Birmingham’s Guerrilla Monsoon are having a big year. After recently signing to Paper + Plastick, they’ve just been confirmed for Florida’s The Fest. We caught up with the band before their show in Swansea with The Traders. We also filmed a couple of sessions (including one in Subside’s toilets) which can be viewed below:
How did you guys start out?
Mark Bussey (Vocals/Guitar): Lewis and I have known each other through touring with other bands for the best part of ten years. When I moved to Birmingham in 2012 Lewis and I formed a short lived band. After that band broke up Lewis got in contact with Rob (bass) and we also heard that a local band called End Credit were breaking up (their singer moved to Asia) so we contacted their drummer John. We started jamming in around December 2013 and played our first show the following February.
Was it difficult starting up in DIY fashion?
MB: Truthfully we don’t know any other way! Our band members (as individuals) have never strayed too far away from the DIY community (even when not in active bands). We’ve always put on shows/let bands stay over/attended shows/worked with labels. I guess it has been a lifestyle choice and our closest friends are part of this community both locally, nationally and internationally. For us this the only way to be a band.
How is the Birmingham scene?
MB: Birmingham has a great deal going for it if you know where to look. Many of our friends in the Kings Heath and Digbeth areas of the city work in arts and crafts (check out @fallfordiy on twitter/instagram), there are loads of crafts spaces & of course it is home to All In Vinyl (a great DIY punk label/distro working with bands like Iron Chic, Timeshares, Arms Aloft, Wringer etc – www.allinvinyl.com). On a personal level I suppose one slight fustration is the transport links within the city. It is so spread out that unless you know the city well or have a car, going to some of the cooler DIY punk shows in places like Digbeth is difficult.
What are Guerrilla Monsoon’s main influences?
Rob Frampton (Bass): Our main influences stem from the punk/emo genres, bands like Hot Water Music, Iron Chic, Jimmy Eat World and The Hold Steady. Personally, I grew up listening to pop-punk, bands like Blink-182 and New Found Glorym but I guess I’ve naturally progressed onto a more “mature” and “meaningful” style of music as I’ve got older.
So you guys signed to Paper + Plastick. How did that come about?
RF: Quite simply, Mark sent a demo tape to Paper and Plastick and Vinnie liked it, and thats how we got the ball rolling. We’d arranged to meet Vinnie at Slam Dunk festival to discuss specifics. in truth we weren’t 100% sure what Vinnie looked like so we had to google him to make sure we were speaking to the right person!! Even after doing this we still managed to speak to the wrong person!! We ended up speaking to their merch guy (who looks exactly like Vinnie) and he looked at us with a blank expression. We managed to find Vinnie eventually and the rest is history.
So how’s the tour with The Traders been?
John Maycroft (Drums): Yeah man, it’s been pretty cool! The Traders are really nice guys and an amazing band to play with. The only thing thats sucked is that we’ve had to work in between gigs as we’ve used up all of our annual leave at work! We can let our hair down now tonight in Swansea as we’ve got a few days off!Mark Vincent Bussey
What are your plans for the rest of the year?
Lewis Bloor (Vocals/Guitar): For the rest of the year we’ve got (Big City) plans… We’ve a bunch of new songs recorded that we’re pretty eager to put out, expect an announcement soon. We’re really excited about this actually. We’ve got some big plans for september where we’re on tour with Signals Midwest, playing with Masked Intruder & Gnarwolves at Manchf3ster (already sold out) then we’re off on our own tour in October which we’ve got a VERY exciting date to announce… It’s all basically gigs gigs gigs, writing some tunes and a lot of getting weird along the way.