FORMERLY REMEMBER THE EIGHTIES.COM
MARC ALMOND INTERVIEW [2014]

THE TRACKS ON THE EP SOUND A BIT LIKE THEY'RE REFLECTING DIFFERENT INFLUENCES ON YOUR CAREER: SOME ELECTRONICS, SOME GLAM, SOME CABARET ELEMENTS, SOME POP… WAS THAT INTENTIONAL AT ALL OR AM I JUST READING WAY TOO MUCH INTO IT?

I wanted the EP to be reflection of my pop tastes, so there are references to some of my favourite pop styles. First and foremost I wanted the The Dancing Marquis EP - parts one and two - to be a) catchy big-chorus glam pop, and b) to reference to some of the great Tony Visconti T.Rex Pop singles I bought as a teenager. I wanted to exorcise my glam rock demon!

I KNOW YOU'RE A HUGE FAN OF BOWIE AND T-REX SO WHEN YOU GOT TO WORK WITH TONY VISCONTI HOW MUCH OF YOUR TIME TOGETHER WAS SPENT WORKING AND HOW MUCH WAS SPENT WITH YOU QUIZZING HIM ABOUT HIS EXPERIENCES WITH THEM BOTH?

It was a fabulous experience working with Tony, I got to see some of his secret touches he uses when recording, also he's what I call an ‘old school’ producer who likes to work with real musicians, drums, guitars, and most of all strings. He arranged and recorded some wonderful string arrangements for four of the songs across the two-part EP. He also has some great little stories to tell about working with Marc Bolan and David Bowie. When we worked together, Bowie’s ‘The Next Day’ album had just come out so he had some stories about that… working with him was lots of fun!

I READ SOMETHING IN WHICH YOU SAID THAT YOU HAVE ALWAYS WANTED TO WORK WITH TONY VISCONTI… HOW WAS THE ACTUAL REALITY OF THAT DREAM COMING TRUE? WERE YOU FRIENDS OR ACQUAINTANCES BEFORE YOU COLLABORATED? WERE YOU NERVOUS? DOES HE WORK IN THE WAY YOU EXPECTED?

Tony was always at the top of my dream list to work with as a producer. I was a little nervous about approaching him but I needn't have been, he's so approachable and down to earth. We first met about seveb years ago when taking part in a Marc Bolan tribute show with the fabulous band T.Rextasy. It turned out he was well aware of me and wanted to work with me too. It didn't happen then for various reasons but a year and a half ago we were taking part in another Marc Bolan tribute and this time we made sure it happened. I booked the studio and Tony came to London to produce 'The Dancing Marquis' and 'Burn Bright'.

THOSE SONGS CAME OUT AS A SINGLE WHICH LOOKS AND FEELS LIKE IT'S PART OF THE SAME PROJECT AS THE NEW EP, IS THERE MORE IN THE WORKS THAT WILL ALSO FORM PART OF THIS PROJECT? WILL THEY ALL JOIN UP AND BECOME AN ALBUM AT SOME POINT?

'The Dancing Marquis' has been released as two separate packages - both in the form of vinyl and CD packages and downloads - but at some point they will come together as one CD with bonus tracks and everything. But that’s in the future, and not for a while…

THE NEW EP FEATURES COLLABORATIONS WITH JARVIS COCKER AND CARL BARAT, HOW DID THEY BOTH COME ABOUT AND HOW DID YOU DIVIDE THE WORK ON THOSE SONGS BETWEEN YOU?

The Jarvis Cocker song ‘Worship Me Now’ just turned up one day, Jarvis had written it especially for me with his writing and production partner Jason Buckle. It was co produced with Tris Penna, and to be honest I had little to do with the track except my vocals and suggesting some gospel-girl backing vocals. I love the track!

Carl and I were appearing together in an experimental pop opera called ‘Poppea’ in Paris, and being a fan of Carl I asked him to write me a song, badgered him actually! He wrote me the fabulous 'Love is Not on Trial'.

All the songs on the EP could relate to this Dancing Marquis character who was a real person, a Victorian aristocrat Henry Paget, the fifth Earl of Angelsey.

’WORSHIP ME NOW', IS PARTICULARLY INTERESTING TO ME BECAUSE IT'S A RETURN TO YOUR ELECTRONIC ROOTS. IT'S NOT A GENRE YOU SEEM TO WORK IN MUCH AT THE MOMENT, IS THAT BECAUSE YOU FEEL YOU'VE EXPLORED THAT AREA ENOUGH?

I've actually been returning to electronic sounds a lot recently. My next album, which will be out in September, has a lot of electronic leanings and I've been slowly recording songs with a German duo called Starcluster, and they’re very old school electro, and reference very early 80s, maybe even late 70s, sounds. I'm loving it again!

A LOT OF YOUR RECENT WORK SEEMS TO STEM FROM WHAT I'M GOING TO VERY BROADLY DESCRIBE AS 'FOLK' ROOTS. AS A CASE IN POINT YOU'RE RELEASING 'THE TYBURN TREE' IN COLLABORATION WITH JOHN HARLE IN FEBRUARY, WHAT WAS IT THAT ATTRACTED YOU TO THAT PROJECT AND WHAT CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT IT?

The theme of 'The Tyburn Tree', which was another name for the Gallows at Tyburn, is dark London and its myths, something which is fascinating to me. It’s a collaboration with award-winning composer producer John Harle, and the music runs from classical to techno, folk, and even progressive rock. Its quite a powerful record… it’s coming out in February and there will be a short tour at the beginning of March.

YOU'VE WORKED IN COLLABORATION WITH LOADS OF ARTISTS OVER THE YEARS, ALTHOUGH MORE OFTEN IT SEEMS YOU'VE WORKED ON THEIR TRACKS RATHER THAN THE OTHER WAY ROUND. DOES IT FEEL EASY AND NATURAL TO COLLABORATE, OR DOES THE INEVITABLE NEED TO COMPROMISE SOMETIMES GET IN THE WAY?

There has to be compromise at times of course, I wrote ideas for ‘The Tyburn Tree’ which didn't get used and so on. But a good balance is usually struck and it can be a really rewarding experience like ‘The Tyburn Tree’ was. Some collaborations don’t always work out. I'm also very reticent about working with too many musical heroes as I don't want to be let down, I want to be able to remain a fan, although most of my musical heroes are dead now!

Usually I’d rather work on someone else’s track than have them on mine. Maybe I'm too much of a control freak but when I work with others I try to surrender…

YOU SEEM TO BE SO BUSY ALL THE TIME THAT IT'S EASY TO MISS SOME OF THE THINGS YOU'RE INVOLVED IN, SO WHAT DO YOU HAVE COMING UP FOR THIS YEAR THAT WE NEED TO LOOK OUT FOR?

I'm touring throughout the year with Jools Holland and those dates will all be on my WEBSITE. I also have a brand new album - which won’t include any of the Marquis tracks - out in September.

MARC ALMOND - Tasmanian Tiger EP

Marc Almond will release the 'Tasmanian Tiger' EP on February 14th.

JANUARY 2014

© This Is Not Retro 2014 – Not to be reproduced in any form without written permission. Link to the site but please don’t steal our content – thank you for your understanding and support!

WOULD YOU LIKE TO COMMENT?

You will need to log-in (on the right hand side of the page) to post a comment.

© 2002 - 2017. THIS IS NOT RETRO / REMEMBER THE EIGHTIES. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.