Five Things with Tom Russo from Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever
1. Growing Up
I grew up in a pretty musical household. My dad played folk music. My mum was a great singer and they used to do duets at weddings, parties, et cetera. We had a piano and some nice guitars lying around, including the ’50s Gretsch hollow body that I play now. My dad bought it from his barber in the ’70s for 100 bucks. My parents were stupidly encouraging with anything to do with music. They always come to shows, which is cool – they have been to a lot of sweaty dive bars.
I love a lot of different kinds of music, including a bunch that doesn’t sound like our band at all. My all-time number one would have to be Neil Young. I originally got into him through my dad. He’s so versatile and fearless and I love his ragged guitar style, no chops and all feel. Our music has been very influenced by classic Oz guitar pop like The Go-Betweens and The Triffids; I think both were so far ahead of their time. I also love hip hop – I try to keep up with current stuff and keep going back to the visionaries like Outkast and Wu-Tang. I also love heartbreak country music, from Gillian Welch, through Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris, back to Hank Williams.
3. Your Band
Our band is two brothers, two cousins and an ex-housemate. We were all friends before starting the band. We have produced both of our EPs so far at our practice space with Matt Chow, who has his fingers in many Melbourne music pies. He is our rock’n’roll spirit guide.
4. The Music You Make
Tough pop or soft punk are descriptors we have used for our style. I guess our contemporaries are other bands in Melbourne who play vaguely poppy guitar music. There are too many great ones to list, but some bands we have played with include Loose Tooth, Wet Lips, Suss Cunts, Doona Waves, Crepes, Cable Ties, et cetera.
5. Music, Right Here, Right Now
The music scene in Melbourne at the moment is incredible. There is energy in the air and good music coming out of the woodwork. I think this is due to a supportive scene, and a web of great venues, punters, community radio stations and record stores. We also beat the lockout laws, which forced the government to be supportive of live music. Good venues to drop in on any given night include The Old Bar, The Tote, and Gasometer.