Q&A: Male Bonding's Kevin Hendrick on Drinking On Stage, Detroit, and His Favorite Spice Girls Song

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male bonding steve gullick resize.jpg
Steve Gullick
Male Bonding is playing Chop Suey tonight at 8pm. Tickets are $12.
The London noise-punk trio Male Bonding is in Seattle tonight, visiting

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Q&A: Male Bonding's Kevin Hendrick on Drinking On Stage, Detroit, and His Favorite Spice Girls Song

  • Q&A: Male Bonding's Kevin Hendrick on Drinking On Stage, Detroit, and His Favorite Spice Girls Song

  • ">

    male bonding steve gullick resize.jpg
    Steve Gullick
    Male Bonding is playing Chop Suey tonight at 8pm. Tickets are $12.
    The London noise-punk trio Male Bonding is in Seattle tonight, visiting their label, Sub Pop, and playing a show tonight at Chop Suey as part of their tour with The Soft Pack. The band's debut full-length, Nothing Hurts, is a thrashy, trashy good time (click here to listen to the killer first single, "Years Not Long.") I just got off the phone with Male Bonding's bassist and vocalist Kevin Hendrick - read on to find out what he had to say about drinking, going to shows, and watching TV in the U.S.

    Have you been to Seattle before this?

    We came right at the beginning of the trip, about 7 weeks ago. We tried to hang out as best we could and get a feel for Seattle. We ate a lot of food. There's a lot of amazing seafood in Seattle, isn't there? We went to a show; we saw the Unnatural Helpers play. We tried to look around town, learning the laws and everything. You can't drink on stage - that was quite interesting. We saw a band play [at the Sunset], and they had a friend that was coming to the front with a beer, and the guitarist was leaning over the stage so he wasn't strictly on stage, and having the beer tipped into his mouth. Kind of surreal!

    What other differences have you noticed between going to a show in London and going to a show in the U.S.?

    Well, first of all, in America you pull the door, and in England you push. This is something I'm noticing everywhere. And you really notice it when you're carrying an amp, or a box of t-shirts, or a guitar into a venue, and you're like, "shit, I've got to pull the door open onto the street!" So that's quite a crucial difference. The drinking thing is quite weird for us, being English, because it's much more relaxed in England. You can wander out of the venue onto the street with a beer. You can drink on the streets there. It's kind of encouraged, in a way.

    What's your favorite city or state that you've been to so far?

    We went to Detroit twice. I don't know what it is about that place, because it's completely desolate, but something about it I really like... We went to this place called the Heidelberg Project. It's this guy from like 1971 in a really, really beaten down, sketchy part of town that just started this crazy art project where he decorates all the houses and the trees. The whole street is transformed into this crazy colorful art, things like shopping carts hanging off the top of trees and teddy bears stapled to doors. For some reason it was really peaceful and serene there.

    Have you been getting a good response from your new record?

    Yeah, it got streamed last week. We've been pretty blown away by the response. The fact that they streamed it for free, we didn't know if that was a good thing to do or not. But it's made it available to people who probably never would have heard it, like a sneak preview. It's been nothing but good.

    Male Bonding's songs are typically very fast-paced. What are some of your favorite slow songs?

    See, that's the thing. In terms of pop music, I love ballads. Any ballads. The best Spice Girls song is a ballad. You know, "2 Become 1." That's one of my all time favorite songs. Maybe I find my outlet in listening to slow music, but when we get together and write music and rehearse between, we have more of a desire to speed things up a little bit. But that's not our ultimate concept. We're not forcing any particular thing.

    Do you all live together in London?

    We do.

    How is that?

    It's great, yeah...

    You don't sound convinced.

    No, I'm entirely convinced! People find it hard to believe, but we're very close knit. We live in the same place, we rehearse up the road from our house, and then we go on tour for 2 months in each others' faces. We fit together quite well. We have our different strengths and weaknesses and we don't really fight or anything like that. We just take care of business and it works itself out.

    Do you practice any types of bonding rituals?

    Me and John are really into bad TV. There's this really amazing TV series in England called "Coach Trip." It's an incredibly gay coach tour operator, and it's so low-budget, it's unbelievable. They just have these cameras on a coach, on a bus, and they just go around Europe. And they give them tasks, like couples that hate each other and they try to get each other kicked off the coach. And there's another TV program which we bond over which is called "Come Dine With Me," which is kind of a reality cookery show. Again, really low-budget, and they just go around people's houses and they all try to outdo each other by cooking the best meal and entertaining each other. It's so low-rent, it's amazing.

    Have you found any bad TV that you like here? There's a lot of it.

    What's that guy that goes around doing these disgusting eating competitions? "Man Versus Food"! Kind of got hooked on that. That's just something that you wouldn't see in England. Especially when he goes to some sort of small town and he's in the bar and he's eating some ginormous monstrosity pie of meat, and all these young kids are cheering him on in the background. It's a real family affair!

    Why wouldn't you see that in England?

    I don't think eating that much is encouraged or seen as some sort of spectator sport. I guess maybe if it was drinking, that would be more likely.

     
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