We sat down with the memorably Mick Van Dyke; vocalist of horror punk quartet Little Miss Stakes for a quick chat following their triumphant EP launch gig in the Empire, to talk about the band’s past, present, future and drunken shenanigans…
OBVIOUSLY YOU’RE INTO HORROR AND PUNK. WHICH WOULD YOU SAY IS THE BIGGER INFLUENCE ON YOU?
MVD: I dunno; we’ve been told so many times that nobody knows anymore what we are anymore! We’ve had Punk, Thrash Metal, we had Speed Metal at Sunflowerfest, someone said, and Power Metal, someone else said! So we’re completely confused. We started off just basic Punk chords and we’ve gotten a wee bit heavier, a bit more metal. We just do what comes natural to us, which involves painting ourselves, getting drunk and just having a good times (laughs).
SO THIS IS YOUR 2ND EP. HOW DO YOU THINK YOUR SOUND HAS DEVELOPED SINCE YOU GOT TOGETHER?
MVD: It’s definitely a lot more polished, a lot more smooth now. I mean, when we started…I came from another band and I wanted to do horror Punk, (bassist) Elliot was in another band and wanted to do horror Punk. We just got together and we didn’t think we would get half this far; the 1st EP we did hungover and drunk in our ex-drummer’s living room (laughs)!
So we just thought we’d put it out there for free, see if anyone wants it; thought it would be good for a laugh. We didn’t actually expect people in America would be going, “we really like this, do you have a hard copy?” And we were like, “nooo it’s just a wee download!” So just because that went as well as it did we thought, “alright, we’ll do a 2nd EP and we’ll do it properly, this time NOT be drunk and go to a studio.” So I think it’s…I think this EP is a bit more ‘us’, it’s pop sort of hits with ‘Ghoul Next Door’ and ‘Mina’; sort of the pop hits there, and ‘Drag Queen Dracula’ is a bit more hard-hitting, I suppose that’s where the metal influence comes in again.
That’s our own thing really, we never planned for it to go as far as it did. We thought we’d play some horrible little bars and then go our separate ways. So to play the Empire tonight, to launch a CD is just…a nice surprise, to say the least!
DO YOU THINK YOU’D EVER ‘DO A KISS’? PLAY UNMASKED? OR ARE YOU MORE COMFORTABLE IN THE MAKEUP?
MVD: We’re more comfortable with the ‘mask’. There’s only been one time where we’ve done it ‘unmasked’ and that was because the gig was running so far behind time. Everything was in a shambles; our bassist climbed into a skeleton onesie, i got a bit of slap on my face and that was about it! It’s the persona behind it. The only thing we do different is the UV if it’s a big show. If it’s a smaller show we just do the white foundation, do a skeleton mask that way. From now on it seems we’re doing the UV constantly and that’s it!
WELL IT LOOKED REALLY GOOD!
MVD: Thank you!
WHAT ARE YOUR MUSICAL AMBITIONS?
MVD: Honestly I don’t know! I mean, before this all took off I viewed it as just a bit of a ‘side project and then move on’; get back to the stuff I was doing before, which is more metal. I always wanted to do that sort of stuff, but to be honest I’m more at home on stage now, just dressing up as a completely different prick (laughs), and just having a good time about it. So…we’re hoping to go to the UK next year, we’ve got a few people interested in Leeds, Birmingham and Manchester as well, so it’s just actually getting my act put together, and saving a bit of money aside from these gigs here to get flights over and start playing over there.
SO, THIS ISN’T A FAREWELL GIG FOR YOU THEN?
(Referring to the recent upheaval within the band, lineup issues etc)
MVD: (Takes deep breath) No. There was a bit of drama which was best left unsaid. I can’t really describe what happened, it’s continuing still (rueful laugh). I’m not going anywhere, the band is staying the way it is for the moment.
EXCELLENT. GREAT TO HEAR!
MVD: Thank you very much!