London four piece Mellow Gang might just have provided the tripped out tune of the summer. Check out ‘Vendetta’, following on from their debut, ‘Lagoon (Solina)’, it’s a slice of summertime psych that will leave you dreaming the good stuff long into the warm night. However, dig a bit deeper and you’ll find a song with far more depth and meaning. The songs actually an awareness piece for mental health “In a backlash period where I shut down creatively, I not only became aware of the effects on me but recently some nearest and dearest. Fears develop of boredom, complacency, stillness, imitation, opposition, addictions and then even nothing at all. I felt it across people I knew, but no one went there or talked about it.”
Ahead of their EP launch at Sebright Arms on Monday (26/06/17) we grabbed the band and got the background info on who and what they’re about…
BM: Hello. Who are you and where you from?
MG: We’re Mellow Gang. That’s Harriet on guitar and vox, Nick (me) on bass, Shen on keys and Joe on drums. We’re from all over. Mostly boring towns like Wolverhampton and Redhill, but Harriet’s from Wales which is pretty cool. At the moment we all live in London.
BM: So, I presume you met in London – how?
MG: We all blundered through a degree together and didn’t hate each other by the end of it. A few of us played in bands before, and we all liked what we were all doing, and it just fell into place. It felt very natural, actually. And I think that’s reflected in how it sounds.
BM: And how would you describe that sound?
MG: A more rock and roll Lana Del Ray; lots of sparkling light and washy dark.
BM: People are obviously going to try and draw comparisons between yourselves and other bands, but who would you say you draw your main influences from?
MG: Beach House is an obvious one, and Dope Lemon. On a more subtle level we draw a lot from cinema, like Morricone’s work in the 60s. Musically, we’re all currently enjoying the new Temples and Mac Demarco records. Although I think it’s fair to say we bonded over Brick Lane curries and East End pubs more than any record in particular.
BM: How about your formative years? Was music a part of your life growing up?
MG: Harriet’s dad is a songwriter; Shen’s plays sax; mine plays drums; Joe’s can play one U2 song on bass. They haven’t formed a dad band yet.
BM: Cool. So from your parents collection which album do you think influenced you the most?
MG: BBC Sound Effects Vol. 6.
BM: Always curious – how did you get the name for the band?
MG: It’s adapted from an East London road name. It’s also a bit of a joke because Shen is a very angry man. Our music ebbs that way sometimes too.
BM: You’ve got your EP launch on Monday at the Sebright Arms. How do you feel about playing live as opposed to recording?
MG: We always record live in a room together; we even drag our pals down so we have an audience (you can hear them during the quiet bits). We also record everything really loud because it sounds better like that. To us, the two processes are very similar.
BM: You’ve only just really hit the live scene as Mellow Gang, what’s been your best gig to date ?
MG: Sticky Mike’s in Brighton, at The Great Escape. We had a good sound and an appreciative audience. It was our first proper Brighton show and we felt really welcome.
BM: Like I say, early days yet, but do you have a worst gig experience yet?
MG: We haven’t played that one yet.
BM: And as we’ve mentioned, the EP launch is Monday…
MG: Yes, at The Sebright Arms. It’s our release show, with an EP coming out the preceding Friday, which we’re very excited about.
BM: Things are moving fast – what you got planned for after the EP launch?
MG: More writing and recording. We want to do our next single on a boat because the acoustics are wetter. That might sound like a joke but it really isn’t.
BM: Finally, are there any other bands your friends withj/played with who you think us and out readers should be looking out for?
MG: Honey Lung. Hobby Club. Reptunes. They’re all gigging lots in London at the moment.
EP Launch, Sebright Arms – 26.06
Harriet Joseph – Lead vocals & guitar
Shen – Keys
Nick GK – Bass
Joe Wood – Drums
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