Interview: Maribou State are here to eat and play

Chris Davids and Liam Ivory are a duo of producers from Hertfordshire, currently residing in London, who, after years of passing each other in school hallways, have come together as Maribou State. Since the collaboration kicked of Maribou State have gained international recognition by releasing a series of EPs and remixes. On June 1st, 2015 Davids and Ivory are introducing the world to their highly anticipated debut album, Portraits.

The band has been on tour since February and on April 16th they will begin their journey through North America with seven stops in Canada and United States.

We had a chance to chat with the duo about the beginning, future, and being on road among other things. Read on to get to know Maribou State before seeing them in a venue near you.

Kateryna Topol: You two have known each other growing up but didn’t really start working together, or talking to each other I hear, til college, how did the collaboration come together after all these years?

Maribou State: We both went to school together but never really saw eye to eye. We were both in different bands at school but eventually had to join forces due to lack of players at the school. We carried on working with the band through university and when that all came to an end we started Maribou.

KT: I’ve also read that Chris sawed through your studio desk when you built it  – you built your own studio desk, with a chainsaw? Is that a side hobby, making furniture? 

MS: Needs must. Between our fathers and us we built our own studio. I wouldn’t say it’s a hobby though. Chris was adamant we needed to shorten one of the desks to make a perfect fit with the keyboard it housed, a week or so later we bought a new bigger keyboard, the desk had to be reattached.

KT:  Ok let’s talk about the upcoming LP, was there a particular inspiration behind Portraits?

MS: We pull inspiration from a number of places, the music we listen to, the music we play when we DJ, the instruments we use and even the area that we live in. There’s no definite process that we follow. Each track was started and finished in a different way to the next. It’s the way we’ve always worked; it can be very spontaneous which either ends up with quick results or days on end getting nowhere.

KT: There are a few collaborations on the album, how did you decide on who to work with? 

MS: The two main collaborations on the LP are with our good friend Jack (Pedestrian) and the singer-songwriter Holly Walker. We’ve always worked closely with Jack, ever since becoming friends a couple of years ago and Holly featured on one of our earlier singles, so it made sense to write some more music together for the album. She’s also part of the live band. Since signing to Counter the opportunity arose to work with Jono McCleery, another act on the label. We’ve always been big fans of Jono and was really grateful to have him feature on one of the tracks.

KT: If you could work with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be and what would you make? 

MS: Not quite sure how the results would sound but Ravi Shankar and Enya would be high on the list.

KT: How has the tour been so far and what are you most looking forward to on the road in the next few months? 

MS: We both love coming over to America, I think we’re probably both most excited about where we’re going to eat. We’re both big foodies and there’s no shortage of good places to eat in the US! Plus this time around we’re really looking forward to getting stuck into some record stores whilst we’re over.

KT: Do your live shows tend to turn into crazy dance parties? 

MS: The craziest…

KT: Do you take time off to explore when touring? 

MS: We always try and find time to explore the city we’re in. We’re definitely not the kind of people to hide in the hotel waiting for the show. We’re always open to recommendations and usually spend most of our time wandering around town.

KT: Can you think of one highlight from your career so far?

MS: We just played our first live show in London, with our new band. It’s something we’ve been working towards for some time and it feels pretty special to know that we pulled it off.

KT: Nice! Where do you see yourself next year this time? What about three years? 

MS: Hopefully next year we’ll either be out on the road with our band or in the studio working on the next album. Considering how fast things have changed over the last three years I couldn’t’ possibly say what’s going to be happening in the next three years.

Photo by William Cooper Mitchel