Philadelphia-hailing rockers Mannequin Pussy have been conjuring music that moves, both physically and mentally, since …
Sydney’s Live Like Animals recently unveiled their debut album, Modern State of Mind.
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Aside from showing the band at their genre-bending best, it’s also thematically strong, with each track moving through the different stages of one’s mental health journey.
We caught up with vocalist Nic Roy to chat about this concept, the recording process and more.
Hysteria: There’s such an interesting concept behind Modern State of Mind. Can we dig into it a little more?
Nic: The concept came about because of the way I was looking at mental health. I categorised a bunch of strong, but different, emotions I’d been feeling in different rooms. The songs on the album represent a different one of those rooms. Going through the album front to back is almost like going through a mental health journey.
It’s cool to be able to relisten to it and relive that journey from a little while ago. It’s a fun experience playing it live too. It brings an emotion to the table that wasn’t there before.
Run us through the writing process. How’d you approach that as a band?
We were tossing around a few songs and weren’t going into this with an album in mind. We were thinking of an EP. We had six songs ready and took them to the studio to record. I was doing a lot of experimenting with electronic sounds, as I love doing that. So we made a bunch of electronic interlude tracks to fuse things together, and we made a lot more than we anticipated, so we ended up making the album. We recorded up on the Central Coast with Brad Telfer and had a fantastic time.
I categorised a bunch of strong, but different, emotions I’d been feeling in different rooms. The songs on the album represent a different one of those rooms. Going through the album front to back is almost like going through a mental health journey.
[Nic Roy, Live Like Animals]
Elaborating on that last point, what was it like working with both Brad Telfer and Chris Blancato?
Brad’s a really good mate; we’ve known him for a long while. He made it a fun, creative environment. We didn’t feel any pressure; it didn’t even feel like hard work. We went up there and had a laugh and did the songs, and he was able to really help us get what we wanted out of them.
Chris is an absolutely amazing engineer. We were so happy with the output he gave us. It was one of the quickest turnarounds we’ve ever had, and we didn’t have a whole lot of notes for him. He hit the nail on the head right away.
What’s your favourite track on the record?
I’ve Seen This Before. It’s very different to anything we’ve done previously. It was one of the last tracks we did for the album, and I love its vibe and playing it live.
How have your recent shows gone?
We did two back-to-back shows. We played the album in full for them, and the reception was amazing. In Canberra, we had a big group of people who knew every word, even the interludes. We weren’t expecting people to know it so well, with the album being so fresh. It was such a fantastic experience seeing people connect with the album and having fun with it.
Any parting words?
I’m blown away by all the lovely things people have said to us about the album. We’re so happy people are enjoying it and coming out to shows. I thank everyone who’s listened to it.