Menace Beach: “We were in a more positive place”

Liza Violet fills us in on an album full of fuzzy gems.

With a legendary collab and an ear for lo-fi pop gems, Menace Beach are back with another album of scuzzy masterpieces set to win our hearts. We catch up with Liza Violet to find out more.

Hey Liza, how’s it going? Having a good summer?
It’s all good cheers! I’m just basking in the sun through my studio window.

Congrats on your new album, it feels like naff all time since your last one – did it come together quickly? Was it already in the works when ‘Lemon Memory’ landed? What’s the deal.
I guess it hasn’t been that long, has it? We always like to switch up the process and formula of writing and recording. Lemon Memory sent us in a different direction from our first album and recording it triggered a load of new ideas, so we started writing Black Rainbow Sound pretty much straight away.

Are you still into curses and stuff? Black rainbows are a bit spooky, right?
We tried to steer away from curses this time; they’re too creepy.

Is this record a step up for Menace Beach, do you think?
Yeah, it’s quite different from the last one. I think it has a lot more energy; we were both in more of a positive place when we wrote it. It’s definitely dominated by analogue synths too which is way more familiar territory for me than guitars.

You guys are fans of using vintage equipment – where do you source it all? Are you hanging around boot sales every Sunday?
A good synth would be my dream find at a car boot sale, we mostly just find stuff on nerdy Facebook groups though. My absolute favourite synth that I own is a Roland SH1000 that I found on Gumtree. It’s really temperamental and makes noise on its own when it feels like it, but I love the sounds I get out of it, and we used it all over ‘Black Rainbow Sound’.

The collab with Brix Smith is great, who initiated the team up? What were the logistics like, did she come to see you in the studio?
Thanks, we just got chatting online one day and decided to do something together. I love Brix’s energy; she’s such a positive force. We were going to do some writing together but were all really busy around that time, so we asked her to do some spoken word on ‘Black Rainbow Sound’ and the last track ‘(Like) Rainbow Juice’, and when she sent it through it was perfect!

Is there anyone else on your collab bucket list? Or your being-in-a-band bucket list, even?
Just whoever the universe throws our way; it always feels good to create stuff with new people. Actually, if any of the B-52’s are willing, they’d be top of my list. I keep trying to record my chihuahua too, but he won’t have it.

What’s next for you guys?
We’re playing some alternate versions of the new songs at some in-store shows at the start of September and then touring in October.

Taken from the September issue of Dork. Menace Beach’s album ‘Black Rainbow Sound’ is out 7th September.

Words: Sam Taylor

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