Mallory Knox are heading to Peterborough as part of their tour with a gig at the Cresset next month. ESP grabs a word…
Named after the murderous heroine featured in Oliver Stone’s outrageous feature Natural Born Killers, Mallory Knox are back with their brand new album Asymmetry and a UK tour to boot. Having hit the big time with their first album Signals which featured the massive singles Lighthouse and Beggars, the band are ready to break new boundaries this time round with a newly focused set of aspirations.
Alex Jones chatted to Sam Douglas from the band to talk about the new album, their show in Peterborough and the resurgence of rock music…
Alex – Hi Sam, how are things in the Mallory Knox camp?
Sam – “Very good mate! We’ve been waiting a while to get round to this point so yes very exciting.”
Are you excited for the release of Asymmetry?
“Yeah it’s been a while coming for us to get these songs out, you know how it is, being in a band we’ve had these songs for almost a year before we even stepped inside the studio so we’re itching for people to hear this stuff. We’ve just put ‘Shout at the Moon’ out there and ‘Ghost in the Mirror’ a couple of months back and the reaction’s been great so we’re excited to get the rest of the album out there.”
You mentioned having had the songs for a while now, but you’ve actually turned this album around pretty quickly. Did you write the majority on the road, or did you get straight back to it after the last tour?
“Signals came out last year but we actually had those songs recorded back in January 2012 so as a band we hadn’t actually written anything new for a long time. In fact we’d left it for so long that when it came to actually writing the new album it was almost like we’d forgotten how to do it.
“It took us a good couple of months to get into the swing of things and then we had a two to three week period where we finished seven or eight of the songs for the album. After that we were able to experiment with certain instruments, different melodies and enjoy the process a bit more, but those first few months made it clear to us that we need to write on the road to keep our song writing abilities fresh.”
I’m a big fan of your anthemic choruses and from hearing the first few tracks you’ve released from this album, especially Shout at the Moon, there doesn’t seem to be a shortage of them this time round. Do these come naturally to you or do you devote extra time into getting them sounding huge?
“’Shout at the Moon’ was actually one of the first tracks we’d written for the album and when we came round to demo-ing it we had some time to really think about how we wanted it to sound. The chorus to that track was completely re-written and when we went into the studio we had a lot of time to think about different guitar tones and things like that.
“Unlike with ‘Signals’ which was recorded in 3 weeks, this time round we had 4 months to think about things so a lot more time was dedicated to specific parts and really getting as much out of every song that we could.”
In recent interviews you’ve described yourselves as a band with ambition; do you have plans to take this album further afield? You’ve got a UK tour coming up in November, would you like to take this album to Europe and America?
“Of course! You want to do whatever you can. We don’t tend to take to look too far ahead, I mean people say to us ‘do you reckon you’ll be playing a 5000 seater venue next summer?’ and we always say we don’t know! We don’t know what people are going to think and we’re just enjoying it for what it is right now.
“We’re definitely looking to get out to Europe, we haven’t done that enough yet and the same with, hopefully, America at some point. But for now we’re focused on the UK tour in November and taking that on first.”
During that tour you’re playing The Cresset in Peterborough on Monday November 17, you’re from Cambridge originally have you played many shows here before?
“We’ve played The Met Lounge a few times before but we haven’t played it in a couple of years actually. When we were starting out we would travel between Cambridge, Peterborough and Bury St Edmunds, they would be the three cities we’d play every other month.
“We’ve been away elsewhere for a couple of years so its going to be good to come back. I remember when we first played The Met it was in front of 20 people, then we came back and played for 40 people then for 100 and the last time we sold it out!
“But yeah the Peterborough date is like our homecoming show, it’s the show our families are going to come to and hopefully a few people from Cambridge will make the trip. It’s gonna be a good one! ”
In terms of a fan base do you have fans who will follow you around the country? I know some bands can gather quite a passionate following.
“We have a few people who come to a few shows and a few guys from Europe who travel over, but it’s really cool! They always take the time to wait around and have a chat, there’s a few who we’ve really built up a connection with. I don’t understand bands who are like ‘urgh not these guys again’ because we’re forever grateful to those guys.”
I recently caught your performance in the Live Lounge on Radio 1, you covered David Guetta’s Lovers on the Sun… are you big Guetta fans?
“Haha, in a word – no. We were talking about covers and we wanted to do something that was big at the time and that people wouldn’t expect. Last time we did Pink’s Try which was pretty out there but it was still a guitar based track so we thought lets go with something no one’s going to expect.
“Apparently it’s the first time a rock band’s covered a dance track in the Live Longe and we put our own spin on it pretty well. It was really fun to do actually, we had to completely rewrite the track for us to do it so it was interesting and yeah a cool experience.”
What’s your position on cover tracks? Are you partial to throwing a few into your sets now and then?
“When we were coming to the end of the ‘Signals’ campaign we thought about throwing a Foo Fighters cover in there just to mix it up a bit. But with the new album out soon and the old stuff that people want to hear, we’ve got more than enough tracks now to keep it all original. In practice sometimes we’ll bust out a Blink cover or something like that so don’t rule it out, maybe one day we’ll get bored and just decide to play ‘Everlong’ by Foo Fighters!”
Are there any up and coming bands that you’re fans of we should be keeping an eye out for?
“There’s loads at the moment, especially in the UK everyone’s really stepping up. We’re all big fans of Lonely the Brave, they’re not exactly unknown anymore because they charted top 20 but they’re great. Plus they’re from Cambridge so they’ve got everything going for them! We played with them in Norwich and watching them live they’re a bit special.
“Mikey and a few of us are championing Marmozets, Lower Than Atlantis’s new album looks to be great so yeah, so much great stuff going on.”
Do you have any thoughts on the Mercury Music Prize and rock music’s presence in award ceremonies like these?
“I couldn’t tell you, I don’t pay much attention to it to be honest. I didn’t even realise Royal Blood were nominated, they’ve got the recognition they deserve, I mean selling 66,000 copies of their debut in the first week is incredible for any artist.
“I think rock music as a whole is starting to get more appreciated though, I mean the Radio 1 rock show given an evening slot instead of happening in the early hours of the morning for example. We’re getting to a point where rock music is edging back into the mainstream, not in the sense of bands selling out but in a sense where it’s more prominent in popular culture because of its quality. It’s back where it deserves, haha!”
Mallory Knox’s new album ‘Asymmetry’ is out Monday October 27. Catch the band live on their upcoming tour at the Cresset on Monday November 17 – book your tickets now on 01733 265705.