Just a few weeks after we interviewed Mclusky's frontman Andy, the bands drummer left the band to join fellow Cardiff boys Transposer. Fear not because auditions are already taking place and the band are set to head out on the road next month in support of the new single "Undress For Success". Potentially the bands biggest chance at a hit single since "To Hell With Good Intention", we caught up with the band to find out all is going swimmingly well in the States
Q: Apart from an Anti-War benefit in Wales and the recent UK Tour, Mclusky have been concentrating much of their efforts into America at the moment. Do you find it's a completely different scene over there?
A: We've done a couple of American tours over the past few months and they've been a lot easier than playing Britain. They don't dance as much over there because a lot of the gigs are Over 21 nights, but the response you get is generally speaking a lot better. "Do Dallas" has only been out over there for 7 months now and it's already sold over double what we've sold over here and there's only through doing about 20 shows as well.
And you don't tend to see the Republican or right wing side of America because in the venues you play it's just people like are here tonight and they'll dress the same and like the same music. I can't actually remember meeting anyone who was Pro-War when we were over in the States because we exist in the subculture that you would describe as Indie Rock. It's when you go to things like roadside diners where you would meet the "moral majority".
Q: Going back to the Anti-War show in February. You as a band were trying to do your bit as various bands were, the protesters tried to make their feelings known week in week out and yet there was still this sense that we were doomed to fail all along. Would you agree?
A: I can't help feeling that the whole thing was a half arsed and defeatist. Put it this way: if you turn up to do an Anti-War show chances are the engineer has got the wrong soundcheck time and turns up 3 hours late or something. I'm guessing if you were doing a Pro-War show it would be better organized - yer know what I mean? Just the basic differences between liberals and conservatives.
I would be really interested if somebody came up with a way that a band could actually change somebody's life. I haven't come up with it yet, but I would be more than interested to give it a go.
Q: Aside from being a musician or a member of a band. As a person with a conscience and a degree of intelligence how did you feel about the Anti-War demonstrations as a whole?
A: If you've got a spokesperson who has got a beard and a really manic look in his eyes and looks like some dispossessed Levellers fan - that's going to alienate most of the people in the country. You need quite a well dressed suave young man who speaks without using really over the top language to people, that's the only way I could see it working. It's difficult for me to comment on the movement as a whole because apart from reading the papers I don't know the specifics, but most if not all of the people I know would have been Anti-War.
Q: You're 28 now and over the years you must have found that there is less of an outlet for ideas as much musical ideas. I guess Mclusky could crudely be labelled punk rock, but the band doesn't really fit into any specific label. Would you agree?
A: I've never really been part of any scene. When I was at college most of my friends weren't musicians which was a deliberate policy, because you've got to be able to see outside of that really narrow parameter. I'm not conscious of the scene Mclusky could fit into and i'm certainly not part of the punk scene.
Even though it's a cop out I always say Mclusky are a rock band. The Germans call us a noise rock band and out of all the descriptions that have been used to describe us i'm happiest with that, even though it's still deeply dissatisfying. Lyrically though we'll always be different, I know there's a lot of Smiths fans who are well into the lyrics as well and I think that gives us a little more longevity.
Q: The last single "There Ain't No Fool In Ferguson" was a damning indictment about the small town songs that bands inevitably end up writing. Would you care to elaborate?
A: It's meant to be a satire of the way that some bands write their small town anthems. And "1956" which is the other A-side is an Anti-War song, it's not quite Rage Against The Machine because it's very subtle but anyone with half a brain will understand what it's about. In the last few years i've spent a lot of my time reading about history and i'm not as interested in fiction so much. But I can find that books like films can be incredibly boring sometimes, that's why someone with an attention span as short as me writing songs is the perfect medium.
Q: There was a huge leap from the debut album to "Do Dallas". I believe you're about half way through recording the 3rd album. Can we expect a similar sized leap again?
A: It's a bit different, because for us "Do Dallas" was super straightforward. In our terms it was almost easy listening in comparison to the type of stuff we normally listen to. This album is probably not as heavy, but it's more powerful as far as the lyrics are concerned. There's more space on their but we haven't turned into Led Zeppelin 4.
The next single "Undress For Success" is probably our biggest chance of a hit because it's a really poppy song. You might get a false impression of the new album, but it's still lyrically really insulting and it's still not a really easy pop song. But truthfully I think if Mclusky was ever going to gave a hit it would have been "To Hell With Good Intentions", I didn't think it would be a big hit but I thought it would do better than it did. I'm going to be making music for the rest of my life whether it's professionally or not. It's hard to describe, but after a while you get so into the music itself that any commercial success becomes beside the point.
Even if it all ends tomorrow we've done a Peel Session, recording in Chicago with Albini, two US Tours - these are things I never imagined we or I doing and it's been really exciting. It would be nice to take it up to the next level, but i'm not here to appear on CD:UK!!!
"Undress For Success" is out on August 25th
The band tour throughout August
For more info
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