2012 Artist Survey: Man Without Country
Tomas Greenhalf and Ryan James Reflects on the Last Year
Feb 06, 2013 Web Exclusive Photography by Wendy Lynch Redfern
For Under the Radar's 10th annual Artist Survey we emailed some of our favorite artists a few questions relating to 2012.
Pick up the print version of the Best of 2012 issue to read responses from the following artists: Alt-J, Fred Armisen, Bear in Heaven, Camera Obscura, Chad Valley, Charli XCX, Choir of Young Believers, Clinic, CSS, Dan Deacon, Desaparecidos, Django Django, Efterklang, Egyptian Hip Hop, El Perro Del Mar, Grimes, Halls, Richard Hawley, Hercules and Love Affair, Ladytron, Liars, Lord Huron, Lower Dens, Mount Eerie, My Morning Jacket, The Mynabirds, The New Pornographers, of Montreal, Peaking Lights, Porcelain Raft, Laetitia Sadier, Tame Impala, and Tegan and Sara.
Then download the digital version of the Best of 2012 issue to read all those surveys, as well as bonus responses from the following artists: !!!, Clare and the Reasons, Codeine, Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr., Esben and the Witch, The Fresh & Onlys, Get People, Islands, Kwes, Lost in the Trees, NZCA/LINES, OFF!, Plants and Animals, Still Corners, Violens, Xiu Xiu, Young Dreams, and Zambri.
We are also posting additional web-exclusive artist survey interviews to the website. Here are responses from Tomas Greenhalf and Ryan James of Man Without Country.
Top 10 Albums of 2012
1. Sigur Rós: Valtari
2. Beach House: Bloom
3. Niki & The Dove: Instinct
4. iamamiwhoami: kin
5. John Talabot: Fin
1. Andy Stott: Luxury Problems
2. Twin Shadow: Confess
3. Mala: Mala in Cuba
4. Scuba: Personality
5. Light Asylum: Light Asylum
What was the highlight of 2012 for either you personally or for the band?
Tomas Greenhalf: Supporting M83 at a sold-out Olympia [in Paris].
What was the low point of 2012 for you?
Ryan James: Traveling back from a show in London, running out of fuel on the M4, and having to walk to the next fuel garage in the rain at 4 a.m. was quite a low moment, off the top of my head.
What are your hopes and plans for 2013?
Ryan: To release new music and travel to places we've never been to.
To what extent did the poor world economy affect your ability to make a reasonable living as an artist in 2012?
Tomas: We had to cut down to only two bottles of Dom Pérignon a night!
What are your thoughts on the 2012 U.S. presidential election?
Tomas: Relieved that Obama was reelected.
Steve Albini criticized Amanda Palmer for recruiting musicians to play in her backing band for free. Was he right to do this and was Palmer right to change her mind and pay her musicians?
Ryan: Perhaps her fans were more focused on the opportunity itself rather than any financial payment. But considering they helped her raise 1.2 million dollars to fund her album it is pretty audacious to ask them to work for you for free.
What pop culture phenomenon from 2012 would you most like to erase from your memory?
Were you affected by Hurricane Sandy? Do you think that climate change was partly responsible for the hurricane?
Ryan: We weren't affected, thankfully. We don't know whether or not climate change was partly responsible and we'd rather not pretend to know.
Tell us about the most memorable fan encounter you had this year.
Ryan: We couldn't choose one as there have been many. We only released our first album this year so it's all new to us. But it has been a privilege to meet people at our shows who have driven for hours just to see us play and people who have volunteered as our street team members, and just reading some of the kind words people have written about us on their blogs and Facebook, etc. It was also a nice surprise when Kev from Two Door Cinema Club said some very nice things about us in NME a couple of months ago.
What were some of the rejected names for your band?
Ryan: Trojan Whorez!
Tell us about your first kiss.
Ryan: Difficult one. It was very dark.
Would you survive a zombie apocalypse? Explain.
Ryan: This is a very hypothetical question, and one that is quite difficult to answer rationally. If this apocalypse is anything like 28 Days Later, then probably no.