How is it that Miami Horror are only two albums into their career?
It feels like the indie electro outfit have been on the scene for an age, lighting up festival stages and setting dance floors on fire with bangers like ‘I Look To You,’ ‘Sometimes,’ and ‘Moon Theory.’
But alas the Melbourne outfit only just released their second record All Possible Futures back in April and after electrifying crowds in South and North America for the last few months, they’re now set to return to Oz in August for an Australia-wide tour, with supports from rising producers and artists Young Franco, JOY and Cleopold.
We spoke to the band’s musical leader Benjamin Plant about getting comedic inspiration from their time in Nashville, why it’s great to have their chance to bring some of their favourite artists on tour, and taking their time to make timeless music.
[V]: So you guys are touring through America. Where are you guys at now?
BP: We just got to Nashville and we have been on the road for a little while. We’ve been hearing all this really bad country music, so we went into a studio and recorded a “best of” of this guy that doesn’t exist – we made up this guy, Travis Tanner, which is Aaron [Shanahan – MH guitar/vox], and then the rest of the band dressed up in country outfits and made this video of the “best of” and we’re gonna do this skit for fun.
I reckon you’ll be able to fool a fair amount of country fans just with that name alone.
You’ve been on the road for a while now. How have the shows been going?
Really good. We’ve played some really good shows that we would have never suspected. Like Boston – usually when the venues are really great it makes our job a lot easier, so yeah it’s been fun. We played a lot of good shows in New York which was amazing, as usual.
Are there any particular songs off the new album fans are connecting with when you perform them live?
It’s hard to know. We’re not playing the whole album. We’re playing seven or eight new songs but they’re connecting with them all well. Obviously ‘Love Like Mine’ being the single definitely gets the most attention, but we also play a song from later off the album called ‘Who Is Gonna Save Us,’ which is more of a down tempo song and that works really well live in an interesting way.
Your Australian tour is going to also feature support slots for Young Franco, Cleopold and JOY – three prominent rising producers and artists in Australia. Do you guys try to give a leg up to young artists wherever you can?
Yeah, we were able to do that really well recently on the West Coast of America tour. We had this band Deluxe, which we more excited about having on tour because they’re one of our favourite bands at the moment. So when you’re talking about, I guess helping in a way, we’re actually really excited to have people on tour with us that we’re really into. It’s not always easy to get the acts that you want to support, so when you do it’s really great.
It’s seems pretty crazy to me that All Possible Futures is only your second album, because I feel like I’ve been reading your name and seeing you guys play shows for a long, long time now. Was it always the plan to take a controlled and deliberate approach to releasing albums or is that just how it’s worked out?
Yeah, there’s this really deliberate thing to make albums that last a lot longer and stand out. The thing we found that even though we didn’t have an album for four years or whatever we were still touring pretty large places in South America and Mexico and the States from the first album from new fans still discovering and the fact that it worked four or five years after it came out was a pretty amazing thing and I guess shows that the intention worked. Like I was talking in an interview yesterday about an album where everything is just a vibe of the singles and almost filler. But with our albums we like to make sure every song is its own thing. It’s not really just the B-side of another track. In that way I think a lot more variety on albums really helps.
Going off that then, I found there’s a real shimmer across the whole new album and that although the tracks are all really distinctive on their own, there’s a definite feel or sensation that carries from song to song. Was that how the album was written, or was that something that happened in the studio or was that just something that occurred organically?
It happened organically over a long time because I was actually quite worried about how that would turn out because we were making such different songs from one end to the other and three years apart and that’s why it kind of took so long because we didn’t want to stop until it felt cohesive. And it was the same thing with the first album. You can put ‘I Look To You’ next to an interlude off the first album, it sounds like a completely different band, but if you listen to the whole first album you have those tracks in between that join everything up.
And now that you’re on the road have you found that any of the songs may have evolved when you perform them as opposed to how they sound on the album?
Yeah, exactly. We perform in a much more energetic, live way. Lots of guitars and energy.
And there are clearly a lot of influences worn on your sleeves in your music, but like you said there’s a timeless quality too it – is that a badge of honour to you guys, that I guess it’s impossible to really shelf you as any one genre or time?
That’s what makes it kind of hard to describe when people ask me what genre it is or this or that – it’s so broad. I guess that was just part of the intention. It makes it harder for you later when – I mean you don’t have to really justify it it sounds like its own thing in its own way. We try to bring an element to it that people can’t just copy. So you can look at all the songs on the album and if somebody wants to sound like us, I don’t really know what they would do – they couldn’t really. That’s a good thing I think. Once you get yourself into a position where you can’t just have a bunch of young producers copying you then you’re ahead of the game in that. Way. Like anyone can create synthy kind of beats at home. But once they’re adding a lot of percussion and guitar elements and different sounds and textures, that becomes your own thing.
Are there any new songs in particular you guys as a band are really getting a kick out of performing?
Obviously all the big singles on the last album get a big reaction. Now we’re playing some of the more Talking Heads, post disco stuff instead of some of the more dancier things we had out earlier – because we didn’t have the album out and we had these dancey sections. But now the new songs the whole thing flows so much better and having two albums out.
So we can expect a really flowing set from your shows once you finally return home in August?
Yeah, not only that but we’ve worked really hard to make it flawless. I think it was quite loose four years ago – we were doing our best, but now we just accept no little mistake and we’ve got heaps of technology to makes sure everything’s running as good as possible and sounds good and really helps having a sound guy with us that is more permanent and can record our shows and give feedback and stuff like that.
And fans don’t have to worry about you guys turning into a country act then?
No definitely – there will be no country cross over but we are gonna start posting pictures and videos of this thing soon.
Hey, never say never – Keith Urban is about to release an EDM song.
Oh my God.