Interview: Marvin’s Revenge

Humorously self-titled as the fourth-best band in Wirksworth, Derbyshire, Nieve O’Donnell sat down with Marvin’s Revenge at their Nottingham studio space to discuss their upcoming livestream and plans moving out of lockdown.

Ollie, Job, and Luke make up the three-piece outfit that is Marvin’s Revenge. Originally forming at school, the band has had different names but has led to the music space they inhabit now. Initially, “we started playing together at school and we had a band called General Waste where we’d cover Nirvana all the time.”

“It was pretty much Marvin’s Revenge in its first form.” The band are incredibly self-aware and acknowledge the difficulties of developing as artists having only been together for three years now. As students studying Music Production, Music Performance, and Fine Art, the band are keenly interested in all aspects of their creative output. Ollie stated that “there’s got to be a base for everything. Every development, whether it’s bad or not, is development at the end of the day.” Marvin’s Revenge’s exploratory approaches to music mean that their current discography is a mixed bag that, rightly so, need not be defined. What is important though is their ostensible passion for music for music’s sake. The band revel in being on stage or in the studio.

“The thing I’ve missed most with lockdown is not only live music but the camaraderie of the Nottingham music scene.”

In this vein, the band has been discovering the kind of sound they’d like to be known for. I’d describe them as a rock outfit but, through the course of the interview, we uncovered the contentiousness of genre. Admittedly, genre has a powerful impact on modern music and box-fitting exercises are often mandatory in the industry. The genre of shoegaze made headlines in the 80s and 90s as the validity of the genre was debated and contested by music journalists of the time. More recently, Spotify’s use of the chamber psych genre in their end-of-year ‘Spotify Unwrapped’ left many users confused. Sometimes, it’s easier to just enjoy music for what it is which Marvin’s Revenge seems to appreciate. Disregarding genre, Olly says that the band is moving in “the jamming sort of direction”. The band have recently enjoyed surf rock which they said: “we’ve enjoyed listening to – it’s just fun music”. During the creative process, Job added, the band will be sat in a room together where “Olly will have an idea on guitar, Luke will have an idea on bass” and they’ll go from there, finding what they like. Luke stated that “If there’s something in a song that you’re really happy with then we might as well keep it,” regardless of genre.

The band’s experimental approaches thus far have led to an array of different tracks. Their Spotify currently showcases singles In My Mind, St. Alban and the three-track EP Bad Things Come in Threes, a selection that has been curated over time. The first song that the band felt was in the direction they were going for was In Your Mind which was released almost two years ago. Considering the song, Job mentioned that “the song was the one we were happiest with and which got a really good response. We’d just started to get a lot of good gigs around Nottingham. In fact, we’d basically just started to get accepted into the Notts scene.” Luke stated that “at this point after lockdown, the last song was St Alban and it’s not that we don’t like it, we’ve just changed our approach to making music”, showing how the band has evolved over time.

Whilst lockdown – an inevitable elephant in the room – has kept us all inside, the live music scene has been sorely missed for fans and artists alike. Marvins Revenge are not dissimilar and have missed the benefits of playing to a live audience. As I chatted to them, they’d been in the studio from 9am that day and weren’t due to leave until 9pm which they’ve enjoyed but it’s often forgotten how playing to live crowds can be integral to the evolution of an early band's artistry. Authentically, Job noted that “the thing I’ve missed most with lockdown is not only live music but the camaraderie of the Nottingham music scene.” He acknowledged that “it’s pretty difficult to break through the barrier into the next level of the industry.”

Nevertheless, the band’s integration into the Nottingham music scene has been a highlight for them as has the reception of their music so far. A lively scene would be an understatement for Nottingham, the band recognising that the scene helped to establish themselves. “Bands spread the word for one another and we could do the same. There was this sense of camaraderie. Everyone gets each other gigs and goes to everyone else’s gigs. You get to know everyone there.” This statement led to a band-wide chorus of High School Musical’s ‘We’re All In This Together’ which, at the very least, shows the band’s enthusiasm for the Nottingham music scene.

‘Marvin’s Revenge’s live stream will be an insight into the band’s current endeavours... a bit of fun for your eyes and ears.’

Pondering the possibilities of a slot at Pontins or a cosy cruise ship, it’s clear the band are itching to put themselves back on a stage. Their livestream on June 9th is the first step in doing so and it’ll be a great opportunity for viewers to get a taste of the band. Whilst the band digressed a plethora of livestream locations such as McDonalds or “a museum with a big echo” for the future, this livestream will have the band’s first backdrop and setting. Creatively, the band stated that “it’s nice to have some people dedicated to the cause,” even saying that viewers could “just turn the volume off and watch it, enjoy it that way.”

Coinciding with two years of pandemic-induced lockdown restrictions, Marvin’s Revenge’s live stream will be an insight into the band’s current endeavours. It’ll be a bit of fun for your eyes and ears. The livestream, on June 9th at 7:30pm, will be free and the link to the YouTube page will be on their Instagram account on the day which can be found below:

Written by: Nieve O’Donnell

Edited by: Alex Duke and Olivia Stock

Featured and in-article image courtesy of Marvin’s Revenge via Facebook.