'Dr Brians Magic Gong Salad' are tired of subscribing to social normalities
Dr Brian’s Magic Gong Salad (Flora Kimberley – Vocals, Harry Mitchell – Guitar, Adam Mac Conmhaoll – Bass, Zane Meaby – Drums), a band that encompasses genres such as psychedelic, surf and punk rock, have been working away in the studio for the last few months and are now ready to release their 1st single called "Living in the Age of Consent" on the 30/3/2018, a banging tune that delighted my ears, okay and my hips and my head and I instantaneously started moving when I first listened to it, it’s a song that starts with a fast tempo and keeps its introductory head-banging promise till the very end.
By Alexandra Krstic
How did you all meet? And when did you form the band?
Flora: We formed the band last February. We met because Adam and I are together and we met this other couple from Iceland and we started writing with them originally. Initially we were doing it with a drum machine and we got Zane in because it was useless, no one could do it while playing other stuff. We got Harry in cause they went back to Iceland. And now we are a nice little four piece, it’s exciting!
What’s the curious history behind the name of the band?
Adam: Hjalti, our old Icelandic member, was very drunk. And he had a recording idea and he was like what should I call this? Dr Briaaaan’s Magic Gong Salad! We had to find a band name so we were like why not? We kept it.
What’s fun about playing at a band & what’s not?
We are all good mates and we just get on and playing live shows is so fun. That’s pretty much of what it consists of. Probably the only thing that is not fun is when not playing.
What’s your song writing process and how are they structured? Is it based on set rhythms and riffs or do you mainly improvise?
Harry: So we come out with a section or two and then we sort of fit it around mostly the beat and the rhythm and then Flora writes a vocal around it. But we just mess around till it sounds good, jamming really. We are still punk musicians. We pretend that we know what we are doing.
Who are your biggest influences?
Siouxsie And The Banshees and the Oh Sees.
Do you prefer playing live or recording in the studio?
Playing live, always. Although recording is also fun to be fair. It’s just a long process and you need to be more concentrated.
Tell us more about your current project/album release.
We currently releasing our single ‘Living at the Age of Consent’ and we got another couple of tracks that we recorded was sitting on for a while that we are going to put them in an EP release in a couple of months and that would be exciting. And we are planning a tour at the moment, got some contacts in Liverpool and stuff all looking promising!
And what meaning does the title of your song ‘Living at the Age of Consent’ conveys?
Flora: I wrote it about the fact that in the modern era we subscribe to so many social normalities that they become a consent issue. The amount of times you say yes to things that you don’t actually want to do because you feel like you should because that’s what society tells you to. So it’s not actually as much of a feminist issue as it sounds, but more like a youth problem, much larger than what it looks, more like an introspective problem.
I think a lot of people can relate with your track ‘Unhappy Home’(this song is not yet released). The rent prices that are increasing by the minute, make the act of finding an affordable house impossible, and it has become a big concern and burden for many in the UK. The word ‘home’ which usually implies familiarity, security and a sense of belonging comes to resemble more of a space filled with stress and darkness, as the lyrics of your song make references to ‘outstanding payments’ and ‘continuous arrears in the rent’ attaching negative associations to the word, making it seem as a massive and torturing responsibility. What were your thoughts when you were creating the track?
Flora: Me and Adam were living at this house that it was the worst student house ever. And everything went wrong in it, literally everything went wrong. We had ten different species of flies. It is a political statement as well but there are bits in it the song that are just random, for example strangling each other over a plate that didn’t legitimately happen.
Harry: Well my first flat was so mouldy that in the front window you could poke your finger into it, if you gave it a kick you might have fallen out of the window. Students get fucked over by the housing market. We get the worst deals for the worst houses.
As one of the genres you subscribe to is punk, a genre greatly motivated by political ideology and rebellion, do you as a band subscribe to any political ideologies that you try to express through your music?
Flora: Zane and Adam are antifascists, Harry is completely neutral, and I am an antifascist and feminist.
Do you see a rise in interest from the general audience to the genres you subscribe to which have been long gone from the public eye? Why do these genres express you better than other contemporary genres of our era as artists?
Harry: Yeah I mean I’ve always been brought u going to punk gigs as a kid, so punk is always being there even if other people don’t see it. I’ve never seen it go away.
Flora: The psych scene in Brighton is kind of insane. In the last couple of years it’s been like really vainly heavy psyched. Fuss and stuff.
Is there significance in having a female vocalist? (Apart from the naked fact that Flora has an amazing voice!).
Zane: We think it’s cool because in Brighton there are so many fully male bands. It’s just nice to have a girl in the band.
Can you tell us a bit more about the event on the 30th ? I read that it is an event that celebrates women and how ‘fucking amazing they are’ at Bitch Craft in Brighton, which is a space that promotes gender equality and tries to provide a safe night out for women as well as offering them a platform for their voices to be heard.
Flora: Witch craft is so good, I work at the bar. It celebrates new talent as well, bands that you wouldn’t necessarily have heard of from all over the UK. They had bands from America come over to perform. It’s just fun. And they try to celebrate women and they make sure it’s a safe space. It’s on late so we won’t be playing till 1am!