‘Sappy Punx’ Bruising are one of Leeds’ finest slacker rock bands. Having just finished a tour supporting Menace Beach, been featured by Marc Riley and Steve Lamacq on BBC 6 Music and recently been track of the week in The Guardian to name but a few accolades… we caught up with them to find out more about their latest single, their tour rituals and their preferences on Italian food.
‘Naomi and I met at a club night at The Cockpit, RIP, a couple of years back.’ Guitarist Ben explained to us how him and lead singer Naomi bonded over a love for the same music, ‘we started swapping voice memos we’d made on our phones of song ideas, and Bruising was born!’ After playing a few shows with some of their friends as a rhythm section, Ben and Naomi settled on their current line up with James on Bass and Steph on Drums.
Having just released a valentine’s day split single ‘What It Feels Like’ on Too Pure Singles Club with indie-rock outfit Personal Best, we asked Bruising about whether this was carefully planned or a happy accident. Ben explained ‘A little bit of both really, Too Pure asked us to be the February release of their singles club, so we thought if we were going to do Feb, the only real thing to do was a Valentine’s themed single!’ Naomi’s soft, reverb coated vocals accompanied by Ben’s catchy guitar riffs make this track intimate and emotional, perfect for a valentine’s day release.
For their December single ‘I Don’t Mind’, produced by MJ of Hookworms at his studio Suburban Home Studios, Bruising released a video to accompany the catchy, lo-fi tune, within which we saw each band member vlogging. James about The Illuminati, Steph about customising jewellery and drumsticks, Naomi about first date outfits and Ben applying 100 layers of lipstick, the band stated ‘All of them.’ when we asked which layer suited Ben best.
‘…not really sure why we started doing it but we did and now if we don’t, it’d just feel wrong.’
Bruising have been on the road around the UK a lot in the past year. They toured with New York’s most energetic two-piece Diet Cig last January, later on in 2016 embarked on a headline tour throughout December to celebrate the release of their single ‘I Don’t Mind’ and have just finished touring with Menace Beach. Bruising explain their usual tour rituals and rules, ‘we’re a sensible bunch so I guess our rules are always get to bed at a reasonable time, always get a good breakfast, wee breaks when required. The only real tradition we have is doing the Mighty Ducks group quack before playing a show, not really sure why we started doing it but we did and now if we don’t, it’d just feel wrong.’
We asked them some quick-fire questions to find out their opinions on a few controversial topics!
Question: ‘Pizza or Pasta and why?’
Answer: ‘Pizza, because it’s pizza and needs no further explanation!’
Question: ‘Cats or Dogs and why?’
Answer: ‘Mine (Ben) and Naomi’s families both have cats that we love very much, so maybe cats… But there’s definitely a lot to be said for a really good dog!’
Question: ‘Describe Bruising’s music in three words.’
Answer: ‘Hooky, Fuzzy, Pop.’
Moving on from the quick-fire questions, Ben told us a lovely tale about his first date with his girlfriend. ‘WELL, on my first date with my girlfriend I went to her house to pick her up. She opened the door and at that second a bird crapped down me. Right down my face, inside my glasses and onto my shirt. Not the best start to a date, but we’re still together so y’know, must have been good luck!’
For anybody friends with Ben on Facebook, you may already be aware of this, however for the rest of you, Ben regularly falls victim to being photoshopped into various famous images and internet trends. Things such as Nirvana’s Nevermind album cover (Ben was the baby… obviously), Alan Sugar on The Apprentice and (a personal favourite) has been added to the Kasabian line-up. For any fans who feel they’re missing out and want to get involved, Ben has said ‘I would like to be photoshopped into the background of every photo anyone has ever posted with the caption ‘This one’.
Back to the music, after two great singles in the past few months we felt suspicious as to what might be next. Bruising told us about their plans for new music in the future, ‘We’re writing loads at the moment so expect that to become something bigger release wise in the not too distant future.’
Fuzzed out, dreamy pop songs with beautiful female vocals and 100% white outfits, Bruising have proven to us that they’re extremely hard working, juggling multiple tours, multiple releases, first dates involving bird poo and more all in the past year, so let’s hope that during the rest of 2017 they provide us with more live shows and maybe even an album!