Mollie Marriott is a renaissance woman. Her excellence in music is a given to anyone who has ever heard her single “Control”, but the many aspects of her life that don’t take center stage make her the artist that she is. After years of singing backup, she is finally taking center stage in her new album Truth Is A Wolf, set to be released on November 3rd, 2017. Blues Rock Review caught up with her to chat about the album, live shows, the songs, and her colorful life that inspires it all.
You’re a rockstar. That’s the dream. Was there ever another dream?
When I was a kid, I wanted to be a storm chaser. After watching Twister. Remember that movie? I was absolutely obsessed with that movie, and funny enough, I showed my daughter that movie last week, and now she is obsessed with it. That was my dream, until about 15, 16, and then it was kind of a given what I was going to do. I’ve tried everything. I had a hiatus from the music industry for a couple of years. I did everything like makeup courses, hair courses, I was a dental nurse for a while, all of these different things, and I was ok at them all, but I was nowhere near as passionate about any of it as I was about music.
What’s your escape?
My escape is two things. It’s walking, I will hike for miles happily and just disappear for the day. It’s quite a Marriott thing though, my brother and sister are the same, or ice skating. I absolutely love it, and I completely disappear in my thoughts. It’s wonderful.
What’s your songwriting process like?
For me it’s always melody first, always, and I will let the melody build and build and build in my head, and if I’ve still got it weeks later, I’ll pay attention to it. I’m a believer that if it’s not an earworm for me, it’s not going to be for anybody else. I’m not somebody who can write a song a day, I just can’t do that. It can take me months sometimes to finish a song. I love collaborating with other people. I really do, especially because I don’t have much confidence in myself, so people like Sam or Judie Tzuke, Judie is very telepathic with me, she knows what I’m trying to say, she’ll bring it out of me and be like, you know what, if that’s what you want to say, say it. I like having that collaboration. It’s a really cool thing. There are some songs, especially on the deluxe version, that I felt I had to write on my own. There’s one called “Gravity” on the deluxe album, where I remember sending it to Judie Tzuke, and she was like I think this is for you, because I can’t latch onto it, you’ve got to write it. And it took me three months. There’s so much noise, and I remember when I finished the album, I had no noise in my head for months, and I’ve got to be honest, it was so nice. It was the most peaceful head. It was really lovely. And then about 5 months ago, the noise started building again and I was like oh no! Here we go! It’s that time again. I’ve been writing again for the next album. It’s quite exciting.
What can we expect for the next album?
I think it’s going to be a bit rockier. I think Truth Is A Wolf is more an album of interreflection, and I think the next one will be a bit more aggressive, in the sense of, what I have realized in my interreflection, which is all of the problems that I went through with Truth Is A Wolf, weren’t entirely my fault. So it will probably be an album of fuck you. That’s the truth! I don’t want to put myself in a box. I want to write and see what happens, and hopefully, it will just naturally flow into something.
How do you like the tour life?
I love it, but my band makes me laugh so much, and I had such a sore throat throughout the tour, and it wasn’t even from the singing, it was from laughing. You know that belly laugh that you pray that no guy that you’re dating ever hears? It’s like the most horrific dirty laugh, and that’s what they make me do.
And the travel?
I love it! It’s true what northerners say, “oh Londoners think there’s nothing outside of London”, and you do get lost in that bubble, so when you’re traveling up and down the country it’s so cool to see how northerners are always way more rowdy in the crowd. Really rowdy. Especially Scotland. They’re so up for it, whereas south England is quite reserved. You’re on stage wondering are they liking this? Are they enjoying this? I don’t know. And by the end when you finish your set, they’re noisy. It’s really weird, but it’s a really cool thing. I love England so much, I love driving through and seeing the landmarks and the countryside. I do love it.
Can you talk about the musical you are working on, All Or Nothing?
The musical is based on the Small Faces, which my dad was in, and it’s about his time in the band, their rise, and their demise. They were so huge over here. So I’ve been the vocal coach for this show. It’s been fantastic, it’s on it’s third tour now, which is wonderful, and hopefully we’ll be in the West End next year.
You’ve been working on the album for 3 years. By some standards that’s no time at all, by others, that’s a lifetime. How was this process for you?
It was very frustrating. When I was signed four years ago, I had one or two songs. I was transitioning from a backing vocalist to a lead singer, and they were like we’re signing you on your voice, and I said I will accept that deal, as long as I can write my own songs. They let me have free range with it, but when it came to the recording the producer I had at the time and I weren’t really on the same page, and it wasn’t his fault, it was because I was still discovering who I was as an artist, so he did the best with what he thought, and I at the time didn’t want to be a diva or seem ungrateful and tell him, no that’s not what I want. When it came to the release of the album, I suddenly went, I’m sorry, but I don’t want to release this. I said I’ve got a friend of mine that I’ve known for fifteen years, his name is Stan Kybert and he has produced all of Paul Weller’s for the last 10 years, and did Oasis, and I said I want to work with him and I want to redo this album, so they let me do it. It was frustrating, but now when I listen to it, it’s exactly how I heard it in my head. When I write, I can hear the whole production in my head, and it’s really frustrating because I can’t get it out, I’m not good on the production side, if I were to make a demo by myself. I’ve been really lucky with Stan and my best friend Sam Tanner, who I’ve written most of the songs with. We have this incredible connection where they can hear what I’m hearing, without me even having to tell them, and 9 times out of 10 they get it right. It’s the most amazing formula to work with them, it just works. I am very proud of this album, there are still bits in it where I listen and go oh maybe I shouldn’t have done that, or I could’ve done that a bit better, but you’re always going to be like that. So I just said let it go! Get it out! Move onto the next one!
What do you want people to take away from Truth Is A Wolf?
Don’t judge anyone until you know what they’ve really gone through, and just be kind, and supportive.
Interview by Alexandra Veltri