You may know of Muncie Girls, you may not, but mark my words by the end of 2016 you will bloody know Muncie Girls. After releasing phenomenal début album ‘From Caplan to Belsize’ in March, we caught up with Lande, Dean and Luke as they supported Tellison in Birmingham.
Warning: This interview features a small amount of sucking up!
Lande: You look quite comfy down there.
Luke: I love sitting on the floor!
There is something comforting about sitting on the floor.
Luke: I think it brings you back to school days when it was circle time and you were sat on the floor.
Lande: Or assembly, or actually, until a certain point you were sat on the floor for lessons weren’t you? That is so weird now to think about it.
Then you’d sit at seats for a small period of the day.
Lande: It is very telling of how funded our schools are.
Sitting crossed legged in an hour long assembly.
Luke: Everyone gets up and you’ve got pins and needles.
Then you get upgraded to a bench.
Luke: Yes, Year Six, where you are like towering over all the peasants. I bet it is the same no matter where you are in the country, Year Six are on the benches.
Dean: Those little knobs at the end of each bench, you didn’t want to get on there.
Now we are all settled, firstly congratulations on the new album which is phenomenal. Are you happy it’s finally out there in the world?
Luke: Yeah, definitely!
Lande: Of course!
Dean: It was such a long build up, so it is nice to actually have it out finally.
Are you happy with how it has been received?
Lande: Oh yeah totally, it has been mental hasn’t it?
Dean: I haven’t seen a bad thing about it, which is incredible.
I was reading the interview with Upset, and you mentioned the fact that the first album is what a band is remembered for. Do you think you’ve achieved that, or is it too early to tell?
Luke: I think it is probably too early to tell from other peoples perspectives, for us I think we feel like we have accomplished what we wanted to do and we are all super proud of it. But it is way too early I think to tell what everyone else thinks.
Lande: It is quite funny as well, because when we recorded it we were so happy with it we were like “no way, this is awesome” and we recorded it over two weeks it was much longer than we’d ever spent in a studio before, we were still overwhelmed with how pleased we were with it, we couldn’t believe that anyone else would like it, because it was our thing and we got used to the fact that it wasn’t being shared. So when it actually got shared we’d kind of forgotten that other people would hear it.
How long were you sitting on it?
Lande: Like fourteen months.
Shit, that is a long time.
Lande: Thirteen/fourteen months!
Dean: And then if you think about when we started writing it, which was another year.
It must have been painful?
Lande: It was a little bit, but then we got used to the idea of it being our own private thing. We forgot that we were going to release it in a way.
Dean: We got used to it.
Lande: We forgot that other people were going to hear it. So when it came out there was this whole extra thing of people being really nice about it, which was a total bonus.
Knowing you were sitting on it for so long, I was reading that you wrote ‘Nervous’ about the state of the NHS. It is worrying, that you’ve been sitting on that for thirteen months and that track is still as relevant, if not more relevant than it was at the time, and jack-shit has changed.
Lande: Definitely, I would say it is more relevant.
You write very personal songs about personal feelings, which means you did write about the NHS, Education and Feminism. Do you think that puts you in a place where people are going to peg you as a ‘socialist band’ or a ‘political band’ when in theory you aren’t specifically and it’s just what means most to you at the time.
Lande: I don’t think we are worried about that because: A) that’s not a bad thing and B) whatever people want to think is fine really. I think if you had to be pegged as something, I think that is quite a good thing to be thought about as.
Luke: I think it is the same with genres, no matter what, people are going to put a band into a certain category because it is just easier. But it doesn’t make any difference to us, so we don’t really care.
This year there have been releases from you, HECK, Milk Teeth, Black Peaks and Max Raptor. At the moment the UK scene for ’emerging’ bands (and I use the term emerging for bands who have been doing this for five years plus who are getting those début or big albums out) I assume you will know some of those bands, what is the feeling and morale like within that group?
Luke: It’s exciting!
Lande: It’s so good and is so nice because they are all our friends, so you just feel super proud and feel like a part of something special, it’s really cool.
Luke: There is a definite buzz of bands who are pushing that boundary, and sort of really progressing and everyone is doing it at the same time.
And it (was) only April, what is the rest of the year going to bring? In the vain 2016, you’ve been pretty much everywhere press wise. Have you had chance to take in all the plaudits?
Lande: It is totally impossible to gain a perspective on it, especially if it is magazines that you used to read when you were younger. The way that I kind of deal with it is “yeah, that magazine was popular when I was younger but not any more” or “that’s not cool any more” something like that, but really what has happened is that we got a little bit older, it might not be to our peers but to younger people it might be a bit of a thing. But you can’t actually take that in whatsoever, I don’t think anyone can because it doesn’t make sense. All we are doing is the same we’ve ever done, but with a bit more press. I don’t think it feels real in a way, not to be dramatic.
Dean: It doesn’t feel different to before.
Lande: It’s almost quite funny if you’re in Smith’s and you’re like “oh I’ll have a look in Kerrang” and there you are, and you think “that’s kind of just weird and funny”.
In terms of the tour, you are a week into a full fortnight on the road. How has that been because there aren’t any days off in there. Enjoying yourselves? Good crowds?
Luke: Been some cool shows, been going to quite a lot of different places on this tour. We haven’t done a proper UK tour in a while, and because we are doing it with Tellison, before we were doing just Punk tours, which is what we love to do, but there is a slightly different vibe and in different cities, which is cool, good to have variety.
Lande: Playing to a different crowd, which is really cool.
What have the crowds been like, because we said before the interview, we are mainly here to see you. Have you found people have come up to you saying that?
Lande: There has actually been a few, which is nice because I thought anyone who is actually into us would wait until we did Punk shows because this is more a Tellison tour with people who are into Indie Rock, although they do have elements of being a Punk band so the two go together really. Like some of our friends haven’t come up to shows, because the ticket prices are slightly higher and we’re doing it because we want to do something different, and we love Tellison. We’ve definitely signed a lot more records than we normally do.
A very vinyl collecting crowd?
Lande: Yeah, yeah, yeah! If I went to see one of my favourite bands and I saw them, I don’t think I’d get them to sign a record because then I would just think “what am I going to do with that, you’ve just ruined my fucking record” so that’s been really interesting.
You’re getting a real chance to play to new crowds, which is what you want to do with a support slot.
Lande: Yeah, and it’s cool. The Such Gold tour was a support tour, so they’re the only ones we’ve done where people weren’t there to see us, which is interesting.
In terms of summer you’ve got quite a lot of festivals lined up. Are there any that stand out or you are really looking forward to? You’ve got Download and Grozerock in there.
Lande: Grozerock is going to be so good!
Dean: I went for the first time last year, and I was just like “I really want to play next year” so it is going to be really cool.
Luke: I’m excited for Download, I have never been to Download or thought I would go to Download so I am excited to see what it’s like.
It’s the muddiest place on Earth!
Luke: I’ll be staying away from the mud.
Lande: I’ll be wearing my wellies!
You’ve said you were sitting on the last album for a while, and as is the industry I’m sure you’ll be asked about new music throughout the summer, so I’m going to get in there first. Have you started thinking about new material, you’ve done EP’s before historically, will you go back and do another EP?
Lande: We aren’t exactly sure yet, I think the plan is to just get straight in with another album. We’ve got a bunch of songs that we’ve been figuring out for a while now, because when we were sitting on that record it seemed like a good time to start writing stuff when we weren’t touring as much. So we’ve actually got a few written.
Luke: Still early days to work out how we are going to release that, it is still just writing new stuff for the sake of writing new stuff.
I’ll finish on one that I seem to have been asking a lot of people lately. Donald Trump, thoughts?
Lande: I think he is terrifying, and that’s the biggest thing. It’s like history repeating itself, and although that’s a phrase we know to be true, you don’t expect that kind of social cleansing in this day and age, it’s absolutely fucked. All I can say is we are weirdly happy to live in Britain at the moment, ish!
Muncie Girls will be supporting the also awesome Beach Slang in June, alongside some festival shows across the Summer. Go check them out!