Interview: Miami Horror do something different
Australian indie electronica luminaries, Miami Horror, have just released their sophomore LP, “All Possible Futures”. Annastasia Robertson talks to Ben Plant about the new album, about collaborations and about what occurs on tour:
Hi Miami Horror! Thanks so much for taking the time to chat with us here at Something You Said. Since your first album release in 2010, you guys moved to LA. Tell us about that experience.
Well, writing an album in another city was something we had always wanted to try. We love the idea of having a story behind the music. We felt LA was a really interesting, strange city with a lot of music history and stories to tell. It was really exciting to be thrown into such a colourful city and to really let the city’s atmosphere seep into the record as it has with some of our favorite records from the 70s and 80s.
Your sophomore album, All Possible Futures, has just come out, what lessons from your experiences with the freshman album Illumination have you taken when writing this album?
Well, we learnt a lot more about songwriting. We were able to learn a lot from listening to music we may have been closed off to during the first album.
Your new single ‘Love Like Mine’ is a little funky, and a little dancy and if I’m not mistaken, a little Michael Jackson-y? It’s certainly different from anything else we’ve heard from you, and it’s on repeat on my Spotify playlist! What influences have you embraced in this album?
This album had a huge range of influences, we wanted to explore every possible direction we’d imagined going. “Love like Mine” was a mash of all of our favourite 80s funk influence, Rick James, Mj, Tom Tom Club, which carry onto the post disco/punk of Talking Heads into some New wave/ 80s pop influences such as New Order, some Psychedelic synth pop influences ending with a Primal Scream-esque Manchester banger.
The album is a whopping 15 tracks long. Can you talk us through the songwriting and production process you went through for All Possible Futures?
Ultimately we wanted to make an album that stood out, that was doing something different to everyone else at the moment. A lot of artists have been going for a really minimal spacious vibe at the moment which was nice, along with very repetitive but consistent sounding albums. But we started to feel like it was starting to get old quick and really wanted to continue our love for sonic textures and diversity in each track on the album. I used to hate when the second half of an album sounds like a b-side of the first half. So we made sure each song stood up on its own and brought something special to the table.
There’s a video on your YouTube channel that gives us a peek into the making of your video for the album and shows Aaron singing in the middle of trees, what’s the go with that?
Haha. That second was just a joke. We were out in this rainforest and though it would be funny to film him singing amongst the trees.
You’ve just played a few shows with Foster The People across South America, how much fun was that?
Lots of fun, we played to huge crowds, it’s like our second home.
What are the best and worst parts of touring?
Meeting new people and building some amazingly funny memories. Worst would be no sleep, waiting around.
As an Australian band, what are some differences you see between Australian music compared to the rest of the world?
Each city in the world is different really. The world see’s Australian music as exotic whereas we see them as exotic. I think the one difference is that we have a higher percentage of music cross over into the mainstream. USA is really separated.
Is there anyone you are dying to collaborate with?
We just love to collaborate in general. I think it really leads to strange combinations and original material. There isn’t only one person that I could say we’ve been dreaming of working with.
As mentioned earlier, it’s been five years between your albums and so much has happened in terms of music distribution with iTunes, Pandora and Spotify, but also piracy. Where do you see your music in terms of distribution in the next five years?
I haven’t been able to think too much about it really, that’s management’s job. Streaming does seem to be becoming more popular and it has many great benefits, however it’s not great for record sales. All problems would be solved if they just paid artists more. Streaming services compare their plays to replacing single radio plays but to be their plays replace iTunes purchases and plays. For example say a listener would normally pay $10 for an album and play it roughly 20 times in iTunes. If someone streams an album 20 times on a streaming service, the artist would get roughly about 5 cents or less. Which is 200 times less if they purchase the album.
You’ve collaborated with Capital Eyewear to design a pretty hip pair of sunglasses is there a chance of a Miami Horror fashion line in the future?
Hahaha! I wouldn’t put ‘Miami Horror’ and ‘fashion line’ in the same sentence, but I do really like the idea of more exclusive less branded merch that fits our artistic visual aesthetic and can be worn anywhere.
Does anyone have any juicy secrets to share about other members of the band?
What happens on tour stays on tour.
What kind of shenanigans do you all get up to in your spare time?
Desert adventures, trips to Paris, that kinda thing.
And lastly, you’re a bunch of good-looking gentlemen, so let’s set the record straight, who is single and who is not?
Single guys would currently be Kosta and I.
All Possible Futures is out now via Remote Control. You can catch them at one of the following venues. Tickets from the usual places.
FRIDAY 7 AUGUST – VILLA, PERTH
SATURDAY 8 AUGUST – UNI BAR (AA), ADELAIDE
THURSDAY 13 AUGUST – ANU BAR, CANBERRA
FRIDAY 14 AUGUST – METRO THEATRE (AA), SYDNEY
SATURDAY 15 AUGUST – WOOLLY MAMMOTH, BRISBANE
FRIDAY 21 AUGUST – 170 RUSSELL, MELBOURNE
SATURDAY 22 AUGUST – REPUBLIC BAR, HOBART
Interview by Annastasia Robertson.