The world wants to destroy you. It doesn’t care who you are,” says Money frontman Jamie Lee with a wry smile. “Once you learn to overcome that sense of betrayal, that’s when you get real freedom.” He’s explaining one of the many themes at play on upcoming debut album ‘The Shadow Of Heaven’. We’re trying to work out whether he’s a poetic mastermind or a madman. “At parties it’s fun to get knives and play with them. I like it,” he tells us later.
The truth is Lee’s something of an eccentric genius. He’s a deep thinker who’s responsible for the ideology informing one of the most intriguing bands to come from Manchester in years. “What is the essential value of a work of art? That’s what I want to know. Fuck the financial and social value – what worth does it actually have?” This question is exactly what Money are about, viewing music as art without the frames that hype and fashion place around it, seeing it for its inherent merit.
Instead of playing traditional venues where “you adhere to other people’s specifications of what’s possible”, the band set about spearheading their very own subculture by working closely with independent Salford label Sways. In early 2012, they took over the label’s DIY headquarters The Bunker – a cavernous space with a wooden cage inside it where bands play (and in which Money are photographed for Radar’s shoot).
“There’s no place like it on the planet. It’s our home,” Lee says of the space. In the midst of a bunch of near-legendary shows the band curated there (Savages and fellow Mancs Pins played), Sways released their debut seven-inch, ‘Who’s Going To Love You Now’/‘Goodnight London’. Jamie appears totally naked on the cover. “I wanted to say that this is everything. I’m not afraid,” he says, convincingly.
Fast-forward 12 months and Money are finally ready to take the spirit of those Bunker shows beyond Manchester. Freshly singed to Bella Union, they’ll debut ‘The Shadow Of Heaven’ in full at Manchester’s International Festival next month. They promise that like everything they’ve done so far, the gigs will be audacious. “There aren’t enough mad people around,” Jamie mutters before leaving. Too bloody right.
NEED TO KNOW
FOR FANS OF: Foals, Wu Lyf
BUY IT NOW: Debut album ‘The Shadow Of Heaven’ is out in August on Bella Union
SEE THEM LIVE: Manchester International Festival on July 12 and 13
BELIEVE IT OR NOT: Their album was self-produced in an obscure London studio that was formerly used to record the music for porn films