1. Growing Up
Growing up I spent a lot of time at my grandparents’. Pop played the cello and piano and had all these kooky ’50s rock’n’roll remix albums. Imagine ‘Rock Around The Clock’ redone on a Casio keyboard. As a four-year-old that was pretty badass. My old man was a big ’70s heavy metal and Aussie pub rock fan. I remember the first time he got his Led Zeppelin IV record out to show me. The riff in ‘Black Dog’ made me want to shit my pants. I think that early introduction into loud guitars and drums with big riffs is something that still sticks with me today.
My favourite musicians have to be Drew Goddard and the rest of the cats from Karnivool. The first time I saw them was at an afternoon matinee show in 2006 just after they had dropped Themata. There were about 40 people in Manning Bar and I remember leaving that wondering why they weren’t the biggest band in the world. They’re just so tight and so huge live. You’d struggle to find that level of musicianship anywhere.
3. Your Band
Without Parachutes is a three-piece made up of Bob Stewart (drums), Will Cruger (guitar, vox) and me, Michael Cooper, on bass. Rob and I met in high school and have been playing together for about ten years. Will found us about five years ago through mutual friends and we have floated around lineups and bands in the Wollongong/Sydney area together since. Our tastes can sometimes clash massively. Robbie loves everything from The Paper Kites to Korn. Will loves anything English from Coldplay and London Grammar to Muse. I like my music dirty – Future Of The Left, The Bronx and QOTSA are up there as my favourites.
4. The Music You Make
Our music is a combination of heavy rock and electronic sounds. You can never have too many riffs in our book, so there is a lot of in-between-song jamming on riffs and general chaos. Will has a pretty versatile, clean-hitting voice. Most of the songs revolve around his vocal melodies. They can be anywhere from epic ten-minute-long Aussie prog rock-influenced songs to snappy three-minute synthpop tunes. We have been recording with Nick DiDia at Studios 301 in Byron Bay. Our EP was recently finished and should be out in the coming months. Working with an absolute legend and master like Nick was out of control.
5. Music, Right Here, Right Now
I was lucky enough to study in Melbourne last year. Now that’s how live music should be. Sydney in comparison is obviously is in a bit of trough with the closure of venues, lockouts and all that. All I can say is that when you hit the bottom you can only go up, and while the scene is small it’s dedicated and good things are happening.
Catch Without Parachutes at Frankie’s Pizza on Wednesday August 27.