Five piece Manchester band Suave Martyrs are made up of Ben (rhythm Guitar and vocalist), Stu (bass), Sam (guitar), Biscuit (drums) and recently new added member Brad on vocals. They cite influences such as The Rolling Stones, Jimmy Hendrix and The Who, but also take influences from all sorts of music to hone their own sound. They have gone from strength to strength from supporting Alias kid at a sold-out show at the Deaf Institute, to selling out their own first headline gig within 24 hours of tickets going on sale in the same year. I caught up with them to see how lockdown had been treating them…
Please introduce yourselves to our readers, who you are and how you formed?
We are Suave Martyrs from Manchester. We have been going since early 2019. Ben (Guitar) and Stu (Bass) started the band in a room jamming together in Bury. I (Sam, Guitar) joined later on, bringing in Biscuit who was my next-door neighbour after I heard him drumming through the bathroom wall whilst having a bath. We carried on like that for a while splitting the singing between me and Ben before we brought in Brad just before lockdown.
What style of music would you describe yourself as and what influences do you draw upon?
We all have different influences to be honest Ben has a mod background, Stu loves his funk, Biscuit takes from hip-hop and electronic music, Brad loves his 00’s indie, and my bread and butter is 60’s psychedelia.
How have things been for you over the lockdown/tier fiasco? What has been the most challenging?
It’s not been as bad as it could have been, we have been able to still write stuff and we got into the studio just before the first lockdown, so we had some tracks built up. But not gigging has been a nightmare, we felt we were just getting into our stride and Brad had just joined the band and joined us on a mini tour before it all got stopped. We can’t wait to get out there again, have beers thrown at us and go nuts.
What are your feelings about the current situation and its impact on live music and venues?
The government seems determined to fuck up the industry either through incompetence or the fact that they have no care for what happens in the industry, especially at the grass roots level. Given that as the Conservatives supposedly pride themselves on their support of business the pandemic has really shown where their priorities lie, and you wonder how the industry will cope. The maths doesn’t work if you take away businesses ability to earn money without supporting them. The disruption in the industry will hopefully allow creative people to do what they do best and so it could also lead to an exciting time once we are up and running again.
Do you think there has been enough help for the industry throughout the crisis?
Hahaha, well I guess I already answered this but no, absolutely not. By clumping together the arts as one homogenous group it is impossible to give the right support. Theatres won’t need the same kind of support as music venues and so it’s essentially doomed to fail from the start. Especially given the government’s attitude, the advice for musicians to retrain for example was a disgrace. The best help for the industry has always been the people in the scene and without them the industry would die.
2020 has been understandably riddled with a lot of negativity, what was some positives for you in 2020?
Well, in 2020 we completed our line-up bringing Brad into the band so that was a big plus and on the back of that we have released what we think are our best tunes to date with the 3 singles that came out last year. Not gigging has allowed us to hone our sound and we are excited to see what 2021 will bring.
Tell me about your most recent please or upcoming single/album…
Our next release will be out on the 12th February it’s called Cascades of Gold and is basically about two people looking up into space and then fucking off into the cosmos. It’s the last one of the tracks we recorded at Vibe studios before lockdown and we can’t wait for people to hear it. Infact, if you message the band Instagram you might even get to hear a sneak peek!
What’s the best venue you’ve played so far and what’s would be your dream venue to play after Covid-19?
We have a few venues we really like. The Deaf Institute and Jimmy’s in Manchester were great venues to play and were both sell outs. We loved playing the Royal Park in Leeds as well just before lockdown. Once we get out of lockdown, we are looking to do a big show in Manchester so one of those venues like Bread Shed, The Ritz or Gorilla would be amazing.
Favourite festival you’ve played or want to play and why?
Barnsley Live 2019 was a class festival that we didn’t expect. It’s a community run festival, but it was packed from the get-go. We had only just started so to play that was a great experience. We also played MMfest in August when we briefly got out of lockdown and to play again was quality.
What tune should readers listen to right now of yours that sums you up the best?
It’s difficult cause we have a few different sounds. Tell Me Is Our Latest and Man About Town is our first so take your pick between those two, though all of ours are a bit different.
What can we look forward to from you in 2021?
Some big shows and some big releases. We have the tune coming out on 12th Feb and then we are also working on a video for Tell Me What You Wanna. Then hopefully some bloody gigs. We are actually starting to look into putting some gigs on for other local bands so if anyone is looking for a show in Manchester, Liverpool or Leeds hit us up!
Keep up-to-date with Suave Martyrs on their social media below…