with running?

Speaker 4:

I think I need to play the corporate monsters at their own game and do more running reviews of like drinks and stuff like that. You know, I think I need to take it to them. No, Um, because I did I did. One of the biggest videos I did last year was a running review of huel. Um, like the milkshake. Yeah, and I did a stupid video because there was no music. I like that come out that week. I tend to like run to new stuff now and I listen to everything. I'm not feeling any of this. So I ran listening to huel and I had like loads of gift vouchers for the online shop and stuff like that. Maybe I need to start doing more things like that, but I'm gonna yeah, I'm still gonna do the running and reviewing stuff. Um, I'd like to race more. I really would like to race more, um, because I think that's a that's, that's a good thing to add. You know, like I am, I am a bit different, but I can.

Speaker 1:

What's stopping?

Speaker 4:

you Nothing, really nothing. Maybe laziness I 2023 was a bad year for me. I was definitely quite lazy. Um, I feel much more motivated, although I haven't run yet this year. Um, like loads of people are running on January the first time done it yet. But, yeah, racing more, racing more and just reviewing more things and just being myself. Yeah, Amazing.

Speaker 1:

Well, thanks so much for coming back on the podcast for a second time. Any other questions to throw in, jerry?

Speaker 3:

Yeah, no, I think so. No, this has been great.

Speaker 4:

Hopping from talking.

Speaker 1:

And um, if people want to follow you and your socials, what were the best places or one of the best handles?

Speaker 4:

Yeah, so um running punks on everything, on all the channels, channels one, two, three, four and five. And then um for me, on instagram I'm nutbusjimmylimits, and on twitter, and biggie timpkins.

Speaker 1:

And, uh, name of the most recent album I know you've of mine. Yeah, yeah, so um.

Speaker 4:

It's. It's not off as a solo project, it's become a band. The band is called joce and the album is called voice.

Speaker 1:

Perfect. We discussed that last time. I like the way it rhymes.

Speaker 4:

I don't think people enough.

Speaker 1:

People do albums that rhyme with the band name, so yeah, I think my my jake at the time was noise, yeah, no.

Speaker 4:

That'd be the follow-up album. I think every album will rhyme with joce.

Speaker 1:

Amazing. Well, thank you so much for coming back on the podcast and, uh, if, if you're ever in london, let me know let's go for a run. Have another alcoholic drink together. And if you see you at some community running community thing in the future.

Speaker 4:

Thank you very much. Thanks for having me Cheers jimmy. Cheers.

Speaker 1:

How was that jimmy? Yeah, jadie, because, um, it was probably quite weird almost Coming halfway through, but then actually the story Is a fresh, clean start, as if you didn't necessarily need to know the first half to.

Speaker 3:

No, no, absolutely no. I just Music industry stuff really interests me. This it's so. It's so weird, isn't it Like so brutal? Yeah, brutal, I mean like being. I mean that's really hard Trying to. I mean, if you're always striving for freedom and you're doing the thing that you think's gonna bring you freedom, it's never actually the thing, is it? It's how you work with the thing. Like it's like running was never the issue that you had. You loved running, but when running turned into a job and it kind of flips over to the, you know there has to be a structure here, you have to do it this way. That's when you lose interest. And then the same thing happens with music. You know you have this amazing music thing, but then when it flips over into being a job and you're controlled by people and you're kind of hemmed in, then you kind of lose it and like, yeah, it's never really the context, is it? It's what happens within that context that causes you to fall out of love with it or to change your relationship with it.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and that's what's, was it? What's the gentleman's name from Chumbo Wumba who we interviewed?

Speaker 3:

Oh yeah.

Speaker 1:

Bosch, bosch, someone's my brain again, geez. But yeah, it's similar to Chumbo Wumba and how they would achieve success, and they'd burn it down again and again, and again.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, absolutely yeah. They defy it Whatever. Whenever they came close to kind of having like a breakthrough or something like that, they'd be like all right time to torch it now.

Speaker 1:

Yeah and Boff, that's right, boff Whaley, really good interview. But, yeah, similar to that where they weren't constrained by success or by having to follow the rules, because they just never agreed to, they never signed those contracts, they never did what any of the record labels wanted and it did cost them long-term success in some ways, but actually the price of freedom, that was the price of freedom.

Speaker 3:

Oh yeah, absolutely yeah, that was, it, wasn't it. And you can kind of feel that when you talk to Boff about you know it's continual love of the freedom of doing that each time.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and the creativity allowed them to have. So do balance, if you like this episode that's a great one to list to Boff Whaley we spoke to. We spoke to Justin Hawkins, lead speaker of the Darkness. He's a runner as well. Boff was a fell runner is why he was on the podcast. And first episode of Allie Bailey was really good, talking about the music industry. And at that stage when we spoke to her, she was still, I think, still involved in the music industry or trying to transition away from it and transitioning into that love of ultra running. I'm trying to think of any. Well, colin McCourt we spoke about, who used to be a very, very good runner. He was seen as the most talented runner of his generation, which is a generation that included Mo Farah, but he just wasn't that up for it, wasn't that into it, would rather play games and kind of eat pizzas. And so we interviewed him about four years ago now, maybe even five years ago, but really good interview to understand him going through that journey. And also he was refinding and redefining his relationship with running and it kind of kicked off because he had a bet with 16 or 17 of his former running colleagues had a bet if he could get under sub 15 for 5K, he'd win, I think, a grand off each of them or something similar, or else he'd have to get a tattoo of all their names on him. So 15 tattoos Amazing episode. Any others? Jd?

Speaker 3:

I think those are the main ones that I think of as the two music ones and the Collin McCourt one.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, but do bad as if you've got any suggestions of slightly out there or alternative guests. The main thing is we're excited about the story, ideally about running, but actually sometimes they're not. We just think it's a great story that we think our listeners would appreciate, and it's got that kind of bad boy spirit around it. If there is one in mind, message me David at Bad Boy Running, or this little pink as on Instagram.

Speaker 3:

If you want to join the conversation, head over to Facebook type in Bad Boy Running Podcast, answer three questions and join the conversation there. If you want to buy merch, storebadboyrunningcom.

Speaker 1:

And if you're not a subscriber yet, do subscribe. Come and subscribe and leave a review. If you've reviewed us on iTunes, review us on Spotify If you've, vice versa, Spotify, iTunes. It really helps us with our profile and credibility, which helps us get better guests. But thanks, Mr Guys, and we'll see you next time.

Speaker 3:

See you later.

Speaker 1:

Bye-bye, bye-bye, bye-bye, bye-bye.

Speaker 2:

Baby, come back. But if I buy, buy, buy, buy. But if I buy, buy, buy, buy. I must admit I was a clown to be messing around, but that doesn't mean that you have to leave town. Come back, yes, and give me one more try, because I love like this. Should I never, ever die? Come back, Fuck you, buddy.

From Running to Rockstar
From Runner to Rocker
Challenges and Disappointments in a Band
Controlling Relationships and Band Dynamics
Journey Through Dysfunction, Music, and Recovery
Rediscovering Happiness Through Running
Running Punks
Running Community and Individuality
The Experience of Filming an Ad
Running, Music, and Freedom