Interview: Five minutes with Me Not You

Traversing the streets of New York City will always bring many different sounds to your ears. However, none stand out in the same manner as ethereal dream-pop duo Me Not You. The pair have just released their tracks, ‘I Should Know Better’ followed by ‘Hold My Body’ ahead of their upcoming debut album Already Gone via MNY.  The album is slated for release on the 8th of November.

The two have already released two highly successful EPs together, Reckoning and Reckoning 2, racking up over 6.5 million plays across streaming platforms. Be prepared for deep gothic basslines meeting the unstoppable voice of Nikki Taylor and Eric Zeiler’s musical stylings. It’s time to embrace the strong female vocals in alternative rock.

We decided to sit down with the raucous pop duo and learn a little more about what makes them tick. 

Which comes first when you’re producing – the sound or the idea?

Usually, we start with some kind of sound… either a guitar riff, a drum loop, some weird glitchy thing, and I’ll start playing guitar and singing on top of it, waiting for lightning to strike. Generally, when a song is going to be good, lyrics and melodic ideas start to happen together. The best songs we’ve written happened in a few hours. If it’s too much of a slog to finish a song, it’s probably not worth it.

Does your material feature any collaborations?

Nope, it’s just Eric and me on everything.

What’s on your current playlist?

FKA Twigs, Cashmere Cat, Nick Cave, DIIV, Trentemoller

Tell us about the chemistry you have with your fans on stage.

Playing and singing on stage is the best feeling there is. And the chemistry between the fans and us is palpable when things are going right. When these moments happen, it feels effortless, and that is when we play our best shows. You can tell the audience is completely tuned in, present for every nuance in the music. That’s amazing.

What techniques do you experiment with to get your original sound?

For us, it’s mostly just experimentation in the studio, with sounds, chords, instrumentation. But if our sound is original (which we hope it is!) then it’s a testament to my connection with Eric. We’ve been making music together for a while now, and we’ve definitely gotten to the point where it’s basically a psychic connection. We don’t need to discuss our ideas, they just flow out. The music of Me Not You is a summation of everything the two of us have listened to and experienced in our lives, so it’s inherently personal. And, hopefully, original.

Take us through a day in the recording studio.

We usually start pretty early, around 10 am. We are both morning people, so our energy levels are highest in the morning (also… COFFEE). We usually start with some kind of new idea… we’ll mess around on guitars or Eric will play a synth and I’ll work on vocal ideas. If we get onto something that we think has potential, we’ll keep on it for the afternoon. Then, getting into the early evening, we always like to start something new and give it a solid hour or two before finishing up. That way the idea is super fresh the next day when we get back into it. And often we both find ourselves obsessively listening to it at night. That’s when we know we’re onto something.

Any emerging artists on your radar?

Love the band WIVES. Awesome NYC band that writes amazing songs and feels like New York to me. Also Rebounder, another great hometown band that we’ve played some shows with.

What gets your creative juices flowing?

Walking, driving, being on a train. Any type of transportation gets the brain flowing!

Take us through your collection of gear, tech or software that accompanies your creative expression.

We work in Pro Tools, lots of plugins. Tons of guitar pedals (our favourite is Earthquaker Devices… that’s how we get our guitar sounds). Synth-wise we love Moog stuff. We also do a lot of drum programming with Battery. We like to layer lots of different types of sounds to get to what we’re looking for. Lately, we’ve been using Izotope VocalSynth or vocoder and pitch effects. Super fun plugin.

How have you refined your craft since you entered the industry?

We’ve gotten much better at writing and knowing early in the process if we like a song or not. We used to think that everything we wrote deserved to be on an album. Now we realize it’s more like 10%! So, we write more songs now, but we end up with way better songs. Also, as an independent band, we’ve gotten better at handling all the other sides of the business ourselves… photo shoot, album art, mixing, etc. 

Breakdown the news for us: what can we expect from you this year?

Our debut album comes out November 8 (!!!!). We are also recording a cover to come out shortly after the album, and we’re at work on a bunch of new music for the NEXT album. We’ll definitely have more music to release near the top of 2020, plus hopefully a lot of touring in 2020.

Famous last words?

“The next album will out in early 2020” 🙂

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