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After a three and a bit year silence The Maccabees return with their fourth album Marks To Prove It next week. Guitarist Felix White tells Big Issue North it’s their best by quite a stretch. They play Leeds Festival 28 Aug.

You went from cult to more mainstream success with your third album, how did that change the band and impact on the subsequent record?
If anything I think we felt it just vindicated our decisions to be brave and keep changing from album to album. The main thing we took from it was that we didn’t want to make a record that was sonically like Given To The Wild again.

Was the three and a bit year gap between the albums intentional?
No! The writing process took a long time. At least a year longer than we’d thought it would.

You described the process of having singles released from the third album as difficult because you saw it as a complete work, is that the case with Marks to Prove it?
Part of making an album for us is that we do still view it as a full body of work, rather than a selection of singles with other bits tagged on. I don’t know if it’s old fashioned, but we still believe in the album as the most important thing, from running order to artwork to the videos associated etc. It’s about creating an aesthetic and a place that it all belongs. Having said that, I think it’s in turn given the strongest selection of singles we’ve ever had from any album.

Is it a career defining album?
I’m sure we’ll be better placed to answer that in a few years. It hand on heart feels like the best thing we’ve done by quite a stretch at the moment.

How does it feel to approach 10 years together as a band and do you see another 10 years ahead of you? Is there anything else any of you would like to do?
It feels like an achievement we’ve been together this long. Maybe the biggest achievement, over any song or album or gig. I love groups who have lasted the distance and built something undeniable, like Super Furry Animals, Primal Scream, British Sea Power or I am Kloot. I think there’s an affinity built with bands that are around like that which I would like the Maccabees to have one day. There are plenty of things we all would like to do and may do with our lives though, so the best thing is probably to enjoy the music and celebrate where we are now with the shows ahead of us this year.

Antonia Charlesworth

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