Monday, May 30, 2011

EXCLUSIVE! Morning After Girls INTV!

With a name like The Morning After Girls, you cannot help but chuckle and say to yourself, "well, let me hear what they sound like," from juvenile laughter to an immediate serious reaction, you straight away realize that this band is not joking around. Forming in 2003 in Melbourne, Australia the pyschodelic rock outfit have gone through various line up changes, shape shifting sounds and various styles before landing on their feet and finding what they are made of. They relocated to New York City in 2008 and have been generating the buzz that had them on their home turf now overseas and in the land of American dreams. As the band released their latest album, Alone, earlier this year, we caught up with singer and guitarist Martin B. Sleeman about how the band has evolved, their dynamic sound and curious name. Take a look at our interview with Martin below.

The name of the band is instantly recognizable and fun to see and hear, who came up with it?

The name of the band came up with us. I'm not attempting to be intentionally cryptic, but honestly, we have long been staunchly opposed to the western world's fascination and reliance on pinning a name to anything. We prefer to think of most things as being transient in description, rather than locking you or ourselves as viewers, into a set "idea". Why take away from anyone the freedom of interpreting anything in any way they desire? It contradicts the beauty of our existence. So, it's up to you.

With such a trippy and unique sound, how did it come about that you would create the style of music that you do?

It's a feeling, a chemistry that began between myself and sacha, and an extension of what any human being experiences when they deal with life, death, loss, relationships, vulnerability, exultation, nakedness, continuing without seeing, loving without knowing. Life.

Hailing from Australia and being very successful back home, you relocated to New York City in 2008. Did the change of atmosphere change your style and sound?

Well, if you're talking about Alone, we wrote, recorded, mixed and produced the album before moving to New York, so no. Regardless though, I don't think that it has, although since we have been so blessed to have Alex White, EJ Hagen and Anthony Johnson join our family, Sacha and myself have certainly never felt better about the band. As far as New York City is concerned, i think there are certain changes that occur within your soul that manifest themselves through every way you express yourself. Myself and Sacha have always been very focused and aware of where we are and where we've come from, and what is present in our journey, both individually and communally whenever we have been writing. New York has an energy that get's inside of anyone that has a heartbeat. If you allow it to, it can be a mirror, a deflection, and a reflection of everything a person can love about themselves and life itself.

In saying the same thing about our music, then indeed, New York, like any environment , will effect our art.

Are you still in New York?

Yes. I have been fortunate enough to live for a while with our bass player EJ in Lancaster, PA, which has been a blessing as i've met some of the finest people i know there.
Sacha is in New York, as is our Keys player Alex and our drummer Anthony.
So in short, i guess we work from New York.

Many Australian bands such as yourselves, Tamrama, Violent Soho, The Grates have relocated to New York at some point, what is it about this city that has attracted Ozzies to it?

I wasn't aware that there was any level of correlation between Australian Bands and New York City.

I'm not really aware of these bands, so i can't answer for anyone else but myself and my band.
As far as myself and Sacha are concerned, we were always going to move to New York. As individuals, we've known for a long time that it's an environment that fosters everything we love about the human existence. We've met some beautiful people, developed some treasured freindships, played to wonderful attentive audiances, and met one of our closest friends, Cevin Soling, who has been responsible for our record gaining a physical release.

Australian music has broken very big internationally with acts like those listed above, Wolfmother, Pendulum and others. Do you feel that this is the most important time to be in a band from Australia? Are you proud to be apart of this?

No I don't really. I don't feel that it's important to be anything else but the morning ater girls. Everything else is sort of irrelevent.

Myself, sacha, EJ, Alex and Anthony, are the most important things about this time of me being in a band.

We've been through a hell of a lot over the past few years, and if ever I was to feel pride, it's for the fact that we are together making art; the only art we know best.

Your latest record, “Alone,” was released earlier in the year. How do you feel about it?

It's the greatest art that Myself and Sacha have ever created. It's the culmination, summation and execution of a journey that is unique to us but also common to every human being.
That said, during and after the completion of a record, there are so many filters that one's feelings can go through which in turn effects how you feel about the record. I've gone through many different feelings about this record; the depths and heights have no bounds. And now that we've had Alex, EJ and Anthony joining us since we re-located, my feelings about the record have grown/shifted/changed again, and i must say, those three souls are the most welcomed gifts to our journey so far.

How does “Alone” waiver in comparison to your other material?

Waiver? I don't compare one piece of art to another, they're all isolated moments in time. I will say that sacha and i were both feeling very explicit and acute effects of life, while we were creating alone. that difference manifested itself very noticably for us, and because we were quite aware of this, we were able to be more raw and vulnerable with ourselves and our music than ever before.

What does the title of the record signify?

I think the more curious thing is the fascination to describe every single facit of every single particle of life until there is absolutely no mystery in anything. Isn't the essence of beauty something which defies description? I get concerned that there is too much much safety sort and found in an answer (no matter what it is) rather than simply sitting and observing the many questions that give us the freedom to have our own mind, our own thoughts, our own reality, our own love, our own beauty, living our own life. alone.

It took about five years in between albums for you to release a full album of new material, what took so long?

There are many reasons, most of which have absolutely nothing to do with the art of making music. Before we began Alone, myself and sacha had material for the next two albums at least, but unfortunately there was so much beurocracy surrounding the conflict btween our choices and the choices of those we'd entrusted to assist us in our journey. We were making significant changes to our band and our lives. And we never, ever, rush the creation of our albums. It remains the most sacred and pure pursuit in our lives. Also, to be crude, when you leave the country that you've spent most of your life in, to reside in a country that has rather strict immigration policies, it can take a long time to try to coincide the production and eventual release of a record.

What did you do in the time between albums and recording singles? Did you get other work outside of the music world or just toured and wrote as much as you could?

We toured a lot for a couple of years, in the US and the UK, living in London for a period of time. We are always writing, always recording. After we found oursleves back in Australia, we began doing pre-production for alone, rehearsals, and recording. Then we flew to London to mix it with Alan Moulder, and after which, prepared for our relocation to New York.

Your live sets have also gained you much attention and it has been said you never play the same set twice. Is it hard coming up with a set list each night as to what want to play?

Not really. We need to be stimulated. Who knows how we will change, but often we won't arrive at our final setlist until moments before playing. This can be a little frinetic for some poeople, but i think it certainly influences the energy that we share with our audiance every time we play. And that's the most important thing - to share what is immediately within our souls at that very moment, in the most honest way possible with the people we care most about, our audience.