Perth five-piece Our man in Berlin have just put out their sophomore EP Spirit Down and are about to tour Australia. Tomatrax caught up with Haydn Mansell, lead singer of the band, to ask a few questions.
Where did the name Our man in Berlin come from?
A lifetime of watching documentaries about WW2 & the Cold War.
You’ve just released your second EP, what’s it like to have it out?
It’s hard to say. It’s only been out for two days.. Lots of people have said lots of nice things. And some people are indifferent. We are all super keen to take it on the road and play these tour shows.
You received a lot of critical acclaim for your debut, did this make you feel any pressure when putting together your follow up release?
Nah not really. The biggest pressure comes from our own expectations.
What made you pick ‘Spirit Down’ as the title track and lead single from the EP?
It resonated with me lyrically. But there are other singles on the EP. My personal favourite is a track called Bones.
Each of the five tracks on the EP explores a different theme and sound, was this always the intention when making the EP?
No not really. We aren’t that calculated. We just write what comes to us organically.
Did you know what specific themes and sounds you were after when you began working on the EP?
No, we try to not to do anything contrived. Our songs usually come from free form jams… It’s pretty hard to push an agenda when writing in this way.
You funded your EP through a Pozible campaign, do you think this is the way for independent bands to release music?
A massive thank you to everyone who pledged to our Pozible! That 5k has allowed us to do so much. I think every independent band is different and has different circumstances. For us crowdfunding worked really well, and we are super appreciative.
You’ll be playing round Australia in support of your EP, what can fans expect from your show?
10 originals and one radiohead cover. Plus a whole swag of aural pleasure from the likes of; blackchords, flower drums, allthingslost, golden vessel, yuuca, grand pavilion, beach Aunty, aela kae, teij, ginger and drum, froyo, & dxheaven.
Oh yeah and we’ve got a sick projector show!
Do you ever listen to your own music?
Yeah lots when I’m working on it.. Then a couple times after I get the masters back. It’s nice to listen to the whole EP and reflect.
What other music do you listen to?
So much, way too much to list. Our favourites are; radiohead, stone roses, massive attack, portishead, Jon Hopkins, caribou, grizzly bear, sia, alt j, thom Yorke, goals, st Vincent, James Blake, flying lotus, the panics. I should really stop now. Oh wait can’t forget bob Dylan & Paul Kelly. Beatles, stones.
What do you plan on doing after your tour?
Keep on writing and demoing. And hopefully play some more rad shows throughout the year.
Check out Our man in Berlin’s facebook page to find out more!