FOCUS: Cucamaras

From a mutual love for The Bodega to childhood music memories, Olly (vocals) and Joe (drums) of Nottingham mob Cucamaras sat down with the Mic in anticipation of their brand new single Death of The Social.

With their warm and down-to-earth persona’s, interviewing Cucamaras felt more like a catch-up with mates. This really showcased Cucamaras as a band that genuinely loves the music they make and the venues they get to play in, one of which is Nottingham’s beloved Bodega. Having both grown up in Hucknall, Joe, Olly, and Josh became friends through school and later had Dan joining them on bass. Olly describes that the band and music just “fell into their laps” and that by having known each other for years, the song-writing and creative process of producing music felt more comfortable.

“The ease of creativity and throwing ideas together with your mates makes it feel less overwhelming,” Olly smiles, which would explain how the band were able to explore new territory with their latest track Death of The Social (out April 16th). Moving away from the sound world of indie into more alt-rock/post-punk drummer Joe expresses his love for being able to just “unleash energy” on his instrument and recalls memories of his childhood when he and Olly would compete with each other on who could make the most noise; undoubtedly upsetting one or two neighbors.

“We haven’t ever written anything like this and it’s been a real gateway for the songs that followed.”

Taking the plunge into more philosophical lyrical topics, Death of The Social appears simplistic in its lyrics, yet the message is delivered with a greater impact than the band have previously imparted. “Josh [guitarist] did a degree in sociology and he discovered an article by Jean Baudrillard in the 80s and one of the quotes in that is about the Death of The Social,” Ollie explains when asked about the song’s origins. “It’s a concept that the advance in technology is going to cause a big social divide and cause a breakdown in communication. This song is essentially getting that same message without having to write a whole article or thesis on it.’ Having researched further the quote Baudrillard, the idea behind ‘Death of The Social’ basically implies that social theory loses its very object as meanings, classes, and differences implode into a ‘black hole’ of non-differentiation.”

The lyrical themes explored here are reminiscent to that of Radiohead’s 1997 classic Ok Computer, which of course is a big compliment – a small local band unafraid of delving into the complex topics associated with alt-rock’s giants. For the band, their newest track Death of The Social became a gateway into exploring these kinds of sub-genres and Olly explains what this means for their upcoming releases. “We haven’t ever written anything like this and it’s been a real gateway for the songs that followed. It let us know that we can go down this route and that we enjoy this genre. We feel like we’ve found our sound.” Cucumaras have arguably achieved what every band wants: exploring different soundscapes whilst still having a unique, authentic voice that rings true to them.

Having divulged in a conversation about a mutual love for local venue The Bodega, Olly and Joe explain how the Nottingham gig scene has really enabled them to make connections in the music industry and how important this is given how difficult it can be to have publicity when starting up a band. “One of my best experiences was playing at Rough Trade for Beat the Streets back in 2019. We came out of the side door expecting the venue to be empty but it was absolutely packed... Nottingham’s music scene really enables starting musicians to feel a part of what can sometimes seem like a scary world.”

Going forward, Cucumaras are planning on releasing new music in June, as well as working on creating a concept EP when the time is right. The band have their first headline Bodega gig on October 8th as well as their latest single release Death of The Social on April 16th.

Written by: Amber Frost

Edited by: Olivia Stock

Featured and in-article images courtesy of Cucamaras Band via Facebook.