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An independent online music magazine

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Interviews

Interview with Nick Kennedy of The Electorate

The Electorate originally formed as school kids with a love of melody, contortion and the energy of skewed pop. They played as The Templebears, kicking around the traps and releasing EPs but as they prepared to record their debut, they splintered. The individual members went off to play in bands like Big Heavy Stuff, The Apartments, Knievel, Atticus, Reality Instructors, Imperial Broads. They re-assembled for a one off gig and got sucked back into the universe their songs had created, and set about recording the album they were always meant to make.

“If I Knew” is the debut single from The Electorate, released Friday 15th May and taken from their forthcoming LP “You Don’t Have Time To Stay Lost”.

Tomatrax caught up with Nick Kennedy to ask a few questions.


Where did the name The Electorate come from?

There was an election on when we were mixing the album, and when we decided to change our name. It seemed that moniker we settled on came up wherever you turned, so in that regard it was something in the forefront of literally everyone’s mind. Which is what you want, right?

The band initially formed at school before you all went off into different bands, what prompted the initial reunion?
Just good timing really. It certainly wasn’t something that was ever off the table as we’ve always been in each other’s lives in one form or another. A benefit for a good cause sealed the deal for us.

You were also planning on releasing a debut album before going different ways, did any of the songs you wrote at the time make it onto your forthcoming album?
About a third of the songs survive almost as-is, a third are rearranged and updated, a third are completely fresh pointing the way forward.

You recorded 10 of the album’s songs over a weekend, how did you manage to get it done that quickly?
Well, Zen Arcade was recorded AND mixed in 3 so we’re actually a little behind the eight ball!

Where did the album title You don’t have time to stay lost come from?
Haruki Murakami’s 1995 novel “The Wind-up Bird Chronicle” but it also seemed to fit the urgency of the recording and the general temperament of us as individuals.

What was the inspiration behind having footage of a Mexican bus ride and kids playing on the south coast of NSW in the video of If I knew?
We needed some visual content for our first single and charged our very own, ex- tremely talented Josh, a photographer by trade, to try his hand at coming up with the goods. The very atmospheric footage is from some holidays he took with family

How will the rest of the album compare with ‘If I knew’?
Our work ethic involves not repeating ourselves – it’s an unspoken manifesto – so the album has a range of dynamics, but it’s always us in the drivers seat.

Do you ever listen to your own music?
We do, but we’re all voracious listeners so it’s never our primary source!

What other music do you listen to?
New music, all the time, all different styles. Never let anyone tell you there’s no good new music. There ALWAYS is! My top 5 at the moment:
Wire “Mind Hive”

A Girl Called Eddy “Been Around”

Sachet “Nets”

Ezrat “Carousel”

Lee Ranaldo and Raul Refree “Names Of North End Women”

Eliot has been listening to Brisbane Singer Songwriter Clea.

 

Josh has just discovered The Beths but before that was in a listening loop of Crepes, Kevin Morby and Phoebe Bridgers.

What do you have planned once the album is out?
We’ll be doing everything we can to get it into people’s ears. If we can actually get to play live – all the better.

 

The Electorate release “If I Knew” on Friday 15th May on Apple Music, Spotify and is distributed by MGM and found here. It’s the first single from The Electorate’s forthcoming debut LP, “You Don’t Have Time To Stay Lost”.
The Electorate Official Site | Facebook | Instagram | Bandcamp

 

 

 

Interview with Moonshine Effect

The Moonshine Effect are an up and coming indie / shoegaze 6-piece from Athens. Two years ago they put out their release Our eyes should meet which was met with applause in their home country. They are now looking to spread their sound across the world.

Tomatrax slid a piece of paper with questions under a door and received the following responses.

How did the band form?

The band was formed in 2015 when Johnny and Kostas, long time friends, decided to collect their ideas and started writing and recording demo versions of the songs. Pinto, Jacqueline, Theodorosand Nikos contributed to the song writings and orchestration. John X-Tam helped with the edit of the demo versions. We all had band experiences but this time we wanted to do something complete and official.

Where did the name Moonshine Effect come from?

We all love the night and the shining of the moon but above all it sounded good to our ears. We also liked the playful game of the different meanings of the name.

Where did the album title Our eyes should meet come from?

All of us don’t feel comfortable with the dominant culture and search for something different. Therefore we need to meet and explore our common likes, trying to express our love for music with sincerity.

What was the inspiration behind the video for ‘Just before dawn’?

Aris Michalopoulos , who made the video, and the band both agreed that the video shall be something trippy and emotional like the song itself, including the element of memory.

Given you’re from Greece, why do you sing in English?

The music and the songs we like since our childhood are in English. So there was no other way to express ourselves except from English.

Have you considered writing songs in Greek?

This is something that never worried us. We were confident of writing songs in English.

What is the music scene in Athens like?

Despite the financial crisis and the music industry crisis, Athens scene is alive and well. A lot of concerts are being organized and plenty of groups release high quality albums in all kind of formats (vinyl, cd, digital).

Your music has a very calm and relaxed vibe to it, was that the intention when writing and performing your songs?

The intention was to have sweet pop melodies with some feedback noise in a dreamy atmosphere.

When writing what comes first, the words or the music?

Usually the base of our music is the vocal melody on the guitar chords. Then we build the songs with the other instruments and of course the lyrics.

Do you ever listen to your own music?

Frankly speaking, we never do it. We have listed to the songs so many times during the recordings, mixings and master processes that makes us not so positive to listen to them again and again. However, of course we love them and we are impatient to play them live.  

What music do you listen to?

We listen to all kinds of music, from rock n’ roll and jazz to electronica. We like to dig old sounds and also to explore contemporary music territories.

What do you have planned in 2020?

We are planning a re-release of the cd format of the album because it’s sold out, a new music video and simultaneously we are in the process of writing new songs for our forthcoming second album.

 

Check out the Moonshine Effect’s website to find out more!

Interview with Will Tremain of Inklines

Inklines rounded out 2019 with the release of ‘Too Much’, the first offering from their mid-year recording sessions at the local Housefox Studios. Supporting the single with successful shows in both Sydney and Melbourne, the band also gained generous airplay across US/Canada. They aim to continue the momentum with the release of new single ‘Wherever You Go’, and supporting show on February 7th at Manly Boatshed.

Tomatrax caught up with Will Tremain, the band’s lead singer, to ask a few questions.

Its been over a year since you were last featured on Tomatrax, what have you been up to over this time?

Time flies! Oh man.. Heaps. We’ve been on 3 interstate tours, recorded these new songs with Lachy, been playing shows around home, making big plans for the future haha. We’ve got our own little studio thing now too, which we’ve had for about the last year. I mean.. It’s just a garage that we rent out, but it’s perfect for rehearsal, allows us to spend a lot more time getting our sets solid and experimenting with new ideas. All our gear just stays set up there so it makes things a lot easier. That has definitely been a big game changer since last we spoke.

Youre about to release your latest single, how does it feel to have it finished and ready to go?

Feels great! We’re really proud of these new tracks. Hearing them come to life was super exciting for all of us cos we really felt like we had done something good, even in the early stages of learning them together. I think a big part of that was just that we finally felt like we weren’t ripping anyone off. That’s not to say you won’t hear influences of course, but for us it felt like the first time we’d done something that couldn’t be immediately compared to another specific band or song. The last single, ‘Too Much’ got a really great reaction, and this one was definitely tied for favouritein our camp, so we’ve been really excited to get this one out. This does go hand-in-hand with a certain level of concern that this one won’t get the same reaction, but I try not to spend too much time on that thought.

What made you pick Wherever you go’ as your latest single?

I think we knew from the first time we played it, that it was going to be one we’d put in the frontline. Lachy’s dad, Mr Steve West, actually came by the studio during our first pre-production session and heard it and said something to the effect of “Yeah, that’s the one”, so that reinforced the way we felt about the song.

What was the inspiration behind the singles cover?

We wanted to sum up “movement” as best we could, both literally and metaphorically. While the lyrics are delivered with a bit of malice, I guess the main message that we wanted to stick to was; get on with it. Don’t sit still. Don’t spend time on people who only waste it. Don’t fill your trolley with things that poison you. You get the idea..

Tom and I were spit-balling one afternoon and came up with the idea of a long exposure shot of some traffic. The universe definitely approved, because within 24 hours of that conversation my good friend Ryan McLean, who’s a really talented artistic photographer, put that photo up on his social media. I saw it and took it as a sign. It originally looked more colourful and defined, but we went for the black/white, overexposed look to make it just a little less obvious what you’re looking at.. With the photographers approval of course.

Youll be playing a show in support of your latest single next month, what can fans expect from your show?

Yeah, we’re playing at The Old Manly Boatshed on Feb 7. Anyone who hasn’t been before is in for a treat – it’s a great little grungey, underground venue. We’ll be doing a 45 minute set which contains all the new tracks, including the unreleased ones, plus a mix of old favourites. We have a local band, Array, opening the show for us. I’ve never actually seen them before, but they’ve got some great tracks and they’ve been going for 8 years or something! So we might be given a run for our money haha. Nah it’ll be good, I promise.

Are there any plans for another EP release?

We’ll definitely release the remaining tracks from these latest sessions as an EP, yeah. We recorded 7 songs in total, so we’ve got one more we want to throw out as a standalone single, then we’ll follow that up pretty quickly with the full thing. You’ll be able to hear them all well before the year is over, that’s for sure.

Your previous single Too muchhas been getting AirPlay in the USA and Canada, how does it feel having your music discovered and well received in North America?

That was the craziest thing that’s happened in the last year, bar none. I woke up one morning and had these messages from people all over the place, saying “When are you coming to New York?”, “Any plans to visit LA soon?”, “Please come to Texas” etc. I was still half asleep and trying to figure out what was actually going on haha. I think some people may not have realised we were from Australia and had really only just started touring here, but the messages coming in were so nice and supportive. I replied to as many as I could and someone I exchanged a few words with told me they’d heard the song on Sirius, so I looked up the station and searched ‘Inklines’, turns out they were playing the track every couple of hours, and they did that for a little over 2 weeks. It was a fairly indescribable feeling, realising the weight of what was happening. It’s just so good to have something that people have been able to connect to. And we are definitely going to find our way over there.

Given the success youve achieved so far, do you feel any pressure moving forward?

I don’t think so, no. In the lead up to any release, there’s an unshakeable feeling of like “is this going to land? Will anyone like it?”, but in a general sense I wouldn’t say we feel any pressure. End of the day we’re just here to have fun and make music we like, anyone we’re able to connect with through the process is a bonus.

You previously said that you want your fans to expect improvement in your sound, do you feel that your sound has improved over the past year?

Absolutely. Not to dismiss any of our older stuff too harshly, but I definitely felt more confident about these songs in every stage of the process. It’s a bit of a broad topic because I suppose everyone has a different idea of what’s good and what’s not, but I personally feel better about these songs, yeah.  

What do you have planned following your upcoming show?

We’re playing another Sydney show shortly after that – Feb 13 at The Vanguard, Newtown. We’vehad a few people asking us to come play in various places around Australia, so we’re currently working out the details of that and then we’ll be back on the road.

Check out Inklines’ Facebook page to find out more!

 

Interview with Stazzy and Col from Frantic Chant

Winners of the Tomatrax song and album of 2017, Edinburgh psychedelic rockers Frantic Chant have returned with a new EP,  with four new songs covering the age old topics of love, hate, war, peace and alien abduction.

Tomatrax caught up with Stazzy and Col, Frantic Chant’s lead singer and drummer, to ask a few questions.

  • It’s been just over two years since you were last featured on Tomatrax, what have you been up to over this time?

Col – We were all set to start recording a new album and had a lot of interesting gigs booked. I then badly wrecked my shoulder in an accident which meant the recording had to go on the back burner. We honoured the gigs by putting together some programmed beats for the songs and I showed off my one finger keyboard skills.

  • You’ve just put out your latest EP, how does it feel to have it out?

Col – It’s been a long time coming after a few false starts. It’s a relief to see it out there, especially for me, after a long time wondering if I’d be able to play the drums again.

Stazy – We were due to record with our long time producer, Elle, but were unable to find dates that suited us both. We then had a go at recording ourselves but weren’t happy with the results. That’s when we found a great studio called The Groove Tunnel and finally got the songs down before the end of last year.

  • You said that the EP includes four new songs covering the age old topics of love, hate, war, peace and alien abduction. What was the inspiration behind covering these topics on this release?

Stazy – The first four topics are universal. “The Man Who Fixes Anything” is from a true story that Col read the night before a session which seemed to fit around a riff that Nick had come up with, which was “borrowed” from the Wonder Woman movie. So that was alien abduction sorted.

“Red, Wine & Glue” was inspired by a colourful weekend in a Glencoe caravan.

  • Your previous release was a 21 track, double album, what made you decide to release an EP this time round?

Stazy – It was just a case of wanting to get something out as quickly as possible. The plan is to release more EP’s this year so you can put your own album together.

  • Where did the title “The back green spaceship” come from?

Col – It’s a reference from the song “The Man Who Fixes Anything”, and back green is a Scottish phrase meaning back garden.

  • What was the inspiration behind the EPs cover?

Stazy – Our artwork is always done by our guitarist, Nick. He picks up little things from the words, music and feel of the songs and melds it with whatever else is going on in his brainbox.

  • Rod Spark produced the album and also contributed various instrumental elements, what was it like having him involved so closely?

Stazy – He seemed to understand exactly what we wanted without too much explanation and was on the same wavelength, sonically, as us.

Col – He came up with some great ideas for backing vocals and it was his suggestion for Mya [Gray] to sing on “Find Another Way To Die”.

  • Is Mya likely to appear on any future a Frantic Chant records?

Stazy – We only met her a couple of times as she was doing work experience, as part of her schoolwork, at the studio. She’s more than welcome on any future recordings.

  • Now that you have released your EP what do you plan on doing next?

Col – We have a few songs we want to record ourselves that will be probably be a lot more lo-fi. We’ll set up camp in our rehearsal room with a couple of mics and keep the overdubs to a minimum.

We’ve been a bit more active on Spotify recently and we plan to release a compilation of songs from previous albums that are no longer available to stream. This will also be on all the usual digital platforms.

Check out Frantic Chant’s Facebook page to find out more!

Interview with Kim Salmon

Kim Salmon has had an extensive musical career playing a key role in the Scientists, Beasts of Bourbon, Antenna, as well as putting out a heap of solo records.

He has just launched his book ’Nine Parts Water One Part Sand. Kim Salmon And The Formula For Grunge’, being inducted into the WA Music Hall Of Fame for his old band the Scientists, and put out two new singles. To top it off Kim is about to take his music on the road again with an tour across Australia later this month.

Tomatrax caught up with Kim to talk about his various work.

You’ve put out 30 albums over the years and are still putting out new music, what’s the secret to your longevity? 

Stubbornness. Also I hate working to a formula and essentially go back to the drawing board with everything…this has not been a quick way to success and has brought my stubbornness back into play every time.

You’ve just had a book about you written by Douglas Galbraith. What was it like to hear your story told by someone else? 

Its nice to hear someone else’s voice at times. One does get tired of the sound of one’s own voice occasionally……but not too often.

Given your extensive musical career with various bands, was it hard to narrow the stories down to fit into one book? 

It wasn’t my problem so I can’t answer that. Doug would invite me to brunch and prompt me with various questions to talk and off I’d go. I pitied him to have to sift through all that really. 

How does having a book written compare with writing and playing music? 

Much easier! Except that its taken till a couple of years ago waiting for someone to be ambitious, tenacious or stupid enough to write a book about me.

The book features various insights from your band mates, was it important to ensure the book covered various points of view when telling the story?  

Oh yes, I even say in the forward in my thanks that it was the other people who gave my story some credibility.

You’ve received a lot of acclaim with your work with the Scientists and the Beasts of Bourbon, does this make you feel any pressure when making new music? 

No way! If anything I’ve always reacted to whatever reputation I’ve been given from my past work. Practically every album I’ve made has been a reaction to the one before it eg, the mark 2 Scientists were dark and primitive and the earlier band was poppy and punkish. The same for all my bands.



Your work has often been cited as a major influence to newer grunge and punk rock artists, what’s it like hearing music influenced by your work? 

It depends on how good it is. If the music is a subset of something I’ve done I just think “Oh have I inspired this mediocrity ?” , and if its fantastic, I feel like taking credit for it….but of course I can’t be blamed or take credit for either. Everything comes from somewhere and the things that make it good are what each individual brings to it, not where it comes from.

In addition to being involved in various bands you’ve also done a fair few solo releases, how does performing solo compare with being in a band? 

If you mean by solo – me performing all of the instruments involved, I like doing things on my own because ideas get fully developed in the direction that I intended ….or if I didn’t know where it was going to go I could still steer it fully and be in complete control…which I like!. However other people’s involvement takes things to other places and its more like a journey somewhere strange and new.


You’ve just put out a split 7” with the Scientists, what inspired you to put out a split single? 

I was asked if I’d produce a single to go with the book and one of the songs I wrote was obviously a Scientists song so I got the band to play it and realised that that would be more of a special thing.


Are there any plans for a full length release? 

The Scientists actually have a full length album in the can and all that’s needed are the finishing touches, so I’d have to say “yes there are”

You’ll be touring Australia later this month, what can fans expect from your show?  

It depends where the show is. In Hobart, Brisbane and Beechworth I’m playing on my own which enables a more rambling storytelling kind of a show. These shows go far more diverse places than a band show can and are also more spontaneous. However my band shows this time will feature the guitar, keyboard and vocal talents of Claire Birchall who along with my other players bring e fulller more produced pop kind of sound than people would have been used to from me. 

Do you ever listen to your own music? 
All of the time when I’m making it and putting it into production but hardly ever after that. Usually I’ve O.D’d on it by the end of the process but unfortunately for those who live round me, its necessary for me to “thrash the ‘shit’ out of “my songs.

What other music do you listen to? 
A lot of the time its local indie stuff from the scene that I’m living in. I just ‘discovered’ a fantastic 3 piece band called Plaster Of Paris who will be playing at my Melbourne, Tote show. But I’ve found myself going back into the past and discovering things I missed the first time. Kevin Ayers and Sandy Denny are big for me at the moment.

Check out Kim Salmon’s Facebook page to find out more!

TOUR DATES:

Friday 31st January 2020 – Mona, Hobart (Arvo Show) / Republic, Hobart TAS

Saturday 1st February 2020 – Mona, Hobart TAS  

Friday 7th February 2020 – Crown & Anchor, Adelaide SA

Saturday 8th February 2020 – Bassandean Hotel, Bassandean WA

Sunday 9th February 2020 – Grumpy’s Music Bar, Perth WA

Friday 14th February 2020 – The Tote, Melbourne VIC 

Thursday 20th February 2020 – Smith’s, Canberra ACT

Friday 21st February 2020 – Union, Sydney NSW

Saturday 22nd February 2020 – Junk Bar, Brisbane QLD

Saturday 29th February 2020 – Tanswells Commercial Hotel, Beechworth VIC  

Interview with Jérémy Rumerio from This Frilly Ape

This frilly ape is the brainchild of French musician Jérémy Rumerio. After a few years in the making, This frilly ape’s debut album has just being released, bringing forth Jérémy‘s own brand of experimental / avant-guarde rock.

Tomatrax caught up with Jérémy to talk about his latest work.

 

How did the band form?

Hard to call that “a band”, as I am the only member, here… even if this was not the initial idea! I wanted to found a trio, but things turned differently after some months with the rehearsals. In the future, playing with other band members again could be a possibility. Not sure.

To answer your question, the idea came when my son was born in 2013. I had the feeling that it could be great for him to grow in a house where he could hear music, played by real instruments. The idea to play music with my best friend was also a reason. Both motivations turned out to be bad ideas, as I already said. Long story… tell me if you’re interested to know!

Where did the name This frilly ape come from?

In the beginning, I was searching for a name related to the music itself. But it led to a dead end.

So, I asked myself: why are you making music? The answer was pretty clear: it was a way to communicate a message, an alternative to oral or physical communication forms, I mean. Then, I had the feeling that creating music was necessary to find a balance in my everyday life. I also observed that this music was evolving months after months. This made me think it had something to do with psychoanalysis.

Then, as I didn’t like the idea of something too serious, I tried to introduce auto-derision in all of that. I decided to consider myself, being a monkey on a psychiatrist sofa, venting my pointless problems, my stupid fears. This is how the first name “This ape psychotherapy” was born. But it was too long, and not so cool! So, I decided to finally select “This frilly ape”. I think it reflects the absurd side of the music, even if the main part of the initial idea is gone. But I guess you still get the missing part while watching the artwork, and the way this monkey looks like.

You’ve just released your debut album, how does it feel to have it out?

First of all, I’m very happy with the result: I struggled for many years with every aspect of the production, but except with some details, this was what I was hoping to get.

But there is something else: I am also very much disappointed about the album reception. I spent so much energy in this, and I’m just so surprised about the little bit of feedback I receive, while sending links to freely download this music! I mean: I’m very curious about the others music, and if someone I know recorded an album, or if someone I don’t know asked me to listen to its music, I surely would do it, and give my opinion about it. If I don’t like the stuff, it just takes 5 minutes to know what goes wrong between the music and me, and to write an answer about it… But nearly no one did that for me. OK, I’m not a professional of the music industry, I did it all by myself, and with a very little money. But after 5 months trying to promote this music (in which I believe), when I only hear about a dozen of people showing some kind of interest, I think I have some good reasons to feel disappointed. I guess people don’t respond because they lack time, or most probably because they simply didn’t feel concerned by the music… So, let’s say that I didn’t find an audience yet. On the other hand, it could be expected, with this kind of music 🙂

It also has to deal with the question “Why am I making music?”. As I already said before, I am creating music to find a good balance in my personal life. But this “music message” has no purpose if no one is interested in it. Until someone hears it, and proves it was touched by this music, that it understood the message spread in this music (e.g.: by recommending it to someone else), you only have the half part of the process being achieved…

What made you pick Lovely mutant cauliflower as the title track?

I think it was for 2 reasons: the first one is that this is the track I am the proudest of, in this album (even if it is more repetitive than the other ones). The acoustic part is rich and well developed, the central riffs spread some nostalgy, and the lyrics bring a good balance between this nostalgy and the dissonant/disturbing tones of the music. At least this is what I think. The second reason is that the idea of a mutant cauliflower that needs to be tenderly rocked was cool, and funny to represent!

What was the inspiration behind the album’s front cover?

As I just said, I was trying to illustrate the idea of this lovely mutant cauliflower: the smoke, the finger, the eyes and this slimy liquid on it make me think that it is alive, warm, quivering, just like if it had just come to life. I chose a nearly black and white photography and a dark background to fit the album imagery, that deals with subjects like lonely childhood, impressive factories, seedy apartments etc.

Finally, as I wanted something naïve, flawed, savagely organic, I decided to add a dripping purple layer over it, and a hand-written album title. I wanted to use flashy colors that may remind the 90s (ah, great ski clothes!): I decided to inspire from the cover of the Sonic Youth’s album “Evol” for that point.

What is the music scene in Durfort like?

Mmmhh… Not sure, but I think it’s nearly dead 🙂 However, there are a lot of great places to play around here! (There is a huge forest, great ruins and some abandoned factories)

Given you’re from France, why are all the songs in English?

The main reason is that I always thought that English language had nice consonances, and was more appropriate for my music than French. It seems to me that finding the sonorities I was searching for with French lyrics would add a layer of difficulty to the process. Maybe it’s a wrong idea, and by the way I can think about some great albums sang in French: “Play blessures” by Alain Bashung, “Déchirance” by Chevignon, “Macadam massacre” by Bérurier noir etc.

The second reason is that when you try to communicate a message, it is better when it is understood by the largest number.

The bad part of this choice is that I’m not a fluent English speaker: I was not able to choose the words with subtlety, like I would have done in French. However, the most important part of the message was the music, not the lyrics. So English was definitely a good choice.

Do you ever listen to your own music?

It happens to me sometimes, yes, mainly because I’ve heard each part separately so many times, with so many different sound mixes that I’m always delighted to hear the final result, with the elements mixed together!

But this is mainly some kind of “engineering” interest. Musically speaking, it’s kind of irrelevant, as you already know by heart what’s happening there. I guess it was time to move on, when the album was released. This is the same for any other album that I like: I listen to it for some weeks, and finally put it away, knowing I may listen to it again some years later.

What other music do you listen to?

I had a long black metal period during my teenage years. I then moved over something more “avantgarde” (Virus, Voivod, fleurety, Dodheimsgard, Thorns, Ved buens ende).

More recently, I rediscovered the grunge scene (Soundgarden, Alice in chains), and more especially Sonic Youth & Thurston more, that I worship more than any other band. I’m also listening some no-wave, post-punk or noise rock stuff (This heat, Joy division, T. Segall, Pavement, Swans, The Breeders, Wire, The conformists, Pile, Pere Ubu, L. Lunch…)

…and also, some contemporary / modern / romantic music (K. Penderecki, B. Bartok, D. Chostakovitch, I. Stravinski, PI. Tchaikovsky, J. Williams, S. Yokoyama, P. Glass, E. Satie, G. Ligeti)

…and also, Captain Beefheart, F. Zappa, F. Kuti, Magma, Queens of the stone age, with of course other classic rock stuff!

Now that the album is out what do you have planned next?

As I bought a new house, I’ve got some odd jobs to do in my week ends 🙂

Then, I think I’ll return to oil painting or drawing stuff for some months. Finally, I’ll probably start to write music for a new album. I don’t know if I’ll be alone to record this new album, but I feel like I have many other things to say with my guitars, my bass, my drum kit, and the other instruments that are in my house. I guess my contemporary music project can wait some years more…

 

Check out This frilly ape’s bandcamp page to find out more!

Interview with Lawson Doyle from Port Royal

 

Brisbane rock band Port Royal have put in the hard yards and made a name for themselves through honing their craft of live performance and sweating it out on stages all across the country.

 

How did the band form?
The band formed as a post highschool project with a passion for the optimism and energy of classic rock and roll music. A passion project that very quickly became something more when their first hometown gig hit its 150 person capacity.

Where did the name Port Royal come from?
Looking around a jam room and we were trying to find a name. There was a bunch of different items and objects lying around the place. You weren’t gonna call it the brand of the fan “Sunbeam” nor the brand of the TV “Panasonic”. I don’t smoke anymore but I used to love chuffin down a good ol’ Port Royal rollie and it was the first thing that made sense, when I saw it.

You’ve just released your third single of the year, are there any plans for an EP or LP release?
This year has been hectic for us. We’ve been recording in the background… not that there’s very much downtime but working on it. I have almost 15 new songs unreleased. Just culling them all down to get the best of the bunch ready for the new year. 

What was the inspiration behind the video for That’s how you want it to be?
We wanted to do something Brisbane, but also something relevant to our peers. The music video is a play on the lyrics of the song and tells the story of 2 lovers playing the tug of war with one another. It’s an artistic take on the social games we play between one another, trying to not be too ‘keen’ on one another.

You recently headlined at the Caloundra Music Festival, how did that go?
Wow what a gig. Probably one of the best everHuge response from a huge crowdFunny though, we were setting up as The Veronicas were playing over in the other tent and there was absolutely no one in front of us. I was shitting myself going ‘who designed these set times?’ but sooner rather than later the tent was full with what i’d say close to 1000 people. Total madness. One of the biggest highlights of the career for sure and a great opportunity to showcase lots of new songs. 

What was it like to take out 3rd spot in the Triple Z Hot 100?

A complete honour to rank on what is arguably the most important radio station to any Brisbane band. The atmosphere at the Hot 100 countdown was insane that year. There is something great going on up in the waters of Brisbane music. 

You’ve already received a fair bit of acclaim, does that make you feel any pressure going forward?

We’ve got heaps of work to do. I don’t think pressure is the right word but I definitely feel we’ve got a hell of a lot yet to prove and I think the best is yet to come. The only pressure is too keep writing and even that, that only stops when you choose to.

Do you ever listen to your own music?
Haha – only in the accompaniment of other people for the purposes of self promotion…

What music do you listen to?
I listen to a lot of old school stuff, ya know 60’s, 70’s classics. I love good pop, I don’t care what genre but anything catchy I’m always interested in. I love good hooks. Obviously my heart lies in guitar based blues influenced rock & roll. Anything similar to that of The Rolling Stones, Oasis, The Beatles, The Doors, Led Zep – tickets all the boxes for me. 

What do you have planned for 2020?
Huge year planned with more to come. We’re playing a number of big festivals to start off the year including St Kilda Fest in Vic early Feb. Lots more on the horizon with an EP in the back pocket – some of my best ever songs yet to come. Ya never know, you might even see a Royal escapade outside of Australia in 2020 – it’s all open to interpretation yet. 

 

Check out Port Royal’s Bandcamp page to find out more!

Interview with John Barret from Bass Drum of Death

Bass Drum of Death are heading back to Australia for the first time in over four years this October to bring their primordial garage quicksand to Yours & Owls Festival in Wollongong, along with exclusive intimate headline shows in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane.

Tomatrax caught up with John Barret to ask a few questions.

Where did the name Bass Drum of death come from?

 
The project started as a one man band, John Barrett’s Bass Drum of Death, so when I added a drummer I shortened the band name to just Bass Drum of Death.

What made you pick ‘Just business’ as your latest album’s single and title track?

 
It was the one that really popped on first listen and I thought it would be the best intro to the attitude of the album as a whole

 

 

 

Your press release says how your new album takes massive steps in the scope of your sound, what prompted these steps?

Not wanting to make the same sounding record twice!

You relocated from Mississippi to New York, how does making music in New York compare with Mississippi?

There’s a premium on space in NYC like there wasn’t in Mississippi, but overall my process is fairly similar; I just have to travel to a practice space rather than having one in my house.

 

 

 

Your music has featured on various video games and TV shows, what is it like to hear your music on these platforms?

It’s definitely fun; my parents get a kick out of it

You’ll be touring Australia in October, what can fans expect from your show?

A good mix of all the records with very little downtime…we get a lot covered over the full set

 

 

 

Do you ever listen to your own music?

Rarely, haha

What music do you listen to?

 
All sorts of stuff…right now, a lot of Faux Ferocious and NBA Youngboy

What do you have planned after your upcoming tour?

Fast tunes, good fun, and cold tinnies

 

Australian tour dates below. Check out Bass Drum of Death’s website to find out more!

Premier Artists & Out Of The Loop Presents…
BASS DRUM OF DEATH | AUSTRALIAN TOUR 2019

Thursday 3rd October 2019 – The Curtin, Melbourne VIC – with guests Horror My Friend and CLAMM
Friday 4th October 2019 – The Lansdowne, Sydney NSW – with guests Good Pash and Organs
Saturday 5th October 2019 – Yours & Owls Festival, Wollongong NSW Sunday 6th October 2019 – Crowbar, Brisbane QLD – Tickets
with guests Horror My Friend and Whalehouse

Interview with Pharmercy

 

Pharmercy is the psychedelic rock project of solo artist Liam Turner. Having played in guitar bands in his early years, he has gone it along, playing all the instruments in his debut single ‘Entropy’ with an EP on the way!

Tomatrax caught up with the man behind Pharmercy to talk about the project.

 

When did you write your first song?

The first proper song I wrote was when I was 16, it’s a simple one but I still play it today, who know I might release it one day

Where did the name Pharmercy come from?

hahahaha so this is a bit of weird one. So there is this competitive video game called Overwatch that I have sunk a ridiculous amount of hours into, low key addicted to it. Any way there is this strategy in the game that involves these two charters that have great synergy together, they are called Phara and Mercy, so the overwatch community gave them the clever nickname “Pharmercy”. So there I was one night playing away playing as Phara with my Mercy companion and I had a gig coming up and I didn’t have a name yet. The organiser was asking what my stage name was so I panicked and said Pharmercy. People seemed to like it so it’s stuck ever since

What made you decide to use an alias rather than your name?

My name is kinda boring, It’s like could you imagine an announcer introducing us “And now welcome to the stage LIAM TURNER” pretty lame tbh hahaha

You’ve previously played in bands, how does performing solo compare with being in a band?

It has been the most creatively liberating thing that has happened to my music. Not having to convince three other people that there should be a bass solo with a big fat phaser over the whole track really promotes experimentation. However it can be lonely, I do miss the social aspect of being in a band but as far as the end product is concerned it has been way better for me.

You play all the instruments in your music, do you have a favourite instrument to play?

Definitely my 8 string guitar, that thing is a beast! So much fun to play. Whenever I’m at work I just daydream about being at home chugging away on it.

Is there any instrument you’ve always wanted to play are are yet to do so?

Piano for sure, it is such a versatile instrument especially in the digital age, if you have a midi keyboard you can do so much its crazy, very jealous of people who are good at it

You’ve been working on an EP, how has that been going?

It’s been good but it’s taking its sweet time. I’m very critical of the music I make so I’m constantly going back and re writing things. I started writing Entropy 4 years ago and I only just released that hahaha, but I promise its close

What will the EP be titled?

Decay

How will the rest of the EP compare with ‘Entropy’?

Each song is quite different in genre and vibe but I’ve tried to keep the narrative constant, hopefully if people listen to it from start to finish it will tell a greater story

What was the inspiration behind the video for ‘Entropy’?

It’s basically a direct recreation of the songs story, I was in a band for a long time with my best mate and I had a girlfriend at the time that I was very in love with, but unfortunately she cheated on me with him. So I lost My mate my girl and band in the same day. I guess the over arching theme is accepting things don’t last.

Do you ever listen to your own music?

I do but I listen to it in a critical way, I will render out my song at the end of night and listen to it through out the day taking note of what I didn’t like, then when I get home ill go about trying to fix it

What other music do you listen to?

Stevie Ray Vaughan is on constant rotation for me, his tone, passion and musicianship still give me goose bumps every single time I listen to him. Another big part of my library is Animals as Leaders, absolute guitar gods, they are my inspiration for getting an 8 string. The other big part of my listening time is dedicated to Sam Gellaitry, complete opposite of the music I make but I’d contest that he is one of the best musicals composers alive today. Lush synth design combined with insanely complex percussion with the perfect tone is something I can listen to on loop all day every day

What do you have planned once your EP is out?

No idea, I hope to be playing shows at that point but if nothing else music is my passion and my goal is to get as good at it as I possible can.

 

Check out Pharmercy’s website to find out more!

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