- Bryon Harris
Brighton Strangler - Exclusive Interview
When lead singer Matthew was dissed at a party for his singing - he started a band and called it "Brighton Strangler." He recruited Nick, Tim and Robert none of whom had played in bands before and started they started rehearsing. Four years later, the band picked up veteran bassist Mikey to arrive at their current line up of Matthew, Nick, Robert, Mikey and Steve. The band boasts an energetic live show that fans love. The release of Dancing Outrageous brings a retro punk energy to a new audience.
What got you into music?
Since I was young I was constantly listening to chart hits on the radio and going to gigs in London. This coincided with the punk explosion at the end of the 70s, and is where I gained my love for keeping it simple and doing it yourself. My getting into being in a band was a mistake and was never intended to happen (I always thought I was going to be a writer). It was after my singing was dissed at a party that I decided to form my own band, but with no musical ability or experience of being in bands. I asked everyone I knew until I met Nick who said yes. That's where it began, with just us two knocking out songs around his house, from these ideas I had in my head.
What is your favorite part about being an artist? Is it songwriting, performing, recording, something else?) Tell us why.
I love having my music out there and people listening to it. It gives me a real buzz when I realise that for example we have a lot of fans in Phoenix. I often check to see who has listened to our songs recently or where we have been played. Gigs are fun and I love seeing the audience enjoying our songs. I really like it when the audience are close, so that you can see them, as often they get lost behind the glare of the lights.
Can you tell us what being in the recording studio is like for you?
It's work. At the end of the day you have to get the music laid down as best you can in the allocated time. So there's a lot of hanging around while the technician is focusing on a particular instrument or part of the song which you aren't involved in. it's not like gigs where you just go for it and the overall sound hides any mistakes you might make, because in the studio you have to keep working at it until the music is the best it can be. We've been lucky in that the guys we worked with for both mixing and mastering were quite chilled, nice guys. This helps as you want to get on with those you are working with.
As a songwriter or musician, are there any obstacles you have had to overcome or obstacles that you are facing right now in your career?
The biggest obstacle was starting from zero, literally no experience and no knowledge of anything to do with bands. We've very much learned on the hoof, making mistakes as we go along and learning from these. Friends have been great, and have supported us throughout the journey giving us feedback along the way. Them telling us that we had great songs gave us the belief to keep learning and to keep going. The main obstacle we face now is getting our music heard by the right people, so that we can reach as many people as possible.
Who do you admire most in the music scene today and why?
David Bowie, an absolute genius. So many good songs and ingenious in the way that he constantly reinvented himself. This gave me the belief that you just go out and do it and most of all entertain. He has spanned the generations and many of his songs will be timeless. I give you Life on Mars as an example. For a band that is still around it has to be Radiohead, so creative, so intelligent, the way they mix up fast and slow, loud and quiet.
To date, what do you think your best song is? Can you describe the song for us?
Ketamine. It's a driving punk song that is relentless, with a catchy hook. In many ways this is a trademark Brighton Strangler song. Once you have heard it you find yourself singing the hook and want to listen to it again. There are so many good songs on the album, Let's Party, Dancing Outrageous, Nice Guys, that often Ketamine gets missed at first hearing. But this is the one that has remained the favourite for me. Perhaps it's because it was one of the first songs I wrote, maybe it's the tongue in cheek lyrics. But most of all it's that driving pace and energy.
Are you working on any new material right now or what's in the works for the upcoming year?
We want to push our album Dancing Outrageous as far as we can, we have applied to play festivals and would love to do that. We need to make and launch a video for Let's Party, which will see that album completed We've just started working on new songs with about six in the pipeline, we already include Baby What You're Doing To Me at our gigs, which the fans seem to like. We are also following our popularity around the world, with half an eye to getting out to these places where people seem to be listening to and enjoying us.
Tell us where fans can access your music?