Marsicans are having a spell-binding few months; following that recognition from the highest calibre of Radio One DJs, and a brilliant performance at The Platform, Lincoln (which you can read about here), in another excitement moment in their career James from the band took some time out, to take part in a light-hearted questions and answers with me. We chatted about anything and everything, from lively crowds to David Dickinson and croissants!
Photo by Alice Hadden.
1. In 20 words or less, can you describe the sound of Marsicans?
Upbeat, dirty pop. That’s only 3, so here’s a few extra words: cauliflower cheese, a bag of shiny marbles.
2. Can each member give a brief description of themselves, and their role in Marsicans:
I’m James, I play guitar, sing and often get the teas in.
Cale plays drums, and sings in the style of Barry White.
Rob plays bass and keys, sings and dances around a lot.
Oli plays guitar, sings and makes better teas than me.
3. How did you guys meet and ultimately form the band?
Oli, Cale, and I met in high school. We started playing covers in our music class and then stuck with each other for a few years. We met Rob playing in different bands over the years and, after me and Rob started living together, we kind of just started writing with each other and Marsicans as you now know it was born.
4. Have any of you got musical influences, who have helped shape the sound of the band?
Cale began drumming in a samba band which really influences the kind of grooves and rhythms we use. But, there are lots of other varied influences that fight their way into their mix. Harmony is very important to us and something we work on quite a lot. We always have fun in the studio trying different harmonies to see what extra we can get out of the songs.
5. What is your favourite song you have recorded?
That’s a toughie. We’ve just recorded a track called ‘Wake Up, Freya’ which isn’t out yet. We went into the studio with an idea of how we wanted it to sound but it totally flipped on its head once we were in there. That’s the first time we’ve totally changed a song in recording, which was a great challenge for us but also a very enjoyable one.
6. How did you react as a band when you found out ‘Friends’ had received national support from Radio 1?
I don’t want to go into too much detail but there was lots of excitement and Oli bought himself seven croissants to celebrate. Pretty crazy, I think you’ll agree.
7. Croissants are an essential staple for any celebration! Are there any songs by other artists you wish you had written/recorded first?
‘God Only Knows ‘ by The Beach Boys is probably one of my all-time favourite songs. The lyrics, melody, and everything about it hits me somewhere deep inside. Then again, if I’d have written it, I wouldn’t be able to enjoy it as much as I do. So I’ll let the Beach Boys have that one.
8. Have you experienced any setbacks as a band, and how did you overcome them?
There are many setbacks which happen when you’re in a band that people don’t see. For every great moment like a Radio 1 play, you get ten times as many moments like broken down vans, sleeping on floors, being constantly skint. Then you remember you’re doing the thing you love most in the world, with your best mates, and balance is restored again.
9. What was the best show you played at in the last year?
Probably Glastonbury. It was such a monumental occasion for us. After watching the biggest festival in the world on the TV for years, we got the opportunity to play it and we loved every minute of it.
10. Glastonbury is a massive gig! Are the northern or southern crowds better? (being from the North, I am biased but northern crowds at gigs are definitely the liveliest!)
It varies gig to gig. The north is always great fun, though. We played up in Stockton the other week and it was basically just a massive party. Parmos all round.
11. What would be the dream venue/festival to play as a band?
I’d love to play Alexandra Palace. I went to see The Last Shadow Puppets there last year and it was such a cool venue.
12. Do you think you will stick with the upbeat indie-pop sound your music has at the moment, in songs like ‘Far Away –Saudade’ and ‘Swimming’, or do you want to experiment with different genres in your next singles/EPs?
We’ve definitely got a heavier sound on some of our newer tracks. They’re still recognisably us, and we’ll always have the indie-pop edge to us, but we’re very excited by the stuff we’re writing at the moment. It’s always fun stepping on a distortion pedal and running around like an idiot.
13. Have you got any famous fans of your music?
We’re working on getting David Dickinson to notice us, but we’re not there yet. We were amazed the other day when Coldplay tweeted us saying they enjoyed ‘Friends’. I’ve listened to them since I was a kid and they are without doubt one of the biggest acts on the planet. It still feels surreal, and we’ll be eternally grateful like those little aliens from Toy Story.
14. Finally, would you like to tell the readers of my blog when you next expect to have new music out for your growing fan base to check out?
Our next single will be out in the next few months but there is plenty of material out at the moment to enjoy. Make a lovely cuppa, put your feet up and give it a whirl.
Lincoln’s show was part of Marsicans’ Winter/Spring nationwide tour – so far they have played the likes of London, Manchester, and Brighton, and still have a number of performances left, including:
23 Mar – Newcastle, Think Tank Underground
25 Mar – Sheffield, Queens Social Club
31 Mar – Liverpool, Threshold Festival.
The group has also been announced to play at Barn on the Farm and Live at Leeds festivals, amongst a number of other events in late spring and summer. If you’re interested in catching the band live, but haven’t joined the party yet and discovered their songs, then you can listen to their back discography, including ‘Friends’ on Spotify.
Marsicans on Spotify: http://hyperurl.co/marsicansspotify
Featured image from the BBC.