Marmozets open up about making long-awaited new album Knowing What You Know Now...
Everyone who came across raucous Yorkshire fivesome Marmozets as they supported debut album The Weird And Wonderful Marmozets fell in love with them.
Formed in 2007 and consist of two sets of siblings, the band’s blend of driving guitars, quirky melodies and thumping choruses won many admirers and sent them on a globe-trotting tour that culminated in a support slot with Muse across the arenas of the UK.
It’s taken them four years to follow-up their debut, but it finally arrives today in the shape of new LP Knowing What You Know Now.
We sat down with singer Becca Macintyre and guitarist Jack Bottomley to find out how they made their new album, working with producer Gil Norton and why they’ve got a plan for album number three already...
How did you want this record to move on from what you did on your debut?
Jack (Bottomley, guitarist): “We wanted to progress, like any band does, we didn’t think too much of what we wanted in terms of a sound, it’s more of a natural move. It’s been four years and we’ve grown up a lot. Those songs were written when we were 17 and 18.”
Becca (Macintyre, vocals): “Now we’re 25!”
Jack: “Over that time you’re going to find new bands and new sounds, we’ve changed drastically since then in terms of our influences and how we approach things. So it’s changed a lot, without it ever being planned or talked about.”
Did you write a lot of songs for this album?
Becca: “We had loads and loads of stuff, but we didn’t feel happy with what we had for a long time. Even though we were writing a lot, it weirdly felt like we had writer’s block, we just decided to keep going until the songs started coming through. I think most people think you just get into a room and jam and sounds appear, but it’s not always that simple. I feel like we worked very hard to get these songs out.”
Jack: “We started writing in a new way, we’d sit with a laptop and work separately and it took a lot of demos before we realised we were better off getting back in a room with each other. We didn’t write on the road at all. We came back from touring with two songs to work with and they were written years ago. It was a big mountain to get up.”
Becca: “We had two years of touring, huge festivals, the shows with Muse, and it really felt like it just stopped and downtime really felt like that. It took me a while to calm down and to be able to write.”
When did Gil Norton come into the picture? Was he someone you looked at?
Becca: “He got in touch with us.”
Jack: “He actually made contact before we recorded our first album, but we’d already done our demos with Larry Hibbard so it made sense to do the album with him. For the second one, he told us he was free and really interested. He came up to see us in Keighley and had a pint with us and it was really easy. He’s a nice, normal guy.”
Becca: “He was what we needed. He was a cool uncle. Very relaxed. We were totally in his world.”
Jack: “His input is always really good, always worth trying. They’re often very simple ideas, but they can open songs up.”
He’s worked on some big records, Pixies, Foo Fighters, did you get some good stories out of him?
Jack: “Pixies’ Doolittle is pretty much my favourite album ever and he played me all the original demos. He’d kept all of them. He took us to see them play in Cardiff, we were on a little outing, I’ve never been so nervous as meeting them afterwards.”
Is there a song on the record that took the longest to get right?
Jack: “‘Meant To Be’ was very hard’.”
Becca: “We must have had seven or eight different choruses. I knew we had something great. But it took everyone else a long time to catch on. We’d had the song for a long time and it took a lot of jamming to get out. It was an instrumental at one point. So much work.”
Does the record have a theme with its lyrics?
Becca: “It’s like any story or film, it’s up and down. A lot can happen in two years, a lot can change, you can grow so much and it’s about that process. It’s about growing up. I write these huge poems and I take pieces out.”
When did you settle on the title?
Becca: “We came up with quite a few titles, but that’s the one that stuck.”
Jack: “It came up in conversation with our manager. He came up to see us in Bingley and we were out in a bar. He came out with the phrase.”
Becca: “It is what the album is. It’s a great statement, it makes you think and it looks great on posters and t-shirts.”
Jack: “It came late. The album was done. Maybe next time we’ll self-title it, save a lot of bother…”
Finally, it’s been four years since your debut and this album, do you think you’ll try and write as you go along next time?
Becca: “100%. We’ve learned our lesson. We’re already writing now. Which is new and different, but a good change.”
Jack: “They won’t be complete songs, but we’re getting better at getting ideas down early. We want to come back from touring and go straight into the studio.”