If you’ve followed the punk scene in the UK over the last few years, then it is highly likely that you’ve crossed paths with the quite brilliant Millie Manders & The Shutup. If you’ve yet to witness the band, then they’re hitting the road in April for another run of dates across the UK and will probably pop up at a festival or two this Summer.
Until then, the band has just posted their new video for the anti-Valentine song “Rebound.” You can check out the video below before you dive into our chat with Millie.
How would you describe your own music?
Millie Manders: “I have always described it as cross-genre punk. It’s often coined as Ska Punk because some of our music has horns, but I think it’s more than that because we are influenced by metal, hip-hop, pop, dance. In any case, though, genre isn’t important. It’s fun, bouncy and I enjoy playing our songs and hope others like listening.”
What is the story behind your band/stage name?
“My previous drummer, Alex, is Italian. Whenever he’d come across an English-ism he didn’t understand, or thought was funny he’d say, “shut up”. We all coined it, and it eventually became the band name.”
How would you describe your creative process?
“I don’t really have a chosen process. I use a variety of processes to try and unlock my creativity. Largely, I believe if creativity is happening you should embrace it until it’s spent, but try not to worry if it’s not forthcoming.”
Who are your biggest influences?
“My biggest vocal influences are Skin, Aretha Franklin, Gwen Stefani, Pink, Delores O’Riordan. Musically I would say all the above, plus Skunk Anansie, Rage Against the Machine, No Doubt, Skindred, Scroobius Pip vs Dan Le Sac, Less Than Jake and a sprinkling of big band jazz. But that’s just mine. The band have more outside of that.”
Tell us about your most recent release: what was your experience of making it? What went on behind the scenes? Any notable moments that stand out?
“I’m not sure if it felt like an experience. The song, “Rebound”, was in my head for ages. I wrote it down, found the chords on the guitar, worked on the structure, changed the key (twice, to the annoyance of my band), booked to record it and then went on to work on the release plan. The only ‘experience’ I would say was the catharsis of releasing the pent-up emotions within the lyrics.”
What’s the best criticism you’ve ever received about your music or performance?
“I think the most cutting (but true) criticism was of my 2015 EP Obsession Transgression, when a reviewer said it sounded like it had been produced inside a rusty tin can. Harsh, but true. Made me strive for better in our recordings.”
If you could change anything about the music industry, what would it be?
“The extortion of our merchandise sales from venues around the country; the insane lack of value placed on music by our government; the idiocy of the Brexit rules in place; and, on a side note, if I could wave a wand and make every perverted, narcissistic, misogynistic prat disappear from every band and every audience I would. We would all be safer for it.”
What’s the best show you’ve ever played?
“I don’t have one best show. Opening the stage at R Fest was incredible, playing sold out shows in Newcastle and Manchester was insane, the Less Than Jake Tour was a total dream, having more than 100 torches light up for us during a song at the Key Club Leeds. Both big and small shows have merit and I have hundreds of incredible memories.”
What’s your favourite city or venue to play?
“Northern shows are more often than not the most fun. Anywhere in Scotland, Newcastle, Manchester and Blackpool always feel like home coming shows.”
What’s the most dangerous thing that’s ever happened at one of your shows?
“There have been some violent punters trying to start on each other. I stopped the show, called them out and to them to F off. When they didn’t, I got security involved. It was scary but I won’t have dick heads at my shows. Not dangerous to me, but someone collapsed at our show in Aberdeen. I stopped the show, got security and cleared the floor until they were looked after.”
Do you ever get stage fright? What’s your solution for it?
“Every damn time. All you can do is make the choice that you won’t let it stop you. Sometimes it’s crippling and it takes me a while to be able to start, or sometimes I have to take a moment in the middle of a set. But I will never let my anxiety stop me from doing what I have set out to do.”
What are you still trying to figure out?
“Life. Who isn’t?”
Do you have anything you’d like to tell any fans reading right now?
“Thank you. From the bottom of my heart, for everything you do.”
04/09 – MANCHESTER Punk Festival
04/12 – BOURNEMOUTH Anvil
04/13 – LONDON 100 Club
04/14 – MILTON KEYNES MK11
04/19 – YORK Crescent
04/20 – SETTLE Victoria Hall
04/21 – LEICESTER Musician
04/22 – BOSTON Dogfest