Chances are you’ve never listened to Men & Women, a four piece noise/dance band from Brooklyn, but you can believe they are creating music you will enjoy. A few weeks back I caught their set which consisted of heavy doses of shredding and feedback with a beat that steadily bubbled underneath the chaos pulling the sounds back together into an enjoyable mass. Unfortunately, the song below is not very indicative of their current sound, but should give some idea of where these guys are coming from.
Q: How are you doing?
A: Doing alright man. I keep thinking I’m done with this sickness but then it just morphs into something else and this crappy weather isn’t helping. It feels like Fall around here and we keep getting teased with the summer weather which is annoying – hopefully it will be for reals summer soon. Also, I’m going to speak as best i can on behalf of the band this go around because everyone seems to be kind of nowhere to be found.
Q: When did you guys form the band and what were the circumstances around the formation?
A: The band was formed in 2006 shortly after I moved to the city. Brad and I met at a the record store we both worked at and we seemed like a good match to play music together since we both had like zero technical ability or serious training that actually stuck with us. My friend from college had just moved out here also and she played with this rad free form improv band back in Olympia called The Punks and I was into what she was doing with them, so we all started jamming. We played about 3 shows and then she ended up moving back to Michigan and Brad and I kept working on stuff just the two of us. Just recently we added a couple other buddies on guitar, bass and vocals.
Q: I went to your show at the Cameo Gallery the other night and it seemed like you guys have changed your sound a bit from “Flowing Blood.” Where “Flowing Blood” is gentle and atmospheric, your show was a raucous noise-dance party, if only more people would have danced. What’s been the catalyst for this change?
A: Well we were practicing at Brad’s house for a long time. Just recording and jamming mostly, doing some over dubs and working on it more from like a home project stand point really and then we got a practice space and wanted to flesh it out more as a band. So we are sort of trying to find our voice as the new unit. I think the ultimate goal is to be able to move fluidly between the different zones we can function in as a band. Also, that night we knew that Ducktails and Julianna Barwick were playing before us and both had pretty mellow sets so we wanted to switch it up a bit and come out with a some more energy than we usually do.
Q: How do think NYC has influenced your music?
A: Oh man that is a hard one to pinpoint. For starters I guess just the practicing and recording in an apartment on weekday nights sort of limited how loud we could jam, so we started on more of a quiter vibe. We both work a ton and have radio shows, and i’m also a pretty active DJ so in that sense, it has taken us a while to move forward just because we don’t have a ton of time on our hands. That can be frustrating, but also has allowed us to really get super comfortable playing together and look at it more as a cathartic kind of release when we get to play as opposed to some boot camp style recording sessions or something contrived like that.
Also, NYC’s music scene is pretty rad right now. I can’t neccesarily speak for the others in the band on this, but I moved to NYC among other reasons, specifically because I personally thought it had the best and certainly most diverse music scene in the country and i’m actually impressed and mildly surprised even that it has kept up and grown and become even more expansive sense i’ve lived here. I definitely draw tons of inspiration from going out and seeing bands and DJs. All the DFA and Rong people are doing it right on the DJ side of things and bands like Gary War, Ducktails, Woods, Blank Dogs, Julianna Barwick, Excepter, Real Estate, Blues Control, Growing, & Crystal Stilts are all some of my favorites in the country and i’m stoked to be able to see them play locally quite often.
Q: What is Men & Women’s motto?
A: Hmmmm. Our motto is maintain positive vibes and jam the fuck out.
Q: What’s on the horizon for Men & Women?
A: We are doing a split 7″ with this dude out in Southern California named Twin Lion and then who knows. Play a lot more shows and start actually writing and recording more. We have a ton of recorded material we need to sift through and finish up and then the tentative plan is to attempt to record an album next Fall in seclusion somewhere hopefully so we can avoid distractions.
Q: Do you have anything else you’d like to add?
A: Thanks for reaching out and listening to our music and also jump on board for Summer Of Love ’09 – It’ll be epic times!