Interview: Marsicans


Words: Sammy Sadler
Photography: Callum Robinson

There are three things I’ve learned about catching up with Marsicans. One is that it’s certain to be absolutely hilarious, two is that there is no way an iPhone app can automatically transcribe both my Cumbrian accent and their Yorkshire twang and three, don’t get them started on GCSE French. As we huddled into the downstairs area of Zapatista in Newcastle, I was both excited to hear what the lads had thought of the tour and also longing for a burrito.

I think it would be fair to say that Marsicans’ latest UK tour was very special. Just go and ask the 94 fans in the band’s WhatsApp group what they thought and expect to be inundated with the best stories, photos and memes from over the eight dates. It doesn’t end there though, the live dates are still coming and they’ve got a cracking set of festival dates coming up, suggesting there is lots of fun still to be had.

Focusing on the latest tour- it was a wonderful amalgamation of quality tunes, excitable fans, Wispa Golds and bananas with the most rancid dips you could ever imagine (I’m genuinely still suffering from nightmares to this day over the mushy peas) which naturally made it a tour for everyone.

“We’ve covered bananas, the texture of bananas” James told me with Oli adding “We’re just going to keep doing whatever they tell us to do, as long as it’s not like poison, then we’ll probably do it.”

Tour snacks aside, it’s been a pretty awesome ride for Marsicans since the last time we interviewed them a little over a year ago. They’ve taken on the world beyond the UK and they’ve celebrated Your Eyes being added to MTV UK Rocks’ TV channel which they put down to having “a really good team of people who take the songs we write in a windowless room and let people hear them.”

“Since we last caught up we’ve been to Canada, we did Reading and Leeds festival, we’ve actually done loads of festivals, we supported Fickle Friends” explained James.

“We’ve also spent a lot of time writing, so in between all of that we’ve had some intense writing sessions and we’ve probably got an album or two worth of songs now which is good,” Oli added.

It was clear from chatting to Marsicans and the hype all over their social media that the Wispa Gold 2019 tour was one of their best so far. Videos of stage invasions and mosh pits dominated Twitter and the whole thing just seemed like a lot of fun.

James continued: “Honestly, I think it kind of caught us all a bit by surprise.

“London and Manchester in particular were very rowdy, in a good way, but they’ve all been similar levels of just everyone going for it, which is a nice way to send an evening init?”

With Rob adding: “At the Birmingham show there was a stage invasion on like song two, like a totally inappropriate time to do it and I was like come on pick your moment!, but it was really the enthusiasm of that show that made us like, this is going to be a good tour.”

It’s always difficult to pick a favourite tour date, I don’t even play and having followed the likes of Spector on multiple dates across the country, it can be tricky to pinpoint one gig at being a stand out. But I thought I’d ask Marscians their favourite anyway.

Oli chipped in first saying: “London was my favourite date which it usually isn’t. It’s always good but it’s kind of a big deal playing London and sometimes it doesn’t deliver but this time it really did. It felt like a hometown show, everyone was going nuts.”

London appeared to be a standout for the whole band with Rob adding: “yeah [London] or Manchester. With London, you have the pressure because the whole industry lives there. We had Manchester the night after and the show was like four tickets off selling out when we got to the venue. So we thought ‘right there’s going to be 450 kids going nuts in here because Manchester is always like that.

“It was really nice going into a show like that. But all of the shows have been really good. I’ve had a good time anyway!”

With TWO sets coming up at Live At Leeds this Saturday, I was desperate to know what their favourite track was to play live. And with a music catalogue stuffed of tunes, it was no surprise that each of them said something different.

“My favourite song to play live currently is, I’m going to cop out and say Little Things. The only unreleased song in the set. Purely because of it’s very heavy nature, it’s very fun to play” – Cale.

Little Things is too hard for me to play right every time so I’m not going to say that one. I’m quite enjoying playing Your Eyes at the moment because it’s the start of the set, it’s exciting and we’ve done the pre-gig ritual before we go on” – Rob.

“I think if you’d asked me this like last week it would have been different, but I think it’s Suburbs now because I’m adopting a real power rock stance. I’ve been trialling it at a few gigs and I’m really feeling comfortable with it. I really get down and like, me and Cale will look at each other. There’s wind and rain…..” – Oli.

“Well, it’s not my favourite song to play but in Swimming, at the end, we’ve added a little stop and hopefully the lighting guy Harry/Barry gets it right. Something just happens and we’re like AWW YES and that’s a nice moment for us, so yeah it’s one of my favourite moments” – James.

As a side note, I’m pleased to report that Harry/Barry had the lighting nailed in Newcastle.

After chatting everything that has already happened, I was keen to look to the future and hear what Marsicans thought would be on the agenda for the next five years.

In the wake of the Debenhams store closures, Oli will be “campaigning for Debenhams to re-open” and Rob plans on heavily investing in a new chocolate confectionary brand as he’ll have made a lot of money by then.

“I imagine we’ll be like, or we think we’re like, Abbey Road Beatles. We’ll be growing out our hair, going to the local boulangerie for a baguette before we head to the studio all saying ‘bonjour!’ because by this point, we’re French. We’re all French, the lyrics are French but it’s like not good French, it’s high school French,” concluded James.

After this the interview decensended into absolute chaos as we all chatted to each other in French about playing badminton and football in the park with our friends.

If you didn’t catch Marsicans on their latest tour then shame on you! But of course it gives you an excuse to see them over the summer at a festival date and I’d highly recommend that you do. Go have lots of fun and give them some more disgusting dips for bananas – they’ll love you for it.


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