As long time fans Maribou State it’s hard not to give the English two-piece electronic outfit a pretty warm reception, more so knowing they’ll be here soon for the sold out Splendour in the Grass and a couple sideshows with some other seriously talented artists including James Blake, Tycho, Friendly Fires and Honne.
Their brand f-kilter yet smooth, jazzy electronica is both easy listening and a welcomed invitation to move for those that have caught them live before. They’ve been behind some massive hits including ‘Midas’, a subtle piano driven anthem from earlier on in their careers to the recent and carefully curated Kingdom In Colours remixes that saw Maceo Plex, HAAi and Manno Le Tough among others rework album favourites.
With the imminent good times upon us came an opportunity to shoot over some questions to Chris and Liam who surprisingly gave some really frank and honest answers to a myriad topics including just what is needed to make it, the place streaming, genres identity crisis and some their favourite Australian acts.
SR: It’;s been a good couple years for Maribou State, upon reflection, was there a ‘we made it moment’ you could share?
MS: Yeah, it’s certainly been an event couple years! There’s been many moments along the way that we’ve met with disbelief and shock; big gigs that have sold out quickly, seeing billboards erected the album artwork etc. but I wouldn’t say there was a ‘we made it moment’. I’m not really sure how you define if you’ve ‘made it’ or not. I will say we’ve been very lucky to have ended up making and sharing music with people as our chosen careers and that gratification is most definitely felt continuously.
SR: Do you put a successful career down to persistence and patience or something else? On- going passion? Luck perhaps?
MS: I think It’s an amalgamation all the above. In some cases more one thing may help you but the truth is it’s completely unpredictable and impossible to be on any kind path that has a guarantee success. I wish there was a cleaner answer but you’ve just gotta hit it as hard as you can, never give up, keep positive, keep passionate and hope to hell that you’re served a good slice luck along the way. We’ve certainly had moments where the stars have aligned, things out our control have propelled us forward, but we’ve also been working tirelessly for almost ten years now, and I’d still say we’re relatively low down the ladder right now.
SR: Originally a genre defined an act, do you think fitting into a specific genre still has the same effect? If so, why?
MS: I think genre is becoming less relevant today. I think due to new power connectivity and communication through the internet the boundary’s musical style are being pushed to the limit, with inspiration, sample hunting, collaborations etc. now spanning the world over, we find more than ever we have an abundance music that is hard to box into a category or label with a genre, which I personally don’t have any concern for. I don’t think genre’s define acts but I do feel that perhaps they enhance the chances people discovering them. The new generation streaming and algorithmic playlisting has almost overnight become the main source where people find their music, so I’m sure from the standpoint the teams behind these platforms, genre helps them to feed through music to the listener.
SR: Do you think streaming in its current form is helpful for all kinds artists or more helpful for established artists?
MS: Sadly I think it favours the artists with a larger prile. I’m talking about this from a monetary standpoint. Obviously the amount money they fer per stream is relative whether you have 1 stream or 1 million but due to the amount money they actually fer, you really need to be hitting those bigger numbers to actually see any return that is worthwhile. The reality hitting those bigger numbers on streams, in most cases, simply requires a larger prile and bigger marketing spends. On the flipside, platforms like Spotify and Apple do have these curated playlists, with thousands upon thousands followers, who are open and supportive new music. So if you’re a smaller act and you appear on one these playlists, chances are you’re going to see a big spike in your streams and in return a big spike in your income however there course is only a limited amount space on these lists and a complete uncertainty as to whether your music will be included. I think drawing the positives, it allows new unsigned artists to get there music up online, gives them tools to promote it, and pays money out for the streams they generate. Yes, the fee paid per play is far too low in comparison to a physical sale but sadly it’s where the industry is at right now.
SR: Are there any Australian artists you listen to? Any favourites?
MS: Yes course. Lot’s great music comes out Australia. Once upon a time I was completely obsessed with everything that Modular put out. Fast forward to now, we’re big fans Tame Impala, course. Harvey Sutherland is also someone we keep a very close eye on.
Those with tickets will be able to catch Maribou State at this years sold out Splendour in the Grass or snap up tickets to their headline Sydney and Melbourne shows below;