Sunday, 13 September 2009

Interview with Jonathan Corley (Manchester Orchestra)

Following an impressive set on Reading’s NME/Radio 1 Stage last weekend, Atlantic indie rockers, Manchester Orchestra, release their second full UK album ‘Mean Everything to Nothing’ this week. Noize caught up with five-piece’s bassist, Jonathon Corley, to find out a bit more about the release and one of our new favourite bands.

“I think everyone in both camps is excited about the upcoming tour. It's been awhile since we've been out with those guys. We all lost our minds in the desert last time we toured together. Maybe that will happen again.”

‘Those guys’ are the Metal meets Emo tyrants, Brand New, and with the pairing of this, and the band’s exciting support slot for Biffy Clyro’s upcoming UK tour – it is more firmly set in stone than one of mythological Medusa’s worst enemies, that just another indie band feigning to be credible in some half-arsed industry move, they ain’t.

The band’s new album fuses true rock in its more mainstream format with lyrics that dare to spit the words of painful truth like /You’re not alive when I need you/ but manage to still exude an overarching endearing sense of poetry, in the way only the best songwriters can muster.

Defining themselves as “Abrasive southern indie rock... or music to listen to during a shakedown”, the band’s creative juices flowed further than just a traditional album release – instead choosing to treat their devoted fans to a video series to go alongside the end product as a sort of narrative interpretation:

“Each song has a video that weaves discovered 8mm film into a story that flows all the way to "The River" [end track]. It was a massive project tackled by a couple of guys from Destroy Rock Music (Clay Lipsky and Jason Bognacki). They had about four months to complete the entire project, which is a feat in and of itself.”

Yet, the multi-media end result seems to more than justify the means. Having spent 300 days on the road with the last album, you can be sure that the band can also promise some polished and spine-tingle inducing sets on their upcoming live shows:

“We're constantly working on new things. The schedule we've chosen to maintain keeps us on the road and out of the studio, at the moment. When we're home, however we're usually recording. You can find new video podcasts from tour updated regularly online. There is sure to be something exciting musically out later this year.”

Manchester Orchestra’s diverse sound and unique output combines all the best aspects of American rock acts such as Weezer with sprinklings of the divine likes of Right Away, Great Captain in a way which conveys their bottom-line vulnerability in a way which is impossibly likeable. Having received positive press and even shining comparisons by Caleb Followill himself (that’s the front man of Kings of Leon for those of you who’ve only really heard ‘Sex on Fire’): “"They remind me of us. They are country boys from Georgia and sing this raw passionate music”, it seems that the next few months are set to be pretty life-affirming for one of the most understated, but exciting, bands in a long while.

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