Interview With The Maccabees - 1st February 2007
Photo Of The Maccabees © Copyright ThomThom and Joe caught up with The Maccabees on their brand new tour bus just before the band were due to play Nexus in Southampton.

Well thanks for taking the time out to do this.
(Rob) No worries.
You've got a massive tour ahead of you, pretty fat. Looking forward to it?
(Rupert) Definitely. Because of this (referring to brand new tour bus,) we picked this up today and we've got a month in this so we can't wait to get started really. And all the gigs seem like they're going to be really good fun as well, so yeah we're really looking forward to it.
(Rob) I think a lot of them are sold out, so it's going to be good crowds and stuff.

Pretty hectic schedule as well isn't it.
(Rob) Yeah it's like every day pretty much, couple of days off, not going home for a month.
(Rupert) Literally just living in this for a month.
(Rob) But it's good, because when we go home anyway we just get bored because we're not playing.

Is this the first date?
(Rupert) Of our headline tour yeah. We've been on tour with Jamie T for two weeks.
You played in Swindon didn't you?
(Rupert) Yeah.
Why would you do that?
(Rob) That wasn't with Jamie.
(Rupert) Nah that was just like a warm-up show.
He's from Swindon.
It's shit.
(Rob) I didn't like the place much. We had a good atmosphere.
It's not made for bands.
(Rob) It's not, but we had a good atmosphere.
(Rupert) Is that the one we had to load through the roof?
(Rob) Nah it was the one with the weird stage.
(Rupert) And the bigger bit upstairs with the revolving bar?
(Rob) Yeah.
Oh were you in the smaller room?
(Rob) Yeah.
(Rupert) Yeah the smaller room.
(Rob) I think we like going to the strange places to go to, you tend to get, people appreciate it more, in a way, do you know what I mean, if you never see bands in your home town, then it's great.
(Rupert) There was Hartford, I don't know if you've ever been to Hartford, but it's a tiny little place. You go into the town centre and it hasn't even got an HMV or anything, it's got banks and then a Gregg's baker, but then the gig's fucking mental. Kids just wanna go crazy. The first time we played there, they didn't know who we were, they were there because it was kind of like a club night, it was crazy man, we just had such good fun, and so unexpected as well.

I saw you guys in Hammersmith in the Gentleman's Club.
(Rupert) That was a horrible night.
(Rob) That was crap yeah.
It was a bit weird.
(Rupert) Yeah we had to go in through the toilets as well.
(Joe) It wasn't a very good venue was it.
(Rob) No it wasn't.
(Joe) Full of youngsters.
(Rupert) Yeah like Way Out West. Youngsters pilled up. Little thirteen year olds going round sniffing.
(Rob) At one point this guy came right into the middle of the crowd and put a ladder up.
Who brings that to a gig?
(Rob) I don't know; weird. Good fun though.

Photo Of The Maccabees © Copyright ThomIs this your first headlining tour?
(Rupert) No we've done like, two before. We did one with Ben Folds. Played in Wakefield, that was dia man.
If you could support anyone..?
(Rupert) Strokes.
(Rob) Love the Strokes. We supported them last year, it was fucking incredible. So yeah the Strokes or Interpol I'd say.
(Rupert) I still say the Strokes.
Havent heard from The Strokes in a while.
(Rupert) Well they release an album then go touring. You know they like, release an album every two years so.

Have you played in Southampton before?
(Rupert) Yeah we played in Lennon's.
(Rob) Three times.
Where's that?
(Rupert) It's up near West...
West Quay?
(Rupert) Yeah the hotel.
Oh I don't know about a hotel.
(Rupert) Not West Quay, erm...

So yeah best part of your gigs are sold out.
(Rob) Yeah.
That must feel pretty good.
(Rupert) Yeah we didn't sell out a single show except for Brighton and London on our last two tours.
(Rob) Yeah our last few headline tours have been like, turn up and play in front of twenty people, so yeah, a bit demoralising, but yeah.
I looked on your MySpace page today and it was just like sold out, sold out, sold out.
(Rupert) You've gotta love it.
(Rob) It's good to look at.

Good Books, what do you think about them?
(Rob) I heard the single, thought it was good, but haven't really heard any other stuff.
Are they supporting you for the whole tour?
(Rob) Yeah. I'll check them out tonight.
I take it you didn't choose them then?
(Rupert) Well yeah. Not us two, but I think Orlando and Felix know more about them, and they were on a list that we were given, because we're really indecisive.
So you're given a list of bands and you can choose?
(Rob) Yeah.
(Rupert) Yeah, well we've had Jack Penate support us twice.
He's good.
(Rob) Yeah he's quality.
I saw today on youtube, the video of you playing slapsies.
(Rob) Yeah Jack and Orlando
(Rupert) I was sat there for the whole thing, like, stop it man. Everyone just walked out of the room in the end and just left them to it.
Does it have any relevance to Happy Slap?
(Rob) Erm, nah.
(Rupert) Nah Orlando's just good at it.

Photo Of The Maccabees © Copyright ThomWhat was the NME tour like with the Fratellis?
(Rupert) It was cool, yeah it was pretty good fun. A lot of the venues were quite big, and they were getting sold out, but a lot of the crowd weren't there for us.
I went to the one in Bournemouth, We go to Bournemouth Uni.
(Rupert) That was a pretty good gig actually, I remember that one. We got a good reaction at most gigs, but there were some places where everyone was there for Fratellis, like up in Sheffield, Fratellis just had the crowds there for them.
And there were the Horrors as well, and the Dykeenies.
(Rob) Yeah.
I'm not really a fan though, or the Fratellis, I just really went for you lot. My brother said you were good.
(Rupert) The Fratellis are good at what they do, I just don't think what they do is very good.
The Horrors didn't turn up did they, at Bournemouth. It was just you three.
(Rupert) Didn't they? Oh I remember, it was, ah no, I don't know. But we missed some as well, so like it was just them and Fratellis at Portsmouth I think.
Did you all tour together, on the same bus?
(Rupert) No we all had our own buses. The Fratellis were quite distant though.
You didn't have this bus did you.
(Rupert) Nah we just got this today, man. To be honest, we just have a good time on tour, we don't go too mad, couple of beers, you know.

Was it good supporting Jamie T, are you friends?
(Rob) Yeah he's a good friend of ours. And we really respect his music so it was cool man, big venues and stuff. It was a nice way to start our own tour. He's a cool bloke his band are really good.
Is it the Pacemakers?
(Rob) Yeah.
(Rupert) It's just so cool to watch an amazing band every night and know that they're gonna do so well.
Yeah I saw them at the Electric Proms. Well, watched a video online. The band were good.
(Rob) Yeah they're awesome.
And at Blue Flowers in Chiswick, but he didn't have his band it was just him. Kevin Spacey was there watching.
(Rob) Really? Fucking hell.
Yeah he's got a few famous fans. He doesn't like him though.
(Rob) You're not a fan?
(Rob) I suppose it's one of those things either you like him or you don't.
Like marmite.
(Rupert) Like marmite.
(Rob) But I think we all love him as a band.

Do you prefer the smaller venues, or the bigger ones with Jamie T?
(Rob) I personally prefer smaller ones.
(Rupert) Yeah smaller headlining gigs are the best. Some of the Jamie T ones were good, the crowds were big, but I'm still looking forward to this one more.
(Rob) It's nice to be putting on your own show, you know. At least you know everyone's there to see you.

Photo Of The Maccabees © Copyright ThomYou guys done any festivals yet?
(Rupert) In the Summer we did Reading, Leeds, T in the Park and Oxygen. I think we're doing them again this year, not sure about Glastonbury.
(Rob) Hopefully Benicaseem festival as well, and others around Europe.
Yeah they get good bands.
(Rupert) I haven't seen the line-up but last year it was like The Futureheads, The Kooks, Babyshambles, you know, they're quite established bands before they get out there.
So you're doing the festivals this year? Is that a definate?
(Rob) It's not definate.
(Rupert) Nah it's too early, but our agent said.
Reading is awesome, I've still got my band on.
(Rob) Don't you get free beer?
Well apparently they just cut it off and give you like two free cans.

When's your album out?
(Rob) Err, dunno.
Is it all recorded?
(Rupert) Yeah, just waiting to get it out.
How did that go?
(Rupert) It went well. Went in the studio for a few sessions, tried out two producers, used tracks from each producer. It came together really easily we didn't have any problems.
How long did that take?
(Rupert) Well, since last Summer?
(Rob) Yeah we've been touring in between so we've been in and out of the studio for the past six months. But all in all I think it was only about two weeks worth of recording.
(Rupert) Well, about a month.
(Rob) Yeah we did it in Barnes, which has Olympic Studios, which is fucking...
(Rupert) The best studio. It's so nice. There's a five-a-side football pitch out the back.
(Rob) And amazing food. For free.
(Rupert) Well you didn't have to pay on the spot, you could pay for it later.
Any favourite tracks on the album?
(Rupert) Toothpaste Kisses.
(Rob) It's kind of more of a jazzy love song.
(Rupert) Sort of swing. It's a really good close to the album, but we can't play it live as it is, it was more of a recorded song.
So you aren't playing it tonight?
(Rupert) No.
(Rob) We were sort of trying things out in the studio, and it would be hard to recreate it live. I just like that one. It's very different, a very different side to our music.
Will you be including tracks from the Eps and stuff?
(Rob) Yeah loads of them are on there. X-Ray, Latchmere, About Your Dress, should be good.
Have you got any favourites that you actually play live?
(Rupert) All In Your Rows.
(Rob) Yeah, it's my favourite but I can't play it at the moment, I keep fucking it up.

Your videos are quite artistic, how much input do you get into them?
(Rupert) Latchmere, was all us. We did that ourselves for like £200. At Orlando's university. These two guys, like graphic designers, they did it like stop-frame photos, took best part of two days, but yeah it's such a good video. All the artistic input was from us. Orlando's the artistic one, he has most of the ideas. Like we've got a new one coming up, and Orlando just came to us with a script, and we put our ideas on top of that.
(Rob) Our latest one was made completely by Orlando, with some puppets.
Did he just go away and then say “oh look what I've done?”
(Rupert) Yeah, he spent like £30 on it or something. Fingers in shoe boxes.
Save money on videos so you can get a good bus.
(Rob) Exactly!

Quite a lot of bands are coming out of Brighton. Blood Red Shoes, McQueen, The Kooks, Zico Chain, Jack Penate...
(Rob) Jack Penate's not from Brighton.
(Joe) He's from London.
Oh is he? But one of you went to school with him?
(Rob) Yeah we're from London, we just moved down to Brighton a few years ago.
Oh right. Well I won't ask you ANYTHING about Brighton then.
(Rob) Yeah, but Brighton's a good place to live though, a good place for bands, lots of venues, and it's easy to get spotted.

Photo Of The Maccabees © Copyright ThomWhere is Latchmere, and does it have a wave machine?
(Rob) It's just like where we all went to swim, near where we used to live when we were younger. It's just cool because it's got a wave machine in.
(Rupert) Used to get a little siren going.
(Rob) Yeah it's great.
Have to check that out.
(Rob) Yeah we've gotta go back there for a swim at some point.
(Rupert) I've got a friend who works there as a lifeguard and he plays Latchmere.
You should empty the pool and play a gig in there. The sound would be shit but...
(Rupert) I would be up for that, man.

The Maccabees were jewish rebels or something?
(Rob) Yeah. We don't really know much about them.
Did you just choose it because it sounded good...
(Rob) Our friend came round...
and not because you're Jewish.
(Rob) Our friend came round and opened up a bible and just put his finger down and the word was Maccabee, and we thought THE Maccabees sounds good so we just done that.
(Rupert) We had some shit names before that.
(Rob) The Big I Am was our first name.
(Rupert) The Big I Am, haha.
Quite a lot of bands have long stories about it, yours is just, it sounded good, bible, why not.
(Rob) Yeah.
Actually I was at Southampton station the other day and there was this kid stood there reading the bible.
(Rupert) Really? Woah.
What a nutter.
(Rupert) They got to him.
They'll be a load of them in here tonight.
(Rupert) Actually we have had people for the wrong gig before, like “you're not the Maccabees!” Because they're some really old band, with loads of albums. Christian rock band.
We should go and see them as well. At Latchmere. Get you all in the same place and have a brawl.
(Joe) Yeah.
I think that's about it. Is there anything else you'd like to say to the wonderful people who might read this?
(Rob) Erm, have a nice year? Enjoy it but don't go too mental.
Hope the tour goes well. Enjoy the bus.

Interview by Thom And Joe  
 Band Members

Orlando Weeks (Vocals)
Hugo White (Guitar)
Felix White (Guitar/Vocals)
Rupert Jarvis (Bass)
Robert Dylan Thomas (Drums)
 Latest Releases
The Maccabees - Colour It In
Release Date - 14th May 2007
1. Good Old Bill
2. X-Ray
3. All In Your Rows
4. Latchmere
5. About Your Dress
6. Precious Time
7. O.A.V.I.P.
8. Tissue Shoulders
9. Happy Faces
10. First Love
11. Mary
12. Lego
13. Toothpaste Kisses
 Band Related Links
The Maccabees Myspace
The Maccabees Official Site