b3science recently caught up with Ben and Ian from Chop Shop Records’ latest signing, Mackintosh Braun about their new LP Where We Are, the digital age, music licensing, fat free soy milk and more… check it out:
b3sci: a band of many influences, how has Mackintosh Braun evolved artistically on Where We Are from the days of your self-released debut The Sound?
Ian: we’ve been writing so much over the last couple of years that we’ve learned a lot about how we write songs together. i mean ‘the sound’ came out in 2008. but we had written all those songs in 2007, so we’ve had a lot of time to develop our sound and the way we write songs. this album gave us a chance to share a bit more of ourselves with the listener, and try things musically that we’ve always wanted to.
b3sci: If time and technology were no obstacle, and you guys could collaborate with anyone… ever, past, present or future, who would it be with and why?
Ben: ian’s got a real Ratatat thing going right now.. they’re great. ummmm, i’m gonna have to say, steely dan. that would pretty much make my dreams come true…
b3sci: how do you feel your synch in MTV’s 2010 season promo has influenced the future and fate of your band?
Ben: i think it’s cool whenever someone wants to showcase your music, and for us it was a compliment when i saw the MTV promo. we can’t really worry about the effect it might have on our future, for us it’s just about getting the music out there and hoping people attach to it.
b3sci: music licensing has come a long way in the last 10 years for emerging and established artists. what was once considered taboo and damaging to an artist’s cred is now of the most sought after opportunities. how would you guys like to see the fate of music licensing evolve?
Ben: music licensing has come a long way, it’s pretty incredible that so many great bands are getting opportunities that they never would have before the current “anti-jingle house” era that we’ve all grown into. i think to answer the question, popular culture and music go hand in hand, so to have it all so accessible now, everywhere you turn, is pretty great in my opinion, it’s helped us tremendously.
b3sci: how does it feel to be signed to Chop Shop Records, and have your vision supported by one of the most influential tastemakers (Alex Patsavas) in the entire entertainment industry?
Ian: it feels like if we planned it from the beginning, it wouldn’t have worked out better than this. it’s a great feeling…
Ben: yeah, it’s pretty great to have someone with her vision and ear for music support us like she does, everyone at Chop Shop is amazing. like ian said, it couldn’t have worked out better.
b3sci: first impressions speak millions, especially in today’s digital age of short attention spans. when somebody has the Mackintosh Braun “experience” for the first time, what is the first impression you’d like those listeners to walk away thinking?
Ian: “i’ve been waiting to hear that”
Ben: i want them to first feel the goosebumpy feeling in your arms when you hear that hot ass track, then i want them to think “damn, that’s some dopness.”
b3sci: what song on Where We Are do you feel most proud of, and why?
Ben: I was just telling ian that i’m really proud of the title track “Where We Are”. i just think we did a great job on that one, the drums sound great, i love the bridge, i’m just really proud of how that song came together.
Ian: I think for me it would be “Made For Us”. One of the reasons is that I love how you can hear both of our personalities come through in that song, and some of the things we tried and experimented with instrumentally, came out really well. there are a few notes in that one that really tug on my heart strings.
b3sci: what song, or artist, made you want to write and share music with people?
Ben: Led Zeppelin had a huge influence on me in my younger days, my mom got me into them when i was in 5th grade. i just always wanted to write music, and create sounds. i’ve never really thought about doing much else, it was the thing that i always had the strongest desire for. i still do.
Ian: I would have to say it was The Beatles, when i was listening to the song “help”, john lennon sings the line, “my independence seems to vanish in the haze”. the feeling that line gave me was so electric, that i knew i wanted to write music and try to create that for someone else.
b3sci: given the current landscape, who would be your top three acts to tour with?
Ben: how bout Daft Punk, Royksopp or even Air would be amazing. There are many, many bands that we would love to tour with. lots of good music out there.
b3sci: What’s in your iPod? What album/artist is rocking your world right now?
Ian: loving’ “The Suburbs” by the Arcade Fire, and of course anything by Ratatat.
Ben: really love Wild Nothing “Chinatown” and i’m also diggin Real Estate “Out Of Tune” right now as well.
b3sci: what are 5 things that each of you guys absolutely couldn’t live without?
2) our studio..
3) is that 5 things??
b3sci: what are 5 things that each of you guys could totally be cool living without?
1) fat free soy milk
2) third eye blind
3) people who ask about your shit, and then talk about their shit right away..
4) traffic in portland getting worse
5) the kazoo, even though jimmy made it sound awesome on “crosstown traffic”.
b3sci: What role do you think the internet will end up playing for music discovery in the future?
Ben: the largest role, it’s so important these days in discovering music.
Ian: yeah, we really may not have gotten here without it.
Reviewed by b3