As one of the media partners of VegFestUK Brighton, taking place at Brighton Centre on February 27th and 28th, we are doing one special series of interviews with celebrities and special guests that will be speaking or performing during the event.
One of the best things about VegFestUK in my opinion s their ability to put together great food stalls, interesting talking and an excellent list for performance area that include musicians and comedians and a Vegan Bodybuilding Contest.
Because of the festival, each year I get to know people that I had no idea bout their existence and it’s always positive to connect with vegans. In a few days Killer’s Riches will be performing in Brighton. His bio in the VegfestUK website got me: “Half activist, half musician, Killer’s Riches is a one man marriage of rebel ideology and melody. His lyrics range from feminism, to mental health, to anti-capitalism, and won’t back down from challenging the powers that be”. I love people who use art to expose and discuss issues so I it was great having the chance to do an interview with him.
What inspired you to go vegan?
Being single. No honestly. I was vegetarian for 4 years prior to that, and tempted the vegan options whenever possible. I knew from the off I would eventually go vegan, and a break up gives you a lot more time to read endless lists of ingredients on packaging. My initial inspiration/information for going vegetarian came from listening to Anti-Flag when I was an impressionable 14 year old. Shortly after that someone in a local health food shop recommended I watch From Farm to Fridge, and that firmly secured my place among the ranks of herbivores.
When did you start performing as a musician? Do you see your songs as a form of activism as your lyrics range from feminism to anti-capitalism?
I started out just playing open mics when I was 18. I believe my first time playing live was on my 18th birthday actually. As I said, I listened to bands like Anti-Flag, Strike Anywhere, Propagandhi, Billy Bragg etc… so yes, in short, music was more or less always the medium with which I wanted to disseminate information and alternate ideas. Seems to me there’s a lot of bands of the mainstream who are only there because they only talk about sex and money. Fuck that.
I’ve seen your picture wearing a Propagandhi (one of my favourite bands ever) t-shirt and also some other hardcore/punk bands on your Facebook page. How much bands like those influence you musically and lyrically?
You have good taste. Yes and no. I love Propagandhi wholeheartedly, but due to a lack of friends/being a total pain in the a*** to be around, I don’t quite have the resources to put a whole band together. I gravitate towards music with a political idea behind it. I’m a big fan of acts like Flobots, Public Enemy, KRS-One… etc as well as Christy Moore and Billy Bragg. I like the music of dissenting voices, regardless of genre.
I’m ever inspired by Chris Hannah’s guitar work alongside that of Luke Hoskin/Tim Millar of Protest the Hero. So in that respect, yes, they influence my drive to push myself ever further as a guitar player.
My lyrics come more from things I read, watch, or, in some cases, experience, in the cases of injustice the world presents to us.
Do you include animal rights and veganism in your lyrics? If not, will you perform something special that include these topics in the VegFestUK Brighton?
Not at current. No real reason other than I’m a perfectionist and I’ve never found a way in which I want to convey my thoughts on Animal Rights that hasn’t been said/isn’t cliché. Secretly: I might be working on one. As for my Vegfest setlist: couldn’t tell you. Being a solo act I get the perk of not having to discuss anything with bandmates about what will be played. So I usually decide on the day.
How do you see Brighton regarding its openness to veganism and places to eat?
Yes and no to being open. There are some absolutely great places to eat out as a vegan, and some others that need a serious change. There’s a lot of pizza places to choose from which I love, but I always think there could be more. It totally depends on you location; I’m central Brighton, so I can wander 5 minutes in any direction and get a vegan meal. The further towards Hove or Peacehaven you get the more dramatically your options get. That being said, I’m just glad there’s more than one. I grew up in a place that has literally one place that does vegan options in terms of restaurants.
As for eating in the options get better, with places like HISBE and Infinity Foods right around the corner. Unfortunately, they aren’t the most viable option, and I am fortunate I have a job and a lifestyle that allows for me to vote with my money in this way.
Until we put the boot into the Tory government hellbent on the decimation of the working class places like this are an infrequent luxury. It’s truly, utterly, ridiculous that in order to get food that isn’t doused in chemicals you need to make so much money.