With the recent release of “Far Away,” we contacted Cale, drummer for rising Leeds band Marsicans to talk about the band’s name, British postal institutions and Pokémon.
First things first, formalities – who are Marsicans?
I’m Cale. I play drums. Oli plays guitar. James sings and also plays guitar. Rob also sings and plays bass and keys. Three of us are high school mates then Rob joined, already good friends after playing gigs together in our previous bands.
Where did the name Marsicans come from?
It’s from being on the crazy Internet and seeing it at the side of the page. Technically, it’s a species of bear that’s becoming extinct, but we’re not mad bear enthusiasts. It’s just an interesting word and you can search it on Google and only find us (sort of!).
Anyone who has heard the likes of “Gone In A Second,” “Swimming” and new single “Far Away” will no doubt have been singing them for days after. Where did your knack for #vibez4dayz songwriting come from?
We’ve all done music through high school and learnt instruments through teaching and practicing at a rehearsal studio. A few of us did it at A level, but that was part song composition and part tugging on Mozart’s 5th symphony – not too helpful for our genre. Mostly it comes down to us listening to almost everything the planet offers, music-wise, and wanting to create music people can “enjoy” having stuck in their head. #hooksnotbooks
How has a summer that has included your first appearance at Glastonbury been treating you?
It’s been ace to get out of the cold, wet, permanently-one-season-for-12-months place known as Leeds and have a summer! And for that to include the largest festival in the world has been pretty special. In fact we’ve just had two days of sun in a row, possibly Leeds’ longest summer in 22 years… but we’ve been able to enjoy some great festivals, playing on the same bills as our mates. Everyone’s up for a good time and it’s all carefree, apart from The Mud – he’s a party pooper, but we ignore him trying to steal our wellies. Funnily one of the nicest things about playing Glastonbury was being able to wear real shoes on solid ground backstage at BBC introducing -that and being the on the red button before Mystery Jets.
The clip of you warming up before you played 110 Above Festival reminded me of the acapella track The Wombats opened their debut album with. Is that something you’d consider doing?
Possibly! Depends if we come up with something as good as that to warrant it. We’re into our harmonies big time and, with essentially two lead singers and two backing vocals, it’d be a shame to miss out on a trick.
You seem to be gigging non-stop. What was the first gig you saw?
My gig cherry was popped by Yorkshire lads Bring Me The Horizon in 2008 at The Cockpit, Leeds, with about 300 other people. It was mad, especially as they were doing their old, heavy screamo stuff (which sadly they didn’t do at Glastonbury). One guy was sat in the middle of the mosh pit, meditating like a monk during the middle of a song whilst there were limbs and a fish being thrown around…
How do you find touring, especially having recently upgraded to former-Royal Mail van, Pat?
We love it, Pat is the dogs bollocks of vans. If you’d like a tour of him, bring us a black and white cat named Jess, cheers. I think one of only a few bad habits are Rob and James hogging the front seats all the time, but it’s fine. Me and Oli can pretend we’re not asleep…zzzzzzzz…
When we get to gigs, seeing everyone, bands and fans/mates, it’s non-stop and it’s great. Plus certain gems let us stay round their place when we’re down south for dates. We bloody love ‘em! Sometimes we stay up late and try break into their neighbour’s house by accident. Also song ideas can come to you at any time, you just record it on your phone and get back to Leeds and work on it.
If you had ultimate celebrity power, what would be on your rider?
Heston Blumenthal in our artist area, full kitchen set-up. He’s also just had two weeks training at a Weatherspoons, so he can cook us up some crazy magic meals that contain ingredients that must be added after you’ve eaten it. Oh and serve us drinks that instantly warm up our voices. Also a Galaxy Ripple for Oli.
Has anyone ever found one of Cale’s Woeful Joke Wednesdays inadvertently funny?
I have actually been told by real life humans (probably on drugs) that they’re funny/hilarious and that it’s a highlight of their week so…I dunno. I won’t become a comedian just yet so we’re all safe. My favourites are the puns: “I woke up with a face full of rice… I must have fallen asleep as soon as my head hit the pilau.”
Have you got on the Pokémon Go hype? And if you were a Pokémon, which would you be?
Half of us have, the other half are boring… it’s definitely a massive nostalgia thing, which is killing my data. I’d probably be a Tangela because when you watch the live ‘Absence’ video at Glastonbury, I’m literally all hair and you can only just see my eyes.