Meet the Oxford band causing a stir with their debut album, Child.
MMX lads keeps it short and bittersweet for Wonderland, just like the melancholy songs from their widely successful recent debut album Child. Despite the hazy, vulnerable quality of this Oxford-based band’s sound, don’t be fooled. In this interview, MMX prove that they aren’t afraid to be compared with Coldplay, or to reveal the autobiographical inspiration behind their lyrics, and that, yes – they all still listen to Michael Jackson.
Your band’s sound has often been compared to, er, Coldplay, who are also from Oxford. How do you distinguish yourselves from them, or is there a homegrown music scene you both belong to?
I think in this day and age you will always be likened to someone. We enjoy hearing how different people interpret our music. Sometimes you can be too close to something to comprehend it, but we’ve never felt the need to distinguish ourselves from anyone else – I think a good song can do that for itself.
We’ve been listening to a lot of Jessie Ware recently. Her album is great. I think she would be interesting to work with.
Your latest album, Child, has quite an elegiac, confessional tone to it, even using a church organ. What was the driving inspiration behind it?
Child is entirely autobiographical. Whilst we were writing it I couldn’t help but hear a sense of vulnerability in the instrumentation and I had to find a way of translating that. I didn’t come into the world under the best circumstances, and the repercussions have echoed into my adult life. Child is just my first attempt at explaining it all.
What bands did you listen to growing up?
Quite a variety: we all grew up listening to, and still listen to a lot of Radiohead, Fleetwood Mac, Pat Benatar, Simon & Garfunkel, Phil Collins, The Smiths, and Michael Jackson.
What is the worst and best aspect of your growing success?
To be honest, it isn’t really a factor for us. Our fans are quiet types. We love the atmosphere at our shows, it feels like everyone is there for the music, and we feel supported as people as well as musicians.
What new directions can we expect from you guys in the future?
There’s no knowing, really. It seems like everything we do just evolves on it’s own and we let it take shape over time. I see that as a good thing: it’s good to start with a little uncertainty. We’re currently recording new music and the progression from Child feels right, but it’s not where we thought we’d go. It’s an intriguing process to be a part of.
MMX plays at The Old Blue Last on June 10th 2013. mmxofficial.com
Words: Christine Jun (Follow Christine on Twitter at @christinecocoj)