Formed back in 2014, Glaswegian DIY-Punk trio Breakfast Muff have never been a band to let anything stand in their way. They admit when they formed none of them could play the drums, but that hasn’t stopped them putting out three records in three years. Budgetary constraints saw debut album, The Feels, made in two days, the follow-up Rainbow Yawns, in three, and latest offering Eurgh! in a whopping four – but they all sound great.
Teasing the upcoming release of Eurgh!, Breakfast Muff have recently shared two tracks from it in the shape of recent single Babyboomers and its B-Side, R U A Feminist. The former is a politically charged rager; it questions the unrealistic expectations previous generations put on young people, setting it to the sound of the sort of tense, angular guitar-pop perfected by Wire. R U A Feminist, calls out those who hide violence, exclusion or oppression towards others, behind the mask of being a feminist. The whole thing is set to the sound of anxious ringing guitar chords, heavy pulsating bass, and steady pounding drums as vocalist Eilidh McMillan repeats, “you’re not a fucking feminist if you don’t act with kindness, if you come in with violence you’re not a fucking feminist”.
Elsewhere on Eurgh!, the band, who feature members of Joanna Gruesome, Rapid Tad and Hairband, channel their anger with the state of the world into a variety of intriguing guises. I Like To is a delightfully crude discussion on the pointless nature of putting labels on sexuality, Raspberry Pavlova is a finger in the eye to over-enthusiastic “disco boys”, set to the sound of Mark E.Smith fronting Television, while closing track, Waving Cat, is a genuinely tender Mac De Marco-like slow-groove, offering the albums concluding statement, “things don’t ever get better, but things won’t get worse either”. Eurgh! is equal parts a celebration of modern living, and a weary shrug at how much better things still could be.
Ahead of Eurgh!’s release in July, Breakfast Muff took some time out to answer our questions, taking in the difficult of balancing multiple musical projects, a band’s duty to be political, and taking inspiration from “intersectional feminist meme admins and artists on instagram”.
FTR: For those who don’t know, who/what are Breakfast Muff?
We’re Cal, Simone and Eilidh and we’re friends who make music together.
FTR: You’re all involved in other musical projects, how hard is it balancing the bands?
It can be kind of hard but also it’s great because music stuff is the only thing I want to do. It’s more balancing music projects with work that’s the problem.
FTR: We can only assume your name is about delicious early-morning food, so what’s the best filing for a breakfast muffin?
I don’t actually know what people eat on a breakfast muffin, it’s kind of weird it hasn’t come up before? In Glasgow people eat breakfast on a morning roll and I’m Vegan so I eat roll and potato scone with brown sauce all the time, it’s actually the best.
FTR: You’ve just finished recording your third album, Eurgh!, what can you tell us about the process?
Our friend Rick (Webster, High Pony Recordings) recorded it with us in a community centre in the highlands over four days. The weather was nice and Rick is very easy to work with so it was pretty stress free, and a lot less rushed than the other two.
FTR: What was different about this record, compared to your previous output?
When we started, none of could play drums, and we were all different levels of proficiency on the other instruments. So I guess a big difference is we kind of know what we are doing! Also I feel like I’m getting angrier at everything the more I learn and the older I get, who knows maybe the next record will be 100 percent rage – a lot has happened in the year since we recorded it.
FTR: Your new single, Babyboomers, is quite critical of previous generations, what do you parents think of it?
One of my parents was into punk in the late seventies and picketed during the miners strikes and has been an activist her whole life and I don’t think any of our parents are old enough to be babyboomers anyway – so it’s probably fine! I reckon my parents would be nice to me about it even if they didn’t like it, they are very lovely people.
FTR: There’s obviously an election coming up, do you consider yourself a political band? Is it important bands say something about the world?
As people who have been given a platform I think you absolutely have a duty to speak out for those who haven’t and to try to empower other people, especially since the privileges that got you there are barriers for other people. In an ideal utopia I think it would be fine for bands to make music about nothing, but that’s not the world we live in (lots of musicians and artists make work about nothing though, particularly the cis-het, white, able bodied ones).
FTR: The B-side, which is excellent, is called R U A Feminist, what was the inspiration behind it?
The beginning point came from looking back on a relationship and realising I had been emotionally abused by someone who appeared to the rest of the world as progressive and “right on”, but when I was writing it became more than that. It’s also about Terfs and anyone who doesn’t apply intersectionality to their feminism. It’s also about guys who talk the talk about feminism and politics but are violent to their partners. Fuck you all, we see you, even if other people don’t.
FTR: Your albums coming out on Amour Foo, how did you come to work with them? Are labels still important?
Bart who runs Amour Foo worked with Cal’s other band before, and for some reason wanted to put us out. He is really lovely, patient and incredible to work with – putting out this record has been a dream really. Labels are important, we don’t have money to put our own stuff out and over the last two and a half years labels have been really great to us. Gus at Number 4 Door agreed to put our first album out before he’d even heard it and Fuzzkill have represented us really well. Personally I’m always very scared and wary of industry snakes so it’s awesome to have lovely people you trust on your side.
FTR: Who are your musical influences? What were you listening to when you recorded Eurgh!?
Martha and The Spook School are big influences for me, also Towel, Topknot, Scrap Brain, Frau are some of my favourites. I’m always really inspired by my friends and the amazing things they do, I feel very lucky. I was listening to Kimya Dawson, The Shaggs, Frankie Cosmos, Girlpool and Babes in Toyland around the time we recorded the album.
FTR: What about influences outside of music?
I’ve been really influenced by intersectional feminist meme admins and artists on intagram over the past year or so, no seriously I have learned so much, and also they have helped me understand my identity as a queer person and my struggles with mental health stuff. I recommend @goldnosering @femmes4memes @hanecdote @fluentfascist @sensualmemes but there’s loads more. Mostly I’m influenced by my friends and the amazing things they do and how strong and loving and open they can be. That is the most inspiring thing of all.
FTR: You’re based out of Glasgow, the scene there seems really healthy. Do you feel part of it? Any Glaswegian bands we should be looking out for?
Yeah definitely in some spaces, not in them all though. There’s definitely a pure laddy vibe at lots of gigs, and still a lot of macho bullshit surrounding the music scene in Glasgow. But we are very lucky to have lots of lovely supportive friends too. You should check out Joyce Delaney, Heir of the Cursed, Current Affairs, Yelt, Anxiety, The Van T’s, ahh so many more. Also go to any gigs put on by the Spite House collective they’re great.
FTR: What’s next for Breakfast Muff?
We are playing two Glasgow shows on the 9th and 10th of June – first with Anxiety and the Hairdressers and the Second at the Kinning Park Complex for the Girls Rock Glasgow Fundraiser. On the tenth of July we’re playing with Joyce Manor and Martha in Glasgow which is pretty exciting. At the end of July we’re touring with Neurotic Fiction and of course we have an album coming out very soon!
Eurgh! is out July 7th via Amour Foo. Click HERE for more information on Breakfast Muff.