[Photo property of Shawn Brackbill]
Matt Mondanile seems to have a lot going on these days. Other than being part of the dreamy lo-fi band Real Estate, he also spends a lot of his time working on this solo project, Ducktails. In the beginning of this side-project, no real direction seemed to be followed, and many were confused about which genre or vision he was going with. Recently I caught up with Matt to get a better idea of what his intentions are..
Tell me a bit about Ducktails and how it began..
I have been playing in Ducktails since 2008, it started in Massachusetts; I was recording on a tour-track recorder in like, a tool shed in my friends back yard. Then I started releasing cassettes myself, and copying them and giving them to music distributors and people, and slowly started to continue it.. and then by the time I was finished with university, I had my first record coming out on Not Not Fun Records. The one thats just come out now is on Domino, and it’s called The Flower Lane. So I’ve done four records for different labels and now I’ve come to the point where I’m doing records on this label Domino, which is from the UK, but they have offices in New York, and all over the world really.. and so now I’m on tour promoting the record.
What was your intention when you first started?… Is your vision of Ducktails what it has become?
It’s always changing, but the original thought of it was like a cartoon band playing pop songs that are kind of messed up.. thats what I thought of it as. Now it’s much more of a real rock band kind of sound. I don’t know.. I think it will always start changing in different ways.
The music seems to be hard to be confined to one genre. Most people can’t figure out what sound your actually going for. Is this what you want?
Yeah, I’d rather not be pin-pointed, and just be eclectic.. all the songs on this new record have a lot of different sounds to them so I kind of did that on purpose. I think a lot of bands have the same sounds on a record.
I know Ducktails is a bit of a side-project of yours, you’re generally known from your other project.. Real Estate. How do you differentiate the two?
Um, it’s difficult. Real Estate is kind of more of a full band.. there’s three different song writers. There’s Me, Martin and Alex. In Ducktails it’s just me, really. On this record I’ve had a lot of collaborators, but for Ducktails most of the time it’s just me.
What inspired the record?
Partying. Partying in New York City, in Manhattan actually really inspired the record. So just like going out, staying out late, and seeing what’s around I guess. Just kind of not having to work, and just living a weird excessive lifestyle.
Right. I’m sure a lot of people can relate to that..
Pretty Much Amazing said that The Flower Lane’s greatest overall flaw is a lack of soul. How do you feel about that judgement?
Oh no! I think the record has soul.. I think it could have more soul, you know but I’m not sure.