Vicious Presents: MS MR

When MS MR first graced our radar, they were an act laced in anonymity. We heard their dance pop tunes, and although the mystery was enticing, we wanted to know who they were and what they were about. It’s kind of like that stranger that you see around, that tickles your fancy – you guys know of each other, but you don’t actually know each other. But you want to know them. You’re intrigued by them.

That’s what MS MR were to the music scene at the time of their debut. They were that hot stranger that you knew about, but you wanted to know more. That was around 2012. Fast forward four years, and that hot stranger is now your boyfriend/girlfriend. The duo have two studio albums under their belt, a plethora of enticing pop/alternative dance tracks, and a very solid following.

Having already landed on our shores for the current Groovin’ The Moo tour, as well as some headliner shows, I chatted with Max from the dynamic duo.

When you guys started out a few years back, there was a distinct anonymity about the group. Was that an intentional/wanted move for the group? 

It was definitely intentional, although not exactly calculated – Lizzy was running a record label (Neon Gold Records) so we wanted to make sure the music was heard outside of that context, and it was important to us that people we were working with responded to the music rather than who we were as people.

How did this duo come to be? 

We went to college together and reconnected after school when we were both living in New York City.

Your music is laced with these beautiful, almost whimsical pop melodies – but at the same time, there’s also this underground vibe. Talk us through the MS MR songwriting process.

Our process is a little arbitrary – we’ve never stuck to a single way of writing and each song starts in a slightly different way. We’re pop artists at heart, but we also do everything ourselves, so a DIY aesthetic permeates all our music. 

You guys are playing Groovin’ The Moo this year – which is basically huge festivals in farm lands around the country. If you could choose one farm animal to join you on stage for this string of shows, which one would it be and why?

It’s hard to find a good dragon farm these days, but we never settle for anything less fiery.

There’s a very cool string of acts playing Groovin’, yourselves included! Danny Brown, Ratatat, Golden Features and so so many more! Who are you most excited to be playing alongside on this festival’s line-up?

We love Ratatat!

Playing festivals and playing headline gigs – playing amongst a plethora of other artists vs being the star attractions. How does one differ from the other for you guys, especially in regards to the preparation process? Do you have a preference which shows you’d prefer to play?

We like playing both, and they work in tandem. The preparation is kind of the same – it’s electrifying to play for a massive crowd at a festival, but it can be equally exciting to enter a smaller room where everyone knows every word to your songs.

Secondhand Rapture was released in 2013, and How Does It Feel was released in 2015. So, based on that pattern, could we potentially see something new from you guys in 2017?

Probably not…but stay tuned.

You can play a gig alongside any band/act – dead or alive. Who would you choose and why?

Beethoven featuring Beyonce.

MS MR National Headline Shows

Thursday April 28 – Metro Theatre, Sydney
Friday April 29 – Prince Bandroom, Melbourne
Tuesday May 3 – Triffid, Brisbane
Thursday May 5 – Rosemount Hotel, Perth

For more information, head to secret-sounds.com.au.

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