New artist, Man Vs Synth, has announced its first self-titled EP. Melbourne-based musician Mathew Farry is the face behind Man Vs Synth, writing, performing and producing the Indie Synth Pop EP himself. Having grown up in Lebanon before moving to Australia, Farry’s love of music came at an early age when he taught himself to play the guitar. Since 2015, Farry has been writing and producing music for friends and playing the guitar and synth in various bands.
Man Vs Synth is a project that Farry has been engrossed with for over a year and half. The inspiration for the EP emerges from personal experience and proclaims stories of love found, love lost and loneliness. Matthew Farry answers some questions for Hi Fi Way.
Congratulations on the EP, on reflection do you think it was an ambitious undertaking writing, recording and producing the EP yourselves?
Yeah, absolutely. Whilst we knew trying to write a body of work would be a big effort – it truly felt natural in that we were already writing music constantly. The main challenge was focusing on six songs intensely to figure out what made them tick and how to best show that.
Is it hard to get the right balance of tracks that best represents you?
Well, writing an EP is an iterative process so I felt we were constantly changing. The musicians and people we were at the end of the process were quite different from when we started. That’s a really cool thing as well as being slightly weird because we felt like we had to represent a former version of ourselves. There’s always a compromise and we feel we made the right compromises to get a good bit of music out.
Did you have an idea in your mind of how you wanted the EP to sound?
For sure. The main idea for Man vs Synth was to blend these two disparate sounds of acoustic and analogue instruments. A big part of the process was the idea that limitation breeds creativity. Once we found out the different characters of our sound – moog bass, Juno pad, obnoxious drums, and dreamy guitars it became a process of “how can we write different, interesting music that has these as staples”.
What is the background behind lead single Perfect Picture?
Perfect Picture is basically just a love found, love lost song. I was dating a girl a couple of years ago and I could see the Perfect Picture of us being together. She had to move away and subsequently that picturesque future was shattered. The writing process was sprawled out over a year and a half. From starting as a bass sequence on the Moog to recording the guitar’s in Sam’s house on Phillip island we always new it was a catchy tune. The challenge of writing that song felt really worthwhile whilst showing some family and friends and seeing them genuinely enjoy and sing a long.
For those who haven’t heard of Man vs Synth how would you describe your sound?
Man vs Synth is an amalgamation of frenetic drums with lush guitars and synths, pounding bass lines, and evocative vocals. We blend electronic and acoustic sounds to create a pretty unique soundscape that feels its in-between Indie rock and electronica.
Where did you seek your inspiration from for the EP?
Artists that are big inspirations for us are Tame Impala, Radiohead, Aphex Twin, Boards of Canada, Nine Inch Nails. Khalil Gibran has always been a great source of inspiration for me personally. His poetry really helped shape how I constructed lyrics for these songs.
Have you been pleased with the feedback received so far?
The feedback has been crazy. Way better than we expected. To see a bunch of stations downloading our track has been a complete trip. Getting a download from KEXP in Seattle made us all smile like idiots.
Has the creative process continued and is there another EP or album in the works?
Whilst working on the EP we were getting heaps of ideas for more songs, which we’re now able to really immerse ourselves in. There’s a bunch of tracks we’re working on that will hopefully form a few albums that link up in some way. At the moment we’ve just been enjoying writing newer and more mature material.
Are you planning to tour at some stage?
We would love to tour, hopefully up the east coast. No definite plans at the moment. Hamish and I are off to Lebanon for a while to unwind from a busy period.
What’s next for Man Vs Synth?
Next is getting some gigs and playing our hearts out. Rehearsals have been going really well and we’re excited to show that to the people. After that is more music coming out, and then further down we want to land a spot at Laneway.
Interview By Rob Lyon
For more info head to the Man Vs Synth Facebook Page