Interview: MS MR
With a flare for the dramatic, serious stage presence and infectious energy, MS MR have experienced huge success since the release of 2012's 'Hurricane' - think touring with Imagine Dragons, Bloc Party and a bunch of festivals. Pretty damn good for people who had never made music before starting the band. We chat to the duo ahead of their Groovin' the Moo shows + Australian sideshows.
Plus for your chance to win double passes to their Australian sideshow in your state, just email firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, city and the title ‘MS MR Australian Tour’ and we’ll be in touch!
BNKR: You’re playing Groovin’ the Moo in Australia very soon, plus some sideshows – do you have anything on your list to do while you’re here?
MS MR: We’re lucky that we’ve been able to play Australia so many times! I think this may be our sixth time! One of our favourite things to do is check out the local vintage stores…I’m already planning on bringing an extra suitcase [laughs].
Festivals vs. solo shows – which do you prefer?
Both in tandem! Festival shows are a dream because the stage is usually so big so you can throw yourself around more - plus there’s the excitement and challenge of winning over new people in the crowd! Solo shows are rad because they’re a more down and dirty intimate experience with our fans who are always up for it.
Tell us how you got started.
Neither of us had ever made music before MS MR. Max was at school to become a modern dancer and Lizzy was running her own record label, Neon Gold. We made music on the side for fun in Max’s bedroom in Brooklyn on a computer, microphone and keyboard. Within a year we had written a record and started to release songs online anonymously - to our surprise they started to get a lot of attention and from there things escalated! Especially with the release of our self-released Tumblr EP and homemade videos - MS MR started to take on a life of its own.
You’ve opened for Imagine Dragons, toured Europe last year and are supporting Bloc Party this May – all huge achievements! What’s the biggest ‘pinch yourself’ moment in your career to date?
For me, it was the moment Zane Lowe played Hurricane on his radio show in London at the time on XFM and it was dubbed ‘hottest record in the works'. I grew up listening to Zane Lowe every day growing up in London so this was the first moment I felt like my worlds and dreams were colliding.
How has your sound progressed since your Ghost City USA EP to your latest album, How Does It Feel?
There’s more of a low fi quality to our earlier releases that we still embrace, but has slowly become more immediate and articulate.
Who would you count as your biggest musical influences?
In the early days I would have said Florence, Beach House and The Weeknd but on this newer record I would say Miike Snow, Timbaland and Jungle.
How would you describe MS MR to someone who hasn’t heard your music?
Alternative pop with a flare for the dramatic.
Lizzy, you’re also a co-founder of Neon Gold Records – do you feel this has helped strengthen your position as an artist yourself?
In the studio they’re two very different mindsets, but when it comes to the business side of things it’s absolutely helpful! It definitely allowed us to take more control off the bat of the project than most artists are allowed and it’s something we’re very proud of.
Who do you predict will be big in music this year?
Christine and the Queens! If you’re not familiar you should be!
Wildest tour story?
One of our best nights on tour was raging in Oakland the night before our show at the legendary Fox Theater. We posted up at a dirty dive bar and played shuffleboard until the bar closed at 4.30am, then partied on the bus till sunrise…needless to say we didn’t feel great the next day.
You’re NYC natives – where are your favourite haunts when you’re back in town?
For food we love the nachos at Commodore and we can’t come back to NYC without making a quick stop at Malin Landaeus Vintage for some killer threads.
F A S T Q S
What’s the last thing you watched on Netflix?
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.
Best advice you’ve ever been given?
You get more bees with honey.
One thing you love – that people don’t expect you to?
My last meal would be…
Favourite venue to play?
9:30 in DC.
T+Cs: Competition commences 8/4/16 and ends 22/4/16. Entrants must be 18 years old or over. Winners will be notified via email and tickets are non-transferrable. Tickets must be collected from venue box office on the night of the show – winner must present valid photo ID. Winners must be live in or be able to travel to Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane or Perth between 28th April – 5th May. Travel expenses are not included in prize. By entering, you agree to subscribe to the BNKR e-newsletter.
Words: Lucy Ahern