Psymon Spine’s Charismatic Q&A

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Psymon Spine is not your ordinary electronic-bedroom-pop band. They are a loud groovy collective that takes 80’s synths and mixes it with punk and jazz. Their smooth melodies make you want to get up and dance unlike any other band you’ve heard.

Their newest album Charismatic Megafauna showcases their rare talent through a variety of danceable tracks. Psymon Spine is so compelling because of how much creative and experimental liberties they allow themselves to have. This feeling of fun and freedom is contagious in every song. They truly have a distinct sound of their own.

We got an opportunity to ask the band a few questions about their latest release as well as quarantine and where they get their inspiration for such a unique sound.

Psymon Spine Interview

Q: How did Psymon Spine meet and start making music?

Whoof, gonna try to answer this as concisely as possible

Noah and Michael went to high school together and started dj-ing and producing under the name, Karate.  When Noah graduated High School and started college, Mike temporarily moved to LA to attend an engineering school.  Enter Peter stage left… Noah and Peter met in the beginning of college and started hanging out.  Noah set up a short European tour using Karate contacts, but Mike couldn’t come.  He then asked Peter to fill in for Mike and come on tour.  While on tour, Peter and Noah start Psymon Spine.  Mike feels a bit weird cause he’s like who’s this Peter guy.  Peter feels a bit weird cause he’s like who’s this Mike guy?  Mike joins Psymon Spine and we start to become one big family.  Then Noah joins Barrie and Mike and Peter are like…ok.  Then Noah leaves Barrie and brings Sabine with him, and Mike and Peter are like, ok!  

Q: What did you learn/ realize over quarantine?

I’ve personally realized that I don’t actually need as much human contact to function as I thought I did.  I’ve been writing a lot of fables about bugs and inanimate objects though so maybe I’m wrong.

Q: Where do you find inspiration for your music?

Inspiration can come from anywhere… a personal experience, a talk with a friend, a sweatshirt.   A lot of the inspiration for Charismatic Megafauna came from a series of breakups experienced by various band members, both personal and musical.  These moments in our lives facilitate a lot of introspection which in turn creates a very wide pool of potential creative inspiration.  I think a lot of us were questioning our relationships with ourselves and others and trying to grow and improve as people.  A lot of the songs can be seen as snapshots of various parts of that process, as experienced by different band members.  The musical vibe of the album is still celebratory however, and that comes from pulling inspiration from joy, trying to harness what that sounds like, and translating it to music that makes us, and hopefully others,  happy when they listen to it.  

Q: One of the main songs that put me onto you was “Jumprope”. What is the song about exactly?

The hook for Jumprope was written by Sabine when we were all riffing vocal ideas in Noah’s bedroom.  Mike was wearing a sweatshirt that had the word Jumprope written on it and Sabine was reading his shirt for lyric placeholders.  Anyway, it kinda stuck.  The song evolved into being about the fast-paced, competitive nature of being a musician in New York and the US in general.

Q: What is the main intention behind most Psymon Spine’s music?

Psymon Spine is meant to be fun.  Our shows are meant to get people dancing and our music is meant to spread good cheer (mostly).  It’s also meant to surprise and challenge the listener a little bit.  We want to write accessible music, but we also want to write interesting music, and have fun writing and playing it.  So since it’s obviously very important for us to like what we’re making, and since our interests change and evolve, the musical output has and will continue to vary as well.  

Q: Is there a band or musician you would love to work with someday?

I hear that Chopin guy is a shredder.  Would be kinda sick if Soulwax produced an album too.  Would also 10/10 have an Enya feature.

Q: What was the last song you listened to?

I listened back this morning to a song I was working on yesterday about ants infesting your home and turning you into a grieving, reluctant, killer.  Oh god, I really need to see my friends again.  But looking back into my Spotify history it appears to be the Thundercat album, It Is What It Is.  

Q: What is your musical process like?

Psymon Spine songs usually start with an idea from a bandmember.  That band member kinda retains the role of lead writer/editor, while taking a step back and letting the other members color and change the song to more closely align with their own musical vision and stylings.  This process is known as “Spine-i-fying” a song.  This process sometimes create a moment of panic for the “lead writer” who might have a moment where they’re like, hold up a sec, I liked that part you changed, or, I don’t know if this needs a harpsichord solo, but it’s what makes the band sound the way it does.  

Q: Is there a project coming soon we can look out for?

Well we just released an album, like 4 days ago.  But we actually have written a ton of songs over the pandemic and album 3 is well underway.  We’re making a couple “live” videos as well and are teaming up with a talented visual artist and friend of ours named Elise Wunderlich to create a short film of sorts including live videos of us playing all of Charismatic Megafauna.  

Q: What do you want people to think when they hear “Psymon Spine”?

“Better listen to this now so I can say I heard of them before they were famous”  I’m joking of course but if enough people felt this way then that would turn out pretty great actually.  

Q: How did you come up with the band’s name?

Annoying story for a different time.  Time to cook breakfast.

 

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