THE MORE YOU KNOW
AFTER STRAIGHT-UP DISAPPEARING IN 2015, MATH-POP DARLINGS MARMOZETS ARE BACK AND UPPING UP THE MONKEY BUSINESS. WORDS BY MATT DORIA
All seemed pretty chipper for Marmozets when the math‑rock rangers last hit Australia. It was mid‑2015, and between viciously sweaty club shows and a lauded spot at Splendour In The Grass, the Yorkshire fivesome waxed lyrical of a follow‑up to their 2014 smash hit, TheWeirdAnd
WonderfulMarmozets. It would be out in early 2016, they declared, with a lofty world tour to follow. But then, like in the stunningly cheesy prologue of Final
Destination3, (a film we could easily see being improved with a Marmozets soundtrack) their rollercoaster ride to the top came crashing down in a catastrophic blur of pain.
The incident that triggered it came right after the band crushed a set at that year’s Reading & Leeds. Rhythm guitarist Sam MacIntyre sets the scene: “You guys like rugby over in Australia, right? Y’know when you get those guys that tackle each other so hard that you’re like, ‘Holy moly, that guy just got
annihilated!’? They get up and laugh about it, but you can just tell that it was a gnarly tackle. Well basically, someone did that to my sister [Becca, vocals] backstage, and it completely ruined our plans. She had to learn how to walk again, so that was a bit of a setback.”
Two critical knee operations later, and with high spirits charging them forward, Marmozets began to rise again. “We got through it all in the end,” MacIntyre says with a chuckle. “We were kind of easing ourselves back into things at first – just having a good time and not worrying about what would happen next. And then once Becca got better, we were like, ‘Okay, let’s jump back into it!’”
It was a slow process: until the launch of comeback single “Play” in August 2017, the band stayed largely mum on social media, working in silence and tucked away from the spotlight, sans update, like a pack of youthful Syd Barretts. It wasn’t for a lack of trying that Marmozets only reemerged last year – as MacIntyre tells us, the quintet chewed through two albums of abandoned material before striking gold with what would blossom into KnowingWhatYouKnowNow.
“We didn’t want to put something out if it was going to be half‑assed,” he asserts. “You can tell yourself that something is good, but you can’t really kid yourself into believing it. Sometimes you just have to be honest with yourself and say, ‘Y’know what? These songs that I’ve written f***ing suck!’ So we just kept writing and writing until we got into the zone again. It’s actually quite interesting – a couple of the songs that did make the album were written in Australia! We were hanging out in Queensland because we’ve got loads of mates out there, and the inspiration just struck us. They were the only ones that made it out alive from that first lot of songs.”
MacIntyre cites “Meant To Be” as the key track from their outback writing sesh. It’s a thrashy, mosh‑ready little number that soars with an instantly chantable chorus – much in line with the other ten cuts that pad Knowing
WhatYouKnowNow. Marmozets have always had a knack for writing huge and sticky melodies (see classics “Love You Good” and “Move, Shake, Hide”), but in upping the ante on LP2, the band traded winding breakdowns and mangled time signatures for tighter, cleaner riffs.
“I wanted to make things a little bit simpler,” MacIntyre says. “I know The
WeirdAndWonderful is renowned for being so different and complex in a lot of areas, but if I could, I would’ve made it a little more relaxed. I’m all about those chill vibes. One of my favourite songs right now is ‘Myth’ by Beach House, and the guitar work on that tune is just so interesting – it almost sounds like the StrangerThings theme! And for me, playing the guitar is all about those really weird chord progressions that you find and you’re able to make flow. If you can come up with a brand new, inspiring chord progression, you’ve got my respect. Especially if it’s in 4/4!”
Conversation turns to the future when we ask if MacIntyre has any of those game‑changing chord progressions in the works. “Oh dude,” he boasts, “There are alot of songs that we’ve already got ready to go. There’s this one song – I can’t really say what it is, but it’s f***ingamazing! We feel like we’ve come up with a chord progression that nobody has ever come up with before, and it’s in 4/4. I mean, it’s just something that really hits the soul on so many different levels. It’s just not on our new album because there was a lot of important stuff that we needed to put out first, to set us up for the next one. I wish it could show it to you!”
Any time you feel ready, mate…