MONDAY, 16 APRIL 2012
STEPHANIE PICKETT has a chat with MICHAEL ITALIA, drummer and producer in the band YOUNG MAGIC, about the trio’s unique songwriting style, their new album Melt and how they achieve a chameleonic sound.
It is not only their individual sound that sets Young Magic apart from other bands, what is more interesting is the way in which they write their music. Throughout the majority of the of songwriting stages for the album Melt all band members were in different parts of the world. While Indonesian born Melati Malay (singer/producer) was already in New York, the two Australian born musicians and Young Magic producers Isaac Emmanuel (singer) and Michael Italia (drummer) were away travelling, Emannuel making his way through Europe and Italia residing in South America. “We all wrote our own music like three solo projects and from then we got together in New York and brushed out ideas until something made sense,” Italia offers. To some this would have been a huge hurdle, but for these guys it seemed natural to make the best of the situation, resulting in the meeting of their varied cultural, environmental and stylistic influences in Melt.
“We listen to a lot of different music, from world music to psychedelic, but what our music is really influenced by is the environment and atmosphere we are in at the time. When I was close to the beach in South America the songs sounded more like an ocean… now that I’m in New York, the songs are getting more dirty and gritty with a lot of dark shades. It’s really about the places, the cultures, the smells, and the people. That’s where our music is born.” As Italia explains it almost seems like such band dislocation was necessary.
A painstakingly crafted film clip accompanying the single Sparkly ties in with these atmospheric themes perfectly, showing hours of time-lapsed footage of mountains in northern New South Wales, shot my Dylan Wiehahn.
Although they eventually brought the album to Trent Gill in Melbourne for mixing and mastering, the band produced the majority of it themselves. As it was their first time really doing so, the real challenge for Young Magic was reproducing the sounds on disc what initially took form in their heads during those initial songwriting stages. Italia enlightens, “We found it very difficult when we wanted certain sounds but didn’t know how to make them. We had to go away, learn how to create them, then come back and get in the zone all over again. We all went through a lot of personal and musical development while making this record.”
Now that they all reside in New York, the band has experimented more with writing songs together in a live rehearsal setting. “There is a total different energy when you’re all putting out ideas at the same time. Our sound has been quite different and seems to have a more organic vibe.”
Although confessing that after the completion of the album they rejoiced over a simple cup of tea, this album is definitely something worth truly celebrating!
MELT is now available on iTunes. For more information visit www.youngmagic.bandcamp.com and www.facebook.com/youngmagicsounds.
(as seen in RAVE Magazine)