Man Made Hill: The Wavelength Interview

Purveyor of: Squishy, squashy existential funk for extra-planetary brain slugs.
File next to: The Residents, Orange Milk Records, Barry White
Playing: Wavelength New Year’s Eve at Markham House City Building Lab. Get tickets here!

The years have witnessed Man Made Hill’s metamorphosis from lo-fi experimental creeper to full-on WWE-LSD nightmare pop dreamboat. His party skills are unmatched and his head is unhinged, though a glimpse of romance is always present. Wavelength’s Adam Bradley spoke to him about some things.

What is your New Year’s resolution this year?

  1. Try and replace cigarettes with something, chin-ups maybe?
  2. Crush the head of the serpent.
  3. Nutrition.
  4. Conquer acne.

Do you have any special Christmas traditions that you’d like to share with our audience?

Lasagna instead of turkey.

In your song “Spoiled,” you list dozens of standard products. It sounds like the Christmas list of a sad suburban Dad. From whence does this list originate? Apologies if you just turned a shopping list into a song.

That’s not sad, that’s my life! “Spoiled” is 2014’s Christmas gift inventory for my partner and I. We literally got 100 things between us, which was pretty cool. Coincidentally, after compiling this list, I made a funky beat and it just made sense to put it in there. I find lists in general to be a beautiful poetic form, and felt like revealing this one was a very personal and intimate thing. You can expect a 2015 version.

You are fond of playing a live cover of John Stewart’s 1979 hit “Gold.” What draws you to this ditty?

I heard this song one day on Voices Radio 106.5 in the middle of a harsh workday, and it unlocked the deeply buried memory of the tune from my childhood. It was astounding to hear on the radio, and I became a little obsessed with it. So many things to love about this song, Buckingham and Nicks in the mix — really it’s about musicians grinding it out in the void, and hoping someone hears them. I also enjoy the regional approach to it.

In The Brothers Karamazov, Dostoyevsky said that “if God does not exist, then everything is permitted.” Do you imagine he would approve of your interpretation, which suggests the idea that even double and sometimes triple dipping is admissible? And moreover, do you think God exists? 

Dip what thou wilt. God is a rockin’ party animal that doth decree it so, I’m just here to tell you about it!

Including your most recent release, you’ve put out a couple of tapes via the impeccable Dayton, Ohio label, Orange Milk, upon which your music feels pretty at home. What led to that connection and how’s the experience been? 

Orange Milk puts out some of the tightest units on the planet! We became acquainted via Francesco De Gallo when they were trying to book a show in Ontario City one time. We did a very nice weird show at Halo Halo Village (RIP), and they stayed at my place. Coincidentally, my album Intercourses had just been rejected by another Ohio label, so I passed it to them, and they were very enthusiastic. Seth and Keith are wonderful, thoughtful, gentle humans.

What would your live show include if you were booked to play the Air Canada Centre?

  1. First and foremost it would include ready free access to good drinking water.
  2. A fleet of dumpsters.
  3. Audience massages.
  4. The best of my knowledge.
  5. Mosh pit for infant children, basically a gated area.
  6. A team of security personnel.
  7. My mom driving a forklift on stage, delivering a large boulder.

— Interview by Adam Bradley