Interview: Marquis Drive

The quiet town of Cannock in the West Midlands is about to get louder thanks to Marquis Drive, whose second single, ‘Truth Don’t Shock’ is set for release on June 24.

Neil Stopforth spoke to Marquis Drive singer Mark Hillier and guitarist Chris Eardley about the band and their upcoming single.

Marquis Drive have been creating quite a buzz in the West Midlands. Their debut single, ‘Proud’ was picked up by the legendary Alan McGee, the man behind Creation Records who were the first to sign Oasis.

Now, the seven-piece outfit consisting of ‘two Wolves fans, two Villians, one blue nose, one baggy and one sky blue’, are back with their follow up single, ‘Truth Don’t Shock’. 

“We even knocked David Bowie down to number three!”

“We write authentic indie rock anthems”, said Mark. “We come together through our musical tastes and backgrounds. We’re all 90s boys and we carry a lot of that into the music”.

While Britpop sounds and 90s bands are a clear influence, Marquis Drive aren’t just copycats. “We’ve also got a lot of psychedelic influences”, added Mark. “We’re all big fans of the 90s but we’re not a 90s band”.

Despite the current lockdown, both Mark and Chris are positively upbeat and are clearly excited about the new single and the direction the band is heading in.

“Our last single, ‘Proud’ got to number two in the official vinyl charts”, said Mark. “We even knocked David Bowie down to number three!”

The energy and enthusiasm of both Chris and Mark is something that both they, and the rest of the band, certainly channel into their songs. None of that energy has been lost during lockdown. If anything, they’ve been working harder than ever.

“We’ve been in the studio all weekend”, said Chris. “Socially distanced of course! We’ve made the most of lockdown. We’ve got our heads down and been working hard.”

“Lockdown has been good for us!” added Mark. “We’ve passed ideas to and from each other and come up with loads of songs. We want our songs to organically shine that way.”

With seven band members, I was curious to know if it was difficult to write songs with so many people in the band.

“No, it’s great, we’ve got a massive sound with seven of us!” laughed Mark. “The percussion section is really busy, they’ve also just done an endorsement deal which is great”.

“Having the extra drummer is great”, added Chris. “We’ve got Leon Harrison, Oscar Harrison from Ocean Colour Scene’s lad with us. The sound is brilliant.”

‘Proud’ was a real foot stomper, in line with the band’s description of writing anthemic songs. Will ‘Truth Don’t Shock’ be more of the same?

“It’s a banger,” said Mark, “a big song. This is more in your face rock ‘n’ roll. We have to keep stepping the mark up.”

“It’s about keeping hold of that momentum,” added Chris. “There are no brakes on this train.”

Marquis Drive are already getting snapped up for next year’s festival scene. They’ll be in the line-up at next year’s Creation Festival alongside Primal Scream, Black Grape and Echo And The Bunnymen. An album is set for release in September and they’re clearly revelling in their work. Both Mark and Chris are incredibly down to earth and are loving life at the moment.

“We’re doing stuff we never dreamed of doing,” said Mark, the passion in his voice evident. “It shows you don’t have to be a well established band to be living the dream.”

‘Truth Don’t Shock’ is out June 24 on all digital platforms.