Interview: Mayfair Kytes

Mayfair Kytes are set to release their album titled “ANIMUS” on April 1st 2016. With an upcoming tour as well as the new single “Sleepyhead”, this awesome foursome from Melbourne have a lot to be excited about.

I recently had a chat with the band, have a read to find out more about them …

How would you describe your music?

Folk art pop.

Where did the name Mayfair Kytes come from?

Funnily enough it was thought up by members of the band that we don’t play with anymore; it was their gift to us. I think it’s deliberately non-specific and open to interpretation. Mayfair, as a word, conjurs images of opulence and affluence, doesn’t it? And Kyte is a deliberate mis-spell of Kite, so maybe it alludes to having rich soaring ideas. That’s my own personal interpretation.

Mayfair Kytes colour low res Mar 2016 copy

What can you tell us about your debut album “Animus”?

Our debut album was recorded over a year with a good friend of the bands, Nick Herrera; a very ambitious independent release that has a string section, which we recorded in a converted 19th-century chapel and alot of different instrumentation: harps, synths, samples, horns and lots and lots of vocals. It has a high production value but we also left some mistakes in there because we felt that was important; sometimes the right mistakes are what make the song. It’s a fairly melancholy record but not to the point of morose, it still maintains its sense of wonder and strength, it was more about overcoming problems rather than stewing on them.

What is the music scene like in Melbourne and are there any other local bands who you love to check out?

Melbournes music scene is something to be very proud of, it is world class. If you want to check something out you have to see Jaala, or Kalacoma is a live experience you should investigate, simply because you won’t see anything like that anywhere else and also 30/70 one of my favourite live bands ever.

Where do you get your inspiration?

Everything is inspiration, nothing is off limits as far as absorbing ideas but the song themes themselves crystallise over time, through experimenting with language, melody and feel. It can take me up to a year to know what it is i’m trying to say, you process the emotions over that time until they become solid sentences that hold meaning.

Tell us a little bit about the artistic approach to creating your video clip for “Sleepyhead”…

Well it was the result of alot of work from artist Thom Russell who I have known for a few years now. He storyboarded, directed,and hand-animated the whole thing with contemporary dancer Geoffrey H Watson. The wardrobe was provided by Lucie Mcmahon and the director of photography was Alexander Sproule-Lagos. So there were filmed elements that were then printed to paper and cut out and stop-frame animated, some 1500 pieces of paper to cut and move around. It took a few months to complete. Thom is a wonderful artist and a funny guy too.

How did you originally get together?

It has been a natural process, a few evolutions of the band until everyone fit perfectly. I have reached out to friends over time to form the line-up but originally it was just me and drummer Andrew Congues playing with a string quartet, very different to now.

As a 4 piece, what is the dynamic like between you? Are you all similar or different?

The dynamic is awesome because we are so different. Jack and Phoebe are the newest additions to the band and we all get along greatly, it’s a very cool and easy exchange.

Who is the funniest?

Depends on the day. Austin mostly, i think.

If you could perform anywhere in the world, where would it be?

BRAZIL. I really wanna go there. As far as venues go Europe has alot of gorgeous theatres.

What’s next for Mayfair Kytes?

We are going to work really hard this year to get our album out and into as many ears as possible, might even try and get overseas with the band by next year; after that I’m going to start working on the next one. Might find the time in between for a few days on a beach somewhere but to be honest I’m itching to get going on new material.

Where can we see you play?

National tour dates are:
April 8 @ the Workers Club, Melbourne
and April 28 @ the Vanguard, Sydney.

Come see the band live, let us move you.

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