Interview by Kieran Webber | Header Image by Max Harris
The Bristol based punks recently dropped their anthemic war cry of a single ‘You Make Me Sick’. A crushing punk rager that was a big fuck you to all the men that think sexual harassment is okay. Like previous releases it is a frantic track matched with crushing riffs and snarling vocals.
As a band they continue to impress with their poignent music. They are a band with a purpose and an ever growing drive to be heard. With this in mind we wanted to find out more about the band, what makes them tick, the state of the music industry post-covid and much more.
Kieran: Thanks for taking the time to chat with us, how have you all been?
Matt: We’ve been good, just cracking on with everything we can in these crazy times we’re in at the moment! The response to ‘You Make Me Sick’ so far has been amazing- thank you all so much!
Kieran: How was lockdown for you guys? Did you learn anything new?
Brodie: I learnt how to get motivated to lose weight and then put on more weight than I ever have during lockdown!
Will: I’m a student nurse, so I’ve been learning loads on my placements during lockdown.
Matt: Lockdown was weird, as it was for everyone, made me appreciate that I work part time at co-op, as it gave me some kind of routine to keep me sane.
Lewis: I got really good at age of empires- nah I spent a lot of the time working as much as I could to get better at my job as a student mental health nurse!
Kieran: Did you find the extra time helped you be more creative or the opposite?
Matt: Opposite, we all felt really unmotivated and anxious during the lockdown period. Like most artists, we had so many shows and plans for summer 2020 which obviously mostly got cancelled with a few shows rescheduled. Brodie was stuck in Wales the whole time, which made it difficult to work on new material. It was nice to have time to work on projects, but since lockdown eased, we’ve loved being able to get sweaty in a practice room together again!
Kieran: Things are looking a bit bleak for live music at the moment but how do you see it making a recovery?
Brodie: It won’t, this will ruin so many venues and leave a huge hole in the industry, but the most devastating part will be the fact that our industry, has next to no support from the government, to the point where that Rishi Sunak prick is telling people to retrain and get different jobs.
Matt: Most music venues we’re struggling to get by even before lockdown, post lockdown most have remained closed to keep their running costs at a minimum. We’ve seen some venues and bands doing social distanced shows, which is great if it works for them, but that type of show isn’t something we would want to do. As we pride our live shows off high energy performances and a space for the audience to escape the world around them and go mental to the music without any judgement, just love from everyone in the room.
Will: I think all we can do is stay hopeful and keep supporting venues and the music scene as much as possible
Kieran: If venues close down do you think people will still, try put on shows?
Will: Yeah, people are desperate, and music means so much to people.
Matt: 100% people have been doing it already during the lockdown period with distanced free parties etc and the number of DIY events will increase, so many people need the joy of live music to get them through their working weeks. Venues will close down unless they receive the promised government support going to the people at the bottom of the chain, which are the breeding ground for artists like us trying to make a name for themselves. We owe so much to venues like The Fleece, Louisiana, Mothers Ruin and other great venues we’ve played for giving us the opportunity to perform on their stage.
Kieran: How do you think the music industry will look after COVID pandemic?
Matt: The music industry is incredibly resilient and is relied on by so many people as a form on escape, motivation, joy etc. Musicians are creative as well in all aspects of the word. The power of social media and then internet allows for so many ways to stay connected to our fanbase and musicians are already using out of the box ideas to continue provide content for their fanbase be it with live stream shows, playthrough content of their songs, Q & A sessions and by bringing forward releasing new music, when they would normally be touring their current album.
Once restrictions are lifted post pandemic, I can see there being a massive influx in shows for the artists, venues, festivals etc that were able to survive financially during the pandemic. With everyone wanting to play as many shows as possible to generate income and to finally tour their album they released in lockdown etc.
Will: It’s hard to say, the world is so up in the air at the moment it’s hard to say what’s happening tomorrow. I think we have just got to do our bit day by day and soon enough we can all help to rebuild the music scene.
Kieran: How can people support musicians and the industry during this trying time?
Will: Even something small like sharing a post or streaming their songs and videos is free to do and artists will appreciate it greatly! Buy a t-shirt! Buying merch is huge source of income for most artists.
Matt: Majority of musicians are only able to survive normally mostly due to the income from live shows and by selling merch at those shows. If you can buy merchandise, or even buy their album or singles (an album sale is equivalent to thousands of streams!) that is a lifeline to artists. But as Will said there’s so many other ways you can support an artist, streaming their music, adding it to your playlists and following the artist on your streaming service will help boost an artist’s reach massively. Sharing a post on social media or just sharing you listening to the music to your social media stories is free promotion for artists.
Kieran: You’re latest single ‘You Make Me Sick’ has a strong message, what influenced you to write this track and the music video?
Lewis: I think it just breaks our heart to know that people have been through experiences of harassment or assault and I think the least we could do was write this song that encapsulates the anger and frustration of survivors but at the same time creates a unity and stronghold for survivors too.
Will: Throughout my life I’ve seen people abuse their position or stature or perceived importance to fuel their disgusting acts and perverted thoughts and prey on vulnerable people in society who need to be protected. This song to me is an anthem of standing up and standing with survivors and doing what is right.
Matt: ‘You Make Me Sick’ is a message to the scum that think sexual harassment is okay. Our message is simple that sexual harassment is never okay, no matter the circumstances.
Listen/watch ‘You Make Me Sick’ here:
The chorus of the song is purposely written, so that our fans can sing it loud alongside us to help them feel empowered. Chanting a big fuck, you back to the predators. The Pig in the music video represents an ominous presence that so many people (especially women) experience, wherever they might be. Breakdown section shows the pig getting destroyed and I feel that’s the aim is to destroy the stigma that sexual assault or harassment is expected to happen to people in their lifetime.
Brodie: It’s the result that came from the pure frustration that we all feel when we see this injustice and filth get ignored by bouncers, teachers, the police, and even people we used to call our friends. ‘You Make Me Sick’ was created by anger, but it’s played with love and power.
Kieran: Lastly, what can we expect from you guys in 2021?
Matt: If we can play shows, we’ll be getting on every opportunity we possibly can to get out there and get sweaty with you all again! We’re going to continue to write and record as much music as we can and if restrictions don’t get eased, we’ll continue to think of ways we can bring a Cuffs show to you!