Ahead of their long awaited return to the Sheffield Leadmill on Wednesday 10th May, Maximo Park drummer Tom English was kind enough to answer a few questions…
Hello Tom! The bands sixth album, Risk to Exist, dropped on 21st April to wide acclaim. What can the Sheffield audience expect at your upcoming gig at the Leadmill?
You can expect to hear a healthy portion of the new album, interspersed with more vintage selections, especially from our second album, which is now 10 years old.
Maximo Park haven’t played at the Leadmill since December 2005. Do you have any memories of that gig?
That’s right. It was a very lively evening as I recall. It was on our first ‘big’ headline UK tour – exciting times!
The National Health was such an energetic, frantic record. Too Much Information felt like all that energy being harnessed with a little more control. Where does new album Risk to Exist fit in with latter day Maximo Park?
It’s another progression for us, musically and lyrically and, in places, sounds nothing like anything we’ve done before, were it not for Paul’s unmistakable voice. A lot of people have picked up on the groovier feel of the record, which may come as a surprise to others. For them, seeing it live will hopefully help them ‘get’ it.
Paul teamed up with Peter Brewis of Field Music in 2014 for the album Frozen by Sight. What would be your dream collaboration for the band?
It’s hard to say. We used a brass section in the studio for the first time on this album, as well as having Mimi Parker (from Low) sing some backing vocals, which really was a dream come true. Now we’ve tried it, I’m sure we’ll be collaborating more in the future. I think Paul McCartney has to be the end of the rainbow, in this respect!
It seems to me that the British guitar scene has stagnated a little in recent years. Do you worry that new bands are perhaps finding it harder to have their voice heard?
I think the industry has stagnated, for sure. Most labels are no longer in a position to take a commercial punt on new bands. That doesn’t mean they don’t exist – there’s always great stuff going on – but, yeah, it’s harder than ever for them to ‘cross over’; the divide between the alternative and mainstream seems to get wider every year. I think the dominance of festivals over the live market also has a lot to do with it…
If you could only play one album live for the rest of your career, what would it be?
I actually meant a Maximo Park album but that is a solid answer! Lastly, do you have any final words for the adoring Sheffield punters?
Can’t wait to see you on Wednesday!