We asked our buddy Isaac from Two Cartoons to answer some of our questions, he emailed his response from a recording studio in Thailand we're just a little bit jealous!
Name: Isaac McFarlane
Can you describe the Two Cartoons sound?
Two Cartoons traditionally sounds like happy sunflower field pop, filtered through distorted guitars, banging drums and two dudes.
Were you into music as a kid?
I was into music, which was weird because i came from a family that didn't have any musical people in it. I picked up guitar when i was 13, an injury forced me to take a year off football which was my big passion at the time and that resulted in what my primary school teacher calling me 'a boy with far too much energy and not enough sense.' so Mother made me pick another hobby to take up my time and guitar seemed the next best option. I loved music, mostly radio commercial music at the stage but i knew it was something great; even at that age i still lost my shit listening to music.
What was it like growing up in Timaru?
Growing up in Timaru was good and bad. I had a great and supportive family life, it was relatively safe and sheltered and was a great small place to start a band, it was quite accepting of your early awful years when you first start, as there were no expectations or real music scene. But of course small town New Zealand does have its downsides, mostly a farming, masculine focused culture that i never really fitted into, we would often get stares and occasionally yells for our skinny jeans! and the lack of music scene meant there were no avenues or advice for younger musicians like us, which while hard at the time definitely helped forge the 'do it yourself' ambitious attitude of our group.
How did you and Brad meet?
Generally Brad and i met at our first year hall of residence Arana, in Dunedin. More specifically, we meet when i tripped over him in a thick bush under the Port Chalmers Church trying to get down to Chicks Hotel and we both attended Conan Mockasin live ft. Liam and Elroy Finn, Will from Phoenix Foundation and a dude from English band Late Of The Pier, was pretty surreal really.
Late last year you released a second EP, do you prefer recording or playing live shows more?
I personally love playing live far more than recording. Recording can be a drawn out, self conscious, uncomfortable thing for me (I say as I sit in studio one of Karma Sound Studios, Thailand) but i feel like that is more due to my perceived flaws in playing and my lack of concentration generally, which i'm getting better at. And luckily Brad absolutely loves recording. But there is nothing like playing a live show, loud and in peoples faces, all the mistakes making unique versions and seeing a physical reaction to your output. I can still remember the first time i heard and saw people singing my songs back to me and it was a ridiculous thing for me, Technicolor Turncoat at Auckland's Kings Arms for 95bFm's Fancy New Band showcase.
What/who currently inspires you?
I draw my inspiration from a whole bunch of places, i'm a bit ADHD with what inspires me, moving quickly from here to there but at the moment my life has been revovling around Lonesome Crowded West by Modest Mouse, the lyrics and stories of James Murphy (LCD Soundsystem) and Alex Turner (Arctic Monkeys), scientific lectures and debates by Neil DeGrasse Tyson, Lawrence Krauss and Richard Dawkins and the journalist Christopher Hitchens. I have also been listening heavily to Justice, Soulwax, Tyler The Creator, Wavves, Artisan Guns, Oasis, Brown, DZ Deathrays, Dune Rats! and Psychic Maps. Its fair to say i gather inspiration from a whole bunch of whatever excites me at the time.
What live acts have you seen recently that have blown you away?
Live music is amazing, being in Dunedin we have relatively slim pickings but i think some amazing bands as well, so i mostly get to see local acts.Malesare ball deep powerful and great live. Thoughtful and The Mighty Heart floored me at Battle Of The Bands, anything with Josh Nicholls drumming (Space Bats Attack,A Distant City), Brown were and are fantastic and through live DVDs only but still has to be Soulwax Nite Versions live.
What is the most amazing musical experience you've had?
The most amazing musical experience i have ever had was playing in Auckland and finishing our set with Martin Phillipps from The Chills playing Scientific Life with us and then closing with my favourite song of all time, Pink Frost. Playing my favourite song with the man who wrote it was something i won't forget.
If you could invite 3 people to dinner who would they be?
If i could invite three people to dinner it would be James Murphy fromLCD Soundsystem, English comedian and host of Good NewsRussell HowardandSkrillex. And we would have mexican food, followed by quiet drinks at a dark bar and watching Soulwax live from side of stage.
What does the future hold for Two Cartoons?
What does the future hold for us? The release of a debut album, sleeping, travel, trips to the bathroom, arguments over the new Daft Punk album, sushi, a new live set up, making in noise in NZ and Australia, missing flights and maybe marriage + children if we can find the right girl. Also partying at Moodie Tuesday's Workroom and teasing Jon Thom for being just so goddamn ruggedly good looking.