Alter The Press!


Interview: Maybeshewill

Next month Leicestershire instrumental band, Maybeshewill head out on a UK and European tour in support of their new single, 'Critical Distance'. With previous releases such as 'Not For Want Of Trying' and 'Sing The Word Hope In Four-Part Harmony' receiving critical praise and after some heavy touring, the band took a break in 2010. Now they're back with a new single, 'Critical Distance', which will be followed up later this year with their third album.

ATP! caught up with Guitarist John Helps to discuss Maybeshewill's upcoming single and record, line-up changes, their unique DIY approach and more.

Alter The Press: Your new single, "Critical Distance" comes out in March. What inspired the track?
Maybeshewill: Tough question - we've spent a lot of time travelling over the last couple of years and a lot of time away from home consequently I think there's a feeling of constant motion across the whole new record, but perhaps that's over analysing it a bit. There is a backstory behind every song, but the inspiration can come from anywhere and it usually doesn't make sense to try and explain it. The title comes from the attitude we eventually took with the new album; for a while we were so wrapped up in thinking about every little bit of criticism or review we'd read about the previous two albums, that it made writing the third completely impossible. It got to the point where we just had to stop and think about what we as a band wanted from it; something the four of us could be proud of.

ATP: How would you describe your sound?
Maybeshewill: We get asked this in every interview and I don't think I've ever been able to give a decent answer. We write instrumental music, but even then we sometimes use vocals or vocal samples - so I don't know. We have guitars, we have drums, we have a laptop.

ATP: Did you guys initially intend to be an instrumental band? Was there ever a point you considered having a lead vocalist?
Maybeshewill: Yep, we've considered having a vocalist, way back in the mists of time, but I don't think it'd work for us. I heard this story about another instrumental band which said that originally they'd had a singer, but he died and so they carried on without him and never replaced him. It seemed like such an awesome almost romantic idea, but it turns out it was just something they'd made up as a joke to make answering this question easier.

ATP: You're also releasing your third full-length record this year. What can fans expect from the upcoming release?
Maybeshewill: Something a bit different I think. We put out a single last year called 'To The Skies From A Hillside', but I think that's the closest of the songs to the old way of doing things, so hopefully it'll still surprise a few people when it finally gets heard. It's longer than previous albums and it's the first record we've recorded in actual studio spaces rather than spare bedrooms, and consequently it sounds a thousand times better. Jamie our bassist has taken the production helm this time around and it's been totally the right thing to do. We're going in to the studio for the last time next week to wrap up everything, and then we'll be itching to get it out there; we reckon it'll land May/June time.

ATP: In regards to writing and recording, did you approach this record differently than your first two releases?
Maybeshewill: Writing wise there's been a more considered approach. We've not been stood around in a practice room thinking 'we've really got to write something here or we're never going to get this finished' which is a real danger. Everything has been written organically, and i don't think we've rushed anything out for the sake of it. We've also been collaborating with a couple of members of Her Name Is Calla, who we released a split 12" with a few years back - Sophie and Dave are lending us their Violin and Cello, and Thom's contributing some brass parts alongside John from our friends Without Fire. We'll owe a lot of favours after this record comes out!

ATP: You've had some line-up changes in the past. You seem to recover quickly and release material frequently, what would you say is the key to that?
Maybeshewill: It's not always been the case that we recovered quickly. There was a good year or so where we thought the game was up before 'Not For Want Of Trying' came out, but I think since then we've just approached things with a more relaxed attitude within the band and just knuckled down with things. I've put my foot in my mouth a couple of times in interviews by saying "yeah, this is the definitive line-up", so I'm not going to do it again, but Jamie's contributing way more to things than most previous band members have and we're happier as a band than we have been for a long time.

ATP: You're known for taking a strong DIY approach. How important and affective has it been for you?
Maybeshewill: It's been really important - we've always had this stance that if we're not prepared to do stuff for ourselves, why would anyone want to do it for us. It's really easy to be taken advantage of as a band, and I think we've avoided that for the most part. We've just started working with a couple of people who are taking over things we used to do 'in-house' and we've only done so because we know they'll do a good job and that they're coming from the same background as us - the same mindset if you like. We got ourselves out to Japan and Russia, released two albums and spent more time touring than almost any other band we know without much in the way of outside help, so hopefully this next step will mean that's all taken to the nth degree... We'll have to see.

ATP: For bands taking the same approach, what advice would you give?
Maybeshewill: Tour as much as you can and don't sit around waiting for a massive record deal.

ATP: What are you looking forward to the most about your upcoming tour with Long Distance Calling?
Maybeshewill: It'll just be a pleasure to be back on tour! We all have this weird emotional slump after we get home, so we're all keen to get back in a van! We've not done a tremendous amount of shows in Germany before, and I fucking love schitzel, so that'll be a treat. It's also some of the biggest shows we've done so far in the UK. I guess we're a little nervous, but having a bit more room on stage is never a bad thing.

ATP: What are Maybeshewill's summer plans?
Maybeshewill: Hopefully a few festivals and plenty more touring before and after the album comes out. Not too much sitting around.

ATP: Is there anything else you would like to say?
Maybeshewill: Come see us in February is about all I've been saying to anyone lately, so that. Thanks!

'Critical Distance' by Maybeshewill is released on March 7th through Function Records.

Official Website
Mybeshewill on Facebook, MySpace and Twitter.

18th – Münster, Metropolis*
19th – Köln, Underground*
20th – Hamburg, Knust*
21st – Dresden, Beatpol*
22nd – München, Hansa 39*
24th – Southampton, Joiners**
25th – Cardiff, Buffalo Bar**
26th – Nottingham, Rock City**
27th – Manchester, Moho Live**
28th – Sheffield, O2 Academy**
1st – Glasgow, Stereo**
2nd – Newcastle, O2 Academy**
3rd – London, Camden Barfly**
* supporting Long Distance Calling
** support from Long Distance Calling

Words by Janay Kinney

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