SUIT YOURSELF MODERNISTS TALK TO MAZ WELLER
As part of our 'Wonder Women' series we talked to women that have helped shape the scene into what it is today, these women have been movers and shakers on the Mod scene for over 30 years. Maz Weller is one of those, legendary in her own right, Maz is an inspiration to young female Mods and her dedication to Modernism is faultless. we are very proud to know her and present this interview for you, take it away Miss Weller................
Can you tell us a bit about yourself, Where you are from, how long have you been part of the mod scene, how you became part of it and who were your early influences.
I'm Maz I was born in London at London Bridge. I first came interested in mods in 1979 when there was a motorcycle demonstration going on with regards to wearing helmets, I was walking down Kilburn High road and saw some scooters with lights etc on, I was blown away by them. That same year Quadrophenia came out on the cinema.
I watched the film, I was hooked I started listening to chart music at the time when the Jam etc were on top of the pops. Revival music played a huge part in the early years, then I started listening to the Animals, Yardbirds etc.
Can you tell us if you have a favourite period within the mod scene?
Every era of the mod scene has been very good , for me personally was 1990 onwards , when we did the Untouchables , the scene was changing rapidly in the 90s , it seemed to take on a more original 60s feel people wanted to go back to the roots of mod. I think the Untouchables pulled the Europeans closer to us, for me that was the best era.
Do you have any favourite haunts and old haunts that are no longer open?
For 38 years of being a mod, I've been to hundreds of different venues and clubs , The clubs that always are firm favourites for me was The Bizz at Tooley street, London, The Ryde theatre in the Isle of White and Ronnie London in Nottingham, always was a great vibe in all these venues.
Do you have any favourite old school bands and DJ’s and favourite new ones?
My favourite revival band is Small World, I always loved The Boys who went on to become Ocean Colour Scene, another great band but to be perfectly honest I'd much rather hear a DJ then watch a band. We are very lucky to have so many great DJ's in England, and we have so many. I like and respect all DJ's, I wouldn't and couldn't pick a favourite because they are all great and without them, we'd be f**ked frankly.
What is it like to be a female Mod, has it changed over the years?
To be a Mod bird makes no difference to us, we ride scooters like the men, we go all out for our clothes, some of the best dancers are women and we can certainly drink as much as the men. The only difference I notice nowadays is that the female DJ's are took more seriously now, all in all its good to be a female mod
What advise/tips could you give a young female Mod coming into the scene today?
The young mods coming into the scene nowadays are so smart and they really have got the right idea, Jesus in my day, we thought we were the dogs bollocks if we had a Jam badge, we didn't have internet etc in those days, the young mods can google everything the only advice I could give to the younger ones is ...keep going the way your going because you have got it so right.
What sort of music do you like to dance to?
I love to dance to anything that has a good beat, I don't like slow songs, I like happy lively music
Scooters, we all love them. Can you tell us if you own one now, or have owned one in the past, what’s your favourite type and do you like any other form of classic transport.
Scooters have always played a huge part of my life , I've always owned vespas and have had about 15 different types, I've had 2 vespas that have been show winners, my favourite Vespa is the Rally 200, I now own a Lambretta, GP 150. Which is also a show winner, I wouldn't feel complete without a scooter.
Clothes, Tell us about your style, do you have favourite periods in the mod era that you follow and any favourite labels. Where do you buy your clothes?
My style of clothes has changed over 38. Years , I use to be known for wearing a shirt and Tie for a long time, I always took the masculine side of the mods. I've done the knee length boots and short dresses look, everything really, I've never been a lover of the late 60s look. I've always preferred the early 60s look, nowadays I only ever wear vintage clothes which I buy from charity shops and eBay, there's plenty of clothes from mates who have their own businesses, Tank Top, Watch the cloth, Handbags and glad rags to name a few
Can you tell us a couple of funny personal stories connected to the scene, or an experience that was out of this world?
I have so many funny stories to tell, I'd be here all week! one of the funniest things was, in the days of the CCI myself, lots of mods and Tony Class were travelling to Scarborough mod rally. Tony fell asleep in the front of the van so I decided to put make-up on him, bright red lips, bright green eyeshadow, he looked like a transvestite! anyway we got to Scarborough and Tony woke up he got straight out of the van to meet the manager of the venue, us mods were all looking out the van horrified that Tony didn't realise he had a face full of makeup! I was shitting myself. anyway Tony shakes the man by the hand and introduces himself, the man was looking at Tony horrified! then Tony realises what I done, Jesus, he was not happy to say the least, we all thought it was hilarious..
What do you think of todays scene? Do you think young mods are encouraged by older counterparts?
I think we have a very good scene at the moment, the younger mods get so much encouragement in the way of DJ spots and all sorts, I think the mods are all alright at the moment.
What are your favourite current club nights/ events/ weekenders?
I enjoy most things I attend, 3keys and Dreamsville are always the highlight for me, but I love Point Blanc, Out of Time, Jelly Roll and Britallian Job and am hoping to get to the clubs that I haven't been to yet this year.
If there is anything that you would like to see differently in todays scene what would it be?
If I could have anything diffrent with the scene it would be to have more mods from diffrent backgrounds, it's a prominently white scene even though we listen to black music, would be nice to have more black, Asian and Indian mods on our scene.
We can see you have been busy setting up for own business within the scene, can you tell us about it?
I've had a few businesses on the mod scene. I use to own Amazadiscs records which mainly dealt in rare revival, I've sold Tee shirts for Paul Hallam, I've sold my own posters, I did the interviewing for the mod videos, I've helped run a few clubs, I was a member of the Untouchables team and I've had a few clothes stalls. It's good to have businesses on the scene as we can cater for each other then.
Can you tell us your thoughts on the future of the scene.
I use to worry about our scene, when all of us lot from the 80s go, who is gonna keep it going, but with such sussed young mods coming into the scene, I think it's in safe hands. I'm nearly 50 and I love the mod scene even more now I'll die a mod because it's in your blood, the mod scene have always been my family and always will be.