There’s something almost comforting about the cyclical nature of popular culture. Audiences seem willing to stomach only so much innocuous nothingness before they’re primed to savagely tear it down, clearing the way for a few innovators to fill that long-coming void. In the late ’70s and early ’80s, that’s exactly what a groundswell of U.K. punk did, putting bands like Kansas and Yes’s 40-minute drums solos out of their bloated misery and skullfucking the corpse. The Subhumans, currently on tour and playing at the Grog Shop April 9, were part of that groundswell, and Buzzbin recently caught up with lead singer Dick Lucas. Who’s in the Subhumans, and what do each of you bring to the table? There’s me, Dick, on voice, bringing a sack of lyrics and hope for bespectacled skinny types the world over that you don’t have to end up a librarian. Bruce on guitar, bringing previously unknown chord sequences screaming into the light of day. Phil on bass, bringing his van around to drive us on tour. And Trotsky on drums, bringing Jack Daniels back into profit. What’s your most recent project? We’ll have to stretch “recent” to include 2007, which is when our last album, “Internal Riot”, came out. In what ways does what’s happening in the world influence your work? As everything is interconnected, it’s impossible to say anything less than in all ways. Through the senses to the imagination and back through the fingers, life — what’s happening — generates art — the reaction to it. Much of your work exhibits hyperawareness of the individual living beneath the boot heel of overwhelming and indifferent economic/socio-political forces. Is there a place for the individual anymore? Is the individual obsolete? As we live in a capitalist corporate society, where money and power are seen to dictate more or less everything, it’s easy to stand face-to-face with a wall of dehumanized brand names and wonder — as we are here — whether the individual matters anymore. This is where communication comes in between individuals who base their ideas not on the love of power, but the abhorrence of it. And from a few linked minds came the sparks that tore down the Berlin Wall. It’s all about perspective. Whether we are washed away with the endless waves of corporate/political/consumer propaganda, or whether we objectify them for what they are — which takes knowledge, which takes communication, debate and sharing — they’d rather we [continue] sharing our silence with the TV. Don’t start me on that. Moving swiftly on! How well does the term anarcho-punk describe the current incarnation of the Subhumans? The word “anarchy” turns up once or twice in all our songs. I think if I had to re-label ourselves, it would be “thinking punk.” Not that we think more than other people, just that a song that makes you think harder or at all about something is, I think, a much better use of lyrics than vacuous escapism. How has anarcho-punk evolved over the years? Something as trivial as people dying their hair, say, neon pink — now a common sight, not just at punk gigs — is an indicator nonetheless of a society freer in its attitudes than 30 years ago, and much more aware of the erosions of freedom at political levels. Rebellion has never been so commonplace. At the moment, while the Arab world gets out on the streets fighting for freedom, our leaders strangle us with economic chains, and everyone but the rich and powerful is pissed off. It could be a long hot summer, as they say. Which may or may not answer the question. In general, are audiences becoming more aware, less aware or indifferent to whatever is happening beyond the confines of their own lives? I can only guess at this, but let’s say more aware. Because there’s the Internet and all the info you can eat. Ah, but with so much time spent looking for all the info on so many webpages, where’s the time to get 3-D with other people outside [your] room to share the info with? Oh yes, you email the info. But it’s still a communication limited to cyber-reality, as the world keeps turning out more gadgets to transfix and obsess and separate us from physical interaction. So it’s comparing types of awareness. There’s information, and there’s what people think of it, how they react to it, and what happens as a result. Being aware of that is far more important. What’s next in the pipeline for you guys? It’s so secret even we don’t know about it. The thing is, with Trotsky living in Germany and Phil, until recently, in Spain, it’s become very awkward to have practice sessions to get new songs written, so the next one is still some way off.