The '90s gave the world a lot of great things - Tamagotchies, Goosebumps books, The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, but perhaps above all of these something that makes us most nostalgic for the decade was the calibre of great rock music that defined the era. It's these bands that helped shape the sound of London three piece Beasts.
“I’m a child of the 90s” says singer and guitarist Joe Mallory-Skinner “We don’t go into a song thinking we’re going to make it sound like that, but growing up listening to Oasis every day, hearing Nirvana, you can’t help but be influenced by the sounds of the 90s.”
It’s clear that the band’s rumbling bass lines, fuzzy guitars and gritty vocals will strike a chord with fans of ‘90s grunge and alternative rock acts such as Nirvana, My Bloody Valentine and The Smashing Pumpkins. It seems to be striking a chord with more and more people too resulting in a whirlwind 12 months for the band. Joe and drummer Tom Wood have been friends from school playing in various bands, and when the pair needed a new bassist, Joe turned to Facebook where he saw a picture of old friend and self confessed metal-head Jaco Norman playing guitar. Having not seen Jaco in years Tom managed to convince him to swap 6 strings for 4 and join Beasts as their new bassist. It’s a decision that served him well as despite being such a new band the three young men were booked for a string of festival appearances climaxing in opening The Pit stage at Reading and Leeds.
“We were first on stage and we literally thought no-one would be there,” says Mallory-Skinner. “To walk on to people cheering was surreal.”
“What I thought was great was that at festivals you usually expect people to come in and go, but everyone who was coming in stayed right until the end and we got a really good reception,” adds Wood.
Although summer does come to an end and festival blues hit the best of us, it would appear festival blues hit you even harder when you’ve gone from actually playing a festival back to your less glamorous day jobs. Beasts are very much a DIY outfit at the moment, with no management or agent helping them out, and there’s been a lot of hard work in between the festival shows, with all three juggling jobs at bars and in retail.
“We do it all ourselves so it sort of broke us money-wise doing all these festivals, but it’s really been worth it. I wouldn’t change it,” says Mallory-Skinner.
It’s no surprise that the band have desires to escape pulling pints on Friday nights and worrying whether their bosses will let them swap shifts in order to play some of the biggest festivals in the country. Beasts want to be making rock music for a living, and in a time where rock music is in an incredibly great health, now may be the perfect time for them.
“Playing rock bands on the radio at 11am, there’s nothing wrong with that,” says Wood
“Rock music has always been around, it’s just people’s perceptions have changed,” adds Mallory-Skinner. “In the 90s everybody got a bit bored of the synth pop of the ‘80s, and it’s the same here now, as everyone’s got a bit bored of dubstep.”
“I love dubstep, drum and bass,” insists Norman. “But there’s nothing like seeing a rock band on stage.”
Beasts’ debut single Annie is out Monday 13th November.