TheAussieWord catches up with Aussie group Madman and the Lover band member Michael White in this one on one special interview for the blog.
A very special treat for TheAussieWord readers, with your chance to score the bands exclusive EP plus 4 free tickets to the EP Launch this coming Sunday February 19th at the Northcote Social Club! Read on for details...
What can you tell us Aussies about you. How and where did it all begin?
It all started back in Perth in 2000, where a rollerblader made friends with a skateboarder across the road. The rollerblader happened to play drums and the skateboarder had a guitar, so the two got together and started creating music with plenty of driving rhythm. After 10 years of working on separate projects due to living arrangements, the two find themselves together once more, now in Melbourne as a group of four, writing the music they imagined all those years ago.
What first got you interested in music?
My dad was a musician, playing in cover bands and writing his own musicals for the university he worked at. As a kid, I was exposed to music daily, and have even been credited with naming one of the old man’s songs, which I came up with at the ripe old age of three whilst dancing around his piano.
Who inspires or influences your quest to make great music?
Two things inspire me to make great music, and they are in essence the two halves of music, but I believe they need to be done well. I love catchy/hooky rhythms, particularly through the syncopation of multiple instruments, such as the bass drum and bass guitar locking in together. The second is a soulful melody, so anything by Lady Gaga clearly doesn’t fit this bill. Something where you can hear and feel the emotion in the voice (and sometimes instrumental melodies), which is so much less common this century.
We have our EP Launch on this Sunday February 19th at the Northcote Social Club in Melbourne. We are on at 4pm. Tix are $12, or $17 with ticket and EP.
What are some of the biggest goals you hope to accomplish as an artist?
Playing large-scale festival shows is definitely on the radar, as is releasing our music internationally.
What can fans expect from you in the coming months?
After this EP Launch, we are going back into a heavy writing phase again. Unlike the majority of bands, songs are mostly written out of the rehearsal room, due to the presence of all the additional strings/piano/samples forming the orchestral wall that is the backbone of our sound. Considering that these are played back live via a computer, they need to be spot on! So, we will be really harnessing our sound during this time.
Success, what is the secret to success and what has been your biggest career highlight so far?
Success is deemed by how you measure it. It may be something big, like a distribution deal, or it may be small, like learning a drum fill or getting the contact details for someone important to you. It’s about how you gauge the level of success of your achievements. Career highlights would be lining the stage with big name Aussie acts from a variety of genres, including Sneaky Sound System, The Potbelleez, Vanessa Amorosi, The Butterfly Effect, Karnivool and Thousand Needles in Red.
Keeping things Aussie focus, I’ve always been a big fan about how John Butler has gone about his music. Keeping things independent but delivering important messages through his lyrics. He also fits the hooky/catchy rhythm criteria I mentioned prior. It probably also swayed me a little with him being from Western Australia.
How would people best describe you and your music?
It’s difficult to categorise the sound of Madman and the Lover into one specific genre, given the eclectic influences that range from heavy rock to stripped backed acoustic flavours. The music is sculpted from a thick bottom-end of groove heavy drum beats locked tight with dirty bass tones, combined with the lush warmth of an acoustic guitar and an emotive orchestral wall serving as a backdrop. Combine these elements with soaring vocals and a high energy stage show, and you have the formula for a band that is both visually and aurally captivating.
Tell us a bit about your first EP or album?
This EP launch on February 19th is for our debut EP, so it’s the first real taste of our sound for the listeners. There is also another EP’s worth of songs ready to be tracked, so the time between releases will be quite short.
Our debut EP is called “Eight” and it has been put together over the space of the last 12 months, with the bulk of the work taking place from around June 2011. It draws influences from a range of music styles. Rhythmically it hits hard, with clear likeness to that of American heavy rock bands Sevendust and Deftones. The music is also melodically potent, but driven without vocal screams or electric guitars. The power comes from the lush harmonies and the layers of strings, piano and other sounds. The five tracks (plus one secret track) are all very different from each other, and capture the variety of styles of which the band is influenced by.
Do you have any exciting projects in the works?
The cd will be marketed overseas as I (the rollerblader) head to London to get involved in music there. The beauty of our writing style combined with the flexibility of the Internet ensures that the music will continue to flow steadily.
It’s hard to predict what will be happening in the industry a few months down the track, let alone years. But knowing the unique flavor of our sound, and the charismatic live show, I have no doubt that Madman and the Lover will be a prominent feature in the Australian music scene (yeah, a lot of confidence there, but an industry trait is backing yourself when you love what you do!)
Name a few of your favourite Aussie artists.
Something for Kate, Boy & Bear, Paul Dempsey (solo), Karnivool, The Butterfly Effect, Cog.
The shape of the music industry has changed significantly over the years, including the use of social media, how do you feel about the industry as a whole and what it means to you in getting your records out into the public eye?
It is much easier to get your music heard, particularly with things like FaceBook and ReverbNation, where they have tailored pages for musicians to help promote their work. Unfortunately in Australia, it’s all pretty clicky at the top level, so comradery amongst the local scene is important, but not always the case. Being true to your music and being genuine to the other people you work with are important things. If people like your stuff, they will share it, and that’s vital to getting people to come to your shows. Let’s hope this whole SOPA crap doesn’t eventuate…
Thanks for the interview! What can you leave fans with here on TheAussieWord blog today?
We are giving away 4 free tickets to our EP Launch this Sunday February 19th at the Northcote Social Club. Simply “like” our FaceBook page and email us your details, and we’ll put your name on the door. Plus we’ll throw in a free EP for good measure!