Interview: Getting to know Mid Ayr
Brisbane two-piece Mid Ayr recently dropped their highly anticipated first single of 2017, Pocket Her Eyes. We asked them to tell us about themselves:
We are a little group based in Brisbane called ‘Mid Ayr’. Zach Moynihan plays drums/pads and I [Hugh Middleton] play guitar and write the tunes. I spend most of my time fumbling away on guitar or piano until an idea for a vocal melody comes along. I then try to synch up whatever nonsensical noises or words that were spewing out of me with something that fits. Most of the time the ‘dummy’ lyrics will already be leaning towards something that I want to write about.
Once I’ve got the bare bones of the song down on paper I open up a blank session in Logic. I find the BPM of the track and usually record a bit of a guide acoustic guitar down first just to get a broad sense of the feel of the song. I then lay down a super basic groove using either a prefilled drum loop or by bashing out my own on a midi keyboard.
Once the drums are down I try to jump straight into recording the vocal. I notice the longer I leave recording vocals in a demo the more pedantic and precious I get about them. So I try to capture them quick. For me I don’t think I ever top the demo vocals. I always execute it best when I’m fresh in the element of whatever I’m singing about. So after I get the vocals down I try not to fuck around too much with additional textures and mixing and wrap it up. I send it to Zach and we mull over it for a week or so before taking it to rehearsal where we install any samples from the demo into his pads and sort out a live arrangement. From the demo we eventually track live drums and the instrumentation at the studio under my house and send it off to the beautiful Alex L’Estrange for mixing.
‘Pocket Her Eyes’ is our new single! I guess to put it simply it’s really a song about the pressures of social acceptance and dominance amongst your peers. An insecure culture that determines our own worthiness by ‘who we go home with’ and our authentic human connection being threatened by turning sexual desires into a contest. Dressed up in a lo-fi, high-energy pop tune.
Home is Brisbane! Born and raised. My house in Paddington I recently moved into and my basement studio downstairs.
We spend too much time behind a desk, in traffic, being serious, worrying, sleeping, on hold, regretting, pretending.
‘Elm Way’ is the name of our new EP! It’s referencing a line from our single ‘Pocket her Eyes’, “How’d you end up nightmare Elm Way?”… ‘Elm way’ meaning ‘Elm Street’ referring to those old Freddy Krueger horror flicks… a dangerous destination, a place of horror…etc. I guess all the tracks on the EP have a sense of danger or uncertainty. Also just thought it looked really nice on paper.
It might surprise people to learn that I use to rap… ha. Used to jot down a bunch of angsty, pre pubescent, “hate you mum and dad” raps on my loose scrapbook paper and take them into school. Rhyming about ‘chicks’, ‘party life’, and hard core 13 year old shit… So tough.
In the future we will be releasing a full-length album! Have so many different styles and directions we’re yet to immerse ourselves in. I also wish to start a song writing class for kids. The goal is to encourage and enable kids to express themselves through the gift of song writing and recording.
MID AYR TOUR DATES
Friday 28th April – Brighton Up Bar, Sydney NSW
Friday 5th May – The Grace Darling, Melbourne VIC
Saturday 6th May – The Foundry, Brisbane QLD
Keep up to date with Mid Ayr on Facebook.
Interview by Bobby Townsend.