Photo by Mike Gerry
After 13 years as a hard-touring and releasing albums at a nearly steady two-year clip, experimental rockers Man Man pumped the breaks in 2013. While many of the band members went off to spend time with their new and growing families, frontman Honus Honus (aka Ryan Kattner) couldn’t bring himself to stop. “Me, I’m a lost soul and if I don’t keep making music then my head explodes,” he tells Consequence of Sound. “It’s a self-preservation thing.”
In order to mentally survive, Kattner began working on what would become his first-ever solo album. Due out this October, the record is dubbed Use Your Delusion, and is largely inspired by his relatively new home of Los Angeles — a place where mentally surviving is always a fascinating challenge. Featuring guests like producer King Cyrus King, comedian Jon Daly, drummer Joe Plummer, actress Mary Elizabeth Winstead, and Shannon and the Clams singer Shannon Shaw, the album balances the dark underbelly of the City of Angels with pop-savvy synth rock that remains as strange and wonderful as fans of Man Man have come to expect.
That’s certainly the case on new single “Oh No!”. The track bounces about on dubby synths and a sun-skipping guitar that would well suit a speedo-wearing rollerblader out on Venice Beach. But don’t let the bright vibes and smooth sax fool you — there’s heartbreak under all that shine. “You said you never wanna fall in love again/ And your life is only about surviving,” Kattner sings in his familiarly scratchy voice. “One endless tragedy and onward to the next/ And happiness is just an accident wearing different clothes.”
Take a listen below. You can also pre-order Use Your Delusion via PledgeMusic.
In an email, Kattner explains to Consequence of Sound the process behind coming up with “Oh No!”:
“[King Cyrus King] wasn’t a fan of the song when I initially brought it to the table so it took a bit of convincing to get him onboard. It truly was a situation where when he first heard me demoing it out he went, ‘Oh no, not this song!’ The name was sort of born out of that moment even though the lyrics in the bridge already hinted at a title. Also, ‘Ono’ in this pronunciation is Hawaiian for delicious. Food for thought.
Going into this making this record I wanted to play around with different synth sounds, experiment with brighter, maybe even ‘cheesier’ tones that would draw a sharp contrast to some of the non-breezy lyrical content. I’ve always been a fan of juxtaposing opposing vibes and I love how the tune has a bouncy, summer feel but if you actually listen to what I’m singing, the sentiment is rather melancholy since it’s a song dealing with a breakup and post-breakup healing. But…if you’re someone who just hears the music and could care less about what the song is about, it’s a feel-good jammer and sounds even better when you pump up the volume! True story.”