The Bucket Playlist’s interview with Near Mrs

‘It’s a belter, we got a real blast of serotonin playing it!’

a Seddon at The Bucket Playlist

Nottingham-based indie rock band, Near Mrs, are ramping up the guitars in their debut EP, ‘Sanguine’, which was released last month (June), in which they provide a musical commentary on government surveillance, relationships and selfish societies.

The band comprises Ryan Webb (vocals), Taig O’Shea (lead guitar and backing vocals), Will Kirk (guitar), Taylor Wadman (bass) and Toby Wilson (drums): ‘We met at uni, me, the bassist and the drummer, like Tinder for musicians,’ Taig joked. ‘You can headhunt people. Then I switched to music at Nottingham Trent and met Ryan.’ There’s been a lot of speculation surrounding their band name, so they set the record straight: ‘The blunt truth is that it was on a chalkboard outside a pub,’ Ryan said. ‘We liked, so we used it. It was better than what we’d considered calling ourselves, Counting Cows. I think we dodged a bullet!’

They describe ‘Sanguine’ as ‘upbeat, guitar-based indie rock’: ‘Those four tracks encapsulate our sound,’ Taig said. ‘We called it ‘Sanguine’ because we’re optimistic about the future, we’re looking ahead after last year.’

For me, the catchiest track on the EP is ‘Tourist’ with its hooky, jangly, E, C#m and B bass line in the verse, which switches to A, Am, E, C#, F#m, B and E in the chorus: ‘The bass scaffolding of the track was from me a while ago,’ Ryan said. ‘We used to play the chord pattern years ago.’ Taig nods: ‘It sounds a bit Queen-like. The lyrics aren’t inspired by real-life events, the back story is that your love interest is so far out of your level that you feel like a tourist in your relationship.’

That comes through in the chorus: ‘I’m more than just intrigued, you’re so far out my league, I’m a lucky man indeed. It makes me feel fatigued, you’re so far out my league that I feel like a tourist.’

‘It’s one of those songs where you think it’s about something else if you don’t listen to the lyrics’

The opening track on the EP, ‘B-52’, has an interesting provenance: ‘We like noodling around with guitars,’ Taig laughed. ‘We tried to get a bit of variation on the EP and ‘B-52′ was an idea we got after we’d been to a lecture by a guy at Spotify about the importance of hooks in your songs.’ The song is probably the most guitar-driven on the EP and is about government surveillance: ‘It’s mainly negativity in the lyrics,’ Taig said. ‘It’s one of those songs where you think it’s about something else if you don’t listen to the lyrics. Surveillance via social media has inflated over recent years, it seemed very relevant.’

As the song goes: ‘Is it legal? It isn’t okay, it doesn’t seem right that he wants to play, how is he watching, how can he see? Is it legal? It isn’t okay, it doesn’t seem right that he wants to play, how is he watching, how is he watching, how is he…’

However, their favourite track on the EP is ‘Face The Wall’: ‘The lyrics are about a very selfish world where people aren’t willing to help each other unless they get something out of it,’ Ryan said. Taig jumps in: ‘The original idea I had was a chord progression, I wanted it to sound wistful and longing (the song kicks off with Bm9, Em, Dmaj7 and F#m). We’d been listening to High Tide. What made it click are the ‘stabs’ in the pre-chorus, it’s the real hook there. We only got to play it once, it’s a belter, we got a real blast of serotonin playing it!’ Ryan joins in: ‘It’s our set ender, where people have the energy to get up and dance’.

As the song kicks off: ‘I hear you crying but that’s on you. You can make it through. Why don’t you stand on your two legs, or maybe I’ll help you out if it’s all on cam, to grow my Instagram, ’cause that’s called social growth.’

‘Six months before lockdown, we were rehearsing and writing together six hours a week’

Understandably, their sound has evolved a lot in the past two years, since they released singles such as ‘She Goes’, which are less riff-driven than their recent tracks: ‘We’ve made a conscious effort to evolve,’ Ryan said. ‘I think the turning point was ‘Headlights’ (2020), where we turned to a more professional sound, not to discredit our earlier stuff.’ Taig nods: ‘We’ve also got three guitarists, which is unusual.’ Ryan agrees: ‘Six months before lockdown, we were rehearsing and writing together six hours a week, minimum, that definitely improved our songwriting.’

In August, they will play a gig with fellow local, high-octane band, The Luka State. Musically, their influences include Catfish and the Bottlemen, The Fratellis, Two Door Cinema Club and The Night Café. The best gig that Taig ever went to was by Australian rock group Sticky Fingers: ‘I discovered them in Ryan’s girlfriend’s car!’ Ryan cites English prog rock with a folky twist band, High Tides, as the band he wishes he could have seen live: ‘I discovered them in 2018 but they’d disbanded, so I never got to see them live but I’d love to.’ They’ve both had very different earworms this week: ‘I listen to a lot of drum and bass, my earworm this week is ‘Finesse Riddim’ by Mr. Traumatik, it’s what you’d expect!,’ Ryan said. Taig is laughing: ‘Mine’s not as far out, it’s ‘Circles’ by Post Malone, it’s the top hit on Spotify.’

If he could tour with anyone, Ryan picks Jack Black’s band, Tenacious D: ‘They don’t take it so seriously, they’re as good performers are they are musicians,’ he said. Taig picks Guns N’ Roses: ‘I learned to play the guitar listening to them and Slash and read Slash’s autobiography,’ he said. ‘We’d probably get seriously injured – or die!’

his story first appeared on: https://inthebucketplaylist.com/ on July 1st 2021

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