Whats That Sound?

15 March 2012 | 4:05 pm | Staff Writer

Melbourne band I, A Man are interested in finding new ways of making noise, writes Nic Toupee.

It takes a bold, mischievous or infinitely confident band to call their EP You're Boring Us All. Whether it's us being bored or the band bored by us, neither are particularly desireable outcomes. It's also a band with infinite prescience or a devil-may-care disregard for future-proofing who would call themselves I, A Man. Luckily, all of this seems to have been water off the feathery back of I, A Man, thus far. Earning themselves an Unearthed place at Falls Festival 2011, their first EP Fifteen Thirty Three (a much less tricky title) earned plaudits from pundits and favour from fans. About to nudge You're Boring Us All on their waiting public, Daniel Moss aka 'Mossy' clears up the mysteries of nomenclature.
“The band name was the first name we could collectively come to, really,” he laughs, shrugging off any importance that we could have been reading into it. “It comes from a movie, but really we chose it because we had studio time booked to write an EP a while back and just quickly agreed on it. It's one of the things we've put least thought into of anything we've done, really. But it's done now,” Moss concludes philosophically.
It's fine with the all-male arrangement they've currently got going, but it might become a bit weird with a female recruit, we enquire gently.
“It's just a name, not a mission statement or anything,” Moss rebuffs the suggestion dismissively. “To be honest, it's not something we put thought into at all. It's actually an impossible name to say on stage or find when you search for it online,” he laments. “When I introduce us on stage, and say 'I, A Man' people often think I've said 'ironman',” he admits. “A lot of bands have their name written on the kick drum. We don't have that. We've used masking tape, but you could barely read that. Maybe we need a big backdrop banner, like Rammstein,” Moss muses, trailing off into visions of pyrotechnics and Germanic accents.
While I, A Man seems like the default setting that stuck, from the band's point of view, the EP name, You're Boring Us All, is far more deliberate; far more a nod, a wink and a cheeky invitation to their listening public.  

“It took us a while to make this EP,” Moss recollects. “We'd take a break, do a few shows, come back, write another song – so we built up the recordings over a long period of nearly four months. One of the songs on the EP was titled You're Boring Yourself. The songwriting on the EP was deliberately more repetitive and minimal than it had been in the past, so that title seemed fitting, in a tongue-in-cheek way. We're basically having a tongue-in-cheek stab at ourselves.”

What Moss calls “minimal” or potentially “boring”, others are currently calling “post-rock” and “shoegaze”. I, A Man's influences are definitely from the school of drones-and-layers.
“We're all into My Bloody Valentine and they've inspired us for lots of things,” he admits. “We love to experiment with guitar loops, layer them and record them backwards… we find that process really fascinating. We don't plan to bankrupt a label or take two years to write a record though,” Moss laughs.
Their experimental approach goes beyond just guitar-bending, Moss details.
“We like using things that are not necessarily a musical instrument to make sound. We throw things at the wall – sometimes literally – and see what sticks. We love albums where you listen to interesting sounds and ask yourself, 'How the hell did they do that?'”