INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN
In the second part of my interview with top alternative rock quartet Mallory Knox, their guitarists, Joe Savins and James Gillett, spoke to me about the band’s current UK tour, their journey and achievements over the last nine years, and the advice they would give to emerging outfits.
You said that ‘Black Holes’ was a taster of what was to come on the band’s fourth album. Have you set a date for its release yet?
JOE SAVINS (lead guitar/backing vocals): No, we’re not even close, really. I mean we’ve only recently sorted out a new record deal, but the plan is to just keep on writing and capitalise on those moments, like we don’t think we’re going to go into a studio and record an entire album over a four-week period, I think we just want to keep writing, then recording, then write some more, then record some more, catch those moments of inspiration across the year, instead of recording it all in one go, then maybe writing something better, and then regretting that we didn’t put it on the album, or maybe realising that we want to change direction halfway through recording, we just want to give ourselves the best chance with this line-up change, and be as free and creative as possible, so to answer your question, no, there isn’t an album release date yet.
(Joe and James laugh)
You’re currently on a UK tour. How has that been going so far?
JOE: It’s been great. It’s just one of them, where everything feels like a massive judgement at the moment, rather like when we brought ‘Black Holes’ out, it’s the first time that we have done headline shows, and thought, “People may not like this“, because obviously, we’re playing old songs, but with Sam singing, and even though he wrote those songs, and in a way, he’s taken them back, you never know if people are going to accept it or not, you know.
It’s almost like it throws up a whole new problem, because people are so attached to them, and we’re essentially putting a fresh take on them, but everyone’s been really great, they’ve literally been shouting out words of support for Sam, saying, like, “You’re doing this better than Mikey!“, and I think, “Lovely stuff“, but you know, it’s one of those things where we have had a total show of support, they’re not there just to listen to the music, they’re there to back us, and I’m really feeling that this tour.
The band have been around for nine years now. When you formed, did you ever expect to achieve what you have?
JAMES GILLETT (rhythm guitar/backing vocals): Well, this was a thing for us. At the beginning, it was just a mess around, we were putting our own money into the band, recording an EP and stuff, and it sort of snowballed from there.
Like Joe said earlier, it came about very quickly, and we sort of got carried away. We were always really grateful and keen, but it was always like something new was coming in, and we were all so chuffed about it, to just be going in the direction we were heading in, because it was always a dream of ours to play music and make a living out of it, because early on, you’re working two jobs, the band is just a bit of fun, but it got to the stage where you had to quit your jobs, and devote yourself full-time, but unless it started to pick up quickly, it was going to end, and you would’ve had to have got a proper job again, so yeah, we didn’t think we ever expected it, we’ve always been kind of pessimistic about those sort of things, and early on, the fans were hanging on to us, we weren’t getting any support tours, because no-one would want to take us out, and that was so frustrating, because we just wanted to be out there touring, and we knew from what people who just heard us on the underground scene where saying, there was a bit of hype about us, which felt good.
I think one of the biggest support tours we did early on was with Don Broco, because when they took us out, that was such a great tour, and I still remember to this day, when we played Manchester, starting our set, and the crowd just going mental for us.
It was insane, because we were only playing in a small venue, and it was something we just weren’t expecting.
For us, everything we do is an achievement.
JOE: Yeah, it was just one of those weird things, like what James just said about the support tours, at the start, we just played around Cambridge and the surrounding area, and we were struggling to get out of that bubble, because I don’t think we were considered to be a cool band by other bands and people in the music industry at the time.
A prime example of a cool band are The 1975, I mean I love that band, but almost immediately, it seemed like everyone wanted to be associated with them, whereas at the beginning, we never had that.
Any achievement that we have made has come as a complete surprise for us, I mean we were pessimistic, we didn’t really fancy our chances. We didn’t have much backing then, and it was our fans who took it and ran with it, really.
It was them that made us, the fact that our fan base spread through word-of-mouth, not through any favours from the music industry.
What advice would you give to any emerging bands/artists out there?
JOE: It’s hard, because there’s so much stuff that we look back on, that now, we would have done so much differently, for example, we wouldn’t have written a certain song in the way we did, we would have changed certain aspects of our sound, but at the end of the day, if we hadn’t done things in a certain way, we would never have learnt from them.
What I would say is just consider everything you do, and don’t be flippant with anything, because it’s going to be there forever, you know what I mean?
If you write a song that you’re not 100% sure of, it will always be there, so just really consider everything you do, what you look like, everything you say, because it won’t disappear.
JAMES: Every part of it is so important these days, the look, the online presence, especially, the photos you put up on social media, the way you portray yourself, and it’s a shame to a certain extent, because it should be about the music, but at the end of the day, you can’t fight it, because that’s how it is now.
Some bands are big because they’re cool, and people want to look like them, even though their music might be shite, but because there’s all this hype around them, they’re seen as cool, and it can be a fashion thing sometimes, that could be why they’re so big, but you should still put your all into the music, because at the end of the day, that is still the most important thing, but like I said earlier, every part of it is so important now, you can’t just go and play your music wearing trackies, even though you may think it looks cool.
If you’ve got a passion for it, then you should take every aspect of it seriously.
‘BLACK HOLES’, THE LATEST SINGLE FROM MALLORY KNOX, RELEASED THROUGH WOLF AT YOUR DOOR RECORDS/SILVA SCREEN RECORDS, IS NOW AVAILABLE TO STREAM, DOWNLOAD OR PURCHASE FROM SPOTIFY, iTunes, APPLE MUSIC, GOOGLE PLAY, AMAZON MUSIC, DEEZER, SOUNDCLOUD, AND THE BAND’S OFFICIAL WEBSITE www.malloryknox.com
MALLORY KNOX ARE ALSO CURRENTLY ON A UK TOUR. FURTHER DETAILS CAN BE FOUND BELOW:
THE BAND WILL ALSO BE PLAYING SOME UK FESTIVALS OVER THE NEXT COUPLE OF MONTHS. FOR FURTHER INFO, CHECK OUT THE FOLLOWING SITES: