Man Like Me are a bit like your fun-loving, cool but gifted next door neighbours who gets to hang out late at night, attend some of the hottest parties and then make humorous rhymes about it all. The duo mainly consisting of Johnny Langer and Peter Duffy are instantly recognised for their unique blend of pop, rap, techno-grooves, eccentric costumes and high-octane energy. At the same time they also underline issues such as the UK’s ever-changing musical style in their recent single, ‘London Town’. Ahead of the release of their new single ‘Peculiar’, we caught up with Peter Duffy, one half of Man Like Me for a chat to find out more about the band.
First things first, many people have failed to describe your musical sound and have even compared you to the likes of (The Specials and The Funk Brothers). Have you got much in common with them or are you still indescribable?
I suppose we are similar to The Specials, although it wasn’t a conscious decision to sound anything like them but at the end of the day, we are really happy to be hailed in the same light as them.
If M.A.N.L.I.K.E.M.E was an acronym what would each letter stand for?
M – Men
A – Acting
N – Nervously
L – Live
I – In
K – Knowledge
E – Everything
M – Must
E – End
You’re about to release your new single ‘Peculiar’. And it’s fair to say that’s it nothing like the current music that’s around, but tell us what exactly is it about?
It’s pretty much about the past and present on how much things have changed from our younger days, for example, we were talking about E17 and N-Dubz, but at the same time we’re also appreciating N-Dubz the same way how we appreciate E17 from back in the days.
The video to ‘Peculiar’ looks really fun with some strange items floating around along with you and Johnny sporting some pretty eye-catching suits. What was the inspiration behind it?
It’s all credit to Jamie Brown and Anna Lomax, who a short time ago did the art direction for our ‘Love Struck’ video. We trusted them both again with the direction for Peculiar, knowing that they would come up with something completely unusual, and they nailed it in a way how we could never have imagined.
So let’s go back a bit because you first met Jonny, who co-founded the group with you while at school. How would you describe your working relationship on and off stage?
We were kind of inseparable while at school sharing our walkmans and earphones together. But through seeing a lot of each other touring and making music together it doesn’t mean that it is good to have time apart… [Laughs]… Johnny is the first person I call when I’m going out, for instance, just because we spend so much time with each other and sometimes we do argue about petty stuff like the other day we were bickering at each other while we were playing a gig in Los Angeles. We were up on stage setting up and Johnny accidentally pulled one of the plugs out of my sampler, and I sort of lost the plot, and we were almost facing off with each other … [Laughs] … But obviously, we love each other and with the amount of time we spend together it puts a strain on any friendship.
You’ve got a song called ‘Oh My Gosh,’ out of interest what was the last thing that had you saying OMG?
During a gig at the Big Chill Johnny got a bit carried away on the old dance routines and punched me in the face causing my sunglasses to implode into my eye. I ran off stage mid set looking for a bandage to quell the bloodshed and all I could find was my vintage silk Hermes scarf with which I fashioned a medical bandana. I ran back on stage to a hero’s welcome and felt like a G. Johnny announcing he was to become a father at 21 was pretty “oh my gosh” too.
What can we expect from your upcoming album which will be released sometime next year?
We’ve now got the tracklist fully done for the album but individually all the songs still needs a bit of work. We’re also really happy with how it sounds, but I can’t really tell if it’s going to be different from our previous album, but I think it will be different to an extent but I’m not sure if our sound will change or not as we’ve just carried on making music.
Any artists that you would like to work with?
We’ve haven’t actually asked him yet, but we would really like to make a tune with Mc Det, who’s an old skool jungle Mc. He used to have this chat that he used to do, and I remember us writing a song thinking of a chorus while we were in the studio, and suddenly I found myself doing one of his mc’ing chats over it as a joke. At the moment, we are still trying to draft up an email on how to approach our childhood hero.
Man Like Me’s new single ‘Peculiar’ is out now. For further info on their music check out www.manlikeme.net