In our latest Band Spotlight, we chat to Ryan Needham of Menace Beach about current inspirations, and the band’s new record.
S] What are the biggest challenges you face, presently as a band?
I don’t think we approach being in a band in a way that it could throw us a bunch of ‘challenges’. It sounds a bit too ambitious. Apart from all the obvious stuff like how angling enough time-out from the real world of jobs and rent is sometimes tricky for touring; but i guess that’s the same for anyone lucky enough to have an expensive, all-consuming hobby.
S] What motivates you guys outside of music – think specific people, places, games and movies?
I really like leaving the country. I’m really motivated to do that at the moment.
S] You’ve done some cool stuff, what have been some career highlights?
Playing the Millennium Square show in Leeds with The Cribs, Thurston Moore and Pulled Apart By Horses was a really good day. Watching Debbie Googe play was a real treat, she’s so so cool.
S] What is both your definitions of success?
It’s just constantly shifting, I guess. Like I said before, I wouldn’t consider myself to be a burning comet of ambition but i do like it when people think we’ve done good work. I’m honestly quite easily pleased.
S] Talk us through the direct experiences that led to the writing of ‘Crawl In Love’?
I was just deeply sad about everything i was seeing in the world, all the obvious stuff from the past 2 years. It seemed like we’d accelerated straight into the dystopian future and i just wanted a five minute break from it. So that song is about trying to remember oh yeah there is some good in the universe. Not in a stupid ‘head in the sand pretend its not happening’ way, just in a ‘5 minute breather to remind you there’s actually a point in living and then back to the horror’ way.
S] How does ‘Black Rainbow Sound’ push you in new ways as artists?
We’re just following our noses really, and just try to keep breaking the formula and the process on each record. Our tastes are constantly changing just like anyone so it has to reflect that, and it has to be exciting and feel uncertain. Personally I’m using organs and synths for the live shows for the first time so that’s been good to get stuck in to rather than playing rock guitar for the whole set
S] What advice would you give to other young musicians in Yorkshire trying to make an impact in music and the arts?
Just to be stubborn if you think you’re doing the right thing but also be kind and self-aware.