1.The next instalment of Radio 1 DJ Zane Lowes Masterpieces
was recently aired in the UK, whereby Zane plays out four albums
that he and his crew think altered the musical landscape at the time
of their release. But if the decision was yours, which four albums
would you play?
Well, for me personally, I think I would play Lifes A Riot
With Spy Vs. Spy, which is a Billy Bragg record I think thats
pretty important. Turn On The Bright Lights by Interpol, Neon Bible
by Arcade Fire and (thinking), Feels by Animal Collective."
2.On a similar note, the revered record producer Stephen Street,
has just uploaded some rare archive footage onto his official website
of Blur recording their seminal album, Parklife. But are there any artists
/ bands who you would like to see video clips of when they were making
one of their classic LPs?
I know that a film has been made of Arcade Fire when they were
recording Neon Bible, so Im waiting to get that Im
really looking forward to seeing it! But thats kind of like a
serious one, for when I feel that I want to really try and pick something
up. Otherwise, Id just want it to be classic or ridiculous bands
doing funny shit all of the time you know? Something like that I suppose
3.Would you agree that making a record is like putting an intricate
Um (thinking), well, in a sense, because I think for us it feels
like thats definitely what happens early on. Then, after that,
I think the puzzle is kind of made if youre looking at
it in that respect (pausing), hmm (thinking)
I suppose you do
have all of these pieces which you have to pull together and like I
said, that happens first and then when you actually go into record it,
I think for us anyway, if we didnt have everything all there
or at least 90% of it it would be a really relentless process.
And you kind of need it to stay a bit fun, so that it doesnt ever
become a drudge, otherwise it gets a bit much.
4.One of the most outstanding aspects of The Maccabees music,
is your unmistakable voice but which vocalists do you find inspiring?
Thank You for saying that about my voice (smiling). I really,
really love Jamie Ts voice, because its such a hard thing
to pull off without it sounding naff or clichéd the London
wide boy kind of thing. Ive always loved Billy Braggs voice
as well, and Richard Manuel from The Band he sings a song called
5.Im a really big fan of Blood Red Shoes, and wondered if its
correct that Laura-Mary has contributed backing vocals on some of your
Yeah, Blood Red Shoes were in Paris when we recording there, and
so Laura-Mary came and sung a bit with us. You can hear her on one of
the b-sides for Love You Better, and the Peggy Sue girls as well
all three of them came in! So weve got all the best girls on there
we got them all to sing for us (smiling)! Its a song called
6.War Child has just released a new CD called Heroes
which has been billed as, The ultimate covers album recorded
by todays biggest acts, requested by the original legends.
But is there a musical legend who you would like to personally ask The
Maccabees to record / rework one of their classic songs?
Ooh (excitedly), I think if Babylon Zoo asked us to do Spaceman,
Id be really chuffed (laughing)! Yeah! Or Scatman actually
Scatmans World. If we could do that, that would be special (laughing)!"
7.Has there ever been an artist / band that for years you didnt
get but then all of a sudden, their music just clicked
Um (long pause + thinking), I still feel like Im waiting
for Bob Dylan to click, but Im having a bit of a Simply Red renaissance
at the moment for some reason (laughing), I mean there are 2 songs that
I listen to. Theres a lot of people Im still waiting
for my Neil Young moment (pausing), Im still waiting for lots
of clicks (laughing). But it does happen, thats the thing, so
theyll be great moments (smiling)!
8.If you could entice any group to reform providing that all
of the original members are still alive who would it be?
Wow! Could I put any group back together again though, regardless
of whether or not the original members are still alive?
*I say yes, as the question is for fun*
The Clash (without any hesitation)! Id go and see them
that would be amazing (big smile)!
*I ask Orlando that if Joe Strummer was still alive, if he thinks The
Clash would have ever reformed*
No, I dont think they would have ever got back together.
Because Ive watched all of the documentaries and I think they
felt that theyd done what they needed to do. Especially when Joe
was saying, When youve got a winning formula, youve
got to stick to it! I think it hurt him a lot I think it
hurt all of them a lot the tragedy of what could have been you
know? But, that would just be so special, to see The Clash playing live!
9.The Killers Brandon Flowers recently said that he felt Kurt
Cobain took the fun out of rock n roll. What are your
feelings on this?
I think the fact that Courtney Love is still around, is a testament
to the fun (pausing), I mean I dont really know what I think about
her, but shes kind of fascinating isnt she (smiling)? To
be honest with you though, I think that thats just a good way
of someone getting their name in to the press and its a totally
retractable comment as well. I think thats a bit throwaway. So
no, I dont think Kurt Cobain took the fun out of rock n
roll at all.
10.Do you read your own press and as a band, has it ever affected the
way you work?
I mean, Id never go out of my way to read anything. Obviously,
you do read things, but I dont think its ever affected the
way we work. I read something in the NME about our new record, which
I kind of agreed with theres a song on the album called
Wall Of Arms, and they said that they thought it was overly nice.
I kind of agree, and in retrospect, I think weve couldve
swapped that. By no means do I regret anything, although I kind of see
where theyre coming from completely with that. Id never
let press really affect the way we work, but as long as you can take
it as constructive criticism, then I think its fine. Having said
that though, I do find it very difficult watching interviews or listening
back to them even reading quotes or anything like that. So, I
try not to watch or listen to our interviews or even read stuff (laughing).
11.Which relatively unknown artist or band, would you like to see
a music magazine run a feature on / put on their front cover?
Mumford & Sons (without any hesitation)! I just think that
theyre an amazing band and theyve been the best support
for us and the sweetest young men!
12.Do you think the extent to which some new artists and bands are
now being hyped, even winning awards on the basis of a few tracks, has
gotten out of hand?
Um, I think its just part of The Music Industry I suppose?
That kind of attitude where everything has to be a superlative and everything
has to be The Hottest Ticket or its nothing.
So I think its fine (pausing), in a way, it makes it much easier
to take everything with a pinch of salt, because it is all so Everything
or Nothing. In a way, its kind of endearing that it carries
on being this unapologetic, flamboyant creature, that screams about
something and then disses it the next minute.
13.Overall, would you say that music is in a healthy place in 2009?
Yeah, I think its in a really healthy place and worldwide,
theres so much music that Im excited about and cant
wait to listen to! I cant wait until I get my 45 minutes where
I can sit down with some new music you know? Jamie Ts new record
is going to come out soon, The Big Pinks record is going to come
out soon (pausing), actually, thats something, because The Big
Pink keep getting compared to My Bloody Valentine, I thought, Well,
I should listen to My Bloody Valentine. And now, I have done!
So I cant wait to sort of start getting into their music properly.
So everythings pretty exciting Jack Peñates
new record is going to come out soon, the Mumford boys are going to
have their new record out in the next few months, Grizzly Bears
album is about to come out, weve got the Festivals coming up and
all the bills seem pretty good. Yeah, I feel like everything is really
14.Of your musical peers, who do you think are most likely to have
I can really, really see Jamie having longevity, because I just
think hes a completely unique thing, especially out of this country
I dont think anythings come out thats anything
like him (pausing), well, not that I know of. There maybe is, but Im
certainly not aware of it. And the curve that Jacks on at the
moment, from the first record to this record (pausing), I cant
even imagine what his third record will sound like!?! If he carries
on this curve, then I dont see why he wont have longevity.
Theres lots of other people though I think Animal Collective
and Grizzly Bear will have longevity, but who knows?
15.Do you hope that The Maccabees will be seen as a group with a rich
musical / visual tapestry and can you tell us more about the
commissioned Boo Ritson photograph taken for the sleeve of your new
I just think we want to be seen as (pausing), I dont know?
I havent even thought about it. I definitely think especially
with artwork and music its by no means the most important
thing at all. But, I would just feel like it was a real missed opportunity,
if we werent trying to make the most of it you know? Of every
aspect anything that we do! Just from whether its being
polite to people (pausing), everything is an opportunity to do something
that thousands of people would give their right arm for, so theres
no point being nonchalant about any aspect. The photograph taken for
the cover of Wall Of Arms was a lot of fun! We dressed up and were covered
in paint which is what Boo Ritsons work is famed for
so it was kind of like escapism as well. Because when you look at it,
its not really you in a weird way, its kind of this character
youve become or that someone has made you into. I guess its
like when you get your face painted as a kid you know? One of those
rare moments where you dont have to be you for a bit.
16.Although new music services such as Spotify are fantastic, do
you think its sad how more and more record shops are having to
close / that we need more campaigns like Record Store Day
to help save them?
Um, I do in a way, but I also think there will always be a place
for the record shop, because I just think that itll almost force
it to go back to being so independent, that theyre the only places
where you can (pausing), I mean it would be really sad if they all went.
But also, I think its encouraged record shops to be a little less
intimidating, like I remember especially when I was a lot younger, it
used to be (pausing), because everyone who ever works in record shops
knows so much about music. When you go in, unless youre asking
a really top-end question, I always felt that I was being looked down
on a bit its the same with guitar shops. Theyre always
a little bit intimidating. So I kind of think that the pressure of all
this, has forced them to start being friendlier and more helpful. We
did an in-store the other day, this acoustic thing, and Felix asked
everyone if they were alright, and one of the guys behind the counter
said (adopting a grumpy tone), No! So I said, Oh,
whats wrong? And he said, Oh, you know, its
the shop and the customers
So I said (adopting a sarcastic
tone), Thats a shame isnt it, getting customers? It
must be a nightmare having people come in, wanting to buy stuff from
your shop!?! Its going to force people to be more pleasant
but in some cases, there are already nice people in those shops.
We played in Sister Rays in London for Record Store Day
(April 18, 2009), because we wanted to play for our friend Phil, who
owns the shop.
17.What are your thoughts on Amazon competing with iTunes by offering
top-selling downloads for 29p and whats the most played
song on your iPod?
Wow, 29p (surprised)!?! I mean Im not the best person to
ask this question, because Ive never downloaded a song or an album
in my life, and if I like something, I always go and buy it, burn it
onto my computer and then transfer it to my iPod. I shall have a look
at what the most played song on my iPod is for you right now (taking
iPod out of his trouser pocket). God, this could be really embarrassing
(laughing + scrolling through the options)
You cant find
out on this type of iPod sorry, but I want to know now though (laughing)!
I guess off the top of my head, it would probably be something like
Stars by Simply Red (laughs heartily)!
18.If you were asked to edit a music / culture webzine, what features
would you commission?
Id like for David Attenborough to plan a walk anywhere in
the world like a really long walk along with a pamphlet
to point out things of interest, and for him to also put together a
Playlist. So as youre walking, youre learning things from
the booklet, finding out about everything that youre seeing and
also listening to things that he thinks would suit that particular environment.
Yeah (smiling), and I would personally report on this for the webzine.
19.As a music fan, whats the furthest distance that youve
ever travelled to see a gig?
A friend of mine called Ben Taylor, plays acoustic guitar and
sings songs, and it doesnt even sound that far, but honestly,
at the time, it was the biggest mission (laughs heartily)! I think I
was in Wimbledon or somewhere like that, and I had an hour to get to
Monument to the top of London from the bottom of London
and I couldnt afford The Tube. So, I had to jump trains and jump
tubes and things like that! I dont know why thats stuck
in my head, but that was a nightmare (laughing)! But I was so lucky,
because I grew up in Clapham, so I had Brixton on my doorstep and everyone
comes to London, so when you live there, you get lazy and are spoilt
for choice. Its probably the reason why a lot of International
bands and musicians move to London as well.
20.If you could choose a fantasy set list for a favourite artist / group,
who would it be and what would you select as their opening and closing
See, in a way, I would hate to have to choose someones set
list, because thats part of the joy for me not knowing
what to expect. So I wouldnt do that, but when I saw Arcade Fire
and they finished acoustically in Brixton Academy, with Guns Of Brixton,
like I couldnt really hear anything, but just the point of it,
and the nostalgia of it, and the intimacy of it, I couldnt fault
it. Arcade Fire could do whatever they fucking wanted to be honest and
Id go with it! But, if they could finish with that again and take
me back to that magical night, Id be very happy (big smile)!
21.Continuing with this train of thought, earlier this year, 20 acts
paid tribute to REM @ Carnegie Hall, NYC a night billed simply
as The Music of REM and the show was the fifth in
a series of charity events which have previously honoured the likes
of Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen and Elton John. But if
you had to choose a legendary artist / band to be honoured in the same
way, who would it be and why?
I had an MRI Scan whilst listening to REM and fell asleep, so
I kind of owe a lot to them for getting me through that Scan
I think it was an MRI Scan, or maybe it was a CT Scan? Anyway, when
we started writing this record, I was listening to Love a lot, so I
think that would be amazing for them to be honoured in the same way!
Because the songs on Forever Changes especially, theres loads
of scope for people. Actually, that reminds me, weve got to cover
a song and were stuck at the moment, between either doing a song
by The Band or Love even The Eurythmics song, There Must
Be An Angel (Playing With My Heart).
*I mention that Stevie Wonder plays harmonica on this track*
Really (surprised)!?! Youre on the money (laughing)!
22.When playing live, do you prefer smaller / intimate shows or performing
in front of large audiences?
Well, when we have really good monitors, then its so much
easier just to get on with it and feel like you can be detached from
it. Its just tricky whenever your monitors arent great or
the sounds not good. Because its a struggle, and the best
gigs are always the ones where you just feel like its happening
and youre kind of watching it in a weird way. So, if everyone
there is up for it and the monitors are really good, then its
kind of irrelevant whether its a small gig or a big gig.
23.I recently read how the video games Guitar Hero and Rock Band, now
generate more revenue for musicians than their actual records do, with
both Aerosmith and Metallica already having their own dedicated Guitar
Hero titles, and The Beatles Rock Band set to be launched this September.
But is there an artist / group who you would like to see one of these
titles produced for?
Um, Id like to see people try and play Joanna Newsom (laughing),
it would just be ridiculous, but lets go with that! Joanna Newsom
Rock Band (laughs heartily)!
24.In another marketing idea, prior to the official release of Oasis
latest LP, Dig Out Your Soul. A promotional campaign run in conjunction
with New York tourisms NYC & Company was arranged all
of which was filmed for a MySpace documentary whereby the band
watched buskers learn to play a selection of songs from their new album.
The musicians then travelled to various locations around the City and
performed these tracks, stood in front of signs saying, You are
the first to hear this new Oasis song. Do you think this was a
Wow, thats a brilliant idea (excitedly) thats
amazing! Do you reckon I could still find that on the Internet?
*I say yes, that the Dig Out Your Soul In The Streets documentary
is now on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CC5HI6D53XU*
Ill have to watch it, because thats a genius idea
its very, very, very interesting and funny!
*I remark that at one point, Liam Gallagher jokes that the buskers are
playing some of the songs better than the original Oasis versions*
Really (laughs heartily)!?!
25.What have been some of your personal highlights / defining moments,
during your career so far?
Today is quite an important day, because the record comes out
(pausing), no, today is a pretty massive day for us you know? Because
weve weathered the storm a bit, weve lost Rob for a record
and found Sam for a record and weve got it out, so I think thats
it at the moment. Thats kind of as far back and as far forward
as Im looking today. Reviews-wise, its done alright,
but I think being able to go out when no-one has the record until
now and go and play gigs to thousands of people, who jump around
to songs that theyve never heard before, thats been a testament
to it all really, thats been the proof in the pudding. Yeah (smiling)!
26.Jarvis Cocker recently said: I still believe that pop can
contain a powerful truth and the thing that no one has said in a pop
song, thats the gold Im still panning for. Is this
the same for you?
Yeah, I think thats absolutely true (without any hesitation)!
Especially for someone like him, where lyrics are so crucial. Thats
why people carry on making music, thats why you get the bug you
know? Because you just feel that perhaps one day, youll come up
with something better than the last thing you came up with. Its
that constant struggle to do the next thing thats a bit better,
that keeps everyone locked-in.
27.Of all your lyrics to date, which line or song are you most proud
I could never say. No. Sorry (laughing).
28.Lastly, chips or cream buns?
Id go for cream buns, because Im not a big chips fan,
but I do like cream buns though (smiling)!
A very special thanks to Orlando, to The Maccabees
Tour Manager George, and to Holly @ Chuff Media, for all of their time
Bristol Set List
No Kind Words
Can You Give It
Kiss And Resolve
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Love You Better
I noticed you, you stood out like a sore thumb
The most beautiful sore thumb Id ever seen