Felix White of The Maccabees spoke about how Johnny Marr helped steer the direction of new music with his comeback band 86TVs.
The group, made up of brothers Felix, Hugo and Will (the latter a member of mid-90s indie group Talk Taxis and his solo project BLANc) and The Noisettes drummer Jamie Morrison, have just released their first single “Worn Out Buildings to issue “.
Speaking to NME in a recent interview about ex-Maccabees songwriting and the new band’s direction, Felix explained how The Smiths’ guitarist and songwriter gave them some important advice for their new material.
The band recalls that for the first year of the project, “it was completely instrumental and we would write music that we thought could be a soundtrack or find someone to sing on it.”
However, Marr convinced them to sing the songs themselves.
“I think The Maccabees had just broken up, but I had read Johnny Marr’s autobiography, which I loved, and it was a really powerful time to read it because so much of his life was reorganizing and changing,” he recalls. .
He continued: “So at that particular point in my life there was a correlation in my head with what Johnny’s book was saying. I ran into him at the NME Awards and I said, ‘Can I do music send you? We’ve been making instrumental music and we don’t know if it’s good.” So, I sent him all these tools, which in retrospect was very sharp.”
Felix also recalled the content of Marr’s reply email, which read: “‘I’ve listened to it a few times, it sounds great. For what it’s worth, I think you guys should sing on this music.” But it’s not like we got the Bat call from Johnny Marr and said, ‘Okay, our mission is to sing these songs,’ we didn’t know how it would work.
“It was literally three or four years later that we realized that if we all sing together, it sounds like many voices and one voice at the same time and you have the magical blood flow.”
In another part of the conversation, Hugo said that his album will be out next year, but that they are “trying to put out the maximum number of songs now. We’re not going to put out one song and then they go away. We’re going to put it all out.”
86TVs will tour the UK and Europe later this year. Check out the dates below and buy tickets here.
86TVs 2023 UK and European tour dates are:
11 – Brighton, Prince Albert
12 – Hull, Adelphi
Ex-Maccabees Felix and Hugo White launch their new band 86TVs with brother Will
Blossoms talk about how he “hugged” Johnny Marr after the Smiths cover band collapsed
13 – Hebden Bridge, The Trades Club
15 – Edinburgh, Mash House
16 – Huddersfield, Northern Quarter
17 – Cambridge, The Six
19 – Cologne, MTC
20 – Hamburg, Reeperbahn Festival
22 – London, Moth Club
23 – Sheffield, Float Along Festival