Retro Culture (RC) is a Melbourne-based four piece band made up of Matt Connelly, Matt Phillips, Matthew Hives, and Daniel Boca-Vistaon, on the cusp of breaking out. Infusing alternative, indie, electronic, and pop sounds, Retro Culture has received viral attention on Spotify. On the heels of releasing their first EP, we expect great things in 2017.
[ Vinylmnky ]: Retro Culture is the solo project turned four-piece band. Matt (Connelly), please tell us how this came about?
[ Retro Culture ]: I had always wanted it to be a band, but in the beginning, I had these songs that I wanted to release but no band, so I just put it out anyway as Retro Culture.
Soon after I had released a few songs, people we’re asking if I could play live and that’s when I got Danny and Philly involved. At that point in time I was playing in another band with Danny (now RC’s bass player). I asked him if he wanted to do a few shows with RC and if he knew anyone else that might be interested. He said yes and he brought along Phillips. We had a practice and we clicked straight away, the rest is history. Matt Hives (on drums) joined last year and now the lineup is complete.
[ Vinylmnky ]: You just released your first EP Wonderland on the Radio and we at VM couldn’t be more excited. Tell us about making the record and what memorable experience you had while working on it.
[ Retro Culture ]: We recorded most of it in my bedroom. We’d go into the studio to track things like live drums or to do the final mixing, which we did with Haxx (Kult Kyss). But it was mostly just us jamming out these little ideas on our synths or computers. Philly and I would be sending each other something new almost every day. I’d take those ideas and then flesh them out into a full song. I like to produce as I write. Once a full idea of a song was together we’d take it to the rest of the guys and see what they could bring to the track as well.
I think the most memorable part is when you’re writing a song for the first time and you’re hearing all the ideas fresh. That part is the most fun, when you are having a breakthrough.
[ Vinylmnky ]: Retro Culture successfully fuses elements of electronic, pop, indie, and alternative music together to create a laid back yet urgent (at times) and atmospheric sound. How would you classify your music?
[ Retro Culture ]: I’d say listening to us might be like listening to a playlist. We’re influenced by all sorts of music and that tends to come out in each song. As you said, it’s kind of one giant fusion of everything we love.
[ Vinylmnky ]: What have you experienced as a four piece that adds to the uniqueness of your sound?
[ Retro Culture ]: It really makes a difference live. It’s a whole new energy level that I just don’t think I could achieve on my own.
[ Vinylmnky ]: You are from Melbourne, an absolute bright spot for music especially in recent years. What is it about the music scene there that is influencing and producing such quality music?
[ Retro Culture ]: The cool thing about Melbourne music right now is that everyone seems to know each other or be connected in some way and therefore people are always helping each other out. I think that’s why the quality is so high. You’re surrounded by so many great artists that you can learn from.
[ Vinylmnky ]: What are your thoughts on the resurgence of vinyl as the best listening medium and how immersive, social, and artistic listening to music on vinyl is?
[ Retro Culture ]: I think it’s great! It’s awesome to see physicals making a comeback. There is something special about vinyl. I feel like when you listen to vinyl you're making a very deliberate choice to sit down and really take in what it is you're playing. You can't just skip a song as easily as you can when listening digitally. So you listen differently, maybe even appreciate it more.
I also love that with vinyl you often get these amazing sleeves filled with extra artwork or insights into the artist's mind. I think that just adds something more to the whole experience of listening to music. You can really immerse yourself in the artist and the artist also has a way of communicating their thoughts or ideas even further.
[ Vinylmnky ]: There was serious momentum for Retro Culture in 2016 that has propelled you to now with the release of the EP. What are you looking forward to in the coming months and what can we expect to see from the band?
[ Retro Culture ]: We are always writing so you can expect more music before the year’s end. And we’re also about to play a bunch of live shows which we are really excited about. It’s always fun playing the new music live for the first time.