Freshly signed to Swedish cult label PNKSLM Recordings, Mister Strange's very own brand of fuzz-fuelled punk is the latest to fly the flag for the Manchester music scene.
Having cut their teeth amongst the city's infamous live scene in recent years, 2021 has seen the trio breakthrough with a string of frenetic, adrenaline fuelled singles to acclaim aplenty - setting them up nicely for the release of their new EP 'I' due September 10th.
Following the release of new cut 'Laughing Wall', we quizzed the band on said EP, working with PNKSLM and the Mister Strange live experience.
Hey! Tell us a bit about yourselves and how you came to create music together?
Callum - It all centres around one bar really. Cal and Tom met by chance in there and thats the moment the band started. Ste joined us from behind the bar and after a string of guitarists coming in and out we got Darryl...who we also know from drinking at this bar.
Tomas - We’re passionate about the same things so naturally we create a heavy sound.
You’re from Manchester but your new single ‘High Heel Heavy’ is out on Swedish label PNKSLM - how are you finding working with a label based outside of the UK?
Callum - Still pinching ourselves a bit really. We've been fans of PNKSLM for a long time and they were the first label we sent the EP off to so for us to be working them now feels like a proper achievement. It's a pretty good feeling to have a label like them on our side.
Tomas - It’s a cool feeling to know that a label you admire respond to your music and want to support, collaborate and further what we’re doing. Acquiring extra team members really helps solidify your creative drive.
Tell us a bit about the track, where did it come from?
Callum - Lockdown, some cheap cans and listening to a lot of the damned. Probably the fastest we've ever written a song.
Tomas - Frustration, boredom and more cheap cans.
Would you say it’s a solid representation of what’s to come from you as a band?
Callum - It's definitely a pretty steady hint at what we've got lurking for the future. In terms of sound its definitely our brand of loud. It's our simplest song structurally though some of our other songs have got a touch more depth and some weirder shit.
Tomas - This debut EP 1 with the slime gang is the really the first spark in what were wanting to do…bringing positive high energy sounds to an audience that needs reassurance in rock n roll. High Heel Heavy implies simplicity, but it’s the catch to bring people into our collective weirdness.
Darryl - The track is fast, energetic, and in your face, something we all enjoy when watching and listening to bands. This feeling has become a symbol of things to come for us as a band.
Is there anything you’ve learned about yourselves/each other through your songwriting process?
Callum - It's an ode to focusing on the simple things I think. Writing High Heel Heavy definitely made me realise how much I love a good 2 minute barn burner of a song, nowt fancy just fast and loud .. and We need to buy a dehumidifier for our practice space.
Tomas - The importance of listening and allowing each other to input their own passion into a song. It’s definitely bonding when you’re sweating in a damp room laughing at the thought of everyone outside cracking on with their usual day to day galavanting in the shops & sunshine.
Darryl - The room for growth between all members when writing is something really special. Understanding and trusting one another’s ability lets us create in the best and most natural way possible, honouring the song for what it is.
Bands like yourselves are really having their moment in Manchester right now, who are some of your fellow upcoming artists we should be keeping an eye on?
Callum - The Lotts. They're killing it. I feel like there is (or at least was before covid) a bit more of a community emerging of bands/promoters/venues that are linked around the north/north west.
There's people like the dudes at Mabgate bleach in Leeds who've created a gem of a venue for bands and then promoters like Sour Grapes here in Manchester putting on great shows and pushing local bands out there. I guess check all those guys out and see what's floating around in their orbit, i’m sure you'll find something to get excited about
Tomas - Bruise Control. They’re bringing the Aussie garage punk aesthetic and mixing it with the early British no nonsense punk and creating a solid bruise to the arm. Love it.
The Lotts of course…early Ty vibes straight into your drink.
You’ve got a hometown show at YES in the works - how would you describe the Mister Strange live experience?
Callum - Loud as possible. I've always enjoyed watching shows where the sound is physical, rib cage rattling so that's the approach we take our live show.
Tomas - Fast and loud.
Darryl - A Mister Strange live experience will take you on a journey of bass, fuzz, and energy. Fast, loud, and tight is what we want to be!
Live shows aside, what’s in the works for the rest of 2021? more EPs, more songs, buy more amps, get out there.
Callum - More EPs, more songs, buy more amps, get out there.
Darryl - For the rest of 2021 (just as with all other bands and artists in current climates), we’re looking to play as much as we can, experiencing a full sweaty room of bodies having a good time once again. Writing new music is an ongoing effort and something we continue to do evermore as we grow as a band.
Tomas - Motoring on.