For many young people, the dream of signing to a major record label and touring the world in a rock band seems like a fantasy that only happens in films, but for Bingley’s Marmozets that is exactly what has happened.
The band are made up of brothers Jack and Will Bottomley, and siblings Becca, Josh and Sam Macintyre. They exploded onto the local scene about five years ago and left many open mouthed at their tight, energetic, passionate, technical and world class live show, and whats more, they were all still at high school. Not only were they talented performers, they were also fabulous musicians and song writers, mature and grounded. Their post-hardcore, math-rock mash up had many local tongues wagging, they were hot stuff and destined for great things.
Now, several years later, a contract with Roadrunner Records, US and European tours, high profile and memorable festival appearances and a debut album under their belt, we caught up with guitar player Jack Bottomley, ahead of their first live show in Leeds for two years.
“We are, so so excited for the Leeds show,” explains Jack. “The last time we played was a few years ago at The Cockpit 2, we played Leeds Festival and Slam Dunk, but this is our first proper home town gig in a while. All our family are coming down as well. It’s very weird though, we’ve been out touring in America and have come home and the Leeds scene is so different, so many venues have changed or closed down completely.”
As a young band starting out, it was tough going. Besides the usual challenges a new band face, it was often hard for the youngsters to get gigs in over 18s venues.
“I remember this one venue we played when we were starting out, we turned up all ready to play and we thought it’d be fine, the door man turned us away and wouldn’t let us in the venue. All our gear was set up on stage, we got a massive cheer from the crowd as we went on, but instead of playing, we had to pack our gear away!”
The days of scrabbling for shows have long gone, Marmozets are now signed to international and highly respected label Roadrunner Records, home to bands like Slipknot, Mastadon and Lamb of God.
“We got the call from our manager that the label wanted us to play a showcase for them. We were like, ‘yeah, OK’, and then he said ‘Yes, they’d like you to play for them…in New York!’ That’s when it hit home, it was a pretty surreal moment.”
The fact that Marmozets have done so well is really no surprise to those that have seen them live and heard their album The Weird And Wonderful Marmozets. They are proof that no matter what background you come from, what age or gender you are, hard work and talent pay off eventually. They are an exciting live band to watch, unpredictable, occasionally dangerous, but will always leave everyone in the room feeling as though they have been at something special.
Marmozets play at Leeds Beckett University Students’ Union on February 27. For details visit www.marmozets.co.uk