UO MUSIC: DEMOB HAPPYOctober 23, 2017
Since the release of their debut album “Dream Soda” in 2015, Demob Happy have been working the rock ‘n’ roll scene, making a name for themselves with their thrashing, intoxicating tracks. The Brighton-based grunge rock trio’s sound is an infectious fusion of crunching guitar riffs and relentless drum beats, as proven with their brand new track “Be Your Man“. We caught up with drummer Thomas Armstrong to chat about their sound, their upcoming second album and fuzzy rock…
Please tell us how Demob Happy formed?
We met years ago as teenagers in our hometown of Newcastle. There was a shared love of fuzzy rock and harmonies and we started hanging together listening to records we’d pinched off our parents. There wasn’t really a discussion about whether to start a band or not, we naturally fell into formation and things just started. It felt right. Still does.
Where did the name Demob Happy come from?
We took the name because we liked the sound of those words. But it’s a military thing that describes the feeling of relief when you’re about to leave that hell hole. We liked watching videos and painting pictures on the last day of school, so it’s exactly the same.
Describe your sound in three words.
Alien sex party.
Tell us all about your new single!
The song has the DNA of our new album smeared all over it, so it made sense to let it loose first. It was born out of a session this February in a middle-of-nowhere Welsh cottage where we isolate ourselves away from time to time. It came together pretty quickly and felt fucking great so we didn’t really question it.
Can you tell us anything about your upcoming second album? How will it differ from your debut record?
The album is pretty much done and were proud mothers. The difference this time round was we really knew exactly what we wanted to do. Be Your Man serves as a good taster for what’s at the heart of the album. Grooves, saccharine melodies, harmonies and fuzzed up guitars. All the stuff the doctor ordered. But there’s more to it than that too. There was some places on the first album we explored a little, but we just poked our foot through the door. This time we marched through and slammed it behind us. Overall we ended up making a record somehow unlike anything we’ve ever done whilst being the most like us we’ve ever sounded.
What’s your creative process like?
Varied. How a song turns out will depend on so many things. A lot of our songs materialise from little jams we have when we’re supposed to be doing other stuff like rehearsing for an important show or something. Someone will start playing a riff and then we find ourselves sweaty an hour later with a lot of new ideas. We usually record our sessions anyway so digging back through that stuff you find some gems and a lot of funny shit.
How would you say your sound has changed since you started out?
When we first started out we were intoxicated with playing together and making music together and doing it solely for ourselves. The songs were usually around 7 or 8 mins long, frequently taking wild twists and turns with lengthy freak out passages. We were also pretty out of it a lot of the time. Not a lot has changed to be honest. We’re still in love with what were doing and make the music for ourselves but what we want to hear has developed and changed. Were happy to say a little less so what we do say comes across without getting lost in the noise of a thousand ideas.
What are you inspired by, musically and otherwise?
We have pretty wide tastes in the band but there’s definitely some prime shared influences that get us all going. Rock music of the late ’60s and ’70s is what brought us together. Early Fleetwood Mac, ZZ Top, Free. A bunch of those bands. Besides music it’s the world around us. Art is you internalising what you see in the world and regurgitating a reaction to that. Whether its anger at reality being twisted by the world’s oppressors or being humbled by a scene of human kindness.
What’s your live show like?
Most often sweaty, loud and unpredictable. A ceremony of lost souls.
What would you say is your biggest achievement to date?
I’d have to say this new album. We’ve been through a lot together as a band and taken our time to carve out our own sound over that time. For our first album we had years of accumulated songs and ideas to pool from and it kind of became a ‘Best of Demob so far..’ With the new album we’ve had a lot less time but really focused after a difficult time last year, honed in on our sound and made the album we always wanted to make. And I think we’ve really made something special.
Listen to Demob Happy’s new single “Be Your Man” on Spotify now