Interview:
My Awesome Compilation

Truly Awesome

Rising like a bionic phoenix out of the ashes of much loved local emo-rockers Switch, My Awesome Compilation pull all the right punches to pummel the listener into a state of blissful submission, with a string of beautiful right hooks and uppercuts until you realised you have witnessed one of Leicester’s true great heavyweights over the last couple of years. Always commercially viable, yet probably far enough from the beaten track to appeal to the likes of John Peel’s festive ears, the trio have blessed me with a three track ep, which obviously, they expect me to guess the titles of, given that there is no track listing to accompany it. So, being the game chap that I am, I’m willing to give it my best shot:

First of all, the track that I shall call “Fortune” is the sort of number where I can imagine a throng of excitable rain-lashed faces going all out for a moshfest at the appropriate places. I don’t know why, but it just sounds like the perfect song to play to a soaked audience at one of your typical mudpit festivals. Track two, which I shall call “Giving Up” sounds like an emotionally charged Pavement, or perhaps more accurately like Spiral Stairs’ more recent Preston School Of Industry during the verses at least, making way for one of the band’s by now trademark, infinitely catchy choruses. The true spirit of emo is unleashed on us for THIS awesome compilation’s closing track, possibly titled “Count On Me”, where, having been sucked in by a sweetly desperate sounding vocal, we are clomped over the head with the club of a non-conformist caveman and invited to engaged in a sweaty and remarkably rousing finale of distortion, and to rock our little socks off in a pure free for all.

Now, personally I thought the last person to have publicly appealed for the “Return of the Mac” needed a good twatting, but on this occasion, and with this evidence, I positively demand it! Oh look, here they come now in fact. That’s handy – I have a whole load of questions to ask them….

AD: I’ve read a growing number of fanzines and local “music scene” magazines that have you touted as one of Leicester’s finest, or the “band most likely to”. What do you think has brought you to this point and wherein do you believe your appeal lies?

MAC: It's very flattering when people write things like that about you in the local press. We are very close to each other and love and believe in what we do. We work hard on writing songs and work on melodies to fuel our songs. We put a lot in to our live performances and I think people that have come to watch us can appreciate our enthusiasm for our music. We have a lot of people to thank and friends who continue to support us.

AD: Your recent stuff seems a lot more relaxed and laid back than on Switch’s ep “The Damaged Brain”. Was this a conscientious decision, and if so, why?

MAC: Switch was a completely different band. To be honest, when we hear that ep (although it rings great memories in our heads), we cringe at it! We learnt a lot about each other from being in Switch, and that has enabled us to improve greatly and develop 'our sound'. I wouldn't say our music is more laid back - I think it is better structured and more dynamic. We have managed to build depth into our songs, so we can be more laid back at times.

AD: The band showed their balls recently (not literally of course!), when guitarist Neil Dempsey left the band, and you still fulfilled your remaining gig commitments as a three piece. How daunting was that, and how has it affected you as a group?

MAC: It enabled the 3 of us to do what we wanted to do musically. Neil was more into his heavy rock type stuff, and we wanted to be more about emotion and melody. Although Neil was a brilliant guitarist, losing him has made us stronger.

AD: You’ve been going for nearly 3 years now. That’s quite a long time for a local band, especially one as young as yourselves. Is it important to the band to break into the big time, or is it the music that counts the most?

MAC: Although M.A.C was started from members of Switch, we'd like to class the group as a new band. It is nearly a year old now. We'll carry on playing with each other until we run out of ideas! We get on really well with each other and of course we want to get signed and tour the world! We just hope more people can listen to our music and we'd love to make a music video one day.

AD: Had many bust ups within the band? Or has anyone in the music biz ever tried to rip you off? (Feuds with other bands are always amusing topics too if you’ve had any…)

MAC: We've never had any bust ups within the band. We respect each other and are honest to each other. (Apart from that time I slept with Das' and Chris' girlfriends at the same time, but they don't know about that, so shhhhhh!!) In the 'emo' type scene, all the bands we play with our really good to each other and I've never witnessed any trouble between the bands either.

AD: You’ve played with a whole host of up and coming bands, the most notable arguably being Hundred Reasons. How did you get on with them? Did you give ‘em a CD?
Andy at the Charlotte has been very good to us and sorted us out some cool support slots, so we have him to thank for that one! We have played with many cool bands, my favourite being the Red Animal War show in Derby. I helped organise the show as part of their European tour and we played too, so it was excellent!

AD: You gave me a list of bands on your biog that My Awesome Compilation “like to rock to”. So, being a music journalist, how come I’ve only heard of about half of the buggers? Do you know something we don’t?

MAC: No, not really! Commercial music sucks as I'm sure a lot of people would agree, so we scout around local indie music stores, go to lots of gigs, support the 'Scene' in England and read lots of reviews etc in underground magazines. There are so many good bands out there, you just have to look around and don't give in to MTV or Radio One!!! (Although Steve Lamaq is worth a listen!)

AD: What’s next on the agenda for My Awesome Compilation? Time to get a plug in.

MAC: We recently recorded the 'Sounds for Entrances' ep and are promoting that at the minute. Check our website for details on how to get one or download the ep. We are playing a few shows around the country over the summer and then in October, we have a new ep coming out on BSM Records - a small indie label from Oxford. We are going on tour in October/November time too with 'Hiding with Girls'.
Everything is just being sorted out at the minute, but this should be a real good experience for us.

If you haven’t been to see the lads in action, check out their website for tour dates and…well, what are you waiting for? You won’t be disappointed.

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