Sunshine Coast’s 4ZZZ Hot 100 winners Transvaal Diamond Syndicate have been on the road in support of their next EP The Shadow. Tomatrax caught up with Christian Tryhorn, the band’s lead singer, to ask a few questions.

You have a new EP coming out soon, how will it compare with your previous work?
We’ve spent years riding the line between Blues, Rock and Heavy groove tunes. With this release we’ve decided to split up our influences and outputs and go with a split double EP release. One will be Riff Rock focused, one will have a more Blues focus. ‘The Shadow EP’, our first offering in the double is a lot fuller and riffier. There’s some pretty epic Rock moments within.

What made you pick ‘The River’ as the single for the EP?
Aside from feeling like it as a good intro to our new material, the timing was right in terms of current social/media issues. The track features Lachy Doley on keys (one of Australia’s best!) along with Alyce Schulte on backing vox (Frank Sultana) and Zed Charles on the lead break (The Royal Artillery).

What was the inspiration behind the video for ‘the River’?
We started wanting to document an actual case I was reading about in the States in the 70s where a local sheriff kidnapped and bound 2 women with the view of selling them into slavery. Pretty brutal stuff. The more we got into the process we realised we could really make a statement with the clip in support of anti-violence against women. Part proceeds of single sales will go towards a Brisbane womens shelter.

Where did the EP’s title, The Shadow, come from?
The Shadow will be teamed up with ‘The Shackles’ and highlights the duality within the band. The Shadow is our darker heavier side whilst The Shackles will focus on more Blues material, paying homage to the chain gangs of Southern USA.

You’ve been touring round Australia over the past two months, how has that been?
It’s been great actually. We’ve welcomed a new drummer Michael Gardiner (Perspektiv) to our ranks so it’s been a learing curve and mind-bending experience for him. With this tour we’ve travelled our furthest yet with gigs in Western Australian and the Northern Territory. We really dig the regional crowds so will probably look to do more of that in the future.

What was it like to win the 4zzz Hot 100?
That was a real honour. The Zeds do a great job of promoting the local Brisbane scene in the absence of other radio players. We give them our full support and are stoked to have taken out the #1 spot.

Has the critical acclaim you’ve received for your previous releases made you feel any pressure in putting together your latest EP?
Not really. We’re still growing as a band. The general rule is to create something better than the last release. I think we’ve nailed it with our latest release. It’s our best work yet. 4 and 5 star reviews are great, but you need to personally vibe when listening to the tracks or there’s no real point.

Do you ever listen to your own music?
For sure haha. Always thinking of ways to improve. And sometimes listening to remember what we actually played on a track when the dreaded 3 set gigs pop up haha

What other music do you listen to?
Each of us are different. The lads listen to a mix of heavier stuff. I dig Stoner Blues stuff aka Queens of the Stone Age, Kyuss, Clutch and a whole heap of up-and-coming Aussie bands – The Royal Artillery, Child, Smoke Stack Rhino, King of the North and many more. I also have developed a real taste for ol’ skool Blues and dig the shit out of Johnny Winter, Howlin’ Wolf, RL Burnside, Buddy Guy, John Lee Hooker etc

What do you plan on doing once the the two EPs are released?
By the time we’re both released we will have done some 8 or 9 mths of solid touring so we’ll be ready for a break haha. We’re heading over to New Zealand early 2016 to test our wares over there so that’s exciting. Ultimately looking towards Europe.

Where did the name Transvaal Diamond Syndicate come from?
Funny story…

Check out Transvaal Diamond Syndicate’s facebook page to find out more!