MUTO Interview - The Arcane Endeavour

Meet MUTO, a Sydney based producer rising the ranks of the electronic scene with his emotive and forward thinking take on production. We had a chat to MUTO about his debut EP Arcane, his upcoming performance at Splendour In The Grass, forthcoming national tour, plus the future prospects of the MUTO project.

Futuremag Music: Can you talk us through your general production process, and your mind-set behind your music?

MUTO: I don’t usually go into any song with a solid idea, sometimes I do, but it usually starts with a drum loop or pattern. It’s really just a natural process, of trialling new, and different sounds. I don’t think there’s one direction I’m trying to achieve when I make a song, it just naturally happens. I steer towards sadder kind of chords, minor kind of stuff. I’m not sure why, but I’m drawn to that emotional chord progression, rather than the happy upbeat style.

Futuremag Music: Going off that, how’d you structure your Arcane EP?

MUTO: I wanted to mix it up, as it goes along. I wanted to have instrumental tracks mixed in with feature vocals, to add variety. Starting off with ‘Rouge’ was always the plan and it felt like one of those intro tracks, as it was very cinematic. The same with ‘Lost’ the final track on the EP, it was one of the happiest in terms of core progression on the record. It was a great way to end it, especially it being a hip hop track, which is something I don’t usually venture into.

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Futuremag Music: Talking about ‘Lost’ who’d you collab with, and how did everything fall into place?

MUTO: So his name is HVNCOQ, and he’s from Melbourne. It came together because my management got in contact with his management, and we looped up for a session. I showed him a bunch of tracks, and one of them was the ‘Lost’ instrumental. We jumped into it, and it was pretty effortless. We worked really well together, then it was just a matter of squaring it off, over the next couple of months.

Futuremag Music: Continuing on about new singles from the EP, can you talk us through third track ‘Cloud Party’?

MUTO: ‘Cloud Party’ was one of the songs that had the most work put into it. It was a track that went back and forth in regards, if it needed an instrumental or an extra boost from a vocalist. We ended up deciding on using a vocalist. We got rolling with a list of people who we thought would have the right vibe for the song. It took a while to find the right person, because I didn’t want to compromise. The person who ended up singing on the track wants to remain anonymous, but she’s doing her own solo project at the moment. When she came back with the first demo, I was like “Yep, that’s the one!” From there, it was a bit more back and forth. It ended up taking about two years to get that track done, which is mega.

Futuremag Music: Moving onto shows, you’re performing at this year’s Splendour In The Grass. What can fans expect from your performance there?

MUTO: It’s definitely not going to be a standard MUTO set! I mean coming off the back of the record, I wanted things to be upgraded quite significantly to promote that, rather than doing the same set I’ve been doing. We’ve been working hard to get a whole lot of production overall, including lights, visuals, and feature vocalists. There will be a lot more of a live element to the set, and a whole lot bigger than it has been before. I’m really excited about the whole thing, it’s coming together nicely.

Futuremag Music: For those who’ll miss your Splendour set can catch you on tour. What can they expect from those shows?

MUTO: It will be a similar show, but a bit of a downgrade to cater to the size of the venues I’m playing at. We’ll definitely be trying to bring in that festival feeling into the shows, as best as it can be. The tour is going to have the full production, and live elements of my sound. It will be a lot bigger than my last tours, so you can expect a decent show for sure.

Futuremag Music: Jumping well into the future, what’s the plan post tour and into 2019?

MUTO: The rest of this year I’d like to play as many shows as possible to back up the release, and work on as much new music as I can. I’d really love to get out an album next year, but I can’t confirm that at this point. That said, an album is the next project I’d like to get into, I want to release a bigger body of work. I’d like to go overseas again to Europe and I really want to try out America.  It’s all roughly planned, but that’s idea.