Marmozets

Date:Tue 06 Feb
Time:7pm (doors)
Venue:J1
Price:£14.50 adv

While you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, it’s often possible to glean a lot about an album from its title. Take the 2014 debut album from the MARMOZETS – Becca MacIntyre, Sam MacIntyre, Josh MacIntyre, Jack Bottomley and Will Bottomley – a band that’s more than a gang: they’re quite literally family. ‘THE WEIRD AND WONDERFUL MARMOZETS’ perfectly encapsulated the unpredictable yet undeniable music the Bingley band had been creating since their inception.
 
But what do you call the follow-up to a record which was described by Q magazine as “A very impressive, ambitious debut” and won the coveted Album Of The Year at the Kerrang! Awards, but has also seen its creators overcome personal hardships, learn valuable life lessons, and gain a sense of perspective? Knowing what the band knows now, it could only be called ‘KNOWING WHAT YOU KNOW NOW’. The presence of the legendary producer GIL NORTON (Foo Fighters, Pixies) at the helm ensures that this is the MARMOZETS’ most ambitious and accomplished offering to date.

“The second ‘those words’ came up in a conversation I said, ‘That would make a brilliant album title’,” recalls rhythm guitarist Sam MacIntyre. His sister, vocalist Becca MacIntyre (who Noisey describe as ‘an amazing fronthuman’), became so enthusiastic about the phrase that she took to covertly dropping it into her answers to journalists that remained unaware of the scoop being waved under their noses (“It perfectly summed everything we’d be through up,” she says).
 
The natural follow-up question those same journalists will be asking in the months to come is: what is it the band has learned that they’ve put into action on album number two? Turns out it’s that most important of virtues: patience – with regards to their interpersonal relationships (“We laid a number of issues on the table that had been stopping us moving forward,” says drummer Josh) and the creative process.

 “Patience was a massive thing,” says Sam. “We struggled because we wanted all of the songs to be written there and then. We were writing loads, but they just weren’t right.” Becca adds, “We had all those years to write the first album. There was no thinking and no pressure; it organically just came out.”

Against this backdrop the singer had her own patience tested as part of “the hardest of [her] entire life” – undergoing surgery on both knees, at different times, just to make the experience even more arduous – that left her unsure she’d be able to continue doing the thing she loved. “For months I couldn’t do anything,” admits Becca. “I didn’t think I’d be able to do this again; I had to teach myself to walk again.” Whilst she endured and overcame, her band also took its time in regaining its momentum.
 
“There was a lot of hitting the crossbar,” suggests lead guitarist Jack Bottomley of their initial misfires. “We were working on what we had rather than the best stuff we could be doing.” “There wasn’t that feeling of laughing and buzzing when we’d written a song and played through it the way we had before,” adds Josh. “We know that when you don’t give up, amazing things happen,” says Becca.

And so it was proved when the band wrote the angular, pounding ‘New Religion’ which provided the pivotal moment of genesis for what was to come.

“We knew that was the start of it,” says Becca, excitedly. “Us getting that buzz again was the indicator we’d got to where we needed to be,” agrees Josh. “From then, all these little moments started happening that snowballed into these songs,” adds Sam.

That rush of momentum also resulted in ‘Play’, the “real statement of intent no brainer” first taste of the MARMOZETS’ new chapter – earning the unprecedented accolade of being declared both Radio 1’s Daniel P. Carter’s ‘Rockest Record’ and Annie Mac’s ‘Hottest Record’. The NME highlighted ‘Play’ as one of their best new tracks and added, “The Brit alt-rockers return and they’re sounding absolutely massive.”

The sudden fruits of the band’s labours also produced the danceable riff-fest ‘Habits’, which sees Becca adopt a dreamy, soaring vocal style – and is, explains Sam (cheekily incorporating the song’s lyrics), “about certain people having certain habits that aren’t good, and getting very carried away.”

The bristling, pulse-quickening ‘Major System Error’ – one of the band’s collective favourites – finds Becca switching to banshee mode amidst a dense sonic battering that sounds like it was written “pissed as fuck on Jack Daniel’s at 2am” because it was. Despite being what Jack describes as a “fluke lyric”, the title has multiple applications because, “it feels like everything is falling apart in the world right now.” Indeed, Becca considers it “a relationship song”, and Jack “a political statement.”

There’s the spiky ‘Lost In Translation’; its reference to ‘3177’ the number of the Japanese hotel room Becca drunkenly penned the lyrics in while on tour. “I was feeling really lonely,” says Becca of a song that features the lyric “No one here to be my friend”. “There were two hours when I had this complete freak out: I was alone, I couldn’t find the boys or our tour manager, and felt so stuck, but I had a notebook and a pen.” The song’s international flavour is underlined by the fact it was also pieced together in the U.S. and London.

Then there is ‘Me & You’, which presents a stark, sombre moment on the album – its sparse arrangement befitting the raw sentiment of the song. It was inspired by the death of the MacIntyre’s beloved grandmother, who was always an enthusiastic supporter of the band, and whose passing inspired the song Josh says “knocked [him] to the floor” when he first heard it.

“I knew something was coming; I was feeling the spark,” says Becca of the three days she spent on the sofa, recovering post-operations and wrestling with her grief. “Eventually the song just came out of me.”
 
‘Run With The Rhythm’, an epic head rush of a track that started more modestly with an acoustic strum from Sam, was chosen to close the album because of its message of encouragement. “It’s letting everyone know that everything’s alright,” explains Becca. “Even when you’re feeling like giving up - don’t - just go with it!”

GIL NORTON helped foster the MARMOZETS’ sense of positivity during their time with him at Monnow Valley Studio (which has played host to the likes of Oasis, Queen and Black Sabbath over the years). As well as regaling the band with stories about writing sessions with David Bowie, Dave Grohl and Frank Black, the Liverpudlian producer who Becca describes as “a legend”, and Josh as “an uncle”, got them working in a totally different way.

“He records weirdly,’ says Jack, “But good weirdly!” of the recording process. “None of us were in the same room as each other, at all, ever. It meant you could really concentrate on your own thing, and there was more room for yourself.” Josh agrees: “There were no egos and opinions in the room. He just lets you do your thing.”

Doing their own things, Sam explains, is key to what MARMOZETS have done on their second album ‘KNOWING WHAT YOU KNOW NOW’. “We created it for ourselves. It’s not that we don’t care about our fans – we absolutely love them – but the reason they like what we do is because of the way we are. If we purposely tried to aim for a market, it would be shite.”
 
 “We don’t do things because they’re cool; we do them because they feel right,” adds Becca.

The MARMOZETS’ second full-length offering is an album that feels right to its creators, and will sound even better to fans old and new. Prepare to get to know the most exciting record of 2018.

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Doors open 7pm.

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