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Mosman Alder Interview June 2012

Nichola Eastwood


Riding high on the success of their current EP, Burn Bright, MTTM were lucky enough to grab some time with Brisbane six piece Mosman Alder. Enjoying an ever increasing popularity and expanding fan base, this is definitely one to keep on the radar!

MTTM: Your recently released EP, Burn Bright,has been on the receiving end of rave reviews. Are you surprised at how people have warmed to the record?

Mosman Alder: Of course its great to hear that people like the music. We have invested a lot of  time and effort into those songs and it’s nice to hear people appreciate it. We haven’t really had any negative feedback so far which I guess is surprising, but I guess that will happen sometime. You can’t please everyone. Some people don’t like the Beach Boys, which seems impossible to me. So I guess I am taking everything with a grain of salt as well and as it comes. That way I think I can enjoy it more.

MTTM: Can you tell us about the influences behind Burn Bright and what you wanted to achieve with the EP?

Mosman Alder: Diversity within unity. When I was in high school we had this guy come into school and give a speech about diversity within unity, in regards to culture; it was a good speech. I like to think that’s how our band functions. We all listen to a lot of different music so I guess we wanted to explore different elements and ideas whilst keeping a sense of consistency and unity. Above all else we just wanted to record strong songs. Songs with strong melodies.

MTTM: Any stand out or favourite tracks on the record for you?

Mosman Alder: I think Mr. Pinckney and the Beast is my favourite. I think possibly because it wasn’t planned to be on the EP and we wrote it towards the end of tracking and decided it should go on. So I guess I’m slightly less sick of it than the the other songs haha. I reckon if you still enjoy listening to your songs by the time you release it, you haven’t worked hard enough on them or you’re a narcissist. But I am proud of the songs and I’m looking forward to when I can enjoy them in retrospect and gain some new perspective on what we were trying to achieve or what messages are there that I can’t see now.

MTTM: How did the six of you meet? And how did you bond together as a band?

Mosman Alder: We all met through interwoven friendship circles. Damian, Liam and myself had played in a band for a while before Mosman Alder. We had been friends with Valdis for years. I met Kat through shared housing and it all kind of snow balled from there. When we were recording our first demos, Valdis asked Robyn to do some session work and she stayed. We are all good friends and had been for a while before this band, which I think is important. If you want to create good art I think you have to really know the people your working with and understand completely where they are coming from.

MTTM: With six of you in the band, is it difficult to incorporate all of your ideas into your music? Are there ever any major creative disagreements?

Mosman Alder: Well, not major ones yet. It’s best ideas go in the band regardless of who you are. We don’t have leaders in the band or hierarchies or anything like that. At the same time it doesn’t mean everyone has the same amount of creative input in every song. Sometimes you might know exactly how you want a song to sound and it just works, and sometimes someone else can take your song or idea somewhere you’d never think of and it’s even better. I guess the point of being in a band rather than going solo, is that everyone has their strengths and if you can let go of your ego – which isn’t easy – I think it will turn out for the best. Also we are all pretty open minded too, which helps.

MTTM: Last year saw you play the Splendour In The Grass Festival and BigSound 2011. Are there any festival appearances in the pipeline this year?

Mosman Alder: Yes, we are playing Splendour In The Grass again this year. We are very excited! It’s a phenomenal line up and will no doubt be a positive experience. Keen to try to catch The Smashing Pumpkins and At The Drive In if possible. Both bands I have admired growing up, so I would love that. That’s all so far, but we enjoy festivals so I’m hoping we can pick up a few others.

MTTM: Finally are there any plans to visit your fans in the UK?

Mosman Alder: We would love to and are hoping to arrange something in the very near future. Our violinist, Robyn, is from Scotland, so I’m sure she would like to see her family and play some gigs over there! We are really excited that the Burn Bright EP will be available on your side of the globe soon.