New Zealand’s hit alternative rock band The Naked and Famous is touring the world with their Telefunken M81 dynamic microphones. Following their performance at the Coachella Festival in April, the band tours Australia before returning to the States in May and June.
“We discovered the Telefunken M81 while rehearsing at Bedrock Studios in LA,” recalled Aaron Short, who plays keyboards in the band. “The big challenge on stage is getting the right rejection from the mic. We’re very loud onstage and the vocals can be very dynamic and then suddenly quiet. We needed to find one microphone that could be sensitive and clear, but at the same time still have very strong feedback rejection.”
The Naked and Famous formed in 2008 when Thom Powers and Alisa Xayalith recorded two EPs “This Machine” and “No Light” with Aaron Short, a fellow student at Auckland’s MAINZ music college, sharing engineering duties with Thom. The band took their name from a line in the English artist Tricky’s song “Tricky Kid,” “everybody wants to be naked and famous,” that questions the notion of celebrity.
The band settled in Los Angeles after completing the tour for their first full length album “Passive Me, Aggressive You” which featured the US Gold selling single “Young Blood”. They had performed over 200 shows in 24 countries between 2010 and 2012. Sharing a home in LA’s Laurel Canyon, they began work in earnest on writing and demoing their second album. Their intention was to record an album that could be played live, not relying on backing tracks.
“When we got the Telefunken mics we A-B’d them with our touring mics and there was just an elemental difference,” explained Aaron Short. “The top end especially opened up, almost like a condenser microphone. After rehearsing a bit we realized they really made a big difference with live vocals. We also used a Telefunken M80 dynamic on the snare drum for the album we recorded in LA with Billy Bush at Sunset Sound.”