Interview : Masquerader

Here at bUTTONpUSHER we love discovering new bands from around the world and recently we had a new band from Reading called Masquerader contact us and we instantly fell in love with the noisy experimental math-punks and instantly invited them to come play for us in Nottingham.

We caught up with them ahead of the show to find out a bit more about the band and what to expect from them on the 31st May 2024 at JT SOAR

Can you please introduce yourselves and tell us when did you start playing together and how did you all meet each other?

Danny (vocals/synths), Chris (bass), and Tim (drums). We met at uni, Tim and Chris met at a local gig and started jamming together at the rehearsal studio where Chris and Danny worked and it all came together. Chris and Danny had actually met a year before but apparently (according to Danny) Chris didn’t think he was cool enough to hang out with at the time… until he needed a vocalist for his new band…

What are the main musical influences across the band?

Our main influences are bands like Glassjaw, Mclusky, Death Grips, Rolo Tomassi, Show Me The Body, Loathe, and Nine Inch Nails.

What are your tour essentials when you hit the road?

Finding a good local spot to eat, we’ve developed our own “big eat theory” where we time a huge meal perfectly before a set. For the journeys it’s either Danny on the aux showing us the weird songs he’s found lately or his long notes-app list of questions for big debates like “how do red carpets work?”, “why is salt the only tasty rock?” and “do ducks look for water when they need a drink?”.

Any crazy tour stories you can share with us?

Standard stuff but it’s a mix of terrible crazy (getting kicked off stage for the promoter to headline with their function band, Chris’ trolley to carry his pedal board falling apart half way through getting off a train and all the strange venues and stages the uk has to offer, like one now closed (RIP), where the ceiling was halfway through coming down on us) and amazing crazy (Wearing slutty little outfits for our Halloween DIY show, playing a live-streamed pandemic gig in a sweat-box room in Bristol with a bunch of Bristol greats or playing a moon-lit skate gathering in the middle of a field.

What can people expect from a Masquerader show?

Noisy synths, big riffs and mathy drumming. Keeping on your toes is the main thing: dodging Danny’s rushes through the crowd, wondering where the guitarist is, keeping up with time signature changes. Bring earplugs!

How is the music scene in Reading and are there any bands you think we should be checking out?

Reading culture in general struggles with being a commuter town but there’s good stuff if you know where to look:
Stupidchief for mathy indie rock, Tape it Shut for political punk, Mercury’s Well for Mastodon-style prog metal, Dr Satso and Doops for psych rock. Shout out as well to Kian at the Purple Turtle and their Groovecult shows on Mondays. RIP to Pinewall too.

If you could change anything about the industry, what would it be?

There’s a million things to say on this but it’s best to start at the root, the industry will follow the hype: everyone, artists and fans, has to check out their local scenes; take risks on new acts, find the weirdest, most unique acts and tell their friends about them. All the unrepresented sounds, vibes and experiences are playing tiny venues everywhere before they ever get any success and they don’t get the chance without the support at the beginning. Having seen it so many times before, nothing compares to seeing an artist develop into their potential either.

What’s next for Masquerader?

New EP is imminent, you may as well check us out on streaming right now because it might be out by the time you read this!

Any final words of wisdom you’d care to share?

If you go to KFC, get the deals on the app and don’t use the self-service tills. Go to the staff, ask them for the deals. They don’t know how the app works and will in all likelihood just give you free food.

Chris, Danny and Tim