Golden Scissors

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It’s been a while since Miami Horror released their debut and acclaimed album “Ilumination” in 2010, and finally the Melbourne-based four-piece are recording their second album in L.A. We have had the chance to talk with drummer Aaron Shanahan a bit, so let’s see what he has to say

GS. You were the last one to join the band. How do you see the process since you became part of the project? How sure were you at that moment and did you take it too seriously at the beginning?

GK. At first it was great to be apart of something established and enjoy all the experiences of playing big shows and being a drummer, but I like to produce and write songs, so after a while my need to do these grew to a point that I wanted to be more involved with things in Miami Horror. I was able to get involved with programming and creating sounds for the live set, help produce and make sounds on Illumination and DJ with Ben as MHDJ’s. It’s great to be involved and be a part of it all.

GS. We have read somewhere that you guys said that for Australian people, being in America is quite strange, especially in L.A. Can you tell us why? You are actually recording your new album in L.A. – How was studio time?

GK. I can’t remember what we said but I can tell you that LA is an interesting place for someone like me who has lived in Melbourne, Australia for most of my life. It’s a place of so many different types of people and places. There is so much for the eye to see there, from colourful Mexican style buildings to great hills. I’m really enjoying my time there.

As far as recording we have been working on a few things/projects. We have this large craftsman house where a few of us live, all of us being musicians. Everyone has their area of the house and is busy working on interesting stuff. The thing I think that has been interesting is being away from familiar things and influences in Melbourne, which i think has affected the music we have created.

GS. Nowadays we are hearing about many new Aussie bands and we can hear that there is a common trend in the music style. Can you tell us in which way the music is part of the Australian style of life? How do you feel it there?

GK. One major thing is that we get to hear American and European music. I think because of this mixture it affects the music we make in its influences and sounds. I know when I’ve talked to some Americans about European music they may not know them as well as we do, and vice versa. I like that we are able to take in a variety of music and process them into new bands and sounds.

GS. Do you think, with there being so many bands in Australia, that it is easier to get into the music scene now, rather than a few years ago?

GK. I know that I used to slog away at playing live at venues back in the day and it didn’t get me too far. Although I had fun playing live in stinky bars around Melbourne. It is amazing how being a bedroom producer and putting something online can be heard in many countries, and result in subsequent gigs/touring. Miami Horror toured places overseas and was able to due to online blogging the band got. Its a different time and way now.

GS. We know you have been touring around the whole world. Which was the most impressive place you have been to? Have you ever had any weird situations relating to culture shock?

GK. I’ve enjoyed many different places, but there are a handful I can mention that were memorable. Rome was an amazing place to visit, due to the history that remains in a very obvious way there. You can see where an empire once conquered and have a pasta and wine at the same time. South America is always memorable and trouble. We have had some of the craziest times there. Japan was the biggest culture shock as it is such a different culture to what I am used to with language, writing, people and audiences. The crowd was so polite that they would applause for a few seconds and then became dead quite, just in case you were going to talk. You could hear a pin drop. It was a surreal vibe.

GS. Can you give us a sneak peak of what we can expect from your new GOOD NIGHT KEATON project?

GK. I have just finished the Sweetness Alive remix (Goldroom) and am working on a new track that is sounding like space disco.

GS. And what about your side project with band mate Benjamin Plant? You definitely have lots of time or multiple personalities…

GK. The name of that project is “Honeymooon”. And that’s not a misspelling, its with an extra “o”. This has been my main focus for the year as it’s allowed me to write and sing again, which has been great. The vibe is pretty 70’s psych pop and we will be releasing something in January. We are very excited about this as we have an album of music on its way.

I do have multiple personalities, much like Michael Keaton in “Multiciplicity”! I like being able to investigate different avenues of music from producing different styles, djing and playing live. Music is such a great thing and it is good not to stick yourself down to one genre as there are so many “colours” to play with and I don’t like being limited.

GS. Are you still so obsessed with running? You mention it in every interview…

GK. Yeh! Love a run. Its very important to me as it gives me a break from music and helps me to keep focused. I think everyone can benefit from exercise. It also helps in clearing out the “cobwebs” of being in a studio all the time.

GS. What’s your history with disco sounds? Any childhood fixation?

GK. My dad was a dj back in the day, so maybe that has something to do with it. It might be hereditary. I remember when I first told Dad I was djing, he said “oh no!”. Ha! So we had music in the house when I was young. I don’t think I have any particular childhood fixation with disco but just a current fascination with 70’s music in general. The sounds created during this time are so intriguing to me and I can’t get enough. So much originality came from this period that really appeals to me. Its not just the music either. I love the fashion and movies made. There’s something about that era that was colourful and playful that I just love.

GS. You have compared your funky basslines to making love to a woman. So, are you a funky man under the sheets?

GK. There’s definitely something “funky’ going on đŸ˜‰ Jokes! That’s for me and my lady to know, you pervert!

GS. What records, movies, books or other inspirations help you guys write music? Do you visit any blogs to know what’s happening on the scene?

GK. As I mentioned, the 70’s buzz is really inspiring to me. I keep finding lost or unknown albums that have a catalogue of fresh sounds that make me want to create. I also get inspiration from nature and when I’m hiking/running. I find my mind will be away with things and then I’ll start humming something when in this relaxed state that will turn into a new song. For instance, I was about to do the remix for Saint Lou Lou and was familiar with the vocal but hadn’t written the music. I went for a run and then the music started to come to me. So I grabbed my phone and quickly hummed the tune being delivered to me into the voice dictator, later making sense of it when I got home.

GS. If you have any tourist advice for us if we were to take an Australian trip, which places can’t be missed?

GK. I just recently revisited two places that are outside of Melbourne that I think are the greatest to me, but I may be bias as I love nature and the environment. The first is an Australian style zoo called “Healesville Sanctuary” which has Australian animals and species. We have such a unique array of creatures that will amaze most people. The second is a place in the surrounding Melbourne Dandenong hills called “William Ricketts Sanctuary”. This fella called William Rickett spent his life making statues of aboriginals and other spiritual themes associated with a connection to nature and they all reside outside in the ferny bush where he once made them. You walk a path and see the statues in the forest. It has a great energy and peace that is very unique to Australia.

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