The chants of “Oh My Gosh” – the debut single from Camden’s Man Like Me that went viral in 2006 – can still be heard echoing from venue halls across the globe. This year will see the duo finally release the long-awaited follow up to their eponymously titled debut album. Jonny Langer and Peter Duffy spoke to Wonderland about their newly found fondness of Mike Skinner and just how many Daim bars were consumed whilst filming a recent advert for IKEA.
Man Like Me have been around for some time now. What has been happening since “Oh My Gosh” became the soundtrack to MySpace in 2006?
We’ve basically been playing thousands of gigs to try and raise enough money to fund an album.
How did the IKEA project arise?
We were larking around in the kitchen showroom area in IKEA in Tottenham. Pete had just moved into a new place and needed a chopping board and out of nowhere these advertising people pounced. The rest is history.
You’ve been doing the live London circuit for a lengthy amount of time now, supporting a plethora of heavyweight acts. How important are your live shows to you as a duo?
The shows are our bread and butter. Rather than going out and spending all of our money, we get to go out with our mates and make money.
Some of your songs seem to be quite metaphorical and fun, others seem to be quite personal – for example, “Single Dad”. Do you find it easier to write about things that aren’t so close to home?
It’s easier to write about things that aren’t close to home but they are the ones that are usually better. They tend to make sense and people relate
to them better. We write about the usual stuff: love and anger usually works best for us. Complete passion. Trying to be clever is dangerous
Streets frontman Mike Skinner is behind the mixing and production of the new record. How did you guys meet and what was it like working such an established artist?
We met in his local in north London and as he became more comfortable around us he became more involved. It’s a pleasure working with him except we find it hard to get much work done as all we wanna do is get him to tell stories, but I would say we are learning a lot from him!
Would you say image and style is important to the Man Like Me “brand”?
Like most people, we like getting dolled up before a night out. I would say though as we get older we are getting a little less garish; toning down and smartening up.
What can fans expect from the band this summer? Any festival dates live gigs, new collaborations?
Our second album is the priority, so we’re gonna get that out later this year. We’ll also be playing a fair few summer festivals this summer
including Blissfield and Lounge On The Farm.
Words: Shane Hawkins