Last sunday we caught up with the wonderful Mollie Marriott prior to her gig supporting the incredible Paul Weller at the Mountford Hall. Here’s what she had to say…
So you say you’ve been walking around Liverpool today?
Yeah we went to The Beatles museum but couldn’t get in so we walked around the docks instead. It’s an amazing city with great architecture and cool vintage shops. There were these amazing street performers – a lad singing Al Green which I had to put up on my Instagram.
When was the last time you were here?
Oh my gosh I think I was 14! So it would have been…
I wont ask…
17 years ago! I was touring with a band back then.
And I tell you what, I can’t believe how cheap it is here for a cab! Compared to London we were amazed.
Yeah its great as a city, has got so much going on but at Northern prices!
Absolutely, really cool.
So what have you been listening to recently?
A female singer called Empara Mi – London grammar vibes.
Lana Del Ray – because I love her
Billie Holliday – this album I’m always playing, makes me feel at home!
So good for going on tour?
Before I go on stage I like listening to Sound Garden – to pump me up! And Audioslave.
And to wind down French Swing music from the 40s and 50s – I find it really soothing!
Good answer, lots of really interesting stuff there. Iv been listening to lots of your music this week, in particular new single ‘Control’ on Youtube, which is going to be released soon right?
Yeah May 12 it’s coming out officially. One of my favourite songs on the album so really excited to get it released; it’s a real powerful song. Peoples responses have been funny because they’ve been saying “yeah! Empowering women, taking back control”, but actually I wrote it because I was getting screwed over by a lot of women, hence the words ‘I’m not a fool for a pretty one’ – it was always these really beautiful women using their looks to kind of trample on you and get ahead! That said, I’m loving all the positive feedback on the song.
Yeah I though it had a real Stevie Nicks/Fleetwood Mac vibe about it!
Oh cool! Thanks! ‘Rumours’ has got to be one of my favourite albums of all time. Stevie Nicks is the queen!
Yeah pretty hard to disagree with that! You’ve done a lot of session work and backing vocals, have you ever had the chance to work with Fleetwood Mac or Stevie Nicks?
No sadly I haven’t the chance to do that, but have had the pleasure of writing with someone with similarly strong lyrical content – Judy Tzuke, she just paints the most beautiful pictures and tells the most wonderful stories with her writing and she’s definitely inspired me and become a very close friend of mine. A lot of the songs on the album I’ve written with her – she’s amazing.
I don’t think I’d be able to work with Stevie Nicks though I’d freak out, and I don’t really get starstruck!
You’ve worked with some pretty special artists though, what’s the closest you’ve come to getting starstruck?
That’s tough! Probably when I was 16/17 and during the concert for George Harrison when he passed – most of my family were on that show, so I was hanging out backstage and this guy bumped into me and said “I’m sorry darling,” I turned around and it was Tom Hanks – so cool! So yeah probably the closest I’ve got to being starstruck. I think being raised with well known musicians, famous musicians don’t really bother me so much, but when its actors its something else. I met Matt Le Blanc once doing a show on Radio 2 and seeing a ‘Friend’ in person was also awesome.
So how’s it been working and touring with Paul Weller? Must be class.
It is! Paul is a really close friend of mine and he’s really taken me under his wing especially the last couple of years. I recorded the album at his studio, and have been very fortunate to have him guest on it playing guitar. On tour he’s really looked after me and the band, and they’ve been saying how rare it is for the main artist on a tour to come out and say hello to the support band. The whole tour feels like a family thing, I’m really close to Steve Craddock, Andy Crofts, and the rest of the boys I’ve played with before so it’s a different kind of vibe to when you’re with people you don’t know. I’m about to go on tour with Wilco Johnson in two days but I don’t know Wilco at all, so that will be a completely new experience.
Sounds great, and doesn’t come as a surprise to hear that about Paul Weller, who comes across as so right on when he talks and writes.
He’s the best guy! I have to say I think he’s one of, if not the, nicest man in the music industry. He will do anything for anyone, isn’t in it for the fame or glory and he’s a real musician – something that’s really lacking in music at the moment.
I can’t wait for the gig later; I remember ‘Wild Wood’ playing in the car from my childhood so is going to be very nostalgic even for me.
The funny thing is today we were sat in a café and ‘You Do Something to Me’ came on, then when we went for lunch we looked at the menu and it was for the Wild Wood café. Our last show of the tour and it seems like the universe knew!
So if you had a favourite Paul Weller song? Jam, Style Council or solo?
Oh no!! … Ok… NO!
Do I have to pick just one?
No! Can be 3 or 5 or whatever!
Ok phew – ‘Peacock Suit’, because it’s definitively Paul Weller.
Obviously ‘You Do Something to Me’.
Haha I can’t pick!
And these are all just solo!
I know! Also ‘White Sky’ off his last album ‘Saturn’s Pattern’
For me I think I’m more into his solo stuff having grown up in the 90s when it came out. It made a real impression on me; ‘Stanley Road’ that whole album is amazing.
I feel weird saying all this! Think he’d be like ‘what you talking bout? Shuttup, don’t be silly!”
Well I was gonna ask if he’d influenced you next…
Of course he has! But then everyone’s influenced me. I think everyone influences everyone, whether it’s for the right reasons or the wrong ones. But yeah, he blows me away – his professionalism is inspiring, his longevity in the industry, and it just goes to show when you’re a good musician, when you know what you’re talking about and you’re a decent man, you get far.
Well that’s the sort of story we need, right!
Isn’t it just.
So we’ve talked about your single, and the albums coming out this year too.
Yep, albums coming out in September. ‘Truth is a Wolf’, no exact date yet. I’ve worked with Paul and Judy on it, and one of my best friends called Sam Tanner who’s in a band called Brother Strut.
The albums been a real labour of love, a nightmare in some circumstances! Its taken a few years to get right, but now it is right. I wanted to work with Stan Kybert, who produced all Paul Weller’s albums in the last 10 years, Heathen Chemistry, all the Oasis lot. I met Stan when I was 15 and I knew if I ever did an album it would have to be with him, I wanted that big sound. We’ve remained friends this whole time and so I made that call! “Lets do this!” 15 years later!
Will be great then once its out, something that’s been 15 years in the making.
Yeah it’ll be fantastic! It kinda feels like I’ve been in labour for 15 years and its finally coming out!
I’m not even gonna pretend I can imagine that feeling.
Unfortunately, I don’t have to!
So I read that you live in Henley, iv found there’s a weird connection between that part of South Oxfordshire and Liverpool – so many of my friends here are from the towns and villages round there its strange!
I think its because Liverpool is so cool and cheap, with great music and history. Henley is so musical its ridiculous – George Harrison used to live there, Dusty Springfield is buried there, half of Deep Purple live there, half of Bad Company – its amazing and quite bizarre.
Something in the water?
Something in the water.
Mollie’s debut album ‘Truth Is A Wolf’ is out later this year.