Since putting out their powerfully vivid debut album, the Broken Needles have relocated from Townsville to Melbourne and have put out record number two! Tomatrax caught up with Mick Galloway
Where did the name the Broken Needles come from?
We had a show booked back in the day and needed a name to bill the band as. My turntable had a broken stylus at the time so it just popped into my head. There wasn’t much thought put into it (when you’re 21 years old you don’t really put much thought into anything), but then there’s that visceral connotation and other ways to read it if you like, so it can mean whatever you want.
What made you move from Townsville to Melbourne?
There was a lack of live music venues and only a couple of other bands up there, so it made playing music pretty difficult. DIY shows are fun as hell but I guess you reach a point where it’s nice to have a proper PA and stage to play on.
How does making music in Melbourne compare to Townsville?
Making music is a lot harder down here but actually playing it to people is easier because there are music venues in Melbourne, so you don’t have to do everything the DIY way. Touring is a lot easier as well.
The downside though is it would cost us a fortune to have our own recording and rehearsal space in Melbourne but those kinds of things are much easier to acquire in a place like Townsville where space and real estate are not at such a premium. Life in Melbourne can be very insular and microcosmic in terms of the music scene too, and the creative process doesn’t benefit from that either, at least not for me. So there are pros and cons.
Your second album feels like a sequel to your debut, was this the intention?
I guess it’s a refinement of what we were doing on the first record in part but it pushes into new territory for us sonically as well as thematically, and with our next record you’ll see that transmogrification fully realised when we shift away from that sound entirely.
Where did the name Holy Coast come from?
I was spending lots of time in the desert in central Queensland when I was writing the record in 2013 so when you don’t see the ocean every day you realise how much you take it for granted I guess.
There are some dark themes explored across Holy Coast, where do you get the inspiration for the lyrics?
The seascapes of North Queensland and Tasmania were a potent stimulus for a good chunk of the record, at least as a starting point. Rimbaud was pretty big influence here as well, especially on the more symbolic and abstract stuff – which was a direction I didn’t go in on the first record. The lyrics were much more direct the first time around. Songs like Headstream are descendants of Walt Whitman and Dylan Thomas and that sort of exploding, celebratory prose.
Who is on the cover of Holy Coast?
I couldn’t tell you who, but the painting is by a talented Melbourne-based artist by the name of Jordan Grant.
Are any video clips planned for Holy Coast?
We have a couple of live in-studio performance videos in post-production at the moment that will be out shortly. We recorded them at The Rec Room studio in Townsville while we were on tour last month. It’ll be something different that we haven’t done before.
You received a lot of critical acclaim for your debut release, did that make you feel any pressure when putting Holy Coast together?
I’ve always been of the belief that if you pay attention to critical acclaim you’ll just get stuck chasing your tail, so it really wasn’t an issue.
Do you ever listen to your own music?
You get to hear it enough at rehearsal, shows, during recording, mixing, mastering, reviewing test pressings etc. for several lifetimes.
What music do you listen to?
Swans. Van Morrison. Einsturzende Neubauten. Kendrick Lamar. That kind of stuff. Listening to lots of noise music and hip hop at the moment and I think you’ll see that bear out on our next record sonically.
Now that the album is out what do you plan on doing next?
We have a couple of shows coming up in August and then we’ll be shutting it down to work on the next record from September onwards.
Check out the Broken Needles website to find out more!