These Sydney synthpop upstarts have won a spot on The Plot festival lineup this Saturday in Parramatta.
Tell us about your music. How did you develop your sound?
A few years ago, we watched the movie “Drive” (starring Ryan Gosling) and fell in love with its soundtrack (...plus Ryan Gosling). Feeling inspired, two of us sat down and started writing/producing songs together. Then one of our university mentors (Drew Crawford) heard what we were doing, and he said that we were like "the soundtrack to a John Hughes movie that never happened"... and his words really stuck with us... so much that we went ahead and made it our band slogan! But yeah, we’ve always been ardent fans of the 80s. It’s definitely the decade of music that resonates with us the most.
What’s your greatest source of inspiration for making music?
Writing something that’s danceable, relatable, and ultimately memorable. When we write, our ethos is that “our music needs more than a dance beat... it needs a heart beat”. Also, I just wanna reach a point where, forty years from now, our songs become people’s go-to choices for karaoke. Yeah. That’s the dream. Karaoke.
You’re the winners of our The Plot competition. What can punters at The Plot festival in Sydney expect from the Froyo live show?
Cheesy pop goodness, awkward adlib, groovy dance moves, and maybe some coughing here and there (because Michael’s an old man... at heart). We also don’t have a “lead” singer. Michael and Allyson have this Stevie Nicks / Christine McVie thing going on – à la Fleetwood Mac.
What’s the best advice you’ve been given and who was it from?
It came from another one of our university mentors (Clive Harrison) who told us about the "rocking chair test"... basically, if you've gotta make a life-changing decision, just picture an older version of yourself, sitting on a porch, quietly reflecting on life whilst in a rocking chair... you then have to ask yourself WHICH decision today is the one that (you think) you'll be happier with when you're sitting in that chair, nearing the end of your days... you might think it sounds grim, but it's actually an amazing way to frame your personal and professional choices in life.
What Australian track would you play to cheer up someone who was crying?
We’re listing multiple choices because we can’t quite decide between us, haha... first there’s “Cattle And Cane” by The Go Betweens – it’s groovy, but it’s essentially a sad song. Then there’s “Heaven” by Eurogliders – a song about longing for somewhere better. And then lastly, “Electric Blue” by Icehouse – it may not cheer you up lyrically, but the chorus just feels so damn uplifting that it always makes me smile, regardless of mood.
What Australian track would you play to someone to make them cry?
Again, we got options here... “Daisy Chains” by Youth Group – you have to stare out of a window to get the full experience on this one. “Knuckles White Dry” by Gang Of Youths – lyrically, musically, and just beautifully heartbreaking stuff. And then “Death By Chocolate” by Sia – it’s about embracing your tears, and it reassures you that mourning is a very important part of the healing process.
You’re the DJ at a party. The dance floor is pumping. What Australian track do you put on next?
“Need You Now” by Cut Copy – it’s a slow builder, so we’ll need smoke machines to set the mood, eventually bringing out the strobes when we hit that climax. Another option is “Jesse’s Girl” by Rick Springfield – it’s a crowd-pleaser for sure, and it’s so hard not to get into that chorus. And this last one’s super nostalgic, but “Strawberry Kisses” by Nikki Webster – look, just don’t fight it, ok? Sweet <3
What was the last local gig you went to? How was it?
We watched Body Type a few weeks back. Though we sound nothing like each other, we still love seeing that raw, unproduced garage band vibe when we go out sometimes. Also, they have a bit of a Beach House vibe, and we LOVE Beach House very much.
Tell us about the bands or people in the Sydney music community that inspire you.
We’ve met and befriended creative minds like Phebe Starr, Ross Henry, Sparrows, and The Tapes. In particular, meeting fellow 80s-inspired producers like Jordan F has been great for us, as he’s been championing a stronger community among us retro/synthwave artists. Through him, we’ve connected with other names like Atolla and Vast Hill, and it’s been great having that kind of connection among bedroom producers – where you can just casually send each other your demos, give constructive feedback, share our favorite gems from the 80s, talk about the industry and help build each other up into better artists. You can’t grow to your full potential until you surround yourself with a positive, encouraging, and inspiring environment. So far, we’ve been very lucky to find that here amongst all the noise.
What are your plans for 2017?
To keep creating and focusing on new songs before all other things. Because so far, whenever we got the song right, everything else just seemed a lot easier for us – things like gigs, blog spots, radio play, and even making new musical friends – so yeah. The song always comes first for us.