Maximo Park are a 4 piece consisting of Paul Smith - vocals, Duncan Lloyd - guitar, Lukas Wooller - keys, and Tom English - drums. Based in Newcastle upon Tyne, they are a band with an alternative/indie vibe and sound. They create soaring melodies melted with intricate lyrics.
Here, Tom gives some insight into the band.
1. How did you guys approach this record compared to the others?
It's the first time we've self produced an album. We fell into it by working on a few songs at the end of 2012, intended for an ep in 2013. We did them in Field Music's studio in Sunderland. They're old friends of ours and they helped out a lot on those songs. The label heard them and just told us to keep going, abandoning the idea of an ep. Meanwhile, our own studio space in Newcastle had been renovated and we were able to upgrade our recording set up. So we moved back in and finished the job over the course of last year.
2. Was there anything new you wanted to try out or perhaps, tried to avoid this time around?
It was always going to be a really varied collection of songs and, as we went on, the aim increasingly became to go in a new direction with each new track. This was really borne out of being in our own studio and being able to record one thing at a time, rather than having to do everything at once, like we had done in the past, working with a producer.
3. Did you have any specific kind of inspiration while writing/recording the album?
Musically, as always, we took inspiration from all kinds of places (so many that to name any in particular could only be misleading). Some of Paul's lyrical inspirations were more specific; drawn from poetry, fiction and film (there's actually a further reading and viewing list included in the liner notes...)
4. How was it self producing the latest album?
5. Who would you guys like to collaborate with?
It totally depends on the material. At the moment, we intend to continue working quite independently in our studio but we're also very keen to start inviting guest musicians onto the sessions, as well as working remotely with other producers (like Dave Okumu, who helped us out on the track Brain Cells).
6. Do you prefer the recording process or playing shows or a combination of both?
We all definitely have our own take on that one. Personally, playing live is where I'm most content. My inner show-off needs the gratification of instant audience appreciation.
7. What's the best/worst part of touring?
Best: tasting so much different food. Worst: leaving home.
8. How do you feel things have changed since you guys put out the first album?
It feels like the gulf between mainstream pop and alternative just gets bigger all the time and the industry, in the UK especially, just doesn't know how to reconcile that and enable genuinely interesting music to reach wider audiences.
9. If you weren't involved with music, what do you see yourselves doing?
I find that impossible to imagine. I have no other qualifications and no other real intellectual interests outside music. It would have to be something completely manual, like farming.
10. What are some bands you are currently listening to?
Some old favourites/favourite records?
Anything you're looking forward to being released?
Last cd/vinyl/digital purchased?
Last movie you saw & show you went to?
Saw Conan Moccasin(?) and School of Language recently, both very good and very funky! Really enjoyed Euros Childs' last album, Situation Comedy.
Finally getting round to appreciate the brilliance of Tortoise. Will be interested to hear what Tame Impala put out next. I don't get to the cinema much these days but I did manage to catch the Muscle Shoals and Ginger Baker documentaries: both fantastic.