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THE MAX FACTOR; Maximo Park on their meteoric rise to the top and missing out on the Mercury Music Prize.

Byline: Avril Cadden

Are you looking forward to headlining the NME tour alongside We Are Scientists, Arctic Monkeys and Mystery Jets?

Very much so. It's the big one for us and to headline a tour of that magnitude is something we've looked forward to ever since we saw things starting to build up. We didn't think we'd get there so soon. You formed in 2003 and your album was released last year. Are you surprised by how quickly the band have found success?

It's undeniable it has happened quickly. From an inside point of view, we've been working really hard, playing gigs every night and putting in so much effort.

To even consider success and the meaning of it - it's something you don't really get time to do. Which is a good thing. If you had all day to swan about and think you were brilliant, you'd end up a pretty unpleasant person.

Were you disappointed at missing out on the Mercury Music Prize? No. To be on the list was good enough for us. We want to go about things in a gradual manner, rather than being hyped up and then having to live up to that. Do you feel any 'difficult second album' pressure?

No. I feel very confident about the next album. We've written quite a few songs and they are giving me a lot of confidence. As far as pressure is concerned, there's absolutely no external pressure on us. The internal pressure is bad enough. I couldn't live with myself if we were going out playing mediocre songs.

You never planned to become a singer. How did it happen?

I was playing guitar with my friends in an instrumental outfit in Newcastle and we were just playing tiny little venues because our friends had asked us to. We didn't have any ambitions to do it professionally.

I used to perform and try to get people into the songs. And that's why Maximo Park asked me to be in the band - they thought I would be perfect at the front of a band to get people's attention. They were chancing it a bit - they didn't really know if I could sing.

They were quite an established local act, doing ok, but none of them felt they wanted to play the lead role in the band.

It worked so well so fast that we just kept playing together. In the end we had songs good enough and I felt confident enough to sing them live.

It was a gamble all round, because I was thinking, 'I don't want to embarrass myself in front of my mates'. It was certainly a bit daunting.

MAXIMO PARK SINGER PAUL SMITH REVEALS THE BAND CAN'T WAIT TO PLAY GLASGOW'S CARLING ACADEMY AND EDINBURGH'S CORN EXCHANGE ON JANUARY 27 & 28.

CAPTION(S):

Maximo Park's keyboardist Lukas Wooller, drummer Tom English, singer Paul Smith, guitarist Duncan Lloyd, bassist Archis Tiku
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Jan 22, 2006
Words:486
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