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Interview: Maps & Atlases

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I'm sat in the beer garden in Shoreditch's 'Cargo' (finally, after having gotten lost on my way there) with Dave Davison and Erin Elders from Maps and Atlases.

Map and atlasesIn the middle of a UK tour the band are now in London following what was apparently a truly beautiful set at Deaf Institute in Manchester. As they often do they finished with an acoustic set in the middle of the audience, a special event always enjoyed by both band and crowd.

"It makes a nice change to play acoustically and it is a lot more personal with the audience," Davison tells me. They also tell me that it's good to play acoustically as they get so used to playing with amps that it's great to just play some real "human" songs and give the pieces more feeling.

When asked whether it's their first UK tour, they tell me of how they toured with Foals two years ago and how much fun it was and how they're enjoying "hanging out in London" on this tour as they didn't get a chance to on the last one.
They've been on tour since May promoting the recently released and brilliant album Perch Patchwork and they'll be pretty much on tour until December. Despite the tough touring schedule the band don't seem phased by it and look forward to life on the road.

I ask them how they feel about the label 'Math Rock' which they are often attributed with. "People can't help but label things, it's natural", says Elders.

"We don't really like the label of 'Math Rock' as it makes the music sound like it's far more calculated than it actually is; we like to think that our music is created naturally. We do definitely think that the guitar work is complicated though, we like to keep our guitar riffs intricate," Davison chips in.

We move onto discuss why they released two EP's and then an album rather than releasing just two albums. They say they wanted the EP's to be short and sweet and full of mainly upbeat songs and that it wouldn't feel right to put them together. They were created to be just two small bodies of work.

"We'd say that the album is more an equal mix of upbeat songs and slower songs which is exactly how we wanted it to be like, that's why we released it as an album," Davison adds.

The band point out how they are honoured that Perch Patchwork was the 100th release on the acclaimed and prestigious label FatCat (home to the likes of Frightened Rabbit, Sigur Ros, Brakes and Animal Collective).

"We didn't actually realise that it was going to be the 100th release until after the album had been made but it was pretty exciting when we found out. We didn't really celebrate it because we didn't really realise," Davison explains.

Answering the inevitable 'what's next' question the band say they will be returning to the UK after a string of European dates for gigs in Liverpool and Dublin before heading back to America to continue their relentless touring.
Perch Patchwork is out now on FatCat records

www.mapsandatlases.org

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