Sleaford Mods’ Jason Williamson: “I don’t think I’d have a laugh with Alex James. He’s terrible!”

In Does Rock 'N' Roll Kill Braincells?!, we quiz a grizzled artist on their own career to see how much they can remember – and find out how much the years in the trenches have affected the ol' grey matter. This week: Sleaford Mods’ Jason Williamson

Name the three brands mentioned in the Sleaford Mods song ‘Bunch Of Cunts’.

“(Laughs) Fucking hell! I think there’s some kind of bleach, but I can’t remember.”

WRONG. It’s Angel Delight, Farley’s Rusks and Spangles.

“Shit! Got that one wrong, then!”

Any brands you’ve referenced in a track ever got in touch?

“The closest we had to that was Tiswas [1970s/’80s children’s TV series – and the name of a 2014 Sleaford Mods EP] got in touch on Twitter just to say hello. Apart from that, I don’t think we’re on people’s radar – we’d have to get to Lady Gaga status for that to happen.”

Which musician are you talking about in the following quotes? A quarter-point for each correct answer.

i: ‘Looks like a left-wing Boris Johnson.’

“That’s Graham Coxon!”

CORRECT. From Sleaford Mods’ 2019 song ‘Flipside’.

ii: “Worse than Hell.”

“Worse than hell?! (Laughs) Gordon Bennett! Who’s that? Is that off the song ‘Blog Maggot’?”

WRONG. You tweeted it about Ed Sheeran – although he is also mentioned in ‘Blog Maggot’ (“Ed Sheeran sellin’ fast… marketing farce”). 

“And he is actually! I went through a phase of thinking he’s alright but no, he’s worse than hell. (Laughs) He’s terrible. Go on – what’s the next one?”

iii: “Dinosaurs before their 40th birthday.”

“Is that Bobby Gillespie?”

WRONG. It’s Kasabian.

“Kind of similar! (Laughs) ‘Dinosaurs before their 40th birthday’ is quite mild – they deserve a lot worse than that!”

Iv: “Like a teddy bear fused with Peter O’Toole.”

Baxter Dury! I wrote that for his press biography. I would never be derogatory about Baxter – he’s alright. But you never know! (Laughs) There’s still time.”



Poor old Blur also get it in the neck in the song ‘Rupert Trousers’ (‘Spitting out fine cheese made by the tool from Blur / Even the drummer’s a fucking MP’). Ever run into Alex James  – or anyone else you’ve had a pop at – afterwards and had a laugh about it? Possibly while enjoying some fromage.

“No, I don’t think I’d have a laugh with Alex James. He’s terrible! I really can’t forgive anyone who tweeted to an abundance of followers not to vote Labour. That’s just fucking ludicrous and reckless. I don’t think he’d be the type of person you’d have a casual chat with. It might start off like that, but you’d try and end the conversation and walk off abruptly. Nobody’s ever been that bothered about being name-checked in one of our songs.”


Who introduced Sleaford Mods at Glastonbury in 2017?

“That was Lord Buckethead.”

CORRECT. The self-described Intergalactic Space Lord – a joke political candidate – ran against Theresa May in her Maidenhead consistency in the 2017 general election, on a manifesto that included bringing back Ceefax, nationalising Adele and banishing Katie Hopkins to ‘The Phantom Zone’.

“On the way down to Glastonbury, we got an email from his manager saying he’d like to introduce us. Because Stormzy had Jeremy Corbyn introducing him that year, we had Lord Buckethead (Laughs). So he came on and did his bit for 10 minutes – he went on a bit too long. ‘Cause the crowd was massive, I was shitting myself, and I wanted to go on and get on with it.”


You recently appeared in the football sitcom The First Team as Kit Man Martin. When interviewed by NME, what genre of music did your co-star Jake Short  (who played Mattie) think Sleaford Mods made?

“Was it folk?”

CORRECT. Indie-folk.

“I think he just associated folk with me because I look quite old (Laughs). That’s fucking grim, innit? I do play a lot of folk, actually – on acoustic guitar – and love it, but don’t think I could play it live. Wait ‘til I’m about 70 or something! Nobody in the cast knew who I was at all, which was good – obviously the creators Damon Beesley and Iain Morris did. I like doing those little acting bits.”

What’s your dream role?

Die Hard or Rambo (laughs)”

On episode nine of Late Night With Jason, your Instagram series, what items does Robbie Williams hold in his hand?

“He’s got an ice pole, and an ornament with two blokes on it – I thought it was sweet that he was bringing along with his stuff. But he didn’t say a lot, did he? So I was confused about that. He requested to come on the show and didn’t say anything. I was a bit disappointed (Laughs).”


“Sometimes we say hello on Instagram, and he’s always interested in what Sleaford Mods are doing. He asked me if he could go on it, I said yeah and he threw us four videos he’d already done. I thought it was brilliant! He’s good at laughing at himself and doesn’t take himself too seriously – that’s what I like about him. That’s how we got to know each other – I cussed him on Twitter, and he got in touch and made me laugh about it.”

You wrote NME-dissing lyrics in the track ‘Dull’ (‘Try scrolling down a website, the NME, without laughing / I’ll give you 10 quid if you can keep a straight face’) after being nominated for Worst Band at the 2016 reader-voted NME Awards. Who beat you to the accolade?

“Oh God! Was it Kasabian? No? Royal Blood?”

WRONG. It was 5 Seconds of Summer.

“(Laughs) Oh no! We’ve got the same PR – they seem alright actually, by all accounts. It was all silly business which has blown over now. My wife/manager reassured me: ‘It’s just a bit of tongue-in-cheek’, and I was raging: ‘NO IT’S NOT! IT’S OUTRAGEOUS! RARRRRRRGH!’”

You were up against One Direction, Little Mix, U2 and Nickelback. Apart from yourselves, anyone you’d remove from that category?

“No, not really. U2 were OK in their early days on the first album, but the rest of them are not even on my radar. Though fucking hell – Nickelback! Got away with that one then!”


You sang on The Prodigy’s 2015 album ‘The Day Is My Enemy’ on the track ‘Ibiza’. What animal appears on the record’s cover?

“A fox.”


“That song’s got better as it’s got older as well, I think. I’m genuinely proud to be associated with them for a brief moment. We did a few gigs with them, jumping around onstage with Keith [Flint, late frontman].”

It’s predicted to be a summer of illegal raves. Any good tips for socially distanced partying?

“None, because it all goes out of the window as soon as you start necking drugs and drinking, doesn’t it? But I think illegal raves are the least of our worries. The way this government’s mishandled this situation – it’s all over the place, so I don’t think a few illegal raves will make much difference.

“It’s depressing – one of the things that’s been so hard about lockdown is watching it be mishandled. And obviously with [the death of] George Floyd, the issue of racism has come up again, and this time it does need to be tackled.”

Are you finding any inspiration during the lockdown?

“Totally. We’re in the middle of writing a new album, so we go into the studio in a couple of weeks. We’ve written about seven songs. I’m not talking outwardly about movements and issues – it’s not going to be an obvious thing – it’s about the mood of it and how it’s affecting me. It’s making me angry and quite down, lethargic and bitter. All of these things I’m throwing back into the songs again. As usual, these songs are littered with deficiencies and my own failings as a person as well as the political landscape.”


Who branded Sleaford Mods ‘the world’s greatest rock band’?

Iggy Pop!”


“He actually said I was the best frontman going at an award’s ceremony. He was stood next to Debbie Harry and was asked: ‘Who could take your place as a frontman?’ and he replied: ‘Jason Williamson. Definitely’. So I shared that everywhere and said: ‘LISTEN TO THAT!’ I talked to him briefly when we did a podcast together – he’s lovely.””

On the subject of famous fans, Idris Elba once said Sleaford Mods ‘reminds me of some Sid Vicious shit. Super raw’…

“Nice! That’s what we like! Well, if he’s got any bit parts going in any of his films, give me shout! (Laughs)”

Which indie icon compared you to a character from Viz and said ‘They’ll never be another David Bowie because cunts like Sleaford Mods will sneer at them’?

“Is that Tory Gallagher?”

CORRECT. Known more commonly to readers as Noel. He responded to you saying he was a “withered victim of luxury” who had “blood on his hands” for the state of UK music by countering: “They’re like fucking Brown Bottle in Viz… It’s just two guys, one clearly mentally ill, who’s just shouting like Brown Bottle about fucking cider and fucking shit chicken.”

“That was quite funny. It’s like when he called Jack White ‘Zorro on donuts’. He’s good at those one-liners, but he can shut his mouth! (Laughs). I was buzzing when he mentioned us. I was like: ‘Yes! At least it’s got to him’. I think it needed to be said at the time – not so much now – because his charm hadn’t been challenged; he was definitely on the wane, and he was just writing crap. I know Bonehead and speak to him a little bit.”

You share your ‘Baking Daddy’ recipes on Instagram. In baking, what is pricking a series of tiny holes in a pie crust to allow steam to escape and prevent puffing called?

“Aggggh! Is it pricking? Fuck, I don’t know!”

WRONG. It’s docking – not to be confused with the bizarre fetish beloved of The Wannadies.

“I would never have got that one! They started with us just twatting about and making ourselves laugh. People responded to them, so I kept going with it. I prefer making a fucking idiot out of myself rather than just bleating on about music all of the time. We’re getting a lot of people demanding that we do it and saying that ‘Baking Daddy’ surprisingly arouses them! (Laughs) We don’t promote that kind of thing! But we’re getting a lot of messages where people are quite stimulated by it! (Laughs)”

View this post on Instagram

BAKING DADDY’S CARROT CAKE🥕 Recipe stolen without mercy from @primrosebakery Top tip. Don’t kiss the cunt. INGREDIENTS Cake 225g grated carrots 130g raisins 2 large eggs 130g caster sugar, preferably golden 120ml Corn Oil ½tsp vanilla extract 2tsp fresh orange zest 120g plain flour 1tsp bicarbonate of soda Pinch of salt 1tsp Cinnamon Frosting 175g cream cheese 450g icing sugar 125g unsalted butter, at room temperature Zest from one orange 1 Preheat the oven to 160ºC (fan)/180ºC/350ºF/gas mark 4. Line & grease tin. 2 Combine the grated carrots and raisins in a large bowl using a wooden spoon and put to one side. Beat the eggs and sugar together for several mins and then carefully add the oil, vanilla extract and orange zest and beat well. 3 Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda, salt, and cinnamon into a separate bowl and then slowly add these ingredients to the egg and sugar mixture, beating well after each addition. 4 Pour the mixture into the bowl containing the carrots and raisins and mix by hand using a wooden spoon or spatula until they are well incorporated. 5 Spoon the mixture into the tin, place in the oven and bake for approx 40 mins. When cooked the cake will be quite dark brown in colour and feel ‘spongy’ to the touch. Allow it to cool in the tin for 10 mins or so before placing on a wire rack to cool. 6 For the orange cream cheese frosting: Place all ingredients in a mixing bowl and beat well until thoroughly combined and the frosting is smooth and pale. 7 Ice the cake and finish with a sprinkling of cinnamon #sleafordmods #bakingdaddy #primrosebakery #roughtraderecords

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The verdict: 6.5/10

“That score’s sending me into my day with a stride in my step!”

Sleaford Mods’ ‘All The Glue’ is out now on Rough Trade Records