Marsicans on their new single, upcoming debut, and mediating in the face of disaster

Singer James Newbigging looks ahead to a year of new music.

Longtime Dork faves Marsicans drop a new single today; ‘Can I Stay Here Forever (pt.II)’ is the very first taste from their upcoming debut album. The follow-up to a never-released-but-briefly-performed-live ‘pt.1’, the song tackles singer James Newbigging’s societal frustrations. “The UK has been a particularly divided place over the past few years and this song was born out of frustration with it all,” he says, explaining that he wants everyone to “stop treating other people as the enemy and just get on with actually solving the problems we’re facing.” A lofty hope for the year ahead perhaps, but we can all hope, right?

Hello James! We’ve not spoken in ages. How are you guys? What’ve you been up to during the past six months or so?

We are great, thank you. We’re gearing up for the first release of the year and personally, I can’t bloody wait. At the back end of last year, we put a big tick in the box next to ‘debut album recorded’, and since then we’ve been shooting videos, putting artwork together and concluded the year by touring with We Are Scientists (who are some of the funniest guys we’ve ever met).

Tell us about ‘Can I Stay Here Forever (pt. II)’. What’s it about? Was it a tough song to write?

It’s kind of got a few phases. Another version of the song was written and recorded a few years ago but never came out for some reason. It was a love song, about being so happy and content that I didn’t want anything to change. Then a couple of years later, that lyric kept coming back to me. So we started messing about musically, hit record on a voice memo and then forgot about it for another 12 months or so. Just before we went to start the album sessions, we discovered the voice memo and immediately I knew what Part II was going to be about. Everyone seems like they’ve been constantly arguing for the past few years, but with closed ears/minds to what the other person has to say. It was really just born out of frustration at everything around us.

You’ve said it’s in part about people not listening to other viewpoints regarding issues like climate change and Brexit. Are there any positions you feel aren’t getting the platform they should?

Too many. But the main aim was to highlight that, just because someone is ‘wrong’ to you, it doesn’t mean they necessarily are. And even if they are, talk to them, try to understand, educate them, let them educate you, and see where you’re at then, rather than just shouting at each other.

“It’s been a pretty scary start to the year”
James Newbigging

With issues like climate change still receiving pushback, despite contributing to devastation like the current Australian bushfires, it’s really difficult not to panic about where we’re all heading, don’t you think?
Impossible. It’s been a pretty scary start to the year. When you see what’s going on, you can’t help but daydream and imagine what it’s going to be like, and it’s fucking scary. Hasan Minhaj, the US comedian, recently joked about just letting one thing worry you this year. There’s so much going on it can crush you thinking about every single thing. Pick one main focus to worry/act upon and see how you can help. Obviously don’t ignore the world around you, but don’t let every single problem be yours to deal with. I’m gonna be trying a bit of that this year.

If this is the first single from your debut, does that mean it’s going to be all-new material? No re-recorded versions of old faves?

It does indeed mean all-new material. We toyed around with putting some old faves on, but then we thought “why bother?” They’re already faves. Let’s hopefully give people new faves. We’d been writing loads, and we had to cut down the new songs to fit the album anyway, so including older tracks was kind of forgotten about early on.

Do your other tracks tackle such weighty topics?

Not all of them, but there’s definitely a weightier feel to the album. I think that’s probably because we’ve spent a long time writing the album, so we’ve had more time to really explore lyrically/musically. Some of the record is very direct but, on other tracks, you’ll either have to dig deeper or just wonder what the hell we’re on about.

How’s the album coming along? Is there much more to do?

It’s all finished recording-wise! We’re just putting the vinyl together and making sure that when it’s released, it can fly off into the sun. Then we’ll shed a tear of pride as we watch it grow into a fine young album.

What else have you got coming up at the mo?

Apart from the debut album, we’re pretty buzzing for SXSW. It’s always been a dream of ours, so to play it before the album’s coming out will be a real moment. Get ready for lots of new music, cause it’s a comin’.

Marsicans’ new single ‘Can I Stay Here Forever (pt.II)’ is out now.

Picture Parlour: "We are speaking the album into existence"
The July issue of Dork, featuring Remi Wolf, Wallows, Wunderhorse and more, is out now
Picture Parlour have released their debut EP, 'Face In The Picture'