There’s not much public information about Horsefight – or indeed photos – but here’s the lowdown: they’re a three-piece based in both London (singer and guitarist Luke Dunell, and drummer Dean Pearson) and Berlin (guitarist Paul Mullen of yourcodenameis:milo fame) and they make music to shatter both your brain and your bones – loud, idiosyncratic bursts of noise that are both angry and playful. Although the current incarnation has been together for a couple of years, the band was originally formed by Dunell in his hometown of Brisbane and has had, up to this point, slightly stuttered beginnings.
“I started the idea of it initially in Australia,” he explains, “with a different member, but then I relocated to London where I met Dean and Paul through warehouse communities in North London. We wrote a number of songs, and then those guys moved to Berlin, so we didn’t do anything for a while. So we had this arsenal of angry songs and music that sat dormant for a while, but now we’re back into it.”
Now that they are, there’s an almost completed debut album in the works, which the three-piece have been recording in Berlin for the past year or so. While its songs are riddled with rage, both in terms of Dunell’s vocal delivery and the powerful riffs that dominate and propel the likes of Derren Brown and Adam & Eve, Dunell is keen to stress that humour is also an important element in their music.
“I’ve always written and listened to quite visceral music,” he says, “but we’ve taken cues from bands like Mclusky, who are really intense but behind it there’s an element of humour. Because, you know, the world’s also pretty funny. I was listening to Mclusky from a very young age, like 13 or 14, and that’s the time in your life when you have real anger issues, so maybe I just haven’t grown up! Maybe I’m still in an adolescent form of myself.”
Adolescent or otherwise, Horsefight are staunchly DIY. They make music strictly for themselves, and are fully immersed in exploring their own creative urges – something that the Berlin connection has fully allowed them to do.
“All our recording,” says Dunell, “was done in Berlin in a studio that’s operated by Tom Bellamy, who was in [Brit alt-rockers] The Cooper Temple Clause, who’s a good friend. So we’re able to go out there and record really cheaply and get away from London and then come back and tour around the UK. I think a lot of bands are getting out there now and it’s great. It allows you to delve into your creativity without having to pay £700 in rent every month.”
That does mean it’s music which may have limited commercial appeal, but that’s of no concern, because they’re perfectly happy existing on the fringes. In fact, that’s exactly where they want to be, because it allows them to challenge and provoke, which is the very point of the band. That’s what drives them to do what they do.
“There’s so many realms you can explore,” says Dunell, “and that’s what some of my favourite bands do, like Part Chimp and Hey Colossus. There’s no way we’ll ever see ourselves as a mainstream band, but we don’t want to be. We want to create work that’s angry and loud, but which also has good musicianship behind it. I suppose in that way it is quite teenagey – like I’m going to do what I want and I don’t give a shit. We’re close to finishing the record, and we’re very happy to put it out ourselves. It’s a heavy piece of work, so it’ll be a tough listen, but a good one, and we just want to let it spread its wings and see what people like. The anger may spread.”
He pauses. “…or you never know – we might go happy!”
For more information on Horsefight, visit their Facebook page.