In the spotlight – The Mease

In the spotlight – The Mease

In the spotlight – The Mease are a five-piece Derby (UK) based indie psych-pop outfit consisting of Tristan Cooper (lead vocals/rhythm guitar), Guy Smith (lead guitar), Adam Goulding (keys), Jon Wright (bass) and Jack Stanger (drums).

How did you meet?

“Tris and Guy have known each other since they were kids and played open mics and small gigs together for a number of years. Then Adam (originally bass, now keys) moved in next door to Guy a few years ago and that’s when the band started up. Jon soon joined on drums, but has since moved onto bass to let Jack, our youngest member into the band. Having said that, our roles are pretty interchangeable!”

When you aren’t working on music, do you guys hang out for fun?

Tris: “I’m not sure we ever do anything non music related together – if we’re not making our own music together we’re watching other bands!”

Was there anything in particular that sparked your interest in music?

Guy: “I think we’ve all got very different musical backgrounds but the Britpop era of bands kind of unite us all musically and are a big part of why we all do what we do and why it works as a band.”

For those who may not be familiar with you, what would you say makes your band distinct or unique? 

Tris: “I think despite our musical common ground being routed in mainstream British music from the 90s, we all bring something different to the table and we allow each other to all be ourselves when we’re working on parts of a song. We also have a lot of multi instrumentalists which means we can all chip on on each other’s parts. So hopefully, when though we might have a bit of a signature sound, each song always sounds fresh.”

How would you describe your sound to somebody unfamiliar with it?

Guy: “Brit-Psych-Pop seems to be the best description we can come up with.”

How did you end up with The Mease as a band name? Did you also have other band names in mind?

Guy: “Three of us (Tris, me and Adam) all lived just off a road called The Mease and it was better than any of the alternatives we could come up with!”

Who are some of your songwriting heroes and do you think you can hear their influence in your music?

Tris: “Noel Gallagher, Paul Weller and Alex Turner would probably be the top 3 in terms of ‘hero’ status but ironically I don’t think many of our songs really take any of their styles. Especially not in terms of the vocal melodies. Perhaps that’s a bit of a conscious effort not to imitate them. No doubt they’ve all had a huge influence subconsciously though. Listening to and learning guitar to Oasis is basically songwriting 101!”

Generally, how do you go about writing your music? Do you write together or separately? 

Guy: “We tend to start songs off separately then bring them to the rehearsal room to get everyone’s input. We also make use of modern technology and use BandLab to throw ideas down so we can all go away and think about our parts of the song and bring along our best work to the practice room.”

What are you hoping to achieve when you sit down and write a song?

Tris: “Usually I find that if you’re sitting down to write you’ve already got a bit of an idea in your head of what’s coming and it’s just a case of fleshing that out. You never really know where it’s going to go and it’s not worth trying to force anything until it all falls into place naturally. When I think it’s ready I’ll play it to the other guys and see what they think. Sometimes I might challenge myself to write a particular type of song but generally that doesn’t really work and it turns out being something completely different.”

What is one element of a song that has to be absolutely perfect before you’re satisfied with it?

Tris: “I think we’d all say different things! Guy is very fussy about his lead guitar parts though so I think that’s probably top of the list!”

Up until this point in your career, what would you describe as your favourite song you’ve recorded or performed live? What makes that song special?

Guy: “I think collectively we’d probably all say ‘(Black and White) Shades of Blue’. We close most of our shows with it and it always gets a great reaction. It’s special as it’s the first song we truly came up with together in the rehearsal studio and we all just love playing it. When the outro kicks in we all get to really give it everything.”

Most memorable day as a band?

Tris: “I think it has to be playing Derby Arena last year. It was the biggest crowd we’d played to and it was the release day of our debut album so a day that won’t be forgotten in a hurry.”

What do you think are the biggest obstacles for bands these days?

Tris: “For us it’s time, as we have full time jobs and kids to look after. Full Time musicians are very few and far between these days so being able to commit enough time to both the live and recording sides of it is difficult.”

What does the rest of 2023 look like for you?

Guy: “We’ve only got one gig left this year, supporting the superb Marseille. The rest of the year will be spent adding the finishing touches to our second album which will hopefully be out early in the new year.”

What is your goal as a band, both short term and long term?

Guy: “In the short term just getting our new album out there and shifting as many copies as possible is our aim. Long term, we’re looking to continue to break new ground with our music. I think the next couple of albums are likely to be very different from the first two.”

What’s your favourite song from the Cool Top 20 and why?

Tris: “Luncarca – ‘Touch of Gold’. Great tune, they definitely seem to be ones to watch.”

What song would you like to add as a bonus track and why?

Tris: “It’d have to be ‘Age of Bronze’ by Death of The High Street. They’re a band local to us and they’re incredible to watch live. This song is a bit of a departure from their typical punk sound but was an instant hit as soon as we heard it.”

More about The Mease? All socials have the handle @themeaseband.

(Photos courtesy of John Hodgson and Steph Smith)


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