Gary Moat – famed as Heavy Pettin’s drummer and one of Scotland’s original rock n rollers is now the driving force of his own fiery band called BURNT OUT WRECK. With 2 albums out, their own brand of 46% blended Whisky and a string of festivals, tour supports as well as their own headline gigs to their name, Shan Siva spoke to the man formerly at the back who is now very much out front!
1. Man, I can’t tell you what an honour it is for me to interview you, cos I loved Heavy Pettin’s music, and not in the least, your use of double bass drumming, which for the time and certainly the band’s style, wasn’t common. I always thought the band could’ve been huge, so why didn’t that happen?
Gary: Thanks, yes we had a few double bass drum tunes. I just loved knocking lumps out of em, ha ha. I guess by the time we were recording “The Big Bang” the scene was changing. We had had a fair crack at it but hey, we needed to break in the USA and the record company had gave up on us so we never got the chance.
2. Of course, Heavy Pettin’s now back with Gordon and Hamie, and if I’m not mistaken, you and Gordon were the original song writers, so did you not fancy another crack at ‘Hell Is Beautiful’ (my fave song btw)?!
Gary: It came about the same time as “Swallow” was released and I decided to do my own thing you know? I don’t think I could sit behind a kit for a whole show, not with my old bones, it’s been a while ha ha.
3. What did you do after Heavy Pettin folded, I seemed to remember that you and Gordon were involved in another band in the early 90s – Mother’s Ruin?
4. So what motivated you to go for Round 3 with Burnt Out Wreck, which I have to say came as a pleasant surprise not just to hear your name again – but even more so when I heard you singing, along with playing bass and drumming if I’m not mistaken?!
Gary: I just wanted to put the songs out from Mother’s Ruin rather than leave them unheard so I wrote some new songs, changed the name to Burnt Out Wreck and went into the studio in 2016 and recorded “Swallow”. Yes, I played drums on half of the album and played bass and rhythm guitars but I write my own songs so it was easier.
5. There seems to be a strong AC/DC influence not just in the music but also in your singing being reminiscent of Bon Scott so that came as another twist to me as I would’ve imagined that if you were to pick a classic rock band it would’ve been UFO, given that’s where Heavy Pettin’s name came from?
Gary: We liked UFO yes but Bon Scott is my favourite front man vocalist so that’s why I sound a bit like him. I grew up singing AC/DC songs and many more too.
6. Hasn’t Burnt Out Wreck toured with Pete Way’s band – I don’t believe that Heavy Pettin toured with UFO, so I have to ask whether he knew about the inspiration behind the name or even heard the band?
Gary: Yes, we played a few shows with Pete. I never mentioned it to him about the name but I guess it’s obviously well documented down through time you know?
7. Speaking of touring, Burnt Out Wreck’s done quite a bit with a mixture of festivals, tour supports as well as your own headline gigs so is the set only original material or do you also include songs by Heavy Pettin, along with perhaps AC/DC or UFO covers?
Gary: What is it with UFO ha ha, leave it! I play ‘Rock Ain’t Dead’ sometimes but before we all got shut down we were promoting our new album “This Is Hell” and when we are allowed to play again we will still be playing most of that album live.
8. Burnt Out Wreck has released 2 studio albums, “Swallow” in 2017 and now, “This Is Hell”, so are there noticeable stylistic differences between the two?
Gary: Not really no, it’s a harder sounding album produced again by Steve Rispin. The main difference is that the band all played on the album and put their own touch to it. I think they done a superb job, I love it.
9. As mentioned, I thought that for the debut it was pretty much you and the guitarist but for the sophomore there is a full band so did you draw on your experience including Heavy Pettin (having toured with the likes of Kiss, Ozzy, Whitesnake and playing the Reading Festival) to run it all – I can’t help but wonder if the title of “This Is Hell” is somehow reflective of the studio
experience ha ha!
Gary: ha ha no, I wrote the song back in about 2006 so you’re way out there, but I’m sure the band would tell a different tale ha ha! Obviously being in the studio back in the day helped me to be able to do what I do now, we all learned so much from the 80’s.
10. Now that you’ve moved from being the man at the back to now out front, what’s next on the cards for Gary Moat the man, as well as the vocalist of his band?
Gary: Well I think I’ll just plod on writing new songs and make another album as I don’t see any live performances for at least a year realistically. I need the swimming pool to open before I lose the plot entirely ha ha. Thanks for the interview, stay safe as can be and hope to see you all again sometime.