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Maximum Rocks – Ibiza's newest Friday nighter will commence shortly

Maximo Park's Paul Smith and fellow band mates rush in where purist bores fear to tread.

Jus Rock @ Global FM studios, Ibiza TownGlobal FM’s position on the dial at 97.6FM has rapidly been added to the preset stations of all radio listeners desirous of fresh, relevant music. Last week for example Manumission and Carry On resident Jus Rock (right) brought a selection of songs from bleeding-edge bands and other artists to showcase the exhilarating line up from the new Friday night at Privilege, brought to you by Ibiza’s biggest promoters.

Zane LoweThrilling tracks from Tom Vek, the Bravery, the Kaiser Chiefs, Maximo Park and others blasted out of car stereos White Isle-wide. Incredibly, they’ll all be appearing live over the course of summer, starting with the last of those mentioned. Newcastle’s finest share the bill this Friday with the UK and Radio One’s slickest rock jock, Zane Lowe (above). Once again Ibiza has become a vortex of searingly good music and sweaty bodies spinning in time to the planet’s cultural rotation.

“It’s gonna be great,” says Señor Rock. “Just to go out and see bands instead of listening to djs all night. It’s gonna be a better summer for going to see musicians play and pushing things in a different direction. It’s life-enhancing.”

Allison GoldfrappSome of the upcoming bands have already made an indelible impression in Ibiza. Faithless for example are proven stadium fillers and will look to surpass their ground-shaking gig of 2001, when they played the MTV festival at the same venue. They’re here on August 12 with Goldfrapp (right) and the Futureheads.

Last year Isle of Skye native Mylo (below) amazed all Sunday Best attendees with a soul-stirring performance at Cap d’es Falco and in the intervening months has gone from an underground animal to a rampaging, rip-snorting, chart-storming pop beast. See him and his band on August 5.

Mylo @ Sunday Best - August 7, 2004

The appetite for this kind of entertainment is ravenous as the reaction to the performance of Baby shambles at Manumission opening showed. This Friday should be even better. Pete Doherty might garner all the headlines, but Maximo Park have better songs and maybe even a wilder front man in the form of suited and booted Paul Smith. We asked him if he though there was more of an intersection between dance and rock these days.

Maximo Park @ the Troubadour, L.A. - June 29, 2005 (from http://www.maximopark.com)

“It’s always been there,” Mr Smith replied promptly, speaking from a van heading back to The North. “If there’s a beat on a song you can dance to it. It’s up to you what your preconceptions about genres are. I guess there’s an indie dance cross over. I remember when that came along and all of sudden people with shaggy haircuts felt like they could shuffle along and dance to things. Sometimes it’s just that thing where a few little barriers need to be broken down and people express themselves differently. To me I don’t see too much difference between a really upbeat Motown track and Daft Punk. It’s something to make you move. In every human there’s an instinct to react to a beat.”

Paul Smith from Maximo ParkIt’s that level of energy which Manumission have made their life’s work to present to the world. They’ve never been too bothered about labels relating to different musical types, they just want everybody to lose it and take their clothes off. Which is something Paul (left) and band mates Tom English on drums, Duncan Lloyd the guitar-gnasher, bass player Archis Tiku and Lukas Wooller on keyboards can relate to. They’ve stripped away preconceptions from Europe to the US and back again.

Paul Smith (from http://www.maximopark.com)"People are going crazy. One of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen is seeing people react to something that means so much to us. We got a record contract [with Warp] and being able to make the record we always wanted to make is a dream. On our last UK tour we had stage divers, and people pogo-ing all the way through. In America it’s kind of like starting again and we’ve had like lesser audiences but at the end of the show we’ve had people coming up to us going ‘That was amazing, you’re one of my new favourite bands.' We’re just happy to see people enjoying it."

Perhaps that’s even more important now in the wake of recent death-affirming events in England's capital.

Paul Smith: We went from London just before the bombs went off. About 15 hours before that we’d travelled up from King's Cross so it sort of makes you think quite hard about what your priorities are, and how easily you could be caught up in something like that. We’ve got a history of terrorism in the country with the IRA and things like that but it’s been a while and it came as a massive shock to everybody. The way that people deal with it is by just getting on with it because there really isn’t any other option. I would say that people are still quite numb about what happened but there’s a sense of fortitude.

Have you been to Ibiza before?

I haven’t. I think Luke our keyboard player’s been but I never really went on foreign holidays when I was growing up.

Who made the decision to play here?

Paul Smith (from http://www.maximopark.com)We were asked by Zane Lowe from Radio One. We’re one of his favourite bands at the moment. He was just like ‘Look I really want you guys to open things up and be that new breakthrough band that’s still quite edgy’ and we just said ‘Yes’ immediately. We just thought it would be a really great way to tie in what we’re doing here. We’re going from Brighton to Scarborough, coastal towns which obviously contrast highly with Ibiza but have got a quite a similar theme.

What do you know about Manumission?

I’ve heard there’s a lot of semi-naked activity and it’s a big show and people are entertained on a mass level.

How long will you be playing for?

Depends how long people want us to play for. We’ve got about an hour’s worth of material with it just being our first album and all of our songs are quite short so we’ll play for as long as people want us to play for.

Paul Smith and Duncan Lloyd (from http://www.maximopark.com)Club audiences in Ibiza are used to music that’s quite fast. Are the number of beats per minute something that you bear in mind when writing and/or playing songs?

We have done for this album. We’re young lads and it’s our first opportunity to make music. At the time when we first started making it there was loads of mid-tempo stuff, lots of chill out music and we though ‘Let’s react against that and give people something they can move their bodies to’. So I would say that people if they really want to they can get into our music in a similar fashion.

Did you hear anything about Pete Doherty at Manumission opening?

I knew they’d played. How did that go down?

Really well actually. Best reaction I’ve seen to any band and they’ve had some really good reactions in the past. I was talking to the guy who runs it, Andy McKay, he was really pleased. Kate Moss didn't show though. How does the idea of a super model girlfriend sound to you?

I’ll take what I can get in that department.

How would you describe your current relationship status?

The horizon isn’t dry. It’s not really a problem at the moment.

Maximo Park (from http://www.maximopark.com)

Who from your band is most likely to go missing in Ibiza?

Lucas is most likely to go missing. He has a sly habit of undercover hedonism.

Who is most likely to get laid while he’s here?

I would love to say Archis Tiku the enigma of Maximo Park. He’s a real charmer and he’s got an eye for the ladies.

Who is most likely to get arrested?

That would be Tom English I think. He’s got a bit of previous with the law, but we won’t go into that.

Who is most likely to get on it and go raving?

If somebody fills me with drink then it’s probably me.

Are you planning to go to any other clubs while you’re here?

We’re playing on the day we come over and we’ve got a night off on the Saturday so who knows what will happen.

I read you were the last to join the band. How were you found?

They saw me jumping round playing a guitar in an instrumental band. It was more just for fun, I really loved playing guitar in this band, it wasn’t to get anywhere particularly. I was just enjoying myself. They thought I would be a good front man, that I had the requisite energy to perform in that role. I was actually in a club singing along to Stevie Wonder’sSuperstition’ and Tom’s girlfriend at the time overheard me singing and said ‘Oh Paul can sing as well. He was in tune when I heard him singing in the club the other night.’ Beneath massive speakers someone talent spotted me.

Paul Smith and Duncan Lloyd (from http://www.maximopark.com)

So you weren’t a singer before they found you?

No definitely not. It wasn’t really an ambition of mine, it wasn’t in my plans but that’s probably the best way sometimes. If people have too many ambitions to do something they can be disappointed too often and they might try to be something just for the idea of it, but I started singing out of a pure love of music.

How did your first time in front of an audience go?

It was a big scary experience for me but it was one of those things I had never had too many chances in my life before that and I thought ‘What’s embarrassing yourself in front of four guys that you don’t really know?’ It’s not the biggest pain in the arse in the world. I found they had some really great tunes and they gave me a lot of confidence and the way that I was singing was full on in my own accent and about things that I could really feel passionate about. I felt that I was doing something unique and I felt comfortable with it.

Is it hard to sing in your own accent or did it just come naturally?

That’s the thing. It’s the easiest and most natural thing to do in the world as far as seinging is concerned. What sounds awkward to me, and what sounds forced is if I have to change it in any way. Singing was a brand new experience to me and you try and find your feet in that respect. And it just seemed like everything came out quite naturally. It’s kind of a reaction against all those American accents, it’s just a load of rubbish. I’ve no idea how people can believe songs which are meant to be emotional or resonant in some way when it’s not coming from a direct source. It’s coming by way of somebody else’s means expression and it just didn’t sound right to my ears and it’s kind of simultaneously hilarious and disgusting to my ears.

So do you write the lyrics?

I do now. But when I joined the band there were a few lyrics that I wanted to keep in the songs that were good, like "I’ll do graffiti if you sing to me in French" was already there written by Duncan. And I just thought that’s a really mysterious line and it sounds great so I gave it a meaning so that I could sing it from my point of view. It’s obviously about doing something exciting with your life and French cinema and French cultural life has that sort of mysterious romantic thing. There was also a situation with graffiti that also sprang to my mind. I really like the way that lyrics can stir up different things in different people.

Where have you played recently?

We went to the east coast of America and that was directly after we’d been to Germany and Spain to do a couple offestivals. When went to the Barcelona Primavera Sound Festival, a night underneath the stars next to the sea, that was amazing. So then to headline a couple of festivals in Germany and then over to America to see what we could do over there, and then we came back over to do Glastonbury, back over to the west coast of the US and from we’ve just come back to do T in the Park and Oxygen over the last couple of days.

Why the suits? Do you have any connection with Paul Smith the clothing retailer?

Wish I did. We share the same name so I was hoping to get a few free suits out of it. Unfortunately not so far. The only Paul Smith suit I wear I paid a fortune for. It’s one of those things where the music means a hell of a lot to us so it made a lot of sense to dress up and make sure people knew who were and Newcastle around the time we formed there’s a lot of scruffy bands and playing derivative music and it was just a reaction against that. I knew that somebody dancing round and freaking out on stage in a big heavy suit that somebody might go to the office in is quite striking and would be a nice juxtaposition as far as energy coming out from under that smart surface. I think there’s a number of different reasons for it. It’s kind of like almost a comment on British pop and people like Brian Ferry who decided that what they look like was part of the culture. Pop culture demands a look and it’s quite nice to play around with that.

Buy tickets now for the Ibiza Rocks Opening party

Guarantee your tickets for 2 of the gigs of the Summer:
Mylo Live in Privilege on Aug 5th
Faithless Live in Privilege on Aug 12th

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