Interview: The Maccabees say new album has ‘live’ edge prior to Manchester Ritz gig

Ahead of the The Maccabees’ upcoming show at Manchester Ritz, guitarist Felix White took some time out of his schedule to talk to MM about their new album, growing as a band and life on the road.

The London-based indie band are set to release their yet-to-be-titled fourth album in the near future, following on from 2012 album Given to the Wild which received generally favourable reviews.

Felix explained that the new record, which was originally due to be finished over a year ago, sounded more ‘honest’ than their previous effort and returns to the same creative processes that featured in their earlier work.

“It’s been a while in the making. There are a few different things going in there but we were keen to make it sound more direct, as honest as it could and less layered than Given To The Wild,” he told MM.

“We did return to older techniques of writing for some of it – being in a room playing rather than relying on building songs up on computer and developing from there – so it does have more of the playing dynamic we had earlier in some ways.

“We were keen on it sounding closer to how we sound live than we had put on record before.”

The Maccabees initially rose to prominence in 2007 with debut album Colour It In, featuring successful singles such as Toothpaste Kisses and Precious Time.

The five-piece will sound widely familiar to the younger generation as a handful of their songs soundtracked cult comedy series The Inbetweeners including Latchmere, About Your Dress and Can You Give It?

Energetic new single Marks to Prove It was released this week and captures the band’s signature sound of tight catchy riffs accompanied by frontman Orlando Weeks’ distinct softly-spoken vocals.

Felix explained that the new album centres around the non-stop nature of life in London – particularly at night – and revealed which new song he was looking forward to playing the most on tour.

Spit it Out is a good one,” he said.

“It was the first song we finished that indicated the direction for the record and it has something in it that is unique to us I think.”

The band last played in Manchester at the back end of 2014, supporting Kasabian at the 21,000-capacity Manchester Arena.

Felix revealed that the band were more than familiar with the city and the experience of backing up the Glastonbury 2014 headliners.

“We’ve probably played most places in Manchester over the last ten years,” he said.

“The first one, at the Night and Day, was a big deal for me because I knew that was where I Am Kloot formed.

“We’re about as disparate as guitars bands get, but Kasabian were great – really welcoming people.

“I played guitar with them on LSF at Brixton and that was a pretty magic moment.”

Felix revealed that the band’s tour schedule was as hectic as ever and they weren’t ever planning on settling down, despite being on the music scene for eight years.

The band embark on a tour of America supporting Mumford and Sons next month, before returning to Europe to play a host of festivals.

“We’re just starting this run, but to be honest our enthusiasm for playing music live is no less than it ever has been,” he said.

“There’s a lot of waiting and travelling on tour.  We do America in June and that’s my favourite place for just staring out the window on the bus, driving through the coast, listening to records.

“Records always sound better on tour in America to me for some reason.

“Putting so much detail and work into a record can sometimes allow the touring to feel like a celebration comparatively.”

The Maccabees play Manchester Ritz on Wednesday May 13.

Image courtesy of The Maccabees via YouTube, with thanks.

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