Marmozets drummer talks new album
Has the songwriting process changed much since the first album WeirdAnd Wonderful-Marmozets?
“There was one point where we were thinking about it too much, but that was really early on, there was just so much stuff that happened in between, family stuff, a lot of tough stuff. As soon as we got our flair back, there was one song that we wrote and from that it came really smoothly. We try to keep the same routine because, you’ve got to have diversity and for a band it’s great to keep the creativity flowing and keep it fresh, but at the same time I think too many bands think too hard about it and try to change their routine or what they’re doing as a band, and it can go really wrong. Especially this being our second album – the one that has such a stigma orf so many bands – we just wanted to keep it as we like to do it, get in a room, write some songs. There were a few things we’ve never done before like writing stuff from one side of the world to the other, sending stuff over to each other, a few of the songs on the album were written in different parts of the world!”
How did your approach to recording differ this time?
“Gil [Norton, producer – Pixies, Foo Fighters etc] did it really differently. When he does drums, he won’t have anyone else in the room, I’ll be there all day while the guys are outside writing another song or watching TV, going to the shops, I don’t know, so no one else will be in the room except Gil, engineer Danny and myself, and that was the same for everyone individually. Then at the end of the day we’d bring everyone in the room and say here’s what we’ve done, what do you think? And I think it really separates it from all the egos in one room, which I’m not saying everyone has big egos, it’s just all the different opinions, Gil liked us to do it separately from each other.”
Did Gil have any input on what you were playing?
“On the first album there was actually quite a lot I had to change because I was still learning, I was really young, and then I learned quite a lot from Larry Hibbitt [100 Reasons, Marmozets’ debut album producer] about grooves and stuff, just what fits the song. A song like [new single] ‘Play’, it’s perfect for a 22" kick, 12" rack, 15" floor, kind of tight, but I’m all about ‘big’, so I like 24s, 13s 18s, but it just didn’t fit with that track. So this time round it was learning what was right for the song rather than what I want. With Gil there were little moments where he’d be like ‘try this’ and you’d be like, oh yeah, that’s amazing, like maybe a bridge, swap this groove around… he was just great for these little moments just to bring me out of myself even more, just draw everything possibly imaginable out of me.”
Have there been some new musical influences that we might hear in Marmozets’ sound this time round?
“Always, that’s how our band’s always been. A lot of people think we’re obviously heavy, but if anyone could hear us back when we started we were actually a very happy band! Then we grew up, got a bit angsty, got really heavy. And we’ve always changed depending on our lifestyle or what we’re listening to at the time or our influences, and our influences are always growing, always maturing. So there’s stuff that’s different on this record, like a lot of stuff I’ve been listening to since WeirdAnd
Wonderful is stuff like all the Ed Banger crew – Sebastian, Justice all those kind of guys, electronic stuff, and I get a lot of my beats actually from that kind of stuff, especially Sebastian, he’s a big influence on me.”
Any favourite new Marmozets drum tracks to look out for?
“There’s one called ‘Habits’ that I really like, I really like the verse grooves. There’s ‘Battery’, which is probably the most different track that we’ve done as a band. It’s influenced by the more dance kind of stuff, not like electronic synths going off, more the grooves. It’s kind of marching, but dancey – it’s kind of weird. And ‘Major System Error’ which is relentless, literally the same groove all the way through. And it’s one of my favourite grooves, just grooving on the same thing. We came from such a heavy band playing the most mathy stuff, which I enjoyed, but I actually got bored after a while, there’s only so far you can go with that as well. It was just like show-off stuff and I want to make stuff more artistically creative even if that means staying on the same groove all the way through. But I’m proud of every single part I’ve put into each song, I’m just stoked, 100 percent, on every song!”
Josh Macintyre returns with UK alt-rockers Marmozets