Five Minutes With MS MR
The electronic-pop duo are here soon for GTM and sideshows.
New York/LA-based duo MS MR will soon be back in Australia for the Groovin The Moo festival tour, along with a few sneaky sideshows of their own. We caught up with them briefly to talk pre-show rituals and what's coming up in 2016.
For a duo that entered into the music scene through anonymity, and is now headlining shows Down Under, that’s huge! How has the past six years been for you guys?
A whirlwind for sure! It’s still hard to believe we started this whole project in Max’s bedroom in Brooklyn just the two of us recording on a computer, keyboard and microphone… now we’ve released TWO albums on a major label all over the world, have traveled the globe several times over, played on numerous festival main stages, performed on TV in the US and Europe… Sometimes it’s hard to believe this has been our life for the past six years!
What’s are some of the key aspects to your chemistry as a duo?
Communication, respect and endless support. There’s a lot to balance when your best friends, business partners, and creative allies but luckily we’ve always been able to balance it all.
Every year your music just seems to get better and better, more refined and more mature. What’s the goal/mindset for you guys when it comes to your music and your creative process?
Thank you! For us it’s about feeling like we’re artistically growing with each release and pushing ourselves further than we had previously. When we first started the band neither of us had ever made music before so so much about Secondhand Rapture was about pure naiveté and experimentation. With How Does It Feel we had grown into better musicians and performers and wanted to channel that experience and maturity into the record.
You’ve played major shows like Wireless, Coachella, Lollapalozza… what’s been your favorite shows or places to play and visit?
We’ve been so lucky to play so many incredible shows and festivals over the past few years but two of our favorites have been the first time we played Splendour In The Grass and Bonnaroo. Those shows are the ones we always come back to… people were spilling out of the tent, everyone knew every word and we became the most wild fully realised versions of ourselves on stage.
There is some very endearing and hypnotizing about all of your live performances, what goes into the planning/preparation for MS MR live shows?
For the live show we tend not to overthink it. We invested more into production on this record with the custom creation of a disco infinity light box of our name which adds a new sparkle to the show but for the most part it’s about keeping it to basics and shining a light on max and me as performers. We make pop records but the live show definitely has more a wild rock edge to it.
Do you have any pre-concert rituals or traditions?
A group huddle and a shot of whiskey.
Who do you guys look up to in the industry, or who do you think is killing it right now?
We often come back to artists like Arcade Fire and Florence and look at how they got to where they are… They build their reputations slowly and steadily over time. It’s always been abut the music first and creating a relationship with our audience.
You worked with Tove Lo and MNDR on your second album, what was it like working with them?
Great! We’ve only ever written music with each other so we thought it would be interesting to mix it up and step out of our comfort zone for a second by working with new people. It's really interesting to have someone else’s voice and perspective in the room and those songs are two of our favorites on the record.
What’s next for you guys following the Australian tour?
Almost as soon as we’re done we head back out in the US for a tour opening for one of my favorite bands, Bloc Party.
When you guys aren’t playing music, what are you doing? To help balance it all out?
Mostly hanging out with our friends who we miss so much on the road!
And a few quick ones to finish:
1. Last song played on Ipod/Iphone: All The Rest Is Noise - Formation
2. Best meal to date whilst touring? Home cooked meal in Australia at our friend Campbell's house, it was a proper Aussie BBQ.
3. Artist you’d most like to collab with? Kevin Parker.
4. Funniest tour memory so far? Going to the wrong Best Western hammered at 5am for a 530am bus call :/.
MS MR are playing Groovin The Moo across Australia, as well as headlining sideshows across capital cities (Click here for info/tickets).