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Interview With Demob Happy

Brighton’s finest new purveyors of raucous, off-kilter garage rock, Demob Happy follow their triumphant 2014 debut single ‘Succubus’ with powerful new cut,‘Young & Numb’, due for release later this year via the bands own Milk Parlour records.

Fusing their natural affinity to relentless chord-thrashing with a fondness for melodic undertone and bold dynamic shifts, ‘Young & Numb’ comes laced with feedback and fuzz. Lyrically, meanwhile, the track is less the nihilistic stoner manifesto that its namesake could allude to, and more a vicious rumination on the dazed efforts made to drag knowledge and meaning from the bedlam of youth. “It’s my frustration about the fact that no one is willing to step out of line at a time when we think our freedoms are greater than ever before, when actually our personal freedoms of expression aren’t. It’s about how no one wants to have an opinion anymore,” the frontman explains.

Demob Happy are: Matt Marcantonio (lead vocals, bass), Mathew ‘Rennie‘ Renforth (guitar, backing vocals), Adam ‘Barry’ Godfrey (guitar, backing vocals) and Thomas Armstrong (drums and vocals). 

Praise for ‘Succubus’: 

A joyride through rock’s sleazier back alleys” – The Guardian 
Demob Happy are readying a 2015 dominance” – DIY 
Crowned Brighton’s most exciting band…downright thrilling” – NME 
Tongue firmly in cheek, but the music is deadly serious!” – Zane Lowe, BBC Radio 1 
The gutter, the gulley, THE GIRTH!” – Phil Taggart, BBC Radio 1 

I caught up with them late last week;

Hi Guys, how are you today and what are you up to?

We’re doing pretty fantastisch danke. We’ve been kitted out in full mylar body suits and gas masks all day cooking up some steamy noxious hits in the studio. We have also been brushing up on our German on cigarette breaks.

To those not familiar with you, how would you describe your sound?

A series of vibrational frequencies intertwining in harmonious and dissonant union travelling at 761mph and designed to cause nose bleeds and bad behaviour.

Do you have any information regarding upcoming releases, projects, DJ mixes or collaborations in the pipeline that you would like to tell us about?

We gave up ‘Rock Bottom’, our rock opera based on the experiences surrounding our calamitous gig in Wales due to creative differences. Instead you can keep your ears peeled for some brand new vibrational frequencies arranged in traditional ‘song’ format in the near future.

What are the 5 albums and artists that have influenced you the most?

The Alan Thornberry Experience’s seminal ‘Cosmic Gateux’ is a musical odyssey, we shall forever be exclusively under the influence of. Catch them on Myspace.

What other artists do you really like at the moment and why?

We’d love to listen to new music but- the Alan Thornberry thing, we swore a blood pact of exclusivity. 

What are the key pieces of gear you use to write your tracks?

We have quite a varied creative process that changes depending on what the track demands. Which one of us is bringing it to the table and what stage in its life the proposed idea is at. Once at the table the way we make a song out of it ranges from the standard shamanic rituals, involving psychoactive drugs and channeling the dead, to the downright absurd – trying out ideas together using instruments that will likely feature in the track.

What’s the best gig you have ever done and why?

We once drove to Wales in a rather expensive hire car because our van broke down, getting lost for hours on the way left us with a ten-minute set and a crowd consisting of one angry sound guy. We thrashed about at him for three songs while all our gear kept breaking and cutting out. After the show we got paid in beer tokens valid in the bar downstairs that was out of beer. Being big fans of perspective this gig was probably the best because we felt a profound comfort in hitting rock bottom.

What’s the worst gig you have ever done and why?

Our drummer Tom once had a dream that we had to play a gig live on Top Gear. The show was going well until the rest of the band suddenly disappeared and the studio audience turned all demonic and started laughing at him while he tried to finish the song alone. And he thinks maybe he was naked too. It all turned out OK though when he woke up and realised it was just a dream and Top Gear is more of a platform for casual bigotry and motor porn than a show hosting live band performances. No more cheese at night for Tom.

If you weren’t a musician what would you be?

We’d most likely elope to rural Italy and become professional grape smashers, accepting payment in the wine we harvest and drink driving on mopeds into local towns to murder the classics in karaoke bars. If we survive long enough to run out of wine or want a change of scenery we could always become cheese merchants and get help from the bank Credito Emiliano who famously accept wheels of Parmesan as collateral for hefty loans.

Thank you guys, it was a pleasure and to everybody out there, you HAVE to seriously go and check out Demob Happy, Facebook, Soundcloud or direct at their website, you can find the links below: 

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