Thee MVP’s new single landed last month on Brighton based imprint Dead Fun Records, and we’re premiering the video to side 2’s ‘Wandwaver’. The band, whose riffs are only challenged in size by their own kick drum, have been highly prolific this year, just announcing their ‘First Two Years’ cassette on Cheap Trash Tapes.
Chris Hicks made the video, a long-time friend of the band who shot most of the footage on a past tour. ‘Wandwaver’ is already a progression from the angsty garage-punk present throughout ‘First Two Years’, which – after enduring multiple line-up changes – sees the band close their first chapter.
Taking in parts of your favourite garage, punk and surf bands, the four-piece have been belching out their riotous chaos around London all year and are made up of Charlie on vocals/guitar, Jack on drums, Alex on lead and Dan on bass.
I meet them in their rehearsal space in north London. It’s a converted garage with low ceilings packed out with more amps than a band could conceivably dream of needing.
Charlie: When the band first started it was just me writing but now it’s everyone. It makes our sound more interesting.
Alex: It’s the first time we’ve worked together consistently. The songs are much more collaborative.
Charlie: Yeah, we’re all starting to bounce off each other more.
Jack: We’ve recorded the EP with Jim Riley, Billy Childish’s producer.
Charlie: We’re putting it out early next year.
Jack: I think it’s a good link between what the album’s going to be and what came before it.
Jack: It’s less straight garage rock. There’s more progression in the sound.
Charlie: I’ve listened to a lot of Eddie Current Suppression Ring recently, and bands like Hot Snakes. Thee Oh Sees have slowed down a bit and Ty Segall isn’t releasing three records a year anymore so I need to find other stuff to listen to. (Laughs).
Dan: We’ve played a lot this year so it’s been quite nice to spend a couple of days just writing songs.
Charlie: We’ve got something like 25 written so we’ve got to learn ‘em all, and then decide which ones are good.
Dan: Is this the longest run we’ve had with no line-up change?
Charlie: I think so! We collared Jack as soon as he moved to London.
Alex: We made him sign a contract. He’s never allowed to play with another band.
Jack: It’s pretty awful. I’ve been kicked out my house. I can’t pay the rent.
Alex: We told you you’re not allowed to pay the rent either; we give you one falafel a week! We like to keep him keen. (Laughs). We’ve been fortunate enough to get labels to back us. So its worthwhile putting it out when you’ve got those opportunities. It would be almost foolish not to.
Jack: I fucking hate it when bands put an album out every year and a half and think that’s enough. It’s just a bit lazy.
Charlie: Hendrix did all three of his records in two years or something, and they’re three of the best records of all time.
Dan: It’s even more important now as people have such short attention spans.
Alex: It keeps you on your toes though. In London it often seems like no-ones ever impressed with bands.
Jack: That makes it even more satisfying when a whole room of people here are going crazy to what you’re doing. It’s more of an achievement to get a reaction in London.
Charlie: Garage was massive here a few years ago when bands like Wavves and Best Coast broke. Now you tour Europe and people are surprised by a UK garage rock band and lose their heads to it.
Jack: We did the first of our parties back in July. When I was cleaning up there were footprints on the ceiling. If you approach shows with a DIY aesthetic you don’t have to charge loads to get in and for beer, you can just have a community of people who come in.
Alex: And bring their own booze!
Jack: When you’re young and going to shows that’s the thing that originally makes you excited about playing an instrument.
Charlie: When you were a teenager you always lost your mind at a house party.
Jack: The next one we’re doing we’ve got The Venus Links, who are a really dark, Gun Club/Nick Cave thing to start it off. Then we’ve asked Claw Marks, who always go fucking crazy, and then Theo Verney, who Charlie plays bass for.
Charlie: We’re going to be playing a bunch of the new stuff we’ve been working on today.
Alex: On the most basic level it’s probably the most fun type of show you can play. There’s no reason to not enjoy yourself!
The single and ‘First Two Years’ tape are both available now from Dead Fun Records and Cheap Trash Tapes respectively.
The band are hosting Thee Most Valuable Party on Saturday 22nd November at a secret Hackney Wick location, to be announced on the day to those that have RSVP’d here.