Introducing: Thee MVPs

By Glen Bushell

“For a bunch of chancers playing a few decent numbers, with no dude in a ponytail that calls everyone “baby” reppin’ them, we´ve certainly had enough times where we felt like champions” says guitarist Charlie Wyatt when asked about London garage-punks Thee MVPs short career so far. It is a touching sentiment that is echoed by the furiously D.I.Y ethos that the band maintains, and has done since their inception in 2012. During some drunken conversations while hanging out watching some bands in Philadelphia between Wyatt and Daniel Bishop – who hadn’t picked up a bass guitar before this – the boys returned to the South East of England and set a plan in place to make one hell of a racket.

Looking back at bands humble beginnings, Wyatt says “It first started when I recorded some demos after leaving my “serious noise band”. Firstly by myself with a kick drum and hi-hat, then I got a short lived gigging group together before forming the first consistent band after a trip to the states”. From there they would be joined by Alex Ives and Jack Spencer-Davis, and began to channel the raw punk of Hot Snakes and Drive Like Jehu, a New York style rock n’ roll swagger, wrapped in a distinctly British charm, and they would start to make a name for themselves playing sweaty, tiny shows to anyone who would listen.

However things didn’t stay contained for long, and even in the bands infancy they have travelled to Europe, and even got noticed by Ty Segall before the number of shows they played had even hit double digits. “The amount of countries we´ve played has been the biggest highlight for us really, which includes France, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland and the Netherlands. We´ve also been flown out to Barcelona twice for two sold out shows” muses Wyatt when looking back some Thee MVP’s highlights so far. “Very early on in the band we played our 8th show opening for Ty Segall. He picked us from a demo I gave him when I saw him in New York, so that was a pretty big deal/blag” he adds, before clarifying how the bands D.I.Y work ethic has paid off, saying “We host warehouse shows too. We had Twin peaks play in our rehearsal room to 200 drunk underage kids, who were coming up to us after thanking us because they couldn´t make the 18+ show at the 100 club the night before, That was very humbling”.

This has led to Thee MVP’s playing over 100 shows in just under 3 years, and resulted in them working with both PNKSLM in the UK, and Nevada based label Slovenly Recordings, who released their ‘Oh Sally’ 7” last year. This apparently was one of the bands modest aspirations from the early days as Wyatt remembers “Dan said “I want to get a record out on Slovenly” then it actually happened, that was tight”. The band also shows no signs of slowing down, and while their mantra of rarely turning down shows has led to the writing process take a bit of a hit, they are determined to change that in the future. “We´re looking to record and release a single and an EP before the year is out and then proceed to have an LP cut and released by the New Year” says Wyatt of what’s to come for the band. “We intend to record these with a few people including Jim Riley in Medway who cuts a lot of Billy Childish records. The stickler with us is we rarely turn down a show but also have day jobs so for a long time we haven´t had the opportunity to get into writing new material. However saying that, we all believe you only really find out what you´re strengths are and what the audience receive better through gigging anyway”.

Of course with age comes experience, and as the band further their abilities they plan on refining their own sound that people can identify as Thee MVPs. “It was about a year into the band we remembered we also really like 90s groups like the Hot Snakes and Fugazi, and a lot of classic rock or proto-punk, or whatever like The Stooges/MC5/Hendrix” says Wyatt of the direction the band is heading. “The influences became less narrow, but the strengths we were able to identify through all the gigging lead us to exploit ourselves into making something that’s far more like us! Also we use to be very anti guitar solos, now we can´t get enough!”

So with plenty on the horizon, and some shows with their Slovenly label mates Useless Eater in September, Thee MVPs will surely become are far more recognisable name in the UK’s ever growing punk rock scene. Regardless of where the band have been, and where the band will go, Wyatt remains modest about their accomplishments, as he closes “Cheesy as it is, we feel really lucky still being around after three years; managing to have some records out, played with so many groups we´ve looked up to, end up having them groups become peers/good friends, and to play outside of London so much already and not even feel bored or tired from it”.

You can pick up the bands self-titled EP via PNKSLM Records, and their ‘Oh Sally’ 7” is available via Slovenly Recordings.

Thee MVPs Facebook Page.