Can You Stop Me?
An Interview with MARSHEAUX
Brought up to the sound of the synthesizer and learning to dance to the beat of electronic drums, Marianthi Melitsi and Sophie Sarigiannidou lived on a healthy diet of THE HUMAN LEAGUE, DEPECHE MODE, OMD, DURAN DURAN, NEW ORDER and SPARKS as teenagers in Thessaloniki. As one of modern electropop's leading acts with a catalogue of catchy tunes, MARSHEAUX have attracted a number of prominent admirers. THE HUMAN LEAGUE played their track What a Lovely Surprise in the pre-show music for the Steel City tour while BBC 6Music's Tom Robinson and Stuart Maconie have also praised their work.
Prestigious support slots for OMD and ROISIN MURPHY in Athens have helped cement their reputation and widened their appeal. OMD's Andy McCluskey himself said: "I do have a soft spot for MARSHEAUX I have to say. They have a certain sort of wispy, melancholic charm..." They unfortunately had to miss out on a hometown support slot for PET SHOP BOYS in November 2009 as they were headlining their own gig at London's Scala.
It is now 2011 and MARSHEAUX return with a brand new single Can You Stop Me? which will be released by Undo Records in June. With the percussive template of FEVER RAY merged with the girls' distinctive sound, it is a fine taster of their forthcoming, as yet untitled, fourth album. The 7 track CD EP will feature remixes of Lumineux Noir album highlight So Far plus their cover of BILLY IDOL's Eyes Without A Face. The tracklisting is:
- 01 Can You Stop Me?
- 02 Can You Stop Me (Remix)
- 03 So Far (Lacquer Mix)
- 04 So Far (Niadoka Mix)
- 05 So Far (Tareq Mix)
- 06 So Far (Mark Reeder Mix)
- 07 Eyes Without A Face
Sophie and Marianthi kindly chatted with Johan Wejedal to discuss the plans for their follow-up to Lumineux Noir and reveal some of their international ambitions.
Everybody wants to know: when is the next MARSHEAUX album released?
Marianthi: We are thinking about late spring, early summer.
Do you have a working title or is it a secret?
Sophie: A lot of things are going around our minds, but at the time being we can't say anything!
Marianthi: No, we have not finished the work yet, so that's why we can't say anything.
Can you tell me a bit about your song writing process - do you start with lyrics or the melody or how do you do it?
Marianthi: We work separately in our own personal studios and then we meet to see what we both did. Then we try to do a mix of both.
Like a hybrid?
Marianthi: Yes, exactly.
Sophie: The lyrics are something that we haven't worked so much on previously. It's always the music that we worked the most on. But for the new album, we will put more effort on the lyrics too.
When you create music on your own, do your personal styles differ a lot before you mix the songs together or are your music styles so to speak synchronised from the start?
Marianthi: We always talk about where we want our next album to go and having this certain idea in mind, we start working. Of course we have a common sense of electronic music, or else it wouldn't be working!
How does the process of remixing others compare to writing your own songs?
Marianthi: It's much easier.
Sophie: Yes, it's much more easy!
Marianthi: You get the song and you try to play around with it and put your personal touch to it.
I have noticed that there seems to be a lot of interest from fans to see you live in Swedenâ
Marianthi: Yes, we want to play in Sweden too!
Sophie: We had an invitation once but we couldn't make it then... we had too much other things going on.
Marianthi: Bad timing, the timing was wrong. But we would really love to play in Sweden and we love a lot of Swedish bands. We would like to play on some festivals for electronic music and pop music.
Also, any plans to play in the United States? One US fan asked me to ask this question: 'What would it cost me to get you to come to the US and play for an evening - said half jokingly, but almost seriously'?
Sophie: He will have to ask our manager! *laughs*
Marianthi: And he will also have to find a way for me to travel to the USA. I really don't like going by plane, this is a very long distance for me!
Is there any other country you haven't visited yet that you really wish to play live sometime?
Sophie: There are many countries we haven't visited yet and we would love to play someday. South America and Japan are two... the list is too big.
Finally, what was the first electronic record you bought?
Marianthi: Black Celebration by DEPECHE MODE
Sophie: The Man Machine by KRAFTWERK
The Electricity Club gives its special thanks to MARSHEAUX
The Swedish version of this interview was published at www.synth.nu
Interview by Johan Wejedal
Additional material by Chi Ming Lai
19th May 2011