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Here at Mudkiss, we are impatiently waiting to hear the long anticipated debut album from the Macclesfield’s rock’n’roll treasure - The Virginmarys. ‘King of Conflict’ is coming out February 4th and with no doubt, the record will brighten up our music worlds this year, simply because we know that these lads hardly disappoint. Each of their music releases comes with a fresh breath of a raw energy and a sound that’s like a lightning strike. And once you get hit by it, you never look back. The Virginmarys are the best new rock’n’roll band you’ll be listening to this year. So don't forget to turn it up! Below, the band’s lead singer Ally answers some questions about the album, upcoming tour, influences and more.

EVA: Could you tell us about your debut album ‘King of Conflict’ and the memories of recording it?

ALLY: We held out on making it until we knew we had the right set of songs. We toured around for a few years and released some EPs in that time, experimenting with a few things and getting tighter as a band. We’re all really close and pretty much live out of each others pockets. It’s always a privilege for me recording and playing with my best mates. We were recording it live and doing 15 hour days, making sure we got the right takes for each song. It was intense but all worth it to get the results. I have a lot of happy memories looking back on it.

EVA: When you look at the beginning of the band, the previous releases and now; what has changed and what have you learned as a group since?

ALLY: I guess you learn and pick up different things without knowing. It’s quite an organic process. I think we’ve grown more confident. We’ve always been a tight unit though. It’s still very much us against the world. We have the same views, standards and goals as we’ve ever had.

EVA: Is there a track or two on the album, which you can class as your favourite or one that has a special meaning to you?
My favourite on the album is ‘Dressed To Kill’. It was one of the last to make it on. I’m really happy with the lyrics and melody, and I think it adds a different flavour to the album. ‘Just A Ride’ is also one of my favourite’s.

EVA: With the release of your debut album, there comes the 'King Of Conflict Tour'. What have you got in store for the fans?

ALLY: We’ve got a UK tour happening at the end of February. The fans have had a long wait for the album and have been absolutely amazing! The support they give us is incredible. It’s going to be ace to get out in front of them with the debut album and meet as many as we can along the way. We’re also going back to Glasgow, which has been a long time coming. We love it up there. So that’ll be great. After that we’re straight off to America for a couple of months to do as many shows out there as we can.

EVA: You have toured with some great bands, including Feeder. Have you taken any good tips from them?
ALLY: It’s great touring with really established bands. You get to see how everything works and the team they have around them. I guess we’ve learnt to make sure we have a really good crew with us. So many things happen behind the scenes that you don’t see. It makes such a difference to know that you can rely on the people around you to make sure everything is as good as it can be. And also to have an ace time doing it.

EVA: How do you work as a group? Do you write music together or do you each have a special part in making?
ALLY: I tend to write songs at home on acoustic and then jam over them with Danny and Matt. We’ll try them out in a load of different ways and see how it works best. Some come together really quickly and others take a bit more time to cement. I try to write as much as possible. There are a lot of songs that have never been recorded. We want to release them in some way, be it as give aways or a B side album at a later date.
EVA: Is there an artist or a band that has had an impact on you in the music making process?

ALLY: I think Neil Young has been a massive influence. He has so many songs, with such great lyrics that work both electrically and acoustically. I remember seeing a BBC session he did from the 70s when I was about 15. It changed my life. It completely blew me away.

EVA: Is there anyone in the music industry, dead or alive, you wish you’d performed with and why?

ALLY: I’d love to have been able to perform with Jimi Hendrix and just watch him do his thing. I can’t even imagine how good that would be. Other than that, to perform with Leonard Cohen would be incredible. Michael Stipe, Bjork, Neil Young. Loads I guess.

EVA: You’re known as a very energetic live band. Do you have any specific rules on stage or do you just get out there and go with the flow?

ALLY: We never have any rules. We just do what we do. We know what we expect from each other and we play together like a team. I guess if there was a rule it’d be giving every show everything we’ve got.

EVA: Finally where would you like to see yourselves in a next few years? Do you have any specific goals as a band?

ALLY: We want our music reaching as many people as it possibly can. To be touring the world and playing every festival imaginable. We want to write songs and albums that will stay with people forever.

Interview by Eva Jostakova
Main photo by Ray Lego
Live photos by Melanie Smith

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