Sad Culture consist of 5 South West London youngsters, Harry, Jordan, Alex, Connor and Zachary. Their groovy low-fi sound will have you all over the place in no time. I met with them at Vauxhall City Farm to find out what it’s all about. And to see the baby animals, obviously.
Interview and photos by Thom Robin
How did the band start, did you always imagine yourselves making music?
Harry: I guess I always wanted to do something in music and on New Years Eve 2012-2013 me and Alex decided to start a band. Alex came round and I got out my shitty school-style Yamaha keyboard and we made some disco beats together. Zach then joined the band as our resident drummer later on. Next, we recruited Connor for bass and Jordan on lead guitar, who was in a different band called Litsoma. We basically wanted to have a lead guitarist so I didn’t have to play it and therefore I could prance around the stage as I pleased. He joined in July last year.
Where does the name Sad Culture come from?
Alex: I was thinking about lad culture – which we’re obviously a part of of – so first we went for Rad Culture but there are so many bands with ‘rad’ in their name so we decided Sad Culture would be better.
Jordan: I definitely think it fits better because you know, lad culture is a bit lame and we kinda wanted to make a joke out of it.
What are your thoughts on the current music scene and industry?
Zachary: I think the era we’re living in at the moment is probably the most productive we’ve lived in, musically, because it’s so easy to create and so easy to upload. It’s all about doing it yourself and not relying on other people to do things for you. That being said, from a genre perspective I think things are moving very, very slowly. Soon I think there is going to be a big revelation in something new.
Harry: Leading on from Zach’s point about something new coming, I feel like Whitney are doing something new, I’m really digging their sound at the moment. I really, really like Whitney, I can’t stress that enough. I love Whitney. I saw them in Brighton and they were so fucking good! They blew my mind!
Connor: Whitney, let us play with you?
Zachary: I think what Tame Impala are doing at the moment is really interesting. The movement away from psychedelia and turn towards a more synth based sound is awesome. Bands like Swim Deep and Splashh are also incorporating synths a lot more into their sound which I really like.
Harry: Another band who have moved towards more synthy stuff is Spector with their latest album Moth Boys, really enjoyed it.
Connor: If we’re talking about synths, shout out to Homeshake! Very underrated in my opinion.
We’re seeing a revival of vinyl and even cassettes, would you ever release your material on tape?
Jordan: Absolutely! 100%.
Zachary: I think in music these days style, artwork and branding is becoming more and more important and with a cassette or a vinyl you get lots of free reign over how it looks. When you buy a new record, if you don’t know the artist, it’s often the style and artwork that draws you in.
Jordan: It’s so easy and cheap, why wouldn’t you do it?
Connor: Who actually has a cassette player though?
Harry: They are fun, until they become unwound.
What’s the best new album you’ve each heard recently?
Zachary: I’ve really been enjoying Archy Marshall’s new release. It’s a really interesting new direction he’s taking.
Harry: I feel like I might get a bit judged for this but I really liked Section Boyz’ Don’t Panic. Feel like it’s a big mixtape with some big bangers on it. I like the South London trap scene.
Jordan: Not really an album but The Magic Gang’s new EP was banging.
Connor: Beach Music by Alex G is very good as is Midnight Snack by Homeshake.
Alex: Lyrically, Spector’s album Moth Boys is amazing.
Two of your songs, ‘Mouthful of Mayo’ and ‘Raspberry Ooze’ have pretty interesting names. Can we expect more music or an EP with a food based title?
Harry: There’s a pizza shop near my house where we spend a lot of time called Parma Pizza and they branched out recently to do Chinese food under the name China Magic, we think it’s a pretty fun title for an EP so that potentially could happen. Mouthful of Mayo was an actual event.
Hang on? Talk us through that…
Harry: Well we’d been to the local kebab shop and got a nice kebab. I’d asked for mayo in my kebab which is a bit of a weird move actually but I don’t really frequent kebab shops so I don’t really know what to get on one. They put loads of mayo on my kebab and I was tucking into it with a fork and I got this sort of lump which I assumed was a bit of meat just covered with mayo but in fact, I was wrong, it was actually all just mayo and so I had a mouthful of mayo. That’s how that came about.
Alex: I’d written the song but didn’t have a title so we just thought we’d use Harry’s unfortunate kebab experience as the title, it’s completely unrelated.
Jordan: One of our other songs, ‘⅗’, is the hygiene rating given to Parma Pizza.
Alex: That’s generally satisfactory…
Connor: Yeah but none of us have gotten ill yet.
Alex: Not physically….
Jordan: Maybe mentally…
Sad Culture’s new single ‘Raspberry Ooze’ is out now via Art Is Hard.