Interview: Maybeshewill

Alex Yau chats to Maybeshewill

Posted on Oct 31st, 2011 in Features and Interviews, Maybeshewill, Function / By Alex Yau
Maybeshewill Months after the release of the fantastic i Was Here For a Moment, Then I Was Gone, the band have embarked on a brilliant tour with Japan’s Lite. Bearded caught up with guitarist and co-founding member John Helps

Bearded: How’s your tour been so far then?

John Helps: Amazing. So much so that we’re all a bit exhausted, but in a good way. The shows have been astonishing, and going out with Lite has been mind blowing. Every night has been a pleasant surprise.

B: Have you had any culture/language clashes with Lite?

J: There’s a little bit of a language barrier, but we do a lot of smiling and nodding at each other and everything’s okay. They actually speak pretty good English, but our Japanese doesn’t go much further than “arigatto.”

B: You’ve travelled quite a bit over the last few years. How does it feel to be back at home?

J: Back in the UK? Wherever we are we’re moving from place to place pretty quickly, so we don’t feel like we’re ‘home’ as such, but no matter how well you’re doing in other bits of the world, it’s the most rewarding when you feel like people in your own country are in to what you’re doing... Perhaps that’s quite a shallow perspective, but sometimes it’s true. It’s good to see friends we don’t get to see so often too.

B: Has such travel expanded your musical horizons?

J: Definitely. Touring has been a huge influence on how we operate as a band, so it’s bound to have had an effect on the music. Travelling to Japan and Russia in particular - to cultures which are more different to those we’re used to are perhaps the most affecting, but just being transient for a lot of the time changes the way you think about cities and people I think.

B: What’s the best memory you’ve had whilst being away from England?

J: There are hundreds of incredible moments - at least one a day I’d guess. The first time we walked out on stage in Moscow to a well over capacity venue about half an hour after we’d gotten off a plane is a memory that will stick with all of us for a very long time I think. The noise was unbelievable. Two days later we were back to our day jobs in Leicester and back down to earth, but that moment was something else.

B: Following on from your five point guide to making an album, do you have one for being the best live band you can?

J: Oooh, good question... We still feel like we’re working on this one. We spent a long time touring with And So I Watch You From Afar who I think are widely considered to be among the best live bands in the world - certainly in our field. We learnt a great deal on those tours. I guess these are good points...

- Stay in tune.

- Remember that you’re there for the audience, not vice versa.

- Give everything, every night. No being tired or miserable when you’re on stage, ever.

- Look after your gear and your gear will look after you. I for one have battled with everything breaking during shows and you learn to keep it well maintained.

- Enjoy it.

Man, some of those are super wanky, but they’re all true.

B: It’s also been a few months since the release I Was Here For A Moment… What do you think of it?

J: We don’t hate it yet, which is a good sign. We’re really proud of that record in a way we haven’t been with previous albums. We’re proud of everything we’ve done, but I Was Here... is closer to being what we imagined in our heads before we started recording it I think.

B: Certain bands never listen back to their finished recordings. Are you one of those bands?

J: Some of us are... I think it’s healthy to go back and listen to the records again every so often. We’re actually re-learning parts of the new album at the moment in time for two album shows at Christmas (London Lexington on the 15th December and Leicester Sumo on the 16th) having neglected them while we toured, which necessitates listening to the recordings again. Some of my favourite bits of the new album are actually the ones we don’t play live so often, so I give them a sneaky listen every now and again.

B: Cliché alert! What’s next?

J: We’re just hammering on with this tour. Then we get a little while off to rehearse for the Christmas shows and then we’re going to give ourselves a proper rest to start thinking about the next record I guess. I think we’re planning a bit of a mega European tour for the middle of next year. It’s back out in the UK towards the end of it though. That’s the plan, anyway - things change at very short notice around here!