THIS week kicks off…
with a chat with Matt of MUFFIN. He discusses their new song, swim.float.drown, and whether the song came together quite naturally. He reveals whether there might be more material coming later; what Leeds is like as a centre and source of inspiration; what advice he would give artists coming through – he selects some upcoming talent to look out for.
The boys each choose an album that means a lot to them; Matt talks about touring and future plans; what he does to unwind away from music – the band pick a track each to end the interview with.
Hi, Matt. How are you? How has your week been?
Matt: Pretty good thanks, Sam! We’ve just come off the back of playing Neverworld festival down in Kent with the likes of Tom Grennan, Yonaka; Bastille etc. and have announced another couple of shows in Bournemouth and Tunbridge Wells for the end of August.
For those new to your music; can you introduce yourselves, please?
Ok. So; we’re a hybrid of Alt-Rock, Grunge and Punk mixed with gin and ginger hair - ‘MUFFIN’ for short.
What can you reveal about the new single, swim.float.drown? How did that come together
Most of how we write is as a five-piece, all together in a practice room. Someone will come in with a riff or a pre-chorus, etc. - and swim.float.drown was no different in that aspect. We wanted to develop the sound from the direction we were heading in our debut E.P. and we think we’ve managed to capture that.
It sounds like you are in confident mood right now. Did swim.float.drown come together quite quickly and naturally?
Not really, no! We had the verse-chorus structure nailed down pretty quickly, but then we were stumped for a while about where we wanted it to lead. Then Jamie (guitar) came in with this monster riff and it just fit pretty perfectly.
Do you all share the same taste in music? Who were the artists you all grew up around?
We all have crossovers in our music tastes which was definitely a leading factor in what brought us together as a band. But, to say that we all had the same music taste would be far from that. Individually, our music tastes span from Electronic music, noughties Indie; '70s Punk, right the way through to Metal. For me, I was raised on a diet of Green Day, Oasis, Madness and a bit of Motörhead.
Leeds is your hometown. What is the music scene like there? Do you think the city gets the credit it deserves?
Leeds is busy. There are so many venues, so many bands and so many different things always going on. It can be your best friend or a problem child. In a place like Leeds, you have to stand out to stand a chance, so I guess that’s what we’re trying to achieve there.
Might we see more from the band later this year/next? What are you working on right now
Now, it’s all about getting as many gigs under our belt by the end of the year - and, hopefully, before 2019 we’ll have another release out. We’ve got four or five booked in the diary already and that number is looking like it’ll grow in the coming weeks.
Do you think there will be touring dates? Can we catch you play?
Bournemouth and Tunbridge Wells over the August Bank Holiday and then we’ve got plans for Leeds, Manchester; Hull, Glasgow and Newcastle and hopefully a few more in October/November time. There may be a short tour in the offing in December too but no promises!
If you each had to select an album that means the most to you; which would they be and why?
Matt: I’d have to go with A Black Mile to the Surface by Manchester Orchestra
Because I cannot think of another album that I’d prefer to just sit and listen to front-to-back. It’s cinematic.
Jamie: Queen’s Greatest Hits for me
Listening to those tracks made me want to be a performer.
Jacob: Wish You Were Here – Pink Floyd
It’s the album that inspired me in guitar technique and the love of solos.
Sam: For me, it’s I Had the Blues by Bombay Bicycle Club.
Barry: The Strokes’ Is This It
The best Indie album out there for me.
What advice would you give to artists coming through?
Don’t be lazy. It sounds stupid, but genuinely, if you can be arsed to sit for a few hours compiling press releases, sending emails to promotors; to reviewers, to other bands; finding Spotify curators online, regularly interacting with people on and off social media; making time to play gigs all over the bloody country…that’s what makes the difference.
Obviously, you’ve gotta be good but it helps so much more if you’re good and right in someone’s face so they can find you. The more effort you put into the boring bits behind the scenes, especially when you’re like us and totally independent, the better the gigs will be and the better the opportunities you will get.
IN THIS PHOTO: OTHERKIN/PHOTO CREDIT: Jake Haseldine
Are there any new artists you recommend we check out?
The list would be endless and it’d end up in an argument if you forced us to give a list we all agreed on…but there’s a few that stick out. OTHERKIN, Avalanche Party; Fizzy Blood, Youth Killed It; Generation, LION and Yonaka (this list will go on and on as well…).
IN THIS PHOTO: YONAKA/PHOTO CREDIT: Ryan Saradjola
Do you get much time to chill away from music? How do you unwind?
Finally, and for being good sports; you can each choose a song and I’ll play it here (not any of your music - I will do that).
Matt: Fairweather Friends - Queens of the Stone Age
Jacob: Shine on You Crazy Diamond (Parts I-IX) - Pink Floyd
Sam: Raus! – NARCS
Barry: Mirror Kisses – The Cribs
Jamie: You Can Get It If You Really Want – Jimmy Cliff