From roots in the world of C86 and comparatively
twee indie pop, Macrocosmica have come a long way. That's just part
of the story though - best known for Brendan O'Hare's beginnings in
Teenage Fanclub, he's moved through via the folk-drone of the Telstar
Ponies, a spell with Mogwai, and come to rest with 3 like-minded individuals
in his current band. His fellow- musicians include Gordon Brady and
Keith Beacom, formerly of psych-rockers Bangtwister, and one Cerwyss
O'Hare, bassist in the band. And to avoid any White Stripes-style nonsense,
Brendan and Cerwyss are most definitely husband and wife.
The pair are also the only ever-presents in the band, so we asked Cerwyss
if following a space-rock debut album (Ad Astra) they were now pursuing
their true love of METAL. "We don't consider ourselves a metal band
really," Cerwyss muses, "and I don't think most metallers would either
'cos there are a lot of non-metal elements in what we do. Obviously
we like to rock heavily, sometimes in a straightforward way and sometimes
more experimentally. "We have quite varied tastes," she continues, "so
the influences are pretty diverse. Hopefully we'll always try to evolve
things but keep the dumb rock element too."
If you thought Brendan's background was varied and far-removed from
the world of metal, the fact that Cerwyss is fully qualified to play
church organ is a fact which'd not go down well in the black metal enclaves
of Norway. And an odd coincidence, as when I ask Cerwyss what's been
on the stereo during the making of this album, she tells me: "Churchy
stuff - when Brendan didn't have Motorpsycho on." (Motorpsycho are a
Norwegian rock band, though not quite of the chapel-burning brain-munching
school). "Headwise I became a hippy," she adds, "and stopped flushing
the toilet after number ones and stuff like that. I'm still working
on becoming more of a hippy and hope to be drinking my own urine by
the next album".
I wonder how, with day jobs, and a young child (Henry) to cope with,
if the album recording process was longer than they'd have hoped. "It's
hard to make enough time for the band what with jobs and parenthood,"
Cerwyss agrees, "but we all feel pretty intensely about it so we find
ways - we just have to communicate well to make it work." As well as
setting up their own label (Trepanner Headmusic) the band have set up
their own studio - indeed, Brendan has been recording other acts when
not working on the band's material. "Yeah, we recorded in our own studio
as with the last album and that led to things taking longer, but hopefully
it's of a better quality than it would otherwise be - we've no excuse
for it not to be."
With the possible exception of Meg & Jack, husband-wife teams in rock
are comparatively rare, but sibling rivalries - see the brothers Gallagher,
Davies, Everley - are usually a rock'n'roll recipe for disaster. "We
try to keep our full-on domestics out of the band arena, but there've
been one or two memorable exceptions too horrible to relate," she laughs.
Sensibly, perhaps, band matters and homelife are kept fairly separate.
"We tend not to discuss new tunes at home - home band chat tends to
be more to do with arranging babysitting and other practical things."
So Keith and Gordon can contribute fully. "At the studio Gordon is the
main ideas person - sometimes we have to shoot him with tranquilizer
darts just to catch up. Keith contributes lots too but doesn't need
to be tranquilized."