Local Leeds: In The Middle with Menace Beach
We sat down with Menace Beach to chat the Leeds music scene, politics, and Tresseme.
Do you guys have any influences?
Ryan: Yeah, loads. The first album [Ratworld] was very heavily based. I think the first thing you do is copy shit then hopefully on the next record you’ll add your own stuff to that and make your own stuff from it. I think everyone does that because you’re inspired by the stuff that you’re into.
Liza: Yeah definitely, you’re learning how to do stuff a bit better too.
Ryan: On this one [Lemon Memory] I’m not too sure. In terms of artists I was listening to, I really got into The Fall. It’s just started making sense to me now. It’s probably not really noticeable on the record.
Being Leeds based, what is the best venue here?
Nestor: That’s easy.
Liza: Got to say The Brudenell.
Ryan: Leeds would not be Leeds if it wasn’t there. It’s the centre of the musical universe. There are other great venues though.
You have just released your ten track album Lemon Memory. Is there a different message you are trying to get across in comparison to your previous release Ratworld?
Ryan: I don’t know if there was a particularly strong message. The first one was just a load of fun, people hanging out in a room blasting through some songs. With this one it’s not really a politically charged record. It has a sense of reflection and a sense of compassion for others.
Matt: There’s much more direction with this one too I think. It’s been written as an album, it’s much more cohesive.
Liza: Yeah, we worked on it as a whole and focused for a lot longer. The last one we had some songs knocking around for ages.
Ryan: Yeah, this one was more of a realisation of oh, we’re actually a band now, let’s make a record instead of writing songs and seeing what happens.
Nestor: We spent ages on the demo process on this one as well. Everyone knew exactly what they wanted it to sound like before we went to the studio. Which is a bit different to the first one.
Ryan: On Ratworld we had a lot of people dipping in and out of it whereas now we have a solid line up.
You guys are part of the thriving Leeds musical scene. Can you tell us some of your favourite local bands?
Matt: There’s a band called Cattle who are amazing. They keep stemming off these weird little offshoots of more and more obscure little bands. They’ve recently created one called Bronzed. They’re fantastic.
Nestor: Everyone will have their own individual answer to that.
Matt: Yeah, which is what is so great about Leeds. There is that diversity.
Ryan: Hookworms and Cowtown are incredible.
Nestor: Cowtown have always been my favourite. That last Eagles record was really really great.
Matt: What I’ve heard of their new album Post War Glamour Girls sounds really interesting.
Political landscapes seem to be shifting to the right, especially border laws. Do you think this will have a negative impact on bands like yourselves wanting to tour foreign countries?
Liza: It’s hard to say really.
Matt: Which is arguably more frightening really. We’ve no idea what will happen.
Liza: It probably will make it more difficult though. Definitely more expensive.
Nestor: There’s the whole issue of the merch too. There will probably be another sort of big tax on it. It will be shit.
Ryan: Yeah, it will be shit. But there are bigger fish to fry than just worrying about ourselves and whether a little band wants to tour somewhere.
Asides from your Lemon Memory tour, do you have any other plans for the future?
Ryan: We are actually meant to be going to play SXSW in Texas. We’re in the middle of Visa applications at the moment. Maybe Canadian Music Week too. We want to try to go to the States really to play some shows. Northen America. But we’re on a fairly small label so we don’t really have the money to do it, we’re trying to find the funding.
Nestor: Yeah. If any wealthy investors are reading, please make yourselves known.
Ryan: But yeah, we want to get back out into Europe and play a load of festivals because they’re great fun.
Nestor: Everyone is really nice to you. You get loads of free stuff.
Ryan: Yeah, all European festivals are sponsored by loads of stuff so you get free haircuts, free entry, Tresseme.
Nestor: Sunglasses, those awful Toms shoes. That’s all we are in it for really!
(Image: Yorkshire Reporter)
Catch Menace Beach at the Brudenell on 17/2/17