Alarm’s Mike Peters speaks for Dead Men Walking

Alarm bandleader Mike Peters has accomplished a lot over the last couple of years. The Welsh rocker temporarily joined Scottish combo Big Country, replacing the late Stuart Adamson, and he also reimagined and re-tracked two signature Alarm albums, “Declaration” and “Strength,” in a modern context. His Love Hope Strength charity has matched nearly 2,000 life-saving donors with leukemia patients around the world – a disease he, too, battled. Now he’s performing with his alt-rock supergroup Dead Men Walking, featuring The Damned’s Captain Sensible, Slim Jim Phantom from The Stray Cats and The Living End’s Chris Cheney. They’re backing their debut album “Easy Piracy” in The City this week with special guest, misanthrope Jello Biafra of The Dead Kennedys.

It’s no joke – you actually were a dead man walking.

Yeah. I literally am. I’m going into the hospital tomorrow for a regular maintenance treatment that keeps me going, keeps me on the right side of the grass. It was 20 years ago that I first heard the word “cancer,” so it’s been hanging over me for a long, long time. But it’s been 10 years now that I’ve had nonstop treatment every couple of months, but I’m used to it now, and I know how to navigate the waters.

How did you first get the idea for this side project?

It started years ago with myself, Glen Matlock from The Sex Pistols, Pete Wylie from Wah!, and Kirk Brandon from Theatre of Hate. But the first attempt was with Mike Scott from The Waterboys, Roddy Frame from Aztec Camera and Ian McNabb from Icicle works – all really strong, recognizable voices. I thought we could put them together like Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young did. But then it grew, and Billy Duffy Joined in, Pete and Kirk dropped out, Bruce Watson from Big Country joined, then Slim Jim and The Captain.

Until “Easy Piracy,” all you released was live albums?

I got the leukemia diagnosis the actual day we were supposed to go into the studio. So we put that all on the back burner for quite some time, and disappeared back into our own careers. But we played a California gig last year, and when Chris Cheney joined in, we thought we could finally finish the record. So I tried to write like The Damned, Captain Sensible tried to write like I do. We were all writing out of our comfort zone, but we ended up in the same place, sonically.

Do you go drinking, swapping yarns after a gig?

If you could ever be a fly on the wall in a band bus, this is the one you’d want to be in. We’ve got more rock and roll stories than any other band in the world!


Dead Men Walking

Where: Brick and Mortar Music Hall, 1710 Mission St., S.F.

When: 9 p.m. May 7

Tickets: $16 to $20

Contact: (415) 800-8782,

Note: The band also appears at 6 p.m. May 7 at Amoeba Music, 1855 Haight St., S.F.

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