With an eponymous EP out this week, we talked to M. Aubrey about getting back to rock roots, Aubrey Plaza comparatives, and more in this back and forth that gives a little insight into how this jack of all genres works when it comes to constructing his gift of music to the world.
Kendra: You’re rooted in rock but throughout your musical journey, you’ve found yourself immersed in dance and EDM. Did you feel your time with those genres allowed you to learn about a new side of yourself, and if so – how do you feel that new side of you was able to help shape your 2021 self-titled?
M. Aubrey: For sure! It wasn’t until I started listening to electronic music that I realized how much could be done inside the computer. I had a copy of pro tools in college, but everything I was doing was more in line with traditional recording and band arrangements. I remember the first time I saw Seven Lions at Beyond Wonderland, I was so enthralled at how intense the soundscape was. The shimmer of the synths, the earth-shaking 808s. It’s really opened my mind to a whole different palette to create with and it’s been a lot of fun bringing that into the writing process
Kendra: You’re returning to those rock roots though with ‘M. Aubrey.’ So because you love this actress so much, if you had to compare the overall tone and aesthetic of your self-titled to an Aubrey Plaza role, which would it be and why?
M. Aubrey: Oh man! For tone, I’d say it’s gotta be her in ‘Legion!’ She plays Lenny Busker, an androgenous, quirky, and dark character within the protagonist’s mind forcing him to confront some difficult truths about his identity. In a similar way, I think of M. Aubrey as its own voice saying all the things that I might try to ignore in real life.
Kendra: Perhaps something with some relationship plot because your single, “Overrated,” rides that line. Sort of an anthem to not sweat the small stuff after a relationship goes south, “Overrated” is something many need to hear, but other than listening to a song about it, what do you think is the best way to move on after a breakup?
M. Aubrey: Hmm. Well, I don’t know that I have the “best” answer, but I usually end up burying myself in work. That’s kind of my go-to for anything I don’t want to deal with!
Kendra: The artwork for this album, the singles, it’s all very vibrant. So much so it may lead some to believe this album was full of poptacular songs. Was that intentional?
M. Aubrey: In a way! I’m a huge fan of animation so I thought it’d be fun to have some made for the songs, and I loved the idea of doing something vibrant and kind of trippy as a nice contrast. At one point I was playing with something closer to traditional alt/rock aesthetics but I didn’t think it fit the songs as well.
Kendra: You were able to build a name for yourself in many regards when you got to LA, which is far from easy. What’s your best advice for newcomers looking to have a similar trajectory?
M. Aubrey: I think for anyone that comes out here with an idea of what they’d want to be doing, I’d say yes to every opportunity that you can find in the field of your choice. Yes, we all need to find something to pay the bills, but after that, you gotta spend all your time doing exactly what you came here to do. It’s stressful, for sure, but the more people you get to know and the more hours you put into your craft, the better your chances of success. Plus, once your bandwidth is maxed out you put yourself in the best position of being able to choose what things you want to take on.
Kendra: Lastly, it’s getting a little easier with the vaccine rollouts, but it’s still kind of hard to have a definite answer when it comes to future plans given the current state of everything, but as far as what you can control when it comes to your career and creativity – what do you have planned in the coming months for yourself?
M. Aubrey: I’m really looking forward to the venues opening back up and getting some live things going again. All these songs were written in the box so I’m looking forward to getting the performance aspects going, maybe even changing the arrangements around for fun. Other than that, I’m really just trying to get more involved with the scene, collaborating with others, and, of course, finishing the next tape!