INTERVIEW: The Xcerts | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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“Whenever I think of the word ‘anthemic’, I think that’s the word Thirty Seconds To Mars probably say to one another.” The Xcerts‘ front man Murray Macleod is discussing the band’s upcoming third album, There Is Only You. The record’s first single, Shaking In The Water has just dropped, and ‘anthemic’ is the word that keeps coming up in reviews. This is by no means a bad thing; Shaking In The Water is the kind of massive, infectiously catchy rock song you can easily imagine being feverishly sung by crowds in huge venues. “The whole record doesn’t sound like Shaking… I think Shaking… has a Pixies-ish, Weezer vibe to it, but the anthemic reference you mentioned, that goes throughout the whole record,” explains Macleod. “It’s a very immediate record, though I think how big the songs sound has more to do with the production, they definitely got bigger in the studio.”

It’s been four years since The Xcerts released their last album, Scatterbrain, produced by legendary producer Mike Sapone (who produced Brand New’s The Devil And God Are Raging Inside Me), though Macleod is quick to stress that the band certainly weren’t being lazy. “We ended up touring Scatterbrain for pretty much three years by accident! We got offered more and more tours and before we knew it we had to take time out. It was pretty relentless. I’m kind of glad we’ve taken this long. We knew this record needed to be special and in order for it to be special we needed to take our time with it.”

If special was what The Xcerts were aiming for, they’ve certainly achieved that and a hell of a lot more. There Is Only You is the sort of life-affirming record that could sit comfortably beside the likes of Brand New’s The Devil And God… or Biffy Clyro’s Puzzle. The record itself documents an intensely personal journey for Macleod, which becomes most apparent on the album’s title track, a song which aches with fragility and bittersweet euphoria. “This record was about being with one person I finally felt comfortable with. Halfway through recording we took a weekend off, and the night I got home that person decided to end things. I had to go back to the studio after that and finish, so it took a weird twist. It almost sounds like a break up record but it really wasn’t meant to be. I was so focused on making the album so that I didn’t dwell on things that it all became a blur. That last track was done in one take, and when I listen back it sounds a lot more cut up than it might have done if I was still with that person. It was meant to be a beacon of light at the end of the record, so it was an incredibly emotional journey.”

Despite the heartbreak, Macleod is more ambitious than ever when it comes to the future of The Xcerts. “We didn’t want to be in the shadows of bigger bands anymore. If I read something about our band it was always attached to other bands, treating us like the little brother. We felt it was time to step out of the shadows and make our own mark, and hopefully, we’ve done that.”

There Is Only You is released on 3rd November via Raygun Music.

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