‘Write a review, how objective can I be?’
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…
Released 10th November 2016
Released October 2010
Released July 31st, 2001
To quote Frank Turner, ‘Let’s begin at the beginning’. What is the point of music? What is its purpose? You might want to make yourself comfortable for this one…
Music can be all things to all people. A shoulder to cry on, an old friend, or simply something to dance to. But can it also be a devil on your shoulder? There are certain artists who are so intertwined with teen angst that they feel like a rite of passage, part and parcel of coming of age.
How many teenagers believe they have found a kindred spirit in Morrissey or Kurt Cobain? For the most part we grow out of these obsessions as we emerge on the other side of adolescence. With Conor Oberst however, and more specifically his main musical project Bright Eyes, I still find myself plummeting down the rabbit hole of his music even now. When the old familiar darkness does hover at my door, it sometimes feels that I have a devil on each shoulder, Oberst and Tom Waits, with the angel seemingly missing in action.
Music is universal. There are, however, nuances and details that attract different people to different aspects of the art of song. Some people are drawn to the music themselves whilst others are infatuated by lyrical proficiency. Some like minimal sonic soundscapes whereas others just want to dance. I’d like to think that all those elements have influenced my musical tastes over the years. All of this pales into insignificance when compared to the most fundamental reason for enjoying music however. Do they fucking mean it?
I have spoken before about my undying love for Oasis, Nirvana and Weezer. More than any other artists, those three shaped my life in untold ways and they continue to influence me even now. Even with that in mind though, there is a nagging feeling that they were never truly mine. I was 7 in 1994. The year that saw the release of Oasis’ Definitely Maybe, Weezer’s The Blue Album and the tragic suicide of Kurt Cobain. At 7, I was more interested in finding a free transformer in a box of Coco Pops than Kurt Cobain’s shotgun.