Ryan Kattner of Man Man: "I Keep Inching My Way to What I think is the Perfect Pop Song."
Also known by his stage name, Honus Honus, Ryan Kattner has been leading the odd band Man Man for a decade. Speaking from his home in Philadelphia and in anticipation of tonight's show at Dada, Kattner was equal parts affable and quick-witted. On the heels of Man, Man's find new album, On Oni Pond, Kattner talked with DC9 about writing his own press releases and trying to never repeat himself.
Why do so many critics compare Man Man to the Talking Heads?
I don't mind the Talking Heads comparisons. I actually haven't heard them all that often.
What about always being referred to as experimental?
Yeah, I get that, too. Did someone once call us Talking Heads light? That's interesting. We usually get references to (Captain) Beefheart. On our first record, I wrote the press release and said we sounded like Iggy Pop. I was curious to see if anyone would actually buy our record based on the press release. When we went on tour, people were writing that we were channeling the sound of 70's Detroit. That was pretty funny.
Do you still write your own press releases?
No, I just did it for the first record because I was curious. I mean we don't sound anything like Iggy Pop.
It is nice having a sound that is hard to describe?
Yes, I think that is great because we aren't trying to sound like anyone but ourselves.
Where did you come up with the alias Honus Honus?
Because Humbert Humbert seemed kind of inappropriate.
How is the Philadelphia music scene these days? The classic image is of soul music.
I think we fit into the soul music category. I think the cool thing about our scene is everyone is doing their own thing. There's not really a sound to the city, especially for a experimental, Talking Heads kind of band. That kind of goes along with the Philly attitude. The Philly attitude is that I am going to do my own thing and if you don't like it, get the fuck out of my face.
Are you a big Eagles fan?
It might be sacrilegious, but I'm not.
What about the Phillies?
Yes, I am a Phillies fan. I am a fan of the Flyers and the 76ers. I don't dislike the Eagles. The flip side of that is that I am not a fan of any other NFL team. I like football, but I feel like it would be disrespectful to the Eagles if I liked another team.
Your most recent press release claims that you guys are fearlessly unique. In that respect, you remind me of Pere Ubu.
I think any comparisons may be in terms of a sensibility rather than a sound. I can appreciate that because a band like the Talking Heads did their own thing and established their own sound. Just because anyone can sing like David Byrne doesn't mean you have the same kind of drive.