RETURN TO THE PLANET OF THE APES
AT LONG LAST: A New SINGLE AND video, AND News Of AN AS-YET-UNTITLED econd record. Oh, IT’S SO GOOD TO FINALLY have marmozets back in business Once AGAIN. becca macintyre AND jack bottomley Take us inside Their huge return…
AFTER WHAT feels like an eternity, Marmozets are (finally) back! Ahead of their highly-anticipated performances at Reading & Leeds this weekend, the Bingley five-piece have released new single Play, the first taste of their as-yet-untitled second album – the follow-up to 2014’s The Weird And Wonderful Marmozets. Produced by Gil Norton (Foo Fighters, Pixies,afi) and recorded at Monnow Valley Studio in Wales, the album will be released via Roadrunner Records early next year.
In this world-exclusive first interview back, vocalist Becca Macintyre and guitarist Jack Bottomley took time out of rehearsals for their forthcoming tour, and the filming of a brand-new video, to shed some light on one of 2018’s most exciting releases. Given that their debut was ‘weird’ and ‘wonderful’, what words could be used to describe what Marmozets captured this time around? “Um… wonderful and weird?!” suggests Becca.“slightly more wonderful and a bit more weird!” adds Jack. “We’ve exaggerated everything…”
WELCOME BACK! WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN?
Jack Bottomley (guitar): “We’ve been doing some very exciting things; writing lots of exciting songs, and getting very excited about said songs.” Becca macintyre (vocals): “Yaaaaaaaaaay!”
IT FEELS LIKE IT’S BEEN A LONG TIME…
Jack: “It wasn’t necessarily intentional to start off with, but we sort of just rolled with it.we didn’t want to rush anything or come back too soon.” Becca: “Once we recorded it we wanted it straight out, but it doesn’t work like that. Everyone had their individual things going on in their lives, so it’s taken a bit longer than people expected – or wanted.”
WHAT HAPPENED TO YOU DURING THAT TIME?
Becca: “There was grieving [over my grandmother’s death], but I got an amazing song out of that. It was the first time that I’d grieved properly over a death; the lyrics came straight from my heart, so I was crying while writing. People come and go in life, and that’s how it is. Then I had my knee operations. I had both of my knees done, but I couldn’t get them both done at the same time, so they had to do one after the other. I pretty much had to learn how to walk again, but that didn’t stop the singing, even though I was bedbound for a while.”
HOW MUCH PRESSURE DID YOU FEEL TO FOLLOW UP YOUR DEBUT ALBUM?
Becca: “At the beginning we did have a lot of people saying,‘ooh, second album, you’re not going to be able to do it.’ But when we hear that it brings out our competitive side, and we go,‘ha! Watch this!’” Jack: “The only pressure we really feel is from us. Sometimes you can start asking,‘is this really better or not?’ But we got ourselves to a point where we think we have bettered [the debut album] somehow. We just hope that everyone will be as excited about where it’s going as we are.”
LET’S TALK ABOUT YOUR NEW SINGLE, PLAY… WHAT’S IT ABOUT? HOW INDICATIVE IS IT OF THE REST OF THE ALBUM?
Becca: “It’s mainly from being the northern gypsies that we are and being on tour. For me, personally, it’s about partying and finding love and it not being right because you’re in the mosh tunnel of being in a band and going ape-shit crazy. But then it’s also about people needing to play their instruments right and get serious.” Jack: “The heavier songs on the album are down that line of Play.that song literally came about through the vocal sample, which we did this loop of and thought, ‘That’s kind of cool.’” Becca: “I think the new album feels like we’ve hit puberty.you know when the hormones are crazy? I’ve got a sister who’s going through that stage and I’m a bit terrified.this next generation just know exactly who they are and are all strong characters – it freaks me out. This album is definitely a freak-me-out situation.”
YOU’VE SHOT A VIDEO FOR THE SONG, TOO – WHAT’S THE CONCEPT?
Jack: “It’s very vibey.we filmed it at East London Studios, which is a big studio in east London (laughs). We’re inside and it’s raining – the whole place is getting flooded.and there’s a secret… you’ll have to watch it.”
ARE THERE ANY OTHER SONGS YOU CAN TELL US ABOUT?
Jack: “Major System Error is a dance song, but also a rock song. It’s about everything breaking down in the world. It’s almost two years old, but with all the stuff that’s happening in the world recently, it’s more fitting than ever. Now we feel partly responsible for it (laughs).” Becca: “There’s no point talking about genres and stuff because you’ll know them as soon as you hear the song. It’s got a bit of jazz on it, which to me doesn’t literally mean jazz, but jazzy fingers and a bit of sass.”
IS IT A POLITICAL SONG?
Becca: “It’s not political but it’s definitely a song that anyone can fit into their world, because everyone’s had that red-light moment with somebody where they’re face-to-face and they can just see a complete Major System Error, and can’t carry on hanging around with that person.”
Becca: “Insomnia is about being tired and coming into band practice. Jack had this gnarly riff and I just started singing and Sam [Macintyre, guitar] was like,‘what did you just sing?!’ From then on we had Insomnia. It was like magic. It’s different – it’s quirky and it’s a bit weird.”
THAT SOUNDS PRETTY SPONTANEOUS. WAS THAT GENERALLY HOW THINGS WENT, OR WAS IT METICULOUSLY PLANNED?
Becca: “It depends on the vibe you’re in. Sometimes you have to throw yourself into it and pump yourself up a bit because you’ve had a bit of a shit day. It’s about remembering your place and purpose, and thinking,‘just go for it – who cares if you get a bit weird and people look at you funny.’ There’s no harm in exploring.”
YOU SEEM VERY HAPPY. WHAT’S THAT DOWN TO – SATISFACTION WITH THE NEW ALBUM?
Becca: “Partly, but I think it’s more because we’re all home together.we’re practising at the same place we’ve always practised, and we just love being home with our family.we haven’t spent too much time away from each other, but we know that we’re going to be in each other’s faces for years, because when you bring out an album, that’s it, you’re on the road.we want to last on the road for a very, very long time, so we can come back and Mick Jagger it up.”
WHAT’S THE BIGGEST LESSON YOU’VE LEARNED SINCE THE LAST RECORD?
Jack: “No matter how crap you feel, you’ll definitely always get through it.” Becca: “It’s amazing coming out the other side…”
IS THAT HOW IT FELT – LIKE A STORM?
Becca: “It did with everything I’ve been through in the last couple of years – it has been pretty tough. But I still hold on to my dream. I’m a young person and I’m constantly blessed.as long as I have a roof over my head, some food, and I can go shopping at charity shops, I’m a happy person.that’s Becca Mac to a tee. I guess I’m just happy that I haven’t changed, and have got through that world that I understand but don’t want to be a part of… things like social media. It’s not real to me and I’m a realist – I love things that are real and true.”
LIVE SHOWS ARE PRETTY REAL… HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THE PROSPECT OF GETTING BACK IN FRONT OF AUDIENCES?
Becca: “I’m just scared that I’m going to be a bit too nuts and people are going to be like,‘becca Mac is definitely on something!’ I’m just too excited! That’s what I’m like – I get too excited and embarrass myself. I just need to keep my cool.”
“THE PRESSURE HAS BROUGHT OUT OUR COMPETITIVE SIDE” Becca Macintyre