1. Growing Up
My grandfather played in a jazz/swing band so I grew up with a lot of Count Basie, Nelson Riddle and Glenn Miller. I was soon seduced by rock’n’roll when I heard The Beatles for the first time. Then I heard The Velvet Underground and I was hooked for life. My teen years were spent in bands that included (soon to be) members of The Drones, Paul Kelly’s band, Mick Harvey’s band, Dallas Crane and more. We all influenced each other as we were discovering new gems.
When I was 13, my year eight maths teacher made me a tape. On one side was The Velvet Underground & Nico. On the other was Television’s Marquee Moon. That tape had a profound effect on me, perhaps not immediately but eventually. My wife is my muse. If she wasn’t there encouraging me and making me push myself, I would perhaps have given up years ago.
3. Your Band
Our band is mostly made up old friends and lovers. I asked the girl next door to join our band after hearing her play violin over the fence. I married her seven years later. I’ve been playing with our drummer and bass player on and off for over 20 years since I was a kid. I’ve known our keys player the least amount of time and that’s ten years! With that kind of history, there’s a lot of room for different opinions and argument. We’re a family as much as we are band. We love and fight like a family too.
4. The Music You Make
We’ve never felt a part of any scene or fad. Our heroes are ones that have adopted that philosophy too. We aim to create the music we’d like to buy or listen to. People lump us in with The Bad Seeds, Lee Hazelwood, The Black Heart Procession, Mark Lanegan, Tindersticks… While these comparisons are flattering, we never attempt to emulate these artists. I think journalists hear a deep voice or a minor chord but that’s where the similarities end.
5. Music, Right Here, Right Now
I believe the live music scene is healthier than ever. No-one is selling many records anymore so the need to tour is more important than ever. Many complain there are too many bands but if you can sift through the shit there’s more great stuff out there than ever before. We played with The Holy Soul for the first time ever in France on a tour. They blew our minds – “intelligent rock with unconventional twists and turns”. I lament the passing of Bridezilla. The Twerps will one day take over the world. Kirin J Callinan will one day end the world.