You might not be familiar with them yet, but if their debut single is an indication of things to come, Hartlepool’s newest music export will soon become well known on the Tees music scene. We sat down with frontman Liam and drummer Jamie to get to know them better.
Originally a three-piece consisting of Liam, Jamie and bassist Aiden, it wasn’t until their lead guitarist Jay came on board that Marines started to take shape.
“We got together about January or February 2019, and we weren’t a very convincing band, especially for the first six or seven months!” Liam explains. “We were doing crap Arctic Monkeys covers, but then as soon as Jay joined we started writing and in late 2019, early 2020 we started gigging around town.”
Jamie pipes in that there’s quite a strong music scene in Hartlepool. “But not something you’d imagine to be as thriving as it is,” he says.
“It’s a varied scene too,” Liam adds. “There’s people who have been around for a little while, people like Michael Gallagher and James Leonard Hewitson, and then there’s bands that have come on more recently. There’s Marketplace who have singles out, then there’s Ocean Floor, who, when we first starting gigging we just piggy backed off, completely! They were a massive help in showing us how to handle gigs, they showed us what gigs could be like.”
Marine’s debut single, ‘No Hell, Incase’, definitely aims to make a statement, and is a far stretch from the realms of Arctic Monkeys covers.
Jamie explains how the band arrived at their current sound. “When we first started writing it was very much just indie rock,” he says, “but now we’re being a little more experimental and more reminiscent of post hardcore, post punk and we’re even trying to add some math sections to our music, experimenting with time signatures.”
“I think we were dawdling to get something recorded,” Liam admits. “I don’t know what we were waiting for.”
After a slow start (inevitably held up by Covid), the band are now wasting no time, and it’s clear to see. With a driving bassline and thundering drums, their first track captures that new sense of energy and pace.
“It was the first time as a guitarist that I started experimenting with extended chords,” Liam says. “It was very power chord driven before, especially with the Nirvana influence and with us being a three-piece, just experimenting with more melody along with that heavier side which blended together quite nice, which is why I think post hardcore is a genre label that I think you could stick on the track.”
Jamie confirms that for ‘No Hell’, the biggest influence was definitely post hardcore bands, very aggressive, loud and emotive, but there’s a tightness to their sound too, and with other influences such as Bloc Party, it’s easy to see why.
“Kele Okereke and Matt Tong definitely influenced us as musicians quite a lot,” Liam adds. “There’s a dance punk influence there. I think you can definitely find some of that.”
The track has been a hit with fans. Jamie says, “The majority of the response has been really positive, aside from our mate’s mam who just said, ‘That it’s nice,’ but she just doesn’t like the vocals, they’re too shouty!”
For those who might be familiar with the band, the progression from indie rock will definitely come as a shock.
Liam says, “To release this is to take our listeners out of their comfort zone a little bit, just to introduce them to that heavier side whilst still anchoring on to the accessible parts.”
So what’s next for Marines?
“Gigging,” Liam says with absolute confidence. It’s clear that lockdowns and the inability to get on stage has meant that these guys have pent up performing energy that they’re keen to release onto the Tees and the wider world. Despite their plans to head off to university this year, the band are still keen to keep the attention of their new audience.
“Thankfully two of us are going to Northumbria and two of us are going to Leeds,” Liam says, “so it’s worked out well.”
‘No Hell, Incase’ is available to stream here: @marines.band | Linktree
You can catch Marines at a local gig soon. Follow them on social media to stay up to date with upcoming shows. Search @marines.band on Instagram.