Epic, volatile and really, really loud, Chasing Melfina are the widescreen bombast of Muse shot through the wide-eyed insanity of punk. Ears ring, neighbours complain and streets run red with blood and wine DROWNED IN SOUND
This isnt merely empty noise-mongering, however in between strangulated guitar squalls, reverb tsunamis and feedback storms, singer and guitarist Aidy James Stevens doesnt shy away from wry wordplay and intellectualism; say, for example, by penning a stomp-gaze lecture about the heat death of the universe. In the engine room, Oli Kelly's intricate, punctuated bass lines are as much a lead instrument as the guitar or voice, snaking in and out through gaps in the wall of fuzz. Drummer Will Key is the band's rocket fuel, tribal and unrelenting, yet straddling the fine line between gymnastics and overplaying with rare finesse.
As you may gather, CHASING MELFINA are not exactly renowned for their subtlety, but its exactly that which is capturing the attention of critics and fans alike. Recently signed to R*E*P*E*A*T Records, they are tipped to join Mallory Knox and Lonely The Brave among the citys most successful musical alumni.
Chasing Melfina who, what and why?
She's an android (well, technically, she's a gynoid, but we're not pedants here, right?) who is the only being who can interface with the ship. They're pursued by The MacDougal Brothers, who are, in effect... Ta-Da!
Describe your sound to a hard of hearing alien.
Tell us a bit about the genesis of the single.
The whole thing was conceived in one rehearsal, pretty much, just from jamming! Usually, a song will be born from a little idea or motif that one of us will come up with, then everyone builds on it. That way, everyone can say it's theirs.
Who are your favourite dead stars, and what head starts have they
Joe Strummer, too - he played life to the rhythm of his own drum (or strums...) and maintained a policy of openness and honesty with the press, which really set him apart.
What can people expect at a Chasing Melfina gig?
Who do you have no sympathy for?
Tell us about the making of the video.
The second day, with the whole band, was shot on a rooftop in Peckham and it was a logistical nightmare. We did really well within the constraints, though.
Do you think music has the power to influence society, for good
What are the best and worst gigs you've played?
Our worst was a disastrous show at The Portland for Cambridge 105. Everything was falling apart - the music, our equipment, my voice... I got so embarrassed when Thunderflies fell flat at the first hurdle that I threw my guitar down and started walking. I didn't stop until I was on a train. I left my phone, wallet and coat and I didn't even care - I was just too mortified with embarrassment to face anyone in that room.
Who are you heroes and heroines?
As a frontperson, I've always admired Katie Jane Garside's total command of the stage and her audience. She's the focal point wherever she is. I also really dig Josh Homme, Kim Deal and PJ Harvey, too, who have the same magnetism but, rather than through melodrama, they do it all by just being so damn cool. I'm far too neurotic to play it that cool.
How does songwriting work in Chasing Melfina?
We like to keep it as exciting as possible. If the songwriting process got too clinical, it wouldn't be satisfying anymore.
What's next for the band?
Why would anyone combine black cats with guillotines?
'Black Cats & Guillotines' is supposed to be an analogy for a little bad luck feeling like the end of everything, as I'm, admittedly, a very panicky, neurotic person. Like, a minor hiccup - a black cat crossing your path - feeling like the guillotine falling on your neck.
What song should I teach to my really rather good 12 year old guitar
How can people sample the Chasing Melfina musical experience, and
why should they bother?
Alternatively, check out our Facebook page at facebook.com/chasingmelfina for a bigger glimpse of what we're about.
We're the product of three very different musicians with very different tastes and philosophies about music and we reckon that they've converged to produce something unique. Dreamy, shoegazey washes of guitar; über-technical drumming from our resident metal aficionado, Will, and Oli bringing the funk, though with enough modesty and restraint to refrain from slapping (cheers, Oli).
However, I feel that you can only truly get to grips with what we're about at one of our shows!
Chasing Melfina Jan 2011 Cambridge Cornerhouse (Pic Rosey)
What's best, chips or cream buns?
DEAD STARS [MAKE HEAD STARTS] will be available from the usual digital outlets, while very limited hand made CDRs will be available directly from the band or R*E*P*E*A*T Records.