Q&A: Up Close With Mackintosh Braun

Portland’s Mackintosh Braun have been making exceptionally steller synthrock since 2007. The worst part? I just found out. The good part? A new catalog to dive into. The duo, consisting of Ian Mackintosh and Ben Braun, are getting ready to release their third studio album, Arcadia, in the coming months. Below you’ll find a fun Q&A with the band and a taste of the ridiculously perfect single, “We Ran Faster Then.”

Introduce yourselves to the world! Any tidbits you want to share about yourselves?

– Ian: Hello world! we’re a band from beautiful Portland, OR, we have our new album Arcadia out very soon, and we’re excited for you all to hear it!

Give us some insight into your band name.

– Ben: The name sometimes confuses people but it’s actually pretty simple. Ian Mackintosh and Ben Braun = Mackintosh Braun. We thought about different names but that one seemed to fit and eventually stuck.

I’ve always been intrigued with the idea of Portland. What’s the music scene like over there?

– Ian: The music scene is vast in Portland, bands are trying all sorts of stuff here so it’s nice to be involved.

Ben: Yeah, we love Portland as a city but also because it helps inspire our music and brings a special quality out in it.

You both started writing and recording the day you met. Tell us what the dynamic between the both of you was like at that time.

– Ben: Oh man, it was pretty crazy. We met and went down into Ian’s basement studio at the time and he started playing me a few things. We just started shooting ideas back and forth freely, as if we’d been writing forever. It was a fluid process and the music that came from that initial year of writing was something very organic in my opinion.

Ian: It seemed to me like we’d always been best friends, It just came naturally and we both knew right away that we had a similar view for where we wanted to take our music. It just clicked.

Arcadia is your third studio release, and not gonna lie, I’m kicking myself for not discovering you guys sooner. How has the band as a whole evolved from your first release in 2007?

– Ben: We’ve always tried to write what we like and hope that other people gravitate towards it, we’ve always done that, and I think with growth comes change and we’ve tried to evolve musically along the way.

And finally, because we’re nosy, what are your top five tracks at the moment?

– Ian:

Breakbot – “Baby I’m Yours”

Simon & Garfunkel – “Me and Julio Down By the Schoolyard”

Tame Impala – “I’m a Man”

Panda Bear – “Mr. Noah”

Neon Indian – “Polish Girl”


Mew – “Satelites”

Roosevelt – “Night Moves”

Ratatat – “Cream on Chrome”

Chromatics – “I Can Never Be Myself When You’re Around”

TV on the Radio – “Careful You”