Interview with vocalist Becca Macintyre | By Sean Gonzalez
Shying away from some of the heavier sides of their sound, English rock band Marmozets homed in on bringing out more emotions with fine-tuned melodies on their sophomore LP, Knowing What You Know Now, released Jan. 26 via Roadrunner Records. The two sets of siblings that make up the band sound more tightknit than ever, highlighting the strengths of every member and winding them together to create a beaming second full-length.
Opening the album is the high-octane spirit of “Play” and “Habits.” The guitars weave melodic and colossal riffs with vocalist Becca Macintyre’s strong delivery. Much of Knowing What You Know Now highlights Macintyre’s incredible flow, wrangling often chaotic progressions in line with her ambitious style.
“The way I write melodies, I like to stay true to myself with what I know,” she explains. “That is writing—I wouldn’t say poppy, but it’s easy to listen to. I like the melodies to be simple, [but] not necessarily for the lyrics to be simple, because they always come from my heart and my head.”
“Habits” is exactly that, finding a place for her voice to fit that is infectious and accents the progression with simple vocal lines. “Lost In Translation” is rich with bass-heavy walls of distortion and a clever syncopation to keep listeners on their toes.
The first four songs on the record find Marmozets bouncing off the walls with their steady and strong rhythmic prowess. Then, “Insomnia” slows the record down a bit, like sonic twilight, creating incredible ambiance with a watery sound. Macintyre expresses her love for the song, saying, “We walked in one day, and [lead guitarist] Jack [Bottomley] was playing the riff, and it made me happy. A lot of our songs are special, but it was one of those songs that—you just had to be there. I am happy it made the album.”
Another track that creates a change in texture and pace is “Me & You,” a deeply personal track for Macintyre. The song was written about her and her siblings’—two of whom are also in the band, rhythm guitarist Sam Macintyre and drummer Josh Macintyre—recently passed Nana. It’s an intimate spot in the record, and the vocalist’s second take of the track forced her to isolate herself due to the emotional power of the song. “I think letting the emotion of death be and feeling positive about it, it’s hard,” she says. “I am positive every time I sing that song.”
Plenty of Marmozets’ songs are fueled by passion. The album’s closing track, “Run With the Rhythm,” is one big ascending vibration of vigor. After starting off with a simple melodic base, the guitars are in full swing by the end, elegantly swaying in a trance. Macintyre’s voice adds more and more to every pass of the base melody before coming to an exciting end. “We knew it was powerful,” she comments, having detailed that the song came to Sam Macintyre after he spent time in Scotland. “It was just him and an electric guitar. It was real quiet, and he let it out, almost like the same energy that you can hear in that track, especially in the last chorus. We all had goosebumps.”
Knowing What You Know Now is that kind of record. It gives you goosebumps.
Photo by Steve Gullick