Marcus Foster: ‘I Don’t Want To Be Too Self-Involved’

Saatchi, Robert Pattinson and just generally being a bit self-important.

Marcus Foster has a celebrity phonebook that would make your eyes water. The Communion-signed sweetheart has supported Mumford & Sons, sold out London dates and made an appearance on the Twilight soundtrack. And all before the release of his first album. We caught up with him to talk Saatchi, Robert Pattinson and just generally being a bit self-important.

You’ve got what can only be described as quite an ‘old’ sound but you’re only 24 - where did that come from?
I guess it came from listening to a lot of music from those times. Just basically all the kind of music that I tend to listen to comes from the 50s and 60s. I love a lot of gospel stuff. There was great music back then and I think it’s important to reinvent that kind of music as that’s when it felt really special. The way things were recorded, everyone did stuff live and there’s a lot of feel to it - like with Blues music/ early R’n’B - it was exciting, new, fresh and there was a real buzz to it.

Where does your material come from - life experiences or your imagination?
A little bit of both I guess. You can’t not help writing about stuff that’s happened to you, but it’s hard - I don’t want to be too self-involved. A lot of people that write songs are all a bit me-me-me and it becomes a bit self- important; a bit dirgy and adolescent. I prefer to write about different characters/ situations - as if you were writing a film.

You recently signed to Communion - what made them the right choice of label for you?
They’re so friendly, kind and fun. It’s a good thing - they felt right, and were basically nice people who became good mates and it made sense to sign to an indie label. It’s only recently that I’ve found this community of musicians, I’ve always previously seen myself on the outside of it.

During your university career, you were spotted by Saatchi for your sculpturing talents - is that something that you’d like to pursue more in the future?
When I finished my masters he basically just bought a piece of my work from the Royal College. That was a really great moment. The music and sculpture do tend to go hand-in-hand. When I was off on tour recently I found ways of working with photography and video and that all ended up informing my sculpture and my music.

Your debut EP Tumble Down is out very soon - what can listeners expect from it?
It’s a nice little introduction to the album. It’s a nice balance. It’s a lot softer than the album’s going to be - it’s a bit more ballad-y - but hopefully people will be really into it.

Despite not being around that long, and not even having an album out yet, you sold out a gig in London recently - how did that feel?
Amazing. Great, really great. I just hope that when I do have an album out I can sell out more shows. I hope I haven’t done it the wrong way round!

You are working on a debut album, right? How’s it coming along?
We finished it last week and I’m really pleased with it. We recorded it in the Rockfield studios in Wales (an amazing studio set in the Welsh countryside) . Hopefully it should be out in June.

‘Let Me Sign’ brought you to a lot of people’s attention through the Twilight soundtrack. Were you happy with how Robert Pattinson performed it?
It’s really great. Originally that song was a bit of a joke, it was a clapping song that me and my friend wrote together and he turned it into this really serious, moody song. So it was quite funny. But it was great, we worked it out together and I really like it.

Marcus’ ‘Tumble Down EP’ is released on 4th April 2011.