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Mallory Knox interview: “we mean business”

We chatted to Mallory Knox’s lead guitarist Joe Savins about new beginnings, a jam-packed summer of headline shows and festivals across the UK and their latest musical ventures.

Skiddle Staff

Date published: 13th Jun 2018

Image: Martyna Wisniewska (credit)

Mallory Knox recently embarked on new beginnings after a shock lineup change back in February, but after nearly 10 years in the game it clear to see the Cambridge alt-rock band are just getting started. 

Since the departure of vocalist Mikey Chapman, the now four-piece have delved into a new chapter after the release of their new single 'Black Holes'. Giving fans a taste of their grunge alt-rock sound, Mallory Knox are set to descend on a ton of festivals this summer including a headline slot at Bristol's hard rock mash up, Fat Lip Fest, which takes place at the Lanes on Saturday 28th July.

After embarking on their recent UK tour in April, the foursome made their mark as fans immersed in their new set up, with a confidence and aura that was clear to see.

With so much more on the horizon for Mallory Knox, we spoke to lead guitarist Joe Savins about upcoming festival dates, new music and the reception from fans.  

Hi Joe! Mallory Knox are about to embark on a ton of UK festivals. Are you guys excited?

We are. It's been a long time since we properly toured the UK festival circuit, for the last few years we've either been tied up in exclusivity deals with certain festivals or we've been touring in other countries, so this feels well overdue for us. 

Which festival are you most excited for? 

It's our third year on the bounce at 2000 Trees and it's been amazing for us every time, so when we were booked to play again we were all excited. We're playing a lot of small festivals in places we've never been to as well, so even though they're small in size, it's going to be interesting to go and experience something new.

What do you guys like about festivals?

The unpredictable nature. There is something exciting about not knowing if a crowd is going to like you. Playing headline shows is obviously great because you get to play to crowds who know every single word and have paid to see you, but festival crowds definitely keep you on your toes and you have to adapt quickly to the audience.

You recently toured the UK, how was it? What was the reception from fans like?  

It was great, we deliberately played very small venues so we could get back in people's faces to mark the new chapter of the band. It was quite a strange feeling to know that we almost had to win people over again, it was totally different to the usual feel of a headline show. But after 2 or 3 songs the crowd were 100% with us each night and I think we removed any doubts they might have had about us going forward without Mikey.

Was it strange without Mikey?

I was actually surprised how natural it felt considering it was the new line up. We've been functioning behind the scenes as a 4 piece for a long time now, Mikey had informed us before Wired even came out that he was having doubts about being in the band so I suppose internally, we were very settled without him.

Of course the live shows took some getting used to but every night I felt our performance improved tenfold and now it feels like we're really hitting our stride live. The confidence in the band is unbelievable at the minute and I really feel that even though to the fans it is a severe change, we are better than ever.

What did you make of peoples’ response to Black Holes?

We were lucky that Black Holes seemed to settle the nerves of the fans very quickly after the news broke of Mikey leaving. The fact is that the song writing dynamic in the band hasn't changed a great deal, Sam would always write the majority of the lyrics and we would also get a majority of the music written as a 4 piece too. I think coming out so quickly with such an energetic song really made people realise that we mean business and we're not going to let Mikey’s departure hold us back.

There’s definitely a grungier sound to Black Holes, is this the direction the new music is taking?

The confidence I mentioned earlier is so glaringly obvious in our new music. There is a true give a fuck attitude in the band at the moment and we just want to write a great rock record. I think when you look around at the moment there's more and more synths and backing tracks creeping their way into rock music and we will never ever be about that.

Our new music definitely kicks back against the current trend and I think we're gonna stick out like a sore thumb when our album eventually gets released. We definitely dipped our toes in with certain songs on Wired, there were a few songs on there that were extremely raw with big riffs but we definitely played it safe on a few tracks too. That isn't going to happen on this next record and we're all ready to stick our necks out and write the record we really want to make, regardless of trends.

So you’ve been in the studio recently, is there more new music on the horizon?

Definitely. It's impossible to give any specifics because we don’t have any dates yet, but the plan this year is to constantly be in and out of the studio and piece the album together gradually, instead of going in for a 5 week session and sitting on the album for 6 months. We're making sure we have the most time possible to write the best album we can. It's all about capturing those purple patches of song writing across the year.

Can you give fans an idea of what to expect from the new music?

A change. I feel like I covered it in the last couple of questions but this is definitely going to be the most different Mallory album. There's a renewed energy in the band and we've been quite fearless with the song writing and the new music is very exciting as a result. 

Going forward, what does the future hold for Mallory Knox?

This year it's all about getting the album ready. After that, who knows? We'll be on the road as much as possible and hopefully the new album will take us to new heights.

Mallory Knox are set to headline Fat Lip fest in Bristol this summer, find Fat Lip Fest tickets below.

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