The Secrets Behind The Songs On Marmozets’ New Album
By now, you should have given Marmozets’ brilliant, 5K-rated new album Knowing What You Now at least a few/many/several/loads of listens. Same, same. Good, innit? It’s going to be one of the best rock releases of 2018, because it just is.
So it’s about time you caught up with the revealing chat we had recently with two fifths of the Marmozets gang, Becca and Sam Macintyre, who kindly gave us the inside track on the heart and soul of it all…
BECCA (VOCALS): We’re obviously very family-oriented and this started with a sample of our little sister saying, ‘One, two, three, play!’. I sang over it with lyrics I already had knocking around. The words just wouldn’t leave me alone after I’d been on holiday in LA with my ex, and he’d split up with me. But it was kind of pieced together. Sometimes I sit down with my notebook and even I don’t know where lyrics come from – I just let them flow. There’s no crazy story behind this, it just seemed to fit perfectly as a great first song for coming back.
SAM (GUITAR): It was based around the idea of habits that affect other people and not just you. Not necessarily good habits…
BECCA: Again, I had lyrics hanging around that felt like they needed to go on a song. We’ve been brought up together and we’ve learned that you can’t pick at people’s bad habits, because sometimes that’s just part of who someone is. Maybe things that annoy you, should be left alone, because nagging at people doesn’t get you anywhere. That’s what the chorus says: stop digging at each other, don’t get carried away and just have a good time.
Marmozets — Habits
3. MEANT TO BE
BECCA: These words came tumbling out of me. It was a confidence thing. You know when somebody walks into a room and you get a feeling about them? Like, ‘What <is> it about that person?’ It’s that. But also about that feeling amongst us that this is meant to be, we’re having fun and we’re enjoying it. It was about everyone getting loose and letting life happen the way it was meant to.
SAM: We focused on that title, like there’s a path and a fate for everything. Music often inspires the lyrics in our band. We start playing and Becca just sings whatever is on her mind over it. That’s how this happened.”
BECCA: It’s Marmozets to a tee.
4. MAJOR SYSTEM ERROR
SAM: We were writing with Larry [Hibbitt ex-Hundred Reasons] when his wife texted him. She works in banking and she said something along the lines of, ‘I can seen a major system error’ and something about that phrase stuck with me. So, we looked into what it meant and made it fit into the song.
BECCA: It does have a personal aspect to it as well. There’s always someone in your life who isn’t doing too good, not doing anything to help themselves, but there’s only so much you can do for them. When you can see a major issue, you get frustrated inside, like, ‘C’mon!’ and this is almost like having a bit of a shout at somebody. When that kind of thing happens, sometimes you just have to break the relationship up completely, because it’s not going to be any good for you.
Marmozets — Major System Error
BECCA: It was a really weird time for us when that song came. It was almost like there was a cloud hanging over everyone. We were going through quite a tough time and I remember feeling dazed, in my own little world. I felt like I’d taken 10 steps forward, but 20 back. I was knackered, panicking for some reason and I couldn’t sleep well. So, I got behind the mic and approached it honestly and it all came out naturally. Then we went to the pub and everything was alright! I also remember walking around the streets of Bradford after me and my uncle had a row, and I remember thinking that everyone was going around like zombies and becoming aware that I wasn’t the only one feeling like I did. Everybody’s just trying to get on and survive.
6. LOST IN TRANSLATION
BECCA: I was in my hotel room in Japan on tour and not having the best day, feeling like I just wanted to write. It was this idea of literally feeling like you’re being lost in translation, because you’re experiencing this completely new world and the culture is so different that it’s overwhelming. We had the best time, but it could be difficult too because sometimes people would be a bit arsey when we didn’t speak the language. That made me upset, uncomfortable and quite anxious, but I’ve not let it get to me because now I’ve got a song about it, it’s like, ‘Haha! I win!’
SAM: We had no idea there was a movie with the same title and some of those same ideas. We had never even heard of it.
7. START AGAIN
SAM: We were in our rehearsal room and I had to kick everyone out, because I was onto something. When I was travelling back from Scotland, before we actually started writing, I started singing the chorus in my head. Becca had some lyrics ready as well.
BECCA: There’s something about that song, it just does something to me every time I listen to it. I love the feeling of it. It’s kind of got, like, a war thing at the start, like going into battle…
SAM: It’s about a fresh start, innit. You might want to start again, but in reality, whatever you’re going through is going to take time. It’s about figuring out what you need to be able to start again.
8. LIKE A BATTERY
SAM: When I was living in Scotland, the nearby area wasn’t great. My house was beautiful, but 10 minutes down the road you’d find a very different world. The lyrics were inspired by when I was walking around observing what was going on. I was outside tenements and it was really weird to see such poverty and how people weren’t living the nicest of lifestyles, but they still had so much joy in their lives. You don’t need to have worldly materials and riches to be happy.
BECCA: What I love about it too is this idea that these kids might come from a place of poverty, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be the next Prime Minister or make something of themselves.
SAM: It doesn’t natter where you’re from or what you’ve inherited, you can still do something with it, even if that’s just being a good person.
BECCA: People don’t give enough credit to just being nice!
9. NEW RELIGION
BECCA: You know how when you’re growing up and someone says if you see a magpie or you walk under a ladder then bad luck will come to you? If you go out drinking and do something stupid, or you make bad life choices or you upset people, that’s when bad luck will come to you!
SAM: It’s about saying to people to respect each other more. You see people slagging others’ beliefs all the time. It’s saying, ‘Don’t be a dick’, basically.
BECCA: Everyone’s got so much good to give to the world. You can make such a big difference by just saying the right thing, sometimes. Don’t hold back and hide the good in you.
10. ME & YOU
BECCA: I was crying when I wrote this out of grief for my Nan. I think in writing this, it helped me crack on and get back to doing what I’m supposed to be doing. That was my way of dealing with it. It’s a way of saying she’ll never really be gone. Every time we perform that song, I’ll be able to reminisce about her. I found a way of getting over the really hard part of losing her, but still be able to carry her with us.
SAM: It’s a beautiful song. It makes me happy we have it on the album. Every now and then when I hear it I still get teary, but I can’t wait to play it live.
BECCA: It’s about being in the mix of touring and how crazy it is. We’ve been in situations most people wouldn’t like to be in, but we’re nutters, so it’s fine! Nothing phases us. Sometimes on the road you feel suffocated and a bit trapped, but at the end of it all you’ve got this treasure. We’ve seen the rough, we’ve seen it all, when we started we were kids, so it’s all we know. It’s about accepting the treasure <and> poison, and letting it be. That’s just the way life is. I didn’t suffocate or die from touring, but when it’s good, there’s nothing better in the world. We’ve had a fucking great time.
Marmozets — Run With The Rhythm
12. RUN WITH THE RHYTHM
SAM: It came from me sitting on my sofa in Scotland, halfway through a bottle of red when I started singing and playing really naturally. I didn’t quite know what I was singing, so we worked together to make something from it.
BECCA: I had goosbumps when Sam came in with this song. It was like my blood was boiling, but in a good way. I fell in love with it and I was so excited. It’s me saying, ‘C’mon, Becca, push yourself: you can do better, create new limits!’ I can’t just do the same things I did a few years ago. That’s helped me grow. I’m a woman now. It’s a total confidence thing; from the experiences I’ve gone through and being cool with who I am.
KNOWING WHAT YOU KNOW NOW IS AVAILABLE NOW VIA ROADRUNNER. CHECK IT OUT BELOW. MARMOZETS TOUR THE UK IN FEBRUARY. AND THE DATES FOR YOUR DIARY ARE RIGHT HERE:
02: Cardiff, The Tramshed
03: Southampton, Engine Rooms
04: Brighton, Concorde 2
06: Cambridge, Junction
07: London, Student Central, ULU
08: Nottingham, Rescue Rooms
09: Newcastle, Riverside
11: Sheffield, Leadmill
12: Edinburgh, Liquid Room
PLUS! Evanescence, All Time Low, Slash, Palaye Royale, Carpenter Brut, Code Orange, Turnstile, Greta Van Fleet, The Wonder Years, Marmozets and LOADS more!
Another fragile dose of new Sleep Token ahead of their album next week.