Thursday, 16 April 2009


London band, Male Bonding are the classic three piece of guitars, bass and drums. Except that they throw in such ridiculous levels of restlessness and energy to each instrument and then take away any kind of studio refinement that the results can end up sounding like a tin can version of The Mae Shi or a Liars on Drive Thru records.

The Band also run Paradise Vendors Inc label, who've put out tapes and 7"s by peers such as Rapid Youth, Graffiti Island, Hand Jobs, Pens and Talbot Tagora.

Guitarist and Vocalist John Arthur Webb lovingly answered some questions about the band, the label, not playing SXSW, having Health to stay and scenes. Click below for the interview in full

Basic, basic, basic - How did Male Bonding get together, what do the three of you do with the rest of your time?

We were friends, we all liked the beach boys - so we started playing together. We all live together now, so in our spare time we do things like moan about our poorly fitted kitchen, practice in Robin's room, play host to touring LA bands (last night was the return of HEALTH) and chase each other around the garden flicking each other with rolled up tea towels. You know the vibe.

-You guys, Pens, Graffiti Island etc seem to be all good friends and play similar music, do you feel attached to a scene at all?

I feel attached to any band that wants to take there music and handle it in their own way, and keep control of what they do. There are some great UK bands emerging that deserve to get some of the spotlight that US bands get. Graffiti Island are my favourite band in London. I have utter respect for them as people, and the way they handle their business. they are not competitive and are totally supportive. Conan from Graffiti Island is like our 4th member. If we're not sure about playing a show or doing a release, then we ask him. There was a time when he was being cc'd on all our band emails.

'Pumpkin' Live

-Your sound seems to be something akin to pop-punk but tinny and rough around the edges, what is it about this lo-fi sound that you like? Do you think you'll always record this way?

My heart lies in lo-fi diy recordings. Sometimes we think it would be nice to record properly, so you can hear all the vocals etc but we always revert back to "live" sounding recordings. I always think "lo-fi" recordings hold a lot more mystery, and are generally more exciting.

-You went to SXSW this year, how was your reception?

We went to sxsw, but didn't end up playing any MB shows for various reasons. We got offered to play one of the Killer Bridge shows, but Kevin almost died one night, which kinda knocked the wind out of our sails. We were there doing our thing with another band also, so we didn't have much time for MB.

Male Bonding in America

-Male Bonding has a pretty great blog, is it something that's important to you?

Blogs are fun. I'm so not into anything negative - people that use the internet, blogs etc to blow shit at other people / bands etc should take a long, hard look at themselves. It's so easy to hide behind a screen. Don't go out of your way to get involved in something you don't want to be involved in - that's my problem with the internet. Our blog could be better, and hopefully it will be one day. We are lazy though.

-Paradise Vendors Inc is the record label you run, with it there seems to be an emphasis on physical releases that are well-designed, colourful products - would you agree with this?

Yeah - our label is very important to us. It's important to us to help out bands that we like. Our releases have all sold out so far, which is a pretty great achievement. If you are going to the trouble of paying to press a 7", then you might as well make it look nice - it's not difficult, we all love records. If we can do it, then anyone can.

Split 7" w/ Pens

-What upcoming releases do you have with PVI?

Well, the next release is just about to come out. That's a split with us, graffiti island, and 2 US bands, Rapid Youth and Old Blood, both of whom are awesome, and we are super happy to be putting out their songs.

The next release looks like it will be another 4 way split. We are just waiting to confirm the line-up. As it stands, it's pretty amazing.

-What are the future plans for Male Bonding?

Drink more coffee. Move to LA. Put down some turf in our garden before summer kicks in.

Male Bonding are online at