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Interview: In The Hot Seat With Matt Webb From Marianas Trench

Matt Webb From Marianas Trench

Marianas Trench may be named after the deepest part of the world’s oceans, but the pop-rockers have been rising to new heights in recent years. Known for their cheerfully infectious tunes, the band toured Australia for the first time back in 2012 – with guitarist Matt Webb telling us that he has “a real soft spot for everybody in Australia” after their warm reception.

“I had a really nice time when we were in Australia, just because we had never played there. To go into a venue and see it packed full of people singing along to our songs, the first time you go there – it’s shocking,” he said.

Still, the band’s infatuation with Australia extends far beyond their existence as a band. Vocalist Josh Ramsay first encountered rock music when legends like AC/DC would record at his father’s studio. Even more astounding, the band recently had another unusual encounter with the Australian legends.

“When we were mixing part of our new record, AC/DC was actually recording at a studio right above us… I got to sit in a little hallway and listen to Angus Young shredding on the guitar above me. They’re such an inspiration. I’m the biggest AC/DC fan, and anybody in our band – if you don’t like AC/DC, you can get the hell out,” Webb said jokingly.

While Webb further named Silverchair and INXS as other local favourites, their upcoming ‘That’s Not A Knife’ tour is a nod to another Australian legend – Crocodile Dundee. The Simpsons also parodied the iconic movie scene in an episode, with Webb telling us that the tour name is “a reference to both of those things.”

“We thought it was the funniest thing ever, we were all in tears laughing about it. And any Australian person I talked to was like ‘You guys are a bunch of idiots.’ If you know our band, you know we don’t take ourselves too seriously… We thought it would be pretty funny, and hopefully crack a few smiles,” he said.

The same sense of humour shone through when Marianas Trench released ‘Pop 101’ earlier this year. The single is a satirical comment on mainstream music, and these guys are qualified to comment on the issue – Ramsay wrote Carly Rae Jepsen’s smash hit ‘Call Me Maybe’. According to Webb, a good pop song has “got to be catchy; you got to be able to sing along to it. I don’t like stuff that’s too fabricated. Pop’s pretty slick-sounding stuff, but I like hearing individual performances and actual real instruments.”

This is the sound that Marianas Trench are chasing on their forthcoming album, one which Webb hopes to be “out before the end of the year.” Still, Australian fans will be able to preview the record in all its live glory. “We got some great songs coming, we’ll be playing a bunch of new stuff in Australia. You guys are going to be the first people to hear it live, so we’re pretty stoked about unleashing some of that stuff,” he said.

Clearly, the upcoming shows will be a special treat for Australian fans, and Marianas Trench have managed to capture an extremely dedicated legion of supporters. Fans created and recently celebrated #MarianasTrenchDay – an annual event on October 3, heralding the anniversary of the band’s debut album, Fix Me. Webb is still overwhelmed with the response. “It’s been eight years since that record came out… There are people who have been there since the very beginning for us, and how lucky are we to have the kind of support that we do, it’s shocking. We’re very lucky,” he said.

With Webb insisting that he “can’t tell you how excited we all are to get down there,” it’s clear that the upcoming Australian tour will be a dazzling spectacle of old and new material from Marianas Trench. And while Webb has confessed his love of eating pumpkin pie for breakfast on Twitter, he’s still on the fence about vegemite on toast – but he’s keeping an open mind:

“I did have it the first time I was there and I had mixed feelings about it. But I will try it again and I will eat it for breakfast when I’m there. Absolutely.”

You can catch Marianas Trench performing live at the shows mentioned below.

Marianas Trench Australian Tour 2014:

Saturday, November 1
The Corner Hotel, Melbourne (18+)

Sunday, November 2
The Corner Hotel, Melbourne (All Ages)

Tuesday, November 4
The Zoo, Brisbane (18+)

Wednesday, November 5
The Metro Theatre, Sydney (All Ages)

Thursday, November 6
Astor Theatre, Perth (All Ages)

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