We have a sit down with the Brighton duo making waves with their dark synthpop.
You might remember last week we treated you to a catchy little cut, “Last Summer”, from Brighton based throwback-kings MIAMIGO. They’re two guys making music with just the right amount of 80s inflected fun to it. Think British indie blended with the synth-play of a cool Duran Duran (not that Duran Duran weren’t cool: anyone familiar with their theme and accompanying video to Roger Moore’s final Bond outing, A View To A Kill, will know this already).
We’ve been loving both MIAMIGO’s recent camcorder-style video for “What I Want” and their newly released EP, Soda Lime Love, so were understandably pretty excited to get to sit down with the band to discuss their retro-streak, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and the joys of Brighton.
“What I Want” has a bit of an 80s vibe to it (particularly the beginning), as do some of your graphics and band name typeface, is it a decade for which you have affection?
We’ve always loved the sound and feel of 80’s music, it played a big part in our musical upbringing. There’s so many iconic artists and great songs, and the sound is so definitive for that decade. It was an interesting, almost transitional time for music as well with synthesizers and computers starting to play a bigger part, so there were a load of crazy new sounds and styles of production creeping into songs that made it a super exciting time to be a listener.
How and when did you guys decide that you had to make music together?
We’ve been writing music together for almost 10 years now! We just had an idea for writing big pop songs with dark undertones, it’s a great mix for us; it allows the lyrics to be relatable, whilst letting our affection for melody and beats come out.
How do you feel your sound has progressed between Hard to Love and Soda Lime Live?
Hard to Love had a number of older songs that had existed for a while on it. The tracks on Soda Lime Love are all relatively new, so it feels significantly fresher to us. The sound is more diverse on the latest EP in comparison. We’re both really proud of this one, a lot.
It seems like every musician we speak to at Wonderland comes from/is based in Brighton. Why do you think the area fosters so much talent?
I think it’s just a relaxed area where you can do and be who you want. A lot of creatives come down to live here to get away from the intensity and fast pace of London, so there’s a great community for musicians who all support each other, play shows together, all of that. The London music scene feels slightly more…competitive. You don’t quite get that sense of local kinship with other bands.
The video for “What I Want” relishes in that lo-fi aesthetic: was it all shot on an oldschool camcorder or were those effects added post-production (bonus points If it was the former, obviously)?
We’ve always loved filming since we were younger, I have about one hundred tapes in a box in my room, unfortunately the handy-cam isn’t compatible with the computer anymore so we filmed most of this on our phones. It started as a visualiser/teaser, but then once we finished it, we realised it could work as a full video! We have story boarded video ideas for each track on the EP now so we’re pretty excited to film these in very different ways.
Carrying on from the previous question, how involved were you making the video (aside from being in front of the camera).
We filmed the majority of the video in our flat in one evening with our good friend Bethany, a local Brighton-based artist who features heavily in the video as well. Jamie finished producing the track in one room while I edited the video with some older clips in our front room, and it was done that night.
Who are some of your favourite musicians?
Some of our all-time favourites are MJ, Tears For Fears, The Killers, Prince, The Blue Nile, Bon Iver, INXS, Nirvana and Cocteau Twins. There’s small elements from all of them that are likely to seep in to our songs if you listen closely!
Outside of music, what gets you inspired?
We’re very influenced by Film and TV, old slasher films, John Carpenter & Wes Craven especially. Buffy was a big part of our younger years as well, and it’s awesome to see it’s had a bit of a resurgence recently. The writing and characters work on so many levels. It’s timeless storytelling, and it’s something that we’re trying to achieve in our music.
After this EP, what will be next for you…an LP?
After Soda Lime Love, we’re going to play lots of shows and release a single next year. We’re also filming another video for a track on this EP coming out later this year that we’re really excited about. Expect choreographed dancing…
Where do you imagine yourself in five years?
Hopefully still on this journey, being able to do what we love.