Jeff Ward

Electrajet and Gunfire Dance

By Geordie Pleathur
(SugarBuzz USA)

SugarBuzz Magazine



NYC novelist, JEFF WARD, is renowned for his trippy, psychedelic, acid-folk, as the experimental, mastermind behind Electrajet. He also played guitar in one of the most sensational eighties glamour-punk bands, Gunfire Dance, from Birmingham, England. Gunfire Dance shared stages with groups like Thee Hypnotics, Suicide Blonde, Hollywood Refugees, Kill City Dragons, D-Generation, and the Waldos. Their single was even produced by two members of the Damned. In their heyday, the Gunfires released a collectible forty-five, a vinyl EP called "Killin' Time", and finally, Evil Boy records released their exceptionally cool retrospective, "Archway Of Thorns", a few years, back, after the sad loss of their soulful and charismatic singer, Ant. Gunfire Dance straddled the sixties garage-punk, and seventies glammy-sleaze scenes, back when everyone else was playing that awful, watered down, deedling, poof-metal. To their dedicated fans, they were one of the most exciting combos, since Hanoi Rocks, Jacobites, Only Ones, and the Lords Of The New Church.

Along with the Godfathers, Thee Hypnotics, Dogs D'Amour, Pillbox NYC, and the Bounty Hunters, Gunfire Dance inspired a glittery punk'n'roll youthquake, at least in the trash punk subculture, and it was suprising and unfortunate that so many crummy hair-metal bands, and generic, half-arsed, Crypt garagers got to have more successful music careers, while many of the artists who had the most real talent, and actual, undeniable charisma, just sadly, fell to the wayside. The music business is all about money, nepotism, lawyers, producers, publishers, corny gimmicks, and show-biz uncles. Meanwhile, Jeff Ward's wildly entertaining books, "Mac & Beth" and "PARASITE (…joyous flashbacks amidst a crystal-meth nightmare)", are finding an enthusiastic audience among rock'n'roll lifers, and fans of Hunter S. Thompson, Kurt Zapata, and Charles Bukowski. We realized it was time to talk to the multi-talented, Jeff Ward, about his novels, music, politics, and flash punk memories.

SUGARBUZZ MAGAZINE: Describe the first time you met ANT...

JEFF WARD: Meeting Ant ... It's weird, but I don't have a clear recollection of actually 'meeting him', so I assume Ozzie did the meeting via our friends in Suicide Blonde who turned us onto him. My first memory of him was when he came over to our 'band house'. Oz, Ray, myself, and our mate, Percy, lived together, in a big 'dole residence', which had our rehearsal room downstairs. He'd been given a demo tape prior, so we just went through those songs and bingo! It was instant.

SUGARBUZZ MAGAZINE: What records did Gunfire Dance all enjoy?

JEFF WARD: Everything by the Dolls, early Damned, the Sex Pistols, and the Deadboys. Some 60’s Kinks and Stones.

SUGARBUZZ MAGAZINE: Seen Ian Hunter perform lately? His daughter?

JEFF WARD: He played a free show here in NY a couple of years ago, and was really amazing. I’m unaware of his daughter’s music though.

SUGARBUZZ MAGAZINE: Weren't you lads pals with Thee Hypnotics? Ever gig with the Godfathers or Jim Jones Revue ?

JEFF WARD: Gunfire Dance played 3 or 4 shows with Thee Hypnotics. Very good nights. They were sociable and easy to get along with backstage, talking influences etc, but we were never ‘pals’ until recently, when Ozzie and Ray gave the Jim Jones Revue an early boost in the Birmingham/Midlands area when they booked Jim at our Stay Sick Club there. (Not sure that counts as pals, more friendly-first-name-terms-with-Oz! I recently saw him at the Knitting Factory and he was a gentleman. He’s still an exciting performer.

Regretfully, we never played with The Godfathers. The original line-up were brilliant live, we saw them a few times. They got me to checkout Johnny Cash.

SUGARBUZZ MAGAZINE: How did you feel about Stiv Bator? Lords?

JEFF WARD: Stiv Bators is one of very favorite lyricists. He’s very underrated. I contend that Allen Ginsberg should have anointed him instead of Patti Smith, or the Clash. Even though I like them both a lot, Stiv, to me, was far superior when articulating political issues within a rock ‘n’ roll format. I always liked his onstage ‘speeches’, he went beyond anger and, sort of ‘explained the system we had to fight’, he affirmed rock ‘n’ roll as a worthy ‘religion’. The Lords, as a band in general, are sinfully underrated, in my opinion.

SUGARBUZZ MAGAZINE: What is Ray Zell like? Ever see Marionette?

JEFF WARD: We did an interview with him. He was nice. He also gave us a good live review (or two?) He ‘got’ what we were all about, but Kerrang’s readership was metal-oriented, not Punk, or even rock ‘n’ roll, so he probably had to water-down his writing. I never saw his band.

SUGARBUZZ MAGAZINE: First time visiting the Holiday Cocktail Lounge in NYC?

JEFF WARD: It might have been to meet Ratboy, to hook-us-up with Jeff Dahl and Ultra Under.

SUGARBUZZ MAGAZINE: Last time you visited the Roebuck, back in merry olde?

JEFF WARD: Ah! The Roebuck. You don’t ‘remember’ entering or leaving the Roebuck, it’s a timeless place, like a bar in a Dylan Thomas story. The cops finally closed it down. My mates were in there the night bricks and stones came crashing thru the windows. Some Irish-cunts and some Rasta-cunts were to blame (gangster-types, incapable of understanding ‘ NO Irish, NO Blacks, NO dogs!)

SUGARBUZZ MAGAZINE: Heard the Black Bombers? Who's the singer? He's not bad...

JEFF WARD: Yeah, they sound really good. Ray’s been playing bass in them. He told me the singer’s name but it escapes me now, one of the old Damned-fan crowd. Big into Vanian, and sounds like it!

SUGARBUZZ MAGAZINE: Keith's book, "Life" and the "Exile On Main St. Extras"??

JEFF WARD: I got both from a library in the Bronx! I enjoyed the book and watched ‘The Making Of Exile’ about four times.

SUGARBUZZ MAGAZINE: Why did GFD not become the full-blown, full-time rockstars they should have?

JEFF WARD: Ha! A total mystery! Timing I guess? In England, right about then, there was no interest in trashy rock ‘n’ roll, not until years later with the Hives and White Stripes and Pete Dougherty etc. The big sounds were Stone Roses/Madchester and dance-techno (both of which I dug personally). Truthfully tho, despite being a very unique band for that time, since nobody else in England was attempting to be a Dolls-punk-garage band, we never captured that truly original…extra thing, to be honest, and that’s the name of the game for any band.

SUGARBUZZ MAGAZINE: What do you recall about Soho Roses, Crybabys, Indian Angel, and Suicide Blonde?

JEFF WARD: Suicide Blonde were our mates, they began as the Hollywood Refugees…very Dollsy obviously, but became more jangley-Kusworth-Sudden-like. They had great songs. I still sing a couple to myself at odd times. Soho Roses were great, not overly original, but in a similar way to Gunfire Dance, they were quite unique, during that time period. Not able to comment on the other two.

SUGARBUZZ MAGAZINE: Ever see Kill City Dragons? Where are they now?

JEFF WARD: We just did a fund-raiser gig in Birmingham for a dear friend who died from cancer. Dave Tregunna got onstage to play a few covers with us. The night before, we did a warm-up in London’s 12 Bar, and Danny Fury was there, as sweet and charming as ever. Not sure what happened to the others.

SUGARBUZZ MAGAZINE: Julian Cope or Robyn hitchcock fan? XTC?

JEFF WARD: Did XTC do ‘Sergeant Rock’? If so I liked that ‘hit’ when I was a kid. Never too impressed by Cope, personally. I get compared to Hitchcock, which is cool, though I never listened to him way-back to be influenced.

SUGARBUZZ MAGAZINE: What was Anthony most troubled by? He seemed like such a kind hearted bon vivant to his fans!

JEFF WARD: Ant never talked about ‘his troubles’ during the years Gunfire Dance was together. Only later, when he got help after a suicide attempt, did he open up… Ant’s dad announced his homosexuality to his wife after their wedding. It was a fairly common occurrence in the closeted 1950/early 60’s. There was no sexual abuse but plenty of confusing and unhappy ‘stuff’ during his childhood, and plenty of ‘family praying’ too. His mom died young from cancer before anything could be explained to Ant. His brother became a vicar in the Church of England, while Ant took a different path. Before his death, Ant told us about how his dad would sit around with a bible over his groin… all very, very sad.

SUGARBUZZ MAGAZINE: If someone was to purchase one release by Electrajet right now, which one would you recommend and where could they find it?

JEFF WARD: Ha! What a question! ‘Primal Unity Rox’ is probably my best rock ‘n’ roll cd (when ElectraJet was a ‘full-band’). ‘Patriotic Shouts’ is mostly acoustic, and political. One or two songs have been getting air-play on the lefty NY stations. They rest is experimental…I like the description ‘lo-fidelity hurdy gurdy music’, once ascribed to it! I’m best contacted on Facebook. There’s a few Jeff Ward’s but only one photographed onstage at the 100 Club.

SUGARBUZZ MAGAZINE: Talk about your first book...

JEFF WARD: I wrote ‘Parasite’ when I was about 26, when I first moved to New York in 1996, but it only got published last year. Gunfire Dance had broken-up and I was ‘on the run’ from England and rock ‘n’ roll, for a while. I’d already started writing ‘Parasite’ back home. It was intended to be a Bukowski-style ‘celebration’ of life-on-the-dole for us bohemian-rocker-types, and all the freaks and crazies we called friends; drag queens, hooligans, piss-head, pill-heads, ravers, all sorts, really. Then, when I arrived in NY and got involved with a girl who was heavily into crystal-meth, another freak-filled story unfolded; a kind of spiralling nightmare tho, actually! By combining the two ‘stories’ I ended up with a pretty tight novel; PARASITE (…joyous flashbacks amidst a crystal-meth nightmare).

SUGARBUZZ MAGAZINE: How is "Parasite" being received?

JEFF WARD: Very positive, but it’s been hard getting the word out. (it’s available at!!)

SUGARBUZZ MAGAZINE: Current operations, recent gigs, Walter Lure?

JEFF WARD: I’ve mostly been doing spoken-word gigs lately. Doing the Walter Lure gigs in England last year reminded me of how I (and the Gunfire’s) used to get spoiled, you know, driven to the gig in a nice van, people paid to help load-in the gear, and a good-sized audience awaiting.

SUGARBUZZ MAGAZINE: Is "Archway Of Thorns" on Evil Boy records still in print?

JEFF WARD: Not really sure about what went down with all that. It’s available by contacting StaySickBirmingham on facebook, or thru me, I guess.

SUGARBUZZ MAGAZINE: Heard the new Brian James Gang lp?

JEFF WARD: Not yet.

SUGARBUZZ MAGAZINE: Do you prefer Eddie Izzard or Bill Hicks?

JEFF WARD: Tough choice…Bill Hicks.

SUGARBUZZ MAGAZINE: the new NY DOLLS or the new Michael Monroe?


SUGARBUZZ MAGAZINE: Ever meet Bebe Buell, Phoebe Legere, Alex Mitchell, or Gass Wylde?

JEFF WARD: Gass of Love Pirates? Yeah, we (ElectraJet) did some loft parties together with Madjuana.

SUGARBUZZ MAGAZINE: Did you see the Batusis?

JEFF WARD: Not yet.

SUGARBUZZ MAGAZINE: What can everyday people do to help create a true democracy, when the corporations own the military, media, Diebold voting machines, and politicians?

JEFF WARD: I wish I knew. These are very disillusioning times. The answers are beyond the imagination of the current one party (two branches) system. My answer has been to volunteer time at WBAI free speech radio. Hopefully, by keeping the good word out there, someone wiser and more motivated than me might hear something and get inspired to fight the good fight. It’ll probably take determined, non-corporate-owned lawyers. Elliot Spitzer was a great advocate before his fall. I think he’ll make a comeback though.

SUGARBUZZ MAGAZINE: What are you currently reading, listening to, and thinking about?

JEFF WARD: Just finished reading Ayn Rand’s ‘We The Living’. It’s a solid, well-written Russian novel. ‘Fountainhead’ was unreadable to me, though, with all her selfishness-is-good bullshit. She interests me a lot, I’m sure she would have rejected the current Neo-Conservative embrace of her. She was too much of a free-thinker. For instance, she had no time for religion in politics. I listen to everything on (I’m told they are decent about royalties).

SUGARBUZZ MAGAZINE: What did I neglect to ask you?

JEFF WARD: The other book I have published, ‘Mac & Beth’, is about foul-mouthed, drug-fuelled London gangsters unwittingly acting-out Shakespeare’s play. I need an agent to sell the idea to Guy Richie. Then I can move to Panama.

SUGARBUZZ MAGAZINE: Addresses where fans can locate your essential and culturally significant novels, albums, and merchandise, for purchase...

JEFF WARD: Both of my novels can be ordered at etc, or from bookstores.

For CD’s, I’m best contacted at Facebook, or



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