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Wild West & Cowboy Q & A: MANOR


Melbourne duo MANOR have come out firing on all cylinders this year after a huge 2015 which saw the twin release of singles of Can You Hear Me Talking At You and Grand Mal. The quirky indie-rockers have stolen our ears once again with their latest single They’ve Come Into My Home and the release of their debut EP mixed by renowned producer Gareth Jones. We thought we’d remove them from their Melbourne lair and throw them into the Wild West to see how they’d survive in a cowboy-infested dusty landscape.

Which character would you be in the old west: the lone ranger, the law man, the knowledgeable bar tender, or someone different?

I’d be saloon keep, turning a blind eye to shenanigans as long as board is paid in full. I’m not really fussed by other people as long as they keep to themselves.

Do you have a sidekick or go it alone?

I’d have a pack of hired goons to throw muscle around if needed.

There’s a new villain in town, he calls you “yellow’ and challenges you to a shoot-out, what do you do?

Send in the local boys to fight on my behalf. They know they’d be paid well for their trouble and would happily risk their lives to be in my good books.

What’s your weapon of choice, side-holstered pistol or just go bare knuckles?

My brain and manipulative techniques – I don’t get my hands dirty.

The villain’s not happy with you and he’s put a bounty on your head, do you turn and run, fight it out or do something different?

In the dead of night I take up arms and single handedly infiltrate their ranks. By morning they’ve disbanded and their leader’s surrendered.

Is the life you live in the Wild West too dangerous for a romantic partner, or are you too promiscuous to marry?

A lady doesn’t kiss and tell. But there would be a love triangle (or square) for sure.

Marty McFly appears from the future, do you help him build a time traveling train or go back to your whiskey?

I avoid trouble, but Marty and I strike a deal. He gets to stay in the saloon in exchange for information about the future. I use it to make my fortune and get out of the west.

You guys designed your own purpose-built studio in Elysian Fields, how did you go about that and what did it add to the EP?

It gave us a lot of extra time, so I think the end result is a lot more succinct and true to our sound than it would have been if we’d rushed it. We looked at the songs we were writing, our influences and our intentions behind the music and bought gear that reflected those ideas. Basically it was countless hours working, saving, writing and configuring our set-up, but now we can write whenever the mood strikes. There’s still more to do, there probably always will be, Nathaniel loves gear and our sound is still evolving.

Your debut EP has almost legitimately gone around the world – recorded in Melbourne, mixed in London, and mastered in New York – how do you think that’s affected its sound?

It could be around the world or around the corner, the important thing is that the people working on this with us get what we’re trying to do and are open to communicating with us. This usually means we’re up at 5am on emails and Skype, but it’s worth it!