Pegged as “the bad boys of metal” by FMV Magazine, Medusa have been creating and developing awesome, raw music for a while – and if you haven’t heard of them yet, you better make sure that you’re paying attention now. Beloved by us here at The Black Flag and becoming only bigger and better with each new release, we decided that it was high time that we chatted to their front-man, Lancashire-born Julian Molinero – the band’s creator and constant since formation – to find out about their third album and Medusa’s general badassery.
TBF: Tell us about Medusa. How did you meet and form a band?
Julian: Well it’s one band but I started it when I was fourteen and in school so it was with school friends at first but then that dissolved. It’s a three-piece band so it’s had different bass players and different drummers. The current drummer is Stefan Hale and the bass player is Milo De Nack. Everyone starts music when they’re young but I just happen to have kept the same band – we just matured.
TBF: What’s been your best moment as a band?
Julian: Best moment would probably be making the albums.
TBF: Who would you say your main influences are and have they changed over the years?
Julian: The first gig I ever saw was The Buzzcocks when I was fifteen, so that influenced it, but mainly just punk and alternative stuff, like Nirvana and The Offspring. I deviated from that when I was around twenty – I kind of got into that guitar solo type music like Van Halen, and the band changed a bit for a while – but now it’s gone back more to how it was when we were fourteen, more like punk.
TBF: Tell us about your new release – ‘Headcase’s Handbook’. What can we expect from it?
Julian: It’s stripped-down, simple punk. All of our music is honest, lyrically – the opposite of political. Human experiences and stuff like that. Maybe you could call it a confessional-type, personal work. I write all of the lyrics – the drummer and bass-player add to it and make it better, but before we go into practice I already know exactly what it will be, though they improve it by doing what they do. My parts are already completely decided by the time we go into the practice room. That’s what I’m most interested in now – the songwriting side of it. I don’t think about my voice or anything, it’s just the overall thing and hopefully they turn out to be good, powerful songs.
TBF: Do you have a favourite track on the album?
Julian: No (laughs). I just don’t feel that I would put anything out that I wouldn’t like. I like them all but in a different way – it depends what mood I’m in, I guess. A lot of people keep saying that The Sweetest Elixir is their favourite but I don’t know. Maybe in ten years I’ll be able to see it all more for what it is. I think that everybody must like their own music to an extent just because they made it, they had a thing in their head of what they wanted to do and they created it and then have to justify putting all that effort in, especially if they’ve made sacrifices to be able to do it.
TBF: Are there any stories behind any of the songs?
Julian: I think it’s just there in the lyrics! It’s not mysterious or anything. I guess they’re all stories but they’re not all full of metaphors or pretentious or anything, just embarrassing stories (laughs). Kind of like Weezer’s second album ‘Pinkerton’ which is really confessional – I was bearing that in mind, not throughout all of it but through some of it. I wanted to do a similar thing. And that guy (Rivers Cuomo, Weezer’s frontman) was really embarrassed by his album but it was like my favourite thing ever. It’s just good to be really, really honest, to talk openly about your life, whether your love life’s a disaster or whatever. But our album had a different type of production, it’s a more polished sound so it might not sound the same as ‘Pinkerton’ but it has a similar structure. However, I don’t think I would chase that kind of songwriting again if I could possibly help it, because I think writing in that style encourages you to make a self-sabotaging trap where you chase things going wrong in your life for the songs.
TBF: What’s coming up following the release? Will you be releasing any videos with the singles, and any clues as to which?
Julian: We’re kind of planning to make a video in mid-January for the opening track Sid and Nancy. I had to contact loads and loads of child acting agencies and variations of that to try and find kid-actors – two ten year olds, a boy and a girl. The boy is a normal kid feeling lost and down, and he meets this girl and decides to become a punk so starts dressing really crazy and stuff, but then because he’s gotten so crazy he realizes that he’s gone too far and his life is even worse. We’re just going to try it – it’ll be out next year anyway! After that we’ll maybe make just one more for The Sweetest Elixir because people seem to like that one the best.
TBF: I had a look through your previous video releases and really enjoyed Tinkerbell. Any tales about that one?
Julian: We’ve made three videos so far and that was the first one where I directed it. When we did the first one, the video guy wouldn’t let us do what we wanted in places. With the second one I went all out with crazy ideas and hired a midget and stuff. I kept it a secret about hiring the dwarf to the camera guy so he turned up and after we were in the limo for a little bit, we then picked up the dwarf and a little later when we were all drunk by the Thames, on the raw footage you can hear the camera guy laughing to himself going “Oh my God”, surprised at the craziness of what was going on.
We were drinking properly as well – it’s not fake in the video – it was all just spur of the moment stuff. We actually filmed it on my birthday – it was really stressful directing it and being involved in it at the same time. And I did the cartoons for that one – the ones which aren’t digital, of the band and stuff but that’s my first and last attempt at being an animator!
TBF: Where will you guys be performing next?
Julian: The thirtieth of January at Nambucca in London.
TBF: Anything else that you want to say?
Julian: The album can be downloaded for free from the Bandcamp page (http://medusaworld.bandcamp.com/album/headcases-handbook). The music’s free – we don’t care about the money! We just do it for the music, and music’s not the right way to get money.