Robbie Wojciechowski cornered The Maccabees at XBox Reverb for a catch up.
There’s a new album! What can we expect?
Orlando: Can we call it an album yet?
Rupert: Its’ early stages, so we aren’t really sure what we should expect…
So you’re still writing then.. How’s that going?
Orlando: Slowly. We’ve been working on it about 2 months.
So how long do you reckon until it’s completed?
Orlando: About 9 months, then it’ll hopefully be ready. If it’s out this time next year, I’ll be happy.
Rupert: We want it to be a little earlier than that.
Orlando: We’re aiming to start recording it by the end of this year.
Is there a new Maccabees sound for this new record?
Orlando: Well, I’ve been writing on a Casio keyboard with 4 different drum options, so i reckon the beats will be relatively similar, but there’s like 91 different sounds on it.
Hugo: We swore we’re not going to use this on the album, we will leave Orlando to play with this himself. Ha.
So are we looking at something a little more electronic?
Orlando: I personally won’t, because I just don’t understand it.
You’re playing Xbox Reverb tonight, what can we look forward to? Anything from the new album?
Orlando: Na, nothing’s ready yet.
Rupert: To be honest, our set’s quite focused on the second album – more so than the first, so there will be a few of the older ones.
This new album, is it going to be anything like the others?
Orlando: I think we’d be miserable putting out something kind of the same. But it’s got to feel like we’re testing bits of us that we haven’t tested yet, otherwise it’s just complacency and a waste of everyone’s time.
I’ve always found it hard to compare you to most other bands, so if you were to write a review of yourselves, what would you kind of say?
Rupert: Right pricks we’d say.
(The band look bemused)
Hugo: That’s very difficult. I don’t really know.
Ha, no worries! Anyway, it seems you play a lot of intimate venues. Would you say there’s an appeal for you as a band?
Rupert: Like at the Nokia gig it’s kind of fun – we’d just finished our big show, and that was amazing, but to go and play these much smaller gigs at festivals is much more fun because you get people right in your faces, and it’s great.
You like to connect with your audiences then?
Rupert: Yeah definitely, especially gigs like tonight because we know the audience are gonna be great.
Orlando: I find that a bit of a weird one. It’s more like, you either have a good gig and the atmosphere’s good and they happen to coincide or ones not quite there and the other one is. We could have a great audience even if we play awfully. It’s luck and coincidence a lot of the time, there are obviously things you can do to manner and temper it but it’s just fortune, ain’t it?
I hear you chose the support bands tonight, La Shark and The Laurel Collective, what’s the reason behind the choices?
Olrando: La Shark we’ve known for a while, and we think their brilliant and The Laurel Collective came through a competition by The Clash magazine – they just really stood out to us. I mean it was a tough call but The Laurel Collective were just great!
Would you say you were looking for similarities with yourselves in the bands you choose?
Hugo: Nah, I loved TLC though. I think they just sounded the most different to most new bands and stuff for me, I guess that’s just why I like them – I haven’t seen anyone like them.
Just goes to show, there’s so much unsigned talent. Anyway, your renowned for rowdy gigs, but your music isn’t particularly angry, what do you think it is that gets your fans so whirled up?
Rupert: I think it’s the drums, the fast up tempo drums. That’s what gets people moving.
Hugo: It’s like young people and alcohol generally…
Rupert: Like, you go to a Laura Marling gig, and there’s young people and loads of alcohol. But then again wine rowdy is slightly different…
Orlando: Ah, I just reckon drums are a big part of anything that makes people dance.
Definitely. You said it was a lifelong ambition to play Brixton Academy, you’ve played it twice now, what’s next on the agenda?
Hugo: Two nights there, on the trot.
Orlando: I went and saw Elbow – I’m not a huge fan of them normally, but I really liked the last record, there’s a few great songs on there – but I went and saw them, and the atmosphere at Wembley Arena was incredible and I know that’s like, far removed, but if you’ve got that kind of atmosphere at something and that many people, you know the people are really wanting it to go well. So, maybe a little way down the road one day, to do that would be massive.
Hugo: I’ve always had this thing about just playing festivals in the dark, main stage, decent festival with all the lights, there’s just nothing like it.
Before you were a full time band, did you ever really go festivals previously?
Orlando: Nah, I was never really into that kind of thing.
Finally, it’s Election Day soon, what are your views?
Orlando: What I like, is that Labour have employed the director of 24 to give them the upper hand, he’s now part of the spin team. I kind of see that as desperate or brilliant… or both.
Really? Ha, that just goes to show you eh. Anyway, have a fantastic evening and a great gig.