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

Australian Guitar - - Feature -

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…

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