Tuesday, 22 May 2018

WOMAD Special - Eight questions with MarthaGunn

As we posted on our socials last week, we're really excited to be working with our friends at WOMAD Festival this year, adding three of our favourite bands to the line-up. We'll have more details soon about the stage and timings, but the bands will each be playing in a "Tigmus hour" slot across the three days. The latest line-up announcement included MarthaGunn and Seramic, who we're really chuffed to have booked for the festival! We're big fans of both bands, having seen them at various shows over the last couple of years, and we've got one more artist to announce soon too who we all adore!

We caught up with Abi from MarthaGunn - get reading our interview below! Grab tickets for WOMAD here and check out the latest line-up announcement here.

(c) Steve Glashier

1. Hello! We’re so glad to have you guys playing for us at WOMAD - we’ve all loved you since catching your set for Communion’s showcase at The Great Escape last year. First things first - who are MarthaGunn and how did you all meet?

Hi! We are really looking forward to playing WOMAD. We are a 5 piece rock band who first met in Brighton some years ago. Frankie plays drums, Ally on bass, Humphrey and Max play guitars and I (Abi) sing and play keys.

 We met just before we started studying in Brighton. Max was living with a close friend of mine who introduced us and we met Humphrey and Ally a few weeks later, all itching to be in a band. Frankie joined the band in 2015 after we saw him play a gig and decided he was the drummer for us. We mark the moment Frankie joined as the real beginning of our journey.

2. We know a little of the story but for those who don’t - tell us where the name of the band comes from! Was it important for you to keep a connection to Brighton through the name?

MarthaGunn was an 18th century spiritual healer from Brighton who is also an ancestor of mine. Brighton is a big part of who we are and our history, the connection was never intentional but a welcome nod to our beginnings.

3. Your sound bridges a gap between the contemporary and some of our best loved bands from the 70s (you’ve earned a lot of comparisons to the likes of Fleetwood Mac) - how would you describe your sound, and who are the biggest musical influences on the band, old and new?

We all love the 70s, especially the songwriting. We draw from many places as individuals, our tastes are quite eclectic between us and our sound is born out of that. Some of our biggest influences are David Bowie, Arcade FireTame Impala, Mystery Jets and Kate Bush.



4. With two pretty successful singles under your belts and a string of shows supporting the likes of Bear’s Den, Mumford& Sons, James Bay and AnnenMayKantereit in the UK and further afield you could say it’s been a pretty positive start for the band. What have your highlights been?

We've had a pretty exciting year, the live side has been a great ride. I'd have to say the highlight has been exploring more of Europe in our van 'Dorothy'. It's a dream for us. It is such a wonderful adventure to explore news places with your best friends through playing music.

5. You appear to have been busy writing and recording for a few months now… how is it all going? When do we get to hear the fruits of your labour?

The last 6 months have been very much geared towards writing. We have been hidden away in Wales and various other places exploring who we are as a band. It's been a very productive and revealing experience. We can't say for sure when we will next release music but certainly before the end of the year.


6. I imagine a MarthaGunn recording session is a pretty fun environment to be in but it’s also clear that you all really enjoy playing live, so it’s great that you’re coming back to the stage for WOMAD in July. What can we expect from the set?

We like to think of ourselves as a live band first and as writing has been the main focus recently, we are itching to play! Expect high energy and lots of new songs.

7. The WOMAD line-up (http://womad.co.uk/line-up/) is looking (and sounding) great already - we’re chuffed to have added you and Seramic. Who else do you think that people should be catching over the weekend?

WOMAD has such a diverse line up, we are most looking forward to finding something entirely new to us. Definitely going to catch Mr. Jukes!

8. Beyond the festival - who else is piquing your interest musically at the moment?

This is a wide question, I'll keep it brief. Jon Hopkins just released a phenomenal new album. There is a disco/pop band called Parcels from Australia via Berlin whom we all adore. Recently Bowie has been in heavy circulation in our van.

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