We’ve been following Mazes for a while, here at Whiteboard. Following the release of their debut album A Thousand Heys and the announcement of a show at this year’s Tramlines festival, in Sheffield – the band have a brand new album that’s ready for the world. So we caught up with frontman – Jack Cooper, for a quick chat about Tramlines, the new album and the future for Mazes…
Hey Jack, are you looking forward to your performance at Tramlines Festival?
I think I am… It seems like a long time since we’ve played outside London and been on tour. I have a soft spot for Sheffield. My friend Kev went to university there and I guess it was the first place I felt completely off the leash when I was in my late teens. When I think of Tramlines, I think of the lines you get shaved into the side of your hair, which I inadvisably did a few years ago.
Do you have any other festival plans for the summer?
Not that I know of. We did a load last year and without having an album out, you don’t really get asked back the following year.
As this is a focus on piece, some readers may not be familiar with Mazes… So could you introduce the band and tell us a bit about yourselves, please?
Well we’re a band. We listen to other music and it influences us. We started out in 2008. It was originally me. And then we settled as a four piece and now we’re a three piece. The line-up has been generally fluid and that’s a cool thing. People come and go but as it stands we’re really happy. I suppose we’re a London band that makes rock music… I’m terrible at this.
How did you form?
In the usual way… Organically. There were no auditions or anything.
We hear that there is a new album in the pipe line, how’s that going?
It’s gone. We’ve finished it. We took the bull by the horns and recorded it ourselves in our rehearsal room and in my flat. I think fans of the first record will dig it, but it’s wildly different sounding. I think people who like our band are generally open to the fact we’re all over the place stylistically. Bands talking about their aesthetic makes me fucking sick and so we don’t have one. I saw Van Dyke Parks the other night and he described what journalists describe as ‘eclectic’ as simply ‘natural’. What I’m saying is we have very, very diverse record collections and to make a garage rock record this time around would be like fielding a football team of goalkeepers.
Do you have planned release yet?
It’s definitely not our label’s fault but the music industry needs to have records 4 or 5 months before the general public so they have time to be reviewed by magazines and leak online, ha. So the autumn basically.
Your recent show at The Shacklewell Arms seemed to incorporate a lot of instrumental tracks that weren’t present upon A Thousand Heys… Will the new album take a more instrumental dynamic approach?
There are a couple of short instrumental songs on the record but that’s it. My vocals must’ve been low in the mix.
So now that you can look back at the release of A Thousand Heys, are you happy with the reaction that it has gained, and is there anything that you would change?
I think it’s normal to feel disappointed. I can’t imagine anyone is ever 100% satisfied with a record or a piece of art. It’s a pretty cool record, but yeah I’d do pretty much everything differently. Life viewed from the inside is a series of defeats as George Orwell said.
Thanks, so what’s next for Mazes, after the release of the album?
Hopefully promoters will be into booking us and people will be into attending the shows they booked.