New artist, Man vs Synth, has announced their first self-titled EP.
Melbourne-based Indie Synth Pop outfit Man Vs Synth have written, recorded, and produced this ambitious debut EP themselves. Man vs Synth, frontman Mathew Farry has engrossed himself in the project for over a year and half with the inspiration for the EP emerging from personal experiences, proclaiming stories of love found, love lost and loneliness.
Tomatrax caught up with Mathew Farry to ask a few questions.
How did the group form?
Hamish and I met at high school and always worked on each other’s songs. Later on I met Sam at Monash and we clicked pretty much instantly. As the songs were forming they were the natural picks to form the band as we got on like a house on fire.
Where did the name Man vs Synth come from?
When I was 15 and doing a music tech course I just wanted to upload some songs to show friends what I was writing in class. It was this idea of me learning how to use synthesisers and write with them. Later on it took to mean the merging of natural and artificial sounds. Stark contrasts have always been massively interesting to me so the name felt fitting.
You’re about to release your debut EP, how does it feel to have it finished and ready to go?
Like a massive weight has been lifted of our shoulders. We’ve put in a bunch of work on these songs and it’ll be nice now to work on the next batch of songs. This has been a really great learn- ing process for us all and it was a great step to take.
What made you decide to make the EP self titled?
No title felt like natural choice. Also it feels like there’s a tradition of self titled debut releases that we were happy to oblige.
What made you pick ‘Perfect Picture’ as the lead single?
‘Perfect Picture’ was always going to be the single. It gets in your head and is pretty fun – so it was such a good choice. Also, I’m a sucker for a good heartache song.
The song mixes synth pop and acoustic sounds, is it hard to get these contrasting elements to work together?
Yeah for sure. A lot of songwriting has to do with finding what makes certain songs work and some- times putting disparate sounds together can be challenging. Perfect Picture took forever and a day to write but the pay off felt huge at the end of the process. Contrasting ideas is something I’ve al- ways found to be intriguing so whilst it was difficult to work this way – it was the source of a lot of inspiration also.
You’ve said how the song was influenced by stuff happening in your personal life, is it hard to have these issues out in the open like this?
At first, absolutely. I think though that you can be true to yourself and what’s going on in your life whilst still having some veil of mystery. John Frusciante is a master at this. A lot of his lyrical con- tent can be deceiving or hidden behind some poetic license. I found with my lyrics – if I could write something that resonated with me without it sticking out like a sore thumb then I usually felt con- tent. Ultimately though, you have to be somewhat vulnerable to allow yourself to grow and I think that’s definitely a part of theses songs.
When writing what comes first, the words or the music?
Music, not even remotely close. I’ve begun to realise that I don’t really know what a song is about until I’ve written the bulk of it. I feel like I learn about myself through the writing process. Its only at the end of the process could I even attempt to write words that are remotely coherent.
Do you ever listen to your own music?
When I’m writing the music, all the time. I try to listen to it in different situations like in the shower or whilst cooking. I think different parts of your brain are activated simultaneously and that helps the song germinate in my mind. After the songs are done and we’re into releasing them I listen to them a lot less. I try to write music that I enjoy so there’s a time and place for them.
What other music do you listen to?
Lots of Radiohead, Tame Impala, Daft Punk, John Frusciante, Aphex Twin, Boards of Canada, Kendrick Lamar, MF DOOM, Flying Lotus, Mac DeMarco, City and Colour. Lately I’ve been getting back into some old french pop songs my mum used to play when I was a kid – like Claude Francois and Alain Delorme. Also a bit of Elias Rahbani and Melhem Baraket who are great Lebanese com- posers.
What do you have planned once the EP is out?
Next is getting some gigs and playing our hearts out. Rehearsals have been going really well and we’re excited to show that to the people. After that is more music coming out, and then further down we want to land a spot at Laneway.