MEETING MALLORY KNOX
Camden Rocks Festival’s venue KOKO is the first major stage appearance Mallory Knox have made since performing intimate gigs in April– and the quartet were none other than electric. They played some new music including a song ‘Live Wire’ going for a more ‘gritty’ sound than ever before. With a strong focus on the future after losing frontman Mikey Chapman, there can be new music expected from the band to come very soon, James Gillett (rhythm guitarist) and Dave Rawlings (drummer) confirm. They have a summer of festivals and as many live performances as possible, kicking off the busy season at one of their favourite venues, KOKO.
Q: During April you guys were doing more intimate gigs– how did you find that?
James: Yeah it was cool. We wanted to do it for a while, before the Wired campaign, but we didn’t get to do it. With Mikey going it was the perfect time to.
Dave: it was pretty cool because after the set a lot of us spoke to quite a lot of people after the show and gauge how people are feeling about it.
James: Its great to get to meet the fans. Finish the set get straight of stage and meet people and get photos.
Q: Why did you decide to not replace the main vocalist?
James: We just started writing songs and when everything started coming together the whole new sound really suited Sam’s voice. Why would we get someone else in who we don’t know when we have built up this little empire of Mallory Knox.
James: Sam writes the songs its cool for him to sing his own songs.
Dave: We will come up with an idea, he can get personal with the lyrics. You can imagine coming up with an idea and then handing it to someone else and trying to make it relatable to them.
James: We have all known each other for a very long time. Mikey is an amazing singer, he is a niche. The new music is more ballsy, rocky, guitar driven. We don’t need a replacement; Sam’s voice really works for this new gritty vibe.
Q: How did you find the release of new EP Black Holes?
James: I think it went really well. It was a bit bold and we were a bit nervous. It is a start of a new era for us and it’s a more rocky and gritty sound. Obviously, Sam is singing it and not Mikey but people seem to be into it. We do get people saying its not the same, but things change.
Q: Will you be releasing any more music soon?
James: We are dipping in and out of the studio instead of recording everything in a lump anymore. Like you go in and write the whole album but then f you record it all and carry on writing it, within a week or two you might write another song and you think it might be better on the album. So, we are doing little stints. We have already recorded the next single so that should be dropping really soon. Hopefully within the next month.
Q: Have you got any more gigs or festivals lined up for over the summer?
James: We have got a few festivals, 2000 Trees and Y Not?
Dave: Some stuff (gigs) in Bristol.
James: We want to be as active as possible, we said to the booking agency just get us as many festivals as possible love playing (live). We’ve got no boundaries anymore and we will be all over doing that.
Q: What is inspiring new music?
James: New music is a bit fucking crap now. We tend to go backwards and listen to old music, I remember my dad saying it when I was to listening to Blink 182. It feels like everything as to have a gimmick nowadays. I like Twin Atlantic and The 1975. It’s a shame but that is how music is going. What’s the gimmick? What do they dress like? It’s all about how they look. We listen to good music that didn’t need the gimmicks. That’s our influence now. Go up there and play the songs and let the music do the talking. We have always been old school, we get in a room and jam songs out.
Q: How do you feel to be playing Camden Rocks alongside bands like PiL?
James: We have never played Camden Rocks before but we have played at Camden, its always such good gigs for us: Roundhouse, Barfly, KOKO. It’s good to be a part of it in this scenario, to be able to go have a drink see a band and have a listen its really cool. We are excited to get out and enjoy it.
Q: What are your favourite venues in Camden?
Dave: Roundhouse obviously is such an iconic venue and its massive. When we got to headline there, it was such a massive thing for all of us. Waking up and going bloody hell we’re actually getting to play this from our own fruition its pretty cool
James: KOKO for me is quite a good one, it’s such a picturesque theatre. We saw Don Broco playing there. We are looking forward to going back there tonight.
Q: What did you want to be when you grew up?
James: Rockstar. Obviously! I used to love my dad coming in from work when he was a roofer. I used to have a little toy van and put a ladder on it. I didn’t want to do anything I just wanted to be a big kid and that’s how I ended up here in a band and that you sort of never really get a chance to grow up anyway.
Dave: I wanted to be a pro skate boarder, but it took me about 5 years to do a kick flip so I pretty much sacked that idea off straight away. I always played drums and I did the lessons and stuff like that, I always really wanted to be a drummer to be fair. But I was always interested in skate boarding and BMXing. I loved extreme sports.
James: I used to skate, and I remember the moment I decided to stop skating was before this band I was in another band and one night I fell down a stair set– grazed my shoulder so bad that when I put the guitar strap on it, it hurt so much. I was like you know what I prefer being in a band.
Dave: Less risk!
James: Yeah, I suppose if I was any good I wouldn’t have to worry about that.
Q: Which out of all of you is the messiest on tour?
James: Definitely Mikey but I would say Sam now.
Dave: Something about lead singers innit!
James: I only ever saw Dave at the washing up bowl.
Q: Are you looking forward to playing KOKO later?
Dave: When we headlined there its always been special so its nice to get back into a place like KOKO.
James: Get me back on the big stage!
Q: It’s a good way to kick off the summer!
Dave: Yeah we thrive on big stages. We have a lot of cool festivals coming up so it’s (Camden Rocks) a good way to kick it off.
WORDS BY LAUREN COLE LOMAS