There's new Mallory Knox music in the world! Rock Sound spoke to Mikey Chapman and Sam Douglas about moving on from a major label, new music and the future.
HOW HAVE THINGS CHANGED FOR YOU GUYS BETWEEN THE START OF 2017 AND NOW?
Says Sam Douglas (bass / vocals): “I feel that when you’re writing a new record you have these big hopes about what could happen and I feel that we set the bar really high.
“We ended up doing what I feel was our best headline tour to date and were able to go around Europe, too. So going from doing nothing while writing the album to going straight back into touring, we realised pretty quickly that that was what we had really missed doing.
“When you’ve been a band for eight years, instead of constantly promoting material that we wrote two years ago, we felt better to just start writing again.
"As soon as we finished the headline tour and in the down time when we constantly waiting around to promote ‘Wired’ stuff, we were already thinking about the next step. Not because we didn’t think ‘Wired’ achieved our goals. It’s more being three albums down and thinking of doing a fourth record meant not waiting around anymore.
“We’re not a new band on the scene, so let’s keep writing and keep enjoying it. When you are constantly promoting stuff you kind of forget what you are doing it for and the whole enjoyment of it all. ‘Wired’ made us realise that again. Coming back on to the festival circuit has made us not hungry for success but hungry for what we actually do. Made us think about having as much fun as we possibly can with this again.”
AND YOU’VE ENDED YOUR TIME WITH YOUR RECORD LABEL. HOW DOES IT FEEL BEING OUT ON YOUR OWN AGAIN?
Sam: “It feels good. The Sony experience as a whole is something that I will never forget. It’s something that once upon a time I really enjoyed and was proud of.
“To sign a record deal, as a kid was something that would have been more than a dream come true. So to sign to a major was unbelievable.
“This year though we realised that there was a lot of pressure. With Sony there is this level of expectation and you have these goals that you have to reach and to be honest we weren’t really on the same page.
“The best thing to do for both parties was to call it and move on. This is why we feel so excited now. We are literally starting again with a clean slate. We can be in charge of every department. We can be ourselves and not give a fuck. It’s how we did things at the start of the band and it’s how we can do things now.”
Mikey Chapman (vocals): “It was missing a personal touch for sure. We all felt it. It’s nice to be back at a point where that touch is once again there. I feel it’s quite an exciting prospect.”
Sam: “When it comes to things like big board meetings, they are made out to be so important to the campaign and the layout of what you’re doing for the next year and the reality is they are just 45 minutes of people sitting in a room who cant wait to go to the pub. You get nothing done.
“People can care about your band and they can like you as people and they can be as powerful as they want, but they are never going to care about it as much as you do.
“This campaign has reminded me that that is always going to be the case. As soon as I stopped giving a fuck about that it enabled me to enjoy every single aspect of being in a band again.
“In reality who fucking cares as long as the songs are good and I have fun playing them and we have fun writing them?
“This record may have not done the best in figures but who cares? This last tour was the some of the most fun I have ever had on stage with some of the best crowds we have ever had. You have people saying, ‘Well, what do you determine as success?’
"I say success is writing an album that I think is the best thing we have ever done and the shows we have played have mirrored that in every way. There is so much progress there that we can now go down any path that we want to.”
THAT’S A POSITIVE MINDSET!
Sam: “If you keep writing the songs everything else should follow. Look at the British scene and the last three years of bands like Deaf Havana and Lower Than Atlantis and Don Broco. They all [left] majors and are arguably at this point in their careers bigger than they have ever been.
“There is fuck all reason that won’t happen to us. I know the songs that we are writing now and I know exactly how we are going to be and how much passion and confidence we will have going forward.”
Watch the video for the band's new song 'Sugar' below.
SO TELL US ABOUT ‘SUGAR’...
Sam: “To tell the truth ‘Sugar’ was written to be on ‘Wired’. It was just going to end up being an extra single at some point in time. It was a case of we had all of this material for ‘Wired’ and knew what we wanted to singles to be, but we knew that this song was too good to just be an album track.
“It’s like I mentioned, with all the stuff that we have behind us that we have been working on, we know that the next thing is going to be our best.
“With ‘Sugar’ I was kicking and screaming for it to be on the album. I thought it could have been the biggest song. It could have been this record’s ‘Shout At The Moon’ or ‘Lighthouse’. We always knew this song would come out but it was also the last song written specifically for ‘Wired’.
“It still had that honesty so it is a complete carry on from what we were doing. It’s a complete step forward from that record.”
“We knew all along this was going to be a single. Whether we held it back for a few months or a year, we had already made that decision.
“We kept it back thought because we knew that it brought something different to the table. I feel as though it’s a good example of everything the band has ever done.
“It’s the gritty intro into the weird sounding verses and then having an uplifting epic chorus. It sinks back into ‘Asymmetry’ days but also has the grit of ‘Wired’. It’s almost like a ‘Best Of’ song."
TELL US MORE ABOUT THE SONGS YOU’RE WRITING NOW...
Sam: “Writing these songs, lyrically there was an underlying frustration for what we had been through.
Mikey: "There was still a wave of not really knowing what was going to happen and we maybe delved in the political side of things a bit..."
Sam: “You always want to be the best that you can possibly be and we have always, even now, felt like the underdogs. Always the band that people say, ‘Oh they’re quite good’.
“I wouldn’t still be in this band if I didn’t believe that we were my favourite band. I’ve always strived to write songs that as a listener I would want to hear.
“There has always been that frustration from the last few years that we are maybe not as big as we should be and I say that without being arrogant. I always believe that we’re better than what we get given credit for.
“These new songs we have been working on definitely have that frustration running through them, but in different formats.”
SO WHAT ARE YOU HOPING FOR IN THE REST OF 2017?
Sam: “This is now a complete rebirth. It’s not like tearing it up and beginning again because everything we have achieved I am so proud of.
“Yet we’re at that point creatively and emotionally where we are ready to be completely different. We will always remember what we are and where we’ve come from, but now it’s a case of not holding back. Do everything without fear and fucking go for it. We’ve probably sat on the fence about certain things, but now we are going all in. This is just the beginning.”