Austin, Texas-based math rock/garage rock outfit Megafauna unveils their single, “Sunday Saturday,” a track lifted from their upcoming album, Olympico, slated to drop on April 28.
Talking about “Sunday Saturday,” guitarist/vocalist Dani Neff shares, “It’s a math rock love song. The song’s about wanting to escape society and normal reality with the person you’re in love with, and hoping they can help you feel whole. “Take shape. Break up the Frame… Shake out the dark inside of me.” I was drawn to simple lyrics to balance out the odd-metered riffs and structure.”
She continues, “It took forever to figure out the song structure! I wrote that main guitar part in 5/4 during the pandemic. After trying it several different ways, we eventually recorded our rehearsals, then pieced together various versions in GarageBand and chose our favorite.”
Made up of Dani Neff (guitar, vocals), Zack Humphrey (drums), Will Krause (bass), and Winston Barrett (guitar, keyboards), Megafauna’s sound merges elements of prog-rock, avant-indie, grunge, garage rock, shoegaze, stoner rock, sludge, and alt-rock. Although heavy in scope, it’s a sound at once melodic and elegantly visceral.
The title of the forthcoming album, Olympico, was borrowed from a character in Claire Lispector’s novella, The Hour of the Star. Thematically, the album conveys the concept of women grappling with the patriarchy.
“Sunday Saturday” opens on thick, murky guitars giving the song dirty, dissonant textures, exposing the turmoil at the core. Mangled and rumbling, the rhythm infuses the tune with a torrid cadence as Neff’s Siren-like vocals imbue the lyrics with bewitching pressure, urgent with spinetingling, haunting nuances.
Guitar Girl Magazine spoke with Dani Neff and Will Krause of Megafauna to discover how they got started in music, which amps, guitars, and pedals they use, and how Megafauna keeps their sound uniform.
Where and when did the band first get together?
Austin, TX 2008. I found Will Krause on Craigslist. The rest is history!
How did you get started in music? What’s the backstory there?
Dani: I played violin in symphony then switched to guitar because I preferred plucking to using the bow. Started taking guitar lessons with my dad when I turned 10.
Will: Public school symphony baby.
Where are you from?
Dani: Westport, CT.
Will: Olivia, TX.
Did your hometown impact your sound?
Dani: Yep! Driving around with my friends listening to grunge and going to shows underage around CT and NYC.
Will: Yeah, there were oldies, Motown, Tejano, rap, metal, and country. I liked all of it in different ways so it definitely all influences my sound.
Which amps, guitars, and pedals are you currently using?
Dani: Lone Star Special Stratocaster, Magnatone Varsity Reverb Amp. For pedals I use an MXR Carbon Copy Delay pedal, Ibanez Tube Screamer, Enormous Door Overdrive, and the Little Big Muff.
Will: Fender Bassman and Fender Jazz bass, Big muff, Ibanez Tube Scream, Empress Compression, Big Muck Jam Fuzz, and a Sansamp GT2 distortion, with a little bit of reverb. I also use Aguilar cabinets and modulation effects (octave/envelope filter).
Are there any recording techniques you like to use in the studio?
Dani: Doubling guitars and vocals!
Will: I find simpler bass lines with a pick usually sound better in the studio. I like to re-track the bass last if we aren’t using the live take. Also, we spend a lot of time researching what studio and engineer to work with before tracking.
How do you keep your sound consistent on stage?
Will and Dani: We memorize our settings on everything (guitars, amps, pedals) and know what sounds good from playing all the time. Hot tip: put tape on your pedals with your settings.
Which artists in your opinion are killing it right now?
Will: Magic City Hippies are awesome.
Dani: King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, Big Thief, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Bright Light Social Hour, Choses Sauvages, Forever House, Opposite Day, and Transit Method.
What’s your definition of success?
Dani: Making music that we’re excited about and that moves people.
Will: Having a choice to do what you want and being happy with the result.
What can your fans expect over the next six months?
Will and Dani: New album, ‘Olympico,’ dropping April 28. A couple of new videos before then. Working on other new music for our next record. Lots of shows, festival dates, yeah all that.