Lunch with Muncle
I’m having lunch with the singer-songwriter Muncle in his trendy Dalston flat. We’ve just played a game of table tennis on the same dining table that we’re now eating our thai green curry. (He won.) The roof slopes on both sides and he’s already warned me of the perils of bashing your head. Biffy Clyro is playing on his stereo. Dominating the middle of this open plan lounge/dining room is a giant papier-mache egg. It’s hard to ignore…
Where did the name Muncle come from?
When my brother [@DaveGriff – who writes for threads] and his wife had their daughter, we decided I would be called Muncle, because it’s uncle and Mike put together. And it references a book about an elephant called Uncle, and there’s a character in the book called Muncle, who’s a monkey.
How many EPs have you released?
I’ve put out three EPs since Jan 2013 (three tracks on each).
How would you describe yourself in three words?
Myself? Er…Musical… tough question. Question one – tough.
OK, we’ll come back to that. How would you describe yourself in more than three words?
I love music. I love Jesus. I love talking about deep things but also being very silly. I like creating anything that I can have a go at.
Muncle- Where we are now
It seems you like to use themes from children’s TV shows in your videos?
Yes, for every EP, there are one or two live videos that are split-screen. I stole the idea off Ben Kenny, who’s an amazing musician. I thought what else can I do with it? I watched a lot of TV when I was a kid. So I thought I’d stick a couple of recognisable tunes in there. Round the Twist, I am Weasel, etc.
All my favourite artists straddle humour and seriousness. They’re not like, ‘we’re a serious band’, you know your Radioheads and Elbows – great bands, but not out for a laugh in their songs. I love bands like Blur, and Ben Folds – they don’t take it as seriously, so their moments of sincerity are much more powerful because they’re shared with the next, more light-hearted song. Putting kids TV songs in was my way of having fun with it, thinking it’s not about me, and just having a laugh.
So what’s with the egg?
I’ve written a song. It’s only got three lyrics, so it didn’t take long. The song is called Chicken or Egg. Those are the lyrics as well. And in the video we’re going to get the chicken and the egg together, and they’re going to have a bit of a fight. We’re filming this weekend, so I’m just applying the finishing touches.
And that’s really looking at deep questions…
Music doesn’t have to be missional lyrically; it’s an expression and it’s a good thing of itself. Occasionally you’ll hear the sounds of something that’s much deeper in my songs, but I like not taking myself too seriously. Really the song came out of being quite frustrated with not knowing any answers. I swing between enjoying the fact that there aren’t any answers for things, and being quite frustrated at the same time.
I believe that questions are fun and hard at the same time, but worth asking.
The song is a boiled down version of those struggles. It comes down to: “If there’s a God, what’s He up to? Where is He?” I believe there is, but that’s what we’ve got to find out – what’s He up to?
And you’ve also done a spoken version of Alicia Keys’ Doesn’t Mean Anything …
That’s correct. I had fun playing with delay effects for that.
Cover of Alicia Keys – Doesn’t Mean Anything
Muncle Likes: Ben Folds Five, Biffy Clyro, The Staves, Ben Kenney
Muncle’s music is on Facebook, Spotify, Amazon & iTunes.
Make your own egg costume:
– Two Just Married balloons
– Cover in newspaper with PVA glue
– Coat with Kitchen roll and PVA glue
– Pop the balloons to allow room for the person.