Mat Devine On Wrongchilde, Kill Hannah
Wrongchilde is the new solo project of Mat Devine, best known as the frontman for the band Kill Hannah. Devine sat down with uInterview to discuss his debut album, Gold Blooded which features appearances from Gerard Way (My Chemical Romance) and Morgan Kibby (M83, White Sea). Devine relishes the idea of working in new ways for the project. "I had this conversation with a friend, because he felt like everyday is new, you're in a different city and you're always out of your comfort zone, and I'm like, No I'm not, I'm doing the equivalent of a 9-5 job with my best friends everyday," he told uInterview. "You need to feel uncomfortable and you need to be scared and you need to take chances to in order continually grow."
Perhaps most surprising for Devine was his newfound appreciation for collaboration. "I liked going into a room with people I never met before and let's start at zero and write a song together and play off each others strengths, with no ego at all," he said.
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I think no matter what you do, you do it for a certain amount of time, you forget these other kind of colors you should be using, and you develop habits. I just want to go out of my comfort zone. It's funny because, touring, I had this conversation with a friend, because he felt like everyday is new. You're in a different city, and you're always out of your comfort zone. I'm like no I'm not, I'm doing the equivalent of a 9-5 job with my best friends everyday, and you ned to feel uncomfortable and you need to be scared. You need to take chances to in order continually grow. So I just really wanted to push myself and I had an opportunity where, things kind of slowed down. I had a chance to move to Los Angeles from New York and just commit to this one hundred percent. I rediscovered that kind of super fun, you know when I started making music I had a 4 track, and I just remember that excitement of ripping off my favorite bands. I was into my bloody Valentine and the cure and all that stuff, so I was making that soundscape-y stuff. Then you started introducing that sort of corporate element to these and now matter how cool it is and how lucky you are to have it, you develop habits, and I just wanted to break those. So with this, every creative decision was like alright well what would I do here and what should I be doing. I had a body of songs that were real personal to me. There are a body of songs that would have been in the tone, we used to sneak in Kill Hannah, like I used to sort of maneuver to sneak a real intimate song at the end of the record. Like alright, give him that. But I had to fight for it, it wasn't an obvious choice. It's not like necessarily there's a sing song-y sort of hook or outro that makes people dance, but these are quirky, personal, odd, original things. They would eventually be received by the fans as very special songs. They were never pushed as singles, and we never got to make any videos for them and stuff, so, this is kind of an album of my track 12's. That's the way I look at it.
Wrongchilde was the name that I started writing from high school, like it seemed like a band name, and I liked it. It really came out of nowhere, I was really kinda shocked that it hadn't been used yet. I guess there is an REM song called "The Wrong Child," and I'm a huge REM fan so maybe there is something subliminal about it.
I never used to - I hated collaborating before. I felt in the past that what I was doing was very specific and that if I were to bring someone else in, I was giving something else up. I started a couple of years ago, working with pop artists which is the greatest release of control ever, it's the least cool kind of thing you can do and in that process I discovered I really liked it. I liked going into a room with people I never met before and lets start at zero and write a song together and play off each others strengths with no ego at all. It meant that maybe someone's idea is better then yours or better serves that pop song.
In the past, I've really leaned on pro tools and things that like or auto tune or whatever sort of plug ins to kinda dial-in harmony, so they're pristine. As the part of the umbrella, sort of mantra of this whole project it was like, let's, let's pause, you know. Maybe we can... if you want this to be authentic, if you want it to sound like you're sitting at the edge of your bed, well let's record it at the edge of your bed. Don't over-think it, don't over produce it. So that was the agenda going in, we were there for three-and-a-half months! I think half way through we were like well maybe we can tune it a little, so we tuned it a little.