He’s successfully earned himself a reputation as a ‘one-man party machine’ but there’s more to Muscles than you think. Returning in 2012 with a self-described “mature” and “darker” sophomore record, Muscles admits he’s done quite a bit of growing up since his debut album Guns Babes Lemonade, as he tells 100%.
“I’ve been known as that guy who just brings the one-man party,” Chris Copulos, aka Muscles, admits. “But I’ve also always been the guy that’s really planned out his life and is always thinking five years ahead. That’s the other side of me. I’m always thinking, ‘What will I do?’ and ‘How am I gonna get there?’. But lately I’ve realised a pretty important lesson – everything in life doesn’t turn out to be how you plan it to be, it usually ends up being way more exciting and crazy and chaotic. So there’s been some lessons learned in the last few years and on this album [Manhood] I feel like there is very much a strong narrative story being told from the first track to the last.”
Copulos claims on his aptly-titled second album Manhood he’s shedding his past and moving towards a whole new sound in the process. “It’s more sophisticated, darker disco, but at the same time I’m trying to still retain my own style and personality,” he explains. “Some of the songs are even slower ballads but mostly it’s just weird leftfield futuristic music. I just can’t stand conforming to what’s popular or what’s gonna sell lots of records. I’ve come to a point where I completely trust in myself to rely on the hunger inside of me to create these songs. A lot of it has come from the time I’ve spent in the last few years just travelling overseas and meeting all sort of strange and wonderful people. There are definitely some stories in there.”
According to the man himself, one of the most exciting things about making Manhood was taking a different approach with regards to creation. “That was something different for me, for sure,” he says. “I decided I would do it like a rock band would do it – so you go into a studio for a couple of months, you try to write at least about 20 tracks and then you trim it down to 12 for the album.
“It’s probably a bit bizarre the way that I approach songwriting. In the back of my head, I try and make each part of the song from a different decade. So, for example, I’ll be going for a bassline from the ‘70s, like maybe disco or something, then the vocals might have a ‘90s tinge, and the synths might be more ‘60s experimental or maybe I’ll add in an ‘80s drum sound. I think that’s what makes each track so unique. I engineered, wrote, recorded, edited and mixed the whole album myself – I didn’t collaborate with anyone else – it was just directly from my brain and into my mouth or into my fingers and onto a CD.”
Copulos also promises that his third record will take nowhere near as long as Manhood did. “I’ve been so excited about this album coming out because it’s been almost five years!” he enthuses. “I actually couldn’t even sleep last night; I was up ‘til four am both excited and apprehensive about the album coming out but then I woke up in the morning with a good feeling. It’s all been really full on so far – I even locked myself out of my house by accident earlier. The third album is definitely not going to be a five year wait. I have other plans at the moment though – I think I will do an acoustic album as a bit of a buffer in between, which is something different for me again, so I’m looking forward to seeing what people think of that.”
Manhood is out now through Modular. MUSCLES plays the sold-out Splendour In The Grass at Belongil Fields, Byron Bay, which takes place from Friday July 27 and Sunday July 29.