Human Pet, well what a band.
Nearing the end of 2017, they performed for one of our bizarre Loose Lips Live Sessions in a charming ex-dentists in Clapton. Since, we've become good friends, they've become fellow radio show hosts on 199Radio, and now, finally, we've got the gig's intense performance footage to share with you....and a few words as well!
For those who are unfamiliar with your band and music, where did the name Human Pet came from?
The name was inspired by the 70's French/Czech animated film 'Fantastic Planet'.
What themes and ideas do you explore in your music?
We cover a broad range of themes and ideas. As in, we aren't just a political band, or a band that sings about the same ex-girlfriend over and over again. Our latest single 'Linda Pinky' is a homage to 90's punk frontwomen, whereas our track 'Television' comments on our unhealthy relationship with media. Yeh, there are songs about girls too, those are the easiest ones to write. The Human Pet thing, though, is to have everything dripping with satirical meloncholy, and have everything seem obsessive. If I'm not passionate for the topic, chances are I won't sing about it. (Omar)
For me, I guess we try not take ourselves too seriously. We don’t wanna preach to anyone on what’s right or wrong. In the songs where we are both singing, Omar and I will discuss the theme of the song and write our lyrics separately - this means both our lyrics have their own voice/outlook. We found this a pretty cool and interesting way to work together. (Ian)
How would you describe yourselves in relation to the band?
I'm probably the least musically-technical, but often that helps me bring ideas from a more non-linear point of view. Things don't sound right or wrong to me, it's either good or bad. (Omar)
I feel like I bring a bit of order to the songs. I try to bridge Ian’s and Omar’s sensibilities (sometimes that goes beyond songwriting!), emphasising the more experimental side of things when needed, whilst keeping the punch and drive intact. (David)
I’m really into hooks and song structures. I’m a sucker for a catchy tune, so I’ll take Omar’s unique ideas and try and turn them into a song people want to play over and over again. Until recently we’d being doing everything ourselves and I’d being doing all the management/social media stuff. Thankfully, we now have Lloyd from Permanent Creeps taking on that role so I can just focus on making music I love. (Ian)
You've had been playing a strong string of London shows over the past year or so, what helped you break into London's live music scene?
Attaching ourselves to a growing DIY punk scene, approaching promoters we wanted to work with, going to shows and getting our faces out there...just generally being nice people, enthusiastic about the music happening around us. (Omar)
You’ve got to accept that you have to start small and that you have to just play as much as you can. Be nice people, give 100% every time and then promoters will invite you back but higher up the bill. Once your name is on enough posters, promoters start coming to you. (Ian)
What fascinates you about London's music scene?
I’ve lived in the city for nearly 7 years now and I think it’s just the sheer volume of music that fascinates me. Every night of the week there’s an endless amount of concerts/gigs/nights you can go to. Within that, there are these communities of genres, scenes, who all know and support each other. Growing up in a small city, you’d know every venue and band like the back of your hand. In London, I could probably see a new artist/band every day for 365 days of the year if I wanted. I find that super inspiring. I think it’s important for any musician to explore as many genres as they can, you never know what you may connect with. (Ian)
What are some bands that you listened to in your early adolescent years that have influenced you the most today?
I was raised on The Beatles, went through serious Pop Punk and Emo phases, before arriving at some of the bands which influence what I bring to Human Pet. Some of those would include Fugazi, Slint or Nirvana. (David)
Indie was my life as a young teenager. The Strokes, Arctic Monkeys, Bloc Party, that sort of stuff. I didn’t actually get into heavier stuff, stoner rock, grunge and punk, until about age 18. We’re a noisy, loud and at times aggressive band, but I think growing up with indie I still want to make songs that people will blast out at a party and all sing along to. IDLES are real pioneers of that right now - coming from the same circuit and seeing them get popular has really inspired us as a band. (Ian)