With Maximo Park’s tour for their new album Risk to Exist already underway, guitarist Duncan Lloyd took time out of the bands busy schedule to speak to me while on the road.
The tour itself sees the band come out with the first album since 2014, proving again that regardless of the bands age they still remain at the front of indie music. With much of the world being faced with various political messages daily, Risk to exist seems to incorporate this into the music, especially with their singles What did we do to deserve and Get High (No, I Don’t).
The single Risk to exist itself tackles the matter of the Migrant Crisis in Europe, Duncan told us “It was inspired by the crisis, once we had written and recorded it we then wanted to raise more awareness and put the proceeds towards the charity. The Press seem to painting quite a vulgar view of the migrants, but these people are being forced from their homeland due to war. Europe and the generation in power are scared to help, we just need empathy and have a passion to help.” Duncan went on to state that in his hometown in Newcastle, where he has seen many migrants come over, he sees people who just coming to have a ‘better life’.
The album is written in a way where it can be read into, on various levels, with the band just wanting fans to “kind of take from them what you will”. For Duncan Get High (No, I Don’t) has many meanings. “Get High can be seen on the most basic level as about getting pushed into something you don’t want to, a peer pressure thing, but we saw it last year when political groups went around trying to coerce people into supporting them and saying what they offered was the best. It just split our country in half”.
The tour proves exciting for the band, Duncan went on to say that it’s been a few years since they have been up to Aberdeen and they have been looking forward to it. But it’s the new places that seem to be really fun; with Falmouth and Bexhill as new entries into their circuit. “It’s always nice to play new places, Bexhill is looking really fun and exciting for us. It’s still fun playing the cities and the typical tour route but we always appreciated bands coming out to Newcastle instead of just playing Leeds so we are trying less obvious places, Falmouth is on there too, we really just like to get a feel for these places.”
Maximo Park has graced our airways for many years now and have remained indie heavyweights for that all that time, on the question of their longevity Duncan stated, “It’s a desire to keep exploring and wanting to find new ideas, if we had nowhere to go we would probably stop but the passion has stayed. Living near each other and having not moved to London has taken a pressure off of us. The managers and producers let us keep creative control so we have a lot more freedom with what we do, unlike some bands. Also we have just got to a point where we aren’t as worried about our critics, as we got on we just left that behind and now we just focus on what we want to do”.
This “desire to keep exploring” is definitely felt with their new album and the decisions to try out new venues like Bexhill, and hopefully the passion remains in their music for years to come. With the ever changing music industry and various new acts emerging, the indie scene is one that continues to surprise. Maximo park however, appear to be a band that keeps on giving and hasn’t gone the way of other indie bands from the 2000’s, proving this with their new album Risk to Exist and a tour to really push home that they are back.
Lathering the new album in political messages for the today’s politically savvy youth, Risk to Exist challenges what is going on throughout the world, whether it be the migrant crises or the clear political age gap in What did we do to deserve this. The band haven’t used this as a crutch though, as they have created a very versatile album, incorporated their trademark intense, fast paced playing, perfectly shown in Get High (No, I Don’t) but also an ability to create chill, danceable music which shows off the bands superb song writing skills.
While the new album remains at the forefront of their new tour, Maximo Park’s back catalogue will really create an atmosphere at their gigs which has been present for many years; their ability to get the crowd going no matter what. Whether it be smalls bars turned into mosh-pits from their early days, or to festivals packed full of fans, Maximo Park remain loud and intense, putting a passion into their performances which have helped make them famous, especially with Paul Smith’s vigorous and flamboyant on stage singing and dancing.
Bexhill will probably feel the presence of Maximo Park before they even arrive on Saturday the 13th of May, with that night being occupied by loud music supported by a passionate crowd, it will resound all around few days after as well. Wherever Maximo Park go, they always make sure their music is heard.