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Maximo Park Interview

EXCLUSIVE: Singer Paul Smith tells us about single Books from Boxes, covering The Proclaimers and plans for their third album...


Maximo Park burst onto the scene in 2005 with their superb spiky and intelligent debut album A Certain Trigger. Tracks like Apply Some Pressure and Going Missing became instant indie anthems

The Newcastle group developed their sound with this years Our earthly Pleasures as the Maximo singer Paul Smith told us: Its a warmer and more diverse record.

We looked at things we could do that we hadnt done on the first record, said Smith. This time around we wanted to make a record that wasnt as in your face as the last one.

The eloquent frontman is pleased with the records reception: When youre album goes into the chart at number 2 you just think- blooming heck people are waiting for this!

Speaking to MTV on the line from a Barcelona festival Smith, whos enigmatic on stage, said crowds already love the new songs: Its amazing when people clap along spontaneously. Books From Boxes and Our Velocity have been going down really well even though we are still feeling our way around the new stuff.

On our shores Maximo Park tend to be lumped in with The Rakes, Bloc Party and other guitar bands as clever post punk. Paul however says the band feel liberated on the continent where the five-piece are currently touring:

There we are not part of any indie scene, he said. We are just known for making intelligent pop music and people appreciate us for what we are. Around Europe people are more independent minded.

The groups new single Books From Boxes is more gentle than previous hits but no less catchy. Like many of their tracks Paul says it is about real life: As with most of our songs its written with someone in mind. Our songs are very personal laments.

A lot of our songs just come down to two people. Theres always someone who blows you away and takes over your thoughts, the Maximo man told MTV.

On the b-side to Books From Boxes is an unusual cover- The Proclaimers pub anthem 500 Miles. Smith explained: When you look at the lyrics they are quite heartfelt. We made it more Avant Garde and it doesnt sound anything like the original.

Although Our Earthly Pleasures has only been out two months the band are already planning for their third album: Weve had lots of thoughts, Paul said. We dont really rest on our laurels. For the next record it will probably be a mix of the last two- more dramatic but still zippy pop songs.

He added: I dont want to lose any of the emotion or energy. We are just testing how far we can bend pop in our direction.

Books From Boxes and Our Earthly Pleasure are out now. Maximo Park play Reading, Glastonbury and T in The Park this Summer

TNT