There’s no denying that the music our parents listen to when we are children has a huge influence on our tastes as adults. Whether we grow to love their music or find it so abhorrent that we reject it completely, the music our parents listens to shapes our memories of childhood and our adult lives in a profound way. I myself have fond memories of my Dad listening to The Rat Pack, and Louis Prima (good), and Gilbert O’ Sullivan (depressing). My mum’s favourite song is Mousse T’s ‘Is It ‘Coz I’m Cool’ (I’ll let you draw your own judgments from that). Good and bad, their influence has shaped me as both a music consumer and as a musician. No one knows the importance of this influence better than Echotape lead singer Marc Burford, who cites his mother and his grandfather as huge influences on his musical career. I had the pleasure of meeting him for a cup of tea and chat ahead of the bands’ new single release, ‘Friend Like Me’:
KM: Tell me how you guys formed the band.
M: We met at school, and my brother Mike plays the drums. We’ve only been together in our current incarnation for just over a year.
KM: Following a year of pretty much non-stop live shows, how did it feel to lock yourselves away to work on the new album?
M: It’s a different headspace from live to studio – there’s a lot of pressure because we did it ourselves, but I really did enjoy it. Our friend Andy produced the album, which meant we had a lot of say in how it sounded.
KM: How did the songwriting process take shape with this album?
M: I pretty much just sat down with an acoustic guitar – I find it really hard to write lyrics first, so I focus on the melody to begin with, and then show the results to the rest of the band. Melody is really important to me, and I hate to say it, but I really look up to songwriters like Chris Martin because his melody writing is so well executed. I should probably be cooler than I am.
KM: No judgment here. The new single ‘Friend Like Me’ is a great guitar driven track. Has that genre always appealed to you as musicians and as music consumers?
M: We used the tools we have, which is heavily guitar based. We’re also very influenced by the Libertines and their energy, so it was a natural way of writing for us. It’s important to stay true to yourself.
KM: In the past you’ve had support from The Libertines. Was this a big boost to your confidence as artists?
M: We’re actually friends with Carl [Barât]’s little brother – they’re a local band after all. It was great to have that support from them. After they tweeted about us, we had a big surge of fans in Europe, which was great.
KM: You’ve recently released a video for the track, and it looks like you guys had a great time filming it. How did you come up with the idea for the video and was it as much fun to film as it looks?
M: We’re all kind of wreck-heads really – it was the easiest way of filming a video and having fun at the same time. We filmed it at our own studio, and once the initial filming was out the way it just turned into a huge party. It took a week to clear up.
KM: That can’t have been fun. The new album is said to contain ’11 summer anthems’. What was the vision behind the album?
M: Personally, I wanted the album to be really upbeat and for people to feel good when they’re listening to it. I’m a people pleaser, which I think comes through in my work. Recently we played a wedding for the couple’s first dance – they were singing the lyrics to each other and everything.
KM: That’s an interesting choice for a first dance! There’s definitely a punk flavor to this album, and a nod to old school rock music. Which artists do you look to for inspiration?
M: My brother and I were brought up on punk – our mum was a huge influence on us and would play us things like Green Day and Fleetwood Mac. Our grandfather loves The Rolling Stones and The Kinks, and he also had a strong influence on us. – so much so that we take him on tour with us.
KM: That’s a really lovely relationship to have.
M: Definitely. From an early age he instilled an ethos in us: ‘it’s this or nothing’, which I think is entirely true.
KM: So would you be a musician even if the band weren’t successful?
M: I couldn’t do anything else. I feel like I have a duty to keep writing songs, and the joy I get from it means I won’t ever give it up.
KM: What are your hopes for the future?
M: I hope we stay together– we are like a little family. We just wanna keep making records and slowly growing.
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