From: United Kingdom
Why did you opt for the name Marthas & Arthurs? What other names did you consider before finally deciding it had to be Marthas & Arthurs?
We love the Mamas & Papas so it's kind of homage to them, with a knitwear-wearing twist. For our first gig we were After School Singing Club For Squares (I can see why you changed it - The Devil). We can't tell you the other name we discarded as it's the best bandname in the history of bandnames and it's dying to be used at some point, but it didn't really suit the music we're making at the moment.
Who are your biggest influences?
All four of us listen to lots of different types of music but probably in terms of Marthas & Arthurs we're most influenced by Mamas & Papas, Belle & Sebastian, and Beach Boys when they're out-Spectoring Spector. But if we listened to songs like 'Don't Worry Baby' too often we'd probably just give up. We love any kind of pop with vocal harmonies that's produced and played like it's really meant. There's a bit of folk in there too, but not much. We love Anne Briggs for her simple, unadorned voice. But you've got to be careful with folk...
What was the first record you owned and what was the first record you ever bought?
Name three pieces of music that rattle up your spine and shake your body like a hurricane?
We've already mentioned 'Don't Worry Baby' by the Beach Boys, but it's so good that we'll say it again. 'Needle In A Haystack' by the Velvelettes. If that doesn't get a party started nothing's going to and you should leave.'Ragged Wood' by Fleet Foxes. or most of the songs off that album. Beautiful songs, beautifully sung, beautifully played, beautifully recorded.
We played at Standon Calling and Joe Gideon and the Shark were (a lot) further up the bill... they were just the real deal. She's great to watch, never mind listen to, on the drums... quite acrobatic, and he's sort of a David Crosby figure with aggressive love for his bass. (We like the way you said in your question "other than Marthas & Arthurs" in case we went, well actually WE are the most exciting band on the current music scene at the moment...)
If you weren't in Marthas & Arthurs how would you keep yourself occupied?
To be truthful, we are already quite occupied with other things. the band doesn't take up that much time. Mary is a student and also works for a children's charity. Esther makes AMAZING bags, handbags etc out of environmentally-friendly materials, Tom pretends he makes chairs and Vlad is soon to be a world-famous Ukranian record producer.
If you were interviewing yourself what would your killer question be and how would you answer it?
Martha & Arthurs
Answer: Yes please
Is there anything else you'd like to say to the Devil's readers?
Marthas & Arthurs
We're giving our first EP away for free on bandcamp, so please go and have a listen (check it out at Marthas & Arthurs Bandcamp). We're starting some more recording soon, so hopefully that will turn into an album by the end of the year... And also... we might lose Vlad back to the Ukraine soon because of visa issues, so if any Arthur thinks they could replace him in bass playing and harmony singing, then get in touch.