LeftLion was not happy when we learned that two of our favourite local bands – Majik and Left Of The Dealer – called it a day at the end of 2007. But we’re pretty excited to find out that members of said bands – Stav from Majik, and Jakey B, Scott and PK from LOTD - are ready to break out this month with a new band, a new sound and a new look. Ladies and gentlemen, prepare to meet The Money…
Both your bands went pretty far locally. What happened?
Stav: Long story short, we had a manager and a little label pushing us along for a while, but it kinda petered out. We’d been doing it for ten years, and we decided to chill out and just do it for fun. And it pretty much disintegrated from there with no real ending. There wasn’t really a market for that sort of sound in the end, and though we did alright – we played some great gigs, played Rock City a couple of times – after a while you think, well, if this is the best we can do and it’s not working, when's it gonna?
Jakey: I’d say it was slightly the same for us. I mean, Funk-Rock - the genre we were doing – hasn’t been big recently. And with six years in the same band, it was getting hard to motivate ourselves. There were a lot of cancelled rehearsals, a lot of this, a lot of that. When we got our act together it was really good – I mean, we were a good band – but I had a vision of something else, and this is it.
Scott: It was different for me, because I joined the Dealer six months before. I was the death rattle. But I’d been through the same thing with my previous band Kingsize Operator – just banging your head against the wall with something that just wasn’t popular enough.
Jakey: The thing that did it for me was seeing a preview in Metro that read “Local boys Left Of The Dealer rock The Maze again” and I was like; shit. And I saw it for what it was.
What’s it like, splitting a band up?
Jakey: Horrible. There’s loads of parallels to a relationship, except you don’t get any break-up sex. It’s tough – friendships get battered, because music is so personal to everyone, and you’ve shared a lot of times. It’s fucking horrible.
Does your identity feel a little bit diminished by it? Not being ‘Stav from Majik’ anymore? S
Jakey: ...available for functions and hires!
Stav: …which I guess why this happened, because we sounded so good together that we couldn’t ignore it.
Jakey: We were cheating on our partners before the split. But it was good sex, again…
Stav: And people were coming up to us and saying “Why aren’t you in a band together? I bet your own stuff is good”. Jake already had songs, and we’ve written so many more.
Stav: For a bit, yes, but me and Jake were gigging acoustically round town as Daylight Robbery for ages…
So what’s the new band sound like? A melding of the two?
Stav: It’s nowhere near either of them, actually. We want to play good music, but we want to be more accessible to more people as well.
Jakey: I used to think that you could either be in a cool Funk-Rock band and love playing massive solos and getting down with the crowd and it wouldn’t get you anywhere, or be in a really terrible band like Scouting For Girls and get somewhere. I though they were the two options. But with this band, I find that’s not the case and we’ve found a happy medium. Popular music, hooky as, and very credible.
Scott: But it’s not been contrived. We’ve just been a lot more honest with each other about what music we like. We’ve sat down, and it’s been a free-for-all. We’ve written about 40-50 songs in six months, and we’ve picked the best ones.
Stav: I mean, all four of us sing, which opens up new avenues, and we’re not thinking “Do you know what? I really want to play a solo here”. We’re not selfish with our parts anymore.
What are the main influences?
Stav: By the end of Majik, I was getting so into Soul. I was a lead guitarist and was working so hard on it, because I was self-taught – but now I’m in this band, it’s all about my voice now. I’ve been listening to Al Green, early Stevie Wonder, Donny Hathaway – artists who can really sing – and realising that the voice is an instrument in itself.
Scott: Songwriters. The one thing that’s defined this band is that we’re not thinking about “How can we be better instrumentalists?”, but “How can we be better songwriters?”
Jakey: We want to be four people who make a sound that sounds like nothing else. Look at U2 – none of them can really do anything, but together they make a sound that’s theirs, whether you like it or not.
So what have you learned from your previous bands that you’re going to apply to this one?
Scott: It’s not about musical talent at all.
Stav: It’s about songs. I mean, you have to have talent to play, but your strength is in your songs, and your foundation is in your songs. And there’s a lot more to promotion than we ever realised. For every two days that we rehearse, there’s a day when we sit down and sort logos and how we promote ourselves. Instead of pissing Friday nights up the wall, we’re now getting together and pushing ourselves, so when we get to rehearsals everything’s sorted out.
Scott: That’s the one thing that stops bands from getting anywhere – they feel totally soulless having to do the management and promotion, sitting on MySpace and Facebook adding friends. We all want to be creative, and musicians, but it’s the music business.
What’s the goal?
Stav: We want to be big. Obviously in
Scott: We have a new perspective. We’ve all been in bands that have done really well in
Stav: You know, we’ve talked about the
Scott: The venues are massively influential here, in the sense that they can rely on the same bands again and again and can make it very insular and self-contained, rather than forcing certain bands out and pulling other bands in.
There’s a huge
Stav: Oh yeah, for sure!
Jakey: And I wouldn’t mind bubbling away from it sometimes.
Stav: But every town has that. Everyone’s critical of everyone else.
Jakey: I’ve spent years playa-hating all these other bands, and I’m not like that anymore. Bands get snooty with each other, but that’s what bands do. It’s not just a
Are we going to be seeing you in fringed waistcoats and pointy cowboy boots?
Jake and Stav: No!
Scott: Damn, do I need to take mine back?
Jakey: We’re gonna look The Money.
Stav: Suits, shirts, ties. It’s the whole Soul thing. My influences have changed. When I was into 70s Rock, I was “Shit, I want to wear that stuff. That shit’s cool”, and I was getting into Marvin Gaye and Al Green, I thought; “Shit, they look cool, too”.
Stav: We can't wait for the 7th...
The Money make their debut at the Maze on Friday November 7, £4adv/£5 door.
Hear The Money NOW on Sound of the Lion, the new LeftLion music podcast