MARMOZETS / TBA
We spoke to: Becca Macintyre (vocals)
EXPECT IT: TBA
WHAT'S DIFFERENT: A lot more material to work with. Obviously, we’ve not been seen or heard of for like a year now, so we have a lot of songs to choose from. We’re at that point where we believe we’ve got quite a lot of good songs, and it’s hard to choose what’s gonna go on the album, but that’s a good sign.
BIGGEST CHALLENGE IN MAKING THE RECORD: Probably having to write knowing I’ve got to have two major operations on my knees, which sucked. They happened after Christmas, so I’ve been recovering for a year. Can you imagine being a ballet dancer and then being told you can’t dance for the rest of your life? It’s kind of like one of them situations, but nothing’s gonna stop me and I’ve still got a voice, so I’m okay. I think that’s been the challenge because in fact, I’ve had to get my head around quite a lot of shit. But it’s good, it’s made me way stronger and it’s made me almost sit still, and in this year of writing and approaching songs differently, and I’ve started writing on piano or stuff like that. I guess it’s more like a fighting album, for sure. I mean to keep headstrong with the year that we’ve had. And obviously with albums, you have a deadline. So things can get heated, but we work good under pressure.
IS IT MORE VEXED OR THE WEIRD AND WONDERFUL MARMOZETS? I think it would probably be the wrong decision to go back to math-rock craziness. And I’ve picked up a lot of skills and been experimenting a lot, so it’s more like moving forward. The sound is definitely moving forward, and I would say in a beautiful way. Still in an edgy way, not so much teenage anarchy. It’s more adult anarchy. We have melodies that make you wanna get up and dance. All the songs are joyful and happy with attitude, which is what Marmozets are about, so if you see music in colors, I’m sure you’d see the whole rainbow. —Rabab Al-Sharif
It’s been more than three years since the world has heard new music from 30 Seconds To Mars via the release of 2013’s LOVE LUST FAITH + DREAMS, but thanks to an abundance of super-secretive teasers across the band’s social media, that wait may not be much longer.
In November 2015, frontman Jared Leto posted a studio selfie with the caption #MarsIsComing, implying new tunes were on the horizon. Fast-forward to May of this year where Leto admitted on The Ellen DeGeneres Show that he was doing the interview between studio sessions that day. “We’re working on a new album, and we hope it’s going to be out really, really soon,” he revealed. Later that month, a studio shot of drummer Shannon Leto was posted, and since then, several other behind-the-scenes shots of the duo and guitarist Tomo Milicevic in the self-proclaimed Mars Lab have been shared.
The frontman also briefly mentioned studio work in both his Rolling Stone and GQ Style cover stories that were printed in August. However, it wasn't until just ahead of his debut as the Joker in Suicide Squad that a video premiered revealing that :30TM’s fifth full-length will be released in 2017 via Interscope Records. To hold fans over in the meantime, the band held their second annual Camp Mars festival experience from which a Jared-directed film was produced and posted to his streaming startup, VyRT. They’ve also continued taunting with photos from the Mars Lab, as well as nostalgia-filled throwbacks from live shows and music videos. While the majority of details are still under wraps, one thing is for sure: #MarsIsComing. —Rachel Campbell
NEW POLITICS / TBA
We spoke to: David Boyd (vocals)
EXPECT IT: TBA
WHAT’S DIFFERENT: One thing that's most different is that we're not done with it yet. [Laughs.] For some reason, as much as we're thinking about it, we also get so caught up and are also not thinking about it. It kind of takes its own form. But in general, we're in a different place, as people and musicians. I feel like this probably sounds cliche, but I feel we sort of [came] full circle. Because we don't have any pressure, really. It's not like we're trying to prove anything or or we're trying to overthink it. We're not trying to please anyone, we're not under pressure of the success of [A Bad Girl In Harlem.] What happened a little bit with the success of Harlem—and this is not to put any negative shade on it, because it was just a different time—was [we got] pressure on [us] and the idea of what New Politics is. And I think New Politics is what we make it and who we are. And with the way we were writing, we were kind of comparing without even knowing it. But then at the same time, we're very honest about our stuff. It's just really honest with where we are and just kind of back to the whole ”fuck it” attitude. It's kind of like “Oh, you don't like it? Press fast-forward.”
BIGGEST CHALLENGE IN MAKING THE RECORD: I think the biggest challenge is we've learned numbers and opinions are really irrelevant. It doesn't change the fact of how you feel for something. I mean, if something resonates with you, it's real to you. I want it to be like, “[here’s] this color that I'm going through. This reflects something that I'm going through, and this is my way of expressing it and creating a fictional universe for it.” For me, that's way more honest and interesting, and I think with this record we're really tapping into that. It's really fun to do, it's almost rekindling that reason why we do music in the first place. The way it's been going, we've been using this idea of colors, like lost between different colors and how colors' vibrations spark like an emotion, or a vibration, or a sound or a vibe. Sound is really just a vibration, and it triggers something in you emotionally. I think that resonates with color, and a lot of it has been based off of that, the color in an odd way.
IS IT MORE BAD GIRL IN HARLEM OR VIKINGS? It's a little hard to say, because I've also realized that Harlem's not what we want. It's like, we've done Harlem. That being said, we are New Politics and we write all our stuff; it's ours. And there will always be an element of that if it's a song like "Girl Crush" or "Yeah Yeah Yeah" or "Dignity" or "Harlem" or "Tonight You're Perfect" or "Everywhere I Go," or whatever song it is. That element is constant in New Politics, regardless. There's a core there that only New Politics has which is really an expression of us.
I think, in terms of that, there will be a lot of Harlem sides, definitely. But also, we're writing a ton of songs and we're not that fixed on it. I think it will be pretty much a blend, but there's also a lot of songs that I think people will be shocked this is New Politics. Like, loud. We've been really tapping into things that we've been talking about for years to do and I think we just haven't been ready for it. I think now some of those things are starting to come, and I think we dived into it quite a bit. I'm pretty sure that if you liked Harlem, you'll like this record. Definitely not worried of that. [Laughs.] —Mackenzie Hall
After seven years of waiting, there was light at the end of the tunnel for Brand New fans when Procrastinate Music Traitors sent out an email to its mailing list confirming a release in 2016. Then in September, those dreams were dashed when Brand New issued an apology statement regarding the previous claim of releasing their long-awaited follow-up to 2009’s Daisy this year.“These plans were authentic, but we are changing them,” the band shared in a statement released via Procrastinate Music Traitors. “While there exists a collection of songs that, right now, some would call fit to be an album, to us it is not complete enough, refined enough, or edited thoroughly enough to be something we would call finished or essential. Brand New will not release a record in 2016.”
Does that mean we will hear new music in 2017? Who really knows? But isn’t that part of being a Brand New fan? We’ll keep hope and happily wait as long as it takes. —Rabab Al-Sharif