(PCM) Kristyn Clarke and Renee Winner of PopCultureMadness were recently able to catch up with Mallory Knox vocalist Mikey Chapman during their recent tour stop in Philadelphia, PA. The band were part of one of this winter’s biggest tours sharing a bill with both Sleeping With Sirens, Pierce The Veil and PRVIS.
Being out with bands such as Pierce The Veil and Sleeping with Sirens makes this a huge tour for the band. We are sure that they have seen their fan base continue to grow as a result. Mikey tells us “The great thing about this tour is that we get to go back to the beginning, our roots so to say, because we are performing to people who don’t know us and that is where we all start. It means that we can really be the underdogs again and work towards making new fans. So far, so good!
The American public have really seemed to pick up on our sound and what we are doing. People are vibing off of that and really enjoying it, so hopefully that will just carry on growing.”
We assume this must be refreshing to the band overall and certainly like dealing with a different type of animal touring-wise. Mikey reveals “Absolutely. I mean, you go from the U.K. and Europe to Australia and now finally we get to do The States, you notice that the crowds of people are different. They all have the same wants and likes, but there are slight kind of differences that you have to learn and craft your set around. You have to make a point to tailor it to the people you are playing for and people in The States are no different. It’s been a real nice challenge to come to grips with that for sure.”
When asked which songs are going over the best live thus far, Mikey responds “We always have our last song, which is “My House” which we always seem to play last because it is a favorite where ever we go and it carry’s over very well over here. There seems to be a divide among the crowds we’ve played to so far between kids who really like moshing and there are other kids who like the more poppier side of things so its been nice to see that both aspects of what we consider makes us a band are being received by almost two different kinds of people which is really weird, but kind of exciting to see.Kids who enjoy both subgenres of music can come together and enjoy one band. It’s very exciting”.
We were also curious if the band was looking into any of the U.S. music festivals this year. Mikey told us “I think we are going to be doing a summer over here, I can’t say too much right now, but I can’t wait.” The band is also headlining the Takedown Festival this year overseas. Mikey says “We head back home March 6th and then we have a few hours to get to where we are playing and then it is straight back on. It’s going to be nice because it is going to be one of our first home shows of the year. It gives us an opportunity to meet back up with our British fans. We then have a few more days off and they we come straight back here to The States for SXSW.”
With all the traveling that the band has been doing we are sure that they have seen some crazy stuff along the way. Mikey comments “Being a video game lover, one of the things I like the most here in The States and would love to take back home are these arcade/video game bars. It is brilliant. You have a place to buy alcohol and sh**tloads of video games, we don’t have that back home and we have been to three here so far and I am just in heaven.
It’s been a great thing to immerse yourself into and to me it is something that is quintessentially American. Things like pinball they don’t really do back home, as a kid I kind of assimilated so much American culture through television, music and stuff like that, so just being here and immersing yourself in it physically is a unique and exciting experience.”
We asked if it was everything he expected to which Mikey responded “In a way, yeah, I mean obviously you have your expectations, but the people here completely blow my mind and everyone has just been so welcoming and totally wonderful. Everyone seems to be looking out for one another and very friendly, so you guys should be proud of yourselves for that.”
Sometimes there can be certain aspects of a band that people misunderstand from time to time, Mikey reveals that with Mallory Knox often times people actually think they are Australian rather than British and that his name is not Mallory Knox. Many people at shows will think it is a singular person not an entire band. “I am not a girl, nor is my name Mallory Knox”.
He goes on to say “We pride ourselves in just being straightforward and we are what we are. I used to be fed up as a kid about having to know certain things or know this or that to try to fit in and all that kind of rubbish. For me, if you like us you like us, it doesn’t matter where you’re from, what you do or any of that stuff, it is just completely irrelevant to me. For us if there are any misconceptions they are prefabricated because what we are on stage is what we are in real life. There’s no bulls**t”
The band are currently touring behind their latest album “Asymmetry” which was released last October. In talking about the recording process Mikey tells us “With Mallory’s recording process, before we even get to the studio, just in the writing side of things, we don’t write a song and bring it to fruition, if we don’t believe that it is going to make it onto the record. We may keep some stuff floating from time to time, but we will never take a song all the way to the end and then say we are going to put that one on the back burner.”
Whatever we write, if we are going to spend our time and effort on it, it’s got to be something we really think will fit on the record. Once the writing is out of the way, the recording process process is very swift I suppose. With “Asymmetry” we had maybe two or three months to do this one, which is really unique to us because the album before we only had about two or three weeks. So, in comparison it was a long time for us, which meant we could really perfect certain sounds and things like that.”
Mikey went on to praise his band mates in Mallory Knox saying “They are brilliant at what they do!”
We were curious what it was like to work with Gil Norton as a producer and if he challenged the band in any way. Mikey tells us ” Sure. We were really apprehensive to work with Gil because of some of the great records he has done, I mean we are all big Foo Fighters fans, massive Jimmy Eat World fans and know just how influential those bands are and he was such a big part of that. Gil really became a friend and he became the sixth member of the band. He helped us get through certain parts and he just really understood us and how we worked, especially when I was doing my vocals. He knew how quickly I would get frustrated if I couldn’t get something and he would work around it … he could see it before it could. It was the mark of a true master of his craft and we are very honored to say we got to work with him for sure”
The rest of 2015 will hold more and more traveling for the band, as Mikey says “We’ve put a lot of hard work into this record and our fans at home have just been so fantastic at picking it up and giving us the opportunity to do some of the things we are doing now. We just want to do right by that and just tour the hell out of this record and visit as many places around the globe as we possibly can and hopefully make some new fans and friends along the way.”
To wrap things up with Mikey we asked him some of this thoughts on the current rock scene and jokingly what he would do if Kanye took his award away. He jokingly replied “I would kick that guy in the face. I don’t give a sh*t! That guy is rude as hell. Beck deserved that sh*t! Musicians these days fight an uphill battle and I take pride that within British music we all kind of have each other’s backs and it seems to me that being on this tour with the guys in Pierce The Veil and Sleeping With Sirens and seeing how they work, everyone is looked at as equals. We all have each other’s backs.”
Photography credit: Andrew Wendowski Photography