Words: Kieran Webber | Image: Shoot J More
The anarchic noise merchants hailing from Hull have started to build up a strong reputation for their fang-out snarls and infectious riffs matchable to the likes of Nirvana. This year they garnered support from the likes of Radio 6′ Lauren Laverne, Radio X’ John Kennedy and NME with all this attention we were curious to get to know more about one of the UK’s most promising acts.
We spoke to vocalist/guitarist Daniel Mawer about the beginning of the band, their influences and everything in between.
CLUNK: Thanks very much for taking the time to answer our questions, how have you been and what have you been up to?
Daniel: Thanks for having us! We’ve just finished a run of dates up North, we visited Manchester, Leeds, Scunthorpe and Nottingham, all of which were really fun, every single promoter we worked with were so passionate, truly independent and doing what they do for all the right reasons which was amazing to be a part of.
We supported The Buzzcocks in York too which was a real privilege, I can’t name many bands who have played with that much conviction and energy consistently for so many years, it was ace to watch.
As for what we’re up to right now, we’ve just recorded some new demos before we go back into the studio next year, but first we’ve got our next E.P to release and we’re prepping everything ready for that.
CLUNK: How did you all meet and at what point did you decide to start making music?
Daniel: This band started a good few years ago, with loads of different members, we’re a big group of friends who have constantly chopped and changed but we’re close to a settled lineup again at the moment.
I played at music nights as a teenager and went to as many local live music nights I could get to in Hull, that’s pretty much how I met everyone that’s ever been in the band! In Hull everyone talks to everyone, collaborations happen all the time, so I knew straight away that I could get something up and running quickly and go from there.
I had so much fun with my friends, not having a clue how to do anything at first.
But as soon as our guitarist John joined the band a couple of years ago, things have clicked, and I think with our next E.P is a really close representation of what we do live.
“I played at music nights as a teenager and went to as many local live music nights I could get to in Hull, that’s pretty much how I met everyone that’s ever been in the band”
CLUNK: How did you come up with the band name and why did it stick?
Daniel: I had a notebook full of random words I liked the sound of, when I put la bete and blooms together it sounded nice and I realised it meant ‘the beast blooms’ which geeky teenage me thought summed up a band I would make, well at the time.
It’s an awful name to repeat at a busy pub when someone asks what our band is called, people always pronounce it wrong and that little squiggle on the e is a right pain but it’s stuck and I’m secretly proud of it haha.
CLUNK: Your latest single ‘Breaking In’ has been received extremely well with the likes of Lauren Laverne giving it radio play, that must be pretty surreal?
Daniel: It’s been amazing to have the support we’ve had for ‘Breaking In’, we’ve always done things by ourselves for ourselves and been proud to do so, but thankfully now we’ve also been very lucky to have had support from great friends and two independent local labels, the adult teeth recording company and warren records who are working in partnership with the PRS foundation to release our E.P. That’s led to stuff like airtime on Radio 6 which still feels like a dream.
As a band do you share an influence or does it vary across the four of you?
Every person who’s ever been in La Bête Blooms has loved the pixies, which is a weird coincidence because besides that we’re all into completely different stuff! I suppose because we don’t share similar tastes, we’ve managed to slowly find how we want to sound like without being tainted by a selection of bands we all love.
CLUNK: Going off subject a little what was your reaction to Donald Trump winning the election?
Daniel: It’s completely mad yet oddly so fitting considering the year we’re having.
I think, just like the UK’s vote to leave the EU, the unthinkable has happened and everyone, whoever they voted for, has been left surprised.
“In general I think we live in a time of complete confusion, there’s so much tainted propaganda and social media nonsense chucked at us from day to day”
The most frightening bit about it for me is that a man with zero political history has been deemed to be the man a lot of people in America want to have control over their country.
In general I think we live in a time of complete confusion, there’s so much tainted propaganda and social media nonsense chucked at us from day to day that those of us lucky enough not to be directly victimised by a lot of political decisions just switch the telly over and try to ignore the negative stuff surrounding us.
I feel it’s important to remember at a time like this that there are beautiful human beings across the world who believe in equal rights for women, who aren’t prejudiced towards race or derogatory towards others regarding their background.
There will always be more good people than bad people in the world, and we’ve just got to run the course, whether these decisions come back to bite us we have to wait and see, time will tell, but there’s always hope of a better solution that will benefit everyone, sometimes we have to hit rock bottom to realise that.
CLUNK: As much as it is bad for the world there will probably be some amazing punk music being released right?
Daniel: If history were to repeat itself then let’s hope so!
Although I have to say, I reckon it’s probably a different world to that of 77 when punk broke, I imagine there’s much more scrutiny on the arts, the internet has its say on anything and everything and it’s quick to punch you in the face if you stick your neck out and stand up for what you believe in.
I think it’s sometimes very hard for musicians to really express themselves politically in 2016 without feeling like they’ll be stabbed in the back on social media for it, so I respect anyone who’s going to write honestly about how they feel about what’s happening right now.
CLUNK: What has been this year’s biggest highlight for you guys and why?
Daniel: Recording the E.P was definitely a massive highlight. To work with Matt Peel again, who’s worked with Eagulls and Pulled Apart By Horses, having worked with him on the first E.P was amazing, his experience with feedback and distortion taught us a lot and these songs are my favourite’s we’ve ever written, to get them recorded felt really important to us.
CLUNK: Your music is riddled in explosive energy so I can imagine live shows can get gnarly, has anything in particular stood out at a show?
Daniel: We’re at the level where every show we play out of Hull feels like we’re trying to prove ourselves to an audience not necessarily there to see us, with lots of starey faces, elbows knelt on bars and crossed arms. I can’t imagine that ever changing to be honest and we have to relish the challenge of winning people over.
We’re really rubbish at banter, we’ll never win people over with an amazing anecdote about our Nan’s or what we had for tea, so we just go out and do what we do and hope it’s enough to impress the people watching us.
One show was different to that last year, we played the Deaf Institute in Manchester with The Orielles and it was ace, it was full of kids who had never heard of us, but still went mad, they were flying all over the place!
“We’re really rubbish at banter, we’ll never win people over with an amazing anecdote about our Nan’s or what we had for tea, so we just go out and do what we do and hope it’s enough to impress the people watching us”
In Hull that’s pretty normal at a lot of bands gigs, especially shows at The Adelphi Club, they’re usually rowdy and sweaty, and when people get into it, it helps us relax and up our game.
CLUNK: Lastly, what can we expect from you in 2017?
Daniel: Our new E.P ‘I Know It’s Nothing’ comes out in February! You can pre-order it now and get our single ‘Breaking In’ for free, via The Adult Teeth Recording Company.
It’s a selection of four songs, themed about love, loneliness, anxiety and Hull being City of Culture haha.