Indieterria meets Avalanche Party

Honourable comrades!

Avalanche Party is one of the most important new bands on the indie scene at the moment. Formed in 2014, AP (as they are known to their fans) built an impressive resume in a relatively short period of time. They travelled throughout the UK and mainland Europe, performed in NYC and at the famous SXSW in Texas, recorded at the desert studios somewhere in the Death Valley in California. They also played at all the important summer festivals and shared stages with the best of the best in rock music.

The band is known for its wild, mesmerizing shows, full of drama, sweat and hypnotic music. And for their specific, dry, half-sarcastic, half-abstract sense of humour. Just few days before their gig in Birmingham and the release of their debut album, we sat down with vocalist and front-man, Jordan Bell to discuss their videos, trips to America and what can we expect from the Avalanche Party in 2020.

Avalanche Party photographed by Jason Ferdinando

BBC Radio 1 calls you “The most exciting rock & roll band in the UK right now.” But let’s take things to the very beginning. How and where did Avalanche Party form?

Jordan Bell: Keep an open yoghurt in your kitchen fridge for long enough and over time, it will morph and grow into something quite remarkably different from the yoghurt you once knew. Until you can no longer bear to keep it in your refrigeration station and have no choice but to toss it out into the big bad world. It was kind of like that. We’re from North Yorkshire, if it makes a difference. Where the wild things are and the OneStops aren’t.

You managed to keep the news of your debut album completely under wraps. There were no mentions, no leaks, no warnings and then on 27th of August a bomb was dropped. In the era where people lead their entire existence online, did you think it was important to keep your fans unaware of what was coming?

Jordan Bell: Definitely and that’s something which extends past fans and straight into the band itself. Two members didn’t even know the album had been recorded and our manager still doesn’t. Keep it to yourselves.

The album “24 Carat Diamond Trephine” is finally due on 22nd of November. We are intrigued by the title? Trephine are commonly used in bone surgery and dentistry, but we are certain that NHS cannot afford a 24 carat ones. Where does the title come from? Is there a particular meaning behind it?

Jordan Bell: Trephines are still knocking around but the album title is based on the more primitive versions used for trepanning – the old practice of cutting holes in the head to let out the evil spirits responsible for strange behaviours. There seems to be some kind of parallel between that and listening to music which makes sense. It’s a 24 carat diamond one because, it’s not just any old Trephine. This one’s special, it cuts right to the heart of the matter. As far as we know, a 24 Carat Diamond Trephine is the only reliable Trephine for evil spirit excavation, these days.

Avalanche Party by Jason Ferdinando

To promote your debut, the band released three singles in span of four months: “7”, “El Dorado” and “Rebel Forever”. They are completely different from each other: “7” is two minute cacophony of noise, “El Dorado is an experimental ballad of 6 minutes and “Rebel Forever” is quite a catchy, mainstream, radio-friendly track. The upcoming album seems to be very varied in terms of genres and song length. What can we expect from it? Was it a conscious decision to make it as variable as possible?

Jordan Bell: Well yeah it is, we’ll give you that one. We made a conscious decision to attempt as many different genres as possible, because Kane’s uncle, Simon said, we need to try and be like a band that appeals to a massive audience. Like Swedish House Mafia or Catfish & The Shottybottlemen. We went away and thought about it for a bit. Next time we saw him, he said, “Well? Who have you chosen with a massive audience in a particular musical genre that you can be like? Preferably a genre with a long musical history, so you can appeal to the mams and dads and grandies, too?” “Yes”, we said. “Who is it? Miley Cirrhosis? Post Maloon?” “Both”, we said. He nearly fell off his whippet.

Buy it and see.

Avalanche Party always had incredible videos – cinematic, pop culture inspired with complicated, sometimes brutal storylines. The video to “7” shows what only can be described as some sort of illegal experiment, “El Dorado” takes the viewer to America for a mini road movie where nothing really happens and “Rebel Forever” is a dream-like, kaleidoscopic drug-induced nightmare. How important is the visual side of storytelling for you? Are you going to use the videos on tour in some way?

Jordan Bell: “El Dorado” is actually a live video we shot at our last gig in Birmingham! (laughing)

Let’s stick to the videos for a while longer – Bobby Bentham, lead singer of Strange Bones and your personal friend, plays the subject of the experiment in “7”. How do you recall working with him on the set? We have to say he’s terrifyingly convincing.

Jordan Bell: Bobby was perfect for the role given he is THE method acting champion of the world. It was a very, very nice afternoon requiring very little direction or instruction, which began with him floating east by the medium of transpennine express and peaked with me serving him watermelons through the air to flamboyantly slice with a samurai sword in slow motion. He fucking nailed it. And the knife throwing. His gran was in the Yakuza for a bit, so he picked up some stuff. When the zombie apocalypse comes, he’ll be fine. In fact, I’m moving into his house. He’s a great friend and Strange Bones are the fucking dons. He taught me how to swim, but that’s another story.

Jordan Bell live, picture by Jason Ferdinand

Few days ago, the band announced that NHS professionals have a free entry to your gigs on this tour. That’s a very generous way of supporting the National Health Service. Is this your way of protesting against the cuts and showing the solidarity with the workers?

Jordan Bell: It’s a nice thing to do for people, who give a lot, working insane hours and dealing with insane shit for fuck all. The harrowing stuff they have to see and do on a daily basis is truly incredible and they have saved the lives of many, many people near and close to us all.

2019 was a breakthrough year for the band. First SXSW and American festivals, then a session for legendary radio station KEXP for The International Clash Day in London. You recently returned to US to play more gigs. And you are about to embark on a 19 dates long national tour. It must be both incredibly exciting time, but also a challenging one.

Jordan Bell: Big up KEXP. Yeah, but we can see the progression in our music and in ourselves and it’s easy to keep going. It feels far more exciting than challenging. And as our tour manager, Jimmy Mac says – you can sleep when you’re dead! Or in his case, whenever he hits the nice straight bit going past that house in the middle of the M62.

After the UK tour is done and a well deserved Christmas break, can we expect an EU tour in the spring of 2020?

Jordan Bell: No, Brexit means Breakfast (laughing). Joke, it’s a joke! Yeah, we’re going back to the mainland, maybe even sooner than spring. We always have a great time over there and it feels like it’s been too long since we last went, so lets see which way the wind blows.

Debut album – track list

The famous last question – trips to US, especially to SXSW are known to be culinary adventurous. We heard stories of the UK bands being hospitalized after trying the nuclear hot Austin sauce or having margaritas for every meal. What was your diet like at the conference? 

Jordan Bell: I ate great. Have you seen the size of the carrots over there? Superb. I survived for 3 days on just one single Carrot. Apart from that, I can see why people could struggle but personally – absolutely no problems.  Our friends in Trail Of Dead took us for the full Austin BBQ experience, our hosts made amazing blueberry pancakes, showed us Cookie Dough and made great egg foo young. And at the festival, we grabbed everything free & edible that wasn’t nailed to Lady Gaga!

Follow Avalanche Party on their socials:
https://www.avalancheparty.com/
https://www.facebook.com/AvalancheParty
https://twitter.com/avalanche_party
https://www.instagram.com/avalancheparty/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVQHS8es36atxJMBqh8jAlQ

 

And while we are waiting for the debut album, the band released a fourth single to a song called “Howl”. You can watch the AP guys perform in some sort of distorted version of “Top of the Pops” below:

“24 Carat Diamond Trephine” is released in three days time, but several influential websites, zines and blogs already listened to it and gave it fantastic reviews. We have gathered several of them for your reading pleasure:

24 Carat Diamond Trephine is an eleven track joyride that veers from the poetic and introspective to a ferocious barrage of explosive energy. Brimming with their infamous live urgency, it’s a masterfully curated album that ranges from full-throttle sonic assault (7, HAHA) to refrained moments of cool clarity to catch your breath (Hey Misdemeanour, Every Last Drop). The legendary James Aparicio (Grinderman, Spiritualized) was the man tasked with taming the beast and it’s a production that does no such thing. It’s an album barely contained, constantly teetering on the edge of insanity but is completely alluring throughout.

24 Carat Diamond Trephine is undoubtedly a fist-raising crowd pleaser, but like contemporaries Fat White Family, Viagra Boys or The Blinders, they’ve used it as an opportunity to enforce their own birds-eye view of the world. They tackle hefty themes of anger and fear, the capitalist machine that drives us ever closer to the great flaming End, cloak-and-dagger corporate greed, the environment, lyrics of love, death and an individual’s walk through a world they were spat into, laughing as they go” – Rough Trade Magazine
https://www.roughtrade.com/gb/avalanche-party/24-carat-diamond-trephine/

“‘24 Carat Diamond Trephine’ is an album of transformation, just as the process that turns leaves to coal, and coal to diamonds. ‘Cruel Madness’ is less At The Drive-In, more The Mars Volta and the kind of theatrical rock the likes of Alex Turner and Muse might favour, the ‘new day, new dawn’ lyric a blatant burn but also a statement of the company this band now sees itself in. Closer, ‘Rebel Forever’ is an instant classic revisiting ‘Howl’’s giddy and unexpected high points and reprising the ‘El Dorado’ theme in the lyrics; and with just enough Psycho Killer energy that should see it become a restless reference point for the band; a moment in time, a place, a memory…” – Steve Spithray for God is in the TV Zine
http://www.godisinthetvzine.co.uk/2019/11/18/avalanche-party-24-carat-diamond-trephine-so-knee-records/

“There’s so much to explore on this album and it’s likely to take a few listens before it starts to really blossom into its true form. But there’s no escaping this is an extremely impressive and ambitious debut that aside from a few nods to influences is unlike anything else out there. The band have managed to showcase their genre-bending best and sewn it all together to create a Frankenstein’s monster of an album that’s indicative of their terrifying potential” –  Richard Cobb for Little Indie Blog
http://littleindieblogs.blogspot.com/2019/11/album-review-avalanche-party-24-carat.html

“My favourite track at the moment is ‘Howl’ the current single. It is a very Bowieesque slab of prime heavy riff-laden early 70s rock with a gospel-style chorus. If you are not moved to dance to ‘Howl’ then you might well be clinically dead! This is possibly the finest song that the band have released so far. It is also accompanied by a fabulous video which features a cameo appearance on tambourine from the multi-talented Charlie Swainston! The track which proves how great a band Avalanche Party is is the psychedelic rock circus that is ‘Milk And Sunlight Is A Heavy Dream’. Vocals, backing vocals, keys, bass, guitars, and drums all align perfectly and the chorus will not let you go. James Aparicio has captured the essence of what makes Avalanche Party such a great live band in his production. From the massed Panzer Tank Division sonic assault of ‘HA HA’ to the deeply mellow buzz of ‘Hey Misdemeanour’ the former Grinderman and Spiritualized producer does not put a foot or a fader wrong. I can already picture a crowd incursion from Jordan during ‘Playing Field Blues’ using his rock star evil stare to hypnotise his audience into becoming Avalanche Party‘s helpless mosh puppets. It redefines heavy, scuzzy garage blues into something very 21st Century. I never thought that I would see myself finding a U2 influence from Avalanche Party, but ‘Every Last Drop’ is the kind of song that Bono would kill to have written. I can see the lighters and lit up mobile phone screens waving in the air at festivals to accompany this gorgeous modern, dirty power ballad. Dark menace runs through the veins of ‘Cruel Madness’ and draws you into a dark, descent of a dream to a world that might be populated by all your fears and phobias. The album closes with ‘Rebel Forever’ which opens and is underpinned with a warped fairground organ riff which gives the tune a Cockney Rebel feel and in many ways sums up Avalanche Party. They are rebels and I hope they will remain rebellious forever!” – With Just A Mint of Mayhem Blog
https://withjustahintofmayhem.blog/tag/avalanche-party/

We cannot wait to see AP in Birmingham this Saturday.
Support your scene kids!

Malicia and Rita

Indieterria presents North Central Music and A Northern Underground

Dear Readers,

Aren’t you tired of the same songs and voices on the radio? Yes, us too.  So, we will tell you a secret – there is life outside the Top 40. The indie underground music is currently going though incredible renaissance – not only with bands and artists having something new to say – lyrically and musically. Promoters, managers and other industry professionals are trying new things, bringing new gigs and start projects that will soon revolutionise the music scene.

Sed Seddon is one of those industry professionals, who work tirelessly behind the stages and without much fanfare – but the bands he champions and  the events he puts out can be summarised as trailblazing.  We sat down with Sed to speak about his work ahead of massive two day weekender in Liverpool and Manchester he organised called A Northern Underground that will take place on 16th and 17th November.

North Central Music logo

You act as a booker, artist manager, industry influencer – please introduce yourself to readers of Indieterria?

Sed Seddon: Hi I’m Sed! I’ve played bass in bands for a long time and founded artist management company early this year.  It`s what I love more than playing to be honest.  I’ve been involved in lots of scenes in different places and different genres – from Wigan, Manchester, Bolton, Liverpool to London. I started out in heavy metal for about 20 years and now I found this beautiful underground scene that makes me feel like a kid in a candy shop – discovering new bands consistently. More recently, I found The Novus, Kid Kapitchi and of course my new favourite band of all time – Avalanche Party who I adore.

As you mentioned you have been involved in music business for ages. Looking back at the time spent working in the industry – what skills are helpful in the hardest business on earth?

Sed Seddon:  Wouldn’t say “I work” as yet, because I’m still looking to make enough money to live off doing it. But “I`m involved” for sure. Hard industry is probably the biggest understatement one will ever say to me personally. It’s beyond anything for someone from the streets of Wigan with zero support. I’ve lost count of the amount of failed attempts at it in whatever form in this industry. Skill that you need to learn is to recognise change when it’s happening. Be it playing in a band, working for a band, organising events or more importantly when a scene is changing. Play your cards close but the biggest rule is DON`T BE A DICK. It costs nothing to be nice and I don’t care who you are. Never stop learning , soak up opportunity and take it in your stride. When you get knocked down, get up, brush yourself off and start again and repeat for as long as it takes (laughs)

Dirty Circus signing to North Central Music

Tell us about the company you have founded – North Central Music – it specialises in artists management and live events. Who is on your roster and do you look for acts to represent?

Sed Seddon: North Central Music has been an idea for a good while, couple of years maybe. The name only came this year, the company was launched in May/ June after a brilliant Sound City Music Business Entrepreneur course in Liverpool that ran for 10 weeks. The course finished a week before Sound City event so got the logo designed and cards printed up that week and I went on the network hunt which went very well (cheers Joe for putting up with the late video calls trying sort everything last minute).

North Central Music is growing. We have the excellent Fay Toulios on board dealing with our socials who’s amazing and taking everything in her stride.

The point of North Central Music is connection and calibration with our southern friends. In January this year, I had a meeting with two southern friends (even though one of them is actually Mancunian) about partnering up but it went to stale-mate as I didn’t have the full idea of what NCM was going to represent or become at that time. Something else to be learned in this business is the rule is if things works out then go with it, if they don’t – then drop it.

Dirty Circus are NCM first signing to the management roster and they are from Wigan. Like a lot of good bands they had a tough ride a few years ago but they have now returned to the game. The new music is brilliant. Love them boys, we go back years. It’s mad how it came about. Dirty Circus is influenced by Madchester movement, electronic indie vibes with new age punk thrown into the mix for a good measure. Can`t wait to get proper stuck in as it’s only just began really! The plan is to grow around a band a year. I find it pointless having 15 favourite bands on the record – I’m bringing it all together as I go. You need to adapt as a company and I am constantly adapting at the moment, so everything fits into place. But just think how things will look in 3-4 years from now as there’s loads going on behind the scenes.

What is your outlook on the indie circuit at the moment? Any particular scenes and bands that caught your ear?

Sed Seddon: Each part of the country offers something slightly different but as it is in the North, the London scene really is booming. They even have separate  scenes in different parts of London! Just think – it`s actually a scene within a scene!?? I go to London a few times a year but not fully gripped there scene as yet.

But all the new music from around the UK fits underneath this perfect umbrella of “new wave of British punk” and I think we are on the cusp of an amazing movement, everything what’s happening now is the beginning of what’s to come. Rage Against The Machine are now back together  too what’s just adding fuel to the fire. But I think all music genres and punk is crossing over. Electronic punk Fat White Family are a band I’ve only seen once very recently but like Dirty Circus or Tea Street Band they are cross over bands, as are Working Men’s Club. Then you’ve your hardcore Strange Bones, Kid Kapitchi and False Heads. Crows and The Murder Capital are more metal or doom sounding. We also have this commercial sounding punk like Idles, Shame and Heavy Lungs. Avalanche Party, The Novus or The Blinders go along the lines of cult /goth . It’s just huge there’s so many criss -crosses of genres – all representing the exact same thing and it’s all bubbling under the ground…it’s very special.

Another project you have been heavily involved is A Northern Underground. It is a mammoth two day weekender happening in Manchester and Liverpool on 16-17 November 2019. How did that come about?

Sed Seddon:  The event came about completely by accident. I was trying to grow North Central Music on the live front so I spoke to southern friends and fellow promoters at Live Circuit about putting a tour together. They book two dates and send two southern bands and I’ll do the same.

So Saturday (16th November) and Sunday (17th November) are the Northern dates and I thought I’ll make both dates both all dayers to push the boat out. I said to myself “Hmmm Let’s get a good big headliner!”

To make it happen, I chased many agents but it was all too soon . So I asked friends in Rival Bones if they fancied both dates. Then just tied all together with some great poster art (thanks Evercloud). Everything came together in about 3 weeks.

Stage times at Liverpool and Manchester gigs

You basically created a two day festival with incredible line up. Each day will have around ten acts. Let`s start with the Liverpool date. Who will be on the stage and where is the event happening?

Sed Seddon:  Liverpool event happens at The Jaracanda. Some bands such as Idealistics, Rival Bones, Manalishi, Brain Ape and Dutch Mustard are all playing both dates. It made sense as they all fit under the neu grunge wave that’s also bubbling underground around the UK. Idealistcs are from Cambridge – we asked them to join the show quite late after we had had spoken to Ali Hirsz (bassist and front woman) on the phone about her band being refused shows because Ali has a rare condition Ehlers Danlos Syndrome meaning she needs tubes that are on display to feed her heart with minerals and promoters don’t like it basically. This goes against all the NCM ethos and to be honest it completely broke me. Ridiculous situation. Thanks to people for pointing this out to us in the first place. All money raised from this event is going directly to charity EDS Trust to help raise awareness. My mum as well as other promoters has worked for charity for years so it’s nice to follow their footsteps too.

Other bands on the bill are Persian Hugs and Elevant – I`ve seen them at Sound City this year and  I loved them. Mr Ted are on board Society Of Loosers Records – that’s a hardcore label in Liverpool and they are worth huge recommendation. Lastly, I`ve seen Vulture Cult support Rival Bones last year so they were a definitely good fit for the weekender.

For those who want to come to the Manchester date – what do you have in store?

Sed Seddon:  In Manchester we overtake AATMA. Square Wild, Idealistcs and Dutch Mustard are the only bands on the bill fronted by women. Next year we will aim around the 50/50 mark as again the bands with front women are really coming through the ranks. Dutch Mustard are probably one of my latest favourites along with False Advertising and The Mysterines. They are amazing live and can’t wait to see them on Northern Territory so come down and see how they play.

Slow Hand Clap fit under the “three piece band neu grunge” umbrella but these boys add something a little different and don’t just sound like Nirvana. I’ve seen Careering the other month – they are Manchester’s answer to At The Drive In.

The Kecks and Refuge Island are travelling bands. Refuge Island come from Scotland and The Kecks are from Germany. Seen these men few months ago and we stayed friends. Great lads!

Beside promoting new and emerging artists, A Northern Underground aims to raise funds for charity. Please tell us more about the charity you will be supporting.

Sed Seddon:  So the charity is called Ehlers-Danlos Support UK, something I’ve never heard of until chatting to Ali Hirsz of Idealistics. So, with everything that happened with Ali, I contacted all the bands to asked them to waive their fees for charity instead.

Ehlers-Danlos Support UK is the only one of its kind in the UK and its symbol is a zebra. Actually, Idealistics wrote and recorded a single called “Here comes the Zebras”. That song is fucking beautiful and it was that voice and that song that brought me to tears in the end. Everything`s going to charity and raising funds for this cause is fucking beautiful. Music is beginning to speak again against the government and all what’s going on with the country and I guess this is our way of speaking and giving the middle finger to the assholes on the streets and promoters thinking it’s nice to bully people as well to refuse them shows. We created a little chance for Ali and Idealistics to play and hopefully it creates more chances for them and makes other promoters listen.


Your plate is already full – but what are your plans
for 2020? What can we expect from North Central Music in the new year?

Sed Seddon:  Our energy will be going directly on the band we manage, Dirty Circus. Obviously the Underground event is also  100% growing and we are looking at new avenues to less unfamiliar territory but sticking with Northern & NCM ethos. Keeping things new and fresh, some things will stick, some things won’t – but that’s the biz I guess.

Famous last question: You describe yourself as a lover of all you can eat buffets. What would be on your dream buffet, or a dream rider?

Sed Seddon: Mate I don’t even care …just a plate, knife and fork in the middle of an all you can eat buffet and I’m gone for hours! That one on Deansgate is the bomb!

Event poster

A Northern Underground happens on 16th November 2019 in Liverpool:
https://www.facebook.com/events/724294691343894/

And on 17th November 2019 in Manchester
https://www.facebook.com/events/2446994828867804/

Tickets can be  purchased from the links below:

Liverpool
https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/whats-on/liverpool/the-jacaranda-club-liverpool/lc/2019-11-16/15:00/t-rdgjpj

Manchester
https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/whats-on/manchester/aatma/lc/2019-11-17/14:00/t-xxjyda

Additional reading:
https://www.rgm.press/a-northern-underground-weekender-musical-double-header-showcases-emerging-talent-across-manchester-liverpool/uncategorized/

You can follow Sed, North Central Music and A North Underground on the social media:

North Central Music:

https://www.facebook.com/northcentralmusic/
https://www.instagram.com/north_central_music/
https://twitter.com/NorthCentralMu1

A North Underground:

https://www.facebook.com/ANorthernUnderground/
https://twitter.com/ANorthernUnder1
https://www.instagram.com/anorthernunderground/

So grab your tickets my dears and lets meet in the underground. Once you know the secret about good music – you can forget the top 40 and enjoy the future.

We will see you in Liverpool or Manchester. Hit the North!

M/R

Indieterria meets Kristin Hersh

Dear Readers,

It`s a strange feeling to be writing a blog about Throwing Muses` front woman on a night when VMAs are on. It almost feels like the 90s. Back in the day MTV was a rock channel and Throwing Muses were in heavy rotation, leading guitar revolution across charts and Z Rock network. Times may have changed but many things stayed the same. Kristin Hersh is still touring, recording exciting albums (last years`s “Possible Dust Clouds” is nothing short of a masterpiece) and still being independent. Perhaps even more now than when she was on 4AD.

Being life long fans of Kristin`s music, we have been thrilled to speak to her about her new record, extensive tour of UK and creative process behind her songs.  Lets leave the Moon Men to some emo kids and mumble rappers. There is so much life outside the Top 40.

Ladies and Gentlemen – the one and only Kristin Hersh!

 

Kristin Hersh and her band members on stage

Hello Kristin! In March this year you have played an extensive UK tour with over 30 gigs across the county. How was it? We hope you received a warm welcome!

Kristin Hersh: Best tour of my life in every way. Not making this up. Van life plus my favourite musicians in the world and musically literate crowds. Rob from 50 Foot Wave and Fred from Throwing Muses made this power trio a super group, of sorts.

The first time they called us that, we laughed, and then immediately adopted the term ‘cause it made us feel like super heroes!

You have released nine studio albums with Throwing Muses, the latest in 2013.  “Purgatory/Paradise” came out in an unique form: 32 tracks accompanied by a book full of lyrics, images and additional material. The scale of the release prompted fears among fans that it would be the last album for the band. Do you think there is still some music left in The Muses or are you definitively putting the project to rest?

Kristin Hersh:  (laughs) Throwing Muses is in the studio right now. If Muses songs show up, so do we.

Lady with a guitar – Kerstin Hersh has always been a role model on indie circuit

Besides music you are also a published author. You have written and illustrated children book “Toby Snax” and penned two memoirs (“Rat Girl” and “Don’t Suck Don’t Die”). Was writing a natural step forward from making music and crafting songs?

Kristin Hersh:  I love prose. After a lifetime of speaking music—a language not everyone is fluent in—I get to communicate clearly. Though my writing style verges on prose – poetry, so I guess the communicative effect is watery. It`s more like music than conversation.

In an interview with Guitar World you once said “We’re morally bound to not participate in the traditional recording industry because we disagree with it.” And yet, your newest studio album “Possible Dust Clouds” was released on a label, the old fashioned way. What convinced you to sign  to Fire Records?

Kristin Hersh: The old fashioned way is corporate and anti-music. I traded Warner Brothers my first solo album in exchange for my band’s freedom. The new paradigm—like Fire Records—is staffed by people who’ve been too moved by real songs to play the insult-to-music-and-women fashion game that took over the recording industry.

For the purpose of this interview we really tried to find one review of “Possible Dust Clouds” that was not positive and we failed! Pitchfork called it a “glorious return” while Guardian described you both as “uncompromising” and a “true innovator”.  Every online review is full five stars. Do you regard this record as the best of your career, cause your fans and music journalists seems to agree on that.

Kristin Hersh: I probably think every record I make is the best of my career! But I’m also baffled by songs. They tell me what to do and I have to listen, so production technique is necessarily reinvented in every session. Until I hear back from smart journalists, I really don’t know what I’ve done.

Kristin Hersh – the legend herself

It took about five years to record “Possible Dust Clouds” and unlike your previous album you did not play all the instruments. This album welcomes many guests and even uses field recordings. How do you remember working on this particular record?

Kristin Hersh: I wanted a chaotic sound, one that mimicked the feel of live shows. Live recordings are usually just recordings that suck, so you have to parse the elements of a show: group high and loud noise plus movement, in order to bring that about. I invited a few friends whose playing is very muscular so that I could warp timing and tuning in the high and low overdubs around our performances. Weak playing would sound ineffective with this treatment but here it sounds noisy and fluid.

The album has been promoted by several singles, including LAX and now Breathe In. It is one of our favourite tracks on the album. We would love to learn more about this song.

Kristin Hersh:  “Soloing throughout” is a term we use to make fun of guitar players who won’t shut up, but that’s exactly what I did I in this song. Played my leads with a screwdriver and I don’t shut up until the song ends. My son Wyatt played drums and my fiancé, Fred Abong, is on bass. It’s a little trio of a family, really. So there’s a sweetness in all that noise.

If you are not touring solo or with Kristin Hersh Electric Trio, you are working with 50FOOTWAVE. Can you tell us something about this project as British audience may not be familiar with it.

Kristin Hersh: 50FOOTWAVE is my noise rock trio out of LA. We’re run as a cooperative, with everyone donating their time, from engineers and musicians to videographers, to allow us to give music away.

You have always been very open about your struggles with mental health. And music industry is having this big conversation right now about supporting artists. Looking at things from perspective of somebody who spent four decades in the industry – do you see any changes? And if so are they positive or negative?

Kristin Hersh: I haven’t been all that open, really, since I have no mental health issues. I was misdiagnosed schizophrenic and bipolar and only recently cured of PTSD and concurrent dissociation, which isn’t technically a mental illness. I answer questions when I’m asked, but I shy away from linking any illness to art.

And I think supporting the arts is a very individual decision since they’re all industries now and subject to marketing techniques like bandwagon appeal, etc. I’d love to see people playing their own music, for example. That’s a way to support the arts.

Last (infamous) question – if you were able to change music industry to your liking what would you do? What would change and what would remain?

Kristin Hersh:  I would take fashion, money and fame out of the equation. That would leave us with actual musicians. I’m not sure that there are any musicians or songwriters in the recording industry. Rock stars and people who want to be them should never have happened. Music? Will always happen.

You can follow Kristin Hersh on socials:

https://www.kristinhersh.com/
https://www.facebook.com/strangeangels/
https://twitter.com/kristinhersh
https://www.instagram.com/kristinhersh/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTdtvPp4IiPDDZqX-4No5Uw
https://soundcloud.com/kristinhersh-official
https://open.spotify.com/artist/6ZWUhhSv3IahZyW5keNSxK?si=gDMk7mBZToGJ41ZLz6hJ_A

 

Throwing Muses:

http://throwingmuses.com/
https://www.facebook.com/throwingmusesofficial/
https://twitter.com/throwingmuses
https://www.instagram.com/throwingmusesofficial
https://soundcloud.com/throwingmuses
https://open.spotify.com/artist/5xU5wRTlZHVRoo2OxPvqA4?si=b-eosmzZQzeFzG2hwzYaag

 

50FOOTWAVE:

https://www.facebook.com/50footwave/
https://twitter.com/50footwave
https://open.spotify.com/artist/1ruRQnflSHJVLqvqRe5MRB

Big thank you goes to Kristin Hersh for speaking to us and to Shauna McLarnon of Shameless Promotion PR for making arrangements.

M/R

Indieterria Review – “97/91” by The Battery Farm

Dear Readers,

If you spent more than five minutes on social media in the last two years, chances are that you have seen this viral quote on how David Bowie kept the universe together. The Starman`s gone and everything is coming apart at the seams.

Band`s logo

It`s hard to deny that we are going through some very dark days and finding hope may seem like an impossible task. But we believe that there is a force out there that is much stronger than bombs, violence or any orange impostor (or his blond counterpart) in office. That force is art/music and we have plenty of incredible artists among us who do an excellent job at repairing the fabric of universe and keeping us all sane.

The beauty of art is that anyone can make it and you don`t have to have top 40 albums to contribute significantly to the eternal quest of balancing cosmic powers.

We want you to meet a brand new band that we recently discovered, who are incredibly apt at channelling the internal anxiety felt nowadays and providing sonic catharsis to listeners. They are called The Battery Farm and come from our favourite place on Earth – Manchester.  Their debut single “97/91” is a powerful anthem of thundering drums, heavy guitars and haunted vocals.  It fits perfectly in the new emerging genre of post punk revival, mixing semi spoken vocals with musical fury. The song will prove ideal both in the mosh pit or in the gym and fans of Idles, Bambara, Sons and Avalanche Party should pay closer attention.

But there is more to The Battery Farm than soundtracking the moment. Its the way they speak in the interviews, how they respect and champion other artists, their ethics. We sat down with their lead singer Benjamin Corry for an interview and the first thing he tells us is that kindness is magic.  Among all the new bands that blow their own trumpet and proclaim that they are new Oasis, how absolutely amazing is to hear that there are artists who have a different approach to life.

This is our entire conversation with The Battery Farm. Worth reading. Every. Single. Word.

Please introduce yourself to the readers of Indieterria.  Where are you based and who is in the band?

Benjamin Corry:  Hello! We are The Battery Farm, a doom punk band from Manchester playing vicious, guttural punk music pulsating with rawness, honesty, pain and passion. We are Ben Corry (vocals/guitar), Dominic Corry (guitar), Paul Worrall (bass) and Sam Parkinson (drums)

Tell us something about the project – are there any goals that you managed to achieve?

Benjamin Corry:  Me and Dom formed the band on the back of our old band breaking up. The whole mentality since we started has been to put everything together piece-by-piece and just see how far we can get. So with that in mind just managing to get the band together has felt like an achievement. The idea for The Battery Farm only came about towards the end of last year, but actually getting to the point of being able to have a functioning band feels like an achievement. That sounds well trite but it’s true. We played our first gig a couple of weeks ago, released our debut single on 15th June and played our first festival on 6th July (R-Fest in Manchester). That’s the kind of start I wanted for us and so that’s an achievement in itself. Things have started with a bang and looking at what we’ve got coming up it’s only going to get better.

Benjamin Corry photographed by Richard McCann
https://www.facebook.com/richard.mccann.739

What inspires you? What artist or genre had the biggest influence on you?

Benjamin Corry:  Our lives and the world we live in inspire us and drive our sound and our words. The songs me and Dom write are borne – both musically and lyrically – out of the sense of desperation we felt at the end of last year, when we’d just about had enough of everything. These songs are an aural lashing out at ourselves, at the rest of the world, at the human race, at politicians, at the sense of life closing in around us. Passion and fear and anger and joy and desire for something better are things that inspire us. Human stuff. In terms of artists we admire, bands like Idles, Evil Blizzard, Radiohead, Witch Fever, Nirvana and Sleaford Mods bleed into our sound. Idles in particular are doing something remarkable at the moment; I think they’re the most important band in the world. Their music is violent and frantic and pulverising but at the same time is laced with the most beautiful empathy and compassion. I think the world needs more of that. Kindness is magic.

Its all about the music – and we want to hear about your new single. Is there a story behind the song, where and how was it written?

Benjamin Corry:  “97/91” was actually written a couple of years ago. I stumbled upon an article about the murder of Suzanne Capper in the early 90s and the moral panic about it in the newspapers at the time. The article went into excruciating detail about what happened which stayed with me for months afterwards. One of the big factors in the story affecting me in the way it did was the fact that it happened in Moston, north Manchester, which is where I grew up. It sort of brought a horrific sense of reality to the whole thing – I know the street it happened on, I’ve walked past the houses, I’ve grown up with the area being a big part of my life. And it still informs a lot of my writing. To be able to envision it all so clearly made it all the more horrendous. That got me to thinking about why I reacted much more viscerally to this particular instance than I would have to the miserable horrors that go on across the world daily. The answer was because I’m familiar with the setting. It only felt real because I could see it. That is what “97/91” is about – that murder is a jumping-off point to explore the cognitive dissonance that is ingrained into people across the world that allows us to be passive in the face of the mass, grotesque violence going on in far-flung places every day. It’s a frightening, dystopian aspect of the human condition and it’s not generally something we’re aware we’re doing. I guess that’s the worst part. The song is a flailing at the worst things people are capable of. The world can be a fucking horror show, “97/91” is essentially a desperate scream in the face of it.

Are you touring? Where can we see you playing live?

Benjamin Corry:  We’re at Night & Day Café in Manchester on 2nd August, then it’s our first out of town gig at Sound in Liverpool on 28th September for Low Flying Records’ Musicians Against Homelessness weekender. Low Flying have basically put together a huge MAH Festival across Merseyside. We’re on the Saturday and we can’t wait. After that we’re playing at Whittles in Oldham on 24th October. We have a couple more really good ones to announce but we’re not at liberty to discuss them just yet.

If any bookers or promoters want to get in touch – what is the best way to contact you?

Benjamin Corry: E-mail us at batteryfarmband@gmail.com, or we’re on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as @hebatteryfarm

Imagine you can record an album with any artist, dead or alive in a studio of your choice. Who would be on your record?

Benjamin Corry: Elvis. Every time. I’m fascinated by him. That voice, that face, those eyes, that sheer, raw, uncontrollable presence and charisma. It’d be incredible to see what he could do with our songs and our sound. I doubt he’d like us to be honest, but this is my fantasy and in this universe Elvis bloody loves the punk rock.

The Battery Farm in their rehearsal room

You can follow The Battery Farm on social media:

https://www.facebook.com/thebatteryfarm/
https://twitter.com/TheBatteryFarm
https://www.instagram.com/thebatteryfarm/
https://thebatteryfarm.bandcamp.com/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChp93XaDBuXnmYQY-o2bhFg
https://open.spotify.com/artist/6qWGopTzUjeSYmsXyQ8RIr?si=DfhOPdjFRgugNDIkLVLuAA

That’s it. Here`s another band to add to our “Must See Bucket List”. And if you have a chance to catch them live – do so. With artists like The Battery Farm we are more than optimistic about the future of music, and even the universe.

M/R

Indieterria meets Mutes

Dear Readers,

Birmingham/West Mids scene at times feels like uncharted territory. You may be an active player locally for years and still come across bands that you have not heard of before. And they usually will be bands that you dig immediately, from the first listen. Let`s take Mutes for example. One evening, on our way home we noticed a poster advertising a gig in the local venue in Worcester.  We checked the headliner to realise not only they were part of the West Mids scene but we had like a million mutual friends and hanged out at the same boozers and venues between Madlands and Mancunia (hello Sunny and Castle!) Mutes were noisy, unpredictable and fiercely independent. The same evening we sent them a message and asked for an interview. There was no time to be wasted. Below, you will find our conversation with vocalist James Brown and Tom Hewson – bassist and founder of FOMA records. It is a long, splendid read but that`s how we like our music – loud, untamed with artists having something important to say.

Band logo

Mutes are:
James Brown  (guitar/vocals)
Tom Hewson (bass)
Craig Philip Bainton (drums)

Official bio: After two long, domesticated years of breakups, job losses, uprooting and rebuilding, Mutes have returned with their reactionary, tempestuous sophomore LP “Pareidolia”– a meandering, exhilarating record that sees the Birmingham post-punk group delivering something entirely new. Mutes have continued to build up a national reputation supporting bands such as Sorry, No Age, Cloud Nothings, The Cribs, PINS, Menace Beach & more. The group have received a steady stream of acclaim for their recorded output and live shows since 2014.

The Mutes ready to take their new material on the road. Photo by Megan Lewis

DIY Magazine described you with these words: “Mutes occupy the kind of territory that heavyweights tend to own”. Please introduce yourselves to the readers of Indieterria.

James Brown: So we’re Mutes- a 3 piece band from Birmingham. Started as a solo lo-fi project for myself but has ballooned into something far more aggy and ferocious. We’re into noise rock, ambient music, math, chamber pop, garage punk… everything really. Our music is kind of arty punk I think. It’s ephemeral in a sense but it’s also a lot more drawn-out than most of our local contemporaries.

Mutes have been on Birmingham scene for a relatively long period and have impressive back catalogue, maybe even the richest on local scene.  Your debut, self titled EP came in May 2014. It was followed by “Starvation Age”, a full band release on One Note Forever Records in 2015. You also have  an LP  – “No Desire” – that came out in 2017 via FOMA Records. That’s a lot of material. James also has three solo EPs to his name:  “Various Distractions” (2013), “No One Is Nowhere” (2014) and “Inertia” (2016). Its seems like you have this urge to record at any time. And even at any place – judging from the fact that your albums have been recorded in a bedroom in Birmingham and  a basement in Leeds.

Overfed singles cover

James Brown:  We’re actually nowhere near as prolific as I’d like to be. It’s hard in this day and age- if you release stuff constantly it just gets lost in the ether. Ideally I’d love to release at least 2 EPs a year and an album every other. But it’s hard to maintain prolificacy when you have a full time job! Above and all music should be self-expression and playing in a band should be fun- there’s no point writing a song if you have no feeling or aesthetic bursting to escape. There’s more than enough songs in the world. We record anywhere we can due to budget constraints- I recorded and mixed “Pareidolia” myself because I knew I had to make the album but I had no money at all. And I’m glad- necessity is the mother of invention and there’s things I did that I could’ve never done on someone else’s clock.

Press release for your new records mentions “breakups, job losses, uprooting and rebuilding”. This struggle must have left its mark on the album. Would you be feeling comfortable to tell what have happened in the band in the last two years?

James Brown:  Well over the last 2 years Mutes have had 8 different members. And I’ve had 2 relationships, 3 jobs, lived in 2 cities. You get the picture. It’s not been a particularly stable existence, but for better or worse having music to keep me going has been imperative to not just jacking everything in. Because when you’re onstage, or laying down vocals, or in a sweaty, smokey rehearsal room and everything clicks – none of the other bullshit matters. I wrote out all the lyrics to “Pareidolia” the other day and they do really reflect everything I’ve gone through over the past couple of years- relationship breakdowns, identity crisis, substance abuse or whatever. Even if I was too mired in it at the time to realise that’s what I was writing about.

New LP is entitled “Pareidolia” and comes out on June 21st 2019. So far three singles have been released: “Swallowing Light”, “Overfed” and “Men of Violence”.  The album brings a brand new line up. How do you think the record will be received?

James Brown:   I honestly don’t know – all I can do is be grateful that anyone might spend their own time listening to it. That blows my mind, the idea that someone might choose to listen to something I’ve created. But if they do that and it elicits any kind of emotional response then that’s incredible and I am thankful.

You remain unsigned but release your material through FOMA that also have Hoopla Blue, Outlander and Repeat of Last Week on their roster. The label also organizes events and offers artists management in house. Can you tell us more about FOMA and the relationship you share?

James Brown:  I’ll pass this over to our beautiful boi Tom

Tom Hewson: I formed FOMA with my brother James Hewson and friend Adam Tomes, who I write music with in Hoopla Blue. We started working with Mutes before the release of their debut LP “No Desire”, which was exciting for us as a label as it was the first time we worked with a band we were not directly involved with. Since then we’ve also worked with Outlander. James self-produced “Pareidolia” before I joined the band on bass duties. The label has become somewhat of a family that share the same values and commitment to our city and the music it offers. It’s all an experiment to be honest. We want to shout about the beauty of Birmingham with each new release and event

The band photographed by visual artist Megan Lewis

Mutes will be going on tour to support the record. Where can we see you live?

James Brown:  Cardiff, Nottingham, Birmingham, Worcester, London, Shropshire, Manchester. It’s pretty drawn out and we’d have loved some more dates up North but we get where we can! I’ve had to book out some of the venues myself so it’s DIY to the bone. I love day trips and playing a gig is like a day trip but with you as the star! And free beer! I mean what’s not to love?

We always get excited when bands come to play in our city of Worcester. For this particular gig you will be supported by SedatedSociety – a project by members of Rubella Moon, Coat of Many, The Americas and Junior Weeb.  That is truly mind blowing! Anything we should be expecting from the performance?

James Brown:  It’ll be loud! I’ve always loved Worcester and have been lucky enough to become friends with some of the bands there – and ones that have flown the nest such as Souer. I absolutely LOVE playing small intimate venues, so I’m really excited to play Paradiddles. Asking SedatedSociety was a given- those guys have been to a couple of our shows and are great, and I like to hand pick line-ups any chance I get. If one person who has never seen us play before has a good night then it’s a success. I have literally played to just the bar staff before and if they’ve enjoyed it then I’m happy. Maybe we can all hit Heroes after and drink too much. I like the low ceiling in there, makes me feel less like a short-ass.

Mutes will tour in support of their new album

Last question: We all say that Birmingham scene is underfunded and not as competitive as Manchester or Liverpool for example. So, if you had a million pounds to throw at the Birmingham music scene – what would you change?  What would you improve?

James Brown:  A million pounds eh? Well, open a new venue- one that’s around 80 cap and has accommodation for touring bands. Put the money into ensuring all bands that play there get some kind of content-based benefit such as a decent quality recording of the set, possibly even filmed too. Maintain a blog that does video interviews. Ensure it’s a safe space for everyone who wants to attend. Keep the toilets clean and the drinks reasonably priced. I love the East Midlands scene – Nottingham, Leicester, Derby. They feel a lot more sincere and less flashy. Dubrek Studios & JT Soar are great examples – Outta Mind Promotions put on a fantastic all-dayer last month and I could play those things every weekend for the rest of my life and be happy. Any money left over I’d love to put into obtaining press and tour support for FOMA artists. You’re really making me want a million pounds now!

You can follow the band on social media:

https://www.facebook.com/mutesuk/
https://twitter.com/mutesmutesmutes
https://www.instagram.com/mutesmutesmutes/
https://soundcloud.com/mutes-1
https://mutesuk.bandcamp.com/
https://mutesuk.bigcartel.com/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZAMKXTW31pxdXjdEW5LmdA
https://open.spotify.com/artist/52mqrsNlDf6CVhB6XJ6LHf?si=jO6sk6uwTk6XONJKEtyKlg

You can also check out  FOMA on socials and give them kudos for supporting independent scene in West Mids

https://www.facebook.com/wearefoma/
http://www.wearefoma.co.uk/
https://twitter.com/wearefoma
https://www.instagram.com/wearefoma/
https://wearefoma.bandcamp.com

Mutes, photography by Megan Lewis

Some additional reading about Mutes:

https://counteract.co/news/brummie-post-punks-mutes-detail-new-album-announce-uk-tour
http://indiemidlands.com/mutes-men-of-violence/

Poster for Mutes/SedatedSociety gig in Worcester

Mutes will play Worcester on June 25th 2019 at Paradiddles with SedatedSociety supporting. This will be first gig for both bands in town and the venue is very intimate so grab your tickets at the link below:

https://www.facebook.com/events/295350488016053/
https://www.wegottickets.com/event/473034

Door time is 7:30 PM and first band is on 8:00-ish. We plan to see some friendly faces. Tickets are £3 (ADV) and about £5 OTD.

Oh boy we cant wait.

M/R

Indieterria Review – Membranes and guests at Manchester Ritz

The Membranes, HENGE, Queen Zee, LIINES, The Pack (Theatre Of Hate) and Glove
Saturday, June 8, 2019
O2 Ritz, Manchester

Membranes fans are probably the most patient fans in the world. It took four long years for the band to return with the follow up to their excellent “Dark Matter/Dark Energy ” album. The new release entitled “What Nature Gives…Nature Takes Away” was finally released on the 7th of June and to commemorate this occasion, John Robb  & Co, booked a home-coming gig. They didn’t invite just one or two support acts. Instead, they have brought a full mini festival to the O2 Ritz.

Glove, a duo consisting of artists Slosilver and Stephanie Finegan opened the night with their energetic set. Many bands are called the next big thing, but Glove definitely deserve this title. Both artists were true firecrackers on stage. Matching outfits and colourful make up only added up to their appeal, but it was their music that made a huge impression on everyone. It’s very hard to classify their sound: there is punk rock, ska, indie, elements of grrlpower movement from the 90’s. From several styles, they create an unique combination that is truly their own. Gloves released their debut EP on May 4th and we had the pleasure of listening to it in its entirety.

 

 

The Pack (Theatre of Hate) were next on stage and their classic, uncompromising punk rock was greeted with delight by the public and massive moshpit formed to test the bouncy floor at the Ritz. I was equally delighted to see many young faces in the crowd wearing fan hawks and studded jackets. Indeed, punk’s not dead. Watching the band from the press pit (for the first time in my life) gives the reviewer a bit of a different perspective and at the same time I can tick this off my bucket list. Press review? Done! Light and sound at the Roskilde festival for the Sweedish death band band? Done! Taking pictures in the pit? Done as well! In the end, my pictures turned not very good and I had to rely on my pit partner in crime, Neil Winward. He kindly donated several excellent shoots of his own for this reviw and I’m very grateful!

You can follow Neil’s photography page at: https://www.facebook.com/neilwinwardphotography/

 

Added at the 11th hour, all female group, the LIINES are going from strength to strength. The band consists of  Zoe McVeigh (vocals, guitar), Tamsin Middleton (bass) and Leila O’Sullivan (drums). On Saturday, they played their best show yet. If you haven’t seen them live, you are committing a crime. Loud, bold and perfect in every detail, the trio easily proved that they are a force to be reckoned with. Their next gig in Manchester will take place on 17th of July at Festival Square, so book your seat in the front row!

 

I was looking forward to seeing Queen Zee for months after reading enthusiastic reviews on the internet and I wasn’t disappointed. Queen arrived in a blaze of glory and red light. Their set was built on powerful riffs, glam rock extravaganza and endless energy. There was a good deal of tongue-in-cheek humour between the songs that brightened the seriousness of their lyrics. My only complaint? Their show was too short and demands for “one more song” saw the band off stage and into the green room.

 

Next act, HENGE were something out of this world. Literally. They didn’t even pretend to be human. In fact, they travelled the universe in the name of rave to teach mankind to love, dance and take care of trees. The lead singer, Zhor wore a cape, voice modulator and plasma ball hat. The rest of the band consisted of  Grok, a human synthesiser player, Nom, the frog drummer and Goo, Venusian refugee on the keyboard. Henge are definitively a party band serving a convincingly alien mixture of rave, ABBA inspired disco, psychedelic rock with some heavy use of cowbell in certain songs. Despite their weirdness, everyone loved them and their merch stand welcomed a large crowd after the gig.

 

The final act for the night, the Membranes were greeted by a massive cheer from the gig goers when they finally appeared on the scene around 20:30 pm. As promised, the band were accompanied by a 10 piece BIMM Manchester choir conducted by Claire Pilling. I have seen Membranes play at the Alphabet Brewery in December 2018 and I thought they were excellent back then, but they sounded and looked even better now. They were like a fantastically oiled machine: well tuned in, strong and surprising. The show started with ” The Universe Explodes Into A Billion Photons Of Pure White Light”, followed by “Dark Energy” and “Do the Supernova” that sent the audience into a frenzied pogo. The new album was also well represented with “A Strange Perfume”, “Black Is the Colour” and the title track “What Nature Gives… Nature Takes Away”. It was one of the best gigs (or mini festivals) I have attended this year and the next show better be earth-shattering as the bar has been set very high indeed.

 

Vanadian Avenue would like to thank The Membranes and John Robb, Claire Pilling and the rest of the Manchester punk community for the opportunity to film and review the gig and for the great time they offered. A big thank you to Neil Winward for his pictures and to Shauna McLarnon from Shameless Promotion for her kind words and assistance. Thank you so much!

Special shout out to the lovely people from AF gang (IDLES community) who took me under their wings. All is love!

Rita Dabrowicz

Indieterria meets Memes

Dear Readers,

They appeared out of nowhere, with no warning and within a month have been BBC 6 Music single of the week, had Amazing Radio on their team and BBC Scotland taking notice. If that is not a very definition of taking the indie circuit by storm, then we don’t know what that would be. We have sat down with Memes to talk about their new single, future gigs and their lyrics. This band combines post punk fury with intelligence and wit of The Fall. Mark E Smith is probably looking down, nodding his head with approval and saying to John Peel that there are still good bands in the UK.

You can listen to Memes on 60 seconds CV on Steve Lamacq’s Recommend’s show at:
https://cocamidemea.files.wordpress.com/2018/11/memes_60-seconds_cv_steve-lamacq-recommends_25.04.2019.mp3

They are going viral and we couldn’t be happier!

Memes logo

Memes are:
John McLinden
Paul McLinden

At Indieterria, we take pride in researching each band we interview. However we weren’t able to find much about Memes. We learnt only that you come from Glasgow and that the band is made out of two friends named John and Paul. Introduce yourselves properly to our readers.

Memes: Memes is John McLinden and Paul McLinden and we are cousins and we are a new duo from Glasgow.

We love your enigmatic attitude. You have no biography on social media, just an email address and a couple of pictures are available. Tell us more about Memes. When did you start playing? Have you been involved in any previous projects?

Memes: To be honest, the mystery hasn’t really been intentional, the missing bio and lack of information on the band is mostly down to the fact that the band is being so new! That said, it’s hard for bands to maintain any mystique in the social media age, which is a shame, as it is one of the things we like about some of our favourite bands.

Memes came about from some downtime in another band we play with (we have been involved in various projects before). We just got together to record some ideas that Paul had written. We were just messing around really and DIY recording in a loft in Glasgow, but we liked the end result of ‘Blah Blah Blah’ and thought we would put a single release together to see if we could get any reaction. We only started working on Memes in February 2019.

Scottish blog Turn Up The Volume compared your music to The Fall and The Smiths with a “healthy dose” of Idles. What are your inspirations?

Memes:  Very flattering of them to say so, we would count those bands as favourites of ours for sure. We like anything that is interesting or provocative in some way. That could be anything from Talking Heads to Frank Sinatra to Steve Reich.

“Is that a picture of your grand pa?” – photography by Gary Dickie

In another review you were described as “Fast and furious lo-fi post punk that sounds like a frantic Mark E Smith after a day spent watching BBC Parliament”.  And we have to admit that your lyrics have the same wit and edge as the lead singer of The Fall. We will risk saying that he`d be a fan.  You are not afraid to be outspoken and yet do it in a subtle way. That’s a very rare quality in music these days. 

Memes:  There isn’t much in the way of being outspoken (or saying anything really) in the mainstream, but there are bands and individuals out there causing a stir. We haven’t deliberately set our stall out to say anything specific but hopefully the songs catch the imagination.

You just released your debut A side single “Blah Blah Blah”/”Funny man” and captured attention of everyone in the business. You have been a single of the week at BBC 6 Music as chosen by Steve Lamacq himself, you have been championed by Jim Gellatly on Amazing Radio, Tom Robinson from Fresh on the Net is also very fond of the song. This Feeling added the single to their Best New Bands playlist. Is this attention something you have expected?

Memes:  No, not at all. We liked the music and hoped others would, but having the airplay we have had for such a new project has been fantastic, we just have to back it up now! Music is a difficult nut to crack and we have only released two songs at the moment, but hopefully our next release will raise the game!

Talking about debuts, The Duct Tape, Edinburgh zine swears that 4 months before “Blah Blah Blah” came out you have released another song that was distributed during underground punk gathering. Sadly we haven’t been able to confirm this  piece of news anywhere else. True or not?

Memes:  Hmmm news to us! Could be another band called Memes but it definitely wasn’t us.

We would like to ask you about the story behind “Funny Man”. Are you able to disclose the person about whom the song was  written?

Memes:  It’s not about any one person in particular, just the many “funny” and supposed “characters” out there that you meet…that aren’t funny and have no character, you know the ones!

We keep mentioning The Fall in this interview and on 13th of June you will be supporting Imperial Wax Band (whose members were the longest serving and the last line up of The Fall). You must have the date marked on your calendars!

Memes:  Yeah, looking forward to that one. Given that The Fall has been mentioned as part of our sound, it will hopefully go down well with the Imperial Wax crowd.

Memes are just getting started – but you must have some plans made for the future. What can we expect? A new single more gigs or perhaps a bigger release such a EP?

Famous last question. Imagine you can play any venue in the world. Which one would you choose?

Memes:  This would have to be the Barrowlands in Glasgow, simply a great venue.

Memes ready to take on the world – photo by Gary Dickie

You can follow the band on social media:

https://www.facebook.com/memestheband/
https://soundcloud.com/memestheband
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCAozXPvxbmFDRGmKhGVK8fQ
https://twitter.com/memestheband
https://open.spotify.com/artist/4UHOCHsbn2JNwXQJWzO2WT?si=zx3wwhmwQqWzSmIWdyeo8w

Memes can be contacted at: memestheband@hotmail.com

Additional reading :
https://turnupthevolume.blog/2019/04/08/scottish-post-punks-memes-hit-hard-twice-with-double-debut-single-blah-blah-blah-and-funny-man/

Memes will share the stage with hottest new indie bands – Tiger Mimic and Lower Loveday at iconic venue Nambucca on April 27th 2019. The event is free entry:

Showcase poster

You can find more info on socials at:
https://www.facebook.com/events/658720734568060/

We will be reporting on Memes in the future since they are about to go though the roofs. Just give them few months, they will give Sleaford Mods a good run! (and we like Mods, actually them and Memes on a tour is such a good idea!).

R/M