Artists Interviews

Long distance love, shouting out your friends and Fortnite; an interview with Dear Sunday’s Mason Ngyuen

If Western Australian duo Dear Sunday somehow haven’t caught your attention yet, they’re most certainly about to, with their latest single Postcode Lover weaving creative lyricism and melodic soundscapes with surf rock threads.

Bursting onto the scene just a few short years ago in 2020, the band’s newest track Postcode Lover is infectiously relatable, paying homage to friendships, home, love and the inevitable complexities that long distance can bring. In celebration of the new track, Marx Music sat down with one of the band’s founding members Mason Ngyuen to discuss its creation, big dreams and Fortnite as the ultimate collaboration playground. 

Marx Music (MM): Congratulations on the release of Postcode Lover! It’s been out for about a month now, how's the reception been?

Mason Ngyuen: Yeah, it's been so good and we recently signed with Tone City, which was great, having a sort of backing team and people that are helping you out with the release along the way.

MM: For sure and Postcode Lover, it’s a real homage to your friends, it's an incredibly catchy and exciting new release from you guys. Walk me through how it came to life?

Mason: This one was pretty funny. At my last house, a share house, my room was big enough to set up a little studio in it. Ben used to live around the corner and he would come over heaps, but it was also one of those houses where people were always welcome to come and stop by, so we'd always have random people sitting in with us while we're writing music.

One of my friends was hanging out and at the time, he was in a long distance relationship and in a position where there was a sort of comfort factor that they had, in that they didn't really need to commit more because there was this big barrier in the way, but also it's nice to have that comfort of having someone there while you're going through your day to day stuff, even though they're not fully there the whole time. So we were just spitballing ideas and we ended up writing a song around it.

MM: It's an awesome track and you’ve got such a clever verse where you shout out your pals.  You do a really good job of making the mentions stand out enough when intertwining those bands or song titles. 

Mason: We didn't have all the verses written before we went into the studio, so that verse where we mention all our friends’ bands, we're messing around with the idea as a joke, but then it just started really flowing. 

Then within like a 20 minute space, we wrote that verse with all our friends’ bands and song names which was really cool. 

We have a group chat on Facebook and we will play games together online, maybe it's pretty cringe but we play lots of Fortnite.

MM: I love that. Iis there one of that’s actually really good and everyone else is there for a good time? I get amongst God of War for the storyline but don’t know much of Fortnite. 

Mason: Definitely me*


*It’s important to note here that Mason is probably one of the most humble people and is absolutely having a laugh

**also that I know nothing about gaming


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MM: The way that Postcode Lover was written, beginning with being about someone in a long distance relationship, but then turning into a real tribute to your friends, how do those themes work into each other? Is it also about being on the road when you're touring and missing home, missing your friends?

Mason: I think it's sort of like, especially this year because we are on the road a lot more and it's hard to explain, but when you're away, you want to be home with everyone and then when you're home with everyone, you also sort of want to get away. So there's that sense of comfort, when if you're not with someone, you want to be with them, but also in the reverse, you love being out there as well. So it's more about just sort of about what you don't have at the time.

MM: This track fits nicely in the surf rock genre, how do you go about creating a song within that genre that really stands out? Postcode Lover has certainly got that extra sort of flavour in there. So when you are creating something within that sort of soundscape, how do you make sure that it stands out from the expected?

Mason: I don't know, with Ben and I we don't usually have too big of an idea, sonically, what we want it to sound like so we’re very open with what the results can turn out to be. Plus, we don't listen to one genre of music, so we don't really like recording one genre of music. It's just how you're feeling at the time. 

MM: Well, it came together so well and everyone’s obviously loving it based on your recent shows.

Mason: We sort of never started the band with that intention to do that stuff, but now that it is a possibility, it's awesome to be doing it.

It’s pretty surreal, especially going over East, and being from WA, going to a venue and there are people who have set aside their night, paid money to buy a ticket and convinced all their friends to come see you. It’s a wild concept to me, like you feel like a phoney, like, what are you doing here?

MM: Well you guys should be so proud of yourself, to kind of burst onto the scene in what’s only been a short few years and to already be cultivating that audience. It’s not something that's a fluke, you’ve put in the hard work. 

If you start thinking about the future, do you have a dream festival or a dream venue? What will be the moment you feel like will be the ‘pinch-me moment’?

Mason: For sure! When we started jamming and just like messing around, Ben's very visual and I guess when he rehearses, he pictures a space that he's playing to and he would always just yell out like “Splendor in the Grass”. So that's definitely one. 

We had like a little whiteboard when we first started out that we wrote some goals on. One of them was to hit 100k streams, which somehow managed to go over, which is crazy. 

Another one is we really want to play at a festival with the big screens on the side, it doesn't matter which one, we just want to be able to run around on stage.

MM: I'm just thinking now, I feel like you need to screen record you guys playing Fortnite and that can be your music video for the screens. 

Mason: Yeah exactly! Like nowadays when people make content, there's always a little video of Subway Surfers, or some kid jumping on blocks on Minecraft. With our music videos maybe now half the screen will be the music video and the second half us, just to keep everyone entertained. 

MM: Heard it here first, it’s got to be your next music video. Last thoughts on Postcode Lover, for your new listeners, what do you want them to hear or take from this track?

Mason: I like when people build their own stories around lyrics.

It's sometimes funny hearing what people think, or how songs create a nice story in someone else's mind.

MM: What's the best or funniest thing that someone's told you they've come up with?

Mason: Ah, I've had people come up and say “I really liked this line in this song” and they’ll say a line that’s not even what we sing. For example, in a song called Lonely, which is about addiction, we wrote a line, “I'm in love with the poison, the poisons love” and I had someone say to me, saying, “I really liked that line was like, ‘I'm in love with the boys, the boys is love’”. He got it wrong but was talking about having big love homies.

It makes me laugh, because it's kind of like English class where you have to analyse a book so much and create this meaning out of it. The author could have just been describing the sky, but all of a sudden, because of the words they might use, you're coming up with crazy meanings.

I like that every song has that sort of possibility and it can mean something to someone different. There’s definitely an underlying meaning behind all of our songs. But most of the time, you're just looking for words that sound good in a sentence as well and then just whatever meaning comes from it you’re like, oh, I guess that's what the song is about now. 

MM: I think that that's the most honest answer I’ve ever heard. Like, you don't have to go for absolute heartfelt poetry, you're just like, yeah, this sounds really good.

Mason: Yeah, sometimes we just liked the line, and then all of a sudden, the whole songs about that line, because this is an idea that popped up and then you try a lot from that. You could have been with a different person, they could have suggested another line, then all of a sudden, you could be writing about something else which is cool as well. That's like what makes it interesting.

Marx Music: Yeah, like for me when I listened to it, it seems like a very heartful song and it like it gives me that excitement of when you go home and you see your friends and all those sorts of elements and I think it's a very it's a real feel good song rather than kind of leaning into the missing out, or sad way. 

Mason: Yeah for some reason, it became a real, happy sounding song. We've written and recorded five songs, ready to go, so we're just trying to charge out and go through now. So you're definitely gonna be seeing a lot more from us. We will try and get over Easter back and forth as much as we can.

Marx Music: Brisbane please!

Mason: Yes. 100%

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