Mandy, Indiana discuss the inspirations behind their great debut album

Manchester group Mandy, Indiana have just released their debut album, I've seen a way, and it's a thrilling listen, atmospheric, blisterning, unsettling and danceable (sometimes all at once). Read our review here and listen to the whole thing below.

We talked to guitarist and producer Scott Fair who told us about some of the inspirations behind Mandy, Indiana's debut which include movies and their soundtracks, caves, John Cage and Glenn Branca, and more. It's an entertaining read and you can do that below.


Dear Esther caves
I used a lot of visual stimulation to write. I wasn’t writing whilst watching things, but I would get ideas from watching YouTube videos, movies, games etc. The idea to record in a cave came from the cave exploration in the video game ‘Dear Esther.’ It’s very eerie, but there’s something oddly comforting about the way it presents eeriness.

The Backrooms
The Backrooms quickly became an obsession for me once I started reading about it. I watched all of the videos by Kane Pixels and various other Blender creators. The artwork for the record was influenced by this. The feelings of nostalgia and also dread that The Backrooms seem to conjure felt like a perfect match for our music.

‘Hex’ Alton Towers ride
I watched a lot of random YouTube videos whilst writing the album. One thing I became obsessed with was roller coaster POV videos. That got me thinking about an experience I had when I was a kid. It was a ride called ‘Hex’ at Alton Towers theme park. I remember being pretty terrified and overwhelmed by it, especially as the music was really intense and loud. There’s a lot of that kind of, experiencing overwhelming things as an innocent, we’ve tried to capture on the record.

Brick OST by Nathan Johnson
It’s one of my favourite films and the soundtrack is so atmospheric and evocative. Nathan Johnson made instruments specifically for the score so it has this completely unique identity. It’s so minimal and haunting.

Perfect Blue film and OST
Genuinely creepy and disturbing. The soundtrack has some really interesting textures that influenced my approach to guitar textures on the record, particularly on the track ‘2 Stripe’.

A devastating movie with a powerhouse performance from Toni Collette. The extremes of human emotions are explored throughout our album and this film felt like a perfect reference point, particularly the scene where Toni Collette’s character is grieving the loss of her daughter.

Bo Burnham - Inside
Bo Burnham’s ‘Inside’ was hugely inspiring to me during lockdown. It gave me a lot of energy and inspiration to accomplish the album. What he achieved is nothing short of amazing and gave me courage to hone my skills as a writer and producer.

Too many to mention, but just love the aesthetic of these shows in particular Neon Genesis Evangelion, Samurai Champloo, Death Note, Cowboy Bebop. There’s a lot of patience within these shows, sometimes the camera lingers on a single frame for a very long time and it lets you just live in that moment. We’re fascinated by minimalism and repetition in music too and that informs a lot of the writing.

John Cage interview about Glenn Branca
Another YouTube find, a video called ‘John Cage Talks About Glenn Branca for 18 Minutes’. It’s a fascinating and hilarious conversation about a performance that Cage saw the night before. Listening to him describe Branca’s performance is so entertaining. We used a clip of Cage saying “If the circuits don’t work the music collapses” at the start of our track Pinking Shears. It’s actually very true of our own music, but I love that.

This is somewhat connected to the theme park rides thing. I’ve had this weird phobia of the mechanical shark from the Jaws ride in Florida since I was a kid. I remember watching a video that my grandparents had of it and thinking about the fact that it’s half shark/half machine. There’s something scarier about being in the water with something like that than being with an actual shark. Anyway, there’s lots of water themes on the album and it turns out Submechanophobia is a real thing, thanks again YouTube.