Bands with siblings often become some of the biggest bands in the world, from Radiohead’s Jonny and Colin Greenwood to Aaron and Bryce Dessner and Bryan and Scott Devendorf from The National, and the most notorious sibling rivalry in music, Noel and Liam Gallagher from Oasis. English rock quintet, Marmozets, with brothers Jack and Will Bottomley, and the brother-sister trio of Becca, Sam and Josh Macintyre, aren’t unfamiliar with the sibling connection either. Guitarist Jack Bottomley took some time to chat with me about the band’s new record, ‘Knowing what you Know Now,’ and their forthcoming visit to Australia to play Byron Bay’s Splendour in the Grass festival.
‘Knowing What You Know Now’ was released in January via Roadrunner Records and the record has been well-loved by audiences all over. “It’s been received really well,” said Bottomley of the new release. “We’ve been really excited about the response and it’s been nice to see when we play the new songs off the record live, the response being as good, if not better than the stuff off the first record which people have been able to sit with for a while. It’s been a new adventure for us in the sounds of it all. It’s been really well received by our fans, and we’ve seen the fan base really grow. There’re a lot of new people following us now, which is amazing. The crowds are really mixed, more so than what we had for the first record. Our fans, live, are sort of aged between 18 and somewhere around 60 or 65. You get these old rockers at the back, it’s different!”
In the lead up to releasing the album, the band shared three lead singles, starting with Play, then Habits, and wrapping up with Major System Error. “They were all written in really different ways. My favourite one – the way of writing – was Play, where we had this rough idea of something. We were in Norwich, down where the Macintyres live, and Sam was there with his little sister Emmy. He wanted her to say, ‘One, two, three, four,’ to check the mic, but she said, ‘One, two, three, play,’ and we got this idea from that. We got Becca to record this sample with the ‘play’ loop, which is actually the same one we’ve used for the record. Throughout all the demos of doing that song, we kept the same loop of Becca doing it, and it’s been really cool to have an initial demo, keeping something that was so perfect to use for the actual final recording. Most of the time, you get into the studio and the producer’s like, ‘Oh, can you redo that?’ but he said, ‘No, we’re keeping that one; it’s ace.’ They were all written in different places and that one always sticks with me. I think that’s really cool.”
After being off the road for two years, the band embarked on a small tour of England before taking to the stage at renowned Reading and Leeds Festivals. “When we came back and did Leeds and Reading, that was the first time we’d played any festivals for a few years. It was so exciting to be back. Before that, we were playing venues that were 200 or 300 capacity just to get the vibe back of playing live and working out the new songs in a live situation, and then it was like BANG! You’re playing a big festival stage. It was like, whoa! We’ve been lucky enough to do some really fun shows since then. There was one in Norwich where we all felt so free on stage for the first time in a long time; it was just so exciting again. It was sort of relighting the fire again, in a sense.”
Next on the list is playing the UK’s famed Download Festival, followed by a list of festival dates through Europe, including Pinkpop Festival in the Netherlands and Spain’s Mad Cool Festival. “We’ve played Download twice before, the other two we’ve not played before. It’s our third time at Download and our first time on the main stage, which is pretty exciting. It’s essentially going to be the biggest audience we’ve ever played to, so that’s pretty wild. We’ve got a good slot for that, fourth from the top, which is pretty nuts.”
Following the European festival circuit, they’re making their way down to Australia to play Splendour in the Grass in Byron Bay. “We played Splendour three or four years ago when we were on the album cycle for the first record. I remember it being very hot indeed. I think it’s winter there as well, but it was still hot. I couldn’t quite get my head around it. We did a similar thing, where we did a couple of sideshows as well. It’s exciting because it’s not often that you get to be able to go there anyway, let alone the band you’re in giving you the opportunity to fly over there and play a couple of shows. We’re really excited about going back.”
While they’re in town for Splendour, the band are playing two sideshows, first at Sydney’s Lansdowne Hotel and then at Melbourne’s Evelyn Hotel. “At festivals, you often get a lot less time to play, or we have previously anyway. We’ve been touring at the moment, doing almost an hour and a half, really playing as much as we can. Whereas, with festivals, you get about 45 minutes, so you wanna play songs that people are most likely to have heard or will know. With club shows, you get a more intimate vibe; you can see people in the crowd rather than being 40 feet away.”
Splendour in the Grass is completely sold out, but you can still snag yourself a ticket to catch Marmozets at their sideshows at Lansdowne Hotel and The Evelyn via the links below:
Lansdowne Hotel (NSW) – July 18
The Evelyn (VIC) – July 19
BUY YOUR COPY OF ‘KNOWING WHAT YOU KNOW NOW’ VIA BANDCAMP HERE!