By Anthony Spak (@AnthonySpak on Twitter)
“Elaborate” is the new track from Detroit’s Mango Lane, the two-piece project of Austin Carpenter and Jack Engwall. This is the first track to be released from “At Night…”, the band’s upcoming album that is scheduled to be released in November of 2016.
This new song sees Mango Lane progressing as recording artists since their “TV Feelings” release in June of 2016. “Elaborate” is thicker and funkier than their previous tunes, bringing to mind music from Porches, Mild High Club and Frankie Cosmos’ “Young” EP.
Mango Lane will perform on Tuesday, October 18 at El Club in Detroit with SALES and Detroit’s own White Bee. All ages are welcome to attend.
We spoke with Mango Lane about R&B, skateboarding and their new sound. Read our conversation with below:
What’s new boys?
Carpenter: Not much man, just got done moving to Detroit and going to Wayne State. Been doing lots of writing music and skating.
Engwall: Skateboarding, painting.
You mentioned that it’s just you two (Jack and Austin) in the band now. What happened to the other 2 or 3?
Carpenter: Well with me moving and all it’s been near impossible to schedule practice with all the remaining members still living an hour away, so in the meantime I’ve been looking for new musicians in the area to help us perform. But our drummer Ben is actually my roommate so he’s gonna be moving to bass for our next performance on Oct.18 at El Club with SALES.
Engwall: We are always trying new things. We have played a handful of shows as a duo and really enjoyed it. The duo performance will always be an option. We love playing with two and we love playing with a full band.
How will your live show adjust with just two people in the band?
Engwall: We play with a backing track and treat it like we’re cool underground rave DJs.
Are you both still living in Romeo?
Carpenter: I’m currently living in North End Detroit now but Jack is still in the old Ro-town (Romeo).
Your newest release, “TV Feelings” from the past June, is funkier than anything I’ve heard from you guys. Where is this new sound coming from?
Carpenter: Over the spring and summer I discovered a new love for R&B music. I love how rich African American culture is and how incredible their music is, but after our “TV Feelings” release we decided to still keep things fresh. On this next project there’s a lot of new influences but we still like using the dancey vibe. Definitely been using a lot of old school vocal harmonies as well.
Engwall: We are always diggin’ on new stuff, it changes every week. When we were writing “TV Feelings” we were into Keith Sweat and getting down and freaky.
What were you listening to then…and now?
Carpenter: Then; a lot of Hiatus Kaiyote, Michael Jackson, Prince, or really anything on 105.9fm. Now; Beach Boys (“Pet Sounds”), Todd Rundgren, Madonna (“Like a Virgin”), Homeshake, and anything a part of The VADA verse (ex: The Garden, Puzzle, Enjoy).
Engwall: Jeff Grosso, Sabbath, Electric Wizard, The Garden, Steely Dan, Kieran J. Callinan, Chris Cohen, CSN.
“TV Feelings” is on Spotify. What has the response been? Do you use Spotify?
Carpenter: The response hasn’t really been noticeable to be honest, I don’t even have a Spotify account so I haven’t checked to see if we have any monthly listeners or whatever; but I figured the more places we have our stuff on the internet the better I suppose. Our friends kept urging us to put it on Spotify cause I guess a lot of people use it.
Engwall: The response has been about same. We are still a very tiny band.
Both of you are avid skaters. When did you start skating and what do you like about it?
Carpenter: I started when I was about 4 because my older brother gave me his old board, and I lived in California at the time so there was always hella good skate parks to shred at. I like skateboarding because everybody has their own style and there’s something to appreciate about everybody doing their thing on this gnarly wooden toy. I also like how skateboarding kicks your ass and keeps you in line (laughs).
Engwall: My Dad skates so I started doing it. It makes me happy when I do it.
Any good bowls to shred in Detroit?
Carpenter: Surprisingly there’s a lot of great places to skate in the D. Everyone talks about The Wig being cool but that place sucks. Riley Skate Park in Farmington Hills has a beautiful set of concrete bowls, and Sculpture Park in Hamtramck has some decent transition too; but the real deal is in Ann Arbor because it’s fresh and they have a gorgeous snake run with a sexy Clover bowl and an 11-foot Amoeba bowl.
Engwall: Austin just named them all. I just have to commend you for asking such a solid question.
Who is your favorite skater from the “Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater” series?
Carpenter: To be honest man I don’t remember any of the characters, but I’m assuming Andrew Reynolds was on it and he’s the man!
Engwall: Rune Glifberg.
You both have been playing together in different bands for more than four years. Why are your bands always changing? Why do you both always stay together?
Carpenter: Well over the past 6 or so years we we’re working with other members who weren’t always on the same page, but me and Jack run on practically the same brain wave so we’ve always stuck together playing music. We’re done changing band names at this point because we realized nobody can keep up, so for this project we’re keeping the name but if we decide to reinvent ourselves we’re just gonna be a group that has a variety of eclectic genres I suppose.
Engwall: Austin summed it up right, we’ve always worked well together. And Mango Lane is the first thing that is just the two of us. It’s been the most natural and honest thing we’ve done.
Any upcoming shows/plans for new music?
Carpenter: Yeah our next show is at El Club Oct.18th with White Bee and SALES! And we’re in the process of recording a new compilation of songs which is gonna be fresh and new.