Muscular child are an odd band with an odd name. They also feature a member called Matt Goss who… surely… no. It’s not. Is it? Can’t be. Anyway, it’s guitarist Matt who’s answered our Band of the Day questions on behalf of the band, the only known specialists in mixing punk, metal and surf…
Reading, although we’re all over the shop now. Jake, our other guitarist, lives in Canada and Alex, our drummer, lives in Switzerland. We don’t practice a lot!
How did you meet?
Adam (vocals) and I are in another band called Versus Ursus that Jake used to be in. Alex is just one of our friends who we knew ripped at drums. We wanted to do a fun and impulsive recording session playing some drop tuned crushingly heavy shit so we all got together and wrote some stuff really quickly.
How long have you been playing as a band?
Jake, Adam and I played in Versus Ursus together for about two years. For this project Alex and I worked on the drums together for about two months. While we were doing this I was sending Jake demos of the music so he could learn it as he had just got back from Japan and was living in Tallington working as a children’s entertainer. So in theory we’ve been a band since summer 2016 although we’ve technically only played in the same room together twice – sounds like we have been playing together for longer on the record!
Before you get sick of being asked… where does the band name come from?
Muscular Child, the world’s best band name… came from a hungover Weatherspoon’s breakfast conversation with all aforementioned band members present, I’m a little hazy on the details but I have a feeling it was centred around whatever made us laugh the most. We constantly play the game of coming up with the most heinous band name possible and Muscular Child is what won for that day. Lucky we didn’t end up with Sloth Apocalypse or Unicorn Lips, aye!?
What are your influences?
Collectively we all listen to a lot of different music, but being honest and totally giving the game away I’d have to say our influences for this stuff were Converge, Narrows, Every Time I Die, Gallows and The Color of Violence. Although I don’t think it really ended up sounding like any of them individually.
Describe your music. What makes you unique?
We play heavy down tuned music that draws from a wide range of influences, the whole point of doing this project was not to churn out some generic over processed and perfect sounding stuff that everyone else seems to be doing at the moment. We recorded the whole thing live over two days with minimal rehearsal then overdubbed backing vocals and bass after the fact. I think the results speak for themselves, it doesn’t sound perfect, there are parts of it that are out of tune and out of time but it sounds real and has a great energy to it! I’m very happy with how it turned out.
Do you have any particular lyrical themes?
You’d probably have to talk Adam about it to get a detailed perspective but on the whole I feel they are quite uplifting. Even in the darker moments they feel very cathartic and seem to be looking for a solution. There are also some songs there that are just fun really fun like “Roller Gurlz”, it’s not all super serious.
What’s your live show like? How many shows have you played?
We have played a grand total of zero live shows, although there is talk of possibly doing a one-off when everyone is in the country. If and when we get to do that I imagine it’ll be pretty mad. With three of us having played in a band together before we have a good on-stage chemistry and we’ve always put 100% in performing live so when we do get round to it in 2019 we will smash it!
I once threw a £400 guitar off the stage neck first once because I was angry, probably one of the stupidest things I’ve ever done. Surprisingly it didn’t break, though, which was a relief when I sobered up! Jake managed to drop his guitar over his head (by accident) and snap the headstock off. I’m going to include a picture for reference! I think Adam got his toe broken while moshing once!
What kit do you use / guitars do you play / etc.?
I think Jake’s set for this was a Schecter Black Hawk guitar with a Seymour Duncan invader in the bridge into a Jet City 50H via a Boss Phaser, Boss Octaver and a Gojira Delay.
Mine was a Cort Katana K-1 guitar into a Hayen MOFO 30 via a Zakk Wylde Wah, Digitech Whammy and a Line 6 DL4 (the mother of all delay pedals).
I know that Alex played a black Tama kit with a big ass 24“ bass drum. I think the rack tom was a 12” and the floor a 16” but don’t quote me on that!
What are your plans for the rest of 2017?
We have potentially talked about recording a follow up to Risk Factor 100% in September when we are all about in the UK so fingers crossed that comes to fruition. The world could have some more International Surf-Grind to look forward to.
If you were second on a three-band bill, which band would you love to be supporting and which band would you choose to open for you? A chance to plug someone you’ve toured with, or a mate’s band we’ve not heard of before!
We’d have to support Every Time I Die and if we had to choose another band I’d say the other band me and Adam are in – Versus Ursus. Although that is kind of cheating seeing as we are actually in the band… so if it had to be someone else I’d say World’s Best Dad, a great band from Bristol.
Courtesy of previous Band of the Day artist Jukebox Monkey: What is the local scene like in your area, and are you confident in your future prospects?
Reading is a great place for live music, with the huge festival in the summer and a bunch of different events during the year like Oxjam Takeover, Are You Listening and Caversham Festival. Having said that we haven’t ever really felt part of a scene, maybe it’s because none of us are originally from Reading or maybe it’s because the music we play is so niche – not really sure!