What inspired you to first start making music? And how did you come to be in your current incarnation? Or if you prefer, a brief bio about you.
Quiet Marauder evolved from one man to two men onwards until we reached our current quota of eight full or part time members. It’s a loose collective morphing around whatever the project requires, really, be that an EP about Alan Shearer, or a 30-track concept album about a rip in time and space in Kent. In terms of inspiration, I’ve always loved lyrics and the conjuring of worlds through words, with music obviously influentially filtering through me in ways I can’t really detect. But writing songs has been an ongoing sphere of my life for so long now. I seem to be increasingly obsessed with not taking the easiest way out and following through on what often seem like silly ideas.
Provide us with some info about your latest release…
Tiny Men Parts came out at the end of November, our first ever release on vinyl. It’s a heavily condensed re-working of some live favourites we still play from our debut album, MEN. In its original form that was 111 songs long and nearly five hours, so this is meant to be a more manageable introduction to us also benefiting from the full Cardiff-based band who have come together since MEN came out seven years ago. We recorded it in Rat Trap Studios with Tom Rees from Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard, who was an utter dreamboat and captured our rock ‘n’ roll incarnation live sound like an audiophile sleuth hunting down a master of disguise. A lot of the content, as with MEN, has relatively dark concerns over lad banter and badly performed masculinity, but for us it’s mostly about the joy of playing these songs together, which has been pretty hard this year.
Which ones would you consider your main influences both music-wise & non-music-wise?
I think a key inspiration have always been The Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band because they were sort of comedic, but with a heap of social commentary underneath it. That feels like a smart songwriting approach to me. But then there are others like Magnetic Fields, Nick Cave, Tindersticks and Babybird who I admire as much (and sometimes less) for their musicality as I do their creative vision. More recently, we’ve supported people like The Burning Hell, Jeffrey Lewis and The Wave Pictures who all share a similar kinship musically but are also super nice and super kind people. Also, Electric Six, were and still are great.
Non-musically, it’s quite an open field, really. Obviously we’ve got to mention Burt Reynolds (RIP) who is our band mascot. But aside from that, to name a few we have Jean Luc Picard, Dawn French and Dolly Parton.
In what way does your sound differ from the rest genre-related artists/bands and why should we listen to your music? In other words, how would you describe your sound?
It feels a little dictatorial and uncharacteristically immodest to tell people why they should listen to us. But, naturally, we are the greatest collection of mortal, creative souls to ever connect our minds. At the point of these minds meeting, it is like the crossing of streams in Ghostbusters and you’ll either get a post-ironic show tune, an acoustic synth lament on dating etiquette or a full-blown RAWK MY FACE OFF punk-pop banger as collateral damage.
It’s all pretty good stuff. I’d 100% recommend it.
Please name your 3 desert islands albums, movies & books…
Albums: Magnetic Fields – 69 Love Songs; Beastie Boys – Ill Communication; The Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band – Gorilla
Movies: The Lord of the Rings (can I have all three?); The Truman Show; Indiana Jones (again, all of them except Crystal Skull, please)
Books: The Contortionist’s Handbook – Craig Clevenger; American Psycho – Bret Easton Ellis; To Be The Man – Ric Flair Autobiography
Do you prefer studio or performing live and why?
Both have different spectrums of enjoyment that tap into different parts of the brain, I think. Even within studio recording, there’s a huge difference between demoing out your new stuff at home and going into a specific place for a few days to smash them out with a band. Both of those can be equally as rewarding in varying creative and convivial ways. But there is no better feeling than meeting new friends and fans after a particularly great performance. And playing with the bandmates is a guaranteed good time as there’s a lot of old, joyful friendships packed tightly within us and playing together somehow just serves to solidify that.
Is there any funny-unique story you would like to share with us, always in relation to your music ‘career’?
It’s fun having so many songs about a lot of topics. Often people will get in touch about various, very specific things. Some of my favourites have been a group of mussel enthusiasts in America asking for the lyrics of our 17 second song ‘Mussels’, and a chap getting in touch to commend us as a perfect aural backdrop for practising writing out numbers in Mandarin. We also launched a Twitter campaign a few years ago to have Alan Shearer listen to our EP about him as a time traveller. It turns out Twitter campaigns on this topic aren’t that effective.
Which track of your own would you point out as the most unique and why?
We have done a lot of songs! But I suppose two of the ones which shaped and directed us in the early days would be Pretty Girls Are (Pretty) and I Want A Moustache, Dammit. To me, they are quite important as they were written to be funny and almost goofy, but underneath that is a lot of sincere social critique, self-questioning and confusion. I don’t know if they are unique amongst our back catalogue, but I think they are a good introduction to it.
Would you like to share with our readers your future plans?
Sure! Aside from finishing binge-watching Star Trek TNG and The X-Files, we are hoping / dreaming of playing some live shows in 2021. With the massive death pandemic still raging, these dreams are very much subject to change. But it is certainly our intent. We also have another record pressed and ready to fire in the first half of next year. We went to a small village called Riofreddo in Italy just before coronavirus happened back in February of 2020 and did some recording with the guys from The Burning Hell. That will be called The Gift and it’s a concept album about an orphan with visions of a house fire. It’s based on a children’s TV show I thought I saw when I was growing up but that now doesn’t seem to have ever existed. So it’s also about the fallibility of memory, to some degree.
Free question!!! (Ask yourself a question) you wish to answer and haven’t been given the opportunity…
Who is your favourite character from Eastenders?
There’s too many to choose from. I used to love Dirty Den until he got embroiled in that webcam schmuck. Now I think I’m going to have to flip back to Ian Beale. I mean, he’s been there for 35 years, so for commitment alone he deserves some sort of recognition. He must wonder what part of him is Adam Woodyatt and what is Ian by now, which is a great idea for another concept album. We’ll get going on it. Call the PATENT OFFICE!
Curated by: Christos Doukakis
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