Mistake Us For Friends


Jay: For those uninitiated with the band tell us about yourselves and the sound you guys play…
MUFF: Hey we’re Mistake Us For Friends, from Glasgow, Scotland and we play fast, technical punk rock, kind of in the same boat as bands such as Belvedere, Bigwig, Strung-out etc.

Jay: How did the tour go with Horse the Band?
MUFF: The tour was amazing! It was really great playing in front of much bigger audiences than any of us had anticipated and even better seeing the reactions to some “hardcore” faces when they realized we weren’t actually a hardcore band. A lot of the shows had support bands that were so clichéd it was ridiculous! It felt for us, that it was the same band we were watching consecutively night after night, but with different members if that makes sense. Horse on the other hand are hardcore but with an amazing twist, they bring something new to the genre, which I think is reaping dividends for them and I think they are going to be huge soon, if the turnout at their European dates is anything to go by. Personally, I don’t mind a bit of hardcore but a lot of bands are just following the same trend and not making anything new, just some squeaky chords with a few screams here and there. As far as the tour in relation to us is concerned, I’d estimate that at 90% of the shows, we had really great bouts of feedback and a lot of people were appreciating what we were doing. The unaccounted for 10% was kind of hit and miss, but we know everyone isn’t going to like us. All in all though, the tour was a huge success for both bands and we can’t wait to hook up with horse again in the future.

Jay: With the release of your last demo (4.5 on Punktastic!) how does it feel to be getting such positive feedback?
MUFF: Its always-good getting feedback, I don’t think there’s anything better than having people contact you saying, they appreciate what you’re doing! I guess we just want to continue writing music we enjoy and then see what happens. The last 3 songs we recorded were a huge success with regards to positive feedback, we had tons and tons of emails with people really liking the songs and asking where they can get a c.d. etc, which was really cool. I feel the newer stuff we’re writing at the moment is even better though, but you guys can be the judge of that.

Jay: What is your current school of thought on bands who appear to be cashing in on the latest musical trends?
MUFF: We think it’s ridiculous! Its totally fucked up that these people are just following what is the “in” sound of the moment to make money. What can we do about it, except express our disgust through songs and hope there are more like minded people who agree with our school of thought .We laugh it off really, and wait for the next bandwagon to come along, it should be coming round soon, tickets to get on are free, because you probably wont be on it that long!

Jay: Your lyrics on the whole are very open and honest. Is this something you set out to achieve when songwriting?
MUFF: Yeah, if you’re going to make a statement why not just say it out right as opposed to hiding it in a riddle? If its something you feel strongly about then the words come easily. As I said above we got a lot of amazing feedback from our newest songs for being honest and straight to the point and writing a song about the current trends through “fashioncore” appealed to a lot of like-minded souls, which is always good. There are a lot of people out there like us that get pissed off with the current state of affairs, and I think most of them got in touch with us when they heard the track. However we did have critics, other people disagreed with the song, saying we had got it all wrong, but at the end of the day we wrote the song for ourselves and couldn’t really give a fuck if it offends anyone. We realised how much the latter was the case when someone vandalized our van in Wales during the Horse tour, there’s not really any point in going into details about the incident, but it did make someone look really stupid, by getting so pissed of at our band they had to vandalize our van, nice lads!

Jay: What is the process like from an unsigned bands point of view in regards to recording tracks from start to finish?
MUFF: Just the usual I guess, except faster because we never have anywhere near as much time as we’d like to in the studio. We recorded our last 3 song demo in a 3-day stint in someone’s loft, but it turned out to be really cool. We basically get Stu (Drums) warmed up, to give his all, his usual warm up formula is: Couple of beers + some fags. Sorted! He tends to get pissed off because he always does his drums in 1 take and he just has to sit about for
the rest of the time we’re in the studio. His best achievement was doing Fashion core in 1 take, which I thought was pretty impressive. After drums are down we get Sean (bass) to do his thing, He usually does things in a few takes, so then we tend to have more time to spend on guitars and vocals. Beanzy and myself get the guitars down. I do my guitar first due to the fact I play mostly rhythm stuff, then Beanzy gets his lead parts down and we start on vocals. If we have time at this point we usually mess about with melodies and harmonies until we agree on the final pattern, then we lay down the final vocals and that’s pretty much the way we process our tracks.

Jay: Please clear up the song ‘Fashioncore’ for us, is it aimed at anyone in particular…?
MUFF: The song isn’t aimed at anyone in particular; it was just a culmination of certain aspects of current trends that were annoying us a lot. I suppose you could say it is aimed at the aforementioned bandwagon effect, but it isn’t aimed at any particular musical genre, which seems to have become a common misconception. However we aren’t going to deny that the lyrics perfectly described a lot of the doppelgangers we seen on tour with Horse at every show, we enjoyed playing that song for the clones every night.

Jay: Who writes the music in MUFF, who arranges it all etc…
MUFF: We write all our songs in the practice room as a band, usually starting of with an idea and this eventually blossoms into a full song, once everyone has had there input and things have been chopped and changed a few [hundred] times, we’ll eventually be satisfied with the musical content and we’ll start thinking about lyrics and melodies. Usually we write lyrics as a band as well, culminating together all our ideas under one theme then lifting the smartest and most appealing parts and putting them together to arrive on the final lyrical content. When this is done we work out where harmonies would be most effective, then we practice hard until we feel comfortable playing the song live.

Jay: What have been the highs and lows of your experiences as a band in the last four years?
MUFF: Over four years the band has went through some significant line up changes, which almost brought an end to the band as a whole. So I suppose this could be viewed as a low point. However we got things together and now feel that our current lineup is the strongest yet. The four of us have experienced many high points in the little over a year, that we have been a unit. Firstly, two tours in 2003, one with My Dad Joe and the other with Dead Letter Dept in September 2003. Earning a support slot with possibly our favorite band Belvedere in January 2004, touring the U.K in April 2004 with NWJ for two weeks and our good friends Strike at the Source for a week in June 2004. Perhaps the highest point so far was the 18 day tour we’ve just returned from with Horse the band where we got to travel to Europe and played some really successful shows in the U.K France and Germany as well as meeting lots of amazing people. We also have a two- week tour commencing this November, hooking up once more with friends Dead Letter dept (Canada) for their U.K dates. Another high point for us personally is to have done all this with no backing, then have people slag us off for not being DIY!

Jay: If you could be in any other band, who would you choose?
Sean: I would be in Propagandhi, basically because they are one of my all time favorite bands and probably the most influential band that got me into fast music all those years ago, for this reason I have lots of respect for them. In addition to this they are the best live band I have had the privilege of watching, plus no matter where they play they always have a good core of loyal fans, which has to be admired. Plus they like to get drunk a lot and so do I.
Steve: Belvedere for me.

Jay: What is currently on the Mistake Us For Friends CD player?
MUFF: We listen to a lot of different music. When were home we listen to bands like Belvedere, Bigwig, Propagandhi, Nofx, Craigs Brother, Rise Against, The Fullblast and fuckin many more. But when were on tour we listen to loads more different stuff, We sometimes need a bit of time to sit in the van and listen to Michael Jackson, Coldplay or something that chills you out.

Jay: Was it a conscious decision you wanted the abbreviation of the bands name to be MUFF?
MUFF: Basically the band started as “muff” but we wanted to change our name to be taken more seriously, but we didn’t want to get rid of “muff” as we had already became pretty well established under this name. So the logical decision was to make “muff” an acronym of something more serious, so we could eventually fade it out. The latter however is proving to be harder than we thought, especially at home. I believe our friend and old guitarist Gianni coined “Mistake us for Friends”, everyone liked it and the new name was born. We are now probably more widely known as “Mistake us for Friends”, but there are always a few rogue bills where “muff” pops up.

Jay: What can we expect from the band in the coming year…
MUFF: We’re pretty much just going to continue working our socks off like we have been doing over the last year and hopefully we’ll eventually get some label attention. We really want to get on a label that’s going to work with us and obviously put out a full-length record at some point. More importantly though we want some one that’s going put us on the road as much as possible, as this is the most important aspect of being a band to us, but until this happens we’ll probably just keep doing it all ourselves. We have a two-week tour to look forward to in November with the most excellent Dead Letter Dept from Canada, so look out for us around the U.K. We haven’t really thought about 2005 as yet, but we’ll take things as they come.

Jay: And finally, Scottish football. Any hope on the horizon?
MUFF: HAHAHA… no. Internationally anyway, but on a club level no one can really fault Celtic for their performances over the last year or so in Europe, reaching the UEFA cup final last year and the quarters this year, when most people had written them off! Say what you like about the rest of the teams though!

Jay: Anything you would like to add?
MUFF: Just a few mentions of thanks, firstly to Jay and Punktastic for taking the time to interview us, it was good of you. Thanks to Horse the band for the amazing times on tour, and for being brilliant every single night, and finally to everyone that supports our music, it means a lot to us!

Finally – Keep it fast!
Team M.U.F.F x


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