Interview: The Magic Eye Pictures | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Photo by Nick Porter

Once a month Sad For Life Records take over the Chapel at FANG at The Empire, Middlesbrough to bring some of the finest rock bands around to Teesside. For their inaugural event on Friday 9th August they’re putting on indie-rockers The Magic Eye Pictures along with pop-punkers Motherland. Melodic and (by their own admission) contrived, Leeds based The Magic Eye Pictures are a Lemonheads worshipping, DIY band who are just a load of fun. We caught up with them ahead of Friday’s show.

You say you’ve been ripping off the Lemonheads for four years. What is it about them you like so much?
For us, The Lemonheads strike a perfect balance between loud guitar music and strong, melodious songwriting – that’s more or less everything we are aspiring towards. Our lead singer Alex got the band together after hearing The Lemonheads’ song ‘Mallo Cup’ and desperately wanting to imitate it.

How did you all meet?
We met at Leeds College of Music’s country dancing society or CunDanSoc for short (our bassist Joshua has his grade five medal!).

What are your songs about?
All sorts really, but usually excruciatingly honest examinations of our experiences with anxiety, depression, addiction, love & loss, family, Italian horror films, chess, the magazine ‘The People’s Friend’; the list goes on..

Describe your live show.
The live show is usually an attempt to reach a zen-like flow state where guitars and drums are performed with laser-like precision and the lyrics are sung to maximise their emotional honesty. In the event of the failure to reach this flow-state within the first few bars of music, we tend to hang on for dear life, desperately trying to keep our drummer from speeding up and our singer then attempts to bark the vocals loud enough so they can be heard over the sound of cymbals.

One of your biggest influences is The Crazy Chef’s Special Pizza from Tariqs in Headingley. What makes it so influential?
The Crazy Chef’s Special Pizza consisted of chicken tikka, doner meat, chillis and red onion and is sadly no longer with us since it was taken off the menu at Tariqs. Our traditional post gig ritual would involve coming home and ordering one each, whilst our singer Alex would give a blow-by-blow account of the evening’s performance providing a harsh dressing down for any mistakes made by other members and strict notes for improvement (the band operates a three-strike system for performance mistakes). Alex has mellowed considerably since he started going out with a vegan and is no longer allowed to eat meat-based snacks after gigs, and he doesn’t miss them at all, promise.

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