Interview: Black Mamba Fever Ahead of Tramlines

Ahead of their jam-packed weekend at Tramlines 2019, Exposed caught up with Black Mamba Fever to talk about their new EP and whether Theresa May accepted their invitation to the launch. These days its full-steam ahead as the band released their second EP, whilst still proving that Hawaiian shirts and granny music can be cool. With some serious reference points to the Cramps and a bit of Pavement, and a likeness to an angry Jarvis Cocker, the Indie four-piece really are taking Sheffield by storm. Their punky, raucous sound and terrible dad jokes are not to be missed at this year’s Tramlines Festival.

For those coming to the city for Tramlines that may not have seen you before, what can they expect?
Sweat, noise, poor taste in Hawaiian shirts and the best Donald Trump impression you’ve ever heard.

Your new EP is called ‘Granny Music’. Tell us about that…
Inspiration for this title came in the form of myself [Louis, singer] writing songs for the EP on the piano. To which John [guitarist] shouted to me to “cut that granny music crap”. Since then I’ve looked back on this moment as the turning point for our band. We could have gone down the path of writing piano ballads and winning local awards. Instead we went for broke and have never looked back since. And to think I quit my day job for this.

How do your own grannies feel about this title?
Well, Jake’s gran, Sylvia, who is in her 80s, came to our first ever gig in 2015 and I’m pretty sure she thought we could have rocked harder and louder so we ramped it up a notch on this EP. I think she appreciates the sentiment. Louis’ gran thinks he’s in a wedding band.

It’s been almost two years in the making an’all! That’s no mean feat…
It’s been a bloody long one! August 2017 seems so long ago but time has just passed us by so quickly since then. We must be getting old. We’ve spent many evenings in the Shakespeares pub over the past six months getting our act together, but once we got going, the ball just started rolling. We’re very happy with the end result and glad we took our time to get it right when there’s no need to rush things. Although we definitely won’t be waiting around this long again – promise!

You recently tweeted an invitation to Theresa May to come down to your EP launch. Did she get back to you on that?
Apparently she was too busy! I suppose she’s had a few things on these past few months so we’ll let her off this time but she doesn’t have any excuse to not see us at Tramlines! We also tweet Diane Abbott every time we do a gig in London but she never turns up… what are these politicians doing?

How has your sound evolved since the release of your debut single, ‘Feeling the Strain’, back in 2016?
To be honest, evolve is probably too strong of a word. We’ve had a few more singing lessons since then, so perhaps we have developed more of a Michael Bublé sound. Again, this is for the grannies.

What does the future hold for Black Mamba Fever?
More gigs, more noise, more terrible Dad jokes until one of us spontaneously combusts. We won’t stop until we release a Greatest Hits record, which I have the feeling may be a long time from now.

Playing: The Old House, Saturday 20 July // Brewdog, Sunday 21 July

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