Music Q&A:
Puppet Rebellion

The Manchester five-piece’s debut album Chemical Friends is out on 17 November. They play Manchester's Partisan on 11 November

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What informs your music and songwriting?
We’ve written literally hundreds of songs individually and collectively over the years so we have a really expansive range of inspirations and influences. Lyrically I guess we like to address darker topics, but we always try and do so in an observational or narrative tone rather than being too direct or obvious. Melody is definitely the biggest driving force behind our music. If we’re not 100 per cent happy with the vocal melodies at a very early stage of a song’s conception then it doesn’t usually get far. Obviously the more songs you write the more you can find yourself covering the same ground both musically and lyrically, but I always find the best ideas seem to have a kind of magic about them that sets them apart and helps to carry them forward.

How have you evolved as an act over the years?
Due to some controversial, and some not so controversial circumstances, we have had five line-up changes since the band started so this in itself has changed the band quite considerably. But I would say an even bigger factor in our evolution as a band has been our individual willingness to accept artistic criticism of our ideas, and also collectively write much more prolifically than we used to.

What are you up to at the moment artistically?
We have just finished recording our debut album Chemical Friends, which will be released on 17 November. We’ve been around since 2012 so this really is the culmination of a big chapter in our history as a band. We’ve released singles and EPs over the years, but obviously an album is seen as a much bigger statement and we didn’t want to put anything out there until we were 100 per cent convinced that the material was the level it needed to be. This album is something we have put our hearts and souls into and something we are all immensely proud of. However it ends up being received, we are resolute in our conviction that we’ve created something that deserves to be heard.

What’s on your rider?
Nothing exciting!

Tell us your most embarrassing or surreal experience.
The video shoot we recently did for our latest single Slave was a pretty surreal experience. After spending five hours assembling a second-hand greenhouse in a dilapidated old mill in Manchester, we had literally about 10 minutes left to shoot all of our scenes before they were going to lock the gates of the building and kick us out. Having already gone through a full UV makeover earlier in the day, we then had to crouch down on our knees, press ourselves against the glass of the very unstable greenhouse and grimace and gurn into the camera. It’s as weird as it sounds. Check it out online!

What song do you wish you’d written?
Mr Brightside by the Killers.

What’s your worst lyric?
It’s not a lyric but something similarly embarrassing. When I was 17 and starting out in my first ever (pop-punk) band, we all drew up a shortlist of potential band names and amongst the names on my list was the absolute gem Punk Personified.

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