Introducing Agnes Manners, The New Solo Project Of Former Hellions Member Matthew Gravolin

Matthew Gravolin (left) and Dream State's Charlotte Gilpin. Matthew Gravolin (left) and Dream State's Charlotte Gilpin.

After moving on from Sydney's experimental-punk outfit Hellions last year, songwriter Matthew Gravolin has recently unveiled his new solo project, Agnes Manners.

With hints of saxophone throughout, 'As Long As You're Mine' is a masterful pop ballad bursting with emotion; it's also the first release from Agnes Manners and features Dream State's Charlotte Gilpin.

"The chorus of 'As Long As You're Mine’ was inspired by and written for Charlotte," Gravolin reflects.

"I built the verses around the feeling that the chorus melody gave me. Her singing during the bridge and final chorus breathes romance into the song's apex."

The single was produced, mixed and mastered by frequent collaborator Shane Edwards (Hans Zimmer, Trophy Eyes) at Karma Sound Studios in Bang Saray in Thailand.

Who is Agnes Manners? Agnes Manners was conceived in late 2018. I wrote a collection of personal songs, set about recording them at Karma Sound Studios in March 2019 and the first single 'As Long As You're Mine' was released last week.

I sound like... Folkish, poppy, indie-esque rock music.

My first gig was... Agnes Manners has yet to play its first show.

When did you settle on the group's name, and was it a unanimous decision? I feel that there's a certain femininity to the sound of this project, especially when compared to my previous musical ventures, so I chose a female nom de plume to accentuate that.

I like the name Agnes because it's phonetically angular and succinct. Manners was the name of a folder I'd designated for musical ideas that were on the softer side – Agnes Manners felt right.

In the studio I usually... Always make sure that the songs are as close to complete as possible before entering the studio to avoid stress. That allows for the recording trip to feel like a sort of vacation (I usually record in Bang Saray, Thailand).

I invariably wind up drinking into the small hours of the morning with whichever artists and engineers are in the studio at the time, most nights. Those nights have made for some of my fondest memories.

If I could tour with anyone... The 1975.

Social media is... Capricious.

My favourite app at the moment is? The Notes app! If that counts. I'm an incorrigible list-maker.

To date, my most embarrassing moment was the time... While under the influence of a blend of chemicals, I began prodding my friend's stomach, thinking that I was typing on a laptop. I went on to follow a different friend around the house, typing on her back as she walked.

Life on the road can be... Soul enriching and emotionally taxing.

If you'll have me on your bill, all I ask is that our rider contains... Jameson.

The most scary scenario I've found myself in, was... While touring with Hellions, we found ourselves embroiled in a brawl that was occurring outside of an Adelaide night club. It was kind of a bonding experience for us though; we were all trying to defend each other.

What celebrity/ famous person would you love to be spokesperson of the band? Keanu Reeves because he might be the kindest person in the world and nice people make for good representatives.

Three people you'd like to invite around for a dinner party? Hideo Kojima, Nic Pizzolatto and Christopher Nolan – they're some of my favourite storytellers. Kojima speaks very little English, but I'd be happy to just bask in his genius aura.

If we were coming over to your place, what would you cook us? I'd put a film on for you and make popcorn because I am a terrible cook.

No matter the expense, send me a case of... Coopers sparkling ale.

The last time I saw the inside of a gym was... 2012, perhaps.

What's the one chore you dislike the most? I don't particularly detest any chore, but I guess mopping kinda sucks.

Do you have any phobias... please explain? Social anxiety. It kicks in arbitrarily, which is frustrating – I stutter and slur my words.

Would you ever partake in a reality show? I think that might feel like a miniature hell for me!

Being followed around by cameras all the time and having no control over how I'm portrayed on television is a terrifying thought – having your words taken out of context or edited, having bumbling, silly music accompany my embarrassing moments.

If you could prank any of your friends, who's your target, and how are you bringing them down? I'm not much of a prankster.



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