20 years have passed since Tumbleweed’s ground breaking wall of sound full lenghh Galactaphonic. To mark this milestone the band have put out a re-release packd with bonus matrial and are about to tour the country in support of the re-release. Tomatrax caught up with Richie Lewis, the band’s lead singer, to talk about the band’s music!
What inspired you to do a re-release of Galactaphonic?
20 years is quite a milestone, we wanted to put it out because a lot of our fans had been asking for vinyl for a while, so we thought a reissue of some description would be pretty cool, we approached Universal to see what the deal was, and they said lets do it, from there the idea grew wings and flew.
20 years have passed and the album is still loved, what’s it like to have your work have such a long legacy?
I think it is comforting to know that people remember the good times, for some people our music means a lot because it was a part of their lives when they were discovering themselves and the world around them, when they were setting out on adventures, when life was less complicated, when they were partying with the best friends they ever had. It’s a reminder, it’s a sound that evokes memories, it was a soundtrack to their golden years.
Besides all that, Galactaphonic still sounds as alive and fresh as the day it was recorded, it’s a timeless record that doesn’t sound like anything else.
There is quite a lot of bonus material on this re-release, was it hard to pick what you included?
We just tried to pick the best stuff, a few live recordings, some interesting demos that illustrate how a song progresses, some b-sides. Steve uncovered boxes of stuff, and digitized it all and then we all went through it and whittled it down to a list we all agreed on.
You’ll be touring in support of the re-release, what can fans expect from your shows?
Playing the album from beginning to end for the first time ever.
What was it like to play on Hey Hey it’s Saturday back when Galactaphonic was first released?
It was kind of fun, seeing how a show like that is made, getting there early, sound checking, camera guys running through their camera moves, getting a run sheet, checking your call time, it was a live broadcast so it was all coordinated really well, I enjoyed watching the process of making live television, between sound check and the performance we sat around Daryls pool, it needed a clean, it was full of dead leaves and was going green, we smoked joints and waited till it was our turn to be on set, they made us go to make up, we played well, the performance was great. It was something different, I liked it.
Are you planning on doing a 20th anniversary edition of Return to Earth next year?
No, not at this stage
The band was on hiatus for 6 years, what did you get up to over that time?
Work, family, kids, life, Lenny had the Pink Fits, Paul and Steve had Monstrous Blues and I had the Creeps.
In 2013 you recorded your first album in over a decade, was it hard to get back into writing and recording after all that time?
Starting off was a little staggered but once we got into it the momentum picked up and it felt really natural and easy.
What inspired you to write a song about the Sea Shepherd?
The song is about how we are all a part of something better, something bigger, its inspired by people who dedicate their lives to doing something positive with their brief time on the planet. Sea Shepherd do just that, they are on the front line, they are out there fighting battles out in the oceans around the world, for all of us. Because if they don’t, who will? if the oceans die, we die. Its selfless and I am very grateful for the great work they do.
Where was the video for ‘Drop in the ocean’ filmed?
Around the world and in Wollongong harbour
Are there plans to put together a follow up album?
Not at this stage
Do you ever listen to your own music?
Occasionally, as homework.
What other music do you listen to?
Lots of different music, I love old stuff mostly, usually 60’s music like the Kinks or Beatles or Stones or early Pink Floyd, but also some 50s rock n roll, Elvis or Eddie Cochran, I like 70s big rock like Zeppelin and Sabbath and a lot of punk rock like the Damned, Dead Boys, Pistols and Ramones or stooges MC5 Birdman stuff, I like a lot of Australian stuff like the Rifles or the Stems and a lot of stuff through the 80s too like Duran Duran or Devo or whatever but I also like Birthday Party and the Scientist and alot of new stuff too like Sticky Fingers or King Gizzard and the Lizard wizard there is too much good stuff to try and cover what I like to listen to, its always changing.
What do you plan on doing after your shows?
Don’t know yet, I’m making it up as I go along.
Friday 21st August 2015
Corner Hotel, MELBOURNE VIC
Friday 4th September 2015
The Zoo, BRISBANE QLD
Friday 11th September 2015
Manning Bar, SYDNEY NSW
Friday 18th September 2015
Rosemount Hotel, PERTH WA
Saturday 19th September 2015
Fowlers Live, ADELAIDE SA
Saturday 26th September 2015
Waves, WOLLONGONG NSW