Get To Know... Muck Spreader
‘The collective can do more than the individual’.
An homage to the working-class struggle, that’s the ethos of genre bending Muck Spreader. Proving themselves gloriously right, the band’s debut EP, Rodeo Mistakes has the collective energy of a jam session to capture the illusion of spontaneity on their first five tracks.
A little prog rock, a little jazz; they formulate their perfect genre to play, allowing them the freedom to mourn, absorb, and improvise for meditation in collaboration. It’s a wander in surrealism, regarding themselves as entirely motivated by the band’s ethics and a higher consciousness mindset. That something so grounded in juxtaposition and ‘collected energies’ manages to create such gratifying fluidity is a feat.
This EP marks the first peak of Muck Spreader. Comparing them to the demos on their page from 2018, their growth has not only polished the band but moved them keenly into a place where they are both comfortable and daring. They are a dark taxi ride down unknown country roads. Draw Knife plays with spoken word, constantly on the cusp of something you might have heard but playfully darting into the unseen. Rodeo Mistakes is like the ramblings of a drunk professor, sounding slurred and dreamy but hiding with spry, dry wisdom. Is their sound gratifying? Yes, but it’s the medium for an obscured message.
Bands like Fat White Family and black midi are bringing a resurgence of the cult 00’s indie following. Already recognised by Apple Music and Matt Wilkinson, Muck Spreader are a band with serious growth in their sound and their reach.
In celebration of the release, frontman Luke told us about what it means to the collective.
You talk about fluidity and spirituality - was it hard to pin down your sound to an EP?
Not at all, we just opened ourselves and allowed what happened naturally be exorcised.
You use a lot of spoken word that sounds both topical and stream of consciousness. Would you change anything about them in the future, especially in live shows?
Everything is always in constant motion forever changing, evolving and adapting. So each live show is heavily influenced by the environment, the events of the days leading up to the show. There’s so many factors that affect each performance.
How key is live performance to Muck Spreader?
It is no more important than any other area of the collective as we focus intently on each aspect. Yet personally for my own heath live performance is essential for me remaining balanced. It helps me to work through and expel negative baggage I’ve been carrying. The physical manifestation leaves me feeling drained yet relieved to be able to move on and continue to the next path.
You say ‘the collective does more than the individual’, so are you looking to constantly change the set up of the band?
Not at all. We are always looking to add people, who want to challenge and progress art. New people lead to new avenues and ideas to explore. New conversations, new inspirations and areas to research. The collective extends well beyond the members of the band that take to the stage.
How do you discover if someone is a good fit for the band? Is there any initial you do to make sure they fit in with your ethos?
There is an ethos as such but it’s not explicitly spoken. It’s more reliant on instincts. Primarily everyone should enjoy it and feel safe to express themselves, so if people don’t work for whatever reason we amicably won’t collaborate again. Hold no resentment and keep it moving, keep it mucky. The muck will never stop or be halted by or for any individual.
As a group who thrives on open expression, have you considered expanding into other mediums?
We all actively and constantly create, expressing ourselves across as many mediums as possible from sculpture, painting to martial arts and film making. We’re always up for trying new things.
What were the biggest steps in achieving your current sound?
Courage and bravery to strive for freedom.
What would you say to someone who likes your sound but doesn’t understand it?
In life you don’t have to understand everything but always keep asking questions.