If you’re unfamiliar with the band Bugeye, we humbly suggest that you get to know them asafp. OutNews Global has been blasting out their back catalogue for the past week, so Rob Harkavy went along to find out more with vocalist Angela answering all his probing questions.
Rob Harkavy: Hello Bugeye. Can you introduce yourselves to OutNews Global’s readers and tell us a little about the history of the band?
Bugeye: We’re Bugeye, a disco punk band calling London our home. We are Angela (me) on guitar and vocals. Paula on bass, Kerrie hits the drums and Grace presses buttons… and plays some pretty awesome hooks. Paula and I have been in and out of different bands together for a billion years. We first met at school aged 11 in London’s Canning Town. As it was the sort of place you had to keep your head down to avoid eye contact from bullies, I noticed someone in a pair of cool beat up DMs…a rare find that really stood out from the Rebook Classics. Anyway, I knew straight away that we were bound to be friends, just as kids always do! Fast forward to August 2018 and me and Paula were looking for a new drummer and to add some keys to our sound for Bugeye. We had met Kerrie a couple of years before as our bands had played a show together, but she had since moved from Kent to Canada so I was surprised when she got in touch about joining. Needless to say, she lives in London now and is part of the Bugeye gang. As for Grace, she’s a Tamworth gal, and moved down to London to be with her girlfriend. She found us kicking about on the Gumtree music ads, we met for a drink, got horrifically drunk and so began a new chapter for Bugeye. The four of us have been making noise together across the UK since 2018.
RH: I’ve described your music as a little bit disco and a little bit punk. How would you describe it?
B: We call it disco punk which I’ll try to explain. We love disco beats, fun synth hooks and the carefree nature of those past 70s/80s tunes, but then some of our songs are quite political or observations of the world we live in mixed in with punchy bass, buzz saw guitars so there’s a bit of punk in there too and a good measure of 90’s influences. Someone once said it was like someone took Blondie, Elastica and The Pixies and popped them in a blender. I love all those bands, so I’ll take that as a description thank you very much.
RH: You’re winning quite the following. What do your friends, family and partners think of your burgeoning success?
B: I have a VERY supportive wife who not only flies solo with our little girl when I’m on tour, but is also a very talented brand and design consultant who takes on all Bugeye’s design work. In fact all our families are dead supportive of what we do and proud as punch. We have a great network of friends in bands too who are sort of our musical family. We all support each other with contacts, words of advice and go to each other’s shows. There is no egotistical bullshit getting in the way or green-eyed monsters lurking in the shadows, we just all want to see each other do well. Big shout out to Tiger Mimic, Berries and Weekend Recovery. Love you all x
RH: What inspires you?
B: Hmmmm, how to answer this without sounding pretentious… I find people’s stories/situations fascinating, how we are all stuck in a loop in one way or another (Blondie song there). From the rat race to us all just being hell bent on self-destruction, be that the planet, not learning from past mistakes to the dizzy heights of falling in love. I love the fact that even in our darkest moments, and with all the crazy awfulness that’s going on, there is still beauty to be found. I suppose my writing process is that I’ll hit on a theme that I want to write about and then submerge myself in things that remind me of that theme, so inspiration could come from a scene from a film, or even the opening note from a song, a story in the paper, anything… so in short, life and its many offerings is always an inspiration. Electric, our new single is a bit more of a lighter subject matter. It’s a take on the fleeting nature of modern day love and how exciting it all is when tangled up with lust.
RH: Tell us about your first gig, worst gig & best gig.
B: First gig was at college. My band back then, Strange Wayes (awful name), had only been playing two weeks, as in we only decided to pick up instruments and learn to play two weeks before the show, so you can imagine we were full of nerves but were delighted to have pulled something together in such a short time. We were truly terrible but inspired to stick with it and get better. Worst gig…probably the first, but it was also the start of a whole new world opening up to me, so I suppose you could say it was one of the best things that could have happened to me. As for best gig ever…playing Wembley supporting the Cranberries was pretty epic, but in more recent times, I’d say our shows with She Drew The Gun were pretty special. The show we played in St Albans with them was the night we found out we had a record deal in the bag, so that certainly goes down as a night to remember. But it wasn’t just about getting a record deal. The audience just seemed so totally into what we were doing. There was a new energy to our performance that I can’t quite describe. It was just one of those perfect moments where everything just seemed to fit and I looked round at my band mates and just had this overwhelming sense of belonging. Finally finding the place where I fit in.
RH: What are your ambitions for the band?
B: To always be happy making music and not get sucked into the negative void of bullshit that goes with this industry. If we can keep playing shows that people want to see, put out records that people want to hear and not feel like it’s work, then we’ve made it in my mind… but playing Glastonbury would be nice, and also earning a shit load of cash. Both on my Christmas list.
RH: What sort of people are Bugeye fans?
B: I can’t speak for all our fans as I don’t personally know them all, but from what I do know or can tell, is that they are hardcore supporters of the grassroots music scene. I’ll post something about a band I’ve just discovered and lo and behold our fans will be commenting on when they saw said band play this show or that show etc. They’re always sharing new discoveries, helping promote, and just being really hands on in keeping this industry alive. Our fans are also people who care about the climate, politics, fairness, and being proactive in fighting for what they believe in. We put on a music festival earlier this year called Cro Cro Land which was about gender balance, opportunities for new bands alongside established names it was a lot of hard work to pull off but I was completely blown away by the number of fans that wanted to get involved and volunteer to help in any which way they could. Our fans are the best and we’re doing so well because of them.
RH: Which band member is the most eccentric and who is the sensible one?
B: Kerrie is the only single band member so as you can imagine there’s some pretty funny stories to tell, but those are top secret! I’d say that Paula, or as Grace calls her, P Dog is pretty eccentric and probably the wild child of the band. As for the most sensible… and this is a stretch, I’d say that’s probably me (I can hear the others laughing at that), but I say this as I’m the one that also manages the band so I have be pretty on it with things.
RH: Thanks Bugeye and good luck with the new single!
Bugeye’s new single, Electric, is out on Friday 29th November. Circle back here for our review.