December 2011

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48 INDIE / ROCK GUESTLIST.NET Issue 34 / December 2011 THE MACCABEES This Indie group hailing from Brighton have been making waves on the scene. Guitarist, Hugo White tells us what's new for 2012. Polly Holton So you're laying down some new things today, how do you think The Maccabees have evolved from the very first album to the latest album Given Into The Wild? I think hugely really. When we started the band and did the first record, none of us had really been in bands before or knew how to make music so it was really a learning experience putting things together. The first record was very straight up and it had its charm about it for the way it was done but the way that whole record was made was us learning together how to make things work. Through the second record we realised that a bit more and how to achieve things and put it in its own space and it felt at the time that that was a big step from the first one. This record definitely feels like even a bigger jump, we feel like we've really found out how we want to sound and we understand it now. Speaking about the producers you were working with, you worked with Tim Goldsworthy on this one, who's known for working with Massive Attack, UNKLE and LCD Soundsystem. Were you wanting to get a more electro vibe to it or did you just want another input on the record? The thing with that is, like I was saying because we felt so involved in the production and we knew how we wanted to do it we didn't want to go with someone who was just going to record a band. We felt like Tim had a lot of the things we were aiming at sound wise and really he had a background in things we weren't familiar with so working with him was brilliant because he helped and there were a few things that he said why don't you trying doing it this way. He brought us into a world we didn't really know about sound wise, and we love LCD Soundsystem and Tim was from a different world to us so it was really interesting. When you're talking about the new album, you really sound like this is where you want to be, sound wise. Is this the album your most proud of up to this point? Yeah to an extent. Every time we finish a record we've been really proud of it. But then a few years later, things change and you realise you can do something different and better. That's a good thing about progressing and doing things different. We're quite far into it now, we've been a band for nine years, so its quite a long time to have been together and it kind of feels like thank god we have changed and got better as otherwise it wouldn't be much fan. When you guys first came out there were a lot of similar British indie alternative bands coming out, why do you think you've stuck around where some others haven't, do you think it is because you have evolved? Yeah, possibly. We've always felt our fan base has been really loyal. We've never been the biggest band but we've always had a decent fan base and we've always felt that the people who are really into the band, the way they love the first and second shows in preparation for the new album but you're about to go on a headline tour in 2012. Are you excited about playing the new material live and in bigger venues? Yeah, really excited. Brixton Academy has always been our ideal venue and with the last record we played there a couple of times. It feels amazing to start it all off there. The record will be out by then and the songs are definitely suited for the bigger venues and they worked at the "Getting this record right was proving to those people that believed in us that we are still getting better". albums is almost through a kind of seeing something in it that is beyond just those songs, that they can see a progression and a life past them. Getting this record right was proving to those people that believed in us that we are still getting better and hopefully get to that place that pays them off for believing in it. You've been playing a few small smaller venues too. We did a two week tour of smaller venues and even though no one had heard it, it worked and that was a relief. When we writing and recording it we didn't do any shows or really play it for anyone so that was a first time playing it to people and it was great. You're playing at XFM's Winter Wonderland, will you be sticking around to see the rest of the line up? Yeah that's Brixton Academy again. Yeah probably, there's going to be a lot of bands in the dressing room which will be interesting. But we know The Horrors so it will be good to catch up with them and see a few people. Those things are a day of fun, so it won't be too intense. Do you have any diva-ish items on your rider? Not really, pistachio nuts, unpeeled so that's definitely not diva ish. Yeah, if they were peeled that would be diva ish! Well you don't want them peeled, that wouldn't be nice. Our riders are never that good. Our tour manager always sends round a list of what the rider is going to be and asks us if we want to add to it, but no one ever gets back to him so its always the same stuff every time, carrot sticks and monster munch. Our riders are never that demanding or interesting! If you could fill a swimming pool with anything what would you fill it with? Unpeeled pistachio nuts. All the pistachio nuts you could need! Haha yeah and in my spare time I would peel the pistachio nuts If you were invisible for a day, what kind of trouble would you get up to? I don't know...can invisible people fly? I don't know, probably all the normal things I do usually. You could steal loads of pistachio nuts if you were invisible. Haha, yeah. Do you have any exclusives for The Guestlist Network? We just made a film for the record, a short film. Its a ten minute film piece, I think its up online now. We pitched the idea and worked with these directors that we knew and the film roughly illustrates the theme that runs through the record lyrically and its beautifully shot. Its really nice. We rearranged the record and bits of music to soundtrack the film which was a nice way of doing it. It was a interesting thing to do. You can catch the guys play at XFM Winter Wonderland on 14th December and headlining on the 26th Jan 2012 at Brixton o2 Academy. Keep locked to www. for all the latest music.

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