Bringin’ it Backwards: Interview with Man on Man


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We had the pleasure of interviewing Man on Man over Zoom video! 

Roddy Bottum (Faith No More, Imperial Teen, Nastie Band, CRICKETS) and his boyfriend Joey Holman (Holman, Cool Hand Luke) built a record in quarantine around the celebration of gay love. MAN ON MAN stare down homophobia, ageism, and xenophobia and bite back with a display of queer tenderness and triumph.

What started as an outlet for expression at the onset of COVID-19, MAN ON MAN quickly realized, after the release of their first single and video for their song Daddy, they were doing more than making songs in quarantine – they were speaking for people who didn’t feel like they had a place in the queer scene. MAN ON MAN are an invitation for true expression and representation.

By design, the music is as heavy as it is soft. Bottum and Holman’s fondness for fuzzy guitars and punchy synths matches the same velocity as their appetite for acoustic guitars and upright pianos. The vocals reach gospel heights while allowing space for rawness, loudness, and vulnerability.

The instrument lineup was forced simplicity: two guitars, the upright piano that Bottum grew up playing, a keyboard, and a microphone. MAN ON MAN prove you can do a lot with very little, only getting help with a couple of bass tracks remotely from their friend Joey Howard (Paramore, Hayley Williams) and recording their music videos on an iPhone.

Their new release, Baby, You’re My Everything, is a queer hymn of devotion, underscoring the very best parts of being with a lover in quarantine. The track was amongst the first songs written as a duo, and it serves a soft landing thrown from the whirring chaos of a new life sheltering in place. The video is a wander into the baptism of rainbowed fellowship.

MAN ON MAN remove the gatekeepers of straight and LGBTQIA+ establishments and create music and visuals that celebrate broadening the identity of DIY scrappiness.

“The quarantine and the isolation of the new world isn’t a time for sitting still. As a pushback to the virus it’s our job to create and to force ourselves to push boundaries. MAN ON MAN has been an exercise in liberating the queer voices in ourselves and expressing the notions of love, loneliness and the things we hold close,” Bottum says.

“The project of MAN ON MAN is creating space for people who don’t live within platitudes and monoliths – everyone is actually welcome to express themselves how they want. As artists, we have varied interest, and the part of our project I’m most excited about is how every song is its own entity, leaving room for a wide range of emotions.” Holman says.

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