INTERVIEW

“ Ah, Brighton: the UK seaside Mecca that puts all of its pretenders to shame. Forget Scarborough, Weston-super-Mare and Blackpool, they just don’t offer as high quality donkey rides as Brighton does. Their sticks of rocks aren’t as sweet, their beach pebbles aren’t as smooth, but most importantly their musical landscapes aren’t as lush with […]

Ah, Brighton: the UK seaside Mecca that puts all of its pretenders to shame. Forget Scarborough, Weston-super-Mare and Blackpool, they just don’t offer as high quality donkey rides as Brighton does. Their sticks of rocks aren’t as sweet, their beach pebbles aren’t as smooth, but most importantly their musical landscapes aren’t as lush with new talent.

The Maccabees are the most recent seaside dwellers to march from the beaches and into our smog filled city lives, carrying with them an overflowing sack of dance along pop. But they weren’t always surrounded by the sound of the ocean.

Did moving to Brighton help you as a band, more than staying in London?

“Err, yeah. It’s basically easier to get gigs in Brighton. It’s a smaller community to get to know bands in, put on gigs and stuff like that, so it’s helped in that way. And it got us noticed as well because there are so many bands in London, fighting for attention.”

So is there quite a close-knit scene with local bands helping each other out?

“I wouldn’t say we particularly hang out with other bands that much but we all get to know other bands pretty well and it’s great because there’s lots of great bands down there.”

You sight your influences as Futureheads, amongst others, and it definitely comes across in your sound but are there any less obvious influences?

“Personally I’m into Super Furry Animals. Orlando (vocals) is really into singer/songwriters like Devendra Banhart, Regina Spektor and Joanna Newsome, that sort of thing. It influences the song writing quite a bit because he’ll concentrate on that and as a band we put all of our influences on top of it. There’s The Clash as well. I’ve just got the new Strokes album and haven’t stopped listening to it, so I suppose they’re a main influence at the moment.”

Weren’t you guys all into Drum’n’Bass?

“Rupert (bass) and Hugo (guitar) were quite into drum’n’bass two years ago. They used to hang around the drum’n’bass clubs in Clapham quite a lot. It has influenced our music. Rupert will come in with a drum’n’bass bass line and I’ll learn a few of the beats so there’s definitely an element of that in our music.”

What’s the story behind your artwork (drawings of five figures running, crouching and jumping)?

“We basically had to run around this little paddling pool on Clapham Common on a photo shoot. Orlando then took the images and traced them. So the little people are actually us.”

Having released ‘X Ray’ on Promise records, are there any more plans to release through them?

“Well, Promise has closed down now. I think ‘X Ray’ was the only thing to be released through them, which is quite an honour really. We’re going to do our next single with Fierce Panda. It’s a song called ‘Latchmere’. There’s not an exact release date for it but we’re hoping for early April. We’re then going to do a bit of touring and maybe release another single in the summer. And then we’d like to maybe make an album by the end of the year.”

Have you had any other offers from labels?

“Yeah, we’ve had a few offers but we’re just biding our time to see what the best record deal we can get is. We’re just taking it slowly and making sure everything is right for us.”

What was working with Gil Norton (Producer of Pixies) like?

“We did our first demos with Gil but since then we’ve been working with Ian Harvey from Del Amitri who has produced Eastern Lane and a few other people. He’s really great. We really like the way he works. Gil was a lot of fun. He’s a good bloke and a brilliant producer.”

What’s the most satisfying thing about being The Maccabees?

“We got some Strokes tickets for free. And we played Brixton Academy, supporting Ben Folds, and I’d say that’s the highlight so far. It’s just great being able to make music everyday and do it all with your friends.”

Finish this sentence, ‘For the Maccabees, 2006 is going to be‚”

“A good strange year.”

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