Muncie Girls from the UK has been turning heads the last year with their extensive touring schedule and their latest album From Caplan To Belsize. The band fronted by vocalist Lande was one of the many nice surprises on the Groezrock line-up this year. Nearly minutes after entering the Groezrock festival on day one we bumped into Lande and Luke from Muncie Girls and they took some time to sit down with us and discuss the new album and ongoing tour.
Congratulations with the new album From Caplan To Belsize, it's been out a couple of weeks now. How has the reactions been to the new album?
Lande: Crazy yeah. We weren't really expecting anything. So we're really overwhelmed. Everyone has been really nice about. Very good.
Luke: It's been really cool. It's exceeded all of our expectations. It's really nice to have something new to go out there. It's been so long since we had something fresh and new songs to play. It's like an added bonus that people seem to have liked it.
You released the new album on Specialist Subject Records and Uncle M in Europe. How did this happen?
Lande: Really well. Berlin was like the first one, just like trying to get a headrun. The next day was Münster, we were sleeping like above the venue, Skaters Palace. Us and The Bennies. We just got like superdrunk and skateboarding everywhere. It was so much fun. The actual show there was loads of young people there. It was really cool.
The album title actually refers to one of Sylvia Platt's books and depicts a journey from one asylum to another. Could you explain this reference in regard to the album?
It's just like a bit in the book where she moves. She gets told that's she's making progress so she gets moved from Caplan to Belsize. So it's sort of like a broad kind of reference. It doesn't mean one thing or another. It's just like a theme of our album, a bit of a journey i suppose. Also like the age that we all are, it's like innonence and a coming of age thing. Recovery in general. It's not all very specific, that's why it works for the album. Because it's not just about one thing, it's a lot of different things. It kind of encompasses the whole thing.
One of the tracks Learn in School is about education and the lack of certain topics like politics when attaining school. How do you feel about education and more important self education?
I think, i only know about England. It's sort of irresponsible. The currucilum that we have, they don't teach a lot of things that people should be taught. Not just politics, lots of things for example like sexual content, personal health, nutrition. Things that you actually need to like survive. Of course they wouldn't because that would defeat the whole process. If people knew how to be healthy they wouldn't rely on the drugs companies. If people knew how to use politics the goverment would be under threath. If people knew about sexual content then patriarchy would be shifted. I know why things are the way they are but it just kind of sucks. It's kind of massive, it's bigger than just school.
How do you feel about the internet and it's purpose to educate?
Lande: The internet is a dangerous thing as well. The best way to self educate is to like talk to people and read like good, decent books. Like go to a library when it's free. Doing that sort of stuff.
Luke: It's so tricky as well. Everybody goes to the internet for like education but there's just so much on there. A reason people would be going there to educate themself would be because they don't know about the topic, so they would be looking out and don't know what's a good source or what's a bad source.
Lande: Plus that's like the first point of news. People don't listen to the news anymore and even if they do it's biased anyway. So they wait to hear about stuff on Facebook before they look it up.
Muncie Girls holds deep esteem for the DIY culture and punkrock in general. This album is more political orientated than previous work. A concscious decision or organic growth?
Lande: I think it's a bit of both. Mainly has to do with the fact that when the conservative goverment got elected in. It's like the right amount of time where it's actually been able to affect us in a big way.
It's almost kind of inevatiable. Everyone has been more political and more radicalised. We have to be. Because the goverment has been affecting us. We just wanted to take it like further than just like pop songs. Obviously that's why we like music because it's catchy and like fun. Like when you have a platform and you're comfortable enough to use it, why not. Like we said people don't know where to get information from, music is like a valid way to learn things from. That's how i learned a lot of politics, like through bands.
Luke: That's the whole reason i started like thinking about it. It hadn't even crossed my mind before. Throught bands i kind of like thought. That's pretty shit and that's pretty shit. Coincidentally around the same time of that kind of happening the conservative party got in. In England for people like us life has gotten considerably worse. And a lot more things have come in that we don't like. I think it's a combination of things, just naturally getting older, you're eyes being opened because of that stage in your life and the music you're listening too. As well as that it's kind of a point in time where things in the UK have gotten more shit. I think in other parts of the world as well, politically.
The song Respect deals with respect for women, against the objectification of women. Would you consider yourselves a feminist band?
Lande: It's like, we have like a lot of things that we value. Like everyone does. I don't think the whole framework applies. Obviously it's feminist in the way that it's not sexist. Yeah of course. We're not in a band to preach that. That's just one of the topics that touches us. That whole rape culture especially in like universities. That's where this song came from. At that time that song got to like get written. Rather than that's why we are in a band.
Did you get a lot of response to the song?
Lande: Not really, I think people just take it and just hear it. A lot of time we're just preaching to the choir.
People already know these things exist. If we manage to tap into a different audience that would be
a little bit more rewarding. I'd like when people would talk back and spark a conversation. At the moment it's like all our friends who listen to the music know that and agree with that.
Lande, you were featured in Kerrang Magazine some time ago. Did you notice that appearing in a 'big' magazine has brought new fans to your shows?
Luke: To some extent it has. Not like it changed our band completely. It's had some impact.
Lande: The shows are pretty much the same though. Same amount of people but maybe like a couple more per show. That's obviously amazin. I think people are quite apathic when it comes to gigs anyway. Even if there's a band they like in a magazine doesn't necesarrily mean they are coming out to a show. I haven't really noticed much of an effect. We've done like some headline shows to promote our album, what we found was that most of it was like the same support from the DIY scene that we always had. Friends like supporting us and helping us out, which has been really nice. In a way we kind of made the friends and fans that we had a bit stronger. Because they want to support us now that we get more attention.
It's not that i look at a show and see more people.
Any last words to share?
Lande: Not really, we're just hanging out at Groezrock, loving it.
Luke: Rock'n roll really.
Photo by Jurriaan Hodzelmans
Interview by David Marote