Nile Marr started making music in his teens, drawn towards acoustic aesthetes such as Nick Drake or John Martyn.
As he grew older, though, he pushed aside his acoustic in favour of something a little louder, a little more visceral.
Man Made is the end result. Debut album 'TV Broke My Brain' arrives shortly, matching crisp yet brutal riffs to songwriting that comes with no small degree of depth and passion.
Set to toast the release with a run of in-stores, Man Made are busy packing the van and organising their iPods - time for some Influences, then.
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Modest Mouse - 'Dramamine'
This is always the first Modest Mouse song I play to people, I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like it. It’s feels direct and honest and it’s uniquely them, It’s the first song on their first album, I’ve always loved that that’s what they wanted people to hear right away, it sets everything they’ve done since up really well. Everything comes back to that place. That’s something that influenced us when we were putting our record together.
We’re a band that spends most of our time on the road in the van, hearing songs that were written on the road with the sense of travel at it’s heart, It perfectly captures that sense of space you get driving through america and that’s something I miss every day. When you’re driving round the UK late at night, it can feel a little claustrophobic, but this record helps open your mind up to the sense of space again.
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Built To Spill - 'The Plan'
Built To Spill are a huge influence on us musical, as an English guitar band we’ve always looked to America to for our inspiration. The first time I heard them it was a real penny drop moment; here was a band who made guitar music like nothing I’d ever heard before with real pop sensibilities.
I’m not a punk singer, though everyone in the bands background is in punk music and here was this guy singing high and sweetly, while still carrying that punk ethos making pop songs. Their lyrics are alway clever and interesting, they’re anti ‘rock-ist’ in every sense. I played through all their records and just thought, ‘I want to do the English version on that.’
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Bikini Kill - 'In Accordance To Natural Law'
Who doesn’t worship the ground Bikini Kill walks on? They were more badass than you, more art than you, more direct than you and If they don’t make you want to be a girl then you aren’t paying attention. Everything they stood for and the way they conducted themselves was inspirational. It showed us that it’s not good enough to just be a band, you have to be out there trying to make a difference.
I don’t think you can make a song more perfect than this, It’s 30 seconds and it manages to do everything a great song needs, it’s punk and still has melody to it and that’s what I love about it. You can’t get a shorter song that will do that, I refuse to belive there’s one better out there.
This was the first Bikini Kill track I ever heard, I was working with another band at the time recording in Seattle, we were working with the producer who made their records, I’d been living on the floor of the garage we were recording in on my own for about 3 weeks, and i’d just been playing through all the CD’s he had down there going a bit stir crazy. Then this came on. It blew my mind, it was such a release, I stayed up all night playing it on loop.
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Fugazi - 'Blueprint'
For all of us in the band Fugazi are the kings, you can’t knock them. The way all the instruments work together is so organic and their independent at all costs approach has to be the benchmark for anyone who wants to be DIY.
This album came out at the height of Britpop. We’ve no connection to that UK scene, it doesn’t excite us as a band musically or principally. Here was a band that worked to make art accessible to everyone that had non-drinking at the centre of it. That’s what really spoke to us as a band. Why should someone else’s decision to drink stop anyone underage from experiencing art? That’s something that doesn’t sit right with us. G
rowing up in the UK with that mindset made you feel like a total alien and then there was Fugazi championing the cause and doing it on their own terms. Fugazi made us realise that it’s no good just singing protest songs, it’s about action and what you do as a band. It’s why we organise our own shows and work with charities as closely as we can. Because why would you not?
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Yeah Yeah Yeahs - '10 X 10'
I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. This song is off an EP that we play in the van constantly. It just serves to remind us that you can be punk and still make great pop music. Nick Zinner is probably the best example of what it means to be a true modern guitarist, his playing doesn’t ever lean on rock clichés and allows Karen O to come in and be cooler than anyone else will ever be.
As a band they’ve changed their sound and always kept things moving forward, rehashing anything has never been on their agenda and I think that’s a really important message for any band. It’s why every record is loved and well received.
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Man Made will release new album 'TV Broke My Brain' on April 29th. Catch the band at the following in-store shows:
29 Nottingham Rough Trade – 6pm
30 Wakefield Wah Wah – 12.30pm
30 Huddersfield Vinyl Tap – 3.30pm
1 Liverpool HMV – 2.30pm
2 London Covent Garden, Fopp – 5.30pm
3 Portsmouth Pie and Vinyl – 7.30pm
4 Kingston Banquet – 6pm
14 Edinburgh Elvis Shakespeare – 2.30pm