By Harriet Kaplan
The Melbourne, Australia-based band MYYTH have a great name but are far from being mysterious or having the legendary status to claim the regal title. So far they don’t really stand out among the pack of current acts that are good enough or compelling to forget the famous forerunners of the hybrid of genres (hard rock/metal/prog) they seem to take want to take on and challenge with their songs and sound. Yet MYYTH is ambitious, showcases diversity and a willingness to stretch themselves. The band has created a short body of work to date that is dark and foreboding, and seems in some cases, to have stark and stoic imagery around death. With three releases under their belt, “Live At Baha,” “Museum,” and “Temple,” MYYTH, who started as a unit in a garage in 2011, show promise, potential and growth as they develop as musicians and songwriters. Recently blackonthecanvas.com spoke to MYYTH about the relatively, organic way they came together and their shared and different interests/tastes in bands and artists and how that has contributed to writing original material and their views on social media ruminating on whether it is helpful or a hinderance in developing a fan base and more.
How did MYYTH come together as a band and form?
MYYTH: Realizing we had a lot of common influences, Jordy and I got together to have a jam. We soon brought Jon in to play bass, and a few weeks of sweaty garage jams later, we had an EPs worth of material. After a two years recording and performing as a three-piece, we asked our good friend and engineer Andy to join us on second guitar and vocals.
Does everyone share a mutual love of the same type of music?
MYYTH: We all have a very wide scope of influences. While rock music is the common denominator, we all have a love of pop, hip-hop, punk, and heaps more. We’re always sharing new discoveries with each other, which always leads us to pushing our own musical boundaries.
What are the band’s influences and what did you all listen to growing up? How do you think it shaped your musical sensibilities?
MYYTH: Each of us mostly grew up listening to and playing rock music. As we grew up, our palettes expanded. For me, it was discovering artists like The Mars Volta, Fela Kuti, and Frank Zappa that shaped the way I listen to and process music. We all have our own formative artists — some of which are quite left-field — which means we all bring different things to the table. At the end of the day, our goal is to write really great, memorable songs, and we’ve got a huge bank of inspiration to draw from.
Is MYYTH fully collaborate in the songwriting process? What types of inspiration does the band drawn on to write lyrics? How do you compose the music and lyrics?
MYYTH: When we first started out, it was all about songs forming out of garage jams. Through the years we’ve found that we work best when a mostly realized concept or idea is brought in by one person. I’m constantly reminded of how lucky I am to be in a band with such creative and talented guys when that song is transformed from a rudimental GarageBand demo into a live song. Each person adds their own ideas and style, which is what takes it to the next level. Writing lyrics is usually a group exercise where we throw ideas around until something sticks — usually issues we feel strongly about, or something we all feel as part of the human experience.
What is different being in MYYTH than maybe other bands you have all been in before? What are the pros and cons? Do any of you think you took something away from the past experiences and brought it to MYYTH?
MYTH: In songwriting mode, we’re a very pragmatic band. We’re all focused on the song at hand, and no ego can get in the way of that. Honesty is key, and everybody needs to have the floor to present their ideas and opinions. At the end of the day we’re all great mates, and love creating together. The most important thing is to enjoy the process.
What does the band name and unique spelling represent in your opinion?
MYYTH: No great story here. We all liked that it was short, sharp, and memorable. Unfortunately it’s not the most Google-friendly band name. Whoops!
What is the local Australian scene like there and how does MYYTH fit into it and bring something different in your opinion?
MYYTH: We’re outcasts. Melbourne has a vibrant and active live music scene, but unless you fit into specific genre (hardcore, prog, pub rock etc.) it can be hard to find a place to belong. We’re still searching, but we refuse to conform to any specific style. We’re happy to keep pushing our own thing.
How the band get involved with Progfest? What was it like for the band?
MYYTH: About a week or so out from the festival, a band pulled out and we were offered the slot. We had just finished recording our new single, ‘Relics’, so it came at an interesting time. We were under-rehearsed, but took it as an opportunity to play our existing set one last time before we overhauled it for the gigs we’re playing now. It’s a great small festival showcasing some of the best local and national artists that lean to the progressive side of things. We were stoked to be a part of it.
Does MYYTH want to get a record deal or management? How has social media helped the band increase it’s fan base?
MYYTH: At the moment we’re happy controlling everything and taking a hands-on approach to how we release our music. That said, we’re always grateful for anything that can help us get our music heard.
Social media certainly has its upsides, along with its downsides. With changes to Facebook, we have to pay in order for our fans to see our posts. It’s frustrating, but understandable. I await the day the next great platform comes along that can allow bands and fans to have a much more transparent communication.