FFO: Mouses – Fiends | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Billingham based based lo-fi garage queer-punk duo Mouses are pleased to drop Fiends, another track from their long-awaited second album bwywtb. The track looks at the danger of idolisation and not being afraid to turn your back on artists and people you once admired when they do terrible things. Featuring snarling vocals, crashing beats and overdriven jolts of guitar-goodness this track is packed with pissed-off punk energy and doused in artsy sonic theatrics.

Singer/songwriter/guitarist Ste Bardgett tries to sum up the new single and their sound using three tracks…

It’s always really difficult to try and sum up Mouses influences. I’ve always had a super diverse taste in music, well certainly since university; noise rock and experimental stuff, a lot of really interesting 60s avantgarde composers like early Steve Reich, La Monte Young, Sun Ra, drone music, jazz, alt hip-hop, extreme lo-fi stuff all the way through to folk, punk, rock, pop etc. If someone has something important to say, whether that’s lyrically or through their music, I’m a fan; so somewhere along the line each of these little influences find their way into the music that I write and bring to Mouses – whether intentionally or not.

Initially, the ideas that turned into Mouses stemmed from a research project I did at university looking into lo-fi music and recording techniques and I discovered so many amazing bands through that. Wavves, Times New Viking, No Age, one of my favourite bands Beat Happening, Lightning Bolt… I was drumming in another band at the time and in the middle of recording in my kitchen. I had an afternoon off and just suddenly had an idea for a song that I chucked together and recorded in about 20 minutes. That song became ‘Psycho’, which was the first ever song we put out 10 years ago. These 3 songs are songs that I feel pretty much directly influenced ‘Fiends’, our latest single.

Wavves – Side Yr On
Wavves were probably the first lo-fi band I truly got into. This is from the first album from 2008. I fell in love the first time I heard it. Just everything about it blew me away. The melody, the vocal sound, the guitar sound, the drum sound, just the huge fuzzy wall of sound is amazing, but the thing that stuck with me the most was just how charming it is. Like it manages to sound so beautiful at the same time. I feel like I can fully trace Mouses’ existence back to this very song.

Brandi Carlile – The Story
Curveball. I first heard this song on Jools Holland years ago, 2008 too I think, and I immediately stopped everything I was doing and watched in awe. Like, total ‘chills’ moment.  I had no idea who Brandi Carlile was but I was an immediate fan – also, total queer icon. The bit in the middle where it breaks down nice and quiet again and then totally drops and her voice cracks and rasps is fucking amazing. Still gets me every time. There’s a bit in the middle where there’s a guitar solo over a tom breakdown and I always loved how empty everything suddenly sounds. I feel like that’s the single influence on the solo in ‘Fiends’.

The White Stripes – Little Room
This one was also a major influence of definitely a bunch of parts on the new album and especially the live show, which has increasingly less guitar than ever before. I always loved how raw and stripped back, especially the early White Stripes were and I still remember the first time I ever heard this song. It was my favourite song for so long. It’s only 50 seconds long and consists of just one solid repetitive kick drum and hi-hat beat with kinda improvised vocals over the top. It always just felt like almost as primal and stripped back as you could possibly be as a band and I thought that was amazing. It definitely inspired that side of us.

A close contender – Billy Talent – Red Flag
I also absolutely loved this song when I was younger and I think in some way I remembered how amazing the first drop into a heavy chorus after the drum and vocal intro was, I kind of wanted to recreate that idea, so it kind of punches you in the face when everything blasts in. I love how visceral the vocals are too even though they’re just over nothing but drums and that’s definitely what I wanted for the intro of ‘Fiends’.

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