"What is Brassy?" They're a guitar band who put most guitar bands to shame.
Instead of heading for the usual indie territory, Brassy's music recreates a hip-hop party in your soul upon every listen.
Muffin's vocals lead the way in sassy rhymes and melodic lines, backed up by Karen and Stefan on their very very funky bass and guitar respectively;
and Johnny, aka DJ Swett, plays the drums and provides turntablist tricks for your delectation.
You mean you don't know??? How can you exist without having tuned yourself in to Brassy's sassy hip-hop vibe??? It's time to be introduced...
They're a guitar band who put most guitar bands to shame. Instead of heading for the usual indie territory, Brassy's music recreates a hip-hop party in your soul upon every listen. Muffin's vocals lead the way in sassy rhymes and melodic lines, backed up by Karen and Stefan on their very very funky bass and guitar respectively; and Johnny, aka DJ Swett, plays the drums and provides turntablist tricks for your delectation.
J Why do you need your mouth for peeing?
M It's a girl thing. You wouldn't understand it.
J Like watersports?
M Nope. Typical, drag it down to that.
J I was genuinely looking for watersports, skiing and that lot, and I got all this nakedness.
M You're totally making this up! You never went on the internet looking for water-skiing!
J That's what I do!
|This is where Emancipation entered the world of Brassy - a world of hand-made Y-fronts, false moustaches and Doctor Who. We met them in Manchester, in Spring 1999, on their tour with Bis and Whistler. The letters denote Muffin (M), Karen (K), Johnny (J) and Stefan (S). Read on.|
Please give us a brief history of the band....
M We've had three singles out on Costermonger, the label that brought you Gene - thanks, Costermonger - erm, and they went bust. So we've spent nearly two years looking for another record deal and now we've signed to Wiiija. Since then, our lives have been unending joy. That's the relaxed group of individuals we are.
J We're so close, we never fall out.
Are you going down well with the Bis fans then?
M We are yeah, surprisingly enough.
S We thought we'd scare them away.
What about Whistler?
M Different type of thing, very quiet.
J It's weird having us, then Whistler, then Bis, coz it's like AAAHH then kinda folky then AAAHH again.
M It's probably nice to have some calm and relaxation, to give their ears a rest.
Which other bands, if any, would you liken yourselves to?
S Trash. Complete trash.
M If you made up a band with Lemmy on bass, plus a bit of Flava Flav and Wayne Cansy on vocals - who can we have on guitar?
J Forget the guitar, no-one comes close....
M And Little Richard on board. You want John Bonham on drums, don't you? We'd have to have a montage of bands.
J We're trying to be a hip-hop band but with guitars, we're trying to translate it. We're bringing it back - it's like stock soul, really.
Are you completely satisfied with the music that you make?
S We're getting more satisfied.
MWhen you go to the studio and you put it down, when it's done is when you're not quite satisfied. Some things have got there and some things haven't.
S We've realised you'll never get exactly what you want.
M You'd have to work with twenty people to get it right; Joe Schmoe for his drum sound and Alan Schmoe for his vocal sound -
J Alan Schmoe?
M Yeah - he's got a microphone collection to dream about....
What was that technology you were using in the soundcheck?
J Just a turntable, mixer and an 808 - we try to do a lot of scratching when we're recording, but I can't do a lot live.
What's the best thing anyone's ever said about Brassy?
M If anyone does ever say anything nice, we take it as an insult coz it's so lame.
J Someone said last night that we were blistering....
M She works for the record company.
J Oh, sorry.
Has anyone ever said anything really insulting?
M We've had the worst press ever. The worst was when we played at Reading, we went down so well we got an encore, but somebody said we were a 'damp fart' and 'sexless'. Take that and stick it in your pipe.
Have you ever been recognised on the streets?
K No, it'd be too freaky.
M People I know don't even recognise me
K When I put my glasses on, good friends walk straight by!
M We are masters of disguise.
K False moustaches.
M Mine's not false.
Who would you consider to be the epitome of cool?
J Yeah, I'd go for that. Beastie Boys are cool
M They're not that cool, they're faking their geekiness.
J Alright then, I take that back.
So who's your favourite band apart from yourselves?
M Bands are shite, we don't really like them.
J We like a lot of new-school hip-hop, well I do, anyway. ...But we don't listen to guitar bands, coz we don't like what they do.
S Polythene, they're good.
K The Donnas.
J Cornershop, we like them.
Have you got any unusual band merchandise?
K We haven't got any!
M Fresh air...
J We used to make our own screen print T-shirts - we were gonna do underwear, Y-fronts.
M We've still got a few T-shirts left but we're saving them till they're worth a fortune, coz they're hand done Brassy one-offs. We got tired of doing them coz you have to spend eight minutes ironing each side. Quite labour intensive for six pounds fifty.
J The underpants, there was only one size, and it was ginormous -
M Yeah, ginormous or tiny child-size....
Who designs your record sleeves?
M I do the original - we do it together and then pass it on to the graphics man.
Do you think it's important?
M Yeah - I think the band who don't do their own logos, their own sleeves, design their own merchandise, I don't know why they bother.
K Yeah, they might aswell not be doing their own hair.
M Most of them aren't that's the sad thing! A lot of people don't even dress themselves, that's the frightening thing. If you need that much direction, you shouldn't be doing it really.
What have you done in the last twenty-four hours?
J Twenty-four hours ago we were watching Doctor Who. Tom Baker - the epitome of cool!
M I got hugged by my drunken neighbour.
K Did you? I saw him in Safeway the other day. He had a massive bag of McCoy's crisps.
Can you describe exactly what you look like at this moment in time for our readers?
You can lie if you want.
J Oh, well, I look really handsome.
S Me too, but a bit rough round the edges.
J I feel quite rock n roll, but that's not what I look like.
M You could kind of emanate it, but you haven't got leather trousers on.
J Do I look radiant?
M You're glowing - are you pregnant?
J We're the best looking band going.
K That's not saying much - have you had a look at what's going out there at the moment?
If you were a porn star, what would your stage name be?
M Oh, that old chestnut.
J Mine's Candy Hunt... you can turn it round to be Handy Cunt.
S Mine's Susie Brown, how about that?
J Mine's actually Six Million Dollar Man Steve Austin Hunt, after my budgie.
M Our favourite thing's actually tour names, you know, when you go into a hotel and use a fake name - Stef's is Quattro Dommagio and Karen's is Truly Kaput.
S I've changed mine to Kevin.
Where's the best place on earth?
K My bed.
J New York.
M Might be Rawtenstall Precinct, though.
S Withenshaw Civic Centre?
Finally, can you describe your sound in five words?
M Hot rockin' hip hop punk.
J No - punk rockin' hip hoppin' scratchin'... [counting on his fingers] no - stick with hers.