Having received acclaim from the likes of Clash, Louder Than War and BBC Introducing, as well as wowing us more than once with her energy-fuelled live show at The Finsbury, Birmingham’s MeMe Detroit creates emotion-fuelled rock ‘n’ roll propelled by sweeping melodic hooks and front woman Maria Rodriguez’s gravelly snarl.
Following the release of their gritty latest single, ‘Can’t Get You Out Of My Mind’, we caught up with Maria to find out more…
Hi MeMe Detroit, welcome to Get In Her Ears! Can you tell us a bit about the band?
I’d describe it as a big fat raging ball of uplifting angst fuelled by positivity with a shot of melodic tenderness thrown in… Sounds like a banging cocktail that, I’d drink it!
How did you initially decide to start creating music?
Starting out as a solo artist, I’ve been lucky to work with a number of great musicians but I’ve always aimed to have a stable band around me. I love being a solo artist as there’s more of a sense of control, but I also know it’s important and a great thing to collaborate with other musicians. So that’s why I opted to get full-time band members in over sessioners for the long run. This year via the wonders of social media, I met drummer Kallum McEwen and bassist Steve Hildebrand. It definitely feels different now, like all the pieces fit together as a proper unit. We’ve started writing for the next album and it’s already sounding immense, so I’m really looking forward to seeing what comes out in the near future.
Your new single ‘Can’t Get You Out of My Mind’ is out now – can you tell us what it’s all about?
This is kind of my ode to all those hurting right now, as well as a slight fuck you to all those heartbreakers who I’ve now left for dust. The song tells of the journey we go through when we get our hearts broken from a relationship break up. At the time, it’s devastating, that awful, constant and unrelenting heavy chested, sunken feeling; you almost feel like you can’t get through, but eventually do and, woah, when you finally do, it’s empowering as fuck. You come out so much stronger and more resilient.
You’ve been compared to the likes of Foo Fighters and Wolf Alice, but who would you say are your main musical influences?
I take inspiration from so many different artists and styles. I love Foos, so I can see why that comparison comes in, but I’m also a massive fan of house, old skool ska and hip hop. I love good rhythms and catchy moving melodies. I guess my main influence growing up however was probably Radiohead… The first time a mini MeMe heard a Jonny Greenwood guitar line, it was love at first hear.
How is your local music scene? Do you go to see lots of live music?
There’s something happening in Birmingham right now that is really really cool. There seems to be a real sense of community with all artists and across different genres, everyone’s there to support each other. I believe a big reason for that is the new introduction of the Birmingham Music Awards and the awesome inspiring spirit of radio personalities such as Tim Senna (Switch Radio/BBC Introducing) and Alex Noble (BBC Introducing). There’s so much fresh and exciting talent coming out right now, it’s hard to not go to shows for FOMO!
And what can fans expect from your live shows?
The audience are as big a part of our live shows, so I definitely aim to make them feel that way. Expect an insanely high octane whirlwind of raucous passion with a generous slice of audience participation, and a fat slab of heart gripping noise.
As we’re a new music focused site, are there any new/upcoming bands or artists you’d recommend we check out?
Definitely! There’s so many to choose from, but definitely check out Blue Nation, Nuns of Tundra, Hey Jester, Jemma Freeman and the Cosmic Something, Lady Sanity, Flares, Chloe Mogg and The Pagans S.O.H.
And how do you feel the music industry is for new bands at the moment – would you say it’s difficult to get noticed?
I believe it’s only as difficult as you think it to be. As long as you’ve got good songs, you believe in your brand/product and you’re driven enough to put the work in and commit to it, then you’ll do good. We have this amazing tool and direct personal access to fans with social media platforms nowadays and you don’t need a humungous budget to self release via online distribution companies. I’ve recently checked our Apple Music and Spotify stats and we had a spike of listens in Australia and Sweden. Imagine being in the olden days where the only way that was possible was through big dog record labels?! Now it’s a piece of piss in comparison.
Finally, what does the rest of 2019 have in store for MeMe Detroit?
We have one more show left in Birmingham at The Flapper on the 28th December with the awesome Templeton Pek, but aside from that we’re taking time out now to write more for the next album. It’s been so manic lately, I personally cant wait for the chill time! That is until the the freight train starts up again next year. It’s definitely important to look after yourself mentally and physically by taking regular time out when it’s needed, especially in the music industry!
Massive thanks to Maria for answering our questions!
‘Can’t Get You Out Of My Mind’ is out now.