Settling down nicely into their 11th year as a band, The Maccabees career is looking stronger than ever. With album number four about to be released and the eve of a gig at Glasto, Felix White took a moment to talk to us about his ‘Marks to Prove it’, life in London and the story behind their videos.
Hi Guys! It’s now your 11th year being established as a band! How is everything going for you all at the moment?
Feels pretty good! 11 years is a scary amount of time. I feel like we are better than we’ve ever been in terms of the music we are putting out. We’re at a nice stage now, it’s where we’ve been around for so long and it’s just The Maccabees ain’t it?
You were developed in London back in 2004, what inspired you to come together and start a band?
It was a mixture really. Having something to do, it was about making something out of our lives and having a go, and forcing something that wasn’t doing the everyday 9-5! From the early teens I was obsessed by Oasis and it inspired a commitment in guitar music and that’s where everything started rolling.
So, did you not fancy becoming a black cab driver?
I still can’t drive! I’d probably be the worst black cab driver in the world. Back in the day before we had WIFI and that, black cab drivers used to be the best in the world because they used to have to know London inside out, but I reckon the skill in that profession is probably gone by now.
I wouldn’t fancy it! What piece of advice would you give to a start out band of today?
You can do whatever you want to do. You’ve just got to make the steps to make it happen because you never know until you try! You’d never guess that we couldn’t even play with all the things we’ve done, so you don’t know until you try.
Awesome! We’ve heard that you selected your name by going through the bible and pulling out a random name? Is this true?
That’s quality! What about if you pulled out Mary? Would you settle for The Marys?
There were probably a few names pulled out before The Maccabees, one of which may have been Mary. The Jesus’ would have been better!
Well we love the name The Maccabees. You’re three albums down the line and we have a fourth on the horizon, which one has been your favourite to make?
The fourth one coming out is the best one but I don’t know if it was the best one to make because it was a pretty tough experience man. At times we didn’t know if it would happen but we put the sweat into this one, that’s for sure!
Not only that but its three years since your last album ‘Given to the Wild’, how excited are you for your fans to hear the latest track on the 31st of July?
Yes mate! That’s going to be a surreal day.
We can’t wait. The new album is called ‘Marks to Prove it’, so have any of you got any gruesome scars or wounds from performing music or any other activities?
I got hit by a bus when I was ten! Apparently it slightly bent my spine but you wouldn’t notice; that was one traumatic experience! Also I scolded my hand in a TV show in Sweden when we were doing an early morning thing. I wasn’t concentrating before I went on and I poured boiling water over my hand which has left a bit of a mark.
Ouch! ‘Marks to Prove it’ the song is one of our favourites too. Which one from the album is your all time crowd pleaser at a gig?
Thanks man! I think because people are just getting to know it, it’s ‘Marks to Prove it’. It’s good to play it and have people knowing it because it feels like it has been about for ten years like our others.
As well as the songs, your visuals in the videos are amazing! The time lapse scenes in ‘Marks to Prove it’ are great, so how long did that take to make?
They are great videos that Joe Connor made. I don’t know how long it took to make but that was an idea I had just going in and out of a studio, just like a time lapse community sort of thing. It was mainly about capturing the area the record was made which was Elephant and Castle.
They’re wicked! Also, there is a reoccurring man with a briefcase and suit through ‘Marks to Prove it’ and ‘Something Like Happiness’, what does he symbolise and who is he?
There is going to be a third video in the series as well. They are all just different explorations of Elephant and Castle. So in the first one you get like, gritty, real life, people commuting and moving about, organising themselves in the area. The second is more of an architectural exploration showing the rural side and where nature has its place in the area; he’s just really an excuse to show different sides of Elephant.
Cool! Do you come up with the ideas for the videos?
Joe Connor makes them but we come up with the initial concept thing and take it to someone, and we go from there. We knew what we wanted to do, so, we knew we wanted to use the area, we knew about the time lapse thing and people going to work to start with but Joe has put in a lot of effort to make it.
So, its Glastonbury this weekend, are you excited?
Yeah, very man! Everyone who is going to Glastonbury is excited. I’m going tomorrow night because we have got to do BBC breakfast on Saturday morning at like eight o’clock! I’m gunna be there for that and then we play Saturday night!
And Texas in October, but where would you love to play the most and why?
We’ve played loads of places but one place I’m looking forward to going back to is Mexico. It’s an amazing place and the crowds there are just incredible. There, Croatia and Poland have amazing crowds!
Sounds amazing! Well we wish you the best of luck for the summer and look forward to getting your album! Thanks again.
Ah brilliant! Appreciate it mate!
Don’t forget to catch The Maccabees new album ‘Marks to Prove it’ on the 31st of July! And why not check out the amazing video for ‘Marks to Prove it’ below?