Meet The Guilty Rascals! Drawing comparisons to Green Day and Blink-182, the band have been delighting audiences across South Wales with their rock ‘n’ punk vibes for several years.
Ahead of their appearance at Swansea Fringe Festival on November 5, guitarist, and singer Matthew Maidment chats to Andy Howells in a new Meet the Band feature.
Hi Matt, tell us about The Guilty Rascals.
We are Guilty Rascals, a three-piece punk rock band from South Wales. We consist of Gethyn – the bassist and backing singer, Sam – the drummer and myself, Matt – the guitarist and singer.
We’re all pretty much from around Blaenau Gwent but I believe our drummer is from Gilwern. We’ve all come from different music backgrounds, I was very much a punk rock kid, listening to Bad Religion, Green Day and blink-182. Gethyn was and still is a 70s/80s baby. He refuses to believe any band or artist will ever top ABBA or Rick Astley. Sam is a former goth kid. Sadly, he’s deleted every image of himself from the internet of those days. He had the pale makeup, black lipstick – the lot.
How did you get into singing / writing and performing?
I got into singing when I was in Primary School. Our music teacher was holding auditions for the yearly school play and had the whole class sit in the assembly hall. If we wanted to try and sing, you had to raise your hand and stand up in front of everyone. If the teacher thought you could sing, she would bring you to the front. A few of my friends got up and sang for a laugh, which made me want to sing for a laugh and join in. Turns out the music teacher thought I could sing, and I ended up being brought to the front of the class. It pretty much started from there. My dad was a singer too – so I suppose it’s in the blood.
Writing and performing came much later, I think that started when I was around 16. I still have a notebook with all the songs I wrote from that time which will never see the light of day. I think we’ve all been pretty much performing since we were around 17-18 in different bands or for college and stuff but for this band, we’ve been going strong since 2017.
So, where does the name Guilty Rascals come from?
The name honestly doesn’t mean anything. We’re all terrible with naming things. Basically, the very first iteration of this band had a different drummer and bassist (Bradley Beeke and Jordan Edwards). Jordan and I didn’t have anything for a name, so Bradley (old drummer) says, “what about Guilty Rascals?” And I’ll be honest I was not fond of the name, but we had nothing else. So, we stuck with it as a “temporary” name until we came up with something new…. Cut to a few years later and 2 new band members later, we never came up with anything better, so it’s just stuck
Who are The Guilty Rascals music influences?
I’d say we’re inspired by bands like Green Day and blink-182, especially in our older songs. We have been trying to branch out with newer material, but I don’t think we’ll ever escape the Green Day comparison. I think that will always stick with us to a certain extent. People like Green Day, right? I’d probably say Alkaline Trio are also a big influence on us. Especially on our song, Slumber
What’s The Guilty Rascals best live experience so far?
That’s tough. Honestly, we’ve played so many gigs over the years that they kind of blend into one. I could easily point out some of the worst we’ve played. But for the best, it’s a bit trickier. I think one of the best we played was probably Crowley’s Rock Bar in Swansea. The venue isn’t massive, it wasn’t packed or anything like that. But there were two opening bands on before us and the place was dead. Nobody there aside from us. We thought it was going to be awful. Then we started at around 10pm and suddenly, the place got a lot busier. It was all at once, these people started piling in. They all must’ve come from someplace else. And they were all into the songs too which goes a long way for us. There’s nothing worse than playing to a crowd who do not care at all, it’s awful. So that crowd interaction and seeing them have a good time means a lot to us
Where can we catch The Guilty Rascals live?
You can catch us playing on November 5th during the Swansea Fringe Festival playing at (once again) Crowley’s Rock Bar at 3.30pm. Swansea has never failed us of a good time
Which track best defines you all as a band and why?
The thing is, we’ve recorded quite a few songs and a lot of them we don’t play anymore. It’s a weird sort of, process of figuring out what we want to sound like. But we always come back to Welcome Party. We always open with it at gigs, and I think it’s a good introduction to who we are: stupid and fun
Where can people find out more about the band?