In a sad piece of news released this afternoon, the brilliant Maybeshewill announced plans to call it a day. With a final show booked for April of next year at Koko in London, plans are currently under way to put a last run of tour dates together.
In a statement released on their Facebook, the quintet have cited plans to return to reality being a deciding factor in the end of Maybeshewill, though it’s not through ill will. The bond between the five friends that make up the band is as strong as ever, as the statement reads “I think it’s worth saying here that you will struggle to find five closer friends than you will in Maybeshewill. I can’t see that ever changing.”
Before today’s bombshell announcement, I had the pleasure of interviewing Maybeshewill guitarists John and Robin a few weeks back at this year’s ArcTanGent Festival. When it comes to the wonderful three day festival, Maybeshewill have established themselves as the MVP’s, having been invited back every year, even squeezing in two performances during its debut year. The appreciation between both camps is mutual, as Robin commented “We know so many bands who’re playing, through having toured with them and playing shows. It feels like a nice meeting of friends and well-wishers. It’s a really nice place to be”
With 2015 marking ArcTanGent’s third year in the game, Maybeshewill decided to raise the stakes for their fourth (and as we now know, final) performance. Occasional live shows have seen the band accompanied by friends Sophie Green (of Her Name Is Calla) and Dave Dhonau, who played violin and cello on their most recent records. On rare occasions, they’ve also utilised brass players in a live setting, but up until their performance at this year’s ArcTanGent, they’d never combined the two on one show. “We’re playing with some additional players this year,” smiled Robin when asked about their special performance “we’ve got two brass players and three string players – two violins and cello. This is gonna be a more orchestral set than we’ve done previously. We’ve done shows with strings and brass individually before, but never together. It’s gonna be a ten piece band including the five of us, so it’s a pretty exciting prospect.”
Exiting prospect indeed and one which certainly surpassed expectations on the day, though there hadn’t been a lot of time for rehearsals. “When we’re on stage, it will be the first time that all ten of us have played together. We’re totally prepared, we’ve got it down, it’s fine…” added John with a mock nervous breath.
“It’s just hard getting ten people together in one place. We have trouble enough trying to get the five of us to practice!” laughed Robin, continuing “The logistics of trying to organise everyone has been a bit difficult, but the players are just phenomenally talented, so we’re confident that everything will go really well. We’re really excited about the prospect of doing it, ‘cus it’s a first for us.”
It’s interesting to note from their online statement the penultimate line: “If we never made it as far as your town, or even country – we’re sorry. We genuinely tried.” The last few tours in the life of Maybeshewill have seen them cement themselves as a global touring band. Their most recent tour in support of the monumental album ‘Fair Youth’ saw them take in three continents, most of which was documented in the music video for ‘Sanctuary.’ With a show in Latvia this summer marking their 36th country played, I was intrigued to find out which remaining countries the band were looking forward to playing.
“I was hoping for a full house of European countries” lamented John.
“We all joked about trying to get there, but there’s just a few that we couldn’t get shows in” laughed Robin.
“The scary ones” smiled John.
There’s one country in particular that has eluded the band, and given today’s announcement, it’s a shame it never worked out. “We’ve been hoping to get to the states for years, to the point where it’s been booked in and scheduled” confirmed John “Various things have conspired against us – we haven’t been able to do that. But we’re incredibly pleased with what we’ve managed to do. When we started doing Maybeshewill, it was a bedroom project that we didn’t really intend to even gig live. So every little achievement that we’ve made along the way, we never expected to do. Everything’s been an incredible bonus. That’s kind of how we’ve approached the band since day one”
“No expectations, and then everything on top of that has been like – oh wow, this is nice” added Robin with a smile.
It was bittersweet to see the announcement made earlier today. Whilst it’s sad to see them knock it on the head, it’s great to see the band go out on a high. As John mentioned, they’ve accomplished things they never imagined would happen (including, oddly enough, being chosen as the skate out music for the Finnish Ice Hockey team!) Every accomplishment has been a bonus for the five friends, and their decade together as a band has seen them travel the world doing what they love. A line in the statement sums it up perfectly:
“Being given the chance to do all this has been like living some sort of crazy dream for the majority of our adult lives, but eventually you have to return to reality. So I suppose that’s what we’re doing now.”