Maths & Magic’s First Showcase Event

Maths and Magic
Image Courtesy of Maths & Magic

Maths & Magic, one of our favourite boutique management and publicity company, may have poking around the Melbourne music scene for well over a year but it’s taken them until now to put together their first “launch” showcase event featuring some of the fantastic performers on their roster.

Timber and Steel feature artists Owls of the Swamp and Siobhan will be joined by Elephant Eyes at The Grace Darling Hotel on Friday 8th June for a night of music and celebration. Tickets are a mere $10 (that’s $3.33 an artist!) with doors opening at 9pm.

For more details on the event see the official Facebook invite here. And check out tracks from all three artists below:

Communion’s Splendour Sideshows

Ben Howard
Image Courtesy of Ben Howard

Two of Communion’s favourite sons, Michael Kiwanuka and Ben Howard (above), are heading our way for Splendour in the Grass and they’ve just announced a couple of joint sideshows presented by the UK label. Joining Kiwanuka and Howard will be a solo Tim Hart (Boy & Bear) with dates in both Sydney and Melbourne.

The details for both shows are below:

Tuesday 24th July – The Factory Theatre, Sydney
Wednesday 25th July – The Corner Hotel, Melbourne

Interview: The Falls, Part 2

The Falls
Image Courtesy of The Falls

“Home”, the first single from The Falls’ upcoming EP Hollywood, is officially released tomorrow (1st May). We sat down with Melinda Kirwin and Simon Rudston-Brown from the Sydney based duo last week to talk about the release, the recording process and the band’s regular Folk Club night at the Hotel Hollywood – all of which can be found in Part 1 of our interview here. In Part 2 we delve a little deeper and discover just what The Falls are doing to make it in the challenging modern music industry.

Evan Hughes: In the press there’s lots of doom and gloom around the music industry with everything from illegal downloads to venues closing down. And I hear that from some artists as well about how hard it is to find a gig when you’re starting out. You guys have just taken the bull by the horns and instead of waiting to be booked at one of the remaining established venues you’ve just gone ahead and started your own regular show at the Hotel Hollywood, Folk Club.
Melinda Kirwin: That’s exactly what we did I think. There aren’t any small venues left in Sydney and that’s the battle for new artists. There’s no where you can play and play to new people. If you play any of the bigger rooms you’re expected to bring the crowd and there’s only so many favours you can call in and friends you can ask to so many gigs. We felt the thing that was really missing was a free night where hopefully you could play to a room full of newbies, not people that have heard you before or friends of friends but actual new people that want to come and hear good music. We felt like that was something that was really missing here so we thought “well, we’re going to make our own night”. By making it free often people will come down to check it out and see who’s playing and discover new music. Even though you’re not making money from the door hopefully the pay off is that new people hear you and buy your music. Even though vendors are disappearing as far as physical copies go I still think gigs are a great place to sell your music and people do want to buy [there]. The Hollywood has been an amazing place for artists to sell their music.
EH: There can be a little bit of a “woe is me” attitude among some artists, especially in Sydney, when it comes to finding live gigs. Many of them are saying “it’s not like Melbourne, there’s no venues, you can’t get a gig” whereas you guys have just proven that you can just walk into a bar and ask.
MK: And you can! I actually feel like that. You just have to go out there and do it. You can make it for yourself. All we did was approach the Hollywood Hotel, they didn’t have any music at the time, and say we wanted to put on a gig. We said to them “look, just give it a go and if you hate it we won’t come back next week”. And we came and played, then we played the next week and the next week and now we’ve been there for a couple of years and it keeps getting bigger. It was hard to begin with – every week was like a launch because you’d hope that people would come. We’re very lucky this year that it has gotten to the point that I always dreamed it would that people are starting to know that there’s a free music night at The Hollywood and they know what they’re going to get if they come down. We’ve tried to keep it stylistically consistent and the quality really high and now people are just coming because there are lots of people out there who want to hear new music – sometimes they just don’t know where to find it.
EH: And it seems that since you rebranded to Folk Club this year and brought in the interview and video elements there’s a lot more buzz around the night as well. Are you finding that? Are you seeing lots of new faces in the crowd? And a bigger crowd?
Simon Rudston-Brown: Definitely. This year has been really well attended and well received. It’s hard to know exactly whether it is the video or whether it’s just because it’s a new year.
MK: I wanted to take it up a notch. I really loved what we’ve been doing at the Hollywood and saw so many amazing artists coming through every Wednesday. I was there every week going “these artists are incredible”. I was getting so blown away each week and I just wanted more people to know about it. I was like “how do we let more people know this is happening” – it just needed an identity. The idea of it being a place where people could come together – I think that’s where the name Folk Club came from.
EH: As a kid I grew up in actual folk clubs and folk societies and regular performance nights were a big part of my childhood. And Folk Club does have that feel to it – I know you’re not a literal club in the way that you have a membership or an AGM or anything but it does feel like you’re part of something, part of a community.
MK: That’s so nice to hear because I guess that’s what we wanted to create. One of the inspirations for it was we went to Tamworth a year or so ago and we found the country music community was just warm and inviting and supportive of each other, particularly the artists supporting other artists. We just busked on the street as part of the [Tamworth Country Music] Festival and someone would hear you play and say “I’m playing at the Tamworth Hotel tonight, you should get up and do a couple of songs”. We tried to bring a bit of that into the Hollywood – if there’s a friend in town unexpectedly we’ll get them up to do a few tunes and give them a chance to play to new people. I think it’s really nice, I hope it keeps growing.
EH: Have you got big plans to evolve the night further?
MK: [laughs] I always have a lot of ideas, I always have big plans. I want to have a TV show! I’d love Folk Club to keep growing and keep getting bigger so that the audience can keep getting bigger and the exposure for the artists can keep getting bigger. That’s what new artists need – exposure. The hardest thing about the music industry right now is getting heard because there are so many people making music and the avenues for getting heard are shrinking. But right now [evolving] Folk Club is on hold for a month or so while I try to get The Falls heard.
EH: I feel like in Australia music is very tribal. If you play indie venues and indie festivals and get played on indie radio then you’re not going to get booked on the folk circuit. And if you play folk festivals you’re not going to get booked on the country circuit and so on. You don’t get that so much overseas. It’s so easy to limit your options here just by choosing which of those avenues, which of those scenes you fit into.
MK: That’s interesting. I think everybody’s conscious of that, it’s hard not to be. Sometimes its impossible to guess what’s going to work for what “tribe” in the way you’re describing it. We try to do everything. We feel like we do fit the folk scene but we’re not traditional folk. And then we’d love to be part of the triple j scene because that’s kind of the music we’re doing but we’re also very country. We’ve always found that we walk this tightrope where we don’t quite know where we fit and that’s been tricky for us. For us we’ve gone “let’s do it and we’ll see where we end up”.
EH: That’s one of the reasons I started Timber and Steel – because I could see so many similarities between the folk music being played at folk festivals and the folk inspired music being played on triple j yet the two scenes were never meeting. Timber and Steel was meant to be a way to introduce them to each other.
MK: I like that you’ve done that – I have noticed that. Timber and Steel does cover a lot of different music under the umbrella of folk. I guess that’s why Folk Club’s “Folk Club at The Hollywood”. We want to try and do a similar thing.
EH: Lets talk about social media for a second. You guys are really clever at using things like Twitter and Facebook to get your own stuff and Folk Club out there. How important is social media to your careers as artists?
MK: It’s key. It’s so important for everything that we’re doing. We have a mailing list as well which has been key because that’s people that have chosen to find out more about what you’re doing. Social media has become such a big part of everybody’s lives – people plan their whole social calendar using Facebook so for gigs and stuff it’s key. It’s a great way for reaching people every day.
EH: And of course having content like good quality video is so important because that can be shared across social networks. Is that something you had in mind when you decided to shoot a video for “Home”?
SR-B: It’s good to have some content to share but we also wanted with the video just to create something visual to go with the song. People can hear the song in one way but if you put a visual to it it can give them a context that maybe they didn’t think about. With “Home” we’ve done something interesting and unique with the take on the title – the clip is going to change the perception of the song a little bit and not pigeonhole the music into being too folky or whatever. Instead going “this is just music” and creating a whole image around that song. I think that was more the reason why we wanted to do a clip rather than just having “content”.
EH: Considering how successful you have been with social media, with crowd funding and with getting a residency have you ever considered mentoring other bands? Let them know “this is what we’ve done, this is what’s been successful, this is what we would have done differently”.
MK: I think everyone does mentor each other unconsciously because we all talk to each other about what we’re doing, what’s working and what’s not working. I think we’re all in the same boat – there is not right or wrong way to get out there. Everyone’s just trying to find ways to reach people and get their music heard. I’m always keen to chat to people if they want to because it helps me as well. Every time you start a dialogue with somebody about it you come up with new ideas and they teach you something, they come up with something you’ve never even thought of doing. I think bands should be mentoring each other. Musicians are often working on their own, all battling away, all trying to be heard and trying to figure out how to do it by themselves. It’s great when musicians can come together, we need each other’s support.
EH: There are a few avenues out there for that kind of mentoring I guess. The big example is obviously The Seed which John Butler put together. And there’s also Jen Cloher’s I Manage My Music program that she’s put together. The great thing about music is it’s not a competition and people are always willing to help and always willing to offer advice.
SR-B: Melinda attended The Seed in 2010. She came back from that very motivated with lots of ideas from speaking to other people about what they’ve been doing, how things have gone. Those kind of things are awesome.
MK: Sometimes you just need to know you’re on the right track and that’s what those [programs] do. It’s not even about getting taught a way to do it, it’s someone going “actually you’re doing the right thing. Hang in there and keep going the way you’re going and you’re going to be OK”. I think that things like The Seed and what Jen’s doing is amazing. And it gives you resources that you didn’t even know about. The Seed was amazing for me because there’s so many little details about the industry that I just had no idea about. It gave you a little bit of inside knowledge. Seed applications have just opened just so you know. I think The Seed is one of the best things happening in the country at the moment, for managers as well. The artist manager actually has the hardest job because you’re not the artist and you’re putting your whole life out there for the artist. I have so much admiration for anyone that’s managing a band at the moment.
EH: We’ll be sure to link to it for aspiring artists and managers out there. Well that’s all I have for you today. Thanks so much guys, this has been great – I’m really looking forward to the EP!
SR-B: Yeah, the single [“Home”] is out on the 1st May and the video should be out the 1st May as well with the EP coming a month later.
MK: The 1st June. We’ve got heaps of shows too.
SR-B: Come to a show!
EH: Of course. Thank you so much guys.
MK: Thank you!

The Falls are touring with Jack Carty and Evan & The Brave over the coming month with the full tour dates below. For more information on Folk Club head to their official Facebook page.

Sat 5th May – The Front Gallery, Canberra, ACT w/ Jack Carty
Tue 8th May – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne, VIC w/ Jack Carty
Wed 9th May – The Hotel Hollywood, Sydney, NSW w/ Evan & The Brave
Thur 10th May – Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane, QLD w/ Jack Carty
Fri 11th May – The Front Gallery, Canberra, ACT w/ Evan & The Brave
Sat 12th May – The Wesley Anne, Melbourne, VIC w/ Evan & The Brave
Saturday 19th May – The Waiting Room, Brisbane, QLD w/ Evan & The Brave
Sunday 27th May – Yours & Owls, Wollongong, NSW w/ Evan & The Brave

New Tinpan Orange Video, Single and Shows

TinPan Orange
Image Courtesy of TinPan Orange

If you’re anything like us you’re probably wondering why it’s been a while since we’ve heard anything out of Melbourne’s TinPan Orange. They released their new track “Barcelona” via their Unearthed page last August and then, after a couple of shows around the place, seemed to disappear.

Well it turns out TinPan Orange have been over in Canada touring with good friends The Cat Empire and now they’re back with a whole slew of goodies for us. First up the long awaited video for “Barcelona” which was made with “the help of many friends on a deserted beach in the dead of night”:

They’ve also unleashed their new track “Flowers” on the world which is already garnering national airplay. Check it out below and then head over to Unearthed to download it:


Finally TinPan Orange have a couple of dates coming up to celebrate their return to the country. If you like what you hear from the new songs you should get along to one of these gigs:

Sunday 20th May – Rhythm and Rights (The Human Rights Arts and Film Festival), Abbotsford Convent, Melbourne
Friday 15th June – Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth
Saturday 11th August – Adelaide International Guitar Festival, Space Theatre, Adelaide

Stream Patrick Watson’s New Album “Adventures In Your Own Backyard”

Image Courtesy of Patrick Watson

The last time we heard a peep out of indie-folk’s favourite Québécois Patrick Watson was 2009 when he relased his phenomenal album Wooden Arms, so we’ve been waiting for a long time for a reason to share him with you. His inimitable style binds the best of pop, folk and classical with a voice nothing short of extraordinary. From a preliminary listen to the album, it reflects his past work well and retains the abstractly surreal quality that makes it feel like the soundtrack to a confusing, imaginative, but happy dream. Check out the recently released video for “Into Giants” below.

NPR have Adventures in Your Own Backyard streaming for free, so click here to listen.

Folk Club Artists for May

Patrick James
Image Courtesy of Patrick James

And so we continue our trend this week of daily news related to The Falls. This time around the duo have announced the artists for the first three weeks of May’s Folk Club at Sydney’s Hotel Hollywood. Folk Club takes place every Wednesday night and features music from The Falls and their friends as well as an interview with the feature artist on their songwriting process and a video of the night which is uploaded to the world wide webs (check out previous vids here).

May’s artists so far include Patrick James (above), Lissa, Evan & the Brave, Griffith Goat Boy, Lily So & Co. and Boy Outside. The music starts at 8pm each week with full details on the Folk Club facebook page.

The current lineup for May (with more to be announced soon) is below:

Wed 2nd May – Patrick James + The Falls + Lissa
Wed 9th May – Evan & the Brave + Griffith Goat Boy + Lily So & Co.
Wed 16th May – Boy Outside + The Falls

Graveyard Train Announce Hollow Album Launch Tour

Graveyard Train
Image Courtesy of Graveyard Train

Melbourne seven piece alt-country/horror/blues band Graveyard Train have a brand new album, Hollow, due for release on the 11th May. You’ve probably already heard their new single “I’m Gone” (below), because quite frankly it’s been all over the place, and now you have the chance to see them live as they tour Hollow all around the country.

The full list of Graveyard Train dates are below:

Thursday 10th May – The Gov, Adelaide, SA
Friday 11th May – The Loft, Warnambool, VIC
Thursday 24th May – The Beach Hotel, Byron Bay, NSW
Friday 25th May – The Hi-fi Bar, Brisbane
Saturday 26th May – Woombye Hotel, Woombye, QLD
Friday 1st June – The Hi-fi Bar, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 2nd June – The Hi-fi Bar, Melbourne, VIC
Thursday 14th June – Great Northern Hotel, Newcastle, NSW
Friday 15th June – The Metro, Sydney, NSW
Sunday 17th June – The Claredon Guesthouse, Katoomba, NSW
Thursday 28th June – Bended Elbow, Geelong, VIC
Friday 29th June – Theatre Royal, Castlemaine, VIC
Saturday 30th June – The Karova Lounge, Ballarat, VIC

Interview: Daniel Champagne

Daniel Champagne
Image Courtesy of Daniel Champagne

If you’ve been to a folk or blues festival over the last few years you’ve probably come across the wonderful music of singer-songwriter Daniel Champagne. If you haven’t seen him before you’re in for a treat – at just 22 years of age Champagne has solidified his spot as one of the most talented and inspiring guitarists on the Australian festival circuit as well as one hell of a songwriter. With a new live EP, Real Live, just released and a string of dates throughout the country over the coming months we thought it was about time Timber and Steel got to know the man behind the music.

Evan Hughes: So the new EP Real Live has just hit the stands hasn’t it.
Daniel Champagne: Yeah on Thursday [19th April]
EH: Are you getting much of a reaction from it yet?
DC: Yeah! It went to all the radio stations earlier last week so they’ve started playing it and I’ve been doing heaps of interviews and that sort of thing. Everyone that I’ve heard from has been really appreciative of it. The reason I did it was because a lot of people were asking at gigs for a CD that sounded like me playing on stage. I got the idea from people listening – that’s why I did it.
EH: It’s nice to have something that you’re proud of that you can hand to people at the end of a gig and say “this is what you just saw”.
DC: Yeah, totally.
EH: And you played Bluesfest a couple of weeks ago. How was that?
DC: This is the third time I’ve played it and it’s always been really good. This year I was only there for a few hours because it was one of those weekends where I had different shows in different states. But yeah, it was a great show. A really good crowd. I think it was first thing on one of the mornings but it was a really full tent – there’s always a great sound and a really good response. It’s just good to be up there while all the energy’s there in Byron. It’s a colossal festival and always great to be a part of.
EH: It’s just huge but there is a community feel about it.
DC: I think a lot of people who live in the area work at the festival and are involved in some way which helps towards that.
EH: You tend to play a lot of festivals. Is there something about the festival crowd that you think really digs your music?
DC: I think festival people dig music in general. People go to festivals to have a good time so most of the festivals I’ve played you’d have to be doing something offensive or bad for them not to like you. For me it’s really relaxing going to a festival for a weekend and hanging out, catching up with other muso friends, seeing some music, playing and sleeping in the same bed for more than one night in a row. When I was 13 or 14 I started playing my local festivals and then started playing The National [Folk Festival] and Woodford [Folk Festival] and other ones around the country. They’re the first experiences I had of playing to larger crowds which is a different thing to playing shows which I’m starting to do a lot more of now.
EH: You’ve played a lot of the folk festivals as well which tend to attract a different crowd – people who are there for the music, not the big name headliners. Do you find that?
DC: Yeah definitely. I think with folk festivals – which is how I started out and still probably do most in Australia and overseas – it’s a real celebration of music. There’s been a few festivals I’ve been to, and I won’t name any, that you feel it’s more people going for the names on the poster and maybe to say that they’ve seen such-and-such. Most of the folk festivals and a lot of the blues festivals too are about just going for a weekend and celebrating music and each other’s company and seeing some acts you really like and discovering new acts.
EH: Would you describe your music as folk music?
DC: I’d describe it as acoustic music which can change song by song. That’s the beauty of playing a guitar and singing – you’ve got total control and you can play a deep blues song one minute and then a 300 year old English folk ballad the next.
EH: You’ve just started your absolutely massive national tour that takes place for the rest of April then May and June, playing all these dates in cities and regional centres as well. Are there many places on the tour you haven’t been to before?
DC: It’s just been extended through July too with North Queensland and regional areas. Weirdly enough I’ve played most places. I guess I’ve been doing this for four years now, since I left school, and I’ve always tried to get out of the cities. A lot of artists when they tour I guess just do Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth and maybe Hobart. But because I always want to be on the road and playing five nights a week I’m addicted to it – that’s been my opportunity to do that, go out to the country and play all these different places. Some of them I would never go back to and there’s heaps that I’ve wanted to go back to.
EH: I’m looking at just how many shows you’ve got coming up – you must get exhausted by the end of it.
DC: People ask me that because I have literally been playing four or five nights a week for the last four years but the only times I’ve ever been tired or sick or anything is the times I’ve had a break. As long as there’s touring and a place to play each night there’s a lot of energy. It’s always an event when you rock up to a town and play a show. I’m only ever playing two hours a night so the rest of the time I’m just hanging out and doing my thing.
EH: It’s a hell of a life. There’s something romantic about it – like the old travelling minstrel.
DC: I think the best thing about it is every town I’ve played I’ve now got a little family and a place to stay. I’ve never paid for accommodation a single night touring, I’ve always got a place to stay and a group of friends who want to hang out and party or whatever. I guess I’ll have to keep on touring to keep catching up with my friends.
EH: Do you find that being on the road all the time informs the music you play? Does it help your music evolve?
DC: Definitely, it helps the songwriting. You get a lot of different perspectives because you’re meeting all these different people in different places. You’ve got more stories to tell and you’ve got more perspective to write from. And then in terms of singing and playing the guitar – playing heaps and heaps of shows can only make you better. That’s how my guitar playing’s developed and that’s how my singing’s developed.
EH: Well thanks for chatting with us today. Good luck with the rest of the tour.
DC: Thanks very much!

The remaining list of dates on Daniel Champagne’s current tour are below:

Sunday 29th April – The Bridge Tavern Nowra, NSW
Tuesday 1st May – Toff in Town Melbourne, VIC
Thursday 3rd May – Lizotte’s Central Coast, NSW
Friday 4th May – Lizotte’s Newcastle, NSW
Saturday 5th May – The Clarendon Guest House Katoomba, NSW
Sunday 6th May – The Brewery Mudgee, NSW
Monday 7th May – The Espy St Kilda, VIC
Tuesday 8th May – Toff in Town Melbourne, VIC
Friday 11th May – The Camelot Lounge Sydney, NSW
Saturday 12th May – Culburra Beach Festival Culburra, NSW
Monday 14th May – The Espy St Kilda, VIC
Tuesday 15th May – Toff in Town Melbourne, VIC
Wednesday 16th May – Mojo’s Fremantle, WA
Friday 18th May – Ya Ya’s Perth, WA
Monday 21st May – The Espy St Kilda, VIC
Tuesday 22nd May – Toff in Town Melbourne, VIC
Thursday 24th May – Blues On Broad Beach Broad Beach, QLD
Friday 25th May – Blues On Broad Beach Broad Beach, QLD
Saturday 26th May – Blues On Broad Beach Broad Beach, QLD
Monday 27th May – The Espy St Kilda, VIC
Tuesday 28th May – Toff in Town St Kilda, VIC
Thursday 31st May – SOL Bar Maroochydore, QLD
Friday 1st June – The Sound Lounge Gold Coast, QLD
Sunday 3rd June – Harvest Café Byron Bay, NSW
Thursday 7th June – Yours and Owls Wollongong, NSW
Friday 8th June – Snowy Mountains Music Festival Perisher, NSW
Saturday 9th June – Snowy Mountains Music Festival Perisher, NSW
Thursday 14th June – The Front Canberra, ACT
Friday 15th June – The Front Canberra, ACT
Saturday 16th June – The Joynt Brisbane, QLD
Sunday 17th June – The Joynt Brisbane, QLD
Wednesday 20th June – Republic Bar Hobart, TAS
Thursday 21st June – Royal Oak Launceston, TAS
Friday 22nd June – Skwiz Café Sheffield, TAS
Saturday 23rd June – Caravan Music Club Melbourne, VIC

Stream The Staves’ The Motherlode EP

The Staves
Image Courtesy of The Staves

Last weekend UK all girl folk trio The Staves released their latest recording The Motherlode EP. Consisting of just three songs, “The Motherlode” (which has a video here), “Pay Us No Mind” and “Wisely and Slow” and we know you’re going to get excited because, quite frankly, you do every time we mention The Staves.

We’re not sure if there’s an Australian release planned for The Motherlode EP but the ladies have been kind enough to release the whole thing online in embeddable format. Take a listen below and tell us what you think:

Interview: The Falls, Part 1

The Falls
Image Courtesy of The Falls

The past couple of years have been a strange and exciting adventure for Sydney duo The Falls. The definition of the “self-made artist”, The Falls’ Melinda Kirwin and Simon Rudston-Brown have cut through the doom and gloom surrounding the music industry at the moment and have found success along the way – regularly playing Wednesday nights at the Hotel Hollywood in Sydney’s Surry Hills for their Folk Club nights scoring some really exciting support slots and crowd funding their first EP Hollywood. Their first single “Home” is a wonderful piece of catchy folk-pop full of The Falls’ trademark harmonies and is being launched at The Vanguard tonight where they are supporting Jack Carty. We sat down with Melinda and Simon over a couple of beers in their native Darlinghurst to chat about the single, the EP, the crowd funding process and recording in (possibly) Sydney’s oldest men’s toilets.

Evan Hughes: Let’s start with the new single “Home” which has just made an appearance on triple j Unearthed, you’re launching it as part of Jack Carty’s show at The Vanguard and it’s being officially released next week…
Melinda Kirwin: Yeah, it comes out on iTunes on the 1st May. It’ll be actually available to buy so that’s pretty exciting.
EH: You’ve got to be excited about that.
MK: We’ve never had anything available before so this is really huge for us.
EH: How have you found the recording process? Did you record in a studio?
MK: We recorded with Tony Buchen at BJB Studios which is now closed. We were really lucky to be one of the last sessions there. We recorded with him there and did some overdubs at 301 where he has a suite. It was amazing recording at BJB.
EH: Is “Home” part of a wider recording like an album or something?
Simon Rudston-Brown: It’s part of an EP that we’ve done which has six tracks. The EP’s called Hollywood and it’ll be coming out soon as well. “Home” is the first single from that release.
EH: And you’ve been filming a video for it as well – do you feel like rock stars yet?
MK: [laughes] I think I’m going to feel more like a rock star when we finally hit the road and are on tour and flying from city to city. We’ve got a pretty hectic schedule over the next couple of weeks because we’re touring with Jack Carty and then we’re doing a tour with Evan & the Brave to support the release of “Home” and start promoting the EP. The EP will be released on the 1st June. I actually just want to get all of the songs out there. I’m not enjoying waiting – I just want to put them all out.
EH: I guess that’s the standard process though – single first and then the EP.
MK: We did get some rock star treatment on the video clip which was pretty good. I liked that.
SR-B: Did we? I had to make sandwiches. I catered the video clip – I didn’t feel like a rock star when I was buttering bread at seven in the morning [laughes]. It’s all worth it.
MK: It was nice, we had hair and make up and stuff like that so for me it was quite unexpected to be completely looked after at the shoot. It was pretty hectic as well – it was good to see what that’s like. We had some pretty big days and we had a really great team of people on board. I’m excited to see the results.
EH: Are you guys still self managed?
MK: We are.
EH: How do you juggle the creative side of things with organising all the other aspects of managing a band?
MK: With great difficulty. It’s really hard trying to juggle all the different roles you have to take on and make sure you don’t neglect any of them. I think after we release this single and the EP I really want to put some time aside just to focus on songwriting again. The gig side we really enjoy – the gigs are the fun part and it’s really nice to just get out there and play – but the bit we’ve got to make sure we don’t neglect is the songwriting. It’s the really important bit.
SR-B: Melinda is managing the band so she’s juggling those things. We haven’t spent a lot of time writing.
MK: Since the beginning of the year
SR-B: We had some new songs for this EP and then because other things have needed to be done and organised we haven’t really had a chance to get together and write together. We’d like to get this out and set aside some time again to do that. We’d love to put an album out.
MK: There’s lots of songs and lots of ideas that I’m itching to finish and work on together. We’ve just got to put that aside for the moment. It’s really important that we focus on the release right now because it’s our first, the first thing we’ve ever released. We want to make sure we give it everything we’ve got to try and get it out there.
EH: What was the process to decide what was going to go on the EP this time around?
SR-B: We included try a lot of new songs. There was a couple of songs, particularly the song “Hollywood” which is the last track, we were still actually writing the night before we went into the studio. It seemed the right song to include.
MK: It tied to whole thing together because we’ve been playing at The Hollywood for so long. It became the EP – that one song – because it was so nostalgic. It’s a part of everything we’ve been working so hard on over the last two years. It just brought everything together and now the EP is called Hollywood and we recorded most of the reverbs on the EP in The Hollywood.7:49
SR-B: In the toilets. The men’s toilets.
EH: Isn’t it the oldest men’s pub toilet in Sydney?
SR-B: I don’t know.
MK: I wouldn’t be surprised.
SR-B: It’s pretty smelly down there.
EH: I’m sure I read somewhere that the Hotel Hollywood has Sydney’s oldest urinals.
MK: I know that they just pulled out the old urinal and weren’t sure what to do with them because they were so old. I don’t think there were any takers for them.
EH: There should be a Sydney pub museum or something that they could be donated to.
MK: Totally! Because of the urinals and everything that’s down there we’ve been calling it “pee-verb”.
SR-B: It was tricky choosing the songs because there was a lot to choose from and a lot that we really liked but we just kind of chose a batch that worked really well together and that were a good representation of what we do as a duo. That’s how we perform and we wanted an EP to sound not like we’ve suddenly got a twenty piece band – it still sounds like us as a duo but with some texture and colouring from other things. I think that had a bit to do with the songs we chose and obviously songs that were fresh and exciting to us at the time.
MK: And it’s cool because the first track on the EP, “Please”, is pretty much the first song we ever wrote together. And the last track is “Hollywood” which was the newest song we’d written at the time. So it’s like the little story of us.
EH: Like book ends.
MK: Yeah, totally.
EH: Did you test which songs worked and which songs didn’t at your regular Wednesday nights at the Hotel Hollywood?
SR-B: Not so much testing them out but more just getting them up to a level where we could perform them really well.
MK: I think The Hollywood is where we really figured out who we were and what we wanted to sound like. When we first started playing at The Hollywood we tried doing some stuff with a band because we thought we needed a band. And when we first started playing acoustically [as a duo] at The Hollywood we felt like there was something missing. But then as it went on and we were playing their every week we started to really figure out our sound, just the two of us, and figured out that that’s actually what our sound is – two vocals and acoustic guitar and stompbox. It’s kind of what’s led to the current recordings is that we took that sound and built around it and didn’t go too far.
SR-B: You ask 20 people, for example, what the single should be and you get them all saying something different. On the same day we had one person say “it’s definitely got to be this song” and somebody e-mailed us five minutes later and said “I wouldn’t even put that song on the EP”. At some point you just have to go “well what do we want to put on the EP, what do we want to put out?”
MK: “What is us?”
SR-B: You’ve got to just decide yourself. We did ask people what they thought but in the end we just decided to go with our gut.
EH: And Hollywood was crowd funded right?
MK: Yes
EH: Talk us through the decision making process around that and how difficult that was.
MK: We kind of ran out of money and we’ve never released anything. We’d been investing a lot in our music and doing shows and putting on The Hollywood. We really wanted to release something and come up with a way to do it but we didn’t want to borrow money. Because we haven’t released anything before we thought it was premature to approach a label as we didn’t have a track record. I’d seen some friends of mine in America who had been doing some self funded projects through Kickstarter and that’s where I heard about the crowd funding thing and started looking for options in Australia. It didn’t really exist to a huge degree here yet – I looked at Kickstarter but you couldn’t do it unless you were based in America. And that’s when I came accross Pozible and thought we should give it a go. It was really nerve-racking – it was a big decision for us to make too for us to ask people to contribute to making our album, to take that leap. We didn’t want to ask people to help fund it and that’s why we liked the idea of Pozible because you’re not just asking people to give you money, it’s like pre-selling an album. We put together all these different packages so people could do something as small as just purchase a digital download or an actual physical album. Then we put a lot of packages together that were associated with our studio time like a set of polaroid pics from the recording process.
SR-B: And gigs. We also sold us to come and play a gig and we did a few of those.
EH: Like lounge room concerts.
SR-B: Yeah, lounge room type concerts
MK: And we did a wedding.
SR-B: It was great how many people supported it and got behind it. And also a few local businesses in Darlinghurst wanted to help so they put on a raffle.
MK: The Bunker cafe on Liverpool St, they helped us out. So did Blender Gallery in Paddington and Miss Chu as well. There’s no way we could have done this release without the support that we got. We were literally running on empty so it was amazing to see who would actually come out and help. It gives you renewed faith in what you’re doing that people what to help you get there, get across the line.
EH: Did you find the help flowed fairly easily once you were set up with Pozible?
MK: It kind of happened on its own. We didn’t want to be pushy either. We kind of just sat back and went “we really hope that you can help us do this” and it was amazing. We didn’t have to push it very hard. People were so helpful. It was incredible – I recommend it to bands because there’s so many people who want to help you get heard.
EH: People always talk about “the music community” in Sydney and Australia and I guess this shows that that community is there – that there are people who really care about getting music out there. The media beat up how illegal downloads mean nobody cares about the artist anymore but there really is a group of people out there who do care and want to see you succeed. You guys have proved that.
MK: I think once people hear the stories of what it’s like as an artist at the moment I think they’re even more willing and excited to help artists. The music industry is in a complicated place and it’s nice to see people haven’t changed that much. Downloading has changed the industry because people now have access to music like they have access to running water – you can just get whatever you want when you want it. But I think when people see that it benefits the artist if they buy their music I think they want to if they can.

Look out for Part 2 of the interview coming soon. The embedd of “Home” is below along with the full list of live dates for The Falls:


Thur 26th April – The Vanguard, Sydney, NSW w/ Jack Carty
Sun 29th April – Chino’s, Newcastle, NSW w/ Jack Carty
Sat 5th May – The Front Gallery, Canberra, ACT w/ Jack Carty
Tue 8th May – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne, VIC w/ Jack Carty
Wed 9th May – The Hotel Hollywood, Sydney, NSW w/ Evan & The Brave
Thur 10th May – Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane, QLD w/ Jack Carty
Fri 11th May – The Front Gallery, Canberra, ACT w/ Evan & The Brave
Sat 12th May – The Wesley Anne, Melbourne, VIC w/ Evan & The Brave
Saturday 19th May – The Waiting Room, Brisbane, QLD w/ Evan & The Brave
Sunday 27th May – Yours & Owls, Wollongong, NSW w/ Evan & The Brave

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