The Tommyhawks are a Fremantle all-girl blues-folk-indi-grunge quartet. The band are about to release their debut EP We’re All Meat and We’re Gonna Get Eat and will be following it up with their first tour round Australia. Tomatrax caught up with Addison Axe, The Tommyhawks’ lead singer, to talk about their music.
How did the band form?
I was asked to write and perform a couple or songs in a cabaret show at the Spiegel tent at Perth Fringeworld Festival a couple of years ago, and I recruited my buddy Ness (bass) to do it with me. We had such an awesome time, we decided to keep the project going after. A bunch more songs and performances later we knew we needed more – and that’s when Jess and Thea came onboard and the real magic started happening.
Where did the name The Tommyhawks come from?
Well my last name is Axe, and a tomahawk is a kind or axe… that’s where the initial idea came from and it evolved from there.
You’re about to release your debut EP, what’s it like to have it finished and ready to go?
Great! It’s taken us quite a while, but I think that’s actually been a good thing, because it feels like people are actually eagerly waiting for it (as opposed to us just desperately trying to persuade our mums to buy it ha ha).
Where did the title We’re All Meat And We’re Gonna Get Eat come from?
It’s a lyric in ‘Mr Magpie’ which is one of the songs on the EP.
Was it hard to pick what went onto the album?
Not really, we picked four songs that felt different to each other, and were ready to go in their current state. We have these really big ambitious ideas for some of our songs, and that felt too scary to embark on for our first time in the studio together, so we picked songs that we didn’t want to change from their raw live state. I definitely think that was the right decision as it was felt really natural.
You’re about to tour Australia in support of your EP, what can fans expect from your shows?
To dance! That seems to be the linking factor between all our shows is that people get up and dance. We’ve had mexican waves, conga lines, human worms, it’s rad. When it started happening it was really unexpected, to me the songs are really dark and moody, but i guess theres a reeal stompy bouncing energy to how we play as a band and that seems to translate which feels so good.
What was it like to support Courtney Love?
Totally amazing! I see how you could get addicted to that shit! Playing to so many people on such a massive stage was epic. We did a couple of ballads too, which we were a little terrified about and we didn’t have enough songs at the time to be picky, but the room was so quiet you could hear a pin drop. it was insane.
Where did you get the idea to bring out a Tommyhawks bottle opener key ring?
We couldn’t afford teeshirts! We only have two left now though so they wont be coming on the road with us! Now we do have teeshirts and stubby holders, and vinyl which is definitely an upgrade!
You also lead the band Axe Girl, is it hard to juggle being in more than one band?
Yes kind of, the bands are so different, I find it hard to go between them, and I get utterly immersed in whatever I’m working on. So far it’s working out ok, as Axe Girl are taking some time-out from touring to figure out what the next album is going to sound like, and so at the moment I’m very much consumed with Tommys.
Do you ever listen to your own music?
What other music do you listen to?
We all have REALLY different taste. At the moment if I put a record on it will either PJ Harvey, Ani Di Franco, The Strokes, The Preatures or The Kooks. I get really obsessional about music so I go through bursts of listening to the same handful of records or artists for months on end.
What do you plan on doing after your tour?
It’s getting towards festival season so we have quite a few exciting things in the pipeline… We’re also in the planning stages for our next video so that’ll probably be the first thing we do. And maybe we’ll get back into the studio and have a go at tackling one of our ‘ambitious’ songs!
Check out The Tommyhawks’ website to find out more!