Suave Martyrs are a Manchester indie band with retro blues, punk and psychedelic vibes. Their guitarist Samuel Brunt (below right) caught up with Prime (UK Band) singer Lee Heir for a conversation about their most recent singles, band chemistry, and a recent o2 Manchester gig…
LEE HEIR: It's been a long time since we've had a good chance to chat. Last time I saw you live was as the singer of your solo project Cosmic Shambles. You were a little bit Cosmic and a fair bit Shambles, but I thoroughly enjoyed your music the same as I am with your current group! How are you finding the Suave Martyrs situation compared to your previous rub of the green in your early projects?
SAMUEL BRUNT: I think that Suave Martyrs is definitely the best in terms of us all working together from both the music side and everything else. I’m really enjoying it.
LH: I can tell the togetherness is there in your music. It has the looseness of your early songs but the arrangements and playing are a fair bit superior. Your last release was 'Give Me The Reason'... an original not a Luther Vandross cover. Tell me more about the story behind the song?
SB: That’s one of Ben’s ones, it maps a vision of his youth from his bedroom window. He brought the song to us we put our slant on it and there it was.
LH: It works very well, the Northern indie vibe mixed with the sharpness of CBGB's New York in the guitars. So, tell me a bit more about each band members and their influences as I haven't met them yet?
SB: Ben (singer) is into lots of 60s bands The Who, The Stones as well as some mod stuff. Stu (bassist) really likes Joy Division and post-punk, but also likes bands like Red Hot Chilli Peppers. I like psychedelic bands like Brian Jonestown Massacre and Causa Sui and Biscuit (drummer) loves electronic music and drum and bass.
LH: That sounds a good mix, the more influences the better the band usually... as long as it all gels! How did you all meet?
SB: Ben and Stu have been mates since school. They put an ad out and I joined the band. When our old drummer left I heard someone playing drums next door to my student house, went over there to look and it was Biscuit, so I just asked if he was in a band, gave him our demo... and told him when we were practicing. Brad the singer joined us in March just gone and he's fitted into the group perfectly since.
LH: No beating about the bush then! When I met you, you were looking for management and also struggling to keep the lineup together. How are you finding working with the Suave Martyrs in comparison?
SB: It’s definitely more settled, and it means we can work harder to make songs and put on shows.
LH: I'm in the place with Prime that you were with your old band ages ago. I got to the stage where I just said, "Right, this is my band now, come on board, play some good gigs but I have the final say." Fantastic that you seem to have a good democracy going on. Do you truly believe that that can work in the long run and that power wont get to anyone's head?
SB: No we tend to vote stuff through, so the power is between all of us. We also want the same thing so that makes it easy as well.
LH: You mentioned shows just now. By the time this interview goes online - late, mainly because my laptop just set alight, which serves me right for deciding to release our new CD on the same date as your gig - Friday 13th! - you'll be at the o2 Academy 3 in Manchester. What's your thoughts on the lineup for the night?
SB: It’s a cracking line up. Don’t think we’ve played with any of the bands before but having listened to the tunes we are really excited. They’re all quality and JCK especially seem to be doing well with their last single.
LH: Is this the first time you've played the Manchester o2 3? I saw Cast there this time last year, the venue had a great atmosphere. The Cast rhythm section got locked outside in the rain smoking fags before the show which was quite amusing.
SB: Yeah it’s our first crack at this venue. Apparently the sound is top notch so we can’t wait.
This interview continued... Sadly as Lee's laptop caught fire it was a good few months later before it happened! Neither Suave Martyrs or Prime like to rush in life...
LH: I'm just playing 'Give me the Reason' again ... It's like indie rock meets some Velvet Underground inspired post punk.. Good stuff man!
SB: Cheers man I will definitely take Velvet Underground! (Laughs)
LH: I won't bother talking about Lockdown because it's probably best to forget that it happened, especially with our Boris in charge! You have a new single due out very soon, and I believe it's a song of yours that I've heard before?
SB: Yeah it’s called 'Footsteps', it started as a demo of mine and we developed the idea in Suave Martyrs and now have the song.
LH: I heard the original version of that track and saw it live too. Lots of power and energy to it. Why did you decide to go back to an older song?
SB: We always had the song in the set and we had developed the song into our own style. So, in essence it was a new song really. It was a song that was from when Cosmic Shambles was a solo project.
LH: What do you think the Suave fellas bought to the track that maybe it didn't have in past demos?
SB: I think the new grooves that Stu and Biscuit bring to the song and the new lines of melody that Ben has brought have completely changed the feel of the song. It’s really cool to bring an idea to the band and see it come out at the end completely different to how you expected it to be, but really liking it.
LH: It becomes fresh even to your ears then I suppose! Which must give you a kick.
SB: Yeah, it’s great to see!
LH: Last time we spoke you were playing the o2 Academy 3 in Manchester... How did you find the venue to play at and are you all based in the City Centre now?
SB: It was a great venue to play and a really cool show. We are still based all round Manchester, Bury, Rochdale and Leeds.
LH: You lads get around! So what's next up, have you managed to provisionally book any gig dates for after Corona?
SB: No dates as such but we want to get back to gigging as soon as we can and start with a big one.
LH: Well I hope you can make it down to South Yorkshire or East Midlands so I can see you lads play as there's always a lot of energy where you're concerned... And now I've finished playing live with Prime I've got plenty of time on my hands, I probably haven't got an excuse not to come up to Manchester again either!
SB: Yeah man! That would be sweet, we are always up for playing new places.
LH: Have a good weekend Sam and look forward to hanging out over a pint soon!
SB: Sounds good to me, man.
Suave Martyrs 'Footsteps' is out now on Spotify and all streaming avenues.
Prime UK Band - 'Art / Facts' compilation is out now on digipak (with extra tracks) and the usual streaming sites.
Suave Martyrs can be found at:
www.facebook.com/suavemartyrs/ / Instagram - @suavemartyrs / Twitter - @martyrssuave
Lee Heir of Prime UK Band is online at:
Facebook: www.facebook.com/ukprime + Twitter / Instagram: @primeukband + Youtube: @badfridaypictures
Spotify 'Art Facts' Link: