VOCALS – Matt Kelly, Mayfair Kytes
Melbourne four-piece Mayfair Kytes might be hard to categorise but for the sake of time management and a fear of over-thinking it, let’s just say they’re a great folkin’ art-pop band. The dreamy single Sleepyhead offers a wonderful glimpse of what’s to come on their soon to be released debut album Animus (out April 1).
“Layered with exquisite vocal harmonies and opulent string scores by Willow Stahlut (Cinematic Orchestra), the single is perfectly textured by bold, discordant guitars accentuating the song’s inimitable musical brilliance,” boasts the band’s press release and who are we to disagree with such fine commissioned words.
We’ll speak with the band in more detail soon but for now, we caught up with the band’s vocalist Matt Kelly in Q&A mode.
What was your first gig?
My first ever gig, I believe, was a party in a scout hall where I had to learn like 10 songs in a day coz I was replacing the guitarist of a band. It is a golden memory, all that teenage angst, half a bottle of vodka and playing Killing In The Name of to a hall full of crazy kids.
What microphone do you use on stage generally?
I don’t always bring a mic or have a preference but my favourite vocal mic for my voice came from sound engineer, it was an Audio Technica AER100. Something about it really suited the shape of my voice.
Is it the same for recording?
No, not for recording. Although I am a decent producer, I am not much of an engineer, that’s why I worked closely with Nick Herrera, a buddy of ours. He really knows his stuff and took great care to record each and every sound exactly how it should be. We used clones of a C12, they are made by Melbourne manufacturer OPR; great mics, we nailed the capture.
What’s your latest recording and when will you be back in the studio?
Well the latest big thing I’ve done is the new album, Animus that’s due out on April 1. We took about a year to complete it because it was a massive logistical effort. But I haven’t really stopped. I’ve played on a few friends albums, been working on my own little fun project at home and will probably start working through the mountain of demos I have for the next Mayfair Kytes release in a few months.
What gigs have you been playing lately?
Mainly small venues, opening spots for people and things like that, just holding off on headline things until the album launch.
Most memorable gig?
I remember this one show, years ago now, when my band was playing an outdoor festival. We were performing in a giant inflatable dome powered by a generator and about halfway though the set the power cut across the festival and the dome began to come down on us and the entire dance floor … very surreal moment. Seconds later the power came back, the dome shot back up and we kicked back in as if nothing had even happened.
Worst stage nightmare?
Electrocution. Bogan hecklers. Jumping in the air and pulling my guitar lead out mid chord-strike.
Album that changed your life?
When I was young it would probably be OK Computer and The In Sound From the Way Out, they both got thrashed
What gigs are coming up in the next few months?
Next 2 shows are album launches, April 8 @ the Workers club Melbourne and April 28 @ the Vanguard in Sydney.
A vocal tip for the kids?
Warm up. Beer is bad, whisky is good (just one). Sleep is important. Try to find a place to resonate from emotionally that isn’t necessarily the emotion of the song narrative because you will feel differently on different days but if you have that longing to howl at hand you can connect most times.