Marsicans - Interview Live At Leeds 2015

After being together for a fair few years, Leeds band Marsicans have made a name for themselves in the Indie world. Having played Reading festival all the way back in 2012 on the Introducing Stage they then went on to play Live At Leeds 2013 and have play countless gigs around the country. They have  continued to grow ever since and they are quickly becoming a real contender for the UK band to watch.

I caught up with a couple of chilled out Marsicans after their set at Live At Leeds 2015.

Interview Starts: 

What are your names and positions in the band?

Rob Brander: Bass, Keys and Vocals.
From left to right: Rob, Matthew.

Matthew McHale: Drums and Vocals.

How long have you all been together? 

Matthew: The band have been together for around four years but last year we had a change in line up, welcoming Rob into the fold. Since then we've started to really move forward, it's an exciting time for all of us.

How would you define your genre? 

Rob: Pop music with guitars, I guess. We take influence from a really wide range of music from Metal bands to Samba troops and everything in between. However, we're very aware of certain Pop sensibilities that everyone has when listening to music, and find it really interesting to try and house our melting pot of ideas into a pop structure. We love how there is a bit of a science behind everything you hear on the radio and once we've finished messing around with loud guitars and weird noises we kind of bring everything together using the same formula.

Which one of you writes the music? 

Matthew: Usually Rob or James will sit down with a guitar, or at a piano, and come up with the bones of a tune. They then bring that into our rehearsal studio and we all add our own embellishments. The songs often end up quite far away from the way they sounded in their first incarnation although ,occasionally, they come full circle and end up back at square one, just a bit better.

How has your music evolved since you first started?

Rob: As we move forward with our writing things are getting a bit more dirty. We still incorporate African rhythms, vocal harmonies and sing along choruses but there's more fuzz and grit. I suppose this comes from the fact that we're very much a live band at the moment. There's nothing more exciting than beating the hell out of your instruments and because we've been touring fairly relentlessly, songs that started out in one place have ended up in another without us even realising. 

As a band, what has been your biggest challenge? 

Matthew: We've achieved so many things together in the past few years and each one of those achievements has been full of challenges. I think the hardest thing for us to overcome was parting ways with our old Bassist, Joe, the band started in School and the four of us playing music together was the only thing we really knew. Fortunately, when the decision was made for Joe to call time with the band we had our Rob there to help hold things up till a point where we were ready to come back fighting. As one of our best mates, and someone we've played in bands with around Leeds for years he was pretty good fit and so we invited him into the gang. 

Have you ever been starstruck/who with? 

Rob: I once shared a cigarette with Lucy Rose which was very exciting but I think I just fancied her, I don't think she was that famous at the time. I've met some of our favourite bands as well like The Maccabees and Bombay Bicycle Club, but I don't think I've ever been starstruck.

Matthew: I met Phil Jupitus once, he was cool.

Is a Yorkshire crowd unique to anywhere else you've played? 

Rob: There is something pretty special about Yorkshire crowds, they're always massively up for a good time and never seem to have any problems with showing that. There are times when you look out into an audience and there is an element of the 'too cool for school' standing at the back nursing a craft beer but most of the time everyone's at the front spilling said beer over each other and having a laugh. The 'Yorkshire' chants are always pretty amusing as well, we've had them up and down the country, Leicester being our particular favourite. Me Matthew and James even started a 'Yorkshire' cry at a festival in Poland whilst watching the Arctic Monkeys. Proper laugh.

Craziest/maddest thing that's happened at one of your gigs?

Matthew: Years ago when we started out as a band, we did the typical battle of the bands and were against a bunch of heavy metal and hardcore bands whilst of course,we weren't quite heavy metal. The winner was decided through fan and judge votes and we had no fans there. We sat through 6 hardcore bands to eventually go on last but by this time I had drank far too much and on our last tune which was also our latest at the time, I decided on the spot we needed a cutting edge against the other bands to make up for no fan vote. Following then came the first and only drum solo of my career, totally out the blue during this new song's bridge and I went in hard. We try not to talk about it too much but we actually won that semi final.

Best festival/venue you've played? 

Matthew: We played Sheffield Academy in December supporting Embrace, and that was pretty special. Felt like a bit of a moment for the band. 

Rob: In terms of an actual venue, I love Tooting Tram and Social down in London. It's such a cool space and everyone is always very accommodating. 

Any festivals lined up for the summer?

Matthew: We're spending our summer in the studio, writing and recording for things to come. We'll probably nip out for an hour or two to see what Leeds festival is saying this year but we'll be hard at work for most of the warmer months.

Any near future gigs/releases? 

Rob: We're rounding off our tour with a London show at the Sebright Arms then going underground. The next thing will be new music but we're keeping our cards pretty close to the chest so you'll have to wait and see.

Facebook: marsicansuk
Twitter: @MarsicansUK
SoundCloud: Marsicans


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