“How's it goin', dude? You alright? Sweet, man.” Sam Macintyre – rhythm guitarist and one of three Macintyre siblings in English alt-rock outfit Marmozets – is incredibly lackadaisical about the interview process. In other realms, this would be seen as highly unprofessional – and yet, Macintyre is endearing in his carefree nature. He's inherently friendly and excitable, rushing to get his answers out and hyperactively talking his way through various situations while continually asking the eternal rhetorical questions – “D'ya know what?” and “D'ya know what I mean?”
In both instances, you invariably do – and besides, Macintyre and his siblings (vocalist Becca and drummer Josh) have plenty to be excited about. This month will see Marmozets release their second studio album, entitled Knowing What You Know Now. As the title suggests, it's a reflection on everything that has come the band's way since the release of their debut LP, The Weird and Wonderful Marmozets, back in 2014. “It's a massive thing for us,” says Macintyre. “This album came from struggling – from looking at what we were writing after the first album and just thinking it was all total shit. We knew we were going to come up with something, but for a while there it just felt as though nothing was going our way.”
Knowing What You Know Now is an album born from survival instincts – from perseverance and from experience. It's a lifeline from a band that, if Macintyre is being honest, could well have not survived were it not for their collective resilience. “We had no idea if we'd ever be done with this fucking thing,” he says. “We got to a point where it was just getting ridiculous. We just knew we had to keep going – and we ended up being so happy with it. We got out of our own shit, basically.”
The album marks a stylistic shift for the band – slicker and more melodic in parts, while still maintaining the same burst of energy that made The Weird and Wonderful Marmozets such a compelling listen. Macintyre has already had to fan the flames of discontent from some older fans on the back of the album's lead single, ‘Play’, as well as other album tracks that the band has been playing live in 2017. Not that he gives a fuck, of course. After all, he and his bandmates aren't doing it for them. “Most of the reception to our new songs when we did this tour was pretty positive,” he says.
“There's always going to be those knobheads, though. 'It's not heavy enough. It's not mathcore, like you were before.' Give me a fucking break, man. I was a fucking kid when I wrote those songs, d'ya know what I mean? Fucking cry about it somewhere else. They used to call us a 'female-fronted Dillinger' when we were first starting out. It's like, 'Yeah, sweet, but we don't want to be that.' We want to be us. We want to progress. We're so grateful for our fans, the people who stand by us. If you're gonna be an arse about it, though, you can fuck off. I'm sorry we're not doing exactly what you want to do, but it's our music. We are who we are.”
Part of this response has certainly been on account of the band's music being exposed to previously-unfamiliar audiences. ‘Play’, for instance, was used as the theme music for War Games, a recent pay-per-view event held by the WWE's developmental program, NXT. Macintyre notes that the Bottomley siblings in the band – guitarist Jack and bassist Will – are both huge wrestling fans, although it's largely unfamilar territory for him personally. “I didn't even really know it was a thing until I was, like, fourteen,” he says. “I still don't really get what it's all about. The Bottomleys both thought it was really cool – and I guess it's cool that people are hearing the song – but I don't really know anything about WWE. My understanding is that it's blokes jumping around and pretending to punch and kick the shit out of each other – d'ya know what I mean?”
Knowing What You Know Now is out Friday January 26 via Warner Music Australia.