Manchester Orchestra: Conducting Honesty

Manchester Orchestra: Conducting Honesty

Since starting out in the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia the dusty, thoughtful rockers Manchester Orchestra have been expressing themselves with some delving lyrics that are delivered with accessible belief by lead man, Andy Hull.

Although, having officially only released two albums, their very first full length ‘Nobody Sings Anymore’, remains the domain of their growing number of ardent fans. Who appreciate the approach of this serious, focused and ranging band.

For their first official album, ‘I’m Like A Virgin Losing A Child’ they accompanied it with a collection of videos to help you visual their thoughts and for their most recent album, ‘Mean Everything To Nothing’ a series of concept videos will be used. This highlights their desire to help you understand and appreciate their creative processes, as well as showing that they’re trying to step beyond the boundaries of what’s expected of a conventional rock band.

Latest album ‘Mean Everything To Nothing’, is a moodily melodic flight that covers the woes of a troubled past, but has a positive streak running through it and, if it is a brand of blues that they produce? Then there is an uplifting tinge to it too. The repressed memory of child abuse moulds almost nonchalantly into the fuzzed up, psychedelic tilted ‘My Friend Marcus’ that is already a reflective live favourite.

Guitarist, Robert McDowell takes time out from promoting this new album, to provide an insight into the workings and motivations of one of America’s freshest current rock bands.

1. Before recording your latest album, ‘Mean Everything To Nothing’ did you take time to reflect on your official debut album ‘Like A Virgin Losing A Child’? What in your mind is the main difference between the two albums? Do you agree that you have grown more varied, ranging and searching?

R D; We reflected on the process but focused more on how we could let METN evolve. We had spent 2 years playing Virgin live and saw the way the songs changed. They became more abrasive and urgent. So when we were writing we were able to picture what it would be like to tour on the new songs. Overall I think it was written with more experience, giving it a better feel.

2. Will you ever officially release ‘Nobody Sings Anymore’?

R D; Probably not now. We don't want to put it out and have people think that is what the band currently is.

3. A topical question; are festivals a good or bad thing for music?

R D; Good. I hate them but there are people who enjoy the atmosphere and the availability of bands. We have had a lot of good exposure through them and I have heard of loads of bands because of festivals. I would still rather see a band in a club or theater, but I see the appeal.

4. Describe the Atlanta, Georgia music scene at the moment, how well do you feel that you fit in with it?

R D; There are a couple different scenes. When we started, we toured and treated Atlanta like any other city. So we missed out on the scene for a long time but over time we have made friends with lot of bands from Atlanta, though we typically meet them in other cities.

5. Do you tend to find that certain songs go down better in the UK? Do you alter your set lists for UK tours compared to when touring the USA?

R D; Nah. If we had a dancey song I'm sure we would try and work our set around that in the UK. But we don't. We have different set list for different time slots. Typically the fans like the order but they are that way so that Jeremiah's arms don't fall off. We also try and make the set flow naturally and make sense.

6. Which of your songs sums up your current mood and why?

R D; ‘Pride’. I have been watching the show “Sons of Anarchy” which is about an outlaw biker gang. So I have been listening heavier music so I can pretend I am a badass biker like Jax. That is our heaviest song so I would go with that. Yeah. Pride. But SOA is awesome.

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