Charlie Manning-Walker never believed punk rock would take him out of London. He was more than happy to have it as a hobby to blow off steam after long days at his job as an electrician on film and TV sets. But with the seemingly overnight success of his band Chubby and the Gang’s debut album Speed Kills, he has become the frontman of one of the most talked about and universally loved bands in the underground. For a world that is known to be suspicious and temperamental around band’s labeled “the next big thing,” that’s no small feat.
Returning one year later with their brand new album The Mutt’s Nuts—out now via Partisan Records—the band has fine-tuned their Motorhead-meets-Stiff Records attack. While the first record stayed true to its name, their sophomore release introduces more dynamics into play as the bell has gelled into a unit that can tackle the rock n’ roll boogie rhythm, the aggression of hardcore, and the more tenderness of Stax-indebted, country-soul balladry.
But as the band has been lauded by the scene and critics alike, the road to this point has been a long one for “Chubby Charles.” He originally started playing in bands as a guitarist in UK hardcore bands Violent Reaction and Arms Race.
In this conversation we discuss the punk scene and critics welcoming Chubby and the Gang with open arms, Manning-Walker’s history in hardcore, the urge to break free of punk rock’s restrictions while keeping a firm footing within the community, working with Fucked Up’s Jonah Falco, and how his recent diabetes diagnosis has led him down a path of wellness as he now trains in the art of Thai boxing.
Previous Episodes of In Conversation: