Dan Brown – Macatier – is a 23 year old musician from Surrey. He has toured the south of England extensively, playing alongside other indie bands including Brand New, Saves The Day, and All The Young. Macatier describes his music as ‘upbeat acoustic,’ which is an accurate definition because his songs have a refreshingly real acoustic feel.
Macatier agrees. If he had to describe his music in 3 words, those words would be “raw, acoustic, and energetic.” A lot of this is down to his many musical influences. “I’m influenced by a lot of different types of music. Everything from alternative rock bands like Brand New, Manchester Orchestra, and Radiohead all the way through to acoustic artists like Ben Howard.”
Last year Macatier played Hit The Deck festival in Bristol alongside some of his favourite bands, including Brand New. “It was pretty special for me. And strange as it may sound, seeing my name on the same poster as them was also really cool!”
Blink-182 were another big influence on Macatier’s music. “After listening to Blink-182’s The Mark, Tom & Travis Show, all I wanted to do was play music. That album and that band had a huge impact on me.”
I asked Macatier what his favourite song is. “That’s a hard question to answer!” he laughs. “Although one song which always hits me whenever I hear it is Where Is My Mind? by Pixies.”
“I’m listening to a lot of Say Anything right now,” he continues. “Max Bemis, the lead singer, is an interesting guy. He wrote their second album whilst undergoing some really serious mental health issues. You can tell this has really impacted the music as it is so creative, odd and nothing like anything you’ve ever heard.”
So how about his own music?
“Musically, I really like Thousand Yard Stare although Swimming to Canada is my favourite to play live,” he decides.
Macatier then talks me through his songwriting process. “For most songs I already have chord progression and then I write the lyrics and melody to that. However, with Thousand Yard Stare I had a riff that I really liked so I wrote the whole song around that. I worked out the chords that would sound good based on the riff and it came together from there.”
“Like most people, I get my inspiration mainly from experiences I’ve had. This also includes writing about the past and hopes for the future,” he says. “It’s a bit of optimism crippled by pessimism I suppose.”
The road to success is not an easy one though, as Macatier knows well.
“Unfortunately music doesn’t pay the bills too well in this day and age,” he tells me. “You need a way to subsidise that by other means of income, so I do have a day job.”
However, Macatier’s new EP This Boat is Definitely Sinking was released in December. “The songs were written and recorded over the last half of 2013. Up until that point I had been gigging relentlessly for about 2 years, so I wanted to take a step back and put everything into my songwriting.”
“I spent a lot of time demo-ing tracks to make them sound exactly how I wanted them to. I would record, then record and re-write again and again until I was happy,” he continues. “I suppose the concept of the EP is nostalgia and escapism; wanting to go back to a time that you romanticise but at the same time needing to move on.”
What else has Macatier got in the pipeline for the next few months?
“I’m releasing a few live videos very soon. I recorded them in the woods near where I live – I like filming in odd locations. I’ve done another on the roof of my old house in Bristol. I also have some shows booked around the Surrey and Hampshire area and more will be coming soon!”
To end, I ask Macatier if he has anything else to add. “Erm…I actually really enjoy ironing,” he says.