The Cucamaras are a young band from Nottingham that has been steadily building a following and reputation due to their infectious, raw, and energetic sound. This energy is particularly felt in their recent single ‘Death Of The Social’, a fiery release that is decorated with a flurry of guitars and biting lyrics. The single is an infectious indie/post-punk barrage that sees a step up in songwriting, production, and angst that is most welcome. With a string of live shows scheduled for later this year as well as more singles and a possible EP, it’s safe to say that the Cucamaras are looking to make a mark this year. The band has a bright future ahead of them and we cannot wait to see their future unfold.

We caught up with Olly Bowley to discuss the band’s history, its future, and everything in between.

Kieran: Thanks so much for taking the time to chat with us, how have you all been? 

Olly: Thanks for having us. We’re doing well, our new song’s been well received which is never bad news – I’m enjoying the last dregs of that ‘new song’ excitement for now.

Kieran: So, how did you all meet and at what point did you decide to start making music together?

Olly: I’ve known Josh and Joe since we were young. It was always spoken about, making music and being a band, but never anything concrete for a while. It was a matter of time really. We started making demos in Josh’s uni flat a few years ago and got Joe to trek down from Newcastle Uni to play drums. Sometime after we met Dan and he’s been playing with us since.

Kieran: Did you have a particular sound you wanted to create or did you find it naturally? 

Olly: Well at first we were writing generic indie songs and it didn’t take long before we became disillusioned with them. When our listening circles changed those sort of tracks got phased out, so I guess it has been quite a natural shift to where we are now. There’s more of a collective idea between us of what we want our sound to be for now, but we don’t want to get stuck rehashing the same things over and over.

Well at first we were writing generic indie songs and it didn’t take long before we became disillusioned with them

Olly Bowley – Cucamaras

Kieran: Were there any people or bands that inspired your sound?

Olly: Over lockdown, I read a lot of Leonard Cohen’s stuff, he’s a universal inspiration for a lot of folks let alone me. Not many others can be witty and devastating in the same sentence, ‘A Thousand Kisses Deep’ is probably my favourite. A lot of bands that are doing well around us inspire us too – Do Nothing and Yard Act are great. I know Josh and Joe are big into Carseat Headrest, and we all love Parquet Courts.

Kieran: When writing your music where do you find influence? 

Olly: It’s mostly from what we’re reading and listening to. ‘Death of the Social’ came from a sociological article Josh introduced us to by Jean Beaudrillard. Recently, Josh has been writing a lot of the music and I’ve been adding the words. Because we’re listening to the same things they often fit together well, but then we’re the only ones who’ve heard a lot of the new stuff – I could be very wrong.

Check the bands latest single ‘Death Of The Social’ here:

Kieran: What was life like growing up in Nottingham and what’s a misconception people have about your hometown?

Olly: I don’t think I appreciated how good Nottingham is for a long time. It always felt like the grass was greener elsewhere but it’s a brilliant city, especially for music. Live venues are everywhere – I don’t understand how the only Rough Trade outside of New York, Bristol, and London is in Nottingham. We’re very lucky. There’s more to Nottingham than Robin Hood, that’s probably the misconception.

Kieran: Are you ready for the return of live music and what bit do you miss the most?

Olly: We couldn’t be more ready, other than needing to practice our live set because we’d be rubbish if we played tonight. This summer poses to be our biggest yet gig-wise, so I really hope it all happens. I miss the ability to gauge how good a song goes down live. Over lockdown we’ve written a lot of songs, the whole sets near enough new, so we’re going in blind and it’s a whole big surprise. Fingers crossed they do okay.

Kieran: Any shows lined up that you’re most excited for? 

Olly: On October 8th we’ve got a homecoming show at The Bodega in Nottingham which will be a great shindig. In July we’re playing Y NOT Festival too, which is our first festival and we’re in some illustrious company. That doesn’t include The Stereophonics, I don’t know how they still get headline slots.

Kieran: The north is pumping out some amazing acts at the moment, why do you think this is?

Olly: I’d say the North is doing equally as well as the South – it feels like acts from all over are doing well.

Kieran: What are 5 bands from the north we should check out?

Olly: I can give you four. I don’t know if Nottingham really classes as North but Do Nothing and Blood Wizard are great. Other than that I’d say Yard Act and Working Men’s Club which you’ve probably already listened to.

Kieran: We’re from Cornwall, everywhere past London is the north haha!

Can we expect an EP or LP to drop this year?

Olly: For now we’ve got a few more singles recorded and ready to go, 2022 an EP is likely on the cards. Another track will be out June-ish.

Kieran: Lastly, we like to end on a story, can you tell us something funny or gnarly that has happened to you?

Olly: We played in the back of a community centre in Hyde once. There was yarn for sale and a Pomeranian joined us on stage at one point. It was a low point, but you’ve got to earn your stripes.

Let us know what you think!