Australian twins Sean and Chris Campion – otherwise known as Multiple Man – is one of EBM’s most exciting new acts. With their early 2017 LP New Metal on DKA Records, the duo’s punchy and sinuous tracks combine luscious heat with pure electronic power that is not unlike Cabaret Voltaire or fellow colleagues, High-Functioning Flesh. The duo released their self-titled EP in 2013 and has only matured since with their distinct 1980s melodic sound that is fused with EBM elements, ripe for any dance floor. Before embarking on the Multiple Man US tour that starts tonight in Manhattan, we were able to chat with the twins about their music making process, inspirations, and how MM’s music is precisely the opposite of the future.
What sort of inspirations did you pull from when originally forming the band? Did you listen to the same things when growing up?
Sean Campion: We were really into early primitive new wave at the start. Tubeway Army, early Human League singles. Melbourne’s Chrome Dome. Hearing Cabaret Voltaire’s “Nag Nag Nag” was a big moment. Growing up, I was head over heels for hardcore and hip hop’s electro era.
Chris Campion : I listened to a lot of classic rock and all those dumb Detroit sounding boogie bands on Myspace. Our dad was always playing Grace Jones, 80s Herb Alpert and Grover Washington Jr growing up. If you know where to look you can hear those sounds in New Metal.
How did those influences evolve for the release of New Metal?
SC: Around [the 2014 EP] Persuasion we were obsessed with big brash platinum hit sounds of Frankie Goes To Hollywood and INXS. That record had a freakishly long gestation period and by the time it was out we were sick of the idea of a band writing songs.
I started running a local radio show and was diving into all kinds of throbbing synth music. Chris became the major musical driving force and the tracks became clubbier. When he moved to New York two years ago, the tracks got nastier. Maybe it’s a nasty place or maybe it’s because he saw Black Label Society on the plane ride over.
What sort of process do you go through when creating a MM song?
CC: I like the kind of sounds of early sampling tech. Fairlights, E-MU emulators. A lot of the skeletons of tracks are sequenced on the computer and get a bit noisier once we elaborate on them in a live context.
SC: Chris will demo a track and email it to me. I’ll run it through some quality control and crunch the numbers. If it’s a thumper then it we will bounce ideas back and forth for entirely too long before it becomes a track.
SC: We are trying to steer clear of of self appointing labels for a bit. “Synthpunk” and “Firm Handshake Body Music” seem to follow us like a bad smell. We are interested in letting our audience make up their own mind about our music. Call us whatever you like. We can take it.
CC: We called it “future punk” briefly when we still had a guitar in the band and someone did a 10,000 word blog post about how we’re the antithesis of true futurism. Which is true. We don’t sound like the future. The sound of the future will be the sound of one million arms shoveling coal.
What’s the EBM and industrial scene like in Australia? Have you seen it grow in the past few years?
CC: Underground music in Australia crosses genre boundaries a lot, more so than in the Americas. I see us as a little pocket within the larger electronic and punk scene. Industrial and EBM sounds have been creeping into both steadily over the last few years. There is a lot of stuff we like and have been thrilled to play with. You could put us in the same bag with Lucy Cliche, Forces, NUN or Holy Balm and that bag would be a beautiful bag. There is a lot of BAD industrial bands with bad haircuts, bad politics and badly spelled band names but that’s true of everywhere.
What can we look forward to with your live show this time around? Any songs you’re most excited to play?
SC: Playing a lot of new material off a forthcoming record we are working on for a great label. We are mixing it in Chicago with Jeremiah Meece in the coming weeks. We haven’t played since June so we look forward to shaking off the cobwebs and flog this dead horse.
US tourdates below + more info here.