Last month, our EIC Le’Keisha Sims had a chat with UK band the Maccabees about their newest release, Given into the Wild which was released Jan 9.
LS:You guys have been touring, and working on Given To The Wild, can you tell us what fans can expect from the new album?
MB:I hope it’s the best Maccabees album yet. The writing process was pretty different to how we’ve written before and as a result the record has a pretty different dynamic to the last two. It feels like it gathers momentum as it goes on and has had a lot more attention to detail in terms of atmosphere and production.
LS:What has been some of the new inspiration or experiences that have influenced GTTW?
MB:Musically there has been a huge amount of listening done in the last few years: namely Scott Walker, Leonard Cohen, how to dress well, the national, Kate bush, david bowie etc etc …. All this has taught us to have a freedom with what we were trying to achieve sonically.
LS:Many people thought ‘Wall of Arms’ was a bit darker than your first album, is that sound still the same on the new album?
MB:I don’t think we’ve ever been particularly dark, we just touch upon that sometimes. Given to the wild does feel heavier and denser than the last one.
LS: Are you guys working with any new collaborators or producers?
MB: The artwork is by Andy goldsworthy, an artist we very much respect and are very proud to have on our record. Musically there may be in the future but nothing definite.
LS: I read in an interview that you guys mentioned GTTW was a noticeable step up from the last album, Call Of Arms. How so?
MB:It’s just the best bunch of songs we’ve written. As I was saying, there’s been a lot more control on our behalf on the production side and I hope it is more unique, brave and exciting than our previous records.
LS:How did you guys choose which songs to preview/play live while on tour? So far my favourite has been ‘Grew up at Midnight’.
MB:Thank you. That is the album closer and has been the last song in the set whilst on the recent tour. The choice of songs to play has been a mixture of the most immediate and those that are logistically the easiest to achieve at this stage. The record wasn’t written live so we are in the process of bending the songs to fit that environment. The five or six we have been playing up till now have been the easiest and most fun to achieve.
LS:When you guys play a new song, live for the first time is that ever the final version or do you go off how the crowd reacts and possibly edit or change it later?
MB:We used to alter songs as we went and the recorded version would basically be the best live version. This one though didn’t have any consideration as to playing live because we didn’t want those restrictions. As a result the new record is pretty finalised and only a matter of working out how we can actually realise it all live.
LS:Why did you guys decided to release Pelican as the first single?
MB:It just felt like one of the most complete pop songs we’d ever done. It was a difficult choice because the record has a few different feels in it and it could’ve been one of five or six.
LS:What are you guys most looking forward to as it gets closer and closer to the album release date?
MB:Being able to let people have their own opinions on the record and to be able to think about the next one. And go and see the world!