Feature: “If I…” with Maycomb’s Simon McCoy - Already Heard
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Feature: “If I…” with Maycomb’s Simon McCoy

Maycomb have recorded their debut album, and considering the amount of brilliant tours, support slots and previous songs written, it seems certain that it’s going to be a brilliant album in British pop punk.

As we eagerly await the release of ‘I Opened My Heart To Caustic Things’ it seemed a good as time as any to delve into the mind of one particular individual from Maycomb.

We spoke to vocalist and bassist Simon McCoy as he took part in our “If I…” questionnaire. 

If I could re-record one song it would be…
Simon: I’d probably say the last track from our ‘Crystal Tiger Blues’ EP, ‘Whatever Happened, Happened.’ That song is still one of the staples of our live set, and while I really like how the recording came out, we had a few ideas we wanted to try for it that we simply didn’t have time for. We initially planned on having some really subtle violin parts in the middle 8, but as we were still recording backing vocals at 2am on our last day in the studio, there wasn’t much time for experimentation.

If I could re-live one tour/show it would be…
Simon: I guess that would have to be The Wonder Years tour in 2009. It was our first tour at that kind of level, and we were so happy to be a part of it, even if it was a little intimidating. We found out literally the day before that I was the only one who could get insured on our van, despite not having driven since passing my test, so I spent most of the tour in a state of anxious stupor. I imagine the same goes for everyone else in the van with me! It was still a great experience though, and everyone on the tour was really good to us. This was back before The Upsides came out, so doing a similar tour now would be on another level entirely. 

If I had the chance to play one venue it would be…
Simon: The world’s first zero gravity venue.

If I could play with one band it would be…
Simon: I might go for Alkaline Trio; they were hugely influential to me when I first started writing music, so it would be amazing to come full circle and play a show with them.

If I could play with any person living or dead it would be…
Simon: Meatloaf.

If I could bring back any band that have split up, it would be…
Simon: Bands don’t tend to stay split up for long these days anyway, but I’d really like to hear some new material from Fall Out Boy. I think their last album was an incredibly accomplished, well-written record, and a lot of people missed out on it purely because it wasn’t what they wanted or expected from the band. It’d be interesting to hear what they did next.

If I wasn’t playing music, I would be…
Simon: I think if you have that creative side to your personality, it’s something you never lose, and you’ll always need to have some form of outlet for it. I currently work as a freelance Illustrator and Designer, so that would be the obvious answer for me, but I’d also really like to have a go at writing; whether that been fictional stuff or something along the lines of journalism. Personally though, I find writing music to be so satisfying because I get to play around with melody and lyrics, which seems like the best of both worlds to me.

If I could play a different genre it would be…
Simon: I’d quite like to make something a bit softer, more chilled out. We recently played some acoustic shows, and it was great to hear the songs stripped down to a much simpler level, so I’m sure that’s something we’ll do again in the future. In any case, we don’t want to limit ourselves when it comes to writing, so if we want to try something different, and it feels like a natural progression, then that’s the direction we’ll take. One of the things that we really wanted to embrace when it came to writing our album was that you have so much more room for variety; an EP tends to be a snapshot of who you are and what you’re about, but with a full length, you get the chance to really expand on that. I think people will see another side to us when the album eventually comes out.

If I could have written any song it would be…
Simon: ‘Kissing the Lipless’ by The Shins. I really love a lot of their stuff, but for me, that song stands out. It’s got such an incredibly simple, repetitive structure, but it’s so well executed that it never becomes boring.

If I could have written any album it would be…
Simon: ‘Commit This to Memory’ by Motion City Soundtrack. The melodies throughout that entire album are just flawless. 

If I could headline any festival, it would be…
Simon: I can’t even begin to imagine how incredible it must be to headline one of the big outdoor UK festivals like Reading or Leeds, but one of the things I really want to achieve with this band is having the opportunity to play in other countries. Talking to bands that have played it has painted it in a different light, but I’d still have to go with the Warped Tour; purely because that was ‘the dream’ when I was growing up.

If I could organise my own festival, the bands playing would be…
Simon: There are certain bands I never get tired of seeing live; Brand New, Motion City Soundtrack and Tellison being a few, so they’d be on there. Other than that, I’d probably go for bands I haven’t got round to seeing yet: The Menzingers, The Shins, Death Cab for Cutie, Bon Iver, Arcade Fire. Sounds like a bit of a downer on paper. I should definitely never organise a festival.

If I could play any other instrument, it would be…
Simon: I really admire anyone who can play the piano well, so someday I’d love to learn; I dabble with the idea every now and then, but I’m probably just teaching myself bad habits more than anything else! 

I’d also like to have a better understanding of drums and percussion; I’m embarrassingly undereducated in that area, and I wish I could truly appreciate all the clever technical stuff Jim (our drummer) adds to our songs.

If I could give one piece of advice to a new band, it would be…
Simon: Do it because you love doing it. Being in a band eats your time, it eats your money, and you can’t assume anyone else is going to be particularly into what you’re doing, so you have to do it for yourself first and foremost. Honestly though, nothing compares to it - I wouldn’t hesitate in recommending it to absolutely anyone. 

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Words by Michael Brown (@MikeyMiracle)

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