UK production duo Maribou State have had a fascinating musical journey starting as a high school band who evolved into accomplished DJs and, more recently, coming full circle with their newly revealed fully live setup. Building on countless influences along the way, they have undoubtedly established a lane all their own as they prepare for the release of their debut album. It’s no accident that Maribou State have hit their stride lately–they’ve, quite literally, been building and fine-tuning for years. Recorded and engineered in a home studio that they assembled themselves, their output thus far, “Wallflower” being the most recent, balances electronic and live instrumentation blurring lines between dance and easy, trippy listening.
We had a chance to chat with Chris Davids and Liam Ivory, the long-time collaborators behind Maribou State, over the phone while they were on tour in Berlin and they went in-depth about their roots and the making of their upcoming debut, Portraits. Read it in their own words below. Portraits drops on June 2nd and can be pre-ordered here. You can also keep track of their upcoming tour dates at their website.
TMN: You guys have been on tour for a while now. How’s it going?
Chris: Yeah, on and off. We’ve always kept the dates pretty regular. Good thing about DJing is you can go there on the weekends and play a set then come back and get in the studio. Now that the live band’s coming together and touring, it’s going to be more of a thing where we actually have to block out time. We’ve always played gigs most weekends since doing this.
TMN: Have you unveiled the full live set in front of a crowd yet?
Chris: We’ve only actually had two shows as a live act at the minute. One was in London and one was in Holland and we had that BBC performance. When we come back from Berlin in a few weeks, we’ve got some festival dates across Europe up until September. Then hopefully we should have a full tour come November.
TMN: So, backing up a bit, how did you first get into music? You both grow up outside of London, right?
Liam: Yeah, we grew up in a place called Hartforshire which is about 25 minutes north of London. It’s close enough for us to get into the city but it’s really rural and excluded. I got into music, on the production side of things, when I was 16 or 17. I took music as a GSCE at school and one of the modules was to produce a piece of music. It kind of stemmed from there and I ended up doing it in college and further.
TMN: And you both also played in bands prior to getting into production?
Chris: Yeah, we both played in separate bands when we were like 15 in school. We eventually joined the same band that was originally full on guitar, bass and drums—there was no electronics involved in it. By the time I joined, we started using laptops and keyboards. From that up until what we’re doing now, we’ve stayed working with the same band. We moved in together and then carried on with that. We kept condensing it until it was just a laptop.
Liam: Now the band’s back! Continue reading