Albury rockers Idle Fret have just put out their debut album. Tomatrax caught up with Ryan Nicholson, the band’s drummer, to ask a few questions.
Where did the name Idle Fret come from?
I honestly don’t know where it came from, but the name suits us to a tee. IDLE = we’ve taken a while to get to where we are. FRET = The boys know their bloody way around them guitars and we have some killer hooks to prove it. I also like to think we’re an IDOL THREAT, like we’ll destroy any ‘Idol’ those stupid TV shows produce. I’ve just realised its a very punny name.
You’ve just launched your latest album, what’s it like to have it out?
Bloody brilliant. We have been working on this album for sometime now so it’s good to finally be able to share it with the world. We began constructing some of the songs back in 2013, though unfortunately I suffered a very serve broken leg in early 2014 just as we were planning on recording the songs, being the drummer that really pushed us back. Further more just after we recorded some rough demos our band went through a pretty big line up change. There were many moments where we felt this album would never be completed but we band together and got the job done! So yeah, feels bloody good to finally share these songs with the world.
Where did the name ‘Reborn’ come from?
We actually had the song title for Reborn before we went through all the drama (broken leg / line up change). We didn’t really intend on it being the album’s title back then. The term Reborn was kind of us saying that rock n roll is always reborn, with each new generation. Everyone says rock is dead, but we and many other young rock bands across Australia disagree. It’s kind of like us saying ‘This is our generations turn to carry the Australian Hard Rock flag, and we’ll carry it until it’s the next generations turn to blast that iconic sound”. With that said the title Reborn worked well for us, especially after our unplanned hiatus. The song title tied in with our return to doing what we love; which is playing rock n roll (Really, really loud).
What’s the music scene like in Albury?
Great! When we started, there weren’t many rock bands around town. We began by doing some cover shows, learning how to play together until we had the confidence to start sharing our original music. In those days, there was a thriving hardcore scene and a very strong acoustic / hipster kind of scene but nothing in between. We worked hard at being noticed and along the way have helped build the music scene to what it is today! Venues such as The Boomerang Hotel, The Bended Elbow and The SS&A Club get behind us and have always been supportive towards us.
Albury / Wodonga has a population of 110,000 people and it’s starting to become a hot spot for some pretty big touring names. Many big acts stop through Albury as they travel up and down the Hume Highway. The great thing is, us local bands can score support spots for these acts, further building our local followings. Like many Aussie Rock Bands before us, we’ve had our fair share of tall poppy syndrome, that “small town mentality” thing. Though we’ve become good at channeling any negativity aimed towards us into songs; ‘Livin a Lie’, ‘The Bitter Bill’ and ‘Towns Gonna’ Burn’ for example. On the most part we have a solid support network of a few hundred people who really get behind us and support us as much as they can. They want the best for us and that means the world to us. We’ll probably have to get big overseas before the whole town knows who we are, but that’s okay! It’s a great home base for any band really, chockfull of musical talent.
When writing what comes first, the music or the words?
The music. Often Daniel and Hayden will throw around some song ideas, we’ll then get together as a band to work out a rough structure / feel for the songs then Hayden will figure out some words. It helps that Dan and Hayden are brothers as well! They tell each other when something sounds shit and no one gets butt hurt.
Do you ever listen to your own music?
Yep. Loud and proud.
What other music do you listen to?
While we all share a strong passion for Australian rock (AC/DC, Airbourne, Rose Tattoo), we all have our own personal tastes. Buckcherry, Foo Fighters, Kings Of Leon, Kingswood, Violent Soho, Johnny Cash, Taking Dawn, Northlane to name a few – as long it’s not some artificially produced talent show bullshit, we’ll tend to blast it nice and loud.
Now that the album is out what do you plan on doing next?
Well right now, were rushing to finish a 3 part documentary we have been working on for some time. It covers everything that we as a band experienced while making this album. We really want to show people not only what it’s like being in an Aussie Pub band in the year 2016, but also what it’s like being a regional based band. There’s only so much you can show people through Facebook, so we reckon it will be rather eye opening to even those who are close to the band. We’re also planning a few shows to see out the end of the year, maybe even quit our full time jobs and tour Australia next year (That’s the dream anyways).
Ultimately we want to start getting our music into Europe and make the leap. Our style of music, Australian Hard Rock, is really appreciated over there. They crave it. Sadly its over looked here compared to other genres. These days, It’s rare for a young Aussie band to put so much money and time into their debut album and not approach Triple J, but we know they wont play our songs so why bother? After all, that’s why AC/DC pissed off in the 70’s and that seemed to work well for them. There’s no way but the hard way and we’re used to that.
Check out Idle Fret’s website to find out more!