theaussieword.com special interview with Mayfair Kytes.
Tell us how it all started. What had you first interested in
I started my first guitar lesson when I was 7 years old. Played in a church as my first gig. But it wasn’t until my teenage years that I became seriously invested in music-making. My first rock n roll show was in a scout hall playing Rage against the machine, Faith no More and Nirvana songs. Think I was 15.
What motivates or influences you in your quest to make great music?
For me, as the years unfold, I am just trying to get better, as a writer, a singer, composer and guitarist. I think there becomes a point when you’ve been doing something for so long it is intrinsically woven into the fabric of your being. I also just wanna pass on the torch of inspiration that my heroes gave me.
What are your biggest goals you hope to accomplish as an artist?
To afford to concentrate the majority of my time on my craft, which I am already doing but with enough money coming in to sustain it.
Success, what is the secret to it?
As far as I know hard work is the only answer.
What has been your biggest career highlight so far?
Working with some of the musicians I respect the most.
Which stars of the music industry do you find inspiring?
Bjork, Hiatus Kaiyote, David Bowie, Radiohead, The Dirty Projectors, St Vincent. I could go on for a while…
The music industry is huge, where do you see yourself a few years from now?
Sweating it out like I am now. But hopefully to bigger venues.
The shape of the music industry has changed significantly over the years, including the use of social media, how do you feel about the industry as a whole and what does it mean to you in getting your records out into the public eye?
I know a lot is being said about the dire state of recorded music these days but to be honest I think the times we are living in has considerable favor to artists. In many ways the middle man has been removed and now artists can truly speak with their own voice, reach their audience plus the focus has returned to the live show. Record sales are down, ticket prices are up. Music, as a human obsession, is going nowhere so the industry will adjust accordingly (wishfully). These days you have to be sharp, perform well, keep your head on…these are not bad things.
Name a few of your favourite Aussie artists.
Jaala, Hiatus Kaiyote, Tulalah, Sam Lawrence, Kalacoma, Mondergreen, 30/70…another one I could go on about for a long time.
What can we expect from you in the coming months? Any plans to tour?
Well over April we are releasing our debut album, doing a Melbourne and Sydney launch (Melb April 8 @ the Workers Club and Sydney April 28th @ the Vanguard), probably taking a small rest and then I am going to release an EP of remixes from the album.
Tell us a bit about your latest record, how would you best describe your music?
Our debut album “animus” is an experimental pop record, full of lush string arrangements, unconventional song structures, 3-part harmonies and rhythmic vocal parts, a lot of synths and jangly guitars. I have been calling it Folk Art-Pop but I feel it isn’t bound by any particular genre.
Do you have any new projects in the pipeline?
Just finishing off this remix record which I am calling “Map the Junkyard”. I have taken stems from our album and re-created a whole new sound with them; hopefully I find the time to get it finished soon.
Thanks for the interview! What final message do you have for us today?
I hope some of you buy the record. Haha.
Mayfair Kytes Album Launch Tour Dates
Friday April 8 – The Workers Club Melbourne
Thursday April 28 – The Vanguard Sydney