Perhaps one of the closest independent UK bands to breaking through the glass ceiling, The Mexanines are a Leeds based group who are getting ready to release their brand new EP later this month. Judging by lead single and title track ‘Rocket’, it’s going to be a doozy, so it’s the perfect time to ask a few questions of vocalist James Brander.
- Where and when did you first discover your interest in music?
My parents bought an old piano when I was 7 and got me piano lessons, I hated practicing at first, but as soon as I was good enough to work out a few songs off the radio I was hooked.
- What are your main ambitions in the industry?
I want to be a rockstar. That was the ambition when I was 11, and I guess it still is.
- When did you start writing your own songs/music?
I think I finished my first song when I was 14, It was about a girl at school. I always imagined playing it to her and winning her over like something off a bad film. Never did.
- What would you say is your music career highlight to date?
The first gig we ever played is still the highlight for me, it was in a proper dive bar in bradford that’s now a curry house. We were 15 and all our friends turned up to watch. They had never seen anyone in a band before and were almost as excited as we were. I swear I haven’t heard a room scream so loud since. We got our own little taste of Beatlemania that night and haven’t looked back.
- Who will we hear in your songs? What are your influences?
I think the rest of the boys will agree that the first Arctic Monkeys album ‘Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not’ is what made us all want to be in a band. There was something about it that just summed up exactly what was going on at the time and we couldn’t get enough of it. Most of our first songs we so heavily influenced they could have easily been AM B-sides (or we would like to think). Since then we have done a lot and learned a lot. Fleetwood Mac, Springsteen, Led Zeppelin, Foo Fighters and The Black Keys are all bands we listen to a lot, as well as modern house and hip hop influences.
- What’s the most important thing you’d want to tell people about your current release?
I think we finally have reached a point where we really believe in what we are doing, we are not trying to copy other bands that we like and we are not trying to write songs with any real attention to what is or isn’t radio friendly, the lyrics are all based on our own experiences we are just making the music that we want to hear.
- Who else can you recommend from your genre or local area for people to have a listen to?
Marsicans are writing some massive tunes at the minute, if you want something to put you in a good mood, I’d give them spin.
- Any gigs coming up?
Tues 22 Sept – Mixtape, The Keys, Middlesborough.
Sat 10 Oct – Cantina, Brockholes, Preston.
Thu 12 Nov – Packhorse, Leeds.
- Where can we find/follow you online?
Just google ‘The Mexanines’
Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Snapchat, FarmVille… If it’s out there we probably have an account on it.