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Whispers of the Plains – Mushu

A few weeks ago we introduced you all to Mushu, a fantastic band from Australia who combine a multitude of sounds together for a wonderful swirl of rock. We had the chance to talk to Marco from the band to ask him a few questions. Here’s what he had to say!

So how did Mushu come into being as a band and what was the main focus you intended your sound to be geared towards?

We started as a duo (Simone and Marco) back in 2006. Writing songs on acoustic guitars gave us an earthy and raw sound. I think we were a duo for a few months before gradually collecting a bass player (Pat), a cello player (Hanna) and of course the drummer. Though we found acoustic guitars can be quite limiting, and we found a need for keys in quite a few songs. So Marco bought a whole lot of electrics and amps and Hanna bought a keyboard. So now in rehearsals we feel a lot tighter, and now we write songs as a band which is quite integral to our sound. I guess the main focus for our songs is having a unique vibe. It’s important for the listener to feel something new and not recycled.

You recently released your second EP. How was it recording together for your second release?

It was a definite challenge, though a very fun one. We were restricted a bit by availability which caused long breaks between recording sessions. Working with Luke Bertoz who always had plenty of great ideas was great, and we really bounced off each other well in the recording process. Marco also has a lot of recording gear at home, so we did some vocals, guitars and percussion at his house. Then we used Wayne Connolly to mix it which was great because we weren’t really in the room while he was mixing which became a drag the first time we mixed as we all didn’t agree on certain aspects of the mix. But Wayne was terrific and really got our sound.

You’ve made a great music video! Was it fun? Did it come naturally? Were their any challenges at all?

Challenges is an understatement {laughs}. Logistically it was a nightmare to bring instruments, props, equipment and crew to an island with no cars and only wheelbarrows to transport gear around the island. But it was a whole lot of fun, but it was freezing at 6 in the morning with no shoes on. I think most of it came naturally, that’s more of the role of the director making sure what expressions are being used as he knows better than anyone how it’s going to be cut and put together. I think the most important thing is getting it figure out in pre-production, knowing exactly what is needed, how long each shot is going to take, figuring out the logistics and having a precise schedule to adhere to.

You’ve also been busy touring in American and Canada. How important is it for Mushu to get out and play as much as you do?

Well it’s fundamental to the music process to be playing to an audience, so the more people you play to the more rewarding it is as a band. But besides that, it’s essential to get your music out there as much as you can to promote yourselves in anyway possible, if it be a big support act or playing to 5 people in a café. And you always meet great people playing music and that’s always fun.

A little birdy also said with your third hand your all busy working on your first album. Hows that going?

At the moment we have all the songs ready for pre-production. Marco is still in Canada at the moment and he bought some recording gear there to record a few ideas. So when he gets back in a few weeks we’re going to be in turbo mode for recording so we can get something fresh out as soon as possible. I think we’re going to do something’s a bit differently this time as our sound has changed slightly so we have to let our sound and our songs dictate how we record this time around.

What effect does the internet have on what you do? Does it help or hinder you?

Any medium that has the potential to spread your music like wildfire is always going to be a help to you. Sites like myspace, facebook, blogs and the itunes store are great for giving anyone access to your music and feedback without having to leave the house. I wouldn’t say it hinders us, but I think there are so many more bands, which is great, but inevitably it does make it harder to sound unique and fresh.

If you had the opportunity to have a jam with another band or solo artist, who would you all choose?

Well I’m really only speaking for myself (Marco), but I would have to say either Neil Young or Jeff Buckley. Those guys are just powerhouses of talent, and Neil Young can play a single note on guitar better than anyone. That would be a great experience!

We wish Mushu all the best and we’ll keep up to date with their new release when it hits the headphones!

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