Indietracks interview #1: Maggie8


Here’s the first of our 2016 Indietracks band interviews. Between now and the end of July we’ll be chatting with several of this year’s artists, so we can all get to know them a little better, and we’ll have a few special guest interviewers along the way!

Maggie8 are an indie folk band from Leeds, featuring guitarist Mark Wright and singer Nivedita Pisharoty.  Their sound juxtaposes Eastern harmonies, elements of Bollywood and Western sensibilities, and they’ve been described as a ‘Hindi-Indie’ pop outfit. In true mashup style, they slice and splice old Bollywood samples with new guitars – all to mellow undertones of glee and melancholy, wrapped in beautiful harmony.

2015 saw Maggie8 release their first full length album ‘मैगी८’, (self-titled), and a new album is set to be released in 2016 in time for the summer! Norman Records described their song ‘Hussain Bolt’ as “an absolute pop blast of a tune which puts the best bits of Cornershop, Animal Collective, Gruff Rhys, Cocteau Twins and (yes) Lily Allen into a mixing bowl, stirs rapidly and comes up with the kind of feel good summer tune that should be all over the airwaves if there was any justice in the world”.

They’ve previously played shows with Allo Darlin’, MJ Hibbett, Darren Hayman and more, and will be appearing at an Indietracks warm-up show in the Regather Co-op Sheffield on Thursday 28 July with Jessica and the Fletchers and Pete Green.

Mark and Niv kindly answered a few questions before their Indietracks appearance.

Hi there – please tell us a bit about Maggie8 – how did you all meet and how did the band get together?

Maggie8 were formed over random meet ups and chats about music in Leeds. We have gone through many different line-ups and at Indietracks we will be featuring a guest drummer Betty, as our usual beat master is a hired stag do celebrity. As an exciting new addition we will also be bringing in the Scandinavian/Welsh violinista that is Glenna who will also add backing vocals.

Most of the original setup met through forging a career in mental health, after closely examining their own way of being and finding the need for a therapeutic release.

How would you describe your sound? Do you have key influences?

We are a mixture of a lot of musical journeys. We write organically as no one turns up to practice with a song. This means that  everything we write has been produced with messing about as a band. We have often name checked St Etienne as an influence and it’s great they are playing here.

We also love a whole bunch of other varied stuff like Asha Bhosle a fab playback singer for Bollywood who’s being going for years and we’ve probably sampled to death, Stereolab and Broadcast for their reverby melancholy poppiness, Tame Impala, David Wright etc etc.

You’ve released an album previously – do you have any other releases coming up soon?

We had an album out last year called मैगी८ and have a newer album coming really soon, which excitingly might just be available at the merchandise store at Indietracks if Mark can make up his mind in a month.

Indietracks is set in a railway – tell us about any other unusual venues you’ve played in the past, if any!

We played at bowling alley once which featured another Indietracks player Darren Hayman who Mark was a very keen on seeing at the time. We had already played and he sidled up to him and asked if he had seen maggie8 play and Darren said he had seen someone bashing a banjo. It was a very proud moment. Played in a tent for Hyde Park fest that got flooded once and we lost all sound, which was interesting!

Is there anyone in particular you’re looking forward to at Indietracks?

Loads. Bearsuit, The Delgados’ ‘Great Eastern’ was one of my favourite records growing up [Emma Pollock is playing solo at Indietracks]. We are friends with City Yelps from Leeds so we do recommend them to everyone, they have a certain vibe. Just don’t stand too close to Ged unless you want to get covered in finger blood!

Tell us a bit more about what we can expect from your set at Indietracks!

So we have a new untested line up for this festival which is as exciting as it is daunting. I saw Betty busking on drums in Leeds town centre and she blew my mind and it clicked that she could play with us. Glenna was recruited to stop Niv getting lost. We are going to play some organic pop fuelled honest moments and share  joy for all those who come spend the time with us!

It’s a brilliant festival for this summer and such a great platform – we can’t wait!