Forgive the opening statement about how nothing sounds original these days. It’s a favorite of some of the music and pop culture blogosphere. A crutch, even. It’s as if artists who don’t reinvent the wheel with every track are somehow at fault. (How come Bruno Mars keeps getting a free pass, then? Totally kidding!)

Not nearly enough credit is given to those artists who have a virtuosic knack for taking instantly familiar yet disparate elements and combining them to make something completely fresh and full of life. These artists instill influences and styles that may not seem to work on paper with their own personal stamp, arranging everything with a confidence and assuredness that makes every note, every song completely their own, and undeniably compelling.

Not nearly enough artists or bands are like Menage.


Based in L.A., the band is made up of siblings Bela, Gabriel and Basilio Ferreira, who bring together a wide range of influences, a possible side effect of having grown up in Toronto and a small town in Portugal. The band may be billed as “alternative” or “power-pop,” and they are that, but they are so much more. With the international and uplifting appeal of Arcade Fire and brandishing the guitar chops of Rodrigo Y Gabriela, the siblings inject every song with a positivity that is infectious while also being very vulnerable. Lots of chances for crowd sing-alongs.

The international sound is very obvious and sort of reminiscent of a European-tinged Paramore with a MUCH harder edge. The single “Our Time Is Now” is undeniably powerful, at once radio-friendly but hardly tired. “2 to the End” is a rousing and driving power pop track but with quiet moments like those you’d find in a Sigur Ros or even Nirvana song. The Sigur Ros comparison is appropriate, especially since producer Ted Jensen has worked with Radiohead, Björk (who Bela can sometimes sound like, as well as Karen O, among others), and Sigur Ros.

These are all elements you’ve heard before. But never together, and never quite like this. And it is indeed thrilling.

Indie Band Guru had the pleasure of speaking to the band about their influences, plans for 2015, and being able to play New York’s Portugal Day 2014 show in Central Park.

“Our Time Is Now” seems to have a ton of influences meshed into one song (in a way that totally works). So of course I have to ask, who are your influences?

As typical as it sounds, we all come from pretty diverse musical backgrounds. Elliot and Dave started out playing funk/RnB together then later studied jazz, while bands like the Red Hot Chili Peppers shaped them. Gabriel has always been a big fan of classic rock, Fernando listens to experimental ambient stuff and loves Cold War Kids. I grew up on grunge; then My Chemical Romance came along. They made me want to be in a band.

Yet all three of us siblings studied classical music since we were too little to touch the ground when sitting at our instruments.

How has the cross-Atlantic experience been for you?

We have been able to make friends and fans overseas. They are loyal and by our side no matter how far geographically.

What was the indie rock scene in Portugal like for you guys?

Most of our experience there has been with past projects. We can’t wait to head over there as Menage.

How did you find the attitude toward new music in Europe vs. UK and US?

When a band puts their all, every night, on stage, it doesn’t matter where in the world you are. People will relate and respond.

Was there any culture shock–musically or otherwise–when you got to LA?

The LA you see on TV is more the Santa Monica, west Hollywood version. We lived in the downtown LA/Echo Park area which actually isn’t very different from any major city in North America.

Was there any culture shock between LA and NY?

See above:)

What was it like playing the Portugal Day show in Central Park?

Besides the 6am call time, it was beautiful.

You’re releasing 4 EPs this year. Are there any plans for recording a full length? Is it worth it any more to release a full length?

For us personally, we are enjoying taking the fans through a sort of play-by-play of our adventure. So, at this point, EPs  are fitting into that perfectly.

Bela, what’s it like to play with Fernando and Gabriel compared to when you were solo for a time?

This whole journey is somewhat of a family road trip. Fights and all! But we know each other better than anyone else, and having two amazing friends like Dave Haskett and Elliot Boult in the mix, (who are like brothers, themselves) keeps things balanced and sane. No matter how tough and annoying it can get, it’s incomparable to any other band experience cause you know you all have each other’s backs and no one will bail.

What are you looking forward to most in 2015?

Staying on tour for as much of the year as we can….And sushi.

Menage just wrapped a slew of dates throughout the U.S. For upcoming tour dates and much more, visit


*-article and interview by Anatole Ashraf of Indie Band Guru

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