English rockers Marmozets are slowly, but surely making a name for themselves across the globe with their genre-crossing sound and we’ll soon be seeing the quintet on our shores for Splendour In The Grass and it’s sideshows, until then we grabbed guitarist Jack Bottomley for a chinwag…
The band’s been super busy since Knowing What You Know Now came out. I know I’m supposed to talk to you about coming out here for Splendour [In The Grass] but before that, you’ve got three festivals happening.
Yeah! Download [UK], Pink Pop [Netherlands] and another called Mad Cool Festival [Spain].
You guys have been doing this for a while now and you’ve obviously done a lot of festivals, but compared to performing festivals in the UK, home shows, where people have known you since you hit the mainstream, what’s the difference to international audiences and their reception to you?
It sort of depends on each gig. Some of them you feel like they go more nuts for you because it’s maybe the first time they’re seeing you live – it’s not often we get to play, like, twice a year we’ll play Holland and even then they [fans] might not be able to catch us, as an example. When we play festivals we try and make the most of it. We find some people get really into it, or maybe some people just wanna listen to it. It depends on the territory as well, different audiences in different countries.
It’s the same with each town in England you tour – Birmingham is different to Manchester, or Liverpool is different to Leeds, say. Different vibes at every show.
You’ve been at this for 11 years, playing live together. Does it still surprise you there are so many firsts in that sense? So many people for the first time hearing you, playing different countries for the first time, different festivals for the first time? Does it feel surreal?
It is surreal but it’s always nice, like, we played a festival recently where 30 Seconds To Mars were headlining and it was pretty epic. Again, it didn’t seem like there were that many people in the crowd that had heard of us at all but in a nice way we were enjoying it and were picking up new fans then and even now.
That’s part of it, that’s why these festivals I guess, because you get this opportunity to play with big bands and there’s these massive audiences there which may not have heard of you before which is great. If you can pick them up, it’s awesome.
Speaking of big bands, you guys have played with some pretty big names, bands with incredible longevity – Funeral For A Friends, Gallows, The Used – do you ever hope Marmozets will ever have that kind of acclaim, that renown, so that one day you’ll be in that position of being that big band, with the seven or eight albums, and able to take someone under your wing the same way you have been?
Definitely. Why not? I mean, we try to do that already in a sense – a lot of the bands we try and take out on tour in the UK aren’t necessarily well-known bands a lot of the time. We’ve been there ourselves where, when we supported those bands you mentioned, they’ve taken a chance on us, shown us the ropes a bit. It’s always nice to pass that on in a sense and to do that to a bigger scale is obviously something really cool that we’d love to do.
You’re certainly getting to that point – your second album only came out at the start of this year and each of the singles, they each of roughly half a million views on YouTube. That’s incredible!
Yeah, it’s pretty nuts to think about really because we never used to have anything like that in terms of plays or anything. Even the stuff on the second album, on Spotify, is catching [up] with the stuff from the first album [The Weird and Wonderful Marmozets, 2014] if not more. It’s hard to get your head around and the same time but it’s exciting.
It would be. Being with your brother, being with another set of siblings and the escalation of your success, do any cracks ever show or is it just one big family with the usual family stuff?
Yeah it’s exactly that. We’ll adore each other massively but as you say, we’ve always been family and been touring seven or eight years, a band for ten… It’s just like we’re glued to each other in a sense, we understand each other better than most people would with bandmates if they’re just friends. You can know each other inside and out but if it’s a genuine family member, you’re bound to know them more, d’know what I mean? It makes us who we are in a sense, definitely.
And it comes to the surface in terms of how people see you when you perform, you definitely have a tightness more so than other bands. I know Becca had some health issues when you were recording the second album – what was it like for you guys, being such a family unit, losing your vocalist?
Mm. Obviously very difficult and it came at a strange time where we’d been touring and had to get back into writing again. It was all a bit ‘Urgh, what’s going on?’ Just trying to be there for each other and write as best as we could under the circumstances.
I think back on it now, I listen to it and I think ‘Woah. We did this out of all that.’ No, it wasn’t easy at all but we got there. It was like a dream come true, in the end.
It all came good. Are you working on album number three at all?
Yeah, we’ve been writing a bit. We’ve all got ideas in the pipelines and it’s exciting to see where we can go with it. Obviously we’re at the start of touring this album but it’s nice to be kind of ahead in a sense with the song writing, that we’ve got a bunch of ideas already that are strong. Whereas before where we were touring relentlessly and didn’t write a song for three years, now we’ve learnt from that in a sense and yeah, we’re back at it. It’s been really nice to write again and we’re getting really inspired again, we’re getting the urge to write.
Interview by Anna-Rose Wilson
Marmozets return to Australia for Splendour in the Grass (Full Lineup Here)
and Sydney/Melbourne Sideshows
Marmozets – Australia 2018 Tour
July 18 @ Lansdowne Hotel, Sydney
July 19th @ The Evelyn, Melbourne
July 20th @ Splendour In The Grass – SOLD OUT
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