Marmozets: Weird or Wonderful

Not everyone can work with their siblings.The differences in personalities, age, or ideas can sometimes cause fighting and family awkwardness, but that doesn’t seem to be the case for the European alternative rock band, the Marmozets. This five member band is made up of two sets of siblings and was formed when Jack Macintyre met Sam Bottomley back in the early 2000s.

We Need to Talk, the German YouTube channel that hosts interviews with popular music artists, sat down with two of the Marmozets’ band members, Becca and Jack, to talk about their likes, dislikes, and experiences working with their families. “It’s awesome being in a band with your brothers because it’s family and no matter what you’re always going to love your family. So I think we are very lucky to be a band and just be ourselves. And if there’s any problems that do occur it’s very easy to deal with because we just tell each other to shut up,” Becca explains.

mar2The two sets of siblings met in school and all had an equal passion for music. The band is now made up of Becca Macintyre on vocals, Sam Macintyre playing guitar and on vocals, Jack Bottomley playing guitar, Will Bottomley playing bass and on vocals, and Josh Macintyre on drums.

With so many talented family members in one band the question of how they got started or if the family band was planned from the start was on everyone’s mind. When the band is asked about their formation, the Marmozets talk about how everything just sort of worked out for them. During The We Need to Talk interview, Jack said, “It literally just sort of fell into place, like I met Sam when we were about 11 years old. And then we all were typically in school and liked guitars basically, so we got on straight away. And then Sam introduced me to Becca and Josh and the rest of the family and everything. And then we just sort of started jamming; we got another member actually and then Will joined about three or four years ago now, who’s my brother. So it wasn’t sort of planned, it was just like he could play bass and he joined me and it was pretty straight forward really.”

mar4The band has had an insanely busy last few years and they just keep heating up. They had their first EP, Passive Aggressive, come out in 2011 and another, Vexed, in 2012. Later on in 2012, their first single “Good Days” was released followed by their second single “Born Young and Free” in 2013. The Marmozets signed on with Roadrunner Records later on that year and in 2014 their first full record The Weird or Wonderful Marmozets was released.

Personally, I think their sound is almost as chaotic as their past few years. In my experience, I found that the “alternative” label gets used for anything that isn’t distinctly country, pop, or rock, but the bands within the alternative genre cover such a wide range of tastes. They can be sort of bouncy like the Bleachers or dark like My Chemical Romance, so calling a band “alternative” isn’t really descriptive enough these days.

I think that the Marmozets sound is sort of like Paramore had a baby with a screamo band. They are both poppy but heavy and I personally think it works for them, but the sound is definitely eclectic. Becca, the lead vocalist, has a deep, rough rocker vibe to her voice that is very reminiscent of Hayley Williams. Throughout their songs, she often transitions from singing to screaming and then back again and the emotion rises and falls in the song. Their songs are different, and full of emotion and angst. They deal with themes like heartache, betrayal, love, and loss that seem to be relating to the masses wherever they preform.

Their live shows are just as crazy as their sound. Their stage presence is really confident and so full of energy that it’s contagious. Every member of the band is dancing and  jumping and filling the stage. This energy rubs off on their audience. Videos of their recent show at Warped Tour in Atlanta show the entire crowd moving with their music and they aren’t even from here. The Atlanta audience members were jumping, fist pumping, and singing along at the top of their lungs.

mar3The Marmozets’ stage presence reminds me of other more experienced alternative bands like The Used and Taking Back Sunday. Taking Back Sunday’s lead singer is known for swinging around his microphone on stage during their sets and The Used members also jump around and fills their venues up with sound and impressive lights. The energy from these kinds of shows really gets the heart pumping and it’s impressive that the Marmozets have that kind of confidence and presence already.

The band has been playing live since 2007 and gathering widespread praise for their chaotic shows. They have now shared stages with popular bands like Young Guns, Funeral For a Friend, Gallows, Hyro Da Hero, The Used, Four Year Strong and Muse. They have also appeared at Glastonbury Festival, Download Festival, Reading and Leeds, Slam Dunk Festival, 2000 Trees and Y Not Festival.

Marmozets was nominated for Best British Newcomer at the 2013 Kerrang! Awards and they were voted the Best New UK Band by Big Cheese magazine and they just keep gaining speed. This year, Marmozets will be supporting Muse on the 2015 UK Psycho Tour. Hopefully as the Marmozets grow and tour, they will continue to gain popularity and support for their interesting sound.

~ Shannan Rivera