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INTERVIEW: Man Without Country

Hi Ryan, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Hey! Thanks for having me. I’ve been good. Keeping busy!

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Remember The Bad Things”?

Sure. It’s a little dreamy, a little punchy. It’s packed full of eighties-inspired synthy sounds and shoegazey guitars, with added production and vocals by my Norwegian pals Ralph Myerz and Therese Lunde, AKA Crucial Things.

Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?

Not necessarily, but I guess I wasn’t feeling particularly positive at the time when the initial idea first occurred. I consider myself to be a very lucky person, and have been fortunate enough to see and experience many great things, yet somehow I’m rarely reminded of that. I decided it was time to shine a light on this self-destructive tendency I have to focus on the negative.

Any plans to release a video for the single?

There is! I directed it myself, with the help of some friends.

What was it like to work with Ralph Myerz and what did he bring up to the table?

Ralph and I have had an “online collaboration” thing going on for a while. Usually I’ll send him a demo or an idea that I think could benefit from a fresh pair of ears, and he’ll sprinkle some fairy dust on it and send it back. It’s always exciting opening that WeTransfer file!

Why name the new record after this track in particular?

Well, it’s more of a single with three b-sides really, so the lead track’s title seemed like the obvious choice.

How was the recording and writing process?

The original idea for the song came about very quickly, which is always a satisfying thing. I spent probably forty-five minutes writing and recording the original bass-line, beat, melodies and synth parts. But as things develop that’s when it gets a little more complicated. I had a lot of parts from Ralph that I really wanted to use in the mix, but there is only so much space available. That final hurdle of fine-tuning everything can be a gruelling process.

Now as a solo project – how has this change has affected the sound?

I’m not too sure if it’s to do with MWC being a solo venture, but generally I think the sound has gradually veered towards being more about clarity rather than density. In hindsight, I find the first album in particular quite muddy in places, partly because at the time we were just learning. Some may argue that there’s a charm to that, but that overly layered sound no longer interests me.

Where do you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?

It’s usually unpredictable things in every day life that spark ideas. Whether it’s something a person says, perhaps in a film or television program, or maybe something I read. It can be as simple as just a word. I keep a “lyric bank”, which has become imperative to the process. Musical ideas often occur in the middle of the night, which is never convenient.

Any plans to hit the road?

Yep! My first show in a long time will be happening on May 9th at Heaven in London, as main support for ionnalee from Sweden. Also, in September I’ll be teaming up with fellow producer Draper, for a joint-headline UK run. Come see us!

What else is happening next in Man Without Country’s world?

I have a few separate projects on the go, but my main objective right now is to finish my album. It’s been an intense experience, but I’m really excited for people to hear it.

Listen here

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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