Gimme Your Answers: An Interview w/ New Manic Spree

New Manic SpreeAMBY spoke to Brisbane’s hauntingly enchanting New Manic Spree about their incredible video for Ghosts, the story behind their name, and dream collaborations. With the quartet “planning something huge in 2014”, we thought to share our interview with our readers to get cozy with the band before this big surprise!

AMBY: Hello New Manic Spree, how’s everyone doing and what’s the band been up to lately?

New Manic Spree: Ahoy-hoy! We’re all feeling winter fresh. After touring Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane in July with in support of our single Ghosts, we took a short break but we’re back in to the recording and writing now in Melbourne. We’re also pumped to be playing the Sydney Fringe Festival 2013 and Melbourne Fringe Festival 2013 in September.

AMBY: How would you describe each band member in one word?

New Manic Spree: Tangential, Sweaty, Generous and Outdoorsy – I’ll let you guys guess who’s who…

AMBY: Which New Manic Spree lyric is your favourite?

New Manic Spree: You dance like Pinocchio odd and confused, a strong wind would take you but not to a happy place, not to a place where you’d love yourself (Plastique Fantastique)

AMBY: Ghosts is visually stunning. What was the inspiration behind the video?

New Manic Spree: After initially being put in touch through sky-diving fanatic Dan Tothill, the idea for Ghosts was spawned over a few beers with director Matt Trubiani and producer Sarah Hickey from Monster and Bear productions and Tim and myself from New Manic Spree.  After brainstorming and talking smack for several rounds of jars, Sarah put forward the idea of the people bound, running from something. I chimed in with the blindfolds, the unsuspecting prey, and Matt spoke of a dark presence in pursuit that was not really distinguishable. The song itself just fell in place with the regrowth emerging from the charcoaled trees post-bushfire in Snake Valley, west of Ballarat, providing the ultimate backdrop. Ryan Bird later provided the post-production and Sarah had just started working with costume designer Georgie Seccull and prosthetics specialist Edward Yates on another job and was so impressed with their work, which is why we’re running from a wraith.

AMBY: Where did the name New Manic Spree come from?

New Manic Spree: The name isn’t really from anywhere particular. It was just 3 words that had emerged from my sub-conscience, at one time describing the Splendour In the Grass music festival 2006 during an after party… The idea of an abstraction from an abstraction, like a festival crowd surrounded by mirrors entertaining themselves with the reflection of their own energy rather than the music, it truly captures the insanity and energy that personifies what we want to achieve musically and how we reflect the energy of the live crowd in our own performance. Something new, something inherently crazy and something that will catch on… one manic show at a time.

AMBY: What has the band been listening to this summer?

New Manic Spree: It’s winter over this part of the world, and we’ve been listening to the new Queens of the Stone Age album and the older Interpol album (self titled) when snowboarding. A little Canadian band called The Faint with albums Wet From Birth and Fasciination popped up on the playlist too. Might be linking the snow with some reverberated guitars and cascading melodies.

AMBY: Who would you most like to collaborate with?

New Manic Spree: Producer Rich Costey is definitely up there.  We’re big fans of a good chunk of the bands that he’s worked with.

AMBY: What are the top live shows you’ve seen in your life?

New Manic Spree: Radiohead toured to Australia for the first time since 2004 this year.  Even with all the excitement and anticipation they still blew us away in 2012.  At one stage I looked over and a tear was running down Gwen’s cheek. hahaha….don’t tell her I told you that.

Muse’s Absolution tour at Brisbane’s Riverstage was crazy. I woke up in the medical tent with a neck brace… no shit! Soulwax circa 2006 were always haunting our sleep to this day and basically any shows by the Dewaele Brothers are making us green with envy. Chemical Brothers, David Bowie are all some other memorable shows. Aussies The Presets and Midnight Juggernauts have always got us moving in the moshpit over the years.

AMBY: If you could have dinner with three of your influences, who would you choose?

New Manic Spree: Ooh that’s tough…  I would say Brian Eno, Bjork and David Bowie for the dinner. But if there were a kick-on after dinner, I would ditch them and head to the clubs with Dizzy Rascal, David Dewaele and Calvin Harris… their parties look awesome.

AMBY: What’s the best song of 2013?

New Manic Spree: I’d have to say this year it was Melbourne’s Alpine – ‘Gasoline’. They are kicking goals in all respects music-wise, and they are a killer band worth checking out!

AMBY: And lastly, what’s something about New Manic Spree that nobody knows yet?

New Manic Spree: In our latest music video ‘Ghosts’, there are references to the five elements and the five senses and we are planning something huge in 2014… just sayin’.

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Thank you New Manic Spree, for giving us your answers!

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Alicia Atout

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