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coverart6From their home in the sun-soaked Western Australian capital of Perth, what started out as a project between singer/songwriter Matt Burke and drummer Andrew Barnett has evolved into one of the city’s most exciting new bands.

We caught up with the band to talk about what Top Five Musicians influenced them the most for the new EP

Top 5 influences on new EP with Foreign Architects

Sometimes the hardest question for an artist to answer (apart from “why is your rent overdue again!”) is ‘who are your influences?’ It’s easy to list the things you like listening to, but it can require some more reflection to realise what actually influences the music you make and are making at any particular point in time. We are almost through the tracking phase of our upcoming EP, and its all starting to become apparent where things fit, so here’s the top five influences (both musical and non-musical) that I (Matt Burke) think helped shape this record.

1. The Jungle Giants Quiet Ferocity album.

It’s tempting for me to just say I love the use of synths on this album and that the songs are amazing and leave it at that, but I think apart from just loving the sounds, the songs groove in such a way that the lyrics could be entirely about skinning cats and the songs would still evoke the same feelings, and I mean that not as a discredit to the lyric writing, but as a trait that gives me something to aspire to when writing songs. Lets mute the vocals. Do we still tap our toes? Does it still feel? This record really set the bar in that regard.

2. Milky Chance

There’s a lot to be said for a band whose songs can be acoustically and organically driven but would also qualify as a worthy floor filler at a house party. I love the way the instrumentation, grooves and vocal delivery create such a distinctive vibe and mood. I think it was a huge influence on Talk to a Scientist and in the studio our guitarist Dylan helped turn a boppy, somewhat superficially soundscaped demo into a song that had some deeper undertones that helped reflect the lyrics better with some dramatic chord changes he wrote for the verses.

3.  A caravan in the middle of nowhere.

My writing tends to ebb and flow like a rusty tap – sometimes its locked off for months but when it starts you better get a damn bucket. I find it difficult to find my creative flow in this busy world we live in with things beeping at you every few minutes plus my inability to resist the ‘recently added’ category on Netflix, so I spent a week away in a caravan with no reception or power by the coast down South and chiseled away at the songs before we hit the studio, as well as writing a bunch of new ones. It was just what I needed to let go of all the usual responsibilities of life and be totally creative. Although once the third spider had crawled across my foot on the first night, the blanket of stars I was sleeping under did lose their romantic shine a little….

4. Great band mates and producer

Where would I be without these guys? Our producer Dylan Olivierre made us work and work at these songs before we recorded a note, and we are definitely on the same page when we start to create a sound. He has a tremendous ability to tell me why a song probably doesn’t need a 9th guitar part, and will even humour me by letting me record it anyway just to prove his point. As the complexity of our music has grown since we were a two-piece, it has been great to invite more and more ingredients into the recipe of what makes a Foreign Architects song. Even though Andrews input usually consists of ‘this song could probably use a cowbell actually’ its humbling go from a place where I recorded most instruments apart from drums on our songs myself to a place where I can sit in the control room and listen to the lads execute my ideas combined with theirs in a way that underlines the beauty of collaboration.

5. An open mind

If you had told me a couple of years ago I was close to releasing any songs that contained no guitars, I probably would have spat my cornflakes all over you. Thankfully, today I’m more ‘up for anything’ and that includes Smashed Avo, so there aren’t any cornflakes in sight. It also means I’ve gradually let go of feeling like we had an ‘identity’ to stick to, as opposed to just going with the flow of whatever each song calls for and what feels right. Everyone in this band has brought such a unique palette of influences to their playing and ideas on this record, and I can’t wait to see a few surprised looks on people’s faces when we release it.

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