One For The MUN-y
- By Nick Rhodes
- Published on August 23, 2012
|Photo Courtesy of MUN|
Experimental, innovative and devoid of ego, the musicians of MUN aim to take the world of livetronica by storm, creating textured soundscapes that take listeners on an aural journey.
The quartet brings a self-described “other-worldly vibe” to each and every show, drawing influences from techno, ambient house, drum and bass, funk, rock and even some popular music.
[FIND tour dates and more information about MUN on their official Facebook.]
They’ve hit festivals like The Big Up, Bella Terra and Uphoria and are set to take the stage at Mint Green, Evolvefest, Heads in Harmony and Souper Groove Music Festival in August and September.
We chatted with keyboardist Adam Wien and guitarist Wiley Griffin about what makes their band unique, their dedication to improvisational music and how the simplest melodies can make a complex impact on their sound.
Headstash Magazine: For people who aren't familiar with your band, give me a description in a few sentences. What do you say when someone asks you, “What kind of music do you play?”
Wiley Griffin: We’re a mixture of a lot of different music – rock funk, electronic. We like to stretch the boundaries of what a song can be. Improvisation is definitely a big part of our music. It can go anywhere. It's more than just rock and EDM – we go disco, we go classical once in a while. It really does go everywhere.
HM: Tell me about your sound, specifically. What really sets you guys apart from other musicians and groups in the cluttered and saturated scene today?
Adam Wein: We look to the past a good amount, at Pink Floyd and The Grateful Dead and all these bands that do ethereal or very jazzy things and we really try to put it to today’s music. We listen to a lot of pop music also and we listen to what's going on not even in our scene but just what people are listening to in general. Then, we try to bring it toward our scene.
HM: What are some of the core values of your band that you’re all, as a collective, really passionate about when it comes to music?
|Photo Courtesy of MUN|
HM: You already touched on some of your influences, but what about some of the less obvious groups or types of music that have really molded you guys?
AW: Like I said before, we listen to a lot of pop music, also. Major Lazer’s drums were on Beyonce's most recent track. I mean listening to that it’s like, wow, the whole electronic thing is blowing up.
WG: Songs like we already do, like “Cloud Candy,” are definitely loosely based on some other pop music. Things like early 90s like electronic music like Massive Attack – things that came and went that you necessarily wouldn't remember but you put on that one track [and it sounds familiar]. We definitely look for things that are widely popular but then we also look for things that are kind of obscure.
HM: Pop music is obviously something a lot of jam band fans mock and look down upon, so it’s interesting you guys pay attention to it. What do you get out of listening to that kind of music?
AW: The hooks – it's all about the hooks. The synth lines and the hooks, the baselines. It’s actually very cool stuff.
WG: Mainly just the rhythm. I think people clown pop music because the songs are kind of frivolous and about like the same five topics all the time. Like Adam said the hooks, the melodies that get stuck in your head and also the rhythm [is what we get out of it]. The song will be about one thing, but the rhythm is universal.
HM: What do you think that says about the future of electronic music? It’s permeating the mainstream more and more every day, but do you see a ceiling for it? Is it going to keep getting bigger or is there a limit where it’ll start to fade?
WG: I don't think it's peaked yet. I think there is a lot of room for creativity. The fact of the matter is that electronic music in the United States is still fairly new and it's still pretty underground. I mean you do hear the Flo Rida “Good Feeling” song, and people in our scene were listening to that hook years ago [from Pretty Lights’ “Finally Moving.”]
It's one of those things that a lot of this music is recycled music, but it's all about the creativity. As long as people are being creative with it, I don't think this is going to stop.
[LISTEN to MUN's "A Provactive Escape" on BandCamp.]
I also think the fact that a lot of the scene thrives off word-of-mouth – the blogs, the festivals, etc – means that it will have a longer lifespan. A couple of people might get a hit or two there but the actual genre I think is going to continue on.
HM: Good point. Getting back to you guys, what do you have going on for the rest of summer and early fall?
AW: We've got a new album coming up that we're working on for the next few months. Right now, we're just trying to play festivals. We've got a bunch of hotel gigs lined up and a bunch of other shows in Connecticut and Boston lined up but our sights are really on this new album.
WG: “Astrofunktronica” is going to be the name of the EP and we're really excited for release sometime in October, which is looking like a pretty big month for us.
HM: High school kids in garage rock bands dream of selling out stadiums and hearing themselves on the radio, while the expectations for improvisational, electronic rock bands is obviously a bit different within our scene. What are your goals for the future and where do you guys hope to be?
AW: We want to take over the world. That's the goal. We want to change the game. It just takes time. Nothing really happens right away like that, but we want to change the game.
WG: He said it. A lot of people have goals, but we're also taking it a day at a time. The big goal is obviously to change the game but we realize that there's a lot of stuff to doing that.
HM: How do you foresee yourselves changing the game?
AW: I could think of us as practicing to be like a backup band for some huge hip-hop rapper, something like that. Something we could do it with or without them where it sounds professional, it sounds produced right from us. No show is ever the same.
WG: We're still not afraid to take you to places where we're creating something that we don't necessarily know what's going to happen. And I think the creativity of that is required and when matched with increased production value, we could start to mesh those two worlds together.
HM: Thanks a lot for the time, guys. Talk to you soon.
AW and WG: Thanks a lot Nick, appreciate it.
Find a complete list of tour dates and more information about MUN on their official Facebook.