In Steve Hinds, Motorcycle Display Team have a frontman to rival Jake Spears or Freddie Mercury. In these celebrity-drenched times, what does the band as a whole think of such star-worship?
Steve: I have worshipped my own heroes and I cannot deny others such fancy. Often, gradually, as life changes this worship becomes esteem; respect; and finally nostalgia, regret or merely forgotten. Such is the common trajectory of hero-worship. Only the truly great inspire lasting devotion.
Your debut album is titled ‘Captatio Benevolentiae’, which I’m sure most would agree is a great name. What does it mean and where did it come from?
Steve: It literally means to achieve what it has done by the asking of this question; to catch your attention.
Matt: It’s a Latin term in rhetoric which refers to the opening part of a speech. The idea is to try and get the audience onside at the start of the speech, capturing good favour.
Spotify: good, bad, or ugly?
Morgan: For the most part, I would say good. We listen to lots and lots of music and Spotify definitely enables that. It positively gives the consumers the upper-hand, which is brilliant as record companies have been charging ridiculous amounts of money for music for years. As a band, while we make next to no money from people streaming our music on Spotify, it has allowed a lot of people, that may not have taken the risk on buying our album, to listen to our tunes and this has meant these people came to see us play live. So, while bands are not earning a living from being on Spotify, it definitely opens your audience and leads to other things.
Some word association about well-known pop/rock trios:
Cream: Justin Lee Collins
The Police: Tantric sex with Trudy Styler
The Jam: Taxman
Supergrass: Comic Strip Presents
Wolfmother: Massive sideboards do not the band maketh
Bananarama: Red bodysuit
Bono constantly harps on about ‘relevance’. How important is it to MDT to be relevant?
Steve: What is relevant music? Topical? That’s unnecessary. It’s a relative term. MDT is relevant to us but music that is irrelevant to us is no less important.
How do you see the future of the music industry?
Matt: The days of physical album sales are clearly coming to an end. As online delivery formats such as live streaming and downloads become the preferred method of consuming music, artists will need to take steps to exclude traditional record companies from the process, although I would say that publishing companies will continue to play a major role, dealing with artists directly rather than going through a record company. At the moment, established artists are speaking out about the profiteering by record companies with regards to the revenues from live streaming services; but this is like the desperate and ultimately futile attempts to mine that last seam of gold before the hillside collapses from being undermined.
Once huge numbers of individual artists are able to put themselves in a position to get their music delivered digitally around the world and once direct relationships start being formed between bands and their audiences, the role of traditional record companies will have largely disappeared. This is already starting to happen.
But I think that there is still a role for these record companies to play in terms of churning out unmusical, sensationalist nonsense for mass consumption. But in terms of the mainstream recording industry as a bastion and arbiter of musical taste, those days are rapidly coming to a close.
Morgan: As f**ked as it’s always been. God forbid it becomes a secure environment!
The band has some exposure on British/S*y TV. What would you say are the postive and negative consequences of such exposure?
Steve: We have a new tune called Indelible Ink; a love song of sorts to Murdoch and the complicity of his audience and his competitors in lowering the collective brow. I do not exempt ourselves from this criticism. Which of course makes us hypocrites for participating. This is our quandary: Should we bite the hand that frots us?
The band knows a thing or two about mental illness. Would you mind expanding on this subject for us?
Steve: Thank you for your concern. We would.
What are your immediate plans for the future as a band?
Steve: We’re demoing new tracks. But tonight we jam and try to wring a glimmer of shining golden truth from 3 men in a smelly, cramped, padded room.
Matt: I think we’re going to work on our haircuts more, we’d like to cultivate an image of a band which is somewhat bohemian and vaguely intellectual, but not so much that you wouldn’t want to sink eleven pints of Carling with us and then join us as we march around the centre of town at 2 in the morning bellowing out misogynistic football chants. Once we’ve perfected that I think we are looking to release a couple of singles in the new year and there is talk of another album some time next year, so I would say that we are probably looking to tour in support of the singles and certainly the album, if it happens (which I hope it does).
Any new listening recommendations for us?
Steve: I’ve been stuck on Mac Demarco 2 for ages. Hot Head Show – crazy and tight as Popeye’s watch strap. And anything by The Chap who tower above most bands creatively.
Morgan: The new Anna Calvi album is great, as is the new Janelle Monae. As much as I love discovering new music, I’m prone to revisit some albums from yesteryear regularly, one such being ‘Fear of a Black Planet’ by Public Enemy. That’s on repeat with me these days. It still sounds brilliant.
What are you all drinking?
Steve: Earl Grey, stewed, one sugar.
Matt: Lidl’s own brand fruit and vegetable juice