In the run up to the forthcoming 405 sponsored These Monsters album launch party we catch up to the supporting bands, the record labels, and two other special guests in a three part series of double interviews to find out a bit more about them and to remind you why it's going to be such a stonking show. Enjoy Part I, Parts II and III will be hot on its heels in the following week!
Shield Your Eyes Interview Listen to Shield Your Eyes
You guys obviously have a pretty hectic tour schedule and you’re known as being hard-touring at the best of times. What are the best and worst things about being on the road so often? It's a lot more fun than most other things I'd be doing, and obviously we like playing live and playing our music at people. The best thing is going on tour with another band you really like and hanging out with them for weeks on end; the worst thing is most of the time no-one's got any cish cash and that can get difficult when there're promoters not paying the guarantees etc, and we're away so often that its hard to earn money in the meantime for when you're back, or hold down a job, or pay rent, or have any money to do anything else. Touring is really fun and is the only way to really create a stir, its the best thing for a band to get a reputation for being good live, and its a natural process to enjoy playing your music at people in the same room who want to hear it.
The eyepatch wearing suited bear on your merch. Does he have a name? A history? A job!? He has a name, is 28 years old, has many self-appointed jobs, but i am not at liberty to divulge further here. Your sound could be described as quite scatty and caustic. Are you influenced by mental noise-core bands, if so who? And if not, then who? Nah not really, I like stuff like early 70s progressive blues and stuff similar to that, soul music and also some bands going now like This Aint Vegas, Lords, That Fucking Tank, but with all this stuff, in particular the 70s stuff, i think we've taken the feel and ethos and by and large done our own stuff. By feel i mean the type of approach where you record live in a room, not doing too many takes, and letting there be bits of improvisation and letting the songs be what they want to be, not worrying too much about little mistakes and don't engineer the life out of it. By ethos i mean tour as hard as possible, write as often as possible, practice only when absolutely necessary, and record an album every 9 months or so. What are the three bands you’re most excited to hear more from this year? Well Pneu are going to come back over here and thats really exciting to watch them all across the country again, Nitkowski are one of our favourite bands and their second album stuff they're writing is really beautiful stuff, and Silent Front are releasing their album in April which i cant wait to hear cos they've been one of my favourite underground bands for years, their integrity just shines out. other than that, to be honest i don't think I've got a particularly good idea as to what is going on with other bands at the moment. What’s the worst thing about answering interview questions? I don't know cos we hardly ever do! How do you guys approach the song-writing process? Most of the time i write guitar parts on my own, then show them to the boys who put their parts to it very quickly, then we rattle the song around for a while changing bits till its got its structure and in the meantime we feel our way into playing our parts. then we record what we've got onto a tape machine so we don't forget it and I'm always left feeling you can never quite get the feel of those recordings again. Usually it takes an hour or two to write most songs. since we've had Nick in the band theres been a couple where he brought the bass parts in first, and a couple of others came from jams. Then for the recording process I'm mostly concerned with trying to get that feeling back and so far I've been really happy with the albums, they're as good as we could make them at the time. We recorded the music for our third album at the weekend and I haven't heard the takes back yet but they felt good in the room so I'm excited about it. What would you say is your best quality, the one thing that makes or will make you stand out from your musical peers? Don’t be modest. In all honesty i think our best qualities are the music we've written and the way we play live, we've got a fucking beffin drummer and we rattle the shit out of our songs. As for standing out from musical peers - we're one of the only bands in the country to have not put anything out on Big Scary Monsters! Ah to be honest I don't think there are that many bands coming from the same place as us, a lot of bands do a lot of self-promotion and try and get a lot of attention when they're not really any better or different from loads of other bands with the same influences as each other, we've just drilled out a lot of gigs and kept releasing albums that have sounded pretty different to other stuff I think. There is absolutely no time spent thinking about commercial aspects during the writing or recording, and so far we've made more albums than we've done interviews. Maybe that's the same with most bands, I don't know. We've got friends in great bands like Nitkowski and Silent Front who have similar approaches and I think we identified with each other on that and thats why we tour together so much.
The Munroe Effect Interview Listen to The Munroe Effect
Could you start by just telling us a little bit about yourselves and what you’ve been up to for the past six months? We are four twenty-somethings who enjoy long walks by the seaside, lazy summer evenings, and the cinematography of Christopher Morris. The past six months have been spent locked away in a bedroom tirelessly mixing our debut album, sweating over 0.2dB of reverb that no-one will ever notice - interrupted only by some great shows & not-so-great rum all over the UK! You guys lean towards the heavier side of alternative; could you tell us who your hardcore heroes are? To name a few we'd have to say: at the drive-in, dillinger escape plan, refused, blood brothers, norma jean, killswitch engage, the bled, botch... all essential bands for the endless motorway miles! But despite this, 'hardcore' is only a small portion of the music we listen to. What’s the most bizarre fan experience you’ve ever had? Mr Stabby McStabberson from a little town in North Hampshire - he seemed like a nice quiet young chap, very into the band, keen to meet us! It was cool, until finding his myspace page with pictures of him and his massive collection of machetes - EEK! Suffice to say we were very polite when we met him on our next visit.... The Munroe effect refers to the partial focusing of blast energy caused by a hollow or void cut into a piece of explosive. Are you guys particular fans of physics or did you just like that it makes you sound more explosive? Honest answer? Didn't have a fucking clue what it meant. Still don't, really. I mean, it's something to do with bombs and shit, right? So that's gotta be good. Anyone who's ever tried to think of a band name will tell you that it's harder than doing Quantum Physics and Brain Surgery at the same time - we've all successfully repressed the memories of that time, but basically you can thank Wikipedia for that one. It was good enough to start booking shows with, and the rest (as they say) is history!
You’re friends with Pulled Apart By Horses and they’ll be DJing at the These Monsters album launch you’re also playing on. Would you agree that they’re one of the best live bands going at the moment? Do you have an absolute favourite live band and why? Totally, we played with them recently and they ripped it! If you haven't seen them, SORT IT OUT! There are so many talented bands, I don't think we could all agree on an all-time favourite, so to resort to a "Muso" level, the best live act we've ever seen has to be Meshuggah. They're so tight it's just ridiculous. People say 'oh, band X is so tight', but once you've seen Meshuggah, it's like.... "Right. So that's what 'tight' is! What are your plans for 2010? What would be the best possible way to round off the year for you guys? In 2010 we plan to enter the banking industry in order to fund our Burger King habit, which is rapidly spiralling out of control thanks to their abundance at Moto services. Nah, in all seriousness 2010 has only just begun... ask us again once we've released the album and toured the hell out of it!! Although, I can't think of anything that would beat a call from Ross Robinson about Album #2.... The Kids N Enemies remix up on your myspace is pretty good! If you could pick three producers to remix your EP, or three bands to cover your songs, who would they be? Easy: The Prodigy, Squarepusher, Eddy Temple Morris. As for covers, I would love to hear Dillinger Escape Plan cover any band - especially ours. I think that would count as 3 bands? Would you rather be over-hyped or stuck in obscurity? Why? If we have to be one, it's gotta be over-hyped - that way we could all quit our crappy day jobs and try to live up to it! Note to Editors: all hype gratefully received... ;)
These Monsters Album Launch! Supported by Shield Your Eyes + Munroe Effect With very special guest DJs Pulled Apart by Horses Friday February 19th 2010 The Lexington 96-98 Pentonville Road, London Click here for tickets - £5 or £6 on the door. Doors 7.30pm – 11.30pm
Links Brew Records Function Records These Monsters Shield Your Eyes Munroe Effect What say you on this? Sound off in our Fourum!