We recently reviewed a new single from Brisbane band MTNS. I had the opportunity of catching up with singer/guitarist and songwriter Tom Eggert.
I began by asking if the band had a problem with vowels. Tom fielded this question with good grace, telling me that the band did originally include all vowels and consonants but found that they lost their identity in google searches to the real thing. The shortened moniker allowed for easier identification.
Their name does create a nice lofty geographical theme that reflects the ambience of their music – with the cover for their E.P “Salvage” (available now on iTunes) and the exquisite video for their debut single “Lost Track in Time”:
MTNS are doing an East Coast of Australia tour in February and meanwhile Tom is writing new songs. Tom forms the skeleton of MTNS songs and the other members, Joseph Thiang (Drums) and Robbie Hellberg (Keyboards/synth bass) add their ideas to create the distinctive MTNS sound.
Tom tells me his favourite bands include Arcade Fire, Bloc Party and The Killers, but probably the greatest influence on him was Jeff Buckley’s Grace – and this is certainly reflected in Tom’s vocal style. Tom is a third generation Australian, Robbie has a Swiss background and Joseph hails from Singapore: all adding to a mix that is more international than Australian.
Brisbane has produced, per capita, a large number of exciting influential bands compared to the rest of Australia (think The Go-Betweens and The Saints) and a high proportion of globally successful bands (particularly The Bee Gees and Savage Garden). Sometimes the two coincide. MTNS certainly are developing in the first category and I can only hope they fall eventually into the second.
I had promised a photo shoot as part of the expanded Backseat Mafia offerings, but unfortunately this was a Skype interview and Robbie and Joseph were not available. So you will just have to make do with a screen shot of Tom (below). I strongly recommend a listen to MTNS and if you do live in the lucky country, check them out when they tour Eastern Australia in February.