http://www.timeslive.co.za/entertainment/music/2014/08/14/music-will-grow-with-you-and-you-can-t-stay-the-same-mgmtMusic will grow with you and you can't stay the same: MGMT
Nikita Ramkissoon | 14 August, 2014 11:09Call their sound synth-punk, electro-pop, or Cynthia. MGMT don't give a bleep, writes Nikita Ramkissoon
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Music will grow with you and you can't stay the same: MGMT
Nikita Ramkissoon | 14 August, 2014 11:09
DEEPLY FLOORED: Ben Goldwasser, left, and Andrew Van Wyngarden
Image by: GALLO/GETTY IMAGES
Call their sound synth-punk, electro-pop, or Cynthia. MGMT don't give a bleep, writes Nikita Ramkissoon
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US band MGMT added to Daisies, In the City lineup US band MGMT added to Daisies, In the City lineup
In 2007, Facebook and MySpace changed the science of music marketing forever. That year, the American duo MGMT - keyboardist Ben Goldwasser and singer-guitarist Andrew Van Wyngarden - were among the first bands to surf the social-media wave with their hit debut album, Oracular Spectacular .
MGMT's rapid rise to indie fame was an early textbook example of the power of the viral music video - though they say it was a phenomenon beyond their control.
" When we found out that this was how people were discovering our music, we didn't have a clue how it worked - but it did, " says Goldwasser, on the line from Croatia.
The band's third album, simply titled MGMT, was released last year. In October they will tour South Africa, playing Vodacom In The City at Johannesburg's Mary Fitzgerald Square, and Rocking the Daisies at Cloof Wine Estate in Darling, Western Cape.
On subsequent albums they were joined in studio by band members Matthew Asti, James Richardson and Will Berman.
The big hits on Oracular Spectacular - Kids , Time to Pretend and Electric Feel - are still dancefloor fixtures in South African clubs.
"We've changed a lot since then" says Goldwasser. "But those songs still ring true to what we were at the time."
In 2010, the boys from Connecticut released their second offering, Congratulations. "Writing a follow-up to something so successful is hard," says Goldwasser.
"You are going to be judged. People are anticipating what you're going to do, wondering what's going to follow. The critics are armed and ready, and it's easy to get caught up in the critical backlash - so we needed to follow our gut on the next one."
Congratulations, although not as commercially successful as Oracular Spectacular, was critically acclaimed. Goldwasser attributes this to not sticking to a formula.
"We don't have a style," he says. "It's rock, synth, indie, pop. Whatever it may be, the important thing is that it is its own beast.
"We grow as musicians and as people, so naturally - if you're writing from a place of honesty - the music will grow with you and you can't stay the same.
"I've got some punk influences - the fringe of punk, really. Not Ramones punk. I also like electro like Aphex Twin.
"There's no distinction between genres when I listen to music, because what sounds good to me sounds good to me.
"I draw from what I know, and I'm sure it's the same for the rest of the band. We've got no interest in honing in on any specific style.
"It's not like we're trying to be obscure or anything. I guess MGMT just wants to challenge what's acceptable in music."
"We're so excited to be coming to South Africa," says Goldwasser. "We've wanted to for so long ." LS