- 17 May 17
The state of British politics, Warp Records parties and the Chicago Cubs’ World Series win are all on the agenda as Maximo Park frontman Paul Smith discusses the band’s new album, Risk To Exist.
Hot Press catches up with Maximo Park frontman Paul Smith on the band’s tourbus, which is on its way to Bristol for the latest date on the tour supporting their new album, Risk To Exist. Having left the Travelodge behind (“In true Alan Partridge style!” he quips), and momentarily parked the pressing issue of where he’s going to watch that night’s crunch relegation six-pointer between Sunderland and his beloved Middlesborough, Smith ponders where his group sit in the current UK rock landscape.
“A lot of the stuff I listen to isn’t really rock, I suppose,” says the affable, chatty singer. “We did a gig in Rough Trade East in London yesterday and I brought some Flying Saucer Attack reissues, an ambient techno record by Gap, and an album by The Feelies, a jingly-jangly US group from the ’80s. One of the reasons why rock bands are less visible these days is because mainstream radio is playing quite different stuff. There’s only a couple of bands they’ll play – otherwise it’s pop and R&B.
“A lot of it’s pretty good, but on the other hand, a lot of it is pretty bland. When we first started out, there were a lot of bands being played on the radio and it was a good time to be in a group. But there were also a lot of bad bands around. That’s the way the industry works; if you can print up enough copies of something that sounds like something else, there’s a good chance you’ll make some money. There is that side to it. So I don’t mourn the dearth of guitar bands out there at the moment, but I also think mainstream radio should probably be a bit more diverse.”