Summer Grunge is out now!
Image: Connor Lambert.
New Zealand’s MACEY has delivered his simmering new single Summer Grunge, alongside the announcement of his upcoming EP, The Lovers: Side A. We caught up with the musician to chat about the track, songwriting, his forthcoming EP and so much more!
Could you tell us a bit about your background in music and what led you to pursuing a career in music?
I grew up surrounded by it, Dad was a musician. Earliest memories I have are the house being swamped by saxophone and clarinet, or the Bassoon as he rehearsed for orchestra shows. I always loved listening and playing myself, I really wanted to create and play like my heroes, and I just kept going with the dream.
Your new single Summer Grunge is here! What inspired the thematic standpoint of the song?
I remember riding shotgun with four of my friends and thinking how much we’d all changed, how different the trajectories of our lives would be, but that no matter how long it had been or would be in the future, we would still be mates. We have so much time to make mistakes and go on tangents, still life does move fast, but in that moment I forgot about that pressure and was truly happy. This was written on an old, dusty acoustic. Two chords and a simple drum loop, and then that melody with the words just falling out. We’d been talking a lot about the grunge era of the 90’s and I think it comes through in the song.
The track is built upon 90s grunge inspired melodies, building to lush strings ringing out the song. How did you arrive at the sonic realm Summer Grunge exists within?
Me and Ben Malone (producer, friend, all round amazing human) had this love for 90s grunge and wanted to make something that gave us a similar feeling to the music from that era. It started with the two chords strummed on his acoustic and then we built it from there. The strings were always something that we wanted to achieve, and Ben was dead set on getting them recorded for real. It adds this richness and texture that takes you deeper than the opening themes of the song. As I question change and the loss of old connections, and all the potential that comes with it, the strings almost mirror this tearing of the heart. I remember Ben calling me all excited and saying he’d booked the APO string quartet to record at Parachute Music Studios, and that he was working on the sheet music.
You’ve also created a great visual for the track which captures that breezy summer fun. How important are the visuals to you when it comes to representing the themes present in your music, and how involved are you when it comes to conceptualising the visuals?
I think the visuals are a HUGE part of expressing one's vision as an artist. They can help articulate the messages and energy I’m trying to put out into the world and support the music, like the pastry to a pie filling. I try to be as involved as possible now, I think it helps me to feel connected to whatever we’re making. For these visuals I was lucky enough to work with the lovely Connor Lambert (director/photographer). he really brought my music and ideas to life with his artistry and confidence. He actually stars in this video (along with myself, Laura and Ella) as well as directing.
What’s one line from the song you find at times can be stuck in your head, or one that you’re most proud of?
"Danny’s in the back and he’s high as f**k, With a stupid grin and we’re cracking up"
You’ll be treating us to your debut EP The Lovers: Side A. What’s in store for listeners pressing play on the EP?
It tells quite a clear story, so listen out for the lyrics. Soaring guitars, punchy drums and be prepared to get in your feelings big time.
When it comes to songwriting, do you have a particular process during sessions or does each song take on its own form?
When I’m on my own, I tend to start with a guitar and a mumble of melody and words. Then out comes the voice memos on my phone, and then I’ll start tracking the main riff and melodies. In a group or co write it can vary from session to session. Songwriting is so special. Sometimes you really have to let the room take you with it, whatever order things start happening in just let them. It’s such a delicate process and the magic is always there if you’re in the moment and open.
Will you be hitting the road for any live performances, and what can audiences expect from one of your live shows?
I’m playing my first live show as MACEY on August 12 at Galatos in Auckland. Myself and the band will be playing most of the EP and a couple of my favorite tunes.
Intimate, warm and moving, I just want everyone to rock out and feel it.
GET TO KNOW MACEY
As a kid I remember listening to a lot of The Beatles and Dire Straits, and of course Dad’s classical and jazz music floating through the house. As an adult there have been loads, a big messy soup of artists that I adore from Charli XCX to The War On Drugs and Fontaines DC.
Album that has had the most impact on you?
On The Corner Where You Live - The Paper Kites (latest album I remember being blown away by)
How do you define your musical style in 3 words?
Cinematic, raw, intimate
Best song of 2022 so far?
Bexy - Jesus Tell Me What To Do
If you could create the soundtrack for any film, which one would it be?
Hannah Montana or Miley Cyrus?
What was the first song you loved to sing?
Boulevard of broken dreams
A song you would love to cover on tour?
Hollywood forever cemetery sings
Album you would listen to on repeat on a road trip?
A hero’s death - fontaines DC
First concert you went to?
Green Day lol
Best concert you have been to?
Dope Lemon OR LANEWAY 2019
First album you ever bought?
Welcome to the Black Parade
Would you rather be a Spice Girl or a Backstreet Boy?
Spice Girl 100%
DEPENDING ON PREVIOUS ANSWER:
If you were a Spice Girl, what would your spice nickname be?
Most memorable show you’ve ever performed?
Opening for Lime Cordiale in Auckland
Guilty music pleasure?
Superstar - Jamelia
If you could support any artist on tour, who would it be?
Joji, The Killers, ahhh I don’t know there’s so many!
An artist you think has had the most influence on the music industry.
DAMN that’s a tough one… I feel like Charli XCX and SOPHIE, Dylan Brady really pushed the pop scene into that hyperpop wave which was marvelous… hmm.. It’s such a big mass of everything at the moment I feel like anyone can do anything and it could change at a moments notice!!
What advice would your current self, give your future self, for a year from now?
You are worthy, stay on that path.
The moment you knew you wanted to be a musician?
Honestly, probably since I first sat down on a piano at my cousins house as a little fella and made up a song called ‘The Sparrow.’ I don’t know why I have that memory but it’s there and that means something.
The Lovers: Side A is out September 2! Watch the visual for Summer Grunge below.