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Jelly Chat: Ritchie of Benzokayn

May 11, 2017 - All, Interviews
Jelly Chat: Ritchie of Benzokayn
Jelly Chat: Benzokayn

It was a Thursday evening and this Jellyfish wasn’t feeling too great. I got straight on the phone to Stephen the Starfish – my drug dealer. He had no cocaine so I asked if he had benzocaine to help kill the pain. I arrived expecting the drug but actually payed £20 for five lads. They didn’t do much to get me high but they played some savage nu-metal.

I decided to have a chat with one of the boys, Ritchie Mckeough.

Hello Ritchie, firstly, thanks for agreeing to interview with the Medway Jellyfish. how the bloody hell are you??

Effervescent old chap! How the devil are you?

I’m bloody marvellous thanks, the sea has been treating us well.

How do you feel the last year has been for the band and yourself as a vocalist?

Productive.
Frustrating.
Rewarding.
On both fronts. Achieved a lot, but potential for much more!

I always feel like Its always going to be a difficult journey being in a band but I believe the rewards just outweigh all the negatives. Glad to hear the future is looking bright for you guys.

We’ve heard from a little bird, Sammy the seagull to be exact, you’ve recently dropped a new EP (Happy Pills) What’s your thoughts on the EP? Does your mum like it?

Sammy’s an observant bird! In a nutshell, it’s the first thing we’ve ever really officially released professionally, so it’s a big deal to us in that sense but at the same time it’s just 4 short but sweet tracks designed to be a little taster of what else is to come.

Yeah Sammys well known. Not sure if that’s a good thing or not. Interesting, a cheeky little appetiser before smashing them up with the main course 🙂

Got a tough one here mate, Would you rather have a lazy eye or an arm made out of lasagne??

Definitely an arm made out of lasagne.
Under the presumption that it’s edible.
Limbs are overrated.

I agree. I don’t have limbs. 98% water innit. JELLYFISH BANTER

I cannae believe that you guys did a collab with Jared from HED Pe. I just get flashbacks of being in the sea and seeing “bartender” on Kerrang. I must admit that the nostalgia is quite high ATM. How the hell did that come about??
Through the wonders of modern technology. We were just starting to put plans in place for the EP and had the desire to collaborate with someone noteworthy that we admire. Coincidentally around that period Jahred posted on their social media that he was open to collab with artists.. He dug the demos we had on Soundcloud so we got in the studio straight away and laid down a couple of riffs to send him. We then built the rest of the track around what he sent back to us.

That’s proper sick mate. The wonders of the old web, when I first heard you guys I couldn’t help but feel them nu-metal vibes. Groovy collab

Next up. Shag, Marry, Kill.

Tony Blair, Hilary Clinton, May

Kill ‘Em All (Metallica) is a fantastic album.

I’d probably have my way with them first.

Come my Ritchie, come come my Ritchie, how the fuck was it supporting Crazytown ya bitchie? The show was at The Red Lion in Gravesend right? Got a lot of love for that venue.

Absolutely surreal. In fact it was probably made more surreal that it was at Leo’s (our local stomping ground) rather than a big London venue. We had friends in almost every band who played that day which just made it even more of a party atmosphere.Major props to Globe Music & System Promotions for booking that lineup. Shifty seemed like a really humble dude, and was in the crowd for all the support acts. His only remotely “Rock Star” request was of the green, grown in the ground kind.

Man that must of been one hell of party. I completely get you with regards to Leo, I saw While She Sleeps there not long ago and couldn’t believe one of my favourite big bands was on the stage that I played. Surreal moment indeed.

Ritchie, get your phone out and tell me that last song that played on it. Why did you put it on? Are you liking this current track or band a lot??

Told You So (Paramore). I put it on because both of their new songs are ridiculously infectiously catchy and I’m just gutted I missed out on tickets to see them in June! Also been bumping Kendrick Lamar and Mastodon’s new albums.The state of the music industry is awful but there’s some really decent records coming out this year!

I must admit it’s very catchy but I’ve been around for far too long and I literally don’t understand their new direction. Her voice is dubbed over at one point in the song for fuck sake!

How does your writing process work? Is it just one of you that comes in with a riff, or do you already have an idea of what the track will sound like before going in?

Quite often it can be the old fashioned someone comes in with a riff and we jam it out but we’ve also had other methods e.g. one of our oldest tracks our drummer (Chris MacNeil) came in with the entire thing written, lyrics included so we just molded it to the band, Or even on the EP “Cat’s in the Bag” I had the lyrics written and our lead guitarist (Tom Alexis-Webb) wrote the entire guitar structure based off of them… Moving forward we’re going to experiment by writing a lot of new stuff immediately in the recording studio so we can instantly hear it back… We hear Linkin Park did OK via that method!

It’s lovely to see that the whole band has a major impact on the song writing process.

Have you got any plans for the future we should know about?

Our initial plan was to sacrifice doing a fully fledged album in order to pump out more music on a regular basis if that makes sense?

The Happy Pills EP is the start of that and over the summer we’ll be releasing more stuff in various formats…We’ll be performing at Kimbofest and Herofest in July/August and we’ll have more dates to announce when we have the next lot of tracks ready to release.

Yeah it does make sense. There’s an energy in a new song that I believe can get lost if you play it too much. But what do i know, I’m just a jellyfish.

Is there anyone local that you think we should keep an eye out for???

The 2 bands who immediately spring to mind are Jukebox Monkey and Orphan Gears.

JG have just released a new album (the artwork alone is worth buying it for) and OG just reached the Kent Metal 2 the Masses Final despite their vocalist missing the semi-final! Both of them played our annual Christmas bash and were fantastic live. If you like your riffs groovier than a freshly laid carpet and beefier than a New York Strip go check ’em out!

Thanks for the suggestion Ritchie, it’s been well nice chatting to you. An absolute pleasure mate. Lastly it’s time for you to ask us anything…

Why is everything so Heavy?

E=mc2

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