Electronic Summer: Marsheaux

by Jennifer Last

Greece’s most popular export might be Marsheaux, the duo who recently covered Depeche Mode’s A Broken Frame in its entirety. The project was ambitious, but the Athenian act has proven its retro-futurist credentials in support slots for OMD and Client and through successive albums of exciting original songs and popular covers. This is their first appearance at Electronic Summer, so we caught them for a chat before their flight.

What do you expect from the audience at Electronic Summer 2015?

We love to watch the people from the stage, dancing and having fun with our songs. It is a great reward for our work. We hope the audience at Electronic Summer 2015 will be like that. People in Sweden seem to love our music, and we think they will be a great audience. We are also very happy because many friends around Europe will come to see us.

What can the audience expect from you?

We’ll play many songs from our version of A Broken Frame and a “Best Of” from our albums. We believe that people will have a good time and we hope to please them all.

Are there any bands in this year’s line-up that you look forward to seeing live?

Yes, we want to see Karin Park again, Darrin Huss and, of course, VNV Nation. Their gig in Athens some years ago was fantastic.

Have either of you ever visited Sweden before?

No, this is the first time for both of us and we are very excited about it. That is why we plan to stay a few days more for vacation.

Do you know if you have a strong fan-base in Sweden?

Yes, we have many fans in Sweden. Our label (Undo Records) told us that, after Germany and England, Sweden is the country where we sell most of our CDs. We had many proposals in the past for gigs in Stockholm and Gothenburg, but always something was happening and we couldn’t do it. Hopefully, this time all will go well.

You are known for making interesting cover versions. Can we expect more in the future?

We think that we did all the covers gathered together in A Broken Frame. Now we are putting all of our effort and enthusiasm towards writing new songs for our forthcoming album. We already have a cover version of Tears For Fears’ “Suffer the Children,” which will be included in the The Electricity Club compilation CD, which will be out later this year. We love doing covers, but we think it will take us a while until the next one!

If you would do a cover, like right here, right now, which song would you choose – and why?

Something from The Smiths (“Reel Around the Fountain,” for example) or Sparks (“Popularity”). Or Strawberry Switchblade’s “Since Yesterday,” which we believe is very, very Marsheaux. Or Siouxsie’s “Dazzle.”

If you were to do a collaboration on your next album, which would be your dream artist to collaborate with?

Haha, there are too many. We would say Sparks, but Franz Ferdinand did it already, so we’ll say Andy Bell from Erasure or the Pet Shop Boys. Also, when we started working on A Broken Frame, we were saying that it would be fantastic if we put lyrics to “Nothing to Fear” and had Martin Gore or Dave Gahan sing on it!

A Broken Frame has just been released. Do you have any plans for a new album of your own material?

We’ve already started working on the first demos for our next album, which we believe will be released at the beginning of 2016. We don’t know the title yet. We have done five or six demos, so far, but, as happened with the previous albums, all the first demos were rejected and the good tracks came at the end when we were under pressure.

Your record label Undo Records is known for putting a lot of effort into the artwork and packaging of their physical releases. Do you think you will continue to release your music on CD/vinyl, or will you go entirely digital some day?

This is one of the reasons that we are still working with Undo Records. But you never know what the next day will bring. We have learned in the last years to take nothing for granted in Greece. Everything changes really fast here, even in 24 hours. Last Friday, we went to bed knowing that our government “made” a deal for our debt with the Eurogroup, and the next day we woke up with the banks closed! So, we don’t know if we are going in the future to release our records in nice design packaging or not.

From where do you get your strongest influences?

Our strongest influences come from 80s pop. The chart music back then was brilliant. Take any week from 80-85 and check the Top 40: 90 percent of the songs are classics. We learned to listen to music with this kind of music, and when we started doing our own songs we worked this way – not on purpose, but it came out naturally. We love doing strong melodies and sing-along electropop songs. If you have grown up with Depeche Mode, OMD, The Human League and Tears For Fears, this is the only way.

When is it most suitable to listen your music?

All the time. Our songs are really uplifting and suitable for “all weather conditions.” Many people have said that they like listening to Marsheaux when they are driving or when they’re doing their homework.

If Marsheaux were on a dating site, what would the profile say?

If you can’t handle me at the worst, you don’t deserve me at the best.

Marsheaux’s official Web site: marsheaux.com

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