Interview With Indie Rock/Post Punk trio 'My Best Unbeaten Brother'

An interview with South London-based trio My Best Unbeaten Brother. Comprising the critically acclaimed duo Ben and Adam Parker formerly of Nosferatu D2, alongside bassist Ben Fry, the band is gearing up to release their debut EP, "Pessimistic Pizza" on June 28th.

By Chris RoditisMusicngear Lead Editor
Article photo - Interview With Indie Rock/Post Punk trio 'My Best Unbeaten Brother'
Photo Credit Tony Robertson

 

In our discussion, the band shares insights into their creative process, collaborative songwriting approach, commitment to authenticity in an ever-evolving music industry, gear preferences and much more, offering a candid glimpse into their journey and the making of their distinctive sound. 

 

Chris, Musicngear: Your debut album, 'Pessimistic Pizza,' explores themes of personal growth and acceptance. How did these themes shape your creative process, and what message do you hope listeners take away from your music?

On the whole, despite often dealing with frustration and disappointment with the world, I hope the songs on the album convey a feeling of hope and some positivity. In the past, I have tended to write very much from a personal perspective, but I wanted to write stuff that is a little more universal.


"Time on Our Hands, Spider-Man" is the lead single from your album. Can you walk us through the inspiration behind this track and how it represents the broader themes of the album?

Article photo - Interview With Indie Rock/Post Punk trio 'My Best Unbeaten Brother' A lot of what influenced the songs is becoming a dad. That song in particular is about that, and hoping I can be there for someone and that they can be there for me in return.

It’s also about time – time passing, time going too slowly, time going too quickly, and memory. Lockdowns in Covid slowed time down somehow; that went into the writing too.



Your sound has been described as a blend of indie rock, emo, and post-punk influences. Can you share some of the artists or albums that have inspired your musical style and approach?

The three of us are into different things, with the only bands we’ve identified so far that we all like being the Cure and Dinosaur Jr.

Personally, I have taken a lot from the following, although I’m not sure these are really reflected in the songs I write and the music we play: “Minx” by Leatherface, “If You’re Feeling Sinister” by Belle and Sebastian, “Arise, Therefore” by Palace Music. I also got really into “Pirates” by Rickie Lee Jones over the last year or so.

I think I like songwriters that seem to put a lot of themselves into a song and aren’t afraid of revealing too much, maybe risking sounding too heartfelt and earnest but somehow creating something that I really like rather than can’t stand.


My main piece of advice is to set yourself creative goals that you can control


Gear plays a crucial role in shaping the sound of a band. Could you tell us about the instruments and equipment you used while recording "Pessimistic Pizza," and how they contributed to crafting your distinctive sound?

Article photo - Interview With Indie Rock/Post Punk trio 'My Best Unbeaten Brother' We recorded at Pery Vale Studios in Forest Hill, who have a load of vintage amps you can use, which was nice – I played around with a few and I think it was a Fender Twin Reverb amp I ended up with.

We turned up the gain slightly for some natural slight distortion and that is the sound of the guitar on the album, with two uses of a distortion pedal that seemed to pack up as soon as the session finished for some reason. I don’t tend to use pedals very much as you can tell. For some time, I have played a Fender Mustang which I love playing – it has a smaller neck than a lot of guitars but I find it comfortable.


As a trio, how do you approach the songwriting process? Do you each have defined roles, or is it more collaborative?

The songs start with me – I’ll come to a practice with the song and lyrics pretty much written and ready – but I don’t usually come with set ideas about what the other two are going to add to the song.

I love the way that they move the songs into different shapes; sometimes it takes a while to shake the old preconceived idea of the song out of my head and I can then embrace the new sound of the song that has their input added.


As experienced musicians, you've likely encountered various obstacles along your journey. What have been some of the biggest challenges you've faced as artists, and what advice would you offer to emerging musicians facing similar hurdles?

Article photo - Interview With Indie Rock/Post Punk trio 'My Best Unbeaten Brother' I like making things up, writing down lyrics and putting them into melodies and then playing them to people. Not that different to taking a story I’ve written into school that I knew would make people laugh.

The satisfaction is in coming up with something and then working it until you have something decent. You start playing live and chasing some sort of place in the “music industry” and it’s easy to get lost in that chase and forget that making stuff up is why you started doing this.

So, my main piece of advice is to set yourself creative goals that you can control – when I started Nosferatu D2 with my brother all those years ago, that was the start of this way of thinking: I didn’t care about outside influences that I couldn’t control at all and just said we should write and record so many songs after 3 months.

This we could work towards and achieve and we ended up with some recordings that we liked.


I value quite simple but idiosyncratic music and am not sure AI would add much to this



Collaboration has been integral to your musical endeavors. Are there any artists or bands you've yet to collaborate with but would love to work with in the future?

Our stock answer is J Mascis. Or maybe Thurston Moore.


With the rise of AI-generated music, there's an ongoing debate about its impact on creativity and authenticity. What are your thoughts on this phenomenon, and do you see it as a complement to traditional music-making or a potential threat to artistic expression?

I value quite simple but idiosyncratic music and am not sure AI would add much to this. It’s an interesting concept, and maybe I’m just too old to fully grasp the possibilities, but the idea of listening to a computer doesn’t excite me too much.

I like the act of expression that has limitations and imperfections, and I suspect AI will easily transcend these factors but will lose the magic in the process.


Connect With My Best Unbeaten Brother
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Don't miss out on their upcoming singles, "Extraordinary Times" dropping on May 24th, and "Blue Fatigue" on June 7th, paving the way for their debut EP "Pessimistic Pizza" on June 28th.​​​​​

About Chris Roditis

Chris Roditis has been an active musician since 1995 in various bands and projects across a variety of genres ranging from acoustic, electronic to nu metal, british rock and trip hop. He has extensive experience as a mixing engineer and producer and has built recording studios for most of the projects he has been involved with. His passion for music steered his entrepreneurial skills into founding MusicNGear in 2012.

Contact Chris Roditis at chrisroditis@kinkl.com

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