SCREAMING Dead frontman Sam Bignall is looking forward to the Undercover Festival in Woking next week but found time to answer a few questions for the News & Mail.

The Cheltenham punks have been around since 1980 and are well known for songs like Valley of the Dead and Night Creatures.

What do you think punk means today, as opposed to when the band started out? Is it a label that still works?

Hard to say, punk was new when we started. We decided not to be involved in politics, as too many bands were doing this. Punk has many branches today as it did years ago. It would be nice to see more youngsters in the audiences in the UK.

What drives/energises you to continue after so long fronting the band?

The buzz of playing and the crowd reaction.

Why do you think there is an enduring appeal for the goth/punk/alternative style?

Some people have always wanted to stand out from the crowd and not be part of the mass. It’s part of being a free spirit.

Before the Internet became widely available, bands like Screaming Dead used fanzines, cassette releases etc to spread the word - is it easier nowadays with social media?

I think in many ways it’s easier to get noticed a lot quicker now. We are lucky as we have a history and it’s our past that has created our present and future. I think if you are a new band that creates good music people will sit up and take notice.

We hear you were in America and Mexico recently? How was the trip?

Since we reformed, we have been all over the world and that, again, is due to our past. In Europe and the Americas there is a deathrock and a horror punk movement. We are seen as one of the godfathers of these movements and we are very much in demand in these places.

The audiences are much younger than in the UK and our appeal is all down to the internet. We’ve had some crazy experiences and far too many to list. All I can say is we approach every gig the same whether it’s in the UK or abroad. The audience is everything because without the support a band is nothing.

Undercover Festival 8 – The Final Undercover – is at the Fiery Bird in Church Street East, Woking on Friday and Saturday, 6&7 March – full details at