AF: Can you talk me through your triple J Unearthed Competition in 2009?
ANGUS: It was an amazing experience, playing on the big stage like that with a huge crowd. We had these guys side of stage dancing while we were playing, who turned out to be Tame Impala.
AF: No way!
Yeah I had shared a cigarette with one of them after our set and only realized who they were as they went up to play.
AF: What’s been your favourite gig since?
ANGUS: We’ve played a lot of interesting shows. We played Groovin The Moo again in 2012, I think because maybe it had been in Bendigo a few more years by that point the crowd was unbelievable. I went out on stage, we were the second band on that day and there were roughly 500 – 1000 people there to watch us, which none of us were used to. We’ve also played a few smaller festivals like Paradise and Inca Roads that are starting to pop up everywhere.
AF: How do you feel about these small festivals in comparison to the big traditional festivals like Big Day Out for example?
ANGUS: We’ve had nothing but positive experiences, the smaller festivals seem to have a friendlier atmosphere.
AF: So you’re in the middle of making a new album. Can you run me through how it will differ from your debut, ‘Habitual Slack’?
ANGUS: I guess it’ll be subjective to everyone but for us it feels much more like a complete album, ‘Habitual Slack’ was more a collection of songs that we had created over a few years. Our upcoming release features songs written relatively around the same time. We’ve evolved from a 2 piece to a 5 piece band, so I feel that growth is evident in the difference between Habitual Slack and the upcoming record.
AF: The style of music?
ANGUS: Yeah, I guess. We’ve taken our time writing it, demoing it, and recording it. In terms of style the difference mostly stems towards more of a Western sound. The soundtracks to a lot of old westerns I love have this vast emptiness and at times very full, melancholic sound. Which is something I’ve always been drawn to.
AF: How did you come across that Spaghetti Western soundtrack style? What kinds of artists influence you?
ANGUS: Everyone in the band has different influences from each other so I guess all that combined contributes to our sound. My uncle used to play in a blues band so I grew up listening to blues, soul and R&B. I guess eventually I was introduced to Ennio Morricone, Neil Young and early 80s REM. Which have all influenced the way I approach music.
AF: How do you find new music?
ANGUS: I tend to bump into new music by accident. I’ll find a new band and it’ll become evident to me that I should’ve known them for a while. I’ve been listening to WAVVES, which lead me to Jay Retard purely by accident…I spend a lot time on Wikipedia.
AF: What would be some of your favourite local talent at the moment?
ANGUS: Some of my favourites include I’lls, No Zu who we performed with at Paradise. 8 Bit Love, Sinking Teeth, Heads of Charm and High Tension, which include two members of an old band I used to love, Young and Restless.
AF: I don’t know if you’ve heard about the controversy surrounding the triple J sound?
ANGUS: Yeah, I have. There seems to be a lot of articles talking about it and I guess I can understand that maybe some bands feel the only way to receive support is to cater their music to a particular station. The song that got us Unearthed was recorded with a microphone duck taped to the ceiling of our parents living room because that’s all we had. We were lucky enough that the host of Home & Hosed at the time Caz Tran didn’t seem to mind the shitty quality of the recording. With respect to getting played on the radio there are a lot of options such as community radio stations like PBS, RRR and FBi who also provide a lot of support to unsigned acts.
Hometown: Melbourne, Australia.
Upcoming gigs: Fri 4/4 @ The Reverence Hotel w/ Hug Therapist. Sun 13/4 @ Cherry Bar w/ Maids (NSW). Sat 19/4 @ Lawsfest.
Sounds like: Pixies and Modest Mouse.
Say what? “If we’re in the same car on the way to a show, and we’ll play a selected playlist of Toto songs and my brother will usually hang out the window and sing and dance to strangers on the street. So that’s kind of our warm up.”
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