Introducing a new sound to the folk music world, Maia are the second act to be featured in the 20GreatSongs Artist Spotlight series. Fresh from the success of their first Glastonbury performance earlier this year, they are pioneers of a genre that they call “sci-fi Folk” – ‘a combination of highly polar instruments, other worldly harmonies and four quirky lads’.
Here is Living in the Alligator:
Big thanks to Maia‘s Joe Haig (Piano/ Trumpet/Vocals) for sharing some of the bands’ experience and wisdom with 20GreatSongs:
How did you guys meet?
We were all reading variations of music and music technology, in our first term at Huddersfield Uni, and kept bumping into each other on nights out. Lots of red wine was involved and it’s all rather hazy now!
What or who are your musical influences?
Well everything we’ve ever heard is somewhere in our heads, but listening to ‘Love’ (Arthur Lee’s band) was a bit of a turning point for creating pop music together
Where did the inspiration for the song come from?
Tom (who does the main singing and the words) was walking round the Natural History Museum in London and saw an iron lung, the Victorian breathing apparatus, and it had the caption ‘Living in the Alligator’ – history was born!
Coolest gig you have performed so far and what would be your dream venue?
There have been so many awesome gigs so far, and each has it’s own surprises! It would have to be a top 3; playing at Glastonbury Festival was a bit of a dream come true, Broadstairs main stage and selling out of merch, and coming off stage at the Wharf Chambers in Leeds to an enormous roaring cheer!
Dream venue would be Wembley, but that might be too small. Failing that, the moon
What advice would you give to other singer songwriters?
There is nothing more important than recording, be it words or music, every single idea you get. You never know!
Oh and get a band together.
Most unusual situation you have found yourself in?
It has to be the time we woke up on a ship in the Thames, and thought we had walked out into zombie apocalypse.
They turned out to be ravers by the thousand!
What are you working on at the moment?
We are working to put out a few singles in the new year, and trying to build a time machine. The former is going better than the latter.
Maia’s 20 Great Songs list:
- David Bowie – Heroes
- Bee Gees – Stayin’ Alive
- The Low Anthem – Charlie Darwin
- Simon & Garfunkel – Bridge over Troubled Water
- Horseflies – Hush Little Baby
- Loudon Wainwright III – The Swimming Song
- New Order – Blue Monday
- Love – Alone Again Or
- Michael Jackson – Billie Jean – Single Version
- Bot’Ox – Tout passe, tout lasse, tout casse
- The Cherry Boys – Kardomah Cafe
- John Grant – Chicken Bones
- Bob Dylan – Subterranean Homesick Blues
- The Smiths – Bigmouth Strikes Again
- Kraftwerk – Pocket Calculator
- Black Star Liner – Superfly And Bindi
- Grizzly Bear – Two Weeks
- The Flaming Lips – Do You Realize??
- Tom Waits – Martha
- America – A Horse With No Name
Or if you have Spotify and are logged in, you can listen to the playlist here: