Last month we published an interview with anarcho-musician Lynks by John Clay about The Rising Sun Collective’s fight to save their home in a converted pub in Nunhead, South London. It was part of a series of interviews between John and Lynks – the first is here on God Is In The TV, the second the aforementioned Joyzine article, the third via Public Pressure, the fourth through Rock At Night and today we bring you the final instalments. Over to John.
How didactic can an artist be in their approach to lampooning Boris Johnson before it gets tired, and are we already at that stage? Lynks (to all intents and purposes, a reincarnated Pan with all the acerbic wit of Lennon without the hetero hang ups) and John Clay (director/author) discuss this in the fifth segment of their interview. Details of how to save Lynx’s housing co-op from being levelled in the name of luxury flats or another shopping store are included in this feature. Your investment is worth every penny.
‘I had a go at him about channeling money into big business instead of doing so for other aspects of the UK interest.’Lynks
John Clay: The devaluing of culture by our government can only continue to marginalise its artists, young and old. Do you have any particular insights on this? Plan to write about it?
Lynks: I’ve done it a few times in the past, but less and less now. I think my politics in my music hits harder when it’s from a personal point of view, obviously as a young artist living in London doing the whole DIY thing. I can’t really see myself singing “fuck you Boris”!
John Clay: Please don’t! It talks about one character in a system rather than the overall issues with the structure itself. You’re better off sticking to personal discourse and confessional lyrics.
Lynks: Yeah, I’ll keep doing it that way, but I don’t really know, I’ll just have to see what happens. You’ll just have to stay tuned. You can get into trouble by planning your political bits in music ahead of time.
John Clay: You say you’ve done this before though?
Lynks: Yeah in the middle of the pandemic I had a go at him about channeling money into big business instead of doing so for other aspects of the UK interest.
John Clay: You saying something about Boris Johnson at the moment doesn’t have to be excused but to do so continuously doesn’t really do anything, right? Doing that is the easy way to go with this discourse.
Lynks: You’re right, I mean I’ve done it at gigs. It’s an easy way to get a cheer from a crowd.
John Clay: You don’t have to come out or anything. Everybody’s done it!
Lynks: Yeah, I know! It’s not really a hot take at this point.
John Clay: It’s like a mouldy pancake you find down the side of a cupboard. You go, ‘do you want some?’ and people go, ‘no thanks, I’ve already had that.’
Lynks: After Stormzy got crowds to shout ‘Fuck the goverment and fuck Boris!’ at a festival, well, that was the high point right? That was the hot pancake. Anything offered now is just lukewarm.
John Clay: Yeah, now it’s just batter.
Business, But Not As Usual
How lucky are we to have Lynks, eh? It can be easy to forget that the possibility for artists like them to thrive is inextricably linked to their housing circumstances. Next we investigate aspects of their mission to raise money for their home, a former pub called The Rising Sun, under threat from gentrification.
‘Yeah, if the community gains, you gain, we all gain. Like, duh! It’s such a brilliant and tangible ethical investment.’Lynks
John: Your collective produced a sixty year business plan to intrigue investors. Care to share some aspects of that here in order to inspire much needed investment?
Lynks: Essentially the cliff notes of how the financial plan works is this: we’ve got all this investment to begin with, the bulk of it being the eight hundred and seventy grand that can be paid off over forty to sixty years. Those investors appreciate how co-ops work. In the short term, new investors who are helping us to raise the remaining amount can invest from say, a grand or more and can choose five, ten, whatever many years for a return. We rely on the co-op to pay them back. There’s a lot of us here. The rent here is like, four grand every month “across all tenants.” That’s, like, after twenty years you’ve got a million. We pay the rent, which gets channeled to the investors. Simple. The thing that fucks me up is how much money you can get from owning property in this way.
John Clay: The people that eventually find themselves in that position may have been in a band, or some artistic pursuit and then eventually bowed to the system.
Lynks: It’s tempting isn’t it?
John Clay: I appreciate the fact that it’s not at the forefront of your mind, as you’re doing this not only to survive, but to ensure a legacy.
Lynks: Yeah, if the community gains, you gain, we all gain. Like, duh! It’s such a brilliant and tangible ethical investment.
John Clay: Well, this is the thing, now that people are seeing more of these schemes in effect they can do more than watch an Adam Curtis documentary and cry themselves to sleep.
Lynks: Yeah, exactly. We could talk about the renting system for hours. I have with my mates. Some of them probably tune out. It’s such a funnel of money from those who can’t afford houses to the ones who can. It’s so blatant, it’s right there. It’s insane.
John Clay: The best thing about all this is that we can do more than just grumble about it. Something is actually being done.
Lynks: It’s fighting back which is excellent.
What is an artist without the safety net of community? If artists are priced out of an area, what happens to the culture of said area and can that lead to a profound dislocation between the groups who reside there? These are the notions explored in previous parts of this investigative series. Now? Now it’s time for merch and mixtape recognition. Have you bought the mixtape featuring Sweat, Shiva and Lynks yet? And just what will the donations you offer go to? Well, Lynks’ housing co-op needs to raise funds to buy their property and thus not only protect their home but ensure that London has another affordable living space. Here we talk about the collective struggle to combat the gross negatives of belonging to ‘Generation Rent’. Read on …
‘We realise that not everyone has a grand to invest in it, so if people donate twelve quid for a mixtape, great.’Lynks
John Clay: Who is on the mixtape that people for The Rising Sun’s survival and do they provide exclusive material?
Lynks: Loads of people!
John Clay: Namedrop away.
Lynks: Such an amazing bunk of people. Scothatesyou, the OG Rising Sun member. A really good artist called Lynks. Don’t know if you’ve heard of them?
John Clay: I’ve heard a few things.
Lynks: Obviously I had to muscle myself in. Olan Monk, BYFYN, Sweat.
John Clay: I know Sweat!
Lynks: Yeah, Sweat are a brilliant band. They do a track featuring Waterbaby. We’ve also got Sheiva, who is one of the people who you think of who don’t live here but are very much a heart of the Rising Sun collective. They’re always round recording here. They might even be here now, chilling upstairs. They did an amazing song called “Spacejam”. If you wanna buy the mixtape for twelve pounds, then that’s seventeen exclusive tracks you get to own, that’s amazing. Seventeen tracks. It’s banging.
John Clay: Great.
Lynks: We realise that not everyone has a grand to invest in it, so if people donate money for a mixtape, great. If you donate thirty five pounds you get a t-shirt, there’s all sorts. If you really love Lynks and you invest a grand you get a session in the studio with them.
John Clay: You serious?
Lynks: Yeah, you get a session in the studio with me, ha!
John Clay: Mate, I’m gonna go get my credit card. I’m gonna have me some fun.
John Clay: That’s awesome. I like to deal with a lot of artists who don’t have a collective. You know the ones and where they play. You hear about a gig at such and such and we know not many people will go as it has no collective, no culture, no vibe. So when people hear about what you’re doing it is an opportunity to hook up. Thank you so much for these chats.
Donate to The Rising Sun Collective: https://risingsun.space
John Clay: https://heylink.me/Johnclayartist/
Buy the mixtape here: https://risingsuncollective.bandcamp.com
Header image from Lynks’ Facebook Page