eGigs talks to Simon.M. Read of Quiet Marauder

on Wednesday 23 April 2014

Ahead of seeing them play, eGigs spoke to Simon.M. Read of Quiet Marauder

Who or what is Quiet Marauder?

Quiet Marauder is something of a musical collective of like-thinking minds. There are two main songwriters: myself, Simon M. Read, and Jonathan Day, though the other members of the band are also heavily involved. I suppose our music touches on comedy, pop, anti-folk and punk in an attempt to make sense of the apparent nonsense that surrounds us.

How did you meet and how long have you been together?

It's been something of a rolling snowball, to be honest. We started off about two years ago as just me banging a pan in a bedroom. Then, having known Jonathan for a few years already since he was playing under the moniker Johnny Alchemist, I asked him to get involved. From there we've recruited old friends, new friends and anyone who seemed to ‘get' what we were up to. So, over the course of the last two years, we've gone from just one mad man in a small room, to six or seven mad people in a slightly bigger room.

Tell us about the album, is it true it's the longest plating debut album of all time?

The album's called MEN and, yes, based on all of our research it is the longest debut album in terms of the number of tracks,  111, and it's playing time, which is just shy of 5 hours. Something that epic is obviously encouraging a different sort of listening experience to the standard templates of albums. We thought of it as more like a novel, in essence. Something you can pick up and put down and still broadly grasp what's happening. The concept behind it is a journey of the male psyche through situations and emotional crises. Behind it all, as with most things, is a love story. But it's quite a convoluted journey through romance, voyeurism, obsession, breakdowns, break-ups, intoxication and, come to the end, a muddy sort of resolution.

You must be happy with the positive reception?

We've been overwhelmed, to be honest. It was always going to be a massive gamble putting everything out in one clump, rather than release in stages or fall back onto it as a songbook that could last our careers. But we felt it was conceptually tied together and should be seen as that. Hopefully, people are seeing that it's not just an exercise of randomness but a rather epic piece of storytelling too.

What inspires you to write?

Personally, I can draw from almost any experience. Stubbing my toe. Watching a Danny Dyer YouTube video. Seeing a neighbour getting undressed and feeling awkward. What's important to me, I guess, is that in the minutiae of that everyday detail there's the potential to see connections to a bigger story. I was always fans of short stories and exposition, the provision of just enough information for the reader, or listener, to discern what is happening and make conclusions. Most of my songs take quite simple thoughts and complicate them to the point of ridiculousness. In fact, I think my mind does that all the time anyway.

What are your plans for the rest of 2014?

We are still promoting MEN for most of this year, as we think it deserves a bit of attention, lumbering beast that it is. This will involve various festival slots including Wakestock in July. We also have lots of plans for music videos and broader filmic ideas to help with that promotion too. Then, of course, there's the ‘dreaded' second album. We're working on that in a slightly different way to the last. The next one is much more clearly narrative-driven, exploring the emergence of a floating stone that looks like a crack in near a picnic and play area. It's quite a different approach to how we navigated MEN and we may look to expand it out into other media such as theatre, film, fine art and literature. Quite exciting times.

Where can we catch you live next?

Our next live showing will be at Troyfest on May bank holiday weekend. We have a series of shows booked up for the couple of months following that including shows in London, Carmarthen, Bristol, Cardiff and at Wakestock too. It looks like it may be a long summer of lemonade light and speckled sun. We're looking forward to it.

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article by: Kevin Pick

published: 23/04/2014 12:06

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