BUGS are a London-based indie-pop quartet, who met at Goldsmiths University and formed on the back of vocalist Alice Western’s previous project, Alice and The Bugs. After bonding over a shared love of The Breeders, The Beach Boys, Big Thief, and, “anything that begins with B”, BUGS have recently shared their debut single, Nick Gowland, released via non-profit DIY cassette label, Sad Club Records.
Discussing the inspiration behind Nick Gowland, Alice has suggested that it started life as a joke song, improvised on the spot in the rehearsal room, “Nick Gowland is the boy at school who called you ugly and pinged your bra strap, the man in the crowd who says you’re good at guitar for a girl, and that guy that takes it upon himself to explain things to you that you already know despite never asking”. Taking aim at assholes everywhere, Nick Gowland is BUGS retort, “you laughed at the people you saw as below you, but they’re laughing now, their prophecy came true, Icarus burnt as he flew”. Musically, Bugs set this tale to a world of rich vocal harmonies, wonky, slacker-pop guitar lines and a gentle patter of drums, creating something that’s both beautiful and more than a little disorienting. Equally good is the B-side, The Garden, a stripped back musing on, “existentialism and intrusive thoughts”, that’s equal parts Margaret Glaspy and Anna Burch. Bugs might not always be the most wanted visitors in your house, yet on this evidence, these BUGS are more than welcome.
FTR: For those who don’t know who are BUGS?
Zhane: We’re a four-piece band of bugs, taking the form of humans. Our real form would probably get us into some trouble.
Alice: BUGS are Me (Alice Western), Zhane Gandhi, Bridie Rushton and Lucy Rushton. (No they aren’t related they just happened to have the same last name and were both forced to join the same band)
Lucy: 4 rock and roll chicks who play music to keep out of trouble
FTR: What can you remember about your first show?
Alice: The only thing I can really remember from out first gig is that there was this really tall man standing at the back who kept holding up the peace sign on both hands and looking at me dead in the eye. Which I did find sort of alarming but also intense in a sort of refreshing way. Theres not enough direct eye contact in society today. Actually direct eye contact makes me quite nervous sometimes so if anything I feel there is too much direct eye contact in society and it should be avoided at all costs.
Lucy: I remember the first show vividly because I couldnt play the drums. Alice just literally could not find anyone else who could do it. I had also been practising with the others with no bass drum or cymbals in alice’s room. Even though it was only our uni’s open mic night, showcasing my drumming ineptitude in front of all my closest peers is something that I’m not likely to forget
FTR: Why do you make music? Why not another art form?
Alice: I do make other forms of art too, however music has always been my main form of expression. I feel connected to sound and music in a way I don’t with other things, and its an outlet that I find comforting as well as compelling. I love live music because it feels like an all encompassing experience which is really personal yet communal – you’re at a show and you’re interpreting the music in your own personal way, but you’re also part of a crowd who are all doing that too and you’re all together experiencing something. I like that a lot. Over all, I just love BIG BANGERS !!
Zhane: Because we’re not good at anything else.
FTR: What can people expect from the BUGS live show?
Alice: Awkward stage patter that only I find funny.
Zhane: Tears, fear, laughter, but mostly fear.
Bridie: Very bad very strange jokes from Alice and some pretty sick tunes too
Lucy: At the shows you can expect banger after banger sandwiched with some topclass western wry banter baby
FTR: What’s next for BUGS?
Alice: In the currently climate probably mainly staying at home and watching YouTubes videos such as ‘Most Disturbing things on the internet part 8’ and ‘How To Befriend A Wild Raven’. After that hopefully more songs more shows more life more outdoor activities.
Lucy: After touring every small venue in London and learning what J cards are we are set to release our first tape! We will be jumping straight back on the wagon as soon as reasonably possible to play more. Then I reckon an EP shortly before glasto
Zhane: Our single ‘Nick Gowland’ with Sad Club Records is out now! Order our cassette tape!
They Listen To…
1. Kim Deal – Wish I Was
2. Viewfinder – Nightime Rider
3. Kathy Heideman – Fine Street Women
4. Angel Olsen – Lark
5. The Beach Boys – Little Pad
Nick Gowland/The Garden is out now via Sad Club Records. Click HERE for more information on BUGS.