I love getting contacted from the website - it makes me feel all warm on the inside. The downside is that I then get used to the feeling and when I don't get any contact from the website I turn to whisky for the warmth.

So, for the sake of my liver and mental health (and to prevent me from the awful fate of copying and pasting answers to individual questions), I thought I would make things a little easier for everybody and answer some of the more common questions here.

I apologise if these answers seem somewhat serious for me, but I figured my usual explosion of nonsensical babbling would result in people having to send me the questions again for a proper answer - therefore defeating the entire point of this page. So I'm putting on my semi-serious hat for a moment here.

a_veryard__i7b9038_gaybum_2_2013

General Stuff

  • What is your actual job?

    I work with words, mainly as a copywriter, blogger and content manager. Basically this means I write words for people and then make sure those words go in the right place, at the right time. I also build simple websites and blogs for people, like this one you're on right now.

    To allow time for all this other stuff, I typically work freelance. Currently, however, I'm employed by Focusrite Novation. You can see my portfolio here.

  • Do you earn any money off this website?

    Nope, not a penny! In fact, the more I play around with it, the more money it costs me.

  • Are you sponsored?

    Not yet, but I'm looking into it. I'm thinking people might pay me to wear a mask of their face whilst fighting a bear or something. I am not a good business man and proud of it.

  • How many people are in your team?

    There is no team, this whole thing is just me doing my silly thing. I built and maintain the site using whatever I have been up to recently, although I do benefit from the talents of various photographers like Al of PUMP Photography and Jo Gardener, who capture the gigs and wrestling shows.

  • Where did you get your tattoo done and how long did it take?

    My tattoo was done by Peter Madsen of Meatshop Tattoo in Copenhagen, Denmark. I took nine solid days. Yes, I flew out there three times. I honestly don't understand why people blanche at the prospect of travelling for tattoos.

Music

  • Why don't you have any proper recordings?

    Gay Bum is a live act first and foremost; it represents a period of our lives that we feel we captured in a musical form.

    If people want to try recording the sounds we make in our performance, they are welcome to try. However, we feel no pressure to produce high-quality audio recordings of what is actually a complete live performance. It would be nice to have some, but to focus on making these recordings would be to miss the point entirely.

  • Why is your band called Gay Bum?

    Here is the truth of the matter.

    When Puma and I first lived together in 2007, he was in a band called Glasshouse Boutique. Constantly forgetting all but the first letter of the second word, fellow housemate Steak Davis dubbed them Glasshouse Bum.

    One night, some of us went clubbing at Mission in Leeds at their Glasshouse night. It was only after an extended period of confusion at the lack of women that they realised it was a gay night, which led to great frustration.

    The word Glasshouse therefore became synonymous with gay and the name Glasshouse Bum became Gay Bum. Any time we went to see Puma's band, we would cheer loudly for Gay Bum.

    When Puma left Glasshouse Boutique, he started jamming in our cellar with Steak Davis. They named themselves Gay Bum. Phill Durham joined them not long afterwards and, being the only housemate not in the band, I eventually assumed the role of bass player. I also took on singing duties.

    Thus Gay Bum was created. We considered changing the name at one point, but the idea was met with public outrage. After all, you might forget that you once saw The Plaids or Mama and Buffalow playing down in a crappy little pub in Leeds, (those are not real bands, as far as I know), but you'd never forget the time you saw the band known as Gay Bum.

    So there you have it. The name has nothing to do with our sexuality and certainly isn't intend to mock the homosexual population. In fact, we have never understood why, upon seeing our band name, people assume it must be in some way offensive.

  • How many people are in Gay Bum?

    Gay Bum is a two-piece acoustic badass rock band. It's just me on vocals and Super Puma on strings. It's unconventional, but conventional things often suck the most balls.

    However, when Gay Bum started in 2007 there were four members: me, Puma, Steak Davis and Phill Durham. We would often play as five, however, if we used a dedicated bass player like Pro Tim, St Nick, Emperor Matt Bunn or my brother, Will Slickfinger Gamester. For one gig, we even had six members when both Will and Matt joined us in Cambridge!

    After the initial band split, we reformed as an acoustic act n 2009, with just Puma and me. If we needed more POWER, we would bring in a drummer like Jazzy Jon Bryan, Marvin Parks or Handy Dan and a bass player like Scottrocks or Kris Sawkins. After our 2011 hiatus, however, we have played exclusively as a two-piece. A duet. A...couple?

  • How do I book Gay Bum to play?

    Just contact me using this site :)

  • Why haven't you written any new Gay Bum songs in years?

    Shut up. That's why...

    If people want to try recording the sounds we make in our performance, they are welcome to try. However, we feel no pressure to produce high-quality audio recordings of what is actually a complete live performance. It would be nice to have some, but to focus on making these recordings would be to miss the point entirely.

Travel and Adventure

  • Where is the best place you've been?

    I honestly haven't been to very many places, but of those I have visited I am probably most fond of Pai in Thailand. Overall, however, I think New Zealand is my favourite country in the world, Iceland is another particular favourite and Wellington may be one of my favourite cities.

  • What's the hardest event you've done?

    Tough Guy Winter 2012 was probably the hardest thing I have ever done. The hypothermia left me cold for months and I still freak about a bit when I come into contact with cold water. It was my own fault for wearing head-to-toe cotton...

    In terms of sheer exhaustion, however, nothing comes close to Magnetic Island's Enduro Adventurethon, for which I couldn't have been any less prepared.

  • How do you afford all this?

    I spend all my money. When I have no more money, I accumulate debt. Then I panic, work and sell things to get out of debt and repeat the process.

  • If you could go anywhere, where would it be?

    I can go anywhere. So can most of us - we're very lucky in that respect. There is, therefore, nowhere I 'would' go if I could, there are simply places I want to go that I haven't yet visited.

    That may seem pedantic, but to me it is a very important distinction. I'm sick to death of conversations about bucket lists and things to do before we die; if you want to do something, go and do it for fuck's sake. People who really want to do things find a way to do them: they have no fewer things holding them back than the rest of us, they just find a way around them.

    The places I can't wait to visit are too numerous to detail completely, but those I'm most excited about include Cuba, Svalbard, Bolivia and Japan. I would also dearly like to go to the Poles, but am yet to work out exactly how to do this.

  • How do I join the Guild?

    You don't, I'm afraid. You get invited. If you want to increase your chances of being invited, boast wildly about your deeds and we'll probably notice and respect you. Don't hold back on the hyperbole, either.

Wrestling and Training

  • What does Murorga Sim Bowa mean?

    It doesn't mean anything! It is a series of sounds my good friend Emperor Matt Bunn made, when introducing me in my first ever comedy backyard wrestling match. I've used it ever since.

  • How long have you been wrestling?

    I started 'wrestling' as a child, by pushing together lots of sofas (I lived in a boarding house) and replicating what I saw on T.V.

    When I got older, I took this outside on mattresses. I was a 'backyarder', which would be more embarrassing if we hadn't had a huge amount of fun, made the whole thing into a running comedy and constantly protected ourselves. I learned a lot through backyard wrestling...though not necessarily about wrestling!

    In around 2004, I was given a flier for a wrestling school in London, where I learned how to wrestle properly and safely. Although I had no idea how to wrestle, playing around had taught me how to fall, how to react and - most invaluably - how to perform.

    Since then, I have trained at a number of wrestling schools in and around London. I train primarily at London School of Lucha Libre, and perform with Lucha Britannia and Entertainment Wrestling Association.

  • What is your training routine?

    If I had to describe my training routine in three words, I'd say: sporadic, disorganised and unimpressive.

    I started documenting my training sessions in a diary on the training page of this website., but alas it proved far too boring to continue.

    Do feel free to email me any specific questions, if you like.

  • What is your diet?

    For some reason I get asked this a lot. My diet involves a lot of cake, a lot of beer and a constant steady intake of coffee and/or rum.

    Some days, I forget to eat altogether because I'm too engrossed in whatever I'm doing. Other days I eat everything in sight.

    Some consider this 'unfair. They like to tell me I have a fast metabolism. I do...because I've developed one...by training a lot. I don't understand what's unfair or complicated about that.

  • How often do you train, and where?

    I train as often as possible, in whichever gym is nearest to where I wake up. Ideally, I like to train for about 14 hours per week: five hours of weight training, three hours of agility and cardio and six hours of wrestling. In reality, depending on my schedule, I probably get to train for between 6 - 10 hours per week. That pisses me off. However, I find the key to all training is economy of time. Have a battle plan, execute it and get out. My favourite place to weight train is probably Muscleworks in Bethnal Green, London. My favourite place to train agility and combat is Genesis MMA in Marlow. I train in wrestling at London School of Lucha Libre in Bethnal Green every week. For the record, I live about 90 minutes from Bethnal Green.