Photo Credit: Sodium Films
The band that everyone is talking about, Marsicans are rising through the Leeds music scene and have made a name for themselves internationally. Having just released their debut album ‘Ursa Major’ and with a tour planned for next year, I caught up with frontman James Newbigging and discussed all things Marsicans.
Hi Marsicans! Thank you for taking the time to talk to me. How are you all?
We’re great thank you! We’ve kind of been floating in some weird post-album release dimension for a couple of weeks. It's been pretty fun.
That’s great! I can only imagine how that must feel!
I’d love to know the story behind the name ‘Marsicans’, could you tell us how it came about?
We were looking at animals online one day and came across the Marsican bear- they live in Italy and they’re endangered. They’re beautiful looking things and we’re honoured to share their name.
Wow! I certainly didn’t expect that, I had a google and they are beautiful!
You’ve just released your debut album Ursa Major and I have to say I am loving it! Could you tell us a little about the inspirations behind Ursa Major? Any artists or unexpected moments that sparked your creativity?
The studio was full of unexpected moments. When we’re recording, one of us is usually going off and playing with a new instrument that we just found, and then he’ll come back in and go “Ey lads ,what do you think?”. We’ll always give something a go even if it is absolutely ridiculous, because you never know how its going to work until it’s in the track.
Are you pleased with the overall response from the public for Ursa Major? I believe I saw a tweet from Coldplay about your album, that must have been surreal!
We were honestly overwhelmed by the response to it. I don’t think I’ll ever forget that week. The amount of people that came out and supported us was truly mind-blowing. You spend years working on your music, touring and doing whatever else it takes to be in a band, and sometimes you can feel a bit disheartened, you know, when you’re not constantly ‘smashing it’. That week reminded me exactly why we’re in a band - to make music, connect with people, and hope that the music we’ve put out there that helps people in anyway possible, be that to dance, cry or sing as loud as you can.
Has the lockdown introduced you to any new artists you may not have discovered otherwise? What are your three favourite songs at the moment?
I found an artist called Boy Scouts in the US. She released a cover of ‘A World So Full Of Love’ by Roger Miller, and it was one of those songs where it hit me deep in the soul. Her voice is heartbreaking and uplifting at the same time. It’s been on regular rotation in my ears. Apart from that I’m loving Willie J Healey - Fashun. His album Twin Heavy is spectacular. And Haim- Man From The Magazine. I’ve basically not stopped playing Haim’s new album for a while now. It’s becoming a problem.
Oooh I’ll have to check them out! I love Haim, I’m hoping to catch them live when I can!
If you had to pick one venue you loved performing at, the crowd was wild and the whole experience was unforgettable – what would it be?
Our last headline show in Leeds holds a special place in my heart. The crowd was incredible. It was everything you imagined playing a gig would be when you were younger.
Here’s a picture of The Leeds University Stylus Gig James is talking about! The crowd looks insane!
Photo Credit: @dannypaynephoto
An honourable mention goes to when we supported Foals in Hamburg. It was a logistical nightmare, but we pulled it off. With only two days notice, we drove to Hamburg in our battered van, played an unforgettable show and got to meet some of our heroes. An evening I’ll never forget.
With an upcoming tour planned for next year which I’m sure will be epic, I have one final question any chance of a cheeky backstage pass?
As long as you bring some hand sanitiser.
Thanks so much for your time James, I’ll be seeing you with a big bottle of hand sanitiser then!
Give Ursa Major a listen here: https://open.spotify.com/album/7lqHQwQhCsQ4PXvqaHJfsN?si=3BawS8kpTP6S7S0o_M1iMg
Upcoming tour dates:
03/04 – Lafayette, London
10/04 – The Bread Shed, Manchester
17/04 – Leeds Beckett University Students Union
30/04 – The Baltic Triangle, Liverpool
30/07 – Baldersby Park, Thirsk