Top Blokes #1 Singer/Neil Younger Chris and #2 Drummer/cyclonic force Tom lived together in Toowong. They started jamming about with a mutual mate. Despite only having met Chris twice before I was somehow invited along to be the token irresponsible guitarist. For some reason that worked out. Then after a little bit Top Bloke #3 Bass player/Fred Schneider impersonator Gray was there, right in the room with us. A series of hilariously obvious surprises later and we had songs that we all agreed weren’t the worst ever written.
Where did the name Hound come from?
William Balthes is the guy. Chris lived with him in Toowong once also. He is the proud owner of a Segway, multiple suits of armour and approximately over 8000 books. He is proper crazy and he knows it. He’s also an actual genius, if that can be quantified. I’m not a genius so I don’t fuckin know. But I suspect he is one. At any rate, Will has his own wonderful lexicon and hound is his term for someone who has a high quantity of stands in a week. A stand being a standard drink. It seemed so appropriate that we ended up putting Will on the front cover of the album.
You have an album coming out soon, how will it compare to your previous work?
A few of the songs on the album happen to be our previous work actually. We’re quite new at this whole thing really. I think the final track on the record Fair Shake was the first thing we actually got together way back in the when? Yes. All of the old ones that didn’t make it really had no idea what they were, and we definitely weren’t helping things by not knowing either. A lot of fantastic intros with not much else to speak of after the fact. I would boldly state that it’s all objectively better. Unless you have a CD player that only does that 15 second per track thing. Then you’d love those fuckin intros. But we’re not releasing a CD. So there. This will have to do.
Where did the name Dying in the sun come from?
Brisbane summer. Being just over 3000 kilometres away form the equator you’d think it wouldn’t be so horrid. Turns out big numbers don’t mean a fucking thing to the weather. I’m no meteorologist though. Full disclosure. If we were honest it’d be called Dying In The Humidity but that doesn’t really cut it, syllable wise and such. So here we are.
What made you pick God Is Calling as the first single form the album?
I think originally we were all genuinely surprised at how well the song turned out. I would say that contributed to the push for it quite a bit, as I don’t think any of us saw it coming. Chris had written the basic idea for it some time ago. It proceeded to sit in the corner ignoring us for a few months. I’m fairly certain Toms drum introduction was the catalyst that gave the song a reason to be in the room. There’s another thing that happened with Gerald Keaney of Gerald Keaney and the Gerald Keaneys that made it so as well, but that’s longer story. He is a fantastic human being. Definitely one of my favourite songs on the record.
Where was the cover photo of the God is coming single taken from?
The photo was taken by Tom from our home roof in Fairfield. That’d be Fairfield Road your looking at. He’s got quite an eye, that Tom fella. A drummer with taste. He’s dangerous.
According to your Facebook page, the video for God Is Calling will feature you playing cricket while dressed as goths, where this this idea of contrasts come from?
A collision of an idea for an innocent goth picnic in a cemetery film clip notion from Chris and an uncontrollable desire to have press shoots taken at the Gabba from yours truly. Intense black and white cricket action shots for each of us. Something that’d sell if framed and presented to you by Richie Benaud on the telly during a match. Just dial up and it’s yours for a reasonable fee. So that nonsensical conversation happened and our mate Will Hopson was so enamoured with the combination that we had no choice. He’s the breakout star of the clip. It had to be done.
You’re about to go on tour in support of your latest single, what can fans expect from your show?
Four men of varying ages and politeness attempting to liven the place up a bit with a concise yet diverse set of songs that you hopefully remember. Chris and I have upgraded our guitar tones a bit too, so we’ll sound bloody fresh if I’m allowed to say that. We all value a drink and a chat above most else so if you’re up for that, we will absolutely get so involved we can watch the sunrise together.
What was it like playing with Killing Joke?
It was an amazing thing, as we’d only played a handful of shows prior to that. They were so incredible it hurt and Jaz is far more pleasant than his brutal, shamanistic howl appears on stage. I’m actually listening to them right as I type this. Two Mount Rushmore-sized thumbs up.
Do you ever listen to your own music?
Hearing everything back so much while living through the mixing and mastering processes takes away almost any desire to do so, but I’ve dipped my toe in every now and then just to remind myself what it actually is we’ve ended up with. I do imagine before we re-enter the studio later this year for the second round we’ll have cheeky listen to help figure out the a new angle on sounds, tones and happenings.
What music do you listen to?
Between the four of us it’s all over the music shop. Fuck. It’s big. It’s large. But it’s not dividing, as we’re all 2 Fast 2 Curious to not try out new tunes. I know I listen to at least 6 records a day at work. Initially Fugazi was the first big one between us all. We share so much that it’s hard to pin down. Slayer to Crowded House is how it is.
What do you plan on doing after your tour?
Save some coin, finish the current batch of songs, figure out which ones are worth it and record again. Rinse and repeat. We’ve got a lot more music to make, cos I’m almost certain we’re getting the hang of this thing piece by piece. Thanks for your time.
Saturday, 14th March – The Foundry, Brisbane – QLD
Friday, 20th March – OAF Gallery Bar, Sydney – NSW
Saturday, 21st March – RAD Bar, Wollongong – NSW