Round the back of a grim Brighton club, sit potentially the most exciting British punk band for a generation. They’re sheltering in a doorway trying not to breathe in too much of the rancid smell coming from the alley after the backdoor to the venue shut on us. “It beats sitting in the rain” shrugs guitarist Dean McMullen. Muncie Girls, who have been a playing together since they were in school, finally released their triumphant debut album From Caplan To Belsize back in March.
School friends from Exeter Lande Hekt, Dean McMullen and Luke Ellis formed the punk three-piece fuelled by angst and anxiety, while they were at college together in Exeter. “It’s crazy, we were literally doing this in school and haven’t stopped since”, Dean tells me, is if in disbelief at how far the band have come from jamming in their school uniforms. “It was definitely weird making the album because it really was the point as a band when we all thought ‘let's just go for it!’”
It’s undoubtedly been the right decision for the trio of punks. The bouncy riffs and thoughtful lyrics come together in what can only be described as a masterpiece of modern punk. The album doesn’t shy away from tackling important issues either, with misogyny and rape-culture at the heart of the powerful ‘Respect’. Their eloquent take on the politics of their own lives and the lives of those around them is refreshing from young band. It is clear from the nature of the songs that this album took a lot of blood, sweat and tears to make.
How was it recording and releasing your debut album after being a band for six years?
It was quite a long process as it just took so long to write record and then took another fourteen months to actually come out. We were really trying to get best out of it. It was very frustrating when all the songs were done and ready to be listened to but we couldn’t put it out there yet. Finally releasing it was pretty amazing though.
So now you’ve released the album, what’s next for Muncie Girls?
Play the album as much as we can! We are literally in the very early stages of thinking about the next album. We have a couple of songs half-written, and are playing with ideas of how we want to do it and where we want to take it.
Best moment on tour?
The best moment was probably just recently at Groezrock. It sounded great, the crowd was wild and there were so many people there. We came off stage and fell into each others arms just so pumped after the set!
Some of the shows in really strange German squats, where it’s been all-round terrible come to mind. There’s this one time we were playing with this death core metal band in this shitty, rat-infested squat and literally not a single person came to the show. That one sucked, plus the metal band were dicks.
Do you consciously think about politics when writing your music?
It’s definitely something that is always on all of our minds so naturally it comes out through the songs. We try not to preach too much, partly because a lot of the people who listen to us agree with us anyway - there’s no point preaching to the choir. A lot of important issues come up in our songs and I think its simply because it’s what Lande is thinking about at the time. If it’s on her mind, it comes out in the music.
How much do you think music reflects what’s going on in the world?
I think music mirrors what’s going on in people’s lives. Through music you can see into what’s going on in that groups lives and get to know where they’re from. I think what’s going on is reflected by every genre on every level to some degree whether they’ve meant it or not.
I can definitely hear influences of bands like Green Day in your music. What bands did you grow up listening to and thought I want to take that and make it my own?
You totally got it with Green Day! Punk is definitely the main influence on are music as well as indie, Lande is into a lot of indie. I guess it does all come into the music we make as it what’s brought us together. Although our music taste has broadened, as we’ve got older punk is still at the heart of it.
Now for the most important question you’ll answer whilst in Brighton, Chips or Donuts?
As a band it would definitely be chips! But I do love a donut.
Words: Ewan Atkinson