Thrash Hits verdict: Being long-time fans of Hang The Bastard (we’ve still got a serious soft spot for their Raw Sorcery EP – yeah, we’re those pricks who say “we prefer the earlier stuff”), when we got an email from their former frontman, Chris Barling, about the new band he’s formed with various ex- and current members of Centurions Ghost and A Long Time Dead, yeah, our interest was piqued. It was doubly-piqued when we gave the band’s debut release – a self-titled EP – a spin. Cue us bundling up some Future Hits questions and firing them over to Chris to get the lowdown on MINE.
Describe your sound in 3 words
Dreamy, unpredictable, cathartic.
What made you guys decide to start a new band together? What provided the initial spark?
The idea came about back in March as I’d been toying with the idea of starting a new band for some time and as I slowly made the decision that I would leave Hang The Bastard, MINE really became something that I wanted to pursue. The thought of playing pretty straight up hardcore or metal wasn’t really on my agenda anymore so starting this band seemed like the right thing to do.
It was actually really effortless getting MINE together, Mark [Scurr, formerly of Centurions Ghost] hadn’t played in a band for some time now and was interested in the idea of this band and the sound I thought we could achieve together. Matt [Pullon] and Dave [Standley] were in A Long Time Dead together but it wasn’t that time consuming and they wanted to try something different out.
There’s a pretty hefty departure in sound between MINE and the various members’ other bands – what would you say to a fan of your other bands to get them to give MINE a listen?
I know a lot of people that were fans of our previous bands that have turned around and said they were surprised by this band but were totally into it. I really don’t know what I would say, I would just suggest keeping an open mind and be ready to experience something heavy, just in a different way.
Where did the name come from?
Matt actually suggested it, purely because its not particularly genre specific. I like that it’s the sort of name you’d hear but probably couldn’t be sure what to expect. I think its pretty lame when you hear a band name and you can tell instantly what they’ll sound like.
Where did you grow up? How do you think it’s affected your music?
We all basically grew up around the same area which is the west of London and known each other for a long time now. I’ve personally known the guys for around 10 years and I think for the others it might be longer.
Mark, Dave and Matt have been doing bands a lot longer than I have and were a big part of the local music scene that we used to have. So when I was a teenager, I used to go and see their bands.
I’d also say that growing up around London would be a big part of it, we’re really lucky to have so much choice musically in the city. There’s always bands coming through, whether they were hardcore, punk, screamo and I think this helped towards having a bit more of a broader taste.
What are your non-musical influences?
Well “what kind of bird are you” is a reference from a Wes Anderson movie and we also had a t-shirt with a character from the same film, so movies maybe. I guess lyrically it’s just about how I’m feeling on certain issues and life in general. I didn’t want this band to become something that people would expect certain themes from so I’m just always going to be honest in what I write.
I can’t really speak so much for the others but food seems to be playing a big part in our creativity, most practices began with a hefty curry or Lebanese. I don’t know what that says about us though really. Ha!
So far, what has been the best thing about being in multiple bands simultaneously?
Not sure if I could say one actual thing, but overall its definitely helped spark an interest in what we’re doing. I feel that the fact we’ve paid our dues in other bands has paid off with getting this band started. It’s not like we were a bunch of ‘cool’ kids that relied on a bit of scene hype; we’re just a bunch of nerdy old dudes that have put a lot of work in previously.
How did the collaboration with Chlo from Vales (formerly Veils) come about?
I’ve known Chlo for a while now, Vales actually played their first show with Hang The Bastard in April last year and exactly one year later we played together in London. So I think there’s always been a lot of mutual respect there so when I asked her if she’d like to do vocals on ‘Hidden In Drawers’ she was totally cool to do it. I was really happy with the way it turned out.
With which band would your dream support slot/tour be?
I’d totally love to tour with Fucked Up and I think the other guys would too! Maybe Morrissey….
What bands do you consider as part of your scene or as your peers?
I’m not sure what scene we really fit into yet but I feel that we are looking up to bands like Pariso, Goodtime Boys and Vales. The two shows we’ve played have been with Pariso and Goodtime Boys, our London show in December is with Vales and they’ve shown us a lot of love. As well as these bands being our peers, we’re all friends, which is awesome! I can certainly say that there isn’t a “it’s all a competition” vibe in the scene that we’ve fallen into at the moment like what I’ve experienced before.
But again, I’d like to think we’d be open to all kinds of scenes and be able to play with many different bands along the way. That’s the whole point in the band really.
What have you got planned for the future?
It’s hard to say right now as next year is looking very busy for each of us personally but we will be doing a new record one way or another. We’re halfway through writing the follow up to the self-tilted but then, who knows? Hopefully we’ll get to go on tour in the summer!
What other band should everyone find out about?
Going to go ahead and suggest a few bands to look out for – Black Coffee, Deer In The Headlights, Birdskulls, and Goodtime Boys also just put out a new record, check it!
Tell us a joke.
What’s orange and sounds like a parrot?
MINE’s self-titled debut EP is available to order now on Holy Roar Records, where you can get an instant digital download of the whole release, as well as ordering a physical copy on vinyl. For the format-contrarians among you, you can also order the EP on as cassette tape direct from Chris B’s own Cult Culture Label. You can catch MINE playing live later this month in support of Pariso at the Boileroom in Guildford, on Saturday 17 November, and next month at the Old Blue Last in East London, where they’ll be supporting Birds In A Row (alongside the aforementioned Vales, and our old friends, Bastions).